Retail Reconnaissance: Fall Finds

Eileen Fisher velvet blazer in Midnight (navy). Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Le Monsieur and I had a free day yesterday, and decided to get out of the house for a while. We hadn’t been to South Coast Plaza in some months, so decided to drive down that way to peruse the shops and have lunch.

Eileen Fisher

Eileen Fisher was the first stop (I had some online orders to return). I’d been wanting to check out their November collection, especially some of the velvet and merino wool pieces. I tried on that blazer above just to get a sense of the sizing and was smitten. (It runs true-to-size…if you want a more oversized fit, size up.) Yes, it’s quite pricey, I won’t argue that. But it’s a beautifully cut jacket, well-made, and the fabric has a lovely drape. It’s also available in a Claret color, and offered in Misses, Petites and Plus sizes. I tried it on with jeans and a striped tee, and thought it looked great styled casually, but you could also ramp it up several notches by wearing with silk or other dressier pieces. It’s quite lightweight, so is a piece you can wear indoors over a tank or camisole.

Eileen Fisher merino wool sweater in Pine. details at une femme d'un certain age.

The fabric on this Luxe Merino Stretch sweater is divine. I’m a fan of Merino wool to start with, and this is some of the lightest and softest I’ve seen. The “Pine” color is actually much darker and less teal-ish than it appears here. This particular style is fuller yes, but the fabric is very lightweight and fluid. (If you prefer more fitted styles, there are a few HERE.) Even though it’s a described as a crewneck, the neckline is lower than many crewneck styles. This is another piece that looks much better in person than it does online. It’s also marked down currently! They didn’t have my size in this color in stock, so I have it on order. I’m going to suggest you size down on this one. Several colors are offered, in Misses, Petites, and Plus sizes.

Eileen Fisher ponte knit leggings with satin stripe. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I finally had a chance to examine these ponte knit leggings with a satin side stripe. (I didn’t try them on as they didn’t have my size in the store.) They’re thinner than the other EF ponte knit pants, and the side stripe is subtle. I think these would be best worn with a tunic-length top, though that satin stripe takes them up a notch from run-of-the-mill leggings. They’d dress up nicely with something velvet. Offered in Misses, Petites, and Plus.


J.Crew cashmere cropped cardigan in Heather Camel. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I’d been wanting to try this cropped cashmere cardigan, and the store at South Coast Plaza had it in stock. I’ve been looking for a cashmere cardigan for travel that’s not too boxy. This one is lightweight, comes in several colors, and is offered up to size 3x. It runs small! I’d suggest going up a size or even two.


ECCO weatherproof ankle boots. Details at une femme d'un certain age.There were a lot of cute styles at ECCO, but this sassy pair of boots (waterproof!) caught my eye. Also offered in black.

For Nespresso Lovers…

Nespresso capsules Paris Black. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

This is one of my favorite Nespresso limited editions in a very long time! This “Paris Black” flavor is intense and rich, but smooth, and is a perfect morning brew. I’m stocking up on this while it’s available!


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  1. Could you please offer some less expensive holiday outfit options? I have at least 3 parties this season and need some new, fresh outfits that won’t break the bank.

      1. Hi- I LOVE the navy EF velvet jacket…exactly what I hope to find but like Susie Sunshine..but the price is WAY WAY over my budget. Any chance you could find a similar jacket (length/fit) in an XL? So many of the current velvet blazers are too short…do not need to call attn. to my hips which is where they would end. Thanks for any suggestions.

  2. Susan, I love your blog. So classy. Simple classic designs that never go out of style. Your research and time is invaluable . Keep up all of your good work, I always look forward toseeing an email from you. Enjoy your trip in December. Will look forward to pics.
    Judy in PHOENIX

  3. I bought a stunning teal velvet jacket online, at of all places, Zulily. It’s remarkably well-made, and it cost me $25 (6 for shipping) and I had a $10 credit because of an issue with a previous packaging. I’m so pleased with it. They have more and I contemplated buying another one in a different color, but none of the colors really caught my eye and the price has gone up $10.

          1. I don’t see a velvet blazer as just a party piece, though. It’s the kind of thing I’d wear out to lunch with a friend, for date night, etc.

          2. Can’t beat Zulily but be warned: do note the sizing, have found that in some pieces XL is more like a L or even a M. Check your measurements carefully against the sizing for that particular manufacturer. On the other hand have ordered items in M that were more like a L.
            You can’t return items but you can score some awesome deals if you are careful!! Purchased a velvet smoking jacket last year in a beautiful cranberry with black lace trim and a velvet print tunic in deep forest green both were hits! Also a duster length embroidered denim jacket that I wear with everything in warmer months it was 40.00CDN so do the math in USD!!

  4. Susan, I own those Eileen Fisher Ponte knit leggings with the satin stripe that you spoke about above and I could live in them! They fit looser than a true legging, they just skim the leg and are so incredibly soft and comfortable, well worth the price. I have worn them casually and then with a velvet EF shirt, one of my favorite pieces this fall.

    1. Pamm-Thanks for sharing “real life” experience with these. I think I will add them to my holiday dressing! They seem versatile. I can see wearing with a longer tee, sweater or velvet tunic. Depending on accessories-tennies, booties, or blingy flats-they could go anywhere.

      Susan-You are fortunate Mr. Une Femme will shop with you! Thanks for your reconnaissance work. 🙂

  5. I bought the box-top sweater in that Luxe Merino Stretch (navy) several weeks ago, and it is the best ever!! And if they’ve marked them down, I’m going to pop in the shop this week to see what colours they might have left in my size. The fluidity makes the volume very manageable, flattering actually. So very comfortable and good-looking!

  6. Paris Black sounds divine! The only quibble I have with Nespresso is that unless you live in a major urban area, you are restricted to online. However, I can see I have to make room in my London-bound suitcase for some.

  7. I love the EF merino stretch sweater, except for the longer back flap. I’ve decided I just DON’T like the longer back, and I won’t buy any tops with that feature unless they’re a woven fabric that I can hem to match the front whenever the back flap goes out of style. I’m old enough to remember the last time tops like that were a fad, and I guarantee it will start to look awkward after a while.

  8. I bought the EF velvet in a shirt style which was considerably less expensive than the jacket you highlighted. I love the midnight color which can be dressed up or down. So comfortable yet elegant. I also bought the charcoal gray velvet in a mandarin tunic which has same versatility. Great investment pieces for my lifestyle which is much more relaxed now that I’m retired.

  9. I don’t see the mark-down online for that sweater, and the link you shared has it at its regular price. Is there a secret code?

    1. Hi Carol, when I prepared this post yesterday, the “original” price shown on the website was higher, and the current price was the markdown. It seems to have been updated overnight so the current lower price isn’t showing up as a markdown. But you can also take $25 off with code HOLIDAY.

  10. I’ve got the velvet blazer in midnight and it is a dream to wear. Very lightweight as Susan notes. Sleeves are easily pushed up for a casual look. I styled it with boyfriend jeans and a soft stretchy grey long-sleeved T for work on the weekend. It can be dressed up with silks for sure, or worn over a dress, like the EF tank dress in midnight. Full disclosure: I work at an Eileen Fisher store in Canada. Our customers are buying it with or without the matching silk underpinnings in stretch silk charmeuse and are planning to wear it to work, as well as for evening and holiday events.

  11. Susan,
    I’ve thought and thoughts about the EF velvet notch collar blazer (in navy for me) you posted, especially since it comes in petite sizing. Everything is so casual here and anytime I can step up my denim look, I try to. I’m curious…..did you end up making this purchase and which size? I find EF runs large for me so I’m thinking a PS or PP so the sleeves aren’t too long.

    1. Hi Holly, I did end up purchasing the Petite Small. It fits well through the shoulders and torso. I find the sleeves are just a little long, and I’m going to have them shortened. I’ll be featuring it in an outfit soon! 😉