Fashion
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Q&A: Guide to Nordstrom Women’s Departments, Where I Get My Fashion Inspiration + More!

Happy Thursday, friends! It is FINALLY the last day of January. I saw this meme on Instagram, and it made me giggle. Does anyone else feel like this?

I’ve been getting some repeat questions so I decided to write a Q&A post so I can answer them for everyone. Topics are pretty much all over the place — everything from blogging and personal questions to fashion and beauty, so hopefully you’ll find some of them helpful or interesting.

Q // I’d love to know the scale of Nordstrom brands lowest to highest. Like BP and Gibson seem lower, but you recently talked about a high end sweater you kept from Trunk Club.

A // This question was actually for my Facebook Live, which aired on Tuesday and you can watch it HERE if you’d like, but I thought it would also be helpful to share this information in a blog post.

This is a list of the main women’s departments at Nordstrom and who they’re for, along with the popular brands you’ll find within each. I’ll start at what I consider the bottom, quality and price-wise, and work my way up.

BP. stands for “Brass Plum” and caters primarily to teens. Prices are relatively affordable, and quality is variable. BP. is a department and also a Nordstrom-exclusive brand. Other brands you will find in the BP. department are Thread & Supply, Street Level, Vigoss, and Steve Madden. You can definitely shop here if you’re not a teen, but choose wisely. I only shop here for trends I want to try, not for wardrobe staples.

Savvy is a trendy department that caters to young and small-framed women. Sizing generally runs small, and price points and quality are a mixed bag. A familiar Nordstrom-exclusive brand in this department is Leith, and you’ll also find national brands such as TopshopBlankNYC, and ASTR the Label. I don’t shop much in this department, although I do sometimes like Leith and BlankNYC products.

Point of View stocks affordable casual and career wear in regular sizes. This is where you’ll find the Nordstrom-exclusive brands Wit & Wisdom, Caslon, Gibson, and Halogen, as well as national brands such as Lauren by Ralph Lauren, NYDJ, Sanctuary, and Vince Camuto. This is definitely a popular department among JLS readers as the average price point is accessible and styles are designed for a variety of body types and sizes.

T.B.D. is an urban and denim-focused department, and here you’ll find all of the premium denim brands like AG, Paige7 for all Mankind, etc. This is also where you’ll find brands such as MadewellRails, 1.STATE, and Free People, as well as Nordstrom-exclusives Hinge and Treasure & Bond. This is one of my favorite places so shop in-store, and usually where I go first. The denim draws me in, but I also like the tops and sweaters in this area. You’re going to get better quality and higher prices than the Point of View department, but the brands are still relatively accessible.

Individualist is a step up from Point of View and T.B.D. in both quality and price point. You’ll find more sophisticated styles and better fabrications by national brands such as Vince (not to be confused with Vince Camuto), Eileen Fisher, Joie, Theory, and Ted Baker. Nordstrom also has an exclusive line in this department called Nordstrom Signature that is comparable in quality and price point to the aforementioned designer brands. This is my favorite department to browse and window-shop and pet the luxe cashmere (ha!) but I usually only purchase those brands when I find them on sale. They sometimes go on sale at Nordstrom, but I also regularly search Off Fifth and Nordstrom Rack for my favorite designer brands.

Studio 121 is a high end department geared to more mature women featuring luxe brands such as Lafayette, Canada Goose, Burberry, and BOSS. I try to stay away from this department, haha!

There are others — the dresses are a department unto themselves, although you will find some dresses in every department — and then there are two or three handbag departments, three main women’s shoe departments, accessories, makeup, lingerie, and activewear departments; but the ones I listed above are the main clothing departments.

Q // Where do you find your fashion inspiration? How do you figure out what the ‘in’ things are going to be? Do you read any fashion magazines, and do they factor in to what you feature?

sweatshirt trim sweater // AG legging ankle jeans (budget option) // similar Jeffrey Campbell booties // Rebecca Minkoff shoulder bag // earrings // bracelet // sunnies c/o

A // I actually get a lot of inspiration from other fashion blogs and sometimes Pinterest. I used to read fashion magazines, but they are usually too far out there for me to get much real-life fashion inspiration. I still like to check out InStyle with each change of season to see their take on what’s trending, and I also do Google searches when I’m writing posts on upcoming trends, but I mostly watch other fashion bloggers and search Pinterest to keep a pulse on what is trending for us regular folk.

I also pay attention to the emails I get from the retailers I frequently shop because they often share trend alerts and styling advice. I don’t have a separate junk email for that type of thing. I actually open those, lol!

Q // What is your current skincare routine? Do you still sell Rodan + Fields? Are you still using Olay, and do you recommend it?

A // I regularly get asked about my skincare, so I linked my current skincare routine under the Beauty tab on the menu bar at the top of my website, and I try to keep it updated because I do switch things up quite often.

I stopped using R+F a while back. I still think it’s a great product, but I get the opportunity to try out other skincare lines for the blog so I wasn’t being consistent with it. I also didn’t feel like I was being a very good consultant to those who purchased through me, so I decided to let my account lapse.

Likewise with Olay, I tried out some products for the blog, and I was pleased with everything I used, but I’ve since moved on to other products. I do recommend the brand, though, and I think it’s an excellent value for the price point.

I’m currently using mostly Colleen Rothschild products. They feel and smell wonderful, plus they send me PR packages from time to time, which helps keep me well-stocked. #keepingitreal I still buy some of my own too, though.

I actually met Ms. Rothschild at a blogging conference a few years ago, and she’s a lovely person. The company is out of Dallas, TX, so you’re supporting a woman entrepreneur and a local company when you purchase her products, which is pretty cool!

Q // Do you get Botox or fillers?

A // I do not. At the present time, I’ve never had any Botox, fillers, injectables… or anything beyond a facial. I’m not opposed; I just haven’t gotten there yet. I feel like that’s one of those things that once you start, you have to keep up with it, so I’m putting it off as long as possible.

Lately I’ve been trying to get facials on a monthly basis — I used to get them once a year or so, but I’m definitely seeing signs of aging that I don’t like, and I’m hoping that by getting more regular facials, I can hold off on the more invasive procedures.

Q // Your posts suddenly began showing up in my junk mail instead of my inbox. How can I fix this?

A // Ugh! I hate hearing that. Yes, you can do a few things. First, be sure to add my email address (info@jolynneshane.com) to your address book or your contacts so your email provider recognizes that it’s a legitimate address.

Also, make sure to move all of my emails from your junk folder to your inbox — that also signals to your email provider that it’s an email you want to receive. If there is an option to click “not spam,” do that as well.

Finally, if you have gmail, you can set up a filter to send all my emails to your inbox — or where ever you want it to go. I hope that helps!

Q // How do you afford all of the clothes and shoes you buy? Your husband must have a really good job!

Wildfox white sweatshirt // AG legging ankle jeans // Greats The Royale sneakers

A // This is a paraphrase of various questions and comments I get from time to time. I had to include the husband line because we find it quite hilarious.

REAL TALK: When I say this blog is my job, I mean it is a full-time, self-sustaining job. I’m not some bored housewife with a shopping addiction. 😜 I fully support myself and the blog and help contribute to the family finances through this job. To be blunt, my husband does not pay for my clothes/shoes/accessories. Yes, he has a good job, but so do I.

If you aren’t familiar with how blogs make money, you can read all about it in this post. I always try to be completely transparent about the fact that I earn a full-time income from this blog, but sometimes I forget that not everyone understands how it works.

Sure, blogging is a lot of fun, and I’m incredibly grateful to get to do something I love, but there are drawbacks to this line of work. For one thing, social media never sleeps. This is a 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week, 365-day-a-year job. I try to set some reasonable boundaries, but I never clock out. I tend to thrive on that pace, so it works for me, but it’s definitely a lifestyle.

The weirdest thing for me, though, is putting so much information out there for public consumption, especially what I spend. I try to choose what I share wisely, but no matter what I do, people are going to make their assumptions… and we all know what happens when we assume. Haha!

I realize it’s all part of living life online, and I’ve gotten used to it over the years, but I’ve had a few comments and questions lately so I wanted to clarify for those who are wondering.

Q // Do you keep all the clothes you feature on the blog?

A // I get this question often, and I figured it was a good follow-up the one above. No, I don’t. I couldn’t possibly!

I actually keep blog clothes and personal clothes separate so I don’t get attached to things I’m unsure about or don’t plan to keep. I have a rolling rack in my room where I keep the clothes I plan to try on or style for blog posts, and I only move clothes into my closet when I’ve decided to keep them.

My personal wardrobe is always changing because I cycle things through as they sell out because people like me to feature things that are in stock, but I hold on to foundation pieces that are higher quality and classic pieces that I can find similar products to link to.

As for what I do with the clothes I don’t keep, I return things that haven’t been worn, I pass some on to friends and family, I take a few bags to Style Encore at the end of every season, and I donate the rest to a thrift shop that benefits a local Christian prison ministry.

Q // What 5 items would you add in January to spruce up your winter wardrobe?

Leith open cardigan // AG legging ankle jeans // Vince Ridley booties

A // This was challenging to me for some reason! I can come up with 2 or 3, but 5… I had to think on that for a bit.

  1. Definitely a couple bright or pastel colored sweaters to liven up this dreary weather. I love this purple Leith open cardigan and this confetti wool blend turtleneck sweater. Oh, and this pink deep-v pullover. I bought those earlier this month because I was getting tired of neutrals and dark colors. Sizes are picked over, but at least the prices are good because just about everything is on sale! Does that just count as one?
  2. Some fresh jewelry! I’ve been adding some delicate pieces that I can wear alone or layer. I love this Gorjana star necklace for filling a v-neckline, and this Shashi warrior pendant is nice on crewneck and round neck tops. It’s a nice in-between length that we are starting to see more of this season. These on-trend tortoiseshell print earrings are under $10 and will go with many things.
  3. A new handbag? It doesn’t have to be an investment piece… or it can be. It was this time last year I invested in a luxury tote because I guess I was tired of clothes, lol!
  4. Okay, it’s getting harder. I’m running out of ideas. If you’ve been wanting to update your winter coat or add to your coat wardrobe, now is a good time to do so because most stores are running clearance sales.
  5. I’m going to have to go with a new pair of shoes! I just added white leather sneakers to my wardrobe, and as soon as this polar vortex moves out, I’m going to be wearing them almost daily. They’re a fresh and fun alternative to boots with my jeans and winter sweaters.

Q // Do you see skinny jeans sticking around? 

pink turtleneck // grey jeans (budget option) // snakeskin booties// leather jackets // similar tote

A // I get this question almost every week on my Facebook Lives. I guess I’m not the only one who is afraid the Fashion Police are going to come and take my skinny jeans away while I’m asleep one night! Haha!

I do see skinny jeans sticking around, although I think we will slooooooowly see them getting replaced by wider styles. That is where the trends are headed, and while that look doesn’t seem to be as versatile to me, neither did skinny jeans when they first started coming out, and now I can’t imagine wearing anything else on a daily basis.

I think our eyes will start to adjust as we see more people in the wider legs, but I do not see skinny jeans going anywhere this year. I watch a lot of younger fashion bloggers that are far more hip than I ever hope to be, and most are still primarily wearing skinnies. For now, anyway.

Q // Are cold shoulder tops and dresses going to look dated this spring and summer? 

WHBM cold shoulder knit shift // Converse Shoreline sneakers

A // I’ve had this question quite a few times as well. The cold shoulder trend definitely came in quickly and seems to be dying out just as quickly. I don’t expect to see much of it in stores this spring and summer. However, that doesn’t mean that you need to immediately ditch all the cold shoulder tops in your closet. It just means they’re not going to be as readily available in stores, and over the next few seasons, we’ll probably be seeing fewer and fewer of them on the street.

When deciding if it’s time to retire a trendy item from your closet, it’s a bit of a gut check. If you feel uncomfortable or frumpy or dated when you put it on, you may want to donate it. If you love it and feel pretty wearing it, I say go for it.

Also take into consideration the area in which you live and how quickly the people you rub shoulders with (no pun intended!) tend to adopt and discard trends. If you live in an urban or fashion-forward area, you may feel you look dated wearing cold shoulders this spring, but if you live in a more suburban/rural area where trends change more gradually, you’ll probably still see them around.

My 16-year-old daughter actually has one of my hand-me-down cold shoulder tops from WHBM, and she says she’ll still wear it this year, so there’s that!

Got Questions?

I try to do these Q&A posts a few times a year, but I also do an Asked & Answered feature in my email newsletters. You can email me anytime with A&A in the subject, and I’ll do my best to get to your question within a week! If you’re not signed up for my emails, you can do that HERE. And of course, I also take questions during my weekly Facebook Live chats.

Don’t miss a post!

Subscribe to get email updates! In addition to my most recent blog posts, you’ll receive exclusive newsletter content like special sales, my newest favorite finds, and a peek behind the scenes — all delivered right to your inbox. PLUS you’ll be automatically entered for a chance to win a $100 gift card each month, so don’t miss it!

This post contains affiliate links. When you shop through my links, it helps support my business (at no additional cost to you) so thank you!

Fashion
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On Keeping Those New Year’s Promises {Cute Activewear Is A Must}

A few weeks ago I shared my New Year’s promise to myself to get myself back into a routine of being active, now that the holidays are behind us. And of course a New Year always gives us all the fresh start feels!

I started out the new year with a bang, and I was feeling good and starting to add on miles, and then Old Man Winter reared his ugly head, and I started letting myself get away with making excuses again.

Well, no more! I joined a gym last week so I can use the treadmills, and now I have a place to go when it’s too windy or too rainy or too icy or any other hurdle the weather can throw at me. As long as the electricity is on, I can get my run in!

Every woman knows a key motivator to getting to the gym to work out is having cute workout gear, so I’m super excited to team up with Kohl’s to share some fun and affordable new year activewear looks with you.

As a bonus, right now they’re running one of their Kohl’s Cash events, so you can earn $10 in Kohl’s Cash for every $50 you spend! (National Brands such as Nike, Under Armour, and Adidas are excluded from earning Kohl’s Cash, but they’re able to be redeemed using Kohl’s Cash.)

I’m actually a big fan of their value brands, though. You get a lot of bang for your buck with Tek Gear, Fila, and Gaiam, and they’re not excluded from any promotions.

This Tek Gear mesh panel base layer tank is the perfect top to wear to the gym because it’s lightweight and breathable, it has a really flattering shape to it, AND it’s bra-friendly!

There’s no need for a racerback bra with this top. My regular one works just fine.

This color is the black/pink marble, and for size reference, I’m wearing a medium. I usually size up in workout clothes because I don’t like anything to be too tight.

I also think this Giam essential yoga wrap is too cute for words. I hate it when I get to the gym and I take off my big winter coat and I’m still too cold to be in a tank top — this little cardigan is the answer!

It fits comfortably under my winter coat, and then I like to wear it while I warm up and take it off when I’m ready to really hit it hard.

When  I’m done, it’s the perfect thing to throw on as I start to cool down. Sometimes I don’t even want my heavy coat when I leave the gym because I’m still overheated, and this is just enough to get me to the car.

The Tek Gear grey swirl print is also available in leggings, and this Tek Gear base layer v-neck tee is the perfect top for when you want modest coverage while still keeping cool when you’re working out. I have both pieces in a medium.

Top it all off with this cozy Under Armour hoodie, and you have the perfect outfit for walking the dog on milder winter days.

Finally, when you get home and just want to veg and be comfortable… Kohl’s has something for that too!

I’m a sucker or a fun graphic tee, and I couldn’t resist this one. They have it in a tank top version too. And these joggers are super soft and lightweight — they make good lounge pants, or pajama pants as well.

photo credit: Alison Cornell

Shop the post: 

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Fashion
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5 Ways to Wear a Puffer Vest

A puffer vest is one of those wardrobe items most of us seem to have, so I put together another 5 Ways to Wear post with this winter closet staple.

Jo-Lynne Shane shares 5 Ways to Wear a Quilted Puffer Vest
These looks will be particularly applicable to those of you with milder winters because you don’t have the coat issue to contend with, but most of us probably get some mild winter days here and there when we can make use of our puffer vests… although maybe not this week! This approaching polar vortex sounds quite ominous.

5 Ways to Wear a Puffer Vest

#1. Puffer Vest + Striped Tee & Leopard Flats

This outfit is an oldie but goodie, and fortunately the striped tee is still in stock because it’s a good one! I really like the fit on this tee, and the wide neckline is flattering. For size reference, I have the small.

Almost any color puffer vest will work on top — red, green, navy, pink, camel… to name a few.

I think the leopard flats add a fun pattern to the mix. Leopard print booties would work too.

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing green J. Crew Mercantile Women's Puffer Vest, Long-sleeve striped artist T-shirt, AG Raw Hem The Legging Ankle Jeans, and Tory Burch Minnie travel ballet flats in leopard print patent leather, with Love Always Classic Monogram Necklace 3XL in gold dipped. #fashion #womensfashion #puffervest #jcrewmercantile #fashionover40

quilted vest // stripe tee // skinny jeans // leopard flats // bag options

#2. Printed Puffer Vest + Crewneck Sweater & OTK Boots

If you don’t have (or want) a leopard print vest, but you can use this same outfit formula with a houndstooth or plaid puffer vest, if you have one of those.

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing LOFT leopard print puffer vest with camel cashmere sweater, black AG legging ankle jeans, and Blondo Olivia over-the-knee boots with Stella & Dot double pearl pendant. #fashion #womensfashion #winterfashion #leopardprint #leopard #winteroutfit

similar leopard vest // camel crewneck sweater (similar) // black jeans // black OTK boots // necklace

#3. Puffer Vest + Turtleneck Sweater, Skinnies, and Boots

I really like the burgundy puffer over grey with black skinnies (or I’ve reversed it and worn it over a black sweater with grey or blue jeans).

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing burgundy Marc New York Performance Quilted Systems Puffer Vest with black Rag & Bone Raw Hem Ankle Skinny Jeans, grey cashmere turtleneck sweater, and black BP. Lance ankle boots.

similar burgundy puffer // grey turtleneck // black jeans // black booties

This packable vest from Amazon was one of my top sellers when I posted this outfit the first time. It’s very flattering with the chevron quilted pattern and vertical side panels. I’m wearing the cold green in a size small, and yes, it looks brighter in these pictures than it really is.

I think the white jeans are fun for a change, and the riding boots keep it classic.

packable vest (mine is the cold green) // camel turtleneck // white jeans // Frye riding boots in whiskey (other options)

#4. Puffer Vest + Pullover Sweater & Infinity Scarf

These next two outfits are from 2016, but they’re still relevant even though most of the components are gone now. Of course there are so many possible color combinations with this outfit formula.

A scarf adds another layer of interest and gives you the opportunity to add another texture or pattern to the look.

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing J.Crew Excursion quilted down vest with camel cashmere crewneck sweater, AG the legging ankle jeans, burgundy suede ballet flats, and plaid blanket scarf. #fashion #womensfashion #winteroutfit

camel cashmere sweater (exact) // quilted vest // skinny jeans // burgundy flats // plaid scarf options

That scarf was the inspiration for this outfit — I just repeated the red and blue and ivory from the scarf in my various outfit components. You can do this with any plaid scarf.

And the pompom beanie is a fun addition, and I do recall that it was quite cold that day!

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing red J.Crew Excursion quilted down vest with ivory cable knit turtleneck sweater, DL1961 Emma legging jeans, Hunter classic rain boots, and plaid infinity scarf. #fashion #womensfashion #winteroutfit #hunterboots

similar red puffer vest // similar ivory turtleneck // skinny jeans // Hunter boots // plaid scarves // beanie

#5. Puffer Vest + Striped Turtleneck & Fashion Sneakers

This look is so simple, but it’s also very practical, and dare I say chic! I like the black and white look with a hint of color in the burgundy bag, but you could easily do this with a colored vest too.

I love the way the fashion sneakers take it down a notch and keep the look from being too preppy, and they also make this a great outfit for moms or grandmoms who are trying to keep up with young kids.

I linked to the exact turtleneck I have, and I take a small, for reference. It actually says it’s navy, but it’s so dark, it looks black to me! I wear it interchangeably with both black and navy.

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing black J.Crew Excursion quilted down vest with striped tissue turtleneck, AG the legging ankle jeans, and Adidas Originals Superstar. #fashion #womensfashion #winteroutfit

striped turtleneck (exact) // quilted vest (exact) // black jeans // Adidas Superstars // burgundy backpacks

Do you have a quilted puffer vest? If so, I hope this post helps you shop your closet and find some new ways to wear it!

If not, I highly recommend any of the ones I’ve shared here — they’re all affordable, good quality, and flattering on.

Don’t miss a post!

Subscribe to get email updates! In addition to my most recent blog posts, you’ll receive exclusive newsletter content like special sales, my newest favorite finds, and a peek behind the scenes — all delivered right to your inbox. PLUS you’ll be automatically entered for a chance to win a $100 gift card each month, so don’t miss it!

This post contains affiliate links. When you shop through my links, it helps support my business (at no additional cost to you) so thank you!

Beauty
27 Comments

2019 January Favorites

Greetings, and hello Monday! I’m home from my quick weekend jaunt to Maine, and it feels good to be back in my office although I sure do miss that beautiful lake view.

Today I’m sharing my January Favorites. This is basically a roundup of new finds and old favorites that I’m particularly enjoying right now.

one // two // three // four // five // six // seven // eight // nine

Before we get started, LOFT is running 50% off plus free shipping today with code NEWFAVES. I just got my order from last week, so I’ll do the try-ons today and share on Facebook and/or Instagram. Meanwhile, you can check out my Loft Favorites in The Shop!

January Favorites

#1. Jagger Ripped Skinny Jeans 

These jeans are a new find, although I have tried this style before so I knew they were pretty much a sure thing. I’m totally addicted to my AG legging ankle jeans, but for those who prefer a budget-friendly option, these Vigoss Jagger skinnies are a great substitute.

The fit is very similar, and I think they’re as flattering as the AG jeans. The denim is also fairly soft and feels good on. I don’t like the wash quite as much, but it’s still pretty good, and I really like the way they applied the distressed details.

I shared a few pictures of me wearing them in Saturday’s Try-On Haul, if you care to see them on someone other than the Nordstrom model. For reference, these are the 28 — the same size I usually wear in AG. In my experience, these do stretch out some, so I recommend buying them snug.

#2. Halogen Solid Cashmere Infinity Scarf 

I have this scarf in grey and red, and it’s so cozy and easy to throw on with any coat or jacket — plus right now it’s 40% off!

This is a great price for a cashmere scarf; in fact, if you’re one to buy Christmas presents a year ahead, this would make a nice gift.

#3. I’m Silently Correcting Your Grammar Fitted V-Neck T-Shirt 

This tee cracks me up. I am always correcting people’s grammar in my head. Incorrect grammar drives me batty. I often feel like I’m a lone ranger in caring about such matters, but the fact that they even make this t-shirt gives me hope.

#4. Urban Decay Naked3 Eye Shadow Palette 

I did an eye shadow tutorial with this palette, but in case you missed it, this is a gorgeous assortment of rose-hued neutrals that create a fresh and pretty look as we head into springtime.

Urban Decay eye shadow has a ton of pigment, so a little goes a long way, and it goes on smoothly and lasts all day if you wear an eye shadow primer underneath. The quality is definitely on par with the price tag, in my opinion.

#5. Tarte Shape Tape 

I purchased this at Cyndi‘s recommendation, and I love it! I ordered online so I totally took a gander at the color, but it’s worked out great. I have the 16N Fair-Light Neutral (fair to light skin w/ neutral undertones.) It feels heavy when you put it on, but somehow it blends into the rest of your makeup and your skin without creasing or drying you out.

I also take Cyndi’s advice and make sure to apply eye serum or eye cream before I use this.

FYI, Colleen Rothschild is running an Anniversary Sale! Take 20% off site-wide with code 5AVS.

#6. Blondo Ellie OTK Boots 

These boots are a workhorse in my winter wardrobe. They’re absolutely the best boot for a stylish option in inclement weather because they’re waterproof. When it’s raining or snowing and I don’t want to wear rain boots or snow boots, I wear these.

I also wear them when I’m going to be doing a lot of walking because they have a memory foam footbed and a lug sole. I also get compliments almost every time I wear them.

#7. SHASHI Women’s Warrior Double Pendant Necklace 

I ordered this necklace on a whim, and I’ve been wearing it a ton. I like it a lot on crewneck sweaters because of the length. It isn’t adjustable at all — it doesn’t even have a clasp, so you can’t use an extender, but if you like the length (24.5″) it’s a great piece to have. You could also layer it with other delicates.

#8. Veja Esplar Sneakers 

I finally decided on a new pair of sneakers after trying almost a dozen different pairs.

I decided the Veja Esplar was the perfect marriage of style and quality, and I’m enjoying them so much already! I can definitely see wearing these a lot as the weather warms up.

#9. Madewell Inland Mockneck Sweater 

I’m totally laughing because when I searched “Inland” on my blog for pictures of this sweater, I discovered that I also included it in last year’s January Favorites. Yes, this is an oldie but goodie that Madewell brought back for a second year! It stands alone nicely because of the flattering fit and subtle knit details (note the extra long ribbed cuffs and hem) but it’s also great for layering. I often layer it under a moto jacket.

I have it in ivory and Hthr Cement and Hthr Burgundy, and I love both equally. I’m also kind of crushing on that Heather Dahlia. If I didn’t already have two of these sweaters, I’d snap that one right up. For size reference, I have one in a small and one in a medium, and both are fine. I feel the medium gives me more wiggle room while keeping the flattering silhouette, but you can size down for a more body-con fit.

Sizes are getting depleted, but you can get 40% off the sale price with code DOUBLEYAY. I also love it in the Donegal Smoke. That one isn’t on sale at Madewell, but it’s 25% off at Nordstrom, for some reason.

#10. Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour(R) Cream Fragrance-Free Skin Protectant 

This is a late addition, so it’s not pictured in the image collage, but this cream is saving my hands this winter. Elizabeth Arden sent me a few items to try out last fall, and this was in that box.

This product was created more than seventy years ago and has won tons of beauty awards over the years. It goes on thick, but it soaks in and isn’t greasy. I use it every night before bed, and my hands haven’t gotten dried out this winter.

#11. MOLOCH Tortoiseshell Hoop Earrings 

Finally, another last minute addition, these tortoiseshell hoop earrings are super cute and only $8. I linked them in my email newsletter a few days ago as a Finds Under $50 feature, and they sold like hotcakes.

Tortoiseshell is a classic that is also trending right now, and it’s a great way to add a subtle pattern to an outfit.

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Subscribe to get email updates! In addition to my most recent blog posts, you’ll receive exclusive newsletter content like special sales, my newest favorite finds, and a peek behind the scenes — all delivered right to your inbox. PLUS you’ll be automatically entered for a chance to win a $100 gift card each month, so don’t miss it!

This post contains affiliate links. When you shop through my links, it helps support my business (at no additional cost to you) so thank you!

Diary
36 Comments

Coffee Talk 01.28.19

Good morning from Maine! It’s another gorgeous day on the lake, but there’s some weather coming in later today. I actually changed my flight time so I can leave earlier. As much as I’d love to see some snow, I really don’t want to get stuck at the airport tonight.

We’ve had a nice visit. My grandfather has been in great spirits, and it’s been good to spend time with him. We took him out riding around yesterday — he has a van that is wheelchair accessible. He likes to ride around town and see the sites and talk about the buildings and his memories.

We drove down the street where he raised his five kids, and he and mom pointed out the houses of all their old neighbors and chatted about the old days. When I was growing up, we visited my grandparents every summer and stayed in that house, and it’s funny how much smaller it looks now. I have memories of it being much bigger.

Fun fact: that house is on the same street as Stephen King’s house… a mile or two away, but still. Pretty neat. He’s lived there as long as I can remember and still lives there today. We used to see him at the mall sometimes when my grandmother would take us shopping; he’s very unassuming. I’d have never known he was anyone famous if she hadn’t pointed him out to me

After we saw all the sights, we drove over to Chick-Fil-a and got lunch. Grampa loves Chick-Fil-a. It only came to Bangor a few years ago, and he never had it until then. He can’t get over how everyone says, “My pleasure.” He thinks that’s fantastic.

That outing was about all he could handle, so mom and I left him to take a nap and came back down to the lake and hung out for the rest of the day. It was nice to just sit and relax. I don’t do that very often, as you all know! We watched a few episodes of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. They’re good, light entertainment.

It’s been a short trip, but I’m glad I came. We made some nice memories, and even though I didn’t see much snow, it was good to get away to one of my favorite places.

I woke up this morning to find my laptop dead — or the power charger. I’m not sure which, but I’m typing this on my phone. It’s a bit cumbersome so I’ll sign off and get my day started here. Fortunately I wrote most of this post last night when my computer was still working.

Have a blessed Sunday!

 

 

Fashion
85 Comments

Try-On Haul: Amazon Fashion & Target Style

Happy weekend, friends! I prepped this post earlier in the week, and I’m pressing the PUBLISH button from Maine! I arrived yesterday for a quick weekend visit, and it’s absolutely beautiful on the lake this morning.

Today I’ve got another try on haul for you! This is a budget-friendly fashion haul, for the most part. I have a few pairs of premium denim at the end, but most of what I tried this week came from Amazon and Target, and there are some cute transition pieces in here for those of you who are done with winter shopping. I hope it’s helpful!

Late January Try On Haul

All descriptions are beneath the pictures, and for reference, I’m 5’5″ and weigh 135-140 depending on how much pizza I consumed this week. I usually wear a small or size 6 in tops, a small or size 8 in dresses, and a 6 or 8 (28 or 29) in pants and jeans. I’m short-waisted with a slightly hourglass figure (#shortwaistedcurvy for any Adore Your Wardrobe alums out there) and I have a cool skin tone so I tend to gravitate to cooler colors and neutrals.

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Daily Ritual Women's Supersoft Terry Long-Sleeve Deep V-Neck Shirt

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Daily Ritual Women's Supersoft Terry Long-Sleeve Deep V-Neck Shirt

Daily Ritual Women’s Supersoft Terry Long-Sleeve Deep V-Neck Shirt // I saw Kelly wearing this top on her last Adore Live, and I thought it was so cute, I ordered it on the spot — right on my phone. It’s really soft and comfortable, thin enough to carry you into springtime, but not so thin you can’t start wearing it now. It’s TTS; for reference, I’m wearing a small.

also wearing: Good American Good Legs High Waist Skinny Jeans with UGG Milano II Loafers (old)

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Amazon Fashion Liny Xin Crew Neck Long Sleeve Pullover

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Amazon Fashion Liny Xin Crew Neck Long Sleeve Pullover

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Amazon Fashion Liny Xin Crew Neck Long Sleeve Pullover

Liny Xin Crew Neck Long Sleeve Pullover // This chunky pullover is one size fits all, which is really weird, and I almost didn’t order it for that reason, but I was too curious not to. Ha! It comes in a gazillion colors, and it says it’s made of an Inner Mongolia 2-ply cashmere and wool blend, but it retails for $39, so I dunno what to tell you there. (According to the comments, it’s 70% wool and 30% cashmere?) It doesn’t feel like cashmere or wool, really. I would have said it was an acrylic blend if I had to guess. The details in the knit are pretty, but it’s a little long on me, and the waistband is rather tight, so I’ll be sending it back.

also wearing: Good American Good Legs High Waist Skinny Jeans with J.Crew Smoking Slippers

REAL TALK: This review begs the question… do you all want me to show the clear misses, or just the styles I vet and think some of you might like? Sometimes if something doesn’t work for me, I think it will work for someone else, so I still share it, but in this case… I would not recommend this sweater. I’m curious what you all would rather see… a highly curated list of recommendations? Or the entire try-on haul with the good, the bad, and the ugly?

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Amazon Fashion BLENCOT Chunky Cable Knit Pullover

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Amazon Fashion BLENCOT Chunky Cable Knit Pullover

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Amazon Fashion BLENCOT Chunky Cable Knit Pullover

BLENCOT Chunky Cable Knit Pullover // So apparently this is a dress. Who knew!?! I think it might be cute with black jeans and black sock booties — I wish I’d tried that. It’s cute and flattering and feels good on. For reference, it’s a small.

also wearing: Good American Good Legs High Waist Skinny Jeans with J.Crew Smoking Slippers

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Amazon Fashion Daily Ritual Women's Cocoon Open-Front Cardigan Sweater

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Amazon Fashion Daily Ritual Women's Cocoon Open-Front Cardigan Sweater

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Amazon Fashion Daily Ritual Women's Cocoon Open-Front Cardigan Sweater

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Amazon Fashion Daily Ritual Women's Cocoon Open-Front Cardigan Sweater

Daily Ritual Women’s Cocoon Open-Front Cardigan Sweater // Of all the Amazon Fashion I’ve tried, I think their Daily Ritual brand is my favorite. This cardigan is sooo soft and cozy. Note the 3/4 sleeves, though. It’s really more of a transition sweater than a cozy cold weather cardigan, even though it is cozy. I’d be cold wearing it right now because of the sleeve length. If you live in an area with milder winters, it’s a great piece for that! For reference, I’m wearing a small.

I Just Want to Drink Wine and Pet My Dog Puppy Lover T-Shirt // These tees run really small (I’m wearing a large, for reference) but they’re soft and comfy, and you know what a sucker I am for a graphic tee. I think this pink color would be cute with grey or black jeans and a blue jean jacket, but it comes in other colors as well. Just be sure to size up 2 sizes!

also wearing: Good American Good Legs High Waist Skinny Jeans with Vince Verrell Slip-On Sneakers (sold out in black; click here for silver)

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Amazon Fashion Meraki Chunky Wool-Blend Turtleneck Sweater

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Amazon Fashion Meraki Chunky Wool-Blend Turtleneck Sweater

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Amazon Fashion Meraki Chunky Wool-Blend Turtleneck Sweater

Meraki Chunky Wool-Blend Turtleneck Sweater // This sweater is really cute on, feels good, and comes in several colors. I think this would make some ladies a nice work wear piece. I recommend sizing up if in between; I’m wearing the medium.

also wearing: Good American Good Legs High Waist Skinny Jeans with J.Crew Smoking Slippers

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Amazon Fashion Meraki Chunky Wool-Blend Turtleneck Sweater with Vigoss Jagger Ripped Skinny Jeans and Golden Goose White Glitter Tab Superstar Sneakers

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Amazon Fashion Meraki Chunky Wool-Blend Turtleneck Sweater with Vigoss Jagger Ripped Skinny Jeans and Golden Goose White Glitter Tab Superstar Sneakers

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Amazon Fashion Meraki Chunky Wool-Blend Turtleneck Sweater with Vigoss Jagger Ripped Skinny Jeans and Golden Goose White Glitter Tab Superstar Sneakers

Meraki Women’s Chunky Turtle Sweater // This is the same sweater in black, and I like it as much in black as I do in ivory! It’s a classic black mockneck sweater with a little extra something due to that diagonal knit detail. It’s wool and acrylic, in case that matters to you. It’s not a super high quality piece, but I think it’s a good value for $43.

Vigoss Jagger Ripped Skinny Jeans // I’m really excited to share these jeans with you! If you love the AG legging ankle jeans I wear all the time, but not the price tag, these are a fabulous substitute for $68. They’re true to size, and they do stretch some with wear, so buy them snug. I’m wearing the 28, which is the same size I wear in AG and Loft jeans.

Golden Goose White Glitter Tab Superstar Sneakers // Haha! Yes, I had to. I love these shoes with this outfit. They’re already on their way back to SSense, but I had them in the house when I was doing these try-ons, so I put them on with this outfit to show you one way I might style them if I had decided to keep them.

Eytino Asymmetric Buttoned Collar Sweater Dress // Well, don’t I feel like a dork! I couldn’t figure out what to do with the neck of this dress. It came buttoned all the way up, but when I turned it down, it covered the buttons, and obviously it isn’t meant to be left up. Well, when I went to write this post, I saw the picture on Amazon. D’oh! I didn’t feel like going back up and putting it on again, so here we are.

It’s obviously VERY short and very tight, and it’s at least one size too small for me (I ordered a small) but I’m not sure it would fit right in the shoulder area if it were much bigger. It feels nice on, isn’t scratchy, and is a fairly thick knit. If you’re in the market for as sweater dress, I’d say this one is worth a try. Pardon my winter white legs. I probably should have pulled on some tights before taking these pictures.

Cable Stitch Women’s Mock Neck Cozy Sweater // Okay, this is just all kinds of wrong. I mean, I can appreciate the cozy, oversized look for cold winter days, but this gives a new meaning to oversized. It’s the small, in case you’re wondering! It is really cozy, though, and I love the neckline, so if you like it, size down like 2 sizes.

also wearing: Good American Good Legs High Waist Skinny Jeans with J.Crew Smoking Slippers

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing A New Day Striped Long Sleeve Knit Hoodie with Vigoss Jagger Ripped Skinny Jeans and Veja Esplar Sneakers

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing A New Day Striped Long Sleeve Knit Hoodie with Vigoss Jagger Ripped Skinny Jeans and Veja Esplar Sneakers

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing A New Day Striped Long Sleeve Knit Hoodie with Vigoss Jagger Ripped Skinny Jeans and Veja Esplar Sneakers

A New Day Striped Long Sleeve Knit Hoodie // This was a Target find, and I think it’s such a cute transition piece. It’s comfy, it’s cute, the quality is decent, and the price is right! For reference, I got the small.

also wearing: Vigoss Jagger Ripped Skinny Jeans with Veja Esplar Sneakers

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Universal Thread Mid-Rise Raw Hem With Side Slit Skinny Jeans and Universal Thread Monterey Pocket V-Neck Short Sleeve T-Shirt in Camo Print

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Universal Thread Mid-Rise Raw Hem With Side Slit Skinny Jeans and Universal Thread Monterey Pocket V-Neck Short Sleeve T-Shirt in Camo Print

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Universal Thread Freeborn Denim Jacket with Universal Thread Mid-Rise Raw Hem With Side Slit Skinny Jeans and Universal Thread Monterey Pocket V-Neck Short Sleeve T-Shirt in Camo Print

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Universal Thread Freeborn Denim Jacket with Universal Thread Mid-Rise Raw Hem With Side Slit Skinny Jeans and Universal Thread Monterey Pocket V-Neck Short Sleeve T-Shirt in Camo Print

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Universal Thread Freeborn Denim Jacket with Universal Thread Mid-Rise Raw Hem With Side Slit Skinny Jeans and Universal Thread Monterey Pocket V-Neck Short Sleeve T-Shirt in Camo Print

Universal Thread Monterey Pocket V-Neck Short Sleeve T-Shirt in Camo Print // I bought these Target items in store, and I can’t find this tee online. I’ve spent like 20 minutes on it, so I’m going to have to move on. Maybe it’s new and they’ll put it online soon. It’s cute, and it runs a little big. I’m wearing a small and it’s roomy, but I suspect it might shrink so it’s probably about right.

Universal Thread Mid-Rise Raw Hem With Side Slit Skinny Jeans // I like these in theory, but the fit is a little weird. I just don’t feel they’re flattering through the thighs and hips. Maybe it’s the color? They’re cute tho! I am wearing a size 6, for reference. I also bought the 8 to try, and they’re definitely too big, so I recommend sizing down if you’re in between.

Universal Thread Freeborn Denim Jacket // This is a great closet basic at a great price. I bought the medium, but I think I would prefer the small.

also wearing: Veja Esplar Sneakers

This is another sweater that I can’t find online, and it’s a shame because it’s so cute. I love the cut, the knit pattern, the slightly rolled neckline and cuffs… adorable! And the color is perfect for spring. It also comes in ivory and a few other colors. My 13-year-old actually got one in the ivory. For size reference, I’m wearing the medium.

also wearing: Vigoss Jagger Ripped Skinny Jeans with Veja Esplar Sneakers

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing 3x1 Women's W3 Straight Authentic Crop Jeans with Veja Esplar Sneakers

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing 3x1 Women's W3 Straight Authentic Crop Jeans with Veja Esplar Sneakers

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing 3x1 Women's W3 Straight Authentic Crop Jeans with Veja Esplar Sneakers

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing 3x1 Women's W3 Straight Authentic Crop Jeans with Veja Esplar Sneakers

3×1 Women’s W3 Straight Authentic Crop Jeans // Okay, so here are the premium denim I mentioned, and they are pricey, but I was curious about this brand, so I ordered them. I’d still like to find some slim straight cropped jeans I like going into spring, and I like how these read almost as a skinny — well, on the model anyway! I could see how my eye might start to adjust to this style — it’s really just a looser fit skinny jean. It helps that they taper a bit towards the ankle. I didn’t keep these this time, but I’m going to remember them. I’d love to find them on sale at some point.

SHASHI Women’s Warrior Double Pendant Necklace // I also picked this up on a whim; it’s really cute on crewneck sweaters. I like the length. It isn’t adjustable at all, doesn’t even have a clasp so you can’t use an extender, so you have to like this mid-length (it’s 24.5″ long.) I kind of like it — not as long as the ones we’ve been wearing for the past few years, but not so short as to fit in a v-neckline either.

also wearing: Nordstrom Signature Cashmere Pullover Sweater (wearing a Medium) with Veja Esplar Sneakers

FRAME Women's Le Nouveau Straight Jeans

FRAME Women's Le Nouveau Straight Jeans

FRAME Women's Le Nouveau Straight Jeans

FRAME Women’s Le Nouveau Straight Jeans // And these jeans are a no bueno, but I also think they’re supposed to be shorter — as shown on the model.

also wearing: Nordstrom Signature Cashmere Pullover Sweater (wearing a Medium) with Rebecca Minkoff Mika Mules

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing WILDFOX Clean White Sweatshirt with AG The Legging Ankle Jeans in Shadow Fog and UGG Milo Sneakers

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing WILDFOX Clean White Sweatshirt with AG The Legging Ankle Jeans in Shadow Fog and UGG Milo Sneakers

UGG Milo Sneakers

UGG Milo Sneakers

UGG Milo Sneakers // Just when you thought the sneaker reviews were over… bwahaha!!! I ordered these after they were recommended by a couple of you because they looked really cute, and I’m a huge fan of UGGs.

These are leather lined and have a lot of cushion in the footbed and some light arch support. They are VERY comfortable, and the styling is nice too. I like the metallic heel pop, but I’m not such a fan of the metal piece on the laces. The shape if the shoe is cute, but overall I prefer the more streamlined look of the Veja Esplar. These UGGs are definitely more comfortable out of the box, though.

To sum it up, if you like the styling, I highly recommend giving them a try.

also wearing: WILDFOX Clean White Sweatshirt with AG The Legging Ankle Jeans

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing WILDFOX Clean White Sweatshirt with AG The Legging Ankle Jeans in Shadow Fog and Veja Esplar Sneakers

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing WILDFOX Clean White Sweatshirt with AG The Legging Ankle Jeans in Shadow Fog and Veja Esplar Sneakers

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing WILDFOX Clean White Sweatshirt with AG The Legging Ankle Jeans in Shadow Fog and Veja Esplar Sneakers

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing WILDFOX Clean White Sweatshirt with AG The Legging Ankle Jeans in Shadow Fog and Veja Esplar Sneakers

Veja Esplar Sneakers, Black Logo // It was SO hard to find these in my size! I finally snagged them at Nordstrom, and now they’re all sold out. I had already decided on the Veja Esplars as my final choice for my fashion sneaker quest, but I thought I would like the black logo version better than the plain white (see below).

After trying them both on, I decided to stick with the plain white pair because the ones with the black logo seem more casual to me somehow. I think the white are more versatile and will look as good with sweaters and jeans as they do with sweatshirts and joggers.

also wearing: WILDFOX Clean White Sweatshirt with AG The Legging Ankle Jeans

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing WILDFOX Clean White Sweatshirt with AG The Legging Ankle Jeans in Shadow Fog and Veja Esplar Sneakers

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing WILDFOX Clean White Sweatshirt with AG The Legging Ankle Jeans in Shadow Fog and Veja Esplar Sneakers

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing WILDFOX Clean White Sweatshirt with AG The Legging Ankle Jeans in Shadow Fog and Veja Esplar Sneakers

Veja Esplar Sneakers, Extra White // Yes, the jury is back and the verdict is in. These are the keepers. Of all the sneakers I tried, they seem to be the best marriage of style and quality and price point. They aren’t as comfortable as some that I tried, but I hear they break in fairly quickly, and I’m already finding them more comfortable after wearing them around the house. I saw another blogger recommend not putting the laces in the last hole, and that helped a ton. I didn’t bring them with me to Maine because I knew it would be too cold for them up here this weekend, but I can’t wait to get home and start wearing them.

also wearing: WILDFOX Clean White Sweatshirt with AG The Legging Ankle Jeans

And that’s a wrap! I hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Don’t miss a post!

Subscribe to get email updates! In addition to my most recent blog posts, you’ll receive exclusive newsletter content like special sales, my newest favorite finds, and a peek behind the scenes — all delivered right to your inbox. PLUS you’ll be automatically entered for a chance to win a $100 gift card each month, so don’t miss it!

This post contains affiliate links. When you shop through my links, it helps support my business (at no additional cost to you) so thank you!

Fall/Winter Fashion
47 Comments

5 Ways to Wear Grey Jeans

Happy Friday, friends! I’m back with another 5 Ways to Wear post, and today I’m sharing 5 ways to wear grey jeans.

Today I'm rounding up 5 ways to wear grey jeans for women over 40 from outfits I've shared over the past few years. Jo-Lynne Shane

I’ve been loving grey jeans this year as an alternative to my usual black or blue jeans, but I had to kiss a few frogs before I found my prince.

Last fall, I finally found a pair I love. These AG legging ankle jeans in Shadow Fog are so comfortable and look so good on, and they do go on sale from time to time; I got mine during Bloomies Denim Days last fall. Frame has a similar pair, and for a lower-priced pair that looks good, this Wit & Wisdom pair jumped out at me because their Ab-solution stretch skinnies are very flattering, and this grey wash looks a lot like mine. This BlankNYC pair looks like a good option as well.

So let’s move on to the outfits!

5 Ways to Wear Grey Jeans

Today I’m rounding up 5 ways to wear grey jeans from outfits I’ve shared over the past few years. Hopefully you can shop your closet to recreate the looks you like, but of course I’ll provide links where I can. Some of the exact pieces are sold out, but this is really more or less about the color combinations.

#1. Grey Jeans + Pink

 open cardigan (50% off!) // smoking slippers (pewter) // shoulder bag (20% off) // similar necklace

v-neck sweater // smoking slippers (pewter) // star necklace

similar pink turtleneck // snakeskin booties// leather jacket // silver pendant // similar tote

Pink is one of my favorite colors to pair with grey jeans all year ’round, so I shared 3 examples of this color combo just to show you how versatile pink and grey can be.

#2. Grey Jeans + Plum or Burgundy

similar tunic // similar booties // satchel // bracelet

Burgundy and plum are probably next in line for my favorite colors to pair with grey jeans. My exact tunic has sold out, but I found one that’s very similar. I usually wear black boots or shoes with this color combo to anchor the look.

burgundy sweater (similar here and here) // snake print booties

#3. Grey Jeans + Black Sweater with Burgundy Vest

similar black turtleneck // burgundy puffer vest (only$22.25!!!) // similar booties

This is a similar color combo to the one above, but the addition of the black sweater creates a nice extra layer of interest, plus a puffer vest over a cashmere turtleneck is super warm. I wore this outfit to a ball game on a frigid night last fall with no coat, and I was surprised how comfortable I was walking from the parking lot to the stadium in those temperatures.

FYI, this puffer vest is one of my favorite purchases all year — and it’s now marked down to $22.25!

#4. Grey Jeans + Light Grey Sweater

similar donegal grey sweater // similar booties // snakeskin bucket bag

This is such an easy look, but one I might not have considered if I hadn’t happened to see these two pieces sitting near each other in my closet… and that is actually how a lot of my outfits are born. The key here is to make sure there is some contrast between the grey tone of the jeans and the grey tone of the sweater.

The black booties and a black bag anchor the look and keep it monochromatic, but you could always add a pop of color in the bag or shoes. Think blush or burgundy or plum! Even teal would be pretty.

#5. Grey Jeans + White 

white sweatshirt // white sneakers

I took these picture yesterday to show a more casual look with grey jeans — pair them with a white sweater or sweatshirt, and then add white trainers for a chic, laidback vibe. Again, you can totally do this with a color — either in the top or the shoes, but I kind of like the simplicity of the white and grey.

SEPT 2019 UPDATE: I’m also wearing these grey jeans a lot with floral tops to carry them into fall. Here are a few examples.

floral tee // blush ballet flats

floral shell // jean jacket // shield sandals

I also really like them paired with rust.

thermal tunic // snake print booties

Do you have grey jeans? I hope this post gives you some new ways to wear them!

Don’t miss a post!

Subscribe to get email updates! In addition to my most recent blog posts, you’ll receive exclusive newsletter content like special sales, my newest favorite finds, and a peek behind the scenes — all delivered right to your inbox. PLUS you’ll be automatically entered for a chance to win a $100 gift card each month, so don’t miss it!

This post contains affiliate links. When you shop through my links, it helps support my business (at no additional cost to you) so thank you!

Home
67 Comments

Foyer/Living/Dining Room Reveal

Greetings, friends! We’re taking a break from fashion today for another room reveal!

I debated splitting this post into 2 or 3 parts, but I ended up putting them all together, so it’s a long one. These areas of my house are all open to one another, so I thought it made sense to group them together.

Today I’m sharing the front of our home and the foyer, as well as the living and dining rooms, and it should give some perspective to the other rooms I’ve shared — my home office and family room/kitchen area. I also shared our guest room back in the summertime; all of my home tours and home decor posts are linked under the My House tab on the menu bar above.

Anyway, let’s dive in because I have a lot of pictures!

Front Entrance/Foyer Before

This is how our house looked the day we got the house and walked in for the first time.

This is what you see when you walk in the front door. The dining room is on the left, and the living room is on the right. Straight back, those French doors lead to our deck and backyard. My office is the set of doors you can barely see in that right rear corner.

Foyer Before

Here’s a closer view — you can see my office doorway better here, and you can see the little hallway in front of that with a coat closet. That hallway leads to our powder room and also gives access to the living room and my office.

Foyer Before

If you turn around and look back at the front door, you can see how large our foyer is. I think this is such a fun space! I love that when our company is coming and going, there’s plenty of room for us all to say our good-byes, and we aren’t all squished in a small area. I always found that a bit awkward in our former house. Even though that foyer wasn’t exactly small, it was narrow, and the coat closet was back by the kitchen, so it could get awkward at times.

Here you can also see the doorways to the dining room now on your right, and living room now on your left.

Foyer Before

Dining Room Before

If you were to walk from the picture above into our dining room, this is where you would be. Those two windows are on the front of our house.

The previous owners left us this buffet as well as a matching china hutch. The door you see there goes into our kitchen, and the family room is right off of that.

Here’s the view of the dining room from the foyer.

Living Room Before

And this is the view of our living room from the foyer. That small doorway on the left wall in our living room leads to the hallway with the powder room, and those two windows are on the side of our house.

Dining Room Progress

I’m sharing the dining room progress first because we decorated this room before the foyer and living room. As I’ve mentioned, I worked with Magda at ReImagine Interiors throughout this entire process, and we started making color choices and design decisions in the family room.

I was planning to take the BM Edgecomb Gray we used in there throughout the entire house, but at the last minute, we decided to paint the dining room walls above the chair rail BM Hale Navy. I wanted to bring the navy from the family room into this area of the house, so this was Magda’s suggestion.

It was also her idea to have our painters install molding below the chair rail and paint it the same BM Dove White paint as the rest of the molding in the room to look like wainscoting. I’m so glad we took that extra step — it’s such a nice touch!

Dining Room Progress

The gray area rug is from Wayfair. Even though there’s no Edgecomb Gray paint in this room, it ties in nicely to the foyer and other areas of the house.

The dining room table and chairs came from our old house — in fact, we purchased those for the house before that. It has two large leaves and expands to seat 10-12 people, which is awesome for large gatherings, which we host several times a year. It was really too big when fully extended for our last dining room, but it fits perfectly in this one.

You can see that it was too small for the room when it wasn’t expanded, so I’ve started keeping one leaf in it at all times, as well as an extra chair on each side. You’ll see that below.

The next addition to the dining room was window treatments. We decided on simple white curtains and matte gold curtain rods and rings. I’m loving the soft matte gold finishes that are gaining popularity — they work well with my design style that I’m learning leans a bit formal, and I think it’s particularly gorgeous with the navy blue walls.

The curtains are hanging a little wonky here. I ended up taking off the clips and attaching them directly to the rings so there’s not so much space between the rod and the tops of the curtains.

Dining Room Progress

In this next picture, you can see the curtains hanging correctly, and we also added a new chandelier! I have a better picture of that in my “after” pictures.

At this point, the wall behind the buffet still needed something, and I definitely needed a centerpiece for my table, but it was coming along. These pictures were taken in early August, so we had only been in our house for about a month at that point.

Foyer Progress

The next item on the agenda was a new foyer chandelier, so Magda sent me a few options to consider. It took us a few tries to find something I liked, but when I saw this light, I thought it would be a fun addition to our house. I like that it’s not super formal or as traditional as my typical choices.

It also has a silver leaf finish instead of the matte gold that I wanted, but it seems to work okay with the rest of the finishes in the area.

We got the 20″ version, and I do wish we had hung it a little lower, but it works okay since there is no table underneath. If we do add a table, I’m not sure what we will do because then it will definitely be too high.

To table or not to table has been a big debate here on the blog and among my friends. People have strong opinions about foyer tables, I’ve discovered! I still don’t have one, but if I decide to get one, I have my eye on this weathered black pedestal table.

The next big addition to this space was the foyer area rug. I knew I wanted something with color in this area. The dining room is fairly neutral, and we weren’t planning to do much to the living room during Phase One of our design, so it made sense to make this area a focal point. Plus of course, this is where people enter our home, so it sets the tone for the rest of the house.

It’s easy to get caught up in the neutrals that are trending, and I do love that look, but I was determined to use some pops of color in my decorating of this house — and I wanted something a bit unexpected here in the foyer.

I suggested possibly introducing pink or teal with the navy, and Magda found this rug when she was at a wholesale place in Philly. She texted me a picture, and I knew immediately it was perfect for what I wanted. I told her to grab it for me, and she did. I was able to meet her and pick it up the next day, and I wasted no time rolling it out as soon as I got home.

We also replaced the light fixture in the back of the foyer as well as the one in the hallway by the coat closet with one of these semi-flush mount lights.

Foyer Progress

And we hung these portraits of our kids from when they were 18 months old. My girls were so happy to see these hanging in our new house — they said it made it finally start to feel like home.

We also replaced all the brass doorknobs and hinges with matte black, which you can see below on my office door.

And just in time for Christmas, my new foyer table, lamp, mirror, and vases arrived. I ordered these through ReImagine Interiors, so unfortunately I don’t have links.

Somewhere along the way, we painted the front door and shutters SW Black Fox, and we got a new front porch light fixture and front door handleset.

I’d love to paint the stucco a cooler neutral at some point, but it’s in good shape because it was freshly painted before the house was put on the market, so we’re going to wait a while on that. 

Oh and pardon the dead mums. #ooops

Living Room Progress

Coming back into the living room, the couch and curio cabinet are from our old house, as well as the piano and the white recliner.

We weren’t planning to do much in this space during Phase One, but I did find myself needing a coffee table right away. I usually sit in here to visit with my friends so the kids can have the family room, and we had nowhere to put our snacks.

In my old house, the living room was too small for a coffee table, so we just pulled out the piano bench and used that, but that solution wasn’t very practical here.

This coffee table was a fairly inexpensive solution, and it works with the other tables in the room. I found it on Wayfair, and it seems to be gone now, but this one is similar.

The end tables and  lamps came from the old house, and I ended up getting curtains just before Christmas. You’ll see those in the after pictures below.

Foyer/Living/Dining Room After

Okay, so here’s what my house looks like today!

This is the front entry. And yes, I do still have my Christmas wreath on the door. I need to remedy that stat!

Front Door

I looked high and low for a new front door handleset that I loved. I finally settled on this Emtek Ares single cylinder because of the gorgeous satin brass finish. That finish was hard to find in outdoor handlsets.

Also, as an FYI, if you are ever replacing locksets, you can get them all keyed the same through Build.com. We have three doors on our house that have deadbolts, and we were able to get them all keyed the same so we only need one key to enter our house from any door — very convenient!

Foyer After: Front Door Emtek Handleset

And here’s what you see now when you enter the foyer through the front door.

I absolutely LOVE this mirror over the console table in the back. It adds a fun, modern touch to a rather traditional space… and the vases do too, but that mirror makes me swoon every time I walk by it.

Foyer After: Foyer Mirror & Console Table

Foyer After: Vases on Console Table

If you turn around and look back towards the front door, this is your view. The stairway you see there to the right leads to the basement, by the way.

Foyer After

Foyer After: Foyer Rug & Chandelier

Foyer Chandelier

We just added the pictures in the foyer and the vase with flowers since the holidays. I love how they finish the space. They came from Home Goods, so I don’t have links.

And here’s the dining room. We purchased a few sets of Queen Anne folding chairs to use when we have company, and I left two of them in place at the table to help fill it out now that we’re leaving one leaf in full time. The table and chairs I have came from a thrift shop almost 20 years ago, so I can’t add more matching chairs. The folding ones look really good, though, just a bit smaller.

I also put the arm chairs on either end of the buffet since it’s so short for that long wall. Eventually the plan is to move it to the shorter wall on the right, and then get something longer for this wall, but this works for now.

Fun fact: the mirror was originally silver, and Magda spray painted it gold.

Dining Room After

I love the modern simplicity of this chandelier, and it has such a pretty soft matte brass finish that works in perfectly with the curtain rods and other finishes in this area of the house.

Dining Room After

This is the view of the dining room and foyer when you enter from the kitchen.

I’m still working on a centerpiece for the table. I loved my Christmas centerpiece, but now I need something for the rest of the year. That blue bowl is nice in here, and I love it. I bought it without knowing where I wanted it, but I think it might work well in here. I just need some other things to set around it — and in it!

Also, would you hang anything between those windows, or leave that wall empty?

Dining Room After

You may remember me struggling a bit to style my china hutch back in the summertime. I played around with it and managed to fit both sets of china inside — mine and my grandmother’s.

I’m so glad to finally have both sets out where I can use them… or at least admire them, haha! I admit, I rarely use them.

Dining Room After

And finally, the living room.

The wall hanging over the couch is from two houses ago. It hung in my living room in that house, then in the dining room in my last house, and it sat against the wall here in this house or weeks after we moved in. I eventually moved it to the garage with the intent of taking it to the thrift store.

I can appreciate that the colors work in this space, but I was tired of it and really wanted something different, so we tried to find something new. In fact, there’s a whole saga about how Magda brought me a gigantic print from HomeSense that was perfect for this space. It brought in the blues and pinks from the foyer, and even a touch of gold that worked with that ghastly puke-green couch (why did I ever choose that color!?!) but Paul hated it. I mean, he hated it.

In our 23 years of marriage, I don’t think there has ever been anything that I’ve brought home that he has refused to hang until this. It was a huge hassle to get it back to the store because it didn’t fit in my car, and he had to borrow a truck from a friend, but he was that determined to return it. We just laugh about it now.

All that to say, Christmas was coming, and I wanted my living room to look finished, so we drug this print back in from the garage and hung it on the wall.

I have to admit, it really does look nice there… for now. Some day we will put in wood floors and replace the couch and get a pretty area rug, and then I’ll find something new to hang in that spot. But for now, it does the job.

Also right around holiday time, I decided to order more of the white curtains we hung in the dining room for this room. I couldn’t get the same curtain rods and rings as I have in the dining room, so I ordered these in the royal gold. The fluted ball finials are really pretty, but the gold is a little more garish than the dining room ones. Oh, well! They work.

The marble nesting tables and white chair also came over from our old house, as well as that lamp in the corner. I wouldn’t mind replacing that at some point, but it’s fine for now. Maybe I should just replace the shade, as it got bent in the move.

And here’s one final look from the living room into the foyer and dining room.

The portraits over the piano were done when each of our kids was 5 years old. I added a family picture to fill in the last spot, but I’m working on getting that in a larger size so it looks more congruent with the rest of the pictures. Both girls take piano lessons, so corner of the room gets used a lot.

after pictures: Alison Cornell

So yeah, I think it’s safe to say I’m pretty happy with everything so far!

I was a bit of a whirlwind, getting this all done in time for Christmas, but we did it, and now we can just sit back and enjoy it for a while. That wasn’t even our goal in the process, but it did work out pretty well since we had several big events here over the holidays. It was nice to celebrate with all of our decorating completed.

And now we’re just planning to sit back and enjoy it for a while. I have plans for the living room and kitchen down the road… and I eventually want to do more with our master bedroom, but this is a good stopping place for now.

Shop the Post:

I hope you enjoyed this post! It’s fun to take a break from fashion every once in a while, and I enjoy reading all of your responses to my home decorating endeavors.

I’m still planning to share my closet reveal and our laundry room makeover, so stay tuned for that!

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Fall/Winter Fashion
45 Comments

Stripe Cardigan Outfit

Greetings, friends! Today I’m styling a stripe cardigan outfit with white leather sneakers. I figured this was a good follow-up post to my fashion sneaker reviews.

When we photographed this look, I was thinking the Greats Royale was going to be my winner-winner-chicken-dinner. Now I’m not so sure, but I haven’t given up on them just yet either. I still love how they feel when I slip my feet into those smooth leather lined vessels of Italian goodness! They’re just a little clunky on my thin, narrow feet, so I’m still considering a couple other pairs.

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing grey multi stripe Caslon Open Front Pocket Cardigan with Rag & Bone Raw Hem Ankle Skinny Jeans and Greats The Royale in Blanco. #fashion #womensfashion #outfit #winteroutfit #whatiwore

Reading all of your comments on my fashion sneaker reviews was very enlightening. Sometimes I think it’s not fair — I get hundreds of people helping me figure out my wardrobe. Who has that luxury? Your collective feedback is better than any one personal stylist. Honestly, I wouldn’t be nearly this far along in my personal style journey without the input I’ve had from blog comments over the years.

On Monday afternoon, I went back and forth between these Greats and the similar Veja Esplar, and every time I put a pair on, I was sure it was the one… until I wore them for a few minutes and started over-thinking their pros and cons and took them off and put the other pair back on…. and wash, rinse, repeat.

Who needs this shirt?

Hold On. Let Me Overthink This. Graphic T-Shirt

So you wanna know what I did? After reading through all of your comments and trying on the Greats and Vejas several times over, and I went to SSense and ordered these Golden Goose Superstars.🙈 I just had to know, you know??? Before I put this decision to rest, I wanted to try a pair of GGDB in my size and a color combo I like.

First of all, if you’ve never ordered from SSense, they are AH-mazing. I ordered on Monday at almost 2PM, and my shoes arrived via FedEx yesterday (Tuesday) at 9AM. NO JOKE! This is only the 2nd time I’ve ordered from them, and they carry mostly luxury brands, but if you’re ever considering a luxury purchase and want it fast, go to SSense.

Anyway, I really prefer the GG that are more neutral with less distressing (like this pair — but that pair is $615 in my size 39!!!) so finally I went ahead and ordered these because I was curious to know how I’d like having some black accents, and also they’re slightly less expensive than the average GGDB sneaker… for whatever that’s worth, ha!

As I said, they arrived yesterday, and of course I wasted no time trying them on.

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Golden Goose Deluxe Brand Superstar Distressed Leather And Suede Sneakers with AG the legging ankle jeans and Nordstrom Signature Cashmere Pullover Sweater. #fashion #womensfashion #outfit #winteroutfit #whatiwore

They are super cute, and I do love this look, but seeing them on my feet confirms what I knew down deep inside all along — the styling is just a little too youthful/hip-hop for my conservative style.

Plus as I said in my review post, I did not want to spend 5 franklins on a pair of sneakers anyway — not that I think there’s anything wrong with that, if it fits your budget and you will get your cost per wear out of them — but for me personally, I’d rather allocate that budget elsewhere. The whole purpose of that post was to find a lower priced alternative… which evidently makes me a fashion victim. Ha!

So the verdict is, they’re going back… but not without a few tears. I am SO glad I ordered the 2nd pair because now I can lay the whole thing to rest. They’re not for me, but oh man, when I slip my feet inside… they feel amazing. They have some type of magical suede lining, plus I like the hidden wedge. I can see why some of you commented to say how much you love yours.

For a split second I considered keeping them just because they feel so good on, but every time I look at them, I know they don’t quite jibe with my personal style aesthetic. I also took them out last night — all of them, the GG, Greats, and Vejas — and gave my husband and daughters a fashion show, and they all agreed.

For me, and I think I knew this all along, but I am one of those people who has to see it to really be sure, I want something that looks like the Greats Royale or Veja Esplar.

I know some people don’t care for the look of the bright white leather sneaker, but that is the look I’m drawn to most when I’m scrolling my Instagram feed. They have a classic look about them that works with my conservative style, but they also lend a fresh, modern vibe to sweaters and jeans outfits. They’re cool but not too hip, and the leather is practical all year ’round. (As opposed to the canvas styles I tried.)

Which brings me back to today’s outfit!

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing grey multi stripe Caslon Open Front Pocket Cardigan with Rag & Bone Raw Hem Ankle Skinny Jeans and Greats The Royale in Blanco. #fashion #womensfashion #outfit #winteroutfit #whatiwore

This outfit shows you how I will style my new white leather sneakers when I decide on a pair. In addition to wearing them with jeans and sweatshirts for more casual days, I’m really liking the idea of pairing a fashion sneaker with a casual sweater and jeans outfit.

If you didn’t read my sneaker review post, these are the Greats Royale. Greats is a Brooklyn-born brand of shoes that are made in Italy with the goal of being the best footwear in the game at the best price. These shoes have been dubbed the “most accessibly-priced luxury sneaker in the world”, and I can get on board with that.

These sneakers are super luxe right down to the leather interior, and they’re $179. That’s not chump change, but for a luxury shoe, it’s pretty remarkable. Compare these to the $500 you’ll shell out for Gucci or Golden Goose, and you have yourself a bargain. Ha! Okay, I’m being facetious of course, but I do believe you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck with these sneakers.

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Rag & Bone Raw Hem Ankle Skinny Jeans and Greats The Royale in Blanco. #fashion #womensfashion #outfit #winteroutfit #whatiwore

They are heavier than some I tried, but I really don’t feel it when I put them on. They lace up snugly and fit comfortably even without socks. I’ve spent a bit of time walking around in them on the carpet in my home, and they really do feel great on. Haha… see what I did there?

My biggest holdback at this point is that they look clunkier than the Veja pair that I’m also considering. I also wanted to find a pair that isn’t so stark white, so I’m waiting to make a final decision until the Veja with the black logo arrive… nothing like complicating matters with more choices, right!?!

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Rag & Bone Raw Hem Ankle Skinny Jeans and Greats The Royale in Blanco. #fashion #womensfashion #outfit #winteroutfit #whatiwore

Now let’s discuss this cardigan because it’s really good and sizes are selling out fast. This is the Grey/Multi Stripe, and it does run really large… like even large for Caslon.

I ordered the small, and I think an XS would be more flattering. I prefer my cardigans to have a slimmer fit, but I love the material and the colors and pattern. It also has really well-placed pockets.

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing grey multi stripe Caslon Open Front Pocket Cardigan #fashion #womensfashion #outfit #winteroutfit #whatiwore

I wore it with black jeans and a white tee for a simple monochromatic look, but with a lot of contrast between the lights and dark tones in the outfit.

As an aside, I think bright white sneakers look best when there is white somewhere else in the outfit, or at least a lighter color. They can also really pop an all black outfit, so maybe I’ll try that next!

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing grey multi stripe Caslon Open Front Pocket Cardigan with Rag & Bone Raw Hem Ankle Skinny Jeans and Greats The Royale in Blanco. #fashion #womensfashion #outfit #winteroutfit #whatiwore

These are my Rag & Bone black skinnies from the #NSale, and I thought the raw edge looked particularly good with the sneakers.

Unfortunately they’re no longer available, but if you’re in the market for a pair, Madewell makes a good pair of black jeans with a raw hem, and this Paige pair has a fabulous faded black wash with raw hem and is 40% off. (For reference, I size up to 29 in both Paige and Madewell jeans.)

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing grey multi stripe Caslon Open Front Pocket Cardigan with Rag & Bone Raw Hem Ankle Skinny Jeans and Greats The Royale in Blanco. #fashion #womensfashion #outfit #winteroutfit #whatiwore

I wore two delicate necklaces — a shorter pendant that I’m wearing at choker length (it’s adjustable) and a slightly longer gold star necklace.

I love the current trend of layering delicates, especially with casual outfits. These two pieces are just enough to fill the neckline of the tee, and since they’re both on the shorter side, they don’t get in my way when I move around as longer pendants tend to do.

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing grey multi stripe Caslon Open Front Pocket Cardigan #fashion #womensfashion #outfit #winteroutfit #whatiwore

This is an outfit I can totally see wearing to run errands or meet a friend for coffee. The sneakers give the traditional cardigan a fun modern look, and the raw hem black jeans help to tie it all together.

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing grey multi stripe Caslon Open Front Pocket Cardigan with Rag & Bone Raw Hem Ankle Skinny Jeans and Greats The Royale in Blanco. #fashion #womensfashion #outfit #winteroutfit #whatiwore

Finally, just to give you some perspective and show another option, I also threw on my favorite black suede mules with this outfit. (Here is a similar style since mine are mostly sold out.)

These are one of my favorite pairs of shoes EVER. I know not everyone is a fan, but I love the way a backless loafer gives a feminine twist to the menswear-inspired style, and I feel like they take a basic cardigan and jeans from safe and maybe even boring to modern and fashion-forward. Both the white leather sneakers and the black suede loafer mules have a way of doing that.

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing grey multi stripe Caslon Open Front Pocket Cardigan with Rag & Bone Raw Hem Ankle Skinny Jeans and black suede Rebecca Minkoff Mika Mules. #fashion #womensfashion #outfit #winteroutfit #whatiwore

stripe cardigan // white tee // similar black jeans (options here and here) // Greats Royale sneakers (option) // gorjana Chloe pendant // Gorjana star necklace // black mules // similar tote

photo credit: Alison Cornell

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This post contains affiliate links. When you shop through my links, it helps support my business (at no additional cost to you) so thank you!

Fashion
160 Comments

2019 Fashion Sneaker Reviews: GOLDEN GOOSE, P448, VEJA, TRETORN, GREATS, SUPERGA & MORE

Well, it’s finally here — my fashion sneaker review and comparison! I’ve been teasing this post for a while, and I finally have it ready to go.

As always with this type of post, I always wish I had tried more styles, but as it is I compared 9 pairs of fashion sneakers ranging from $65 to $550, and these are the results.

2019 FASHION SNEAKER REVIEW & COMPARISON: Golden Goose Superstar, P448 John, Veja Esplar, Tretorn Nylite2Plus, Greats Royale, Superga Cotu, Taos Star, Josef Seibel Caspian | Jo-Lynne Shane

First, a little back story. You should have known, right? I always have a story.

I’ve tried many fashion sneakers over the years and styled quite a few for the blog, but in actuality, I rarely wear them. I like the idea of a fashion sneaker, but I almost always reach for a pair of ballet flat or loafers or flat boots with my casual outfits. The exception is when I wear a sweatshirt and jeans, and then I feel like sneakers are in order.

Lately, though, I’ve been noticing a lot of the bloggers I follow for fashion inspiration trading in their booties and loafers for fashion sneakers — and wearing them with jeans and sweaters and other casual-but-not-sweatshirt-like tops. I like the juxtaposition of the athletic footwear with street clothes, and the look is growing on me.

My go-to sneakers for quite some time have been the Converse Shoreline, and I still like them, but they’re beginning to look dated to me.

Now, please don’t get all upset and tell me you just finally bought your first pair of Converse or ask if you should stop wearing yours. No, not at all. I’m not giving mine away just yet, and there’s nothing wrong with them, but I’ve been wearing them for several years, and I’m ready for something new. In fact, what I’m looking for is a different style entirely, and there is room for both in my shoe wardrobe.

What I have in mind is a white leather sneaker, and ideally I’d find one with some metallic or black accents so they’re not quite so stark, but plain white is okay too.

(Yes, I’ve done the Adidas Superstar, and I like them, but they felt heavy and clunky and never really broke in well, so I ended up passing them on to my daughter.)

The shoes that started me on this quest are the sneakers gracing every other post in my Instagram feed these days — the Golden Goose.

If you haven’t heard of this hot trend in elevated athletic footwear, Golden Goose Deluxe Brand is an Italian luxury fashion sneaker brand born in 2000 that has developed a cult following over the past 19 years and is now one of the hottest street style trends among celebrities and fashion bloggers.

Prices average around 500 U.S. dollars per pair, although you can find a sale if you’re patient. They’re a part vintage chic, part skater sneaker, part luxury designer shoe; and one of their trademarks is the worn-in look. They’re basically the sneaker version of distressed premium denim.

GGDB shoes are handmade in Italy, so the quality of materials and workmanship are bar none, and no two shoes are identical. I’ve heard it said it’s like wearing a piece of art on your feet. Well, when you put it that way…

Here’s the thing about me, though. I like to have the latest and greatest (#justbeinghonest) but I also like to be a little ahead of the game. While I like the Golden Goose sneakers more the more I see them, they’re starting to get so ubiquitous that I’m almost at the point of not wanting them anymore. I’m a contrarian that way. Plus I’m actually not even sure I’m cool enough to pull them off. They definitely have a youthful vibe, and as a 46-year-old suburban housewife, I’m probably better off with a more classic style.

All that to say, I set out to find a fashion sneaker I like as much as the Golden Goose, but something a little more under the radar… a “grown up Golden Goose,” if you will. I’m willing to consider luxury brands, but I’d rather not spend more than $200 on this purchase. I’m sure some will still think that’s insane, but when you consider that it’s less than half the price of a pair of Golden Goose, I figure I’m being downright frugal. Haha!

Naturally, my hunt to find new fashion sneakers turned into a project for the blog. Many of you were interested to see my findings, and some of you gave me suggestions or made requests, so I decided to photograph all the sneakers I tried and report back.

I’m comparing comfort, fit, weight, price, as well as look and feel. I obviously don’t want to keep 9 pairs of sneakers, so I can’t thoroughly test them out for longterm comfort, but I can tell you how they feel out of the box and as I wear them around the house for a few minutes. I tested them out in the carpeted areas upstairs so I could keep them in pristine condition.

Let’s get started!

Fashion Sneaker Review & Comparison

For reference, I’m 5’5″ and 135-140 with an hourglass figure, and I typically wear a size 8.5 sneaker. I share my height and weight because I believe that factors into how shoes look in proportion to my body.

#1. Superga ‘Cotu’ Sneaker $64.95

2019 Fashion Sneaker Comparison: Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Superga 'Cotu' Sneaker

2019 Fashion Sneaker Comparison: Superga 'Cotu' Sneaker

2019 Fashion Sneaker Comparison: Superga 'Cotu' Sneaker

Introduction: Superga is an Italian company that has been around since 1913! They’re a favorite shoe of the stylish and always classy Kate Middleton, and they’re best known for their rubber soled canvas kicks. I’ve had a pair before so I knew they aren’t exactly what I’m looking for this time, but I ordered these at a reader’s request because they’re a good option for a canvas sneaker and I thought the would help round out this review.

Pros: They’re lightweight and fairly comfortable right out of the box, and the classic styling is flattering and versatile. These look great with everything from jeans and pants to shorts and skirts.

Cons: They don’t have much cushion or arch support, so if that’s important to you, you should know that. Also, being all-over bright white canvas, they look like a shoe that would get dirty quickly and not be easy to clean. They’re also fairly heavy for a canvas sneaker, weighing in at 14 oz each.

Conclusion: Stylistically, I’m fairly neutral on these. I like them better than, say, Keds… but they’re still plain canvas and very white. To be honest, I feel like they look better in photographs than they do in person. They look okay here, but in person, I was very meh about them. That said, they have a nice understated look, and the price is right. For size reference, I ordered a 9, and they are definitely too big on me. If I were to keep them, I’d need to get an 8.5, so I’d say they’re true to size.

#2. Taos ‘Star’ Sneaker $79.95

2019 Fashion Sneaker Reviews: Jo-Lynne Shane wearing the Taos 'Star' Sneaker in White Canvas

2019 Fashion Sneaker Reviews: Taos 'Star' Sneaker

2019 Fashion Sneaker Reviews: Taos 'Star' Sneaker

22019 Fashion Sneaker Reviews: Taos 'Star' Sneaker

Introduction: Taos is a brand of comfort shoes out of New Mexico. Signature touches include natural stones, metal ornaments, and playful embroidery — all referencing the area’s natural heritage. I’ve worn Taos brand sandals before so I knew they made a good quality shoe, but I associate them with comfort shoes and didn’t expect to like these sneakers as much as I do. These were a reader recommendation, and I’m so glad they were brought to my attention!

Pros: For a canvas sneaker (which, as I said, is not really what I’m looking for) these are really cute. And they are also extremely comfortable and lightweight (11 oz each.) They have a really good arch support for such a low profile sneaker, so if you need that, definitely try these. I also like the contrast stitching, and they have a flattering shape to them.

Cons: Honestly, I don’t have much in the con department. They’re not leather, which is what I was looking for, but otherwise, I’m definitely tempted to keep these.

Conclusion: These are a good bang for your buck since you’re getting arch support and some modest padding, and the styling is surprisingly good for a comfort sneaker. They’re not really what I was looking for, but I was pleasantly surprised with these, and they’re definitely a contender. I also think they would be perfect for my Disney World trip in March because they have support but are also lightweight and breathable. They will also pair well with shorts. They’re also true to size; I have the 8.5.

Sidenote: if you like slip-on sneakers and need arch support, these Taos Soul slip-ons look really cute and get great reviews. 

#3. Tretorn ‘Nylite2Plus’ Sneaker $84.95

2019 Fashion Sneaker Reviews: Jo-Lynne Shane wearing the Tretorn Nylite2Plus Sneaker
2019 Fashion Sneaker Reviews: Tretorn Nylite2Plus Sneaker

2019 Fashion Sneaker Reviews: Tretorn Nylite2Plus Sneaker

2019 Fashion Sneaker Reviews: Tretorn Nylite2Plus Sneaker

Introduction: Tretorn is a Scandinavian sneaker featuring minimalist styling that was super popular in the 80s, and I hear they’re making a comeback. I’m not sure if they’re going to take off or not; I’ll be curious to see how that pans out, but I decided I had to do my fashion blogger duty and order a pair for old time’s sake.

Pros: Out of the box, these are fairly comfortable. They have some cushion and support, and the leather seems durable. I chose the White/ Gold color combo because I thought the gold emblem elevated the look a bit. They’re also extremely lightweight for a leather shoe, just 10 oz each.

Cons: I’m not a big fan of the seams on the toe, but that’s totally a personal thing. They’re a little stiff and need some breaking in, but I don’t really have anything bad to say about these, except they’re not quite the look I’m going for.

Conclusion: Overall, if you like the look, they’re a good value for an under-$100 leather sneaker. They run true to size; I’m wearing the 8.5.

#4. Veja ‘Esplar’ Extra-White $120

2019 Fashion Sneaker Reviews: Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Veja Esplar Extra-White

2019 Fashion Sneaker Reviews: Veja Esplar Extra-White

2019 Fashion Sneaker Reviews: Jo-Lynne Shane wearing the Veja Esplar Extra-White

Introduction: I can’t remember where I saw these for the first time, but I’ve started noticing them on more girls now that I’m turned onto them. Veja is a French-born shoe company that combines fair trade and ecology. They use organic or recycled and fairly traded materials, and all products are made in a high standard factory in Brazil. As an aside, I really wanted the ones with the black V logo on the side, but I can’t find them anywhere in my size, so I ordered the plain white ones.

Pros: I love the styling on these shoes. They have very clean aesthetic, and the logo is subtle (more so on these than on the ones with a contrasting color, but it’s still not in your face.) These remind me of a more refined Adidas Superstar. They fit my thin, narrow feet very well and don’t feel heavy or clunky. They’re also fairly lightweight, weighing in at 12 oz each.

Cons: These have no support to speak of, and the tongue is very stiff. Every review I’ve read say they require some major breaking in, and then they’re great. I’m  justnot sure I want to work that hard for $120 sneakers, even if they do look great on. They also have a cotton lining that isn’t particularly comfortable. It’s not uncomfortable, but when you compare it to the Greats and the Josef Seibel brands (below), it comes up lacking.

Conclusion: I wanted to love these shoes. I like the idea of supporting companies practicing fair trade and ethical production methods, they look great on — maybe the best of all I tried. They’re definitely one of my top contenders, but I don’t know that I have the patience to break them in, and I really prefer a more luxe lining. They’re true to size; I’m wearing the 39.

#5. Josef Seibel ‘Caspian’ Sneaker $129.95

2019 Fashion Sneaker Review: Jo-Lynne Shane wearing the Josef Seibel Caspian in Platin

2019 Fashion Sneaker Review: Josef Seibel Caspian in Platin

2019 Fashion Sneaker Review: Josef Seibel Caspian in Platin

Introduction: These were another reader recommendation, and I also ended up ordering the Josef Seibel Sina (see below.) I hadn’t heard of this brand before, but it will definitely be on my radar going forward. Josef Seibel is family-held German shoe company, and they pride themselves on premium quality materials, the best workmanship, and comfort. They also boast anatomical footbeds and foot massage insole systems to maximize comfort and increase blood circulation. Basically, if you love a good comfort shoe, you will want to check out this brand.

Pros: Out of all the shoes I tried, out of the box, these are by far the most comfortable and lightweight as well. They only weigh 9 oz each! They have good padding and support, the tongue doesn’t push into the front of my leg at all, and the low profile sides don’t bother my ankle bones either. They fit great, and they look and feel like good quality shoes.

Cons: Um, well. I can’t think of much. I don’t love the styling, but that is a subjective criterion. I also don’t care for the color choices in this particular style; I really wanted a white pair — which is why I also ordered the Sina below. But otherwise, yeah… these are great shoes!

Conclusion: These also aren’t exactly the style I was going for, although I do like the perforated details on the side. They’re definitely a low profile sneaker, and I wanted something that looks a little more substantial, but I’m finding that comes with comfort issues. For the comfort alone, these are a contender. They run true to size; I’m wearing a 39, which equals an 8.5 in American sizes.

#6. Josef Seibel ‘Sina 11’ Sneaker $134.95

2019 Fashion Sneaker Review: Jo-Lynne Shane wearing the Josef Seibel Sina 11 Sneaker in White

2019 Fashion Sneaker Review: Josef Seibel Sina 11 Sneaker

2019 Fashion Sneaker Review: Josef Seibel Sina 11 Sneaker

Introduction: I ordered these because I wanted to try one of the Josef Seibel styles in white leather, and from looking at them online, I couldn’t tell which style I liked better — these or the Caspian (above.) Also of note, the white leather isn’t really white — it has a grey tinge to it that may be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what you’re looking for. They also have a slightly higher profile than the Caspian, which is not a pro or con, just an observation.

Pros: While I didn’t find these quite as comfortable as the Caspian, they’re still very comfortable due to their cushion and arch support, and they’re extremely lightweight at 10 oz each. Both this pair and the Caspian are leather lined, making them extremely comfortable and breathable, and giving them a luxe feel that belies their price point. They also have removable insoles that can be replaced with an orthotic, if need be.

Cons: All I can think of when I look at these is bowling shoes. I’m not sure what it is, but something about the style of them doesn’t quite jibe with what I’m looking for. Also, the tongue pushes into the front of my leg, and they’re also higher on the sides, so they aggravate my ankle bone a little bit as well.

Conclusion: All that said, I am mainly comparing them to the Caspian (above.) Compared to the other shoes in this list, they’re lightweight and quite comfortable. If you like the styling, they’re definitely worthy of consideration. They run true to size; I’m wearing a 39, which equals an 8.5 in American sizes.

#7. Greats ‘Royale’ Sneaker $179

2019 Fashion Sneaker Review: Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Greats - The Royale - Blanco White Italian Leather

2019 Fashion Sneaker Review: Greats - The Royale - Blanco White Italian Leather

2019 Fashion Sneaker Review: Greats - The Royale - Blanco White Italian Leather

Introduction: I discovered these through another blogger, and I really love the mission of this brand. Greats is a sneaker brand that was born in Brooklyn and are made in Italy. The two founders are passionate about building the best footwear in the game at the best price, and these shoes have been dubbed the “most accessibly-priced luxury sneaker in the world.” I have to say, I’m impressed!

Pros: Where do I start??? The quality is outstanding, and the second I put my foot in these shoes, I was obsessed. They’re leather lined and so luxe. I did want sneakers with some other color details, but I ended up ordering these plain white ones because I didn’t see any others I liked better. They have a very clean aesthetic, which I appreciate.

Cons: Unfortunately these are the heaviest of all the shoes I ordered… weighing in at a whopping 17 ounces per shoe. They also fit my foot a little bit big. I actually ordered the 8.5 and the 9, and the 8.5 was too short while the 9 seems a little big on me. I have narrow, flat feet so they look a little clunky compared to the Veja, which is the most similar of all the ones I tried.

Conclusion: These are a strong contender… very strong. I love the quality for the price, I love supporting a company based in Brooklyn, and they look great on. If I had thicker/wider feet, they would be perfect. I need to wear them around the house a little more to decide for sure if I can deal with the extra weight for the luxe lining and classic styling.

#8. P448 ‘John’ Sneaker $250

2019 Fashion Sneaker Review: Jo-Lynne Shane wearing the P448 John Sneaker in WHITE/ROSE METALLIC

2019 Fashion Sneaker Review: P448 John Sneaker in WHITE/ROSE METALLIC

2019 Fashion Sneaker Review: P448 John Sneaker in WHITE/ROSE METALLIC

2019 Fashion Sneaker Review: P448 John Sneaker in WHITE/ROSE METALLIC

Introduction: P448 is an Italian luxury street style sneaker brand that was born in 2014, and they get their inspiration from the skate world as well as the hip hop subculture. This is clearly reflected in their designs. These are the most similar style to Golden Goose, and they’re actually the shoes that got me on this sneaker quest. Even though they’re over my $200 budget, I was curious enough to order them to see how they compare to the rest.

Pros: I love the grey and rose gold accents and the subtle perforated P448 logo. It adds texture without being in your face. When you slip your feet inside, they are super comfortable. The tongue is soft and lined with some kind of suede or terry material, so it doesn’t jab into your leg like most of the other leather sneakers do.

Cons: I can’t keep them on my feet! They came laced this way, so there’s no good way to tighten them unless I re-lace them and tie them in the traditional way, and I’m assuming that will detract substantially from the cool factor, haha! While the sole is rather stiff, but there is good padding, and I can see how they would break in fairly easily if the shoe would actually stay on my foot. Maybe I should give it a try before I return them. They’re also heavy, weighting in at 15 oz.

Conclusion: I love the styling on these, and the comfort when you put your foot inside, but I’m not sure I’m cool enough to pull them off with my daily outfits. While I’m willing to up my budget to $250 for a pair of sneakers I truly love and think I’ll wear a ton, I’m a little too wishy-washy on these to justify the price tag.

#9. The Muse: Golden Goose ‘Superstar Metallic’ Sneaker $550

2019 Fashion Sneaker Review: Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Golden Goose Superstar Metallic Sneaker

2019 Fashion Sneaker Review: Golden Goose Superstar Metallic Sneaker

2019 Fashion Sneaker Review: Golden Goose Superstar Metallic Sneaker

photo credit: Alison Cornell

Yes, I bought them. I couldn’t resist. I HAD to know how they compare to the rest. I ordered these Golden Goose Superstar Metallic Sneakers from Nordstrom on a whim the day before I was scheduled to shoot these pictures. The reason they’re purple is this was the ONLY pair in the store in my size — and they’re actually a size too small. I really wanted to try these or these — as I said above, I prefer a sneaker with some black accents — but at least with these purple ones, I could get the gist of the brand and make an informed comparison to the rest.

Introduction: Golden Goose Deluxe Brand is an Italian luxury fashion sneaker brand created by two Venetian designers, a husband and wife team, and I think I gave a more than adequate background to my interest in these shoes at the beginning of this post.

Pros: I was instantly impressed when I pulled these out of the box with how lightweight they are, and how high quality the materials look and feel. They weigh 12 oz, just like the Veja Esplars. I slipped them on, and they are everything I dreamed they would be… even though they’re a size too small, they feel like I’ve been wearing them for years. They have a suede tongue that is super soft, and the insides are padded and feel so lived-in and comfortable.

I did read that they also require some breaking in, but they seemed pretty comfortable to me. These also have a built-in wedge that gives you a little extra height, and thus some support for walking as well. These particular shoes have a very low side profile so they don’t bother my ankle bone at all, and the tongue is short so it doesn’t protrude into my leg. I could definitely see wearing these right away and being comfortable in them.

Cons: The price tag, duh! But honestly, for the quality and comfort straight of the box, I think they’re worth it… IF you would wear them often enough to get your cost per wear out of them. I also don’t feel as comfortable in the skater-inspired style as I do in the more minimalistic, classic styles of the Greats and the Veja sneakers. These definitely have more of a youthful, trendy vibe. That is not a con for everyone, but it is for me.

Conclusion: If I had received these in my size in the one of the white/grey versions, I would be verrrrrry tempted to keep them. Just for the comfort alone, I could justify this purchase. BUT I do feel the Greats Royale and Veja Esplar — and even the Taos Star — fit my style aesthetic better. I just wish they were as comfortable.

The Verdict

Would you believe, I am still undecided!

If I could combine the style of the Veja with the comfort of the Golden Goose or Josef Seibel, I’d be sold. The Greats are actually the strongest contender at this point because of the combination of comfort, style, and quality. They just don’t fit quite as well as I’d like, and they look a little clunky on my feet. I’m also tempted to keep the Taos in addition to one of the leather pairs, as I can see them serving different purposes.

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Diary
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Coffee Talk 01.20.2019

Happy Sunday, friends! I hope you’re having a good weekend. We stayed in last night, watched the Sixers, enjoyed a spaghetti dinner, and just hung out here at home one last night before my son goes back to college today.

I did the whole shebang with garlic bread and Caesar salad (a family favorite) and a homemade chocolate cake, which unfortunately did not want to come out of the pans.

I’ve made this cake probably 100 times over the past 20 years, and I have never had trouble getting it to turn out. I don’t know what happened, but fortunately, it was just the 5 of us and no one cared. I frosted it anyway, and it still tasted good.

We take our son back to college this afternoon, and I have mixed emotions. On the one hand, it is time. He didn’t have a job while he was home for the past 5 weeks, so he had way too much time to sleep and play Fortnight. He did go out with friends a few times a week, and I’ve loved being able to see him so much, but he really needs to get back to school where he has something constructive to do. But at the same time, I’ll miss him. I was just getting used to having him around again, and I think I’m actually going to miss tripping over his giant sneakers and hearing him talking and laughing with his friends over his PS4 at 2AM, haha!

So the big snow event hitting the east coast just missed us. We were getting some beautiful fluffy flakes early last evening, and it was covering nicely and looked so pretty. Then the temperatures rose and it turned to rain, and it’s been raining ever since. I looked outside when I woke up this morning, and almost all the snow is melted.

The worst of it is, we’re going into a deep freeze this afternoon, and that could get very dangerous. Plus, it’s going to be miserably cold. I’m all for cold weather in January if it snows, but if it’s going to be an icy mess, no thank you. Just warm up and be spring already. It’s just a big, fat bummer, is what it is. Oh, well. You can’t control the weather, so there’s no use moaning and groaning about it.

The bigger issue we’re going to have is getting my son back down to college safely this afternoon. We plan to leave right after church so we can move him back into his dorm and hopefully get back home before the roads get dangerous.

So that’s the plan!

In other news, I’m pretty pleased with myself for running 3 out of the past 4 days. I logged 30 minutes on Wednesday, 20 minutes on Thursday, and I did a full 3 miles yesterday.

I’d like to get back out there this morning if I can because I definitely won’t be able to run outside for the next few days — the temperatures are supposed to be in single digits. I didn’t join the gym yet, but I may do that tomorrow. I’m waiting until I need it, but it’s definitely my backup plan.

Of course, because I took a break, my knee is acting up and feeling tight, but I know it will get better if I keep up my momentum. My trainer is always telling me that injuries happen when you are inconsistent, and I can definitely feel my body saying, What the heck!?!

I was feeling so good a few weeks ago when I was running consistently 3 or 4 days a week. My aches and pains were gone, and I’m anxious to get back to that place.

I skipped my strength training appointments this week because we couldn’t our schedules to jive, so I’m also looking forward to getting back to that this week as well. At least it shouldn’t be too terribly painful since I’ve been running. If I had let myself skip out on that too, I definitely would be in a world of hurt when I get back to lifting this week.

And if you’ll let me switch years, one more time… Following up on the spring fashion discussion, I was just about to reach out to the photographer Lindsey recommended in Tampa and start looking into plane fares and hotels in the area when I got in invitation to a conference in Scottsdale in February!

I am beside myself excited because a) I love Scottsdale; it is my happy place. I’ve been there several times, and it’s just so different from anything on the east coast. I absolutely love visiting there. I don’t think I’d want to live there because I love seasons, but I can’t imagine a better place to spend a few days in February! and b) this is the perfect opportunity to shoot spring looks in a warmer climate right before I start my spring fashions series.

I don’t know of a fashion photographer in Scottsdale, so I have to figure out that piece. And of course I’ll have to lug a ton of outfits and accessories so I can get a bunch of looks shot while I’m there, which is a hassle, but I would have to check a bag anyway, so it might as well be a big one!

More importantly, this is a good opportunity for me to network and hopefully get a much-needed refresh for my work. I used to attend conferences regularly, but I haven’t been to one in a few years, and I’ve missed that. There’s something to be said for being with people who really get what you do — especially when what you do is rather unconventional.

This virtual space can be all-consuming, and I spend most of my days by myself at a computer, so to be able to actually talk and interact with other people in the same space is always a treat. All that to say, I’m really looking forward to that!

But before that event gets here, I have a trip to Maine planned for next weekend. I know, I’m going to be quite the jet setter over the next few months! I’m just hoping the weather will cooperate, because you KNOW we will finally get the big snow I’ve been hankering for the one weekend I have travel plans. So I’m crossing my fingers that all works out.

When I went to Maine last fall to visit my grandfather, he ended up in the hospital the whole time I was there, and he wasn’t very coherent. I didn’t talk about it at the time because we didn’t know how it was going to turn out, but he rallied, and he’s back at home now and more like himself. I mean, he is 102, so he has good days and bad days, but I’m praying I get to see him on a good day.

My mom will be there too, so we’ll get to spend time together as well, and I’m looking forward to that.

So yeah, that’s the latest on my end! I hope you all are staying safe and warm, whatever the weather holds for you this weekend. Have a great Sunday!