Fashion
29 Comments

Styles I’ve Tried On Sale This Weekend

Well, I knew this would happen! I decided to start taking Saturdays off in order to give myself a bit of break in my posting schedule, but I really want to put this post together for you, and I’m afraid you won’t have a good selection if I wait till Monday, so here we are!

These are things I own or have tried on that are on sale this weekend. You can see my full roundup of Labor Day Weekend Sales in yesterday’s post.

First up, a pair of cropped utility pants that are a great alternative to my pricey Paige cargo joggers. These run a bit big, so size down if in between; I’m wearing the 6.

ON SALE: Caslon Crop Utility Pants
also wearing: James Perse tee with Tory Burch Miller sandals

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: 3 Ways to Wear Cargo Pants

These snake print jeans are marked down again. They’re a little out there, but they’re fun and flattering.

ON SALE: BlankNYC Snake Along printed cropped pants (TTS; wearing size 29)

ON SALE: Gibson Side Tie Tee (TTS; wearing small) and Joe’s Jean Shorts (TTS)
also wearing: Lucky Brand Garston espadrille sandals (platinum; size up half)

Boden has 20% off with code R8W3, and I just received an order with a few dresses to show you. These would be nice for work wear or church, and I love the quality. These three dresses all run true to size; I’m wearing the 8.

This rust dress is super flattering and comes in a ton of colors, including a classic black. I like the rust for fall, although I would prefer it with my cognac suede boots.

ON SALE: Boden Jasmine Ottoman Dress
also wearing: Sam Edelman Hiltin Knee High Boots

This one is a little dressier, but I think it’s also incredibly flattering. I think it would look better with my rounded toe black suede pumps, which I didn’t bring up from storage yet. I guess I need to do that today!

ON SALE: Tilly Ottoman Dress

Again, I don’t have the right footwear on with this, but I like the styling, and it’s a little more forgiving than the two above due to the pleating at the waist. It also comes in a few other patterns if this one isn’t your cuppa tea.

ON SALE: Penny Jersey Dress

LOFT has 40 – 50% off this weekend, and I’m loving their early fall styles. I’ve ordered this mixed media shell, this short sleeve open poncho, and this textured knit moto. I should have done store pickup, but instead I’m waiting for my shipment, but I’ll do try-ons when I get them.

Also loving and looking forward to wearing this sleeveless cowl neck top, and these tencel joggers are incredibly comfortable and pretty flattering on– I just don’t care for them with this top.

ON SALE: Lou & Grey Sleeveless Cowl Top and Lou & Grey Cosmic Joggers

I’ve been wearing these next two floral tops a ton lately. They’ll also work well under a cardigan or jean jacket for fall.

ON SALE: Floral Mixed Media Dolman Tee

ON SALE: Garden Button Flutter Shell

These jeans are pretty good, but they’re a little too long for me.

ON SALE: Sustainable Style Destructed Slim Pocket High Rise Skinny Jeans (size down if in between; wearing 28)

You may have heard that the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is back . . . and a lot of items are even less now than they were during the famed #NSale. You may remember, I did warn you that this could happen, but there are never any guarantees.

For example, I’m still really glad I snagged those AG Primas for $149 because they’re still full price, and my Vince cashmere hoodie never got restocked so I’m glad I have that too.

But the Rag & Bone shopper I wanted so much is now considerably less than what I paid — to the point that I re-ordered it and plan to return the unused one with the higher price receipt. And there are some other examples like that too.

So yeah, there are a lot of disgruntled Nordstrom shoppers right now, but if you missed any of these during the #NSale, they are on sale again, and I figure it’s my fashion blogger duty to share them with you.

ON SALE: Vince Camuto Kimora Cutout Shield Sandals (size down; I have the size 7.5) and FRAME Le High Straight Slit Hem Ankle Jeans (size down; wearing 28)
also wearing: Vince Rib Crewneck Sweater

ON SALE: Frame Le Skinny Chew Hem Ankle Jeans (TTS; wearing 29)
also wearing: Chelsea28 Cowl Neck Sweater and Jeffrey Campbell Rowlan Snakeskin Embossed Bootie

I did purchase both of the next two coats, and I’m really glad I did. They’re currently on sale for the same prices that they were during the #NSale.

ON SALE: The North Face Miss Metro II Water Repellent Hooded Parka (size up; wearing small, bought medium)

ON SALE: Halogen Textured Faux Fur Coat (TTS; wearing a small)

And this trench is also the same price as it was during the sale. I didn’t get this one because I don’t really need it, but it’s a good one if you need a classic trench!

ON SALE: Sam Edelman Double Breasted Trench Coat with Removable Hood (TTS; wearing a small)

These Kut from the Kloth cigarette leg jeans are a nice alternative to the AG Primas, and at the sale price, they’re really a great value.

ON SALE: KUT from the Kloth High Waist Ankle Cigarette Jeans
also wearing: Steve Madden Flavor Flat Mules and Madewell sweater (old)

A bunch of the luxe sweater brands are back on sale and a bit lower than the #NSale prices. This Nordstrom Signature cashmere v-neck sweater is absolutely gorgeous, and the quality is fantastic.

ON SALE: Nordstrom Signature High/Low Cashmere Sweater (TTS; wearing small)

And these bootcut jeans are super flattering and a tremendous value.

ON SALE: KUT from the Kloth Bootcut Jeans (size down if in between; wearing 6) and Vince Camuto Kimora Cutout Shield Sandals (size down; I have the size 7.5)

The next two sweaters are Vince — one of my favorites for quality cashmere, although this first one is actually a cotton/nylon/lycra blend.

ON SALE: Vince textured v-neck sweater (size small) and KUT from the Kloth Bootcut Jeans (size down if in between; wearing 6)

And this rust color (also comes in grey) has some really pretty details, along with the Vince quality. I just can’t decide if I’ll get my cost per wear out of it b/c I don’t think I’ll wear rust after November.

ON SALE: Vince Step Hem Cashmere Sweater (TTS; wearing small) and FRAME Le High Straight Slit Hem Ankle Jeans (size down; wearing 28)

Okay, bringing it down into a more budget-friendly price range, both my daughter and I got this next sweater in black, and we both love it.

I decided to let her have it, and I returned mine (she doesn’t think it’s cute to be twinning with Mom) but I highly recommend if you need something like this in your wardrobe.

ON SALE: Caslon cowl neck sweater (size small)
also wearing: Kut Donna skinnies (TTS; wearing 6) and Vince Camuto Gigietta Booties

This little croc embossed tote that I like so much is now under $100!

ON SALE: Nordstrom Laura Croc Embossed Leather Tote
also wearing: AG Prima Ankle Skinny Jeans and Lucky Brand Yimina Wedge Booties

Annnnd . . . the aforementioned Rag & Bone shopper is now 50% off. I really like this bag for it’s polished but edgy vibe. It works well with my style. It is quite large, and it’s pretty cavernous inside, but it does have a slip pocket for my phone.

ON SALE: Rag & Bone Camden Snake Embossed Leather Shopper
also wearing: Leith Longline Cardigan

Ann Taylor is running a promo with 40% off plus an additional 10% off that. (That is not 50% off, the 10% is taken off the markdown price, but it’s still a pretty sweet deal.)

And Stuart Weitzman is running 25% off sandals, and two of his most popular styles are included — the Nudistsong and the NearlyNude. These are both $100 off, so an amazing savings if these have been on your wish list.

ON SALE: Ann Taylor Polka Dot Wrap Dress (TTS for Ann Taylor dresses; the 6 fits me best) and Stuart Weizman The Nudistsong Sandals (TTS; wearing 8)

ON SALE: Ann Taylor Terra Floral Smocked Flare Dress (TTS; wearing 6) and Stuart Weizman The Nudistsong Sandals (TTS; wearing 8)

ON SALE: Ann Taylor tulip belted maxi dress (TTS; wearing size 6) and Stuart Weitzman NearlyNude Ankle Strap Sandals (TTS; wearing 8)

Also, this mixed jersey tank is the perfect alternative to a cami when you want a base layer for dressier looks that is bra-friendly.

ON SALE: mixed jersey tank (TTS; wearing small)

There’s probably more that I’m missing. If I notice anything, I’ll add it later.

I did update all of my pages in The Shop, so if you want more shopping inspiration, be sure to peruse those.

I hope you all have a lovely, relaxing Labor Day weekend!

Did you like this 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 an occasional 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!

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!

Uncategorized
28 Comments

How I Transition My Closet for Fall

Greetings, happy Friday, and cheers to Labor Day Weekend! 🥂 My girls have off from school today, so our weekend starts NOW.

I’ve had a bunch of questions about how I transition my closet for fall and the “rules” for dressing in September.

More specifically, I’ve been asked about what items to I put away and which ones I will continue to wear — especially now that the “no white after Labor Day” rule is considered antiquated.

How I Transition My Closet for Fall

First of all, there are no hard and fast rules anymore. Yes, you can wear white after Labor Day, and of course it’s officially still summer for three more weeks.

That said, I do start transitioning my closet for fall on Labor Day weekend.

I always take this weekend to go through my closet, remove items I didn’t wear or no longer want (I either pass along to friends or family or take to a resale shop), and pack away my summeriest summer clothes and shoes.

Next week, I will start wearing darker colors and sturdier fabrics, regardless of the weather. I love that there are so many options these days for sleeveless tops in fall colors and things like that.

Of course, there is no fashion police that is going to track you down if you wear a white eyelet dresses in October, so wear what you like. I just like to give a nod to the calendar, despite the weather. It makes me happy.

Now that I’ve made fashion blogging my profession, I’m always cycling clothing through my closet, and I keep it pretty up to date at all times. That means my Labor Day weekend project is much less daunting than it used to be, but I still like to take this weekend to move out my summeriest summer clothes, bags, and shoes to make room for fall styles.

It’s still warm here in Philly, and it probably will be well into September, so I do this project in stages. I will go through my closet again when the weather turns cold and remove more items, and at that time, I’ll bring up my heavier fall/winter sweaters and boots, etc.

But for now, I just remove the lightest fabrics, sandals, espadrilles, white bags, etc.

The picture above shows the items I moved into bins in the basement this week. After this weekend, I’ll add my white jean jacket, white shorts, and maybe a few more odds and ends to that bin. (It’s perfectly fine to wear a white jean jacket in fall, but I never do. I guess I’m just over it by then. I do, however, keep my white jeans in my closet year ’round.)

Basically, I move out things that seem very summery to me — either in color or fabric content.

So while I keep my white jeans in my closet, I will put away linen and other airy fabrics. I keep block heel sandals in light neutrals like blush and beige, but I’ll put away my espadrilles and woven bags.

After I clear out my closet, I go to the basement where I store out of season clothing in plastic bins, and I sort through those. (And no, it does not stay looking this nice. This picture is actually from last winter, right after we set it up.)

I put my summer things away and bring up some of my lighter fall clothing and shoes.

I’ll grab things like long-sleeve tees and blouses, loafers and booties, and any moto jackets or light layering pieces I put away last spring.

Here’s what my closet looks like now, after moving out the summeriest of my summer things and bringing in some early fall items.

Like the basement, my closet does not always look this tidy, although I try to put it back together every so often.

In a few weeks, I’ll do another overhaul and put away the lighter fabrics and sandals and bring out the heavier fabrics, black suede shoes, and tall boots.

I don’t mind doing this in stages because I like to keep my closet pared down to what I’m actually wearing right now, but of course you can bring up all of your fall/winter items or wait and do it all in a few weeks.

Some people just shift their closets around, moving out of season clothing to the back. There is no one right way to organize your closet for the seasons. This is just how I like to do it.

Also, I do have a dresser in my bedroom where I store overflow things like workout gear and things like that. And I keep a hanging rack and shoe shelf beside the dresser, where I keep things I’m planning to try on or shoot for the blog. That helps keep my closet from getting overwhelming.

Did you like this 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 an occasional 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!

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
54 Comments

Try On Haul: Denim, Fall Dresses, Cocktail Attire + More

I’ll just put it right out there — this post is a doozie. And it is all over the map . . . jeans, cocktail attire, fall dresses, and about 25 retailers represented.

Okay, I exaggerate. But still. It’s a lot, so I’m just going to dive right in.

Try On Haul: Denim, Fall Dresses, Cocktail Attire + More

The usual disclaimers apply — I’m 5’5″ with a slightly hourglass shape, and I usually wear small tops and a 6 or 8 in pants. My average dress size is an 8, but depending on the brand, I have everything in my closet from 4 to 12.

Links and descriptions are below the pictures, but I’ve split up my commentary a bit this time because I have so many pictures and so many thoughts about each piece.

Try On Haul: Denim Comparison

I’ve been experimenting with a bunch of different crop straight jeans, and I’ve tried them on with various shoe and top combinations, trying to figure out how to wear this new silhouette.

I’m learning that getting the length right is key to making this look work. I like mine to be a good inch or two above the ankle bone for a true crop. The ankle-length ones just look like floods — at least on me.

First up, a true crop straight . . .

GAP High Rise Cheeky Straight Jeans size 29 // These are a true crop straight jean. They look a lot like the Levi’s that have made this look so popular, right down to the thicker vintage-inspired denim and the lighter wash.

Believe it or not, I actually like these. I got a mixed response when I posted a picture to Instagram, but I think they’re fairly flattering, all things considered. I mean, I still think I look best in skinnies, but these are fun for a change.

I styled them two ways, trying to figure out if I wanted to commit. This first way is a fall look with a shorter sweater and loafer mules.

And then for summer, with a tank top and leather sneakers.

Notice how there’s a good two inches of skin showing between the hem of the jeans and the shoes. Since our ankles tend to be the thinnest part of our leg, it’s flattering to expose some skin when wearing a cropped pant.

I like the distressed hem on the back, and I also like the smaller rear pockets. In fact, the pocket placement in general is very flattering.

Also, these jeans are verrrry comfortable. Well done, Gap! I’m impressed.

THE VERDICT: I kept them, but I’m not sure how much I’ll actually wear them. My 16-year-old is horrified that I’m wearing them and reminded me that my tagline says, “Friends don’t let friends wear mom jeans.”

I’m not sure I’d qualify these as mom jeans, though. They don’t give me the long butt (haha!), and the rise isn’t super high. I’m definitely going to keep experimenting with them.

FYI, these jeans also come in tall and petite sizes.

GAP High Rise Cigarette Jeans size 29 // I also ordered these cigarette jeans from Gap, wanting to compare them to the AG Prima that I like so much.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: What Are Cigarette Jeans? {and Why I’m Embracing Them This Fall}

I’m not crazy about these. While they aren’t necessarily unflattering, they’re a little longer than I like, and the wash looks cheap to me. I can’t explain why, exactly, I just don’t like it.

The fit is okay, although I think they look better cuffed. See below.

THE VERDICT: I returned these because I have others I like better, but if you’re looking for a pair of cigarette leg jeans in this price range, these are a decent option.

They also come in tall and petite sizes.

MOTHER Rascal Ankle Snippet Jeans size 29 // I really like how these fit and feel, except they’re ankle jeans, and I prefer my straight leg jeans to be an inch or two shorter.

Unfortunately I can’t cut them or cuff them because they have a split hem, and I wouldn’t want to lose that detail.

According to the website, these have a 26.75″ inseam, but I’m not sure about that. They seem longer to me.

I wish I’d measured and compared these to the Gap pairs above, but Shopbop has a 15-day return policy, so I sent them back ASAP when I knew I wasn’t going to keep them.

It’s too bad because they are soooo soft and comfy, I like the rear pocket placement, and the wash is great too.

I also tried them with ankle boots, to see if I liked the length better with a different shoe, but they just meet the top of the bootie, which is awkward.

They should expose about an inch of skin, or they should cover the top of the bootie without getting caught on them.

I gave them one more try with these peep-toe booties, and they did the same thing.

What I should have tried is a pair of sock booties with a higher shaft so the jeans can be worn over-top, but mine are currently packed away.

THE VERDICT: As I said, I returned these, but I might revisit this style when fall is in full swing and I have more booties to experiment with.

AG Prima Ankle Skinny Jeans size 29 // For comparison sake, I took a few pictures in my AG Prima cigarette jeans. These are called skinny, but they have a 12″ leg opening, making them more of a slim straight.

They are ankle-length, so I usually wear them cuffed to give them more of a cropped silhouette.

Here’s how they look worn un-cuffed with the same shoes.

This works okay with loafers, but not so much with booties. I always cuff them with booties.

THE VERDICT: I own and love these. Highly recommend!!! I did get them on sale for $149 during the #NSale, so I don’t really recommend paying full price, but I’ll let you know if I see them discounted again.

Kut from the Kloth Cigarette Jeans size 6// For a more budget-friendly option, these cigarette jeans by Kut from the Kloth are a nice fit. They’re a couple inches shorter than the AG Prima, so cuffing isn’t necessary for most of my shoes, but I do like to give them a small cuff with booties.

THE VERDICT: These are a great pair of budget-friendly slim straight crop jeans. You can tell that the whiskering and distressing details aren’t as natural looking as the higher priced jeans, but for the price, these are great.

These are currently on sale for $53.70, and they come in petite sizes!

AG The Prima Raw Hem Crop Jeans size 29 // When I saw these AG Prima crops, I knew I had to try them, since I’m always cuffing my ankle-length Primas. These have a 26″ inseam and a 12″ leg opening with a split hem.

I really like the darker wash for another option, and the shorter 26″ inseam is perfect with mules.

I think they’re a little too short with these sandals, though. It’s an awkward amount of skin showing.

But they seem to look okay with these booties, which are only a half inch taller in the shaft than the sandals. I dunno, what say you??? #fashionishard

Also, does anyone else find it curious that the Mother Rascal jeans (above) with a 26.75″ inseam were too long with these booties, and these have a 26″ inseam, and they’re almost too short? I can’t believe those measurements are both accurate. I wish I still had the Mother jeans to measure.

THE VERDICT: I’m undecided on these. Since I got them at Nordstrom and their return policy is so generous, I’m going to keep the tags on and hold onto them for a while until I have more opportunities to style them with different shoes and tops.

Ann Taylor Sculpting Pockets High Rise Straight Leg Jeans size 6 // These jeans have a 27 1/2″ inseam so they’re definitely ankle length.

Again, maybe my eye just needs to adjust, but I’m not crazy about this length in a straight fit. They also seem to flare slightly at the hem, giving them more of a kick flare silhouette.

They are comfortable, though, and I like the black wash for a change.

I tried them with a these sandals to see if I like them better with a heel, and I do. I’m not quite sure what it is about this combo that works, but I think it does.

THE VERDICT: I did return these, but I might revisit them later in the season. I think they’re a good option for those looking to update their silhouette.

They’re 40% off with code LASTHURRAH.

also wearing: Kasper snake print blouse

Ann Taylor Sculpting Pockets High Rise Skinny Jeans size 6 // These are great for classic black skinnies, especially if you like a higher rise. They have a 11″ rise with a 29″ inseam, and they’re very flattering.

THE VERDICT: I returned these because I don’t need them, but if you are looking for high rise black skinnies, they’re worth a try, especially at the sale price!

They’re also 40% off with code LASTHURRAH.

also wearing: Kasper snake print blouse and Sam Edelman Laurna mules

Okay, let’s move on to dresses!

Try On Haul: Fall Dresses

Ann Taylor Polka Dot Wrap Dress size 4 // This dress is giving me all the Pretty Woman vibes. I love the rust color, and the polkadots are fun.

I had to size down to a 4 in a similar AT dress a couple months ago, so I ordered both the 4 and 6 to try. The 4 fit well everywhere, except it pulled just a bit in the chest.

(Pictures of the size 4 are above. See the size 6 below.)

Ann Taylor Polka Dot Wrap Dress size 6 // When I put on the 6 and tried to snap it, I was surprised that it barely closed. Then I realized the snap was located in a different place — it had been moved over an inch or two from its original location. Can you see that?

I think someone moved the snap, probably wore it, and then returned it. Isn’t that crazy!?!

THE VERDICT: Both of these went back, but I’d like to try a size 6 that hasn’t been tampered with. It’s a gorgeous dress. In fact, I just ordered it.

And it’s also on sale for $66.99!!!

Ann Taylor Terra Floral Smocked Flare Dress size 6 // This is a nice dress for fall, and I like the print a lot. I feel like it’s flattering and would be great for work, church, or date night — depending on your footwear.

I think it would be smashing with rounded toe suede pumps for work, and I like the strappy sandals for date night. You could also do a black bootie.

THE VERDICT: I sent it back because I don’t really need it right now. If I was doing 25 Days of Fall Fashion, I would have featured it for sure.

This dress is currently 40% off with code LASTHURRAH.

Vince Camuto Highland Printed Midi Dress size 8 // I wanted to love this leopard print dress, but it just doesn’t flatter me. It looks like I have no waist, but I think it would be gorgeous on the pear-shaped gals out there! It runs TTS; the 8 fit me perfectly.

VERDICT: Returned, but I think it’s a great dress. Just not for me.

also wearing: Sam Edelman Yaro sandals

Try On Haul: Fall Wedding Guest / Cocktail Dresses

I’m still on the hunt for the dress for this black tie optional wedding I have coming up. I loved all of your input on this post, and it really helped me hone in on what I want for this event.

First, let’s recap.

Xscape Mesh Inset & Embroidered Evening Dress size 8 // This was my favorite dress of the lot, but I think I’ll be more comfortable with a knee-length dress as long as its formal enough.

Eliza J Sequined Sheath size 8 // While I love this navy dress from last year, I feel it’s too short and glitzy for a wedding — especially one where the ceremony is held in a church. It’s more of a holiday party dress, so I’m going to hold onto it and hope I get to wear it later this year.

Eliza J sequined cap sleeve shift dress size 8 // Likewise with this taupe shift. I love it, and it fits like it was custom made for me, but I feel like it’s more appropriate for New Year’s Eve or a wedding in Vegas.

I decided I want something knee-length and not so sparkly — but as elegant and as formal as it can get without being a floor-length gown.

Aqua Scuba-Crepe Dress size 8 // I had high hopes for this scuba crepe sheath, but it was a total bust — pardon the pun. It was so revealing, I couldn’t even take pictures to show you. The fit is just really off for me.

Eliza J Cowl Back Ruched Stretch Sheath Dress size 10 // This one is closer to what I want. I like the length, the fit, and the ruching details, and the cowl back is dramatic and fun.

But it’s not very flattering from the back, and it’s hard to move in. I think that would be annoying over the course of the evening.

THE VERDICT: I sent this one back. If you like it and are considering placing an order, size up. The 10 barely fit, and I am typically an 8 in Eliza J.

Aidan Mattox Women’s Floral Printed Jacquard High-Low Gown size 8 // I first saw this dress on Bloomingdale’s, but it was sold out in my size so I tracked it down on Amazon.

THE VERDICT: I returned it. I don’t want to stand out THIS much at my nephew’s wedding. But if you have an appropriate event, I think  it’s really fun.

Eliza J Ruffled One-Shoulder Dress size 8 // This dress has potential. For one thing, I love the navy scuba fabric. It’s super thick and luxe and very forgiving for a sheath.

The length is perfect for a more formal event, and the ruffle shoulder detail is gorgeous, but I just don’t want to deal with a strapless bra if I don’t have to.

THE VERDICT: While this one could work, I decided to return it on account of the bra issue. And because . . .

I found this . . .

*cue angels singing*

Eliza J Side Drape Laguna Crepe Cocktail Dress size 10 // I knew Eliza J would come through for me if I looked hard enough! She always does, even if I did have to size up to a 10.

This dress is exactly what I wanted — the length and material are understated and elegant, the v-back adds some extra pizzazz, and the bow detail is just the right amount of drama to set it apart.

Best of all, it fits perfectly without the need for any alterations.

THE VERDICT: Keeping, duh!!! Now I just have to figure out my shoes and accessories, but that’s the fun part!

I’m thinking of having my hair put up. I usually curl it for dressy events, but I feel like this dress requires something more sophisticated than my loose curls.

I do hate to go to the trouble of making a salon appointment, though. I guess I could wear it straight and get a sequined clip for the side. What do you think?

Did you like this 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 an occasional 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!

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!

Spring/Summer Fashion
39 Comments

My Daily Looks: What I Wore

Greetings and happy hump day! It’s time for another edition of My Daily Looks: What I Wore. It’s been a busy and fun couple of weeks, so I have quite a few looks to share with you today.

This post is a mix of summer and transition styles because our weather has been a little up and down lately. And because it’s the end of the season, some of these pieces are no longer available, but I tried to find something similar in those instances.

You can click the picture or the link below it to access the outfit details.

My Daily Looks: What I Wore

I wore this first outfit to run errands on a weekday. I believe I had a nail appointment as well. When in doubt, black and denim always works.

My wrap bracelet is from Victoria Emerson, and the other details are linked below.


outfit details

This next outfit is what I wore to my daughter’s marching band preview performance on a Friday night. It was hot and humid, and as soon as I got there, I was wishing I’d brought a clip to put my hair up!

I kept it casual in a tank top and shorts, and I wore sneakers because I knew we’d have a long walk from the parking lot to the football stadium.


outfit details

This was my travel outfit the day we drove up to Massachusetts for a family wedding. This linen tee is several years old, but I love the neckline and the cut of the sleeves, plus the linen is lightweight and breathable.


outfit details

I’ve talked a lot about this AG Prima cigarette jeans already. They are probably the softest, most comfortable jeans I own, which makes them perfect for travel days.

We got to the hotel just in time to head over to my aunt’s for dinner, so I quickly freshened up and changed tops.

The next day, I wore the same floral top with white jeans to church and out to lunch after.

Typically I’d wear heels with this to church, but I knew I’d be standing (and dancing) in heels all night at the wedding, so I threw on my Miller sandals to save my feet.

Dontcha love a classy bathroom shot?


outfit details

You’ve seen my wedding guest look already, but here’s a shot with both Paul and me. My dress runs small; I recommend sizing up one or maybe even two sizes.

Paul wore a dark blue suit and a shirt with a subtle print, and since it was such a hot day and an outdoor wedding, he ditched the tie.


outfit details

I wore this next outfit to ride home on Monday, and then I picked it up off my floor the next day and wore it again. #justkeepingitreal

These jeans looked a little long in the travel picture above, so I made a bigger cuff to shorten them about an inch, and I think they look so much better. Isn’t it funny how an inch can make all the difference?


outfit details

Another hot humid summer day, another pair of jean shorts and linen tee…

I wore this to get my haircut and colored, and then I spent the rest of the day working here at home.


outfit details

Thursday night was my Kendra Scott color bar party, and I played around with a few different outfits before deciding on this one.

This ruffle top is a newer purchase, and I love this burgundy color for this time of year, when the weather is warm but we’re thinking ahead to fall.

I didn’t have a Kendra Scott bracelet (a situation I rectified that night) so I wore this Victoria Emerson one instead. I did wear KS earrings, though.


outfit details

Friday was a day of errands and getting the kids ready to go back to school. The weather was cool and rainy, so I went for my comfy cargo jogger pants and and favorite side tie tee.

I didn’t actually wear these sneakers — I guess I wore my Miller sandals, but I came home and these had arrived in the mail, so I put them on and took this picture.

They’re actually a half size too small, and I’m waiting on a few other options to arrive before I decide if I want to order these in the next size or not. I’m definitely loving the snake print sneaker trend, though!


outfit details

On Saturday, I helped my son move into his new apartment. I threw this on to run a few errands that morning, and then I realized I’d need something more conducive to cleaning and hauling stuff, so I changed into shorts and an old t-shirt.

Oh, well, I was cute for a few hours, anyway!


outfit details

Sunday was church, and this time of year, I’m all about getting one last wear out of my favorite summer wardrobe items. I’ll be putting away this floral shirt and the blush espadrilles on Labor Day weekend.


outfit details

And then I wore this on Monday to meet with our accountant. Afterwards I needed to run to the mall for a few things, so Paul and I grabbed lunch together.


outfit details

And finally, this is what I wore yesterday after I got home from my photo shoot. It was chilly and damp outside, and I had this cardigan out from the photo shoot, so I threw it on with a tank top and jeans.


outfit details

And that’s a wrap!

You’ll definitely see a transition in my next What I Wore post because I’ll be packing away my summeriest clothes and shoes this weekend, and I’m starting to wear more neutrals and fall hues.

Even though it’s usually still warm well into September, I like my outfits to give a nod to fall.

Did you like this 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 an occasional 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!

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
37 Comments

Fall Fashion Forecast: 2019 Fall Fashion Trends

Last week, we talked about fall wardrobe essentials, so today I want to share the top fall fashion trends for 2019… and my thoughts about them.

Fall Fashion Forecast 2019 Fall Fashion Trends

I always feel the need to make a disclaimer on these types of posts. Not all trends are meant to be adopted by everyone; it’s best to take each trend on a case by case basis.

Take into account your lifestyle, your personal style aesthetic, and your body type; and decide if a trend works for you or not. There’s nothing wrong with sitting out certain trends and partaking in others. That’s the best way to stay current without looking like you’re a slave to fashion.

2019 Fall Fashion Trends

CAMO // This is a trend that has been around for a while. It kind of ebbs and flows, but it’s still hot this season. Because it’s a neutral, it’s pretty easy to wear.

Camo pants are always an easy way to wear this trend, but if you prefer this print in smaller doses, consider a camo print tee, tote, scarf, or even shoes!

You can pair camo with other neutrals, like black, grey, white, or beige. Or wear a contrasting pink, burgundy, or coral. I also like camo with navy.

MY TAKE: I like camo in small doses. I’ve done the camo pants thing, and I think I’m over it, but I like a good camo tee, and I also like those camo pointed toe flats. The juxtaposition between the rugged camo print and the feminine shoe is fresh and fun.

shop camo:

SNAKE PRINT // You know I can’t write a post about fall trends without including snake print. I hope y’all aren’t sick of it yet, because it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

I’m seeing snake print everything right now — snake print belts, shoes, bags, dresses, skirts, blouses, t-shirts… You name it, you can find it in snake print!

MY TAKE: I love, love, love python and snake print. I’ve always liked a good snake print pump, and I’ve had a few pairs over the years, but it’s fun to see the print coming out in other pieces.

I recently purchased snake skin slip-on sneakers that I’m excited to wear, and I also love the snake skin blouse pictured above. Ohhh, and this Gibson cozy fleece fitted top is really cute on.

For more on snake print, see my post Currently Crushing: Snake Print.

shop snake print:

PLAID // Plaid for fall is nothing ground-breaking (name that movie!) but we’re definitely seeing a resurgence this fall. Think less school girl uniform and more classy working woman.

This trend crosses over nicely into a few other trends this season — namely blazers and extra long coats. I’m also seeing a lot of plaid trousers, which make a nice work wear alternative to the ubiquitous black pants.

MY TAKE: I love plaid because it’s classy and easy to wear. While plaid pants and blazers may not work well with my casual lifestyle, I love the plaid pumps pictured above. They’re a great way to dress up jeans and a sweater this fall and winter, and I like that they’re unexpected.

shop plaid:

STRAIGHT CROP JEANS // Denim trends are in transition right now, and skinny jeans are getting pushed aside in favor of cropped straight jeans and kick flares.

I’m not telling you to toss your skinnies, but if you like to be on trend, you may want to experiment with this more fashion-forward silhouette.

If you like the cropped straight silhouette, but struggle to find a flattering pair, try cigarette jeans. They are basically a skinny jean that is straighter from knee to hem, so they read as more of a straight. You can cuff them to get a cropped look, or you can sometimes find a crop cigarette.

You might also like yesterday’s post: What Are Cigarette Jeans? {and Why I’m Embracing Them This Fall}

MY TAKE: I am sloooowly getting on board with this trend. I prefer the slimmer straight styles, like the cigarette jeans we talked about yesterday.

shop straight crop and cigarette jeans:

DENIM DETAILS // If you can’t get on board with straight crop jeans, there are plenty of other fun denim trends to partake in.

This year, it’s all about the details — exposed button front, belted, chewed hems, side stripes, split hems, and animal prints… to name a few!

MY TAKE: I like subtle details, but nothing too far out. Chewed hems are a fun way to update your jeans without being too dramatic, and it adds a bit of texture and interest to your look.

shop denim with details:

SQUARE TOE SHOES // I’m not seeing a ton of square toe shoes just yet, but I’ve read it a couple of places, and I definitely found a nice selection when I searched on the Nordstrom website.

This can be a bit of a matronly look, especially when paired with a low, chunky heel. I think the best way to keep this modern is to find styles with a thinner heel and/or a more fashion-forward detail.

THE VERDICT: I am a huge fan of a wider toe box because I have squarish feet (and thin heels… horrible combination!) so this is a trend I can get behind. I’m also not very tall, so I will need to choose wisely and probably stick with higher heels when participating in this trend.

shop square toe shoes:

EXTRA LONG COATS // Every fall season for the past few years, it seems like coat trends have gotten longer and longer.

If you live in a colder climate, this is a fun way to update your wardrobe. Of course, coats can be expensive, so you may only want one trendy coat in your closet.

MY TAKE: I’m not much on trendy coats, I don’t know why. Around here, it makes sense to have a variety of coats because we wear them so much and for so long. But I’d still rather invest in a few nice, classic coats that I wear all the time.

That said, I think the extra long coat trend is fun if you live or work in an area that stays up-to-date on trends, and you want to add some variety to your wardrobe.

shop extra long coats:

DARK FLORALS // Florals continue to be popular this season, especially those grounded on dark backgrounds.

My advice is to tread lightly here. Florals can be aging, or they can be fresh and fun. It’s hard to explain how to tell the difference — it’s more of a gut-check for me. I tend to stay away from the smaller scale florals, or anything that looks like it belongs on Little House on the Prairie.

MY TAKE: I love floral dresses and blouses for church or date night type of activities. I usually wear an edgy piece with my florals so they aren’t too precious.

shop fall florals:

I could go on, but I have to run!

Which of these trends has you itching for fall??? Which ones will you pass on?

Did you like this 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 an occasional 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!

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
39 Comments

What Are Cigarette Jeans? {and Why I’m Embracing Them This Fall}

Ever since I fell in love with these AG Prima cigarette jeans at the #NSale, I’ve been getting two questions a lot, “What are cigarette jeans?” and “What is the difference between cigarette jeans and skinny jeans?”

outfit details

I thought those questions deserved a dedicated post, and I also wanted to share why I think they’re a great option for those of us who are stuck on our skinny jeans.

What are cigarette jeans?

Cigarette jeans have a slim silhouette and are cut straight from knee to ankle (like a cigarette), and they are typically ankle-length. (Ankle-length jeans end just above or below the ankle bone.)

cigarette jeans

Which begs the question…

What is the difference between cigarette and skinny jeans?

While cigarette jeans are cut straight from knee to ankle, skinny jeans follow the line of the leg and fit snugly from hip to ankle.

cigarette jeans // skinny jeans

Given that information, you may be wondering how cigarette jeans and straight jeans compare.

What is the difference between cigarette and straight leg jeans?

There isn’t much difference, but straight jeans are generally cut straight from hip to ankle, and cigarette jeans may be more fitted in the thigh area and are cut straight from knee to ankle.

Also, while cigarette jeans are usually ankle-length, straight leg jeans come in cropped, ankle-length, and full-length styles.

Basically, cigarette jeans are in between skinny jeans and straight leg jeans. 

What is the difference between cigarette jeans and skinny jeans?

skinny // cigarette // straight

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Women’s Pant Styles and Hem Lengths Demystified

Why am I embracing cigarette jeans right now?

Trends are a funny thing. A few years ago, when we were seeing the shift from bootcut and full-length straight jeans to skinny jeans, many of us were in an uproar over skinny jeans and perplexed as to how to wear them.

At the time, I slowly transitioned into wearing cigarette jeans because I couldn’t seem to embrace the skinny jeans that are tight all the way to the ankle.

Of course, my eye eventually adjusted, and I’ve been loving and wearing skinny jeans almost exclusively for a few years.

outfit details

Now that the pendulum is swinging back toward straighter styles, and straight crop jeans are trending, I find myself once again balking at a “new” silhouette.

Straight crop jeans don’t seem to flatter my particular body type, or maybe my eye will eventually adjust and I’ll be able to embrace them… but for now, the cigarette jean is a great way to transition into that new silhouette without going all-in.

cigarette jeans

outfit details

Now, before I get the comments about ignoring trends and wearing what looks best on you, let me say that I fully endorse each woman wearing what looks best on her individual body. Absolutely.

But, that doesn’t mean you should ignore the trends.

Many trends that seem far out and unrealistic at first end up being the mainstream style of the day in a few years.

I take trends with a grain of salt, and I’m selective about which trends I wear and how I incorporate them into my life, but ignoring trends is a sure way to look dated and out of touch fast.

I’ve always enjoyed staying a little ahead of the trends, but now that fashion blogging is my profession, it’s part of my job to watch the trends and determine which ones are going to have some staying power.

And I’m here to tell you, this one is going to stick around.

Pant styles and silhouettes are always evolving, and for the past few seasons, I’ve watched the straighter styles becoming more and more mainstream.

This year, I’m finally seeing straight crop jeans more than skinnies on the wearable fashion blogs I follow. It took a few years for them to firmly take hold, but now they’re definitely here.

So while I love (and still plan to wear) my skinnies, I’m also feeling the need to incorporate the straighter silhouette into some of my outfits to keep my style current.

outfit details

I’ve been experimenting with various styles of straight leg jeans for some time, and at the moment, I like how cigarette jeans can be cuffed to play into the cropped straight trend while maintaining a slim silhouette.

Or, better yet, look for crop cigarette jeans.

I recently found (and purchased) a pair of AG Prima crop jeans, which eliminates the need for a cuff. Even better!

What are cigarette jeans and why I love these cigarette crop jeans.

outfit details

Yes, I know I said that cigarette jeans are usually ankle-length, but I’ve started seeing jeans labeled crop cigarette, which is basically just a slimmer straight crop jean.

I know, it is confusing! I compare leg opening measurements when shopping online, to tell the difference. Typically a cigarette leg opening is around 12″ and a skinny jean is 10″.

Straight jeans are anywhere from 13″ to 16″, depending how wide they are in the knee. These jeans below are straight crop jeans from Gap.

outfit details

I’ve been trying a bunch of different denim styles, and I’ll share more in Thursday’s try-on haul.

Also, stay tuned for my post on how to wear the straight crop trend! (Or, crop cigarette jeans, if you prefer.)

Shop Cigarette and Straight Crop Jeans:

For the Pinners…

Did you like this 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 an occasional 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!

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
37 Comments

Coffee Talk 08.25.19 ☕️

Coffee Talk + My Daily Looks

Greetings and happy Sunday, friends! I hope you’ve all had a great week.

This week has been all about getting our kids ready to go back to school, and I think they’re ready. Even the weather has changed dramatically over the past 48 hours, bringing in fall-like temperatures as if on cue to usher in the back-to-school season.

Yesterday we spent the afternoon getting David moved into his college apartment. Actually, we mostly just got his furniture built and moved in. I didn’t realize until we got there that he didn’t even bring his bedding, wall hangings, clothes, or anything like that. I would have liked to get that all set up for him, but he’ll just take all that stuff when he goes back this afternoon and set it up himself.

What I really wanted was a few good pictures, especially since I never got much when we moved him into his dorm last year. That was a bit of a rush job because he only had a couple of hours to move in and get to his first marching band practice. But as it turns out, this year was much the same.

It took a while to build the desk we bought on Amazon, which came in a bazillion different pieces. Then we figured out his room arrangement, set up his bed, unrolled his mattress, brought in his giant beanbag chair, and he was ready to go.

(We’re happy with all of the above purchases, in case you’re in need of recommendations.)

I got one quick picture of him plopped on his beanbag chair, and that was it. It’s much like the one I got of him in his dorm on move-in day last year. Take a look.

I guess it’s better than nothing, right? At least he looks happy.

Then there’s my 8th grader. Becca spent the evening googling healthy school lunches, bagging up snacks, and creating a lunchbox drawer in our pantry so she can put her school lunches together easily each night. (She always makes her own lunches.)

The kid is more organized than I can ever hope to be. I’m not sure where she gets it, but it’s not from Paul or me.

Caroline is still in denial. Her supplies arrived this week (her cyber charter school provides everything, even a laptop) so she’s all set. She spent yesterday making homemade pizza and beignets, which her father and siblings very much appreciated.

As for me, I’m trying to get back on track with clean eating so I can drop a few of those pesky summer pounds that always have a way of sneaking up on me. It happens every year, and every year I buckle down in August or September and try to get back into my comfort zone.

I was going to wait for Monday, but then I decided there’s no time like the present, and I’ve been doing better this week. I’m already feeling better too. It should be easier to stick to it once school starts and the kids aren’t baking so much, I’m not entertaining so much, and life is generally busier with less time to indulge. At least, that’s what I’m hoping!

Well, it’s time for me to get ready for the day. I didn’t run this morning since I ran yesterday, but we want to shoot an outfit or two before church this morning, and no matter how much time I allow, I always seem to be running late. We call it Jo-Lynne Standard Time, haha!

Have a relaxing and blessed Sunday!

Did you like this 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 an occasional 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!

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
101 Comments

Try On Haul: Black Tie Optional Dresses for a Fall Wedding

Greetings, friends! I have a different sort of try on haul today. I’m attending a wedding in October with a black tie optional dress code, and these are the dresses I’ve tried.

If you have a formal wedding or any type of gala coming up this fall/winter, hopefully this post will give you some options.

Try On Haul: Black Tie Optional Dresses for a Fall Wedding

Of course, Rent the Runway is always an option for an event like this, if you think you’ll never wear the dress again, but I thought it would be fun to see what’s in stores right now and try some out.

But first things first…

What Does Black Tie Optional Mean?

Black tie optional dress suggests a tuxedo or formal dark suit and tie for men, and a long evening gown or a shorter cocktail dress for women.

At first, I wasn’t sure which way I wanted to go, so I tried some of both.

For size reference, I’m 5’5″ with an hourglass shape, and I typically wear a size 8 dress. Evidently vanity sizing hasn’t reached special occasion dresses because I needed a 10 in most of these. Let’s get started!

Black Tie Optional Dress Try Ons: Long Evening Gowns

Let’s start with the long evening gowns. I’m wearing a 4″ heel with all of the long dresses, so that gives you an idea of how much hemming might be involved.

Black Tie Optional Dress: Eliza J Lace Inset Laguna Crepe Trumpet Gown

Black Tie Optional Dress: Eliza J Lace Inset Laguna Crepe Trumpet Gown

Eliza J Lace Inset Laguna Crepe Trumpet Gown (size 10) // Well, this one is obviously not the best fit for me. The issue I’m having in most dresses is the chest. If you have a small or average chest size, this dress would be fine, but on me, it’s a bit much.

It’s also a bit long, but I’m sure it could be hemmed pretty easily.

Black Tie Optional Dresses: Dessy Collection Lux V-Neck Chiffon Gown

Dessy Collection Lux V-Neck Chiffon Gown (size 10) // I really wanted this gown to work because I love the design, but it’s so revealing, the only picture I could post is this one with my phone in front of my chest. You’ll have to look at it online to see the way it’s designed.

It’s a gorgeous dress, and the color is perfect for a fall wedding. I also like the the slit in the full skirt. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work for me.

Black Tie Optional Dresses: Show Me Your Mumu Milan Mermaid Evening Gown

Black Tie Optional Dresses: Show Me Your Mumu Milan Mermaid Evening Gown

Show Me Your Mumu Milan Mermaid Evening Gown (size 10) // This one is obviously too long, and I’m not a fan of the fit in the top. Even if I didn’t have the chest issue, the straps are cut kind of far in on the sides for an odd fit.

It’s also kind of plain — reminds me too much of a bridesmaid, and I’m not a fan of the mermaid silhouette.

Black Tie Optional Dresses: Social Bridesmaids V-Neck Georgette Gown

Black Tie Optional Dresses: Social Bridesmaids V-Neck Georgette Gown

Social Bridesmaids V-Neck Georgette Gown (size 10) // Another pretty dress that doesn’t quite work for me in the chest area.

I like this a lot, but it would need to be altered to fit me better — if the straps were shortened, it could be nice. I really like the georgette and chiffon fabrics (is there a difference?)

Black Tie Optional Dresses: Hayley Paige Occasions Square Neck Tie Back Crepe Evening Dress

Black Tie Optional Dresses: Hayley Paige Occasions Square Neck Tie Back Crepe Evening Dress

Hayley Paige Occasions Square Neck Tie Back Crepe Evening Dress (size 8) // This one also reminds me too much of a bridesmaid, and it’s plainer than I want. And the chest… gah!

Black Tie Optional Dress: Dessy Collection Sleeveless Crepe Column Gown with Lace

Black Tie Optional Dress: Dessy Collection Sleeveless Crepe Column Gown with Lace

Dessy Collection Sleeveless Crepe Column Gown with Lace (size 8) // I actually really like the fit of this one, but I could barely get it zipped. I would need a size 10, and it would need to be hemmed.

Unfortunately, I have bra issues with the back. It’s all lace, and I’m not even sure what bra I could wear with that.

You may or may not have noticed, but all of these dresses are regular bra-friendly. I have a strapless bra that I like okay, but I’m feeling too old and crotchety to wear one all night. (And that wouldn’t even help with this dress. Sooooo…. it’s out.)

Black Tie Optional Dress: Calvin Klein Embroidered Illusion-Mesh Gown

Black Tie Optional Dress: Calvin Klein Embroidered Illusion-Mesh Gown

Calvin Klein Embroidered Illusion-Mesh Gown (size 8) // This is really pretty, comfortable, and flattering; but it’s overall too long. I know it looks okay in the picture, but it’s too low in the chest and under the arms. If the whole thing could be pulled up, it might work, but the lace is continuous over the shoulder, so there’s no easy way to make that alteration.

Besides that, there’s something about it that reminds me of a nightgown. It’s just not quite what I’m looking for.

Black Tie Optional Dresses: Xscape Mesh Inset & Embroidered Evening Dress

Black Tie Optional Dresses: Xscape Mesh Inset & Embroidered Evening Dress

Black Tie Optional Dresses: Xscape Mesh Inset & Embroidered Evening Dress

Black Tie Optional Dresses: Xscape Mesh Inset & Embroidered Evening Dress

Xscape Mesh Inset & Embroidered Evening Dress (size 8) // Cue angels singing!!!

I absolutely love this dress. It is by far my favorite of the bunch. The fit is perfect, the length is perfect, although the short train in the back is a pain. I love the mesh insets, there are no bra issues, and it’s comfortable. It also doesn’t look at all like a bridesmaid’s dress.

I do think it’s too formal for this occasion, though. If it were a black tie event, it would be perfect, but with that “optional” thrown in there, I think I’d feel overdressed compared to the other women my age.

In fact, I didn’t feel quite right in any of the floor-length dresses, although the red one with the lace back would be my top pick if it weren’t for the bra issue.

I just don’t want to look like I’m trying to be part of the wedding party, ya know? It’s been years since I’ve been on the wedding circuit, and back in those days, I was one of the younger set. These days, I’m one of the old aunts. I’ve definitely noticed the shift in roles at the last two weddings I attended.

All that to say, I want to be appropriate and feel comfortable with my choice of dress, and I think going the cocktail dress route is probably best. Here are the options I’ve tried so far.

Black Tie Optional Dress Try Ons: Fall Cocktail Dresses

Black Tie Optional Dress: Eliza J Lace Three-Quarter Sleeve Sheath Dress

Black Tie Optional Dress: Eliza J Lace Three-Quarter Sleeve Sheath Dress

Eliza J Lace Three-Quarter Sleeve Sheath Dress (size 8) // This dress fits well, but I’m not crazy about the fabric — it looks cheaper than it is. For whatever reason, I just don’t love this one.

Vince Camuto Sequin Cap-Sleeve Shift Dress (size 8) // I really like the design and fit of this one, and the material is kind of fun too. It flatters my hourglass shape without drawing undue attention to the chest area, and I love how the sleeves are cut.

I’m just afraid it’s a little too short for this event, more night club than wedding. What do you think?

I’m also aware that it’s not the most flattering color for me, although I like it, and the metallic mesh sandals go with it perfectly.

Eliza J Floral Lace Fit & Flare Dress (size 8) // This is pretty, but there’s something about it I don’t love. I think it’s the length. The color is gorgeous, though.

Eliza J High Neck Lace Sheath Dress (size 8) // This is very similar to the one above, just with an A-line skirt rather than the fit and flare style. I like this one better, but it fits weird in the back. It kind of bubbles where the keyhole opening is. Even my daughter mentioned it when I tried it on.

The skirt is also a bit longer in the back than the front, which looks odd. I think it’s a combination of my chest taking up an extra inch in the front, and then it’s not very flattering over the rear — it kind of flattens me out back there.

All that to say, it’s going back, but I think it would be a really nice choice for someone with a smaller chest.

Black Tie Optional Dresses: Eliza J V-Neck Lace Sheath Dress

Black Tie Optional Dresses: Eliza J V-Neck Lace Sheath Dress

Black Tie Optional Dresses: Eliza J V-Neck Lace Sheath Dress

Eliza J V-Neck Lace Sheath Dress (size 8) // This one is worthy of consideration, and I think it says “black tie optional dress” better than any of the other cocktail dresses I’ve tried.

The navy lace over the gold satin is really pretty, but the lace cocktail dress thing has been done so much in recent years, I’m kind of over it.

I also feel like it makes my chest look even larger than it is, although overall I think the dress is very flattering. I will say that it’s comfortable, which is a huge plus, so at this point it’s still a contender.

Eliza J Sequined Cap Sleeve Sheath Dress (size 8) // Does anyone remember this dress from last winter??? (See more in THIS POST.)

I was planning to wear it to my husband’s holiday office party last year, but they went with a more casual venue, so I never wore it. I just found it in the basement in one of my fall/winter storage bins, and I’m wondering if it’s the answer to this black tie optional dress conundrum.

In Summary…

I’ve also ordered this scuba crepe sheath to try, but I wanted to get this post up today, so I’ll include that in next week’s try on haul.

I’d also like to try this cowl back ruched sheath in a size 10. I tried the size 8, but couldn’t get it zipped, and it’s since sold out in my size at Nordstrom; but I just found it at Dillard’s, and I’m thinking of ordering it.

But after all of my shopping and try-ons, I’m tempted to wear my own navy sequined cap sleeve sheath and call it a day. I love it, and it fits great (or will if I can drop a few pesky pounds, which I usually do in the fall.) My only concern is the fabric.

With the combination of velvet and sequins, is it too wintery/holiday for an October wedding? Tell me what y’all think.

In fact, tell me what you think of all of the above, and if you’ve been to a black tie optional wedding recently, which style seems the most appropriate for this old aunt?

Shop the Post:

Did you like this 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 an occasional 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!

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
26 Comments

What I Wore: Late Summer Wedding

Greetings and happy hump day! Today I’m sharing what I wore to my nephew’s wedding last weekend.

This is probably the last summer look I’ll be posting to the blog. With school starting next week and August coming to an end, I’m going to be shifting my focus to transitional looks and now-and-later outfits, but I thought it would be fun to share this one last summery look with you since I just wore it.

Plus this dress is actually a nice transition piece — you can easily throw a jacket or cardigan on top and wearing it well into fall.

This is the Vince Camuto crepe sheath that was part of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

It’s a nice quality fabric, fully lined, and I particularly like the criss-cross detailing at the waist. It’s a subtle detail, but super flattering.

I struggled with the sizing on this dress, though. I ended up with a 12, and I typically wear an 8.

I won’t say that doesn’t mess with my psyche, but I know it’s just a number, and it doesn’t affect the other size 8 dresses I have in my closet that still fit perfectly.

Truthfully, I probably really am a size 12. I was wearing 10s and 12s when I was this same weight 25 years ago. Vanity sizing much???

Anyway, my point is, if you’re considering this dress, you will probably need to size up one or two sizes. I also had it tailored at Nordstrom — she shortened the straps about a half inch for a better fit.

In looking at these pictures, she probably could have also taken the skirt in a bit on the sides and maybe shortened it a half-inch or so; but she thought it fit well, so we left it.

This crepe sheath also comes in a classic black and a gorgeous teal teal. If you’re in need of a LBD, this would be a nice option.

For shoes, I wore nude ankle strap sandals with a 3 1/4″ block heel.

I would have preferred a more delicate heel, but I knew this wedding was outside on grass, so I opted for a more practical pair. Plus we ended up dancing for hours, so I was really glad I had the extra stability these shoes provide.

If you’re in the market for a classic pair of ankle strap sandals with a block heel and don’t want to pay Stuart Weitzman prices, Nine West makes a nice under $100 option with a 2 1/2″ heel. (I like the color called light natural leather.)

This style of shoe goes with everything from jeans to dresses, and they’re a closet basic I wouldn’t want to be without.

I kept my accessories simple with a pair of delicate chandelier earrings (old) and a mixed metal cuff bracelet.

I like it with these simple accessories, but you could certainly jazz it up with a contrasting color shoe and some bolder jewelry. You could also pair it with low-heeled pumps and a cardigan or blazer for the office. There are so many options with a solid sheath.

This is pretty much my go-to look for dressy summer occasions. I’ve worn a few longer, flowy, floral dresses lately; but I always feel most confident in a sheath, and I love this bold pink hue.

Outfit Details:

pink sheath // sandals (option) // similar bag (option) // bracelet // similar earrings

Did you like this 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 an occasional 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!

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
21 Comments

Back to School Outfits for Teens (and Moms too!) with American Eagle

When my kids hit the teen years, American Eagle suddenly became their favorite place to shop — especially for jeans.

We can always rely on AE to have a wide range of sizes and on-trend styles, making them the perfect one-stop shop for first day of school outfits and beyond.

You might notice a fresh face in this line-up! My niece was visiting for the weekend, so I invited her to go shopping with us and pick out a back-to-school outfit from American Eagle as well.

Ali goes to college in Florida, so she went for a short-sleeve cinched waist tee and high waist jeggings. I like how she gave the jeans a cuff to make them more of an ankle length style.

The multi-colored resin hoop earrings add a touch of whimsy to her look, and they even came with a pair of studs for her second piercing.

Caroline went with a v-neck tee and high waisted jeggings for her first day of school outfit.

Here in Pennsylvania, it stays warm well into September so the kids will be wearing short sleeves for a while. She’s a longtime fan of American Eagle tees, as they’re super soft and easy to pair with any bottoms.

I particularly like the neckline on this one, and I think the color is so pretty on her. She also picked out gold hoop earrings to finish off her look.

Becca’s style is a bit more sporty than Ali’s and Caroline’s, so she chose this chest stripe crewneck t-shirt along with a pair of distressed high waisted jeggings.

She is very particular about fit and feel, and she has a hard time finding comfortable jeans. She likes these so much, we went back and got her two more in different washes.

David will always wear activewear if given a choice, but when he needs a pair of jeans, American Eagle is where he goes.

Their slim fit is perfect for his tall, lanky frame; and the Ne(X)T Level Flex material is as soft and stretchy as denim gets.

He also picked out this lightweight graphic hoodie tee in a neutral heather grey. I love the way this fits him, as I’m used to seeing him in baggier styles.

David is 5’11” with a slim build, so we went with the medium in this hoodie, and it’s perfect on him.

My favorite thing about American Eagle is how they have jeans for pretty much every body shape. Most of their styles come in short, regular, and long lengths; and they also have low-rise, high-waisted, super high waisted, highest waist, and even curvy styles.

Both Ali and Caroline tend have issues with pants being too big in the waist — but not with these curvy cuts.

Becca prefers their high waisted jeggings, and I stuck with my trusty low-rise skinnnies.

Yes, even I got in on the action. Hey, Moms need back-to-school clothes too! I really like the wash on these jeans, and they feel great on.

I also picked up this oversized chenille cardigan and a ribbed tank top. Both the sweater and tank top are super soft.

The cardigan is designed to be a little longer in the back so you can wear it with leggings and have some rear coverage.

For size reference, I went with my usual small in the cardigan, but I sized up to a large in the tank top so it’s not so tight. My jeans are a size 8 regular.

If you’re looking for back-to-school basics at great prices for your kids or grandkids (or for yourself), don’t forget to check out American Eagle. Now through end of day tomorrow, 8/21/19, all tops are 25 — 50% off; and jeans, joggers, and shorts are BOGO 50% off. Plus shipping and returns are free on jeans!

Shop The Post:

Did you like this 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 an occasional 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!

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
42 Comments

How to Pair Shoes and Handbags That Go Together Without Being Matchy-Matchy

This was one of my most popular posts from last summer, so I decided to republish it today. The outfits are all old, and most items are no longer available, so I rounded up some of my favorite shoe and handbag combos at the end of the post.

I admit, it took me some time to get used to wearing neutrals together that don’t exactly match, but after studying how other bloggers and fashion experts pair their bags and shoes, I realized their trick!

It’s actually far more sophisticated to wear neutrals that don’t match exactly, but there is an art to it. It’s all about keeping the neutrals in the same general tone.

Every color has cool tones and warm tones, and the same with neutrals. I rarely pair a warm neutral bag with a cool neutral shoe (i.e. a cognac bag with grey shoes.) But I will pair a taupe bag with grey shoes. Let me know you some examples.

In the picture below, my sandals are a dove grey leather, and my bag is sort of a blush/beige combo. They aren’t the same color, but they share the same pink/grey undertones.

In this next picture, my shoes are a blush and my bag is off-white.

I feel like that ivory bag can go either way. Here’s a time I wore it with cognac sandals.

And here’s another ivory bag with beige shoes.

I wear a lot of cool tones, so most of my neutrals are greys and taupes — or blush, black, white, etc., so they work together well.

Here I did a cognac bag with gold sandals.

Speaking of gold… whether or not it’s important to match your metals is another question I get a lot. I try to match them if they are bossy — meaning, if they stand out or a big part of the design. If it’s just a ring or a snap or a zipper, no, I don’t worry about it. But if the bag has a big gold logo, or silver links in the straps, I will give it consideration. It all depends on what other options I have that work with the outfit.

Sometimes I will change out my jewelry after I’ve picked a bag because that’s easier than finding anther bag that works. But oftentimes, I will choose a bag based on my jewelry and/or the metal in the shoes.

White shoes are another question mark. They really go with any color bag, but I often wear mine with an oyster or another light neutral unless I’m going for a stark contrast.

Below is an example of a combination I did NOT care for. The bag is warm, and the shoes are cool. I knew when I put them together that I wasn’t thrilled with it, but I didn’t have a lot of options with me at the time. The combination is okay, but it’s not my favorite.

I much prefer that bag with these chestnut color booties. See? Warm and warm. They don’t match, but they go. (Thank you, Clinton and Stacy.)

Nude shoes are tough. They’re usually a warmer tone, but not always. I usually carry my cognac bag or a metallic clutch, or I just go with a contrasting color from the outfit.

A black bag with nude shoes works well if you’re wearing black in your outfit.

It’s also perfectly appropriate to match your bag and shoes. I often do that with black.

Here I did that with blush. The two shades of blush don’t have to be a perfect match — here, the bag is leather and the shoes are suede, but they go together well.

It’s also fun to create a striking contrast sometimes, as I did here with red shoes and a black bag.

And the opposite — black shoes and a red bag. Can’t go wrong with black and red!

But when pairing neutrals, just try to stick to the same undertone (cool vs. warm) and you should be good to go!

Here are some neutral pairings I like that are currently in stock.

ONE // bag, shoes

TWO // bag, shoes

THREE // bag, shoes

FOUR // bag, shoes

FIVE // bag, shoes

Did you like this 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 an occasional 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!

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!