Gingham is the prepster’s new wardrobe staple, and I’ve been searching for decent fitting shirts in the check pattern since summer. It’s been like a several months long Goldilocks storybook, too big, too long, sleeve cuffs too wide, checks too small, checks too big, fabric too flimsy…the list goes on and on. I figured I’d post this in case anyone else was on a similar journey, and looking for an affordable option in a decent fit, albeit, not perfect.
The first time I tried the J.Crew Petite Perfect Shirt in gingham, I was concerned about the extra fabric around the torso, overall length, and shoulder. I wanted to catch it on sale, but it slipped through my fingers when 00P sold out quickly in the color I wanted (peony). Then I thought I might be able to find cheaper in a better fit elsewhere, so the search continued. What I found was I really loved the crisp fabric of the J.Crew shirt, which made most others I tried pale in comparison. I also found most shirts to run just as big, if not bigger, and many had issues with the width of the sleeve cuffs. Even though the J.Crew sleeve was a little long on me, the cuff was small enough to stop the shirt from slipping down my hand. Most shirts I tried with long sleeves had wider cuffs that wouldn’t stop at my hand the way J.Crew did.
J.Crew Petite Perfect Shirt in Gingham, 00P:
Not the most slim or shapely of shirts, but surprisingly, one of the best fits I found. My main gripes with it are the long length on 4’11″ me, the shoulder, and the bust seam. After a few commenters pointed out the shoulder in my first post, it really does now look too droopy on me from the back. And the bust seams, that are supposed to give the shirt a more feminine shape, gives the shirt a pucker around my bust that isn’t very flattering, even when the shirt is tucked.
I do like the crisp, thick fabric, medium size gingham (not too small, not too big), and small sleeve cuff width. I was hell-bent on keeping this despite the fit problems, until I tried the boy’s shirt.
J.Crew Boy’s Secret Wash Shirt in Jenson Gingham, Size 10:
Again, not a perfect fit, but I can work with this much easier than the petite 00P. It’s also good to note the price of these boy’s shirts is significantly less than the women’s. After sales, I picked up this shirt for about $22 versus the $50 sale price of the women’s.
This shirt is the same nice, crisp fabric as the women’s shirt, which I love, and a darker blue which is closer to a true navy. There is still extra fabric around the torso, but less than the petite 00P. The shoulder is a full inch smaller, and you can see how much better that loss of one inch looks from the back. There are no bust seams, so the shirt appears smoother from the front. This shirt also features a chest pocket, which might be fun to play with, a small back pleat, and a smaller sized collar, which I find to be more flattering on me than the larger women’s collar.
Overall, much better fit than the petite 00P, with one minor exception. The sleeves are just a teeny bit short, which is typical of kid’s clothing (boxy fit, short sleeves and hems). An extra 1/4 to 1/2 an inch would be perfection, but considering I will be doing lots of sleeve rolling with this top, I can forgive it. It fits a little longer than a bracelet sleeve top, and still peeks out nicely from underneath sweaters. Where it doesn’t peek out are from my blazer sleeves, which tend to be a little longer.
Sidenote: If you look close, you can totally see which one of my arms is slightly longer than the other. You might even say the sleeve looks fine on my shorter arm, but a teeny bit short on my longer arm. =P
Oh yeah, and the boy’s shirt buttons on the opposite side as women’s shirts do, which is a little awkward the first few times around.
|Boy’s size 10||Petite size 00P|
Another option would be to try a boy’s size 12 for a longer sleeve, but I value the small shoulder of the size 10 more than the sleeve length. Unfortunately a size 12 would have a bigger shoulder, not to mention more fabric bulk around the torso and longer overall length.
Despite the slightly short sleeve and extra fabric around the torso, this shirt is really easy to style. Here’s just a simple cardigan I had lying within reach.
Final verdict is I’m keeping the boy’s size 10 and returning the women’s size petite 00P. It’s a rare day that I find a children’s size to fit better than an adult’s, and I was conflicted about choosing the boy’s. Afterall, isn’t adult clothing just shaped better for adult bodies? But after scrutinizing these shirts in the mirror for several days, it was clear to me the boy’s was just a better fit. I’m just happy to finally have some gingham in my life! I’m planning to have my tailor slim the sides on this shirt once the weather warms up, and I no longer want to wear it layered.
Jean also ordered this same shirt in this same size (see it on her). **UPDATE** Can you tell Jean and I have been in major gingham talks recently? She just posted about her recent boy’s gingham acquisition as well!
Now I just want J.Crew to come out with more colors in their boys gingham!