Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Guest Post by Maria of The Brooklyn Fig: The J.Crew Collection Etta Calf-Hair Pump & J.Crew Collection Stella Calf Hair Pump

Hello everyone! Today I am sharing a guest post from the lovely Maria of The Brooklyn Fig. Maria has made her way back into blogging again after a long hiatus, and has recently shared her thoughts about the J.Crew Collection Etta Calf-Hair Pump and J.Crew Collection Stella Calf-Hair Pump.

Please join me in welcoming Maria to the blog...

"It’s been a longggg time since I’ve posted! I’ve decided to pick up blogging again because I really just need an outlet right now for my fashion obsession. I find myself spending copious amounts of time reading and rereading the J.Crew Style Guide, J.Crew and Madewell blogs, and stalking the “Looks We Love” sections of the J.Crew and Madewell websites.

Lately, my obsession has been the recently sold out Etta Collection Calf Hair Pump.

Dubbed as the “heels for the girl who only wears flats,” these shoes have had my attention for years. Yes, you read that right, years. However, with a price tag of $350, you could surely understand my hesitation.

It was this dress…the J.Crew Hothouse Floral Dress, that finally led to me pulling the trigger on these shoes.

I bought this dress two years ago for Christmas Eve- a HUGE holiday in my family that requires a new fancy outfit each year. Ok, let’s be honest, I made that new outfit rule for myself. Nevertheless, I bought the dress (at a hefty pricetag, all silk) and have only worn it once- Christmas Eve 2012. Call me crazy, but I never felt I had the right shoes.

Leopard has been called a neutral, and I couldn’t agree more. The Etta calf hair pumps go PERFECTLY with the J.Crew Hothouse Floral Dress. Every time J.Crew released a picture (on their website, in the style guide, on Pinterest, etc) the dress was paired with Leopard shoes.

Now- back to the shoes. I noticed they went on final sale and decided to wait for an additional percentage off, as J.Crew often offers. Welp, I waited too long and they slipped away. I even contacted a J.Crew associate and they were GONE. Gone. Thus began my eBay scouring.

If you’re going to buy shoes on eBay, make sure you research size. I typically wear a 6.5 in shoes, however all of my research on the Etta revealed they run a half size too small. Thus, I began searching for a size 7. After a couple of weeks, I found a brand new pair in my size with no insole markings (on eBay, sellers often mark the insides of their J.Crew shoes to prevent returns. This really bothers me, which is why I would not settle for a pair with markings). The price was pretty high, but the seller had chosen to also use the “Make an Offer” option. I figured I’d give it a shot and went with a low ball offer of $110. Well, would you believe it, she accepted!

Now the bad news…turns out all of the reviews were wrong, for me at least. They were too big. I should’ve stuck to my original guns and ordered the 6.5. Lucky for me though, I was able to find them at a discounted rate and the 6.5 fits perfect!

I’m thrilled, as I have two winter weddings this year and I plan on wearing the dress and pumps to both.

So- why am I posting all of this when the Etta would be out of your reach too? Because it’s not! J.Crew releases the same shoe every couple of years, but under a different name. The Etta is now called the Stella and is available in leopard, houndstooth, and several shades of suede.

For the leopard, you’d once again be looking at that $350 price tag. Since Stella is brand new, there is not much action on eBay. If you’re looking for a better deal, I would recommend trying the Stella on in stores so you know your size, and then searching for the Etta on eBay to save yourself some $. Just make sure the insoles aren’t marked! And if you’re in need of a size 7, I have a brand new pair here at my house I can sell you. ;)"

Thank you again Maria for sharing your thoughts about the pumps with us!
(To see the original post on Maria's blog click here.)

If you are interested in writing a guest post, please email

That's it for now...have a lovely day! :)


  1. Good review, Maria! And auuuugggh, I hate it when the sizing dilemma happens. I'm between a 6.5 and 7, but I usually order a 6.5 anyway, even if people say that it runs small. Sometimes that method works, and sometimes it really does run small, haha! I love leopard as a neutral, though! :)

    1. I do the same thing Amy. I can go between two different sizes and usually order the smaller size 99% of the time, no matter what the reviews say. Most of the time it works, only occasionally does it not.

    2. Haha! Those few times when it doesn't work are real stingers, though. Mostly because I am soooo lazy about mailing back returns!

    3. Well I do ok with mailing back returns, but it really honestly is just such a pain to do in the first place.

  2. Hi Maria and Melissa! Thx for the review. It's funny how JCrew inspires obsessions in us, isn't it. Esp when I can dismiss the most coveted designer styles with a wave of the hand. I got my Etta leopard pumps on pop back last year. I'm still in the gollum stage of admiring and stroking but never wearing, no never wearing... But, I also wanted to point out that the Stella is a sister, not the same shoe, really. The slope of the heel is different. The nose probably is too. Stella is more like the Blake pump. I compared the Blake and Etta side by side on my blog last year, and found differences in the vamp and the heel. Etta has a straight cut heel, no slope at all. And the vamp is just boxy - as if you're wearing ballerina slippers and there's a stark wooden line beyond which your toes cannot stretch. Not so Blake or Stella. Just my observations. Overall, the similiRities are the blocking news of the heel and the calf hair, of course.

  3. hi...I thought the line threw the jcrew name on shoes was an item purchased at the wearhouse sale or similiar place . I thought it was to prevent people (who buy these items with the intention of selling on ebay) from making money,off items already reduced in price at a a ligit. jcrew warehouse or distribution centre ,,,,anyone know more,,,,thanks carolyn

  4. You are right, Carolyn. People try to sell stuff they've bought at sample sales and such, and the line on the sole indicates that their item was bought at such a sale. Not done the eBay seller to prevent returns to said eBay seller, in other words.

    1. Thank you for stopping by and for clarifying as well, maqsad and Carolyn!

      maqsad - the Ettas are really must wear them soon!

  5. Great review Maria (and thanks for introducing us to her Melissa, I'll go check out her blog)!
    I have the same rule myself for Christmas Eve ;) and I love that you pair that beautiful dress with leopard. I'll have to have a look at the Stella pump, I had the Valentina in calf hair but I could never wear them, they killed my feet!

    1. Thanks Dani! The Stella pumps would be lovely on you, btw! :)