K/E/R: Collection cashmere (speaking of navy & grey & oversized...)

Okay, I need your help on this one. 

Along with my other J. Crew items came this sweater. I sized up because when I ordered a Tippi in my regular size I had to send it back -- it wasn't fluid enough for my taste. 

This one, however, is cut the opposite way. I should have known. 

When I first put it on, I thought: No way. It's definitely tent-like. But wow, is it comfy. The sleeves are actually the right length, which is quite unusual. 

I got it for an amazing price, less than half of what it says on the website now. The quality is stunning. The kind you don't (or I don't) often see nowadays. And certainly not at this price point. 

What I need to know is, should I return, exchange, or keep? I have to pay return postage by the way, to exchange or return. And there are none left in this colour in a smaller size. There's a lighter grey with citron, and a sort of pinky brownish colour they call "acorn" -- not sure how that would look on me. I think it skews too warm. 

1: Front with legging jeans & boots -- the easy styling.
2. Tent-like side view. 
3. VOLUME!!!
4-5: with denim skirt, reprise of an earlier outfit.  
6: another styling with black skinnies and booties.
7-8: Trying volume on volume on for size. 

9: Added back view for reference.

Note: I do not at all mind surrendering the waist. Showing my shape is not a real priority for me. 

I would love your considered thoughts on this. Thank you! 

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This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.

70 Comments

  • Astrid replied 8 years ago

    Suz, I actually love all the versions you've shown here! It looks great. That said, I really like the light grey version with the citron, I think that would be fantastic for spring and summer. This says more fall/winter to me. Going for a smaller size might be a tad more conventionally flattering, but I'm not sure whether that much of a mark up would be worth it. I do like this as it is so I think it's a question of preference and when you want to wear it.

  • Transcona Shannon replied 8 years ago

    I'm with Astrid - I really like the outfits here and I like the fit of the sweater. It's very fluid and on trend IMHO. In fact, it reminds me of my oversized sweater (see pics attached) that you have always professed love for. I had actually put it in my donate pile based on some comments that it looked too large on me, but I love it and have put it back into my closet.

    I think with this type of sweater, as long as we keep the bottom half more structured and streamlined, they look lovely.

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Thanks, Astrid. 

    I should add that this sweater is definitely a WINTER item. It is too heavy weight to be worn in the spring. So I would get about another month of wear form it this year, and then, obviously, more going forward. But by the end of March it would probably be too warm, assuming the polar vortex ends. 

  • Jewell replied 8 years ago

    Is this the xsmall? I really like it! I looked at the other color options, but I don't love them nearly as much. I'm  having a hard time with the volume on volume looks, but that's because I'm Team Tailored and my eyes haven't adjusted. My favorite is how you've styled it in the first pic.

  • replied 8 years ago

    I actually love it as is, and I wish I had bought one now!

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Well, I DO love that sweater on you, Shannon!! So glad you rescued it! 

    This one is heavier weight, I think, so the drape isn't quite as good, although it does drape remarkably well for its weight -- being cashmere. 

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Jewell, I normally take an x-small and I ordered the small instead -- and now they are out of x-small in this colour. They might even have been out when I ordered it -- I can't recall. 

    I just didn't like the Tippi in merino in x-small on me. It technically fit, and fit the way it did on the model (semi-fitted, as they say) but it felt ungenerous in the shoulder and I decided that in future I'd order their sweaters a size up. Well, duh, not all the sweaters are cut the same, which was obvious both from the visual AND the text, but I went ahead and ordered small anyway!! 

  • Jewell replied 8 years ago

    Oh, I only asked because when I clicked your link the x-small was showing as available and it allowed me to put one in my shopping cart.

  • Hil replied 8 years ago

    I think it's great! I looked at the pics before I read your narrative and it wasn't till I saw the one of the jersey all stretched out, that I realised it was so oversized. I vote keep.

  • amiable replied 8 years ago

    It's gorgeous.  The x-small shows available to me though :)

  • deb replied 8 years ago

    Oh, you must keep this!! It look great on you. I love all versions.

  • Elizabeth P replied 8 years ago

    Another vote to keep. 

  • Astrid replied 8 years ago

    Okay, if this can't be worn in spring/summer then I say just keep this one.

  • AviaMariah replied 8 years ago

    I LOVE it.  Keep, keep!  But then I have a soft spot for over sized!  Weren't you wanting some more tunic like tops to wear with leggings etc?  Cute, comfortable, warm...where's the question?

  • Eliza replied 8 years ago

    Love it! Especially with the pants. And it looks very deliberate! YLF, Suz.

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    So...maybe xs is just not available in Canada? I'm going to check the US site to see. 

    ETA: that's it. It's showing available in the US and not in Canada in that size. Hmmm. I wonder if I should make a phone call. 

    Amazed to see the love for this! 

  • Alexandra replied 8 years ago

    I love it on you, especially with the black skinnies and white shirt, and with the black trousers. It's about how the volume feels to you, though.

  • catgirl replied 8 years ago

    I adore this. It's not too oversized at all. But you know I am Team Oversized!

  • Ornella replied 8 years ago

    Goregous. From the first photo each next me had me wondering what was the issue here. I hope you keep it. Even the volume on volume, which my has to get used to, grew on me after seeing it the second time only.

    Btw, that styling #6 is so beautiful. A few things can beat simple, fab button up as the support act for making the right things shine.

  • Laura (rhubarbgirl) replied 8 years ago

    I actually like this a lot on you. The volume looks intentional and is nice for a change from your other more fitted looks, and the stripes somehow give it an architectural vibe. I have a sweater that fits like this - regular length fitted ish sleeves, but then a very voluminous body. I wear it with skinnies - I don't know that it's traditionally flattering on me but it is cozy and fun.

    As far as the other colors, I don't think the brown would suit you. The lighter gray and citron would look killer on you, but only you can decide if the slight difference is worth the bother and expense.

  • rachylou replied 8 years ago

    I really like the shape, but confess to liking the Acorn colour better. It just feels cleaner and neater to me. I don't know either, tho, how "Acorn' would work IRL with your complexion.

  • April replied 8 years ago

    I like it too.  I see what you're saying about lots of volume primarily in the side view, where I can see how far away from your body it's hanging in the back.  But in the other poses, it doesn't look overwhelming.  

    You know one of the US ladies (such as myself) would be glad to order and forward to you if you want to try the XS.  What's your window for making a decision?  

  • carter replied 8 years ago

    I really like this on you. It looks great from the front and the back. The only view that looks a bit large on you is the side view. If you find the xs, I'd probably exchange, but if not, this one still looks great on you.

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    April, you're a sweetie. I think it would have to be a straight exchange because the price difference is enormous. I got it for less than half what the web site says now. I have a 60 day window (less a few days because of shipping time). I may make a phone call and see how they handle exchanges to Canada. But it seems as if this size works pretty well anyway and it might just be a hassled for little added value. 

    Thanks for all the comments, everyone. 

    Rachylou, I quite like the acorn colour, too, but don't think it would suit me too well. I also like the pale grey, but citron is not in my wardrobe at all and it might be tougher for me to wear with black and denim (my main pants for wearing with it.) 

  • Beth Ann replied 8 years ago

    If you could pop down to the mall and pick up the xs, I'd counsel you to give it a go, but I think an oversized item or two is called for in any wardrobe -- and I'd wear it in all its voluminous glory and enjoy!

    I love the graphic quality of the sweater!

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Ha..."pop down to the mall" a mere 3 hours away....and none in my size there, right? Alas....

  • Alassë replied 8 years ago

    I think the coloring looks great on you; the other 2 may not be as good (though citron/gray would be my vote over acorn). But if citron won't integrate as well with your wardrobe, forget it. You're a queen of remixing. :)

    The volume-on-volume pairing looks good to me. Also #1 and #6, though I'd prefer a gray or black skirt.

    On to fit...it's not bad, and if it's a choice of this sweater+size or nothing, I'd vote keep since you enjoy it. No one has suggested this, however: what about tailoring it a little? Just taking in the sides a smidge to approximate the smaller size.

  • Karie replied 8 years ago

    I don't mind the size of this one, but I do think the fit would be better in xsmall. Try making a phone call and see what they can do for you. If you can exchange it with an order from the U.S. site, I don't mind helping out. I also live near a J.Crew store (lucky me!). 
    If it's not possible to exchange it for the smaller size, I think I'd keep this one, but will you be OK surrendering the side view? I also think it looks best with a slim fit on the bottom half.

  • viva replied 8 years ago

    I really love this on you. But I also think the XS would probably be great, because I can't imagine the difference is that huge ... might be scaled down just enough to be oversized but maybe a bit more graceful? Either way, I think it works.

    I will be watching for the next big extra-sale-on-sale at JCrew, because that citron-gray is calling to me...although another winter item!!! Gah. I may be wearing nothing but pajamas all summer long if this keeps up.

  • Thistle replied 8 years ago

    I think this is very on trend with the fluid fit. It looks lovely on you and it looks warm and snuggly, all pluses given this bitter cold year.

    My eyes are adjsuting more and more to the fluid fit, and this is very much the case with this piece. Until you are ready to volume on vlume, you would need more streamlined trousers, but you do have those.

    I think it is a keeper :) 

  • Neel replied 8 years ago

    I like this one. But I wonder if the XS would be better. Hmmmm .... Tough one. I think (a few orphans later :D) we should be able to choose our size and not be dictated by what's available. If you really really love this one then keep. Else return.

  • gryffin replied 8 years ago

    Suz - I really like this on you in this size.  Alot of EF fits this way.  I would like hers more if the armholes were cut higher.  I find this type of sweater is just the ultimate, like wearing a warm hug on really cold days.  But then I really love oversized sweaters as long as the fit is comfy.  I think it's very flattering and looks wonderful in all your stylings, although, as might imagine I love it best with black!!  But only you know how you feel in it and if you just feel it's too much you won't wear or enjoy it!!  Do what feels right!

  • Lyn D. replied 8 years ago

    I don't think this size is a problem Suz. especially as the shoulders don't have a seam and the material is fluid.
    It seems as though it might be more hassle than it is worth to size down.
    Looks FAB by the way, and you got top quality for a great price too!

  • JAileen replied 8 years ago

    I surprise myself, sometimes, but I like this size on you. Every one of the pics works, IMO.

  • pastrygirl replied 8 years ago

    I really like it on you! 

  • replied 8 years ago

    I love this sweater Suz! All stylings look great. Love the swingyness of it.

  • Marley replied 8 years ago

    Beautiful sweater!  But, if it were me I would try the size down.  I like fluid and oversized fits - but the side-view of this just looks too much like a tent to me.  I realize that I am not really on-trend when it comes to my opinion regarding over-sized fits - but, just thought I'd put it out there for ya'!

    ETA:  I am one of those who thought Shannon's sweater (the one she posted on this thread) looked too big on her - everybody else loved it - so take that into consideration when considering my opinion.

  • Peri replied 8 years ago

    Well, I love it. But...I'm not sure I love it as much as some other things you post. How's that for on the fence? Specifically, I think it looks great, but you are always so precise about what you keep...only what you judge is fantastic. So...is it fantastic? It would be fantastic enough for me, for sure.

    And may I gloat a little tiny bit? I like it best with the trousers...but when I got my Joie, you were doubtful of wearing volume without skinny on the bottom. But I like that look, and I don't like to wear skinny, so I wear my Joie so happily with trousers. Now that's my favorite of your pictures and you look great and I feel all happy that it wasn't just me being stubborn on the skinny issue!!

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Peri, of course you may gloat!! :) 

    As you see, the volume with volume look is clearly an acquired taste. I liked it quite a lot here although I wasn't sure until I saw the photos. But you and I are clearly in the minority. 

    I'm curious about why you don't love it as much as some other stuff I've posted. Can you articulate that? It might be useful. If it is a fit issue, then perhaps exchanging (or trying to exchange) would be worth it. 

    Given the quality and "heft" of this piece, and the way I felt during try ons, I'd like to keep it if possible, but would be totally open to an exchange for a different size if J. Crew would facilitate that for me. 

    But if it's not a size issue -- but  a style issue -- I'd be super curious to hear your take on it. 

    I'll let you know what I like, FWIW. First, there's the quality. That's huge for me. HUGE. Also, this feels kind of like a warm and cozy blanket, which in my current winter climate is a gift from the gods. Actually, to tell the truth, this morning when I was trying it, I actually thought: Hmmm. This is only a few $$ more than the Blardigan that Natalie posted about the other day. And it is CASHMERE. Superb quality heavy weight cashmere. Heck, I'll keep it for my LOUNGE capsule at this price!! I mean, it's expensive, for me, but given the likely CPW it's actually cheap, you  know?  I could very possibly wear this 200 times a year. 

    Then, there is the pattern. The lines, I think, are very friendly to me. It's sporty -- but not too sporty. I like all things tipped, outlined, colour blocked -- there is something extremely right for my style in this type of pattern. 

    And the colour's a good one for me, too. Or, I should say, the neutral's a good one for me. :) 

  • pil replied 8 years ago

    Well, add me to those feeling the sweater love. It is oversized but not sloppy and the graphic pattern adds interest without being busy.

  • Angie replied 8 years ago

    Woooohoooo. THIS size jumper is all over the catwalks right now, Suz, - and a few sizes larger too. Very fashion forward. 

    Part of me wants to see the size down, but alas, it's not available. 

    Love #1, #6 and #7. Those are killer looks. xo

  • shiny replied 8 years ago

    I'd keep it. And that's before I saw Angie's post. :-)

  • catgirl replied 8 years ago

    Angie has spoken! Yay! To repeat, I LOVE this look. I used to think I just liked it on me and my mid-flab, but I like it just as well on svelte you. I plan to continue with oversized whether on trend or not, but if on trend so much the better.

  • Peri replied 8 years ago

    Suz, it is just the side view really, and I realize something personal is creeping in. Earlier this Fall I bought a grey sweater that I thought I was happy with, but after a few wears I realized it stuck out in the front and accented my apple tendency. That kept me from feeling fab when I wore it and now it has been downgraded to lounge wear, usually with a scarf to hide the front a bit.

    So my reservation was about not liking my own sweater that had that kind of shape. But you have no apple belly so it is my issue, not yours. And the rest of the pictures look cozy and cute. I'm not sure about sizing down...it might look more like your usual fit, but maybe what you like best is the cozy, comfy, snugly factor that comes with being slightly oversized. It sounds like you love it, so keep!

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Thanks so much for weighing in, and especially thanks, Peri, for coming back and explaining, and Angie, for jumping in on your busy, busy schedule. 

    I admit my eye is influenced by what I've been seeing on the catwalks this week. 

    Peri, I think it would still be pretty oversized a size down. Not fluid or semi-fitted like most of my clothes. (I'd say I have about half and half...most of my sweaters and tops are slightly fluid, a few are more tailored, and one or two are oversized. Though not to this degree. My pants are mostly fitted or tailored with a few fluid pairs.) 

    I may just give them a call tomorrow and see what they say. They might be able to ship me the xs instead at the same price. 

    Thanks again, all! 

  • Peri replied 8 years ago

    Maybe if you do that you should keep it until the XS arrives to compare and not lose it...can you do that?

  • trix replied 8 years ago

    OK, I'm useless for commenting on K/R because I don't think I have a very good eye for these things (and I haven't gotten used to fluid fits yet), but if you do want to exchange it, maybe some of these J. Crew "stalking" tips could help. Check for restocks early on the website early in the morning (like between 5 and 6 am). If I've found a better size (or color) for something I already own and want to exchange, I've been able to call customer service and have them send the other one at the same price and with free shipping, with my promise that I'll return the other one. Admittedly this was a couple of years ago, so I don't know if they still do this, but worth a try perhaps?

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    I'll check with them to see, Peri. It won't hurt to ask, right? They might allow me to do it. I am keeping the full priced blouse and the other sale sweater I ordered and also just placed another order with them for some linen tees on sale (for summer), so they may consider me a good customer!

    ETA: crossposted, Trix - thank you!!! It might be a bit different for me because I am in Canada so the rules might not be identical. But I can certainly ask. And I will do exactly that! 

  • Helena replied 8 years ago

    Suz, I also think it looks great ... it might be a wee bit better in the xs, but really, had you not specifically asked, I don't even think i would have noticed ... the drape (correct term??) was really nice so it didn't look a bit bulky to me. I esp. love with the jeans and riding boots.

  • trix replied 8 years ago

    Great, good luck with this! I forgot to note that they obviously do charge for the 2nd item since I haven't returned the first one, but they do refund you quickly when you do return whichever one you choose to send back.

  • catgirl replied 8 years ago

    FWIW I have found less differences between sizes in j crew's oversized stuff than their fitted items. So an XS may be less volume but not as big a diff as you'd think.

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Una, that's just what I suspect, too. I think the fit difference for them is much more pronounced in the semi-fitted items. 

    As one who needs to shop from them online and has to pay for returns, I wish the sizing were more uniform. I take a 0 or a 2 in their shirts, an xs in most of the tees (but not all), a 2 in the jackets (I think), a S in the semi-fitted sweaters, and who knows what in the looser fit sweaters. 

  • Raisin replied 8 years ago

    I love me some volume, so I'd have no problem wearing it this big.  I think it looks great on you.  Plus I like to machine wash my cashmere, though I lay it to dry, so even if it shrunk a tad you'd still be good!

  • Jaime replied 8 years ago

    Well I err on the side of too big but I love it. My favorite is the one with the white blouse underneath!

  • Gigi replied 8 years ago

    Suz, I think the gist of the matter is that you're really not going to know if you'll prefer the XS unless you see it. I will say that the version you have on now does not seem to be ill fitting but seems purposely oversized. So I think it is more the question, Are you comfortable with wearing a fit that's maybe even more fluid than ones you have worn in the past? Does that fit the direction your style is headed? If you don't know and you can't exchange, maybe it would be worth it to keep to experiment with, to see if your style "grows into" this sweater or whether your style eventually says it prefers less fluid fits.

  • Sarah A replied 8 years ago

    Late to the show but I like it just like this, in this size. And like it A LOT! :) I find that all my sweaters shrink a bit, no matter what care given and I'd like to have the wiggle room. And if it doesnt shrink at all in [careful handwashing? dry cleaning?], did I mention that it looks great at this size in these photos?

  • Sveta replied 8 years ago

    I like it from all angles but the side view gives me a little pause. I do wish to see a size down to compare but I hear you on the return postage for JCrew :-(
    As for Tippi - I sized up from my regular size and it fits just the way I like it. Next time you should try S in them...

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Yep, Sveta, next time I will definitely size up in Tippi and order my regular size in their oversized fit. But I'll talk to them tomorrow to see if they can do an exchange for xs. And if not, I think I'll keep as is. After all, the sleeve length is correct on this size. At first I thought, oh, maybe it's supposed to be a bracelet length but is full length on me, but no - it says it comes with full length sleeves. 

  • Aubergine replied 8 years ago

    I'm also late, but I like this a lot and don't think it's too much volume. And it sounds so nice and soft and comfortable, which tips the balance even more!

  • shoppingisfun replied 8 years ago

    Love. The. Sweater. I love all the looks but think it looks best paired with the slimmer bottoms. Great find. I want one.

  • Debra replied 8 years ago

    Fabulous, keep, keep keep it :)

  • Lisa replied 8 years ago

    I may be too late, but I vote keep with the current size.  It looks delibrately oversize, but still gives a nice shape because it has a lovely drape to it.  And I like how you've already styled it here.  A nice find!

  • Freckles replied 8 years ago

    I'd really love it in a size down I think.  The entire vibe of the sweater is beautiful on you but I find it overwhelms you just a bit.  The side view also gave me pause...but then I combat that with my apple belly so perhaps it is just against what I try to do for myself and not your look afterall.  Beautiful sweater Susan.

  • Elizabeth P replied 8 years ago

    Did you talk to them Suz?  Any updates for us? :)

  • Karie replied 8 years ago

    Yes, I keep checking for updates too. Inquiring minds want to know! It's a gorgeous sweater, and S is my size. I wish they'd put it on sale again!

  • replied 8 years ago

    I think Suz said she is travelling today, she's probably on the train! I am sure she'll update when she gets to her mum's.

  • Elle replied 8 years ago

    Another vote for Keep!  I like the fluidity on you and think the sweater works with all the bottoms.  I actually like it best without the white shirt showing since that seems to take attention away from the drape of the sweater. I would not size down

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Ceit's right. I'm on the road today. Will give them a call as soon as I can and update then. Thank you!

  • Gracie replied 8 years ago

    Also waiting to see if the XS is coming your way – I love, LOVE the sporty look of this sweater... on the website they also had listed and XXS but, all sold out except in the acorn color.

  • columbine(erin) replied 8 years ago

    I'm surprised to like the volume on volume the best.

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