Thursday, July 28, 2011

It's A Jungle Out There...The J.Crew Pia Calf Hair Pumps: A Guest Review by Desert Flower Plus Additional Animal-Prints at The Crew

Hello Everyone! Today I am bringing you another Guest Review. This time the ever-fabulous Desert Flower is sharing her review of the J.Crew Pia Calf Hair Pumps with us...YAY! :)

Desert Flower writes:

"The Pia calf hair leopard print heels jumped out at me from the fall previews and I preordered over a month ago. I was not disappointed. I think this is a wonderful pair of shoes.

Here are the pros and cons:

The pros include leather outer, leather insole and leather sole! For those of us who did not care for synthetic insoles in particular, this is a very pleasant surprise. I don't mind paying a little more for a shoe this well made. The shape of the shoe is classic, with a gently rounded almond toe. This is a very walkable heel. The pitch of the shoe is manageable because of the platform. I think it might fit a little on the big side. I am a 6.5 or 7 in J. Crew shoes and since there isn't a store that carries shoes near me, I always order a 7 from the website and determine my needs from there. I tried these on at the end of the day and there was a lot of room and some slippage as I walked. I think I will have to go down to a 6.5 in this shoe.

The cons is a short list. The leopard print is fairly random, unlike some shoes and garments that have a more predictable repeating pattern. This can result in the shoes looking significantly different which may be bothersome depending on the pair and the person. You can see on the toe of the right shoe that there is a very light spot that doesn't seem to fit in with the pattern. I'll be trading these out for a smaller size and I'm sure the pattern will be different on those shoes.

Personally, I think every woman should have leopard heels. Leopard is a neutral in my wardrobe. I'll wear these with simple work outfits like a navy skirt and white button down, and with denim on the weekends."

Thank you so much again, Desert Flower, for the fantastic review...the pumps are gorgeous!

I don't know about you, but I personally love Calf Hair items and Animal Prints, so I am thrilled to see J.Crew offering such a large selection of them right now:

*Edie purse in Italian calf hair...on my personal wish list.
*Ladies' calf hair watch strap. Love's on the way to me right now, as a matter of fact. :)
*Leopard Tippi Sweater...also on my wish list.
*Albertus Swanepoel™ for J.Crew fedora. I own this one and mentioned how much I love it in this post on Sunday.
*Leopard-print flip-flops . Very cute, and I've always found J.Crew flip-flops to be comfortable, almost as much as my Havaianas.
*Leopard print scarf . I own this one, too...very nice print and highly versatile. I love it paired with charcoal grey or red especially.
*Valentina printed patent pumps. I love the way J.Crew has this pump styled in the picture below with the Schoolboy Blazer in 'Decadent Red', a Turtleneck Sweater in 'Vibrant Flame', blue jeans, and the Marlow Tote in Italian Calf Hair...understated and casually chic.

*No. 2 Pencil Skirt in Leopard. This one has been getting mixed reviews. I had to see it for myself and placed an order for it the other day...I'll let you all know what I think once it arrives. :)
*Skinny Calf Hair Belt...LOVE! I have the Wide Version from last year and will definitely be looking to pick up the skinny one this year.
*Silk Leopard-print Scarf. This version is larger than the one listed above and made of silk chiffon.

What are your thoughts on the Pia Calf Hair Pumps? Do you plan on purchasing them? Do you already own them? What do you think about the other Calf Hair and Animal-print pieces at J.Crew? Are any of them on your personal wishlist? Please do share! :)

**If you have a review you would like to share with us, please feel free to email me at :)

Have a beautiful day!



  1. lovely shoes!

    xo, AiR

  2. Great review from DesertFlower! Thanks so much to you both.
    I love the shoes. I have purchased a pair of Chie's for Fall so I won't be buying them, but I think they are terrific. Really like the way DesertFlower will be wearing them with simple work outfits and with denim on the weekends.
    I have the calf hair belt and the light wool leopard scarf, both are great accessories.

  3. I like the shape of the toe on these shoes (although your toes look a little smooshed). Nice to know J.Crew is moving back to leather linings and soles on some of their shoes at least. I wouldn't expect the pattern to match exactly between the right and left shoe, but it should be balanced, KWIM.

    Thanks for the review Desert Flower and Fabulous Florida Mommy.

  4. Oh they are beautiful Desert Flower, I have leopard Louboutins but the sole is really thin so they are just for special hobbling occasions, I really like the platform and rounded toe on this style.

  5. XOXO, lest anyone be concerned about the shoe being narrow, the appearance of my foot looking squished has more to do with arthritis wreaking havoc with the shape of my feet than the shoe. It is actually loose when I walk and I'm going to try sizing down.

    Tabitha, I have Lanvin leopard pumps that I wear sparingly so I know exactly what you mean!

  6. Great review, thanks for posting! They look really nice. After having a few bad experiences with J. Crew shoes this past year, I have been a little leery of ordering any more. It is good to know that the quality is back again with these shoes.

  7. Those shoes are gorge! I am all over the leopard print perfect shirt (and a ton of other stuff - so here's the 5,000th wish for a % off fall arrivals, JC!) and I am not thinking I need a pair of leopard flats for fall too!

  8. Thanks for all the lovely comments ladies, and also a big THANK YOU again to Desert Flower for giving such a wonderful review! :)

  9. No offense to anyone's taste, because I think that the shoes and other items featured are lovely, but does calf hair bother anyone else? I have the lovely Barcelona flats in leopard-print calf hair with azalea trim, but they don't get as much love as they should because I find something disturbing about the calf hair.

    This isn't a veggie issue, as I don't have a problem with leather, but some weird aesthetic thing. In particular, the Edie bag is so cute but I couldn't handle touching the hair all day! Maybe it's just me, LOL! Anyway, to those who like it, enjoy!

  10. Tammy and Hexicon: Thanks for stopping by! :)

    Hexicon: I personally don't mind the calf hair at all, but I can understand how it may bother some. Oh, and I am completely jealous of your Barcelona Flats! Wish I had picked up a pair back then, along with the Kinzie printed calf- hair peep toes. Seriously, had I known that J.Crew quality was going to decline so significantly, I would have purchased a lot more back then AND held onto it! :)

  11. Cute shoes! I havent shopped at J Crew since I moved from Seattle eight years ago :) Maybe I should give them a try again. New follower from bloggy moms, look forward to your future posts!

  12. Frugal in WV: Welcome to my blog! I'm so glad you're here! I will by to visit yours soon! :)

  13. FFM, Oh the number of times I've said that! I was lucky enough to find the calf-hair Barcelona flats on ebay a year or so after they came out and I may have paid more than retail!) for them. I'm sure the seller picked them up at a warehouse sale for $20. Still, they were worth it to me :)

    Thanks for the review, Desert Flower! Whereas I used to be an absolute addict (see above) I'm not finding lots to love in the shoe section recently. You're convincing me to give these a second look :)

  14. Thank you for the great review! And FFM - lovely picks of the additional animal prints. I am passing on the animal prints at JCrew this year (although I will probably cave on the shirt and scarf). I am finding that Talbots is filling the empty spaces in my closet more often than not these days. I am just disgusted at the decline of JCrew quality while prices increase dramatically; but I am especially irritated at customer service and the ever-evolving customer un-friendly policies. Talbots has a beautiful selection of animal prints for the fall - I have already purchased the tiger envelope clutch.

    FFM - I know you love the new schoolboy blazers. I was able to see them in person in the store today and the construction is terrible. There is 'exposed' material that looks like interfacing under the collar and at the neckline - it gives the blazer the look of an unfinished project when the collar is popped. Major disappointment. :(

  15. mommydearest: It really is sad, but so true, isn't it? I used to think that the quality would stay the same or get even better, never once imagining they would take such a turn for the worse! Congrats on the Barcelona flats...they are just about priceless at this point, IMO. :)

  16. McShoppy: Thank you for the review of the schoolboy. So sad that the quality has declined on them, as well. Looks like I'll have to look somewhere else on my continued quest for a camel blazer.

    I agree that Talbots has some lovely animal prints this season. I just received the catalog today and I'm very interested in the Cheetah tie-neck top. I just have a lot of trouble with the sizing at Talbots and find most of the items too large for me. I'm always willing to give them a try though. :)

  17. lovely shoes .....after that..I'll go out shopping ....I wish one pair just like that


  18. The white cabbage: Thank you for stopping by! :)

  19. Thank you for the post! I have been debating about these myself. I thought I was going crazy in and out of the store a couple times trying on the pia leopard shoes. In terms of the shoes, everything is awesome except the way the pattern runs. On the model it looks perfect but in real life, I found the spots to be scattered more in the front than in the back of the shoes. It's like not a natural pattern or something.

    In the mean time, I guess I will contemplate some more haha.