More Fun with Red Jeans: 5 Ways to Wear

I’m always trying to find ways to stretch my wardrobe basics and get more outfits out of those investment pieces, so I had fun playing around with these red jeans one day last week, for a total of 5 ways to wear red jeans.

5 Ways to Wear Red Jeans

I’ve already posted two ways to wear them — first a casual look with a denim jacket, white tee, and white mules; and then a dressier look with a black blazer, leopard sweater, and nude sandals.

And today I have three more.

5 Ways to  Wear Red Jeans

#1. Red Jeans + Black Tee & Leopard Slip-On Sneakers

5 Ways to  Wear Red Jeans: Red Jeans + Black Tee & Leopard Slip-On Sneakers

This pima micro rib cap sleeve tee is going to be a spring and summer staple in my wardrobe, as soon as the weather warms up.

I think it’s so cute and flattering, and it’s highly versatile because it layers easily under just about any completer piece.

It’s currently 25% for a limited time, and for size reference, I have the medium. I definitely recommend sizing up in this one.

These slip-on sneakers were purchased last year, and I’ve worn them a ton since. They’re also 25% off right now.

At first, I was thrown off by the warm tones, but they work really well with the cool undertones in most of my closet. I think it’s because there’s enough black to off-set the warmer tones.

FYI, size down half if ordering these sneakers. I ended up with the 7.5.

I should have shown this with a denim jacket layered on top…

Why do I always think of these outfit possibilities when I’m writing these posts, not when I’m taking pictures???

black tee (25% off) // red jeans // leopard sneakers (25% off) // earrings

#2. Red Jeans + Grey Sweater & Fashion Sneakers

5 Ways to  Wear Red Jeans: Red Jeans + Grey Sweater & Fashion Sneakers

I like how the grey sweater tones down the bright red jeans, and this sweater has the perfect relaxed fit for casual days at home or when we start getting out and about again.

And guess what? This sweater is also 25% off!

Everlane is running an unprecedented, never seen before, site-wide 25% off sale until Friday night!!!

That means the day loafers and day loafer mules are also 25% off. OUCH. (The ouch is for me, since I already bought them… if you’ve been holding out because the price tag seemed a bit steep, now is the time, my friends. Now. is. the. time.)

I recently chopped about an inch off the hem of these jeans, and I like them so much better now. I needed them to show a little more skin in the ankle area.

I like how these sneakers repeat the grey from the sweater and bookend the outfit, and the hint of leopard at the heel is a fun touch as well.

jeans // grey sweater (25% off) // sneakers (20% off) // earrings

#3. Red Jeans + Leopard Top & Black Cardigan

5 Ways to  Wear Red Jeans: Red Jeans + Leopard Top & Black Cardigan

Okay, this look is a little outside of my comfort zone, and I’m not quite sure where I’d wear it… especially right now, while we’re all pretty much quarantined. But isn’t it so cute!?!

Unfortunately, this sweater sold out in the black. Womp… womp… This one might work, though. I actually have it on order.

The leopard blouse I’m wearing is from last sprig. It was a Banana Republic find, and I’ve worn it a lot. This one is a similar style.

I would even wear this outfit just like this when it gets warmer (no sweater needed.) It’s such a cute date night look.

Of course, I could also wear it with that black blazer or a denim jacket.

But I think this black duster really takes the look to a whole new level. What do you think? Would you wear it???

red jeans // similar leopard blouse (30% 0ff) // cardigan (option) // sandals

There are so many fun ways to wear red jeans! By way of reminder, here are the other two ways I’ve styled these red jeans this spring:

#4. Red Jeans + Black Blazer & Leopard Sweater

5 Ways to  Wear Red Jeans: Red Jeans + Black Blazer & Leopard Sweater

And here it is without the blazer, which totally works too.

red jeans // leopard sweater (30% off) // black blazer (40% off) // nude sandals // tote (25% off)

#5. Red Jeans + White Tee & Denim Jacket

5 Ways to Wear Red Jeans: Red Jeans + White Tee & Denim Jacket

red jeans // denim jacket (size S; 30% off) // white tee (size M; 50% off + extra 10% off) // white mules (size up half; 25% off!) // tote (30% off) // sunnies

And I actually just realized I have a bonus look! As I mentioned above, I ended up chopping about an inch off of these jeans after I took all these pictures, and I did a demo on my Insta Story — it’s saved under the highlights.

For that demo, I happened to be wearing the jeans with this look:

#6. Red Jeans + Striped Cardigan & Sneakers

Here’s the before shot…

And here’s after. Much better, yes?

red jeans // grey tee // striped cardigan // white sneakers

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25% off Everlane Sale: My Everlane Spring Favorites

You guys. I could not BELIEVE it when I woke up this morning to find an unprecedented Everlane sale — 25% off sitewide through Friday!!!

Happy Monday, indeed. It almost makes the news of another month of social distancing and isolation seem bearable.

Today I’m going to share a roundup of my Everlane spring favorites, but first…

Your response to yesterday’s post was overwhelming. Thank you so much for the solidarity and for reassuring me once again that we’re all in this together.

I’m feeling a lot better this morning, thanks to you, and also because it’s Monday.

I’ve always said Mondays get a bad rap. I love the fresh start, and having a whole week ahead to accomplish what I need to accomplish. My editorial calendar is full, and I’m eager to get back to work.

If you’re also stuck at home and have been feeling lost and out of sorts, I urge you to treat weekdays differently than weekend days. Get up, shower, put on some makeup.

Create a routine that makes weekdays different than weekends, and stick to it. Don’t neglect your exercise schedule, or create a new one if you don’t have one.

I miss my strength training workouts terribly, and I can’t even run right now due to this stupid hip. So my goal this week is to do Yoga with Adriene every morning, go for a 45-minute walk each day (weather permitting), and to drop and do 10 push-ups at least 3 times throughout the day.

I’ve been doing pretty well with that over the past week, but the days I skip any piece, I definitely feel it… physically and mentally.

I’m also not allowed to sit down and watch TV until my work day is done. That’s nothing new for me, but over the weekend, I found myself watching too much TV. Even though the shows I watch are light, it made me feel like a couch potato and definitely contributed to my funk.

So who’s with me? Let’s harness the power of Monday, and take charge of this week.

And what better way to kick off a new week than with an epic sale?!?

25% off Everlane Sale: My Everlane Spring Favorites

Everlane has never done a site-wide sale before, so this the time to grab any of those items you’ve had your eye on and were hesitant to pull the trigger. Or perhaps you have a few favorites, and you were debating another color? Now is the time to stock up!

I love to support Everlane because it’s a company you can depend on for transparent pricing and ethically produced eco-conscious shoes, bags, and apparel.

Their sizes are a bit inconsistent, so I will do my best to guide you on the items I’ve tried. Also, as far as returns go, I usually use Happy Returns for Everlane because it’s free, and you don’t even have to package them up.

But with so many malls closed right now, you may need to use their mail-in returns, and they make that easy (and right now, it’s free) online.

Okay, so! My Everlane Spring Favorites….

The Soft Cotton V-Neck $40 $50

This is my favorite spring sweater. It’s 100% cotton, and it has a flattering v-neck and a relaxed fit.

It’s on the shorter side and seems to flatter those of us who are shorter and/or short-waisted.

I find this sweater to run true to size; I have a small in both the grey and navy.

Everlane The Cotton V-Neck $15 $20

This tee is thin and soft and has a nice drape. It’s plain and almost resembles your husband’s undershirt, but it’s perfect if that’s what you’re going for. It has a casual, boyish vibe that works for a lot of purposes.

It’s definitely on the thinner side, so I wear it mostly as a layering piece. It also comes in a wide range of colors. Size up in this; I have the medium.

Everlane The Air Scoop-Neck Tee $21 $28

This tee has the same super soft cotton feel as the white v-neck above, but it’s a little bit thicker with a slightly more relaxed fit. It’s also an inch or two shorter.

I think this Burnt Senna color is gorgeous, and it also comes in blue, black, and white. I find this tee to run true to size; I have the small.

Everlane The Pima Micro Rib Cap-Sleeve Tee $22 $30

This tee is made of a stretchy ribbed Pima cotton, and it has a body-con fit. I love the seaming detail up the back and the feminine neckline and sleeves.

It will make a nice layering piece this spring and summer, but it also stands alone nicely. I sized up to a medium in this one.

Everlane The Linen Scoop-Neck Tee $26 $35

This is another Everlane tee I’m liking a lot lately. It’s 100% linen, so a natural fiber and very breathable.

I like the rounded neckline and the easy fit. I sized up to a medium in this one.

Everlane The Day Loafer Mule $108 $145

I’ve already sung the praises of these mules multiple times, but again, they are suuuuper lightweight, and the leather is beautiful. It’s not as soft and supple as some leathers, but it’s beautiful and very durable. I haven’t had any issue getting these marked up.

These shoes are also very comfortable on the foot and easy to walk in.

I have narrow feet and have no problem keeping them on. In fact, I like them so much, I got them in cream and caramel.

I do recommend sizing up, though. Size up half if you have narrow or medium feet, and size up a whole size if you have a wider foot.

Everlane The Day Loafer $116 $165

And these are the loafers the mules above are related to. They have the same lightweight feel, soft but durable leather, and the elastic band around the heel keeps them on the foot without digging into the heel.

I also recommend sizing up half in these. I have the 8.5.

Everlane The Court Sneaker $73 $98

These sneakers are incredibly comfortable on the foot — no socks needed! I love how they feel on, and they have good arch support too.

They have a 100% full-grain leather upper with a sole that’s a blend of natural and recycled rubber that’s 94.2% free of virgin plastic.

Everlane The Day Market Tote $131 $175

This tote probably needs no introduction, but if you need a basic leather tote in a classic style, this is the one to get.

The leather is stiffer than some, but like the loafers above, it’s very durable and wears well.

Everlane Authentic Stretch High-Rise Skinny Button Fly $58 $78

These jeans have a really nice off-black wash, and they’re super thick and soft and stretchy. The material is 77% cotton, 17% modal, 2% elastane, 4% polyester.

I ordered the ankle length to get more of a cropped fit, but they come in ankle, regular, and tall lengths.

They have an 11″ inseam, so that’s quite high, but I find them very comfortable.

They run a bit small; I have the size 29, and right now I’m wearing mostly size 28 in other brands.

Everlane The High-Rise Skinny Jean $51 $68

I’m also really pleased with these skinny jeans! They’ve taken backseat to my new white Madewell pair for the time being, but these are actually a bone color, which is really nice to have as an alternative to the stark white.

They’re very thick and not at all see-through, and they are a bit stiffer than most of my other jeans, but not in a bad way. I think white jeans look best with they’re a little on the stiffer side because they don’t show through as much.

The premium 11 oz Japanese denim is 98% cotton, 2% elastane, so they have good shape retention. Also, the leg opening is 11″ — an inch larger than most of my skinnies, so they read almost like a slim straight.

These jeans also come in black and a couple shades of blue. In fact, here they are in the black. Yes, this is a different pair than the ones shown above with the same sweater.

These also run a bit small; the 29 is the perfect fit for me.

Everlane The Cashmere Scarf $73 $98

This is my all-time favorite scarf. It’s on the thinner side, so you can wear it as a fashion statement or a winter accessory.

I always bring it with me when I travel in the winter because it goes with everything, and it slips easily into my tote if I get warm indoors.

Everlane Cashmere Crew $56 $75

These cashmere crews are usually $99, and they were marked down to $75 last week. Now they’re taking 25% off that!

They come in a myriad of gorgeous colors and neutrals, and they’re a wardrobe basic you will have for years to come. These run TTS; I have the small, but you can size up if you prefer a more relaxed fit.

Everlane Varsity Cardigan $84 $120

I’ve enjoyed wearing this sweater a ton over the past winter. I love wearing a v-neck cardigan buttoned up for a fresh way to wear a cardigan, but you can also wear it open over a tank or cami. I sized up to a medium in this one.

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Kitchen Makeover Reveal

I’ve been promising to post this kitchen makeover reveal for weeks, and I finally decided done is better than perfect, haha! I was planning to get some pro photography and really “do it right,” but as it turns out, my iPhone and a little Lightroom “magic” works just fine.

When we discovered this house (exactly two years ago this month!) there was so much about it I fell in love with. It was everything I ever wanted in a forever home, and then some.

The one major exception was the kitchen — not the layout, but the finishes and decor.

This house was built almost 20 years ago, so the cabinets and countertops reflected that era of earth tones and tuscan decor. It didn’t help that my last house was the same age and that kitchen had a very similar look and feel.

I liked it at the time, but I’d lived with it for 13 years, and I was ready for something fresh and light and airy. I knew when we bought the house that I’d want to do a kitchen makeover some day.

Well, some day arrived last month. With the holidays behind us, I decided it was time to tackle the kitchen project.

It seemed like a good winter project, and my goal was to have it all finished by the time we opened our pool, so we’d be ready in time to host spring/summer get togethers.

First, I’ll show you how it looked before.

Kitchen Before:

This is how we found it when we moved in.

After living here for a year and a half, it looked like this.

Basically all we had done was add counter stools and replace the pendant lights.

Oh, and we painted the entire house (with the exception of the dining room and the guest bedroom) Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray.

I couldn’t wait to replace my black appliances with stainless.

This desk area was not getting used as a desk; rather, it was a place to gather clutter.

Kitchen Progress

After some debate, we decided against a total gut. Instead we would paint the cabinets, replace the countertops and appliances, and add a tile backsplash.

The appliances were the first step in the process, and we decided to go with Bosch for the dishwasher, fridge, double ovens, and microwave.

We knew all along we wanted the same Bosch 800 series dishwasher we had in our last house.

We actually upgraded to a slightly nicer model, and we are beyond thrilled with it. (Pardon the messy counters!)

We also ended up going Bosch for our fridge and double ovens.

I fell in love with the fridge, mostly for the interior layout, and also because it’s one of the only counter depth models tall enough to fit into our space perfectly — see how there is no space between the top of the fridge and the upper cabinet. It’s the little things!

Because the fridge is Bosch and they are side by side, we went with the Bosch double oven so the stainless finish and the handles would match.

I do not love this oven, though. I wish we had upgraded to the 800 series. I thought I wanted knobs, but they are not operational in the traditional sense, and they make the interface a lot more complex than it needs to be.

I almost had them switch them out, but I decided it wasn’t worth the hassle and the restock fee. It works fine; it’s just rather frustrating to operate, but we’re getting used to it.

What we learned from all of our appliance research is, no one brand does them all well. Usually there is at least one weak link, and in Bosch’s case, it’s the double ovens.

I’m thrilled with the fridge and dishwasher, though, and at least the ovens look nice!

We also decided to remove the lower cabinets in the desk area and make it into a drinks station. We found the company that made our existing cabinets, and they were able to find a close match.

They designed the area to include a pull-out microwave and a 24″ French door beverage fridge.

The reason we went with a pull-out microwave is because we wanted to put in a proper vent hood over the cooktop, where our microwave used to be.

The next step in the process was to get the counters installed. We looked at granite, quartz, and marble; but we ended up choosing a gorgeous slab of Zermatt Quartzite.

Quartzite is an all-natural stone mined the same way as marble and granite, but it’s supposed to be the hardest of the three. When sealed properly, it’s very durable.

And also gorgeous! I love the shades of white and the subtle gray veining throughout the Zermatt stone.

The guys who installed my counters also installed my new cooktop. Here is where we went rogue; but this time, I actually did my research.

Rather than sticking with Bosch, we decided to go with a local brand called BlueStar that’s made right here in Pennsylvania.

We wanted an induction cooktop, but they all operate differently. Many seemed very confusing and unintuitive, but this BlueStar model has knobs that actually do what they look like they should do. (Unlike my Bosch ovens, ahem…)

Also, we liked the idea of supporting a local company, so BlueStar it is!

I was afraid I’d regret not going with gas, but I LOVE my BlueStar induction cooktop.

So here’s how it looked after the counters and cooktop went in. At that point, all that was left was the cabinets and the backsplash! But of course, that was a big piece of the project.

I hired two sisters who have made a business out of painting cabinets, in fact, they call themselves the Cabinet Sisters. They were so much fun to have around, and they did a great job. If you’re local, I highly recommend them.

Magda from ReImagine Interiors helped me on this project yet again (she has helped me on all of my big home decor projects so far) and we decided to paint the island Sherwin Williams Iron Ore, and the cabinets Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace.

Here’s now it looked after the island and cabinet boxes were painted.

The painters took the doors to their shop to spray them, so I lived like this for about a week before they came back and put it all back together again.

And here’s how it all came together!

Kitchen After:

I absolutely love the Zermatt Quartzite. I think it’s my favorite part of the whole kitchen, although it needed the cabinets painted to make sense in the space.

As you can see, I decided against messing with the corbels and support columns on the island.

I wish I’d looked into switching them out when I had the chance, when the countertop was removed. We did talk about it, but I just couldn’t visualize it at the time.

Now that they’re painted and the countertops are on, I figure it’s better to leave well enough alone.

We swapped out my counter stools for backless models that slide easily underneath the island when not in use, and everyone loves them.

They’re very comfortable, and it’s so nice not to be fighting with those heavy, high-backed chairs anymore.

Here’s a good view of the paint color on the island. It usually looks more gray and less blue.

We left the wood floors as they are, and I like the way they warm up the space with so many cool hues going on.

We installed under cabinet lighting, which we leave on all the time. Paul has it on a timer, so they turn off overnight, but they’re always on when I get up in the morning.

It’s so welcoming, especially considering I usually get up when it’s still dark out.

And my vent hood is installed, but it’s not hooked up yet. I’m still waiting on the replacement parts, so that’s why it’s so dark under there. Eventually I’ll be able to turn on that light as well.

We also picked out a really pretty white 2×20 polished subway tile with wavy edges for the backsplash.

I didn’t think I wanted subway tile because it seemed too predictable. But in the end, I decided this particular tile was unique it its own way, and it keeps the kitchen neutral and classic, which is something I was trying to achieve, with resale in mind.

We aren’t planning to go anywhere anytime soon, but I tried to pick finishes that look modern but will stand the test of time.

The door handles and knobs are brushed chrome (or brushed nickel?)

I sort of wanted black, but I like how the silver coordinates with the appliances.

Here’s how the drink station turned out. We absolutely love it.

I moved the coffee maker over there, and I put all of our mugs and extra coffee in the cabinet above it. Then I moved the wine glasses over to the cabinet on the far right, over the drink fridge.

Another thing we added was a wine rack in the opening above the new drinks station. You can see the strip of gray paint that needs to be touched up on the right.

I also love having a big, deep sink.

And our new faucet is streamlined and sleek.

So that’s about it! I couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out.

As I’ve shared before, I know it’s a great space, and it was lovely before, but I’ve had brown wood cabinets in every home I’ve ever lived in. It’s so nice to have a bright, white kitchen for a change!

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Coffee Talk: Life Update & Kitchen Makeover Reveal

Coffee Talk + My Daily Looks

Greetings, friends. It’s been a cold, dreary weekend here in PA, which feels rather appropriate considering the newsreel of our lives at the moment.

I just finished skimming my New York Times daily briefing email, and it’s grim to read about what’s happening in New York and New Jersey, two of our neighboring states.

Not that it’s surprising; we knew it was coming, but it’s still sobering to see it all play out so close to us.

Our area is being affected too, just not as severely. Philly is a much smaller city than NYC, and while the surrounding suburbs where I’m located have quite a few cases of COVID-19, it’s nothing like what the bigger metropolitan areas are experiencing.

That said, our hospitals are already struggling to keep up, so a few schools in our area are being set up as medical treatment sites to help ease the burden.

I’d say that’s a pretty clear indicator that our kids will not be going back to school in mid-April, as our governor and school district leaders have suggested. I assumed all along it will be more like 6-8 weeks, and we’re only 2 weeks in, so only time will tell, but it doesn’t look promising.

We also found out yesterday that another major event we were looking forward to will likely be canceled.

My daughter was super excited about a class trip to Quebec in June with her French class. I knew it was unlikely that it would work out, but I was holding out a wee bit of hope for her.

Well, we got word yesterday that the organizers have until April 10th to make a final decision about canceling, or risk losing the money we’ve already put towards the trip. They’re waiting to make the final call, but I cannot imagine that they’ll be able to go ahead with it.

So that makes one more thing in a string of fun plans we had for this spring and summer that are getting pulled out from under us.

The thing is, I can handle missing out on Paris and our Easter family vacation because I know there will be more chances for those things.

But in the life of a 14-year-old, this Quebec class trip is a pretty huge letdown. Especially when it’s piled on top of missing out on her last semester of middle school, with the spring dance and end-of-year awards ceremonies and all the jazz band events she was looking forward to.

She’s never been out of the country before, and she adores her French teacher and was looking forward to experiencing Quebec with friends. And I was excited for her to have that experience.

I will say this, though. She’s handing the news very well. I had warned her this could happen, so it wasn’t such a shock to get the email from her French teacher last night.

When she found it, she just turned her phone to show it to me, with a resigned look on her face as if to say, “And there it is…”

I know these are small disappointments in the grand scheme of life. We are so fortunate to be healthy and working and able to avoid exposure. That’s all that really matters, I get that. But when you add them all up, it’s a lot to process. And it’s harder to accept these things when they affect the kids.

Speaking of the kids, my 20-year-old son moved out of his apartment this week and brought all his stuff home. So that makes the end of his sophomore year of college as he knew it seem more final.

His classes finally resume tomorrow, after a 3-week break while the professors reworked their lesson plans for remote learning. They will finish out the semester online.

He’s still waiting to hear if summer camp will go on this year. It was going to be his last year as a camp counselor, and he was really looking forward to it.

So far, my 17-year-old daughter is the only member of our family who hasn’t had her life turned upside down by this stupid virus.

Her cyber school extended their 3rd quarter to be consistent with the rest of the public schools in our state, so she’s had more time than ever to cook and bake, and she’s been making good use of that time. It’s a wonder we all haven’t gained 20 lbs. over the past two weeks!

The only thing slowing her down is our ability to buy flour. It’s become as scarce as hand sanitizer and toilet paper.

Paul and I are hanging in. He’s able to work from home, but his job has definitely been affected by coronavirus. That has added to his stress level, and he doesn’t do stress well.

In fact, his diverticulitis might be flaring up, which is exactly what we do not need right now. I’m praying it calms down without any need for medical intervention.

As for me, my mood is pretty much directly affected by the weather.

On nice days, I feel like I can handle this new normal we find ourselves living in. I enjoy long walks in the neighborhood, and sitting in my backyard, and cooking dinners in my newly updated kitchen with sunshine pouring through the back windows.

I can bury myself in work to keep from getting bored, and I’m the one doing the grocery runs and errands, which helps me stay in touch with the world out there.

But when the rainy, dreary weather returns, I start to feel despondent and unmotivated, and the news reel becomes much harder to take in stride. I know that’s normal, and I’m so grateful for the nice days we’ve had.

And I’m beyond grateful that our family can stay out of harm’s way for the most part.

I know many are reading along who are working on the frontlines in some capacity, or have loved ones in those positions, and you have much bigger fears and frustrations than canceled trips and the inability to find flour. I see you, and I thank you. 

When I sit down to write these Coffee Talks, I usually go wherever my fingers take me. They’re rarely planned out, and I didn’t plan for this one to be quite so dark.

You can probably tell by the title that I was planning to share some more pictures of my kitchen today, but now that seems rather incongruous to the rest of this post. I’m not sure even I can make that segue gracefully… and I’m pretty good with random segues!

I’d been holding out on sharing my final kitchen reveal until Alison could come and take professional pictures, and of course I wanted that wine rack touched up where the paint got pulled off.

At this point, there’s no telling when either will happen, so I decided to just take a bunch of iPhone pictures and share it that way.

But this post is long, and I’d rather let the kitchen post stand alone so I can reference it in the future without having it overshadowed by #coronadiaries.

Some day, I think I’ll be glad I have these posts chronicling our journey through these uncharted waters, but today, I kind of hate to put this out there. It feels very negative to me, and I don’t like to put negativity out there.

I’m tempted to save it for posterity and start over after our church services this morning. I’m sure I’ll be looking at the world through a different lens after that.

Our pastor has taken to doing worship services on Zoom, which is definitely interesting! It’s not the same as gathering together, but it’s amazing how hearing his voice delivering the message brings a sense of normalcy and comfort through the computer screen.

How about this? I’ll put this out there, and trust you all to be gracious. If I sound like I’m ungrateful or complaining, please know that I realize how good we have it. I really do. Some days are just harder than others.

Then I’ll come back this afternoon and put up another post with my kitchen reveal, before & after pictures, etc.

I’m sure by then, I’ll be feeling more like my optimistic self.


What to Wear for Video Conferences

What to wear for video conferences is a request I’ve been getting a lot lately, as so many more people are finding themselves working remotely as we navigate this new reality of living with a pandemic.

One reader wrote in: “As many of us now start to work from home, joining conference calls, and for me, teaching from home, can you give us ideas on what to wear? Do colors matter? Do we wear jewelry? Can you recommend outfits?”

Why, yes. Yes, I can!

What to Wear for Video Conferences

My husband has been working from home for the past two weeks, hosting many conference calls throughout the day, and he’s got himself fixed up quite nicely in our basement. He has some general tips for looking your best on video calls. (HINT: Lighting is KEY!)

And then I’ve done some Google-research to make sure I’m giving you the best advice for what to wear for video conferences.

5 Tips for Looking Your Best on Video

#1. Good Lighting Trumps All

Out of all of these tips, good lighting is the most important part to looking good on video. You want to be well lit, but from the right direction.

Try not to sit with a window directly behind you — unless you have enough light in front, you will be backlit, which makes your face look dark on screen. Also avoid fluorescent lights and overhead lights, as they create dark under-eye shadows.

Instead, you want be sure to get some flattering light on your face. Daylight can be great, if you have the set-up for it, but don’t rule out lamps or other lights you may have sitting around the house.

You can always set up two lights, one on either the side of your computer. They should be just above your eye line and about 3 feet apart.

Or, if you will be doing a lot of video calls over the next few months, you may want to invest in a proper light. I have a DivaRing Light that I purchased from Amazon a few years ago that I use for my Facebook Lives.

How to Look Your Best for Video Conferences

(I am using my smartphone as my camera here, not my laptop, which I have on my lap to refer to during my video presentation.)

Even though it appears that I have a window behind me, I always position myself so that the camera is angled towards the bookcase and the wall behind me, not the window. Because I have the light of the DivaRing Light to balance the light coming in the windows, it works.

You don’t have to place your camera (in my case, a smartphone) inside the ring either. I have used this light beside my desk to shine more light on my face when using my iMac for video calls.

#2. Position Your Camera

Position your camera (or the camera lens of your computer) so that it’s just above your eye line, so it’s pointing down at you, ever so slightly — don’t go overboard, that looks awkward too.

My iMac is situated this way already, but if you’re using a laptop, you may need to set it up on a bunch of books or a box to raise the height of the camera to just above eye level.

Just be sure the camera is not below you, pointing up at your chin. It’s not flattering, and it’s unprofessional too.

(I can see in my pictures that I could probably elevate my smartphone camera a bit more. Fortunately it’s on a stand that can be raised up a little higher. I’ll try that for my next Facebook Live.)

Also, make sure your face and body take up the space on the screen, not the background. So basically, you want to sit close enough that you fill the screen, but not so close that it’s uncomfortable for those watching you.

How to Look Your Best for Video Conferences

Your head should be at the top of the frame, not in the middle with a bunch of space above your head.

And beware of slouching. The tendency is to sit up nice and tall when testing out your position on the camera, but when you get to talking and looking down at notes during the call, you will end up reverting to your normal posture, so you want to account for that when positioning your camera.

The image above is a screenshot from one of my Facebook Lives, and I’m positioned pretty well in that frame.

#3. Be Aware Of Your Background

Whether you have a home office or you’re setting up your laptop in a communal living space, try to situate yourself with a personal but professional background such as a bookcase or simple wall.

Clean up any clutter or visuals that may detract from your professional appearance, and pay attention to what is (or could be) happening behind you that may be distracting to the other members on the call.

How to Look Your Best for Video Conferences

We’ve all seen the videos circulating the Web of men (or women) on a conference call while the kids are opening the door behind them and causing a ruckus. Our goal here is NOT to go viral.

For example, my husband had to adjust his setup in our basement when he realized the kids were visible coming down the steps. He had it set up that way so he could take advantage of the natural light coming in our sliding doors. (It’s a walk-out basement.)

He ended up turning around and using some studio lights to create the environment he wanted.

It’s a good idea to do a test run before your call so you can make any necessary adjustments.

#4. Dress for Work

I’ll get into specifics about what to wear (and what NOT to wear) for video conferences in the next section, but your attire should be similar to what you’d wear to work or the office on any ordinary day.

What to Wear for Video Conferences

If you’re a teacher, dress as you would for the classroom. If you typically work in an office, dress as you normally would for an in-office meeting. You get the idea.

You can take advantage of the fact that the camera can’t see below your waist by wearing comfortable bottoms and shoes, but your top half should look professional and put-together.

#5. Wear Appropriate Makeup 

The camera tends to wash people out, so you may need more blush or foundation than you normally wear. Just don’t go overboard with it.

Again, it’s best to test it out before your call. Record yourself talking for a few minutes, and be sure you look alive, but not overdone.

How to Look Your Best for Video Conferences

Okay, so now that we know how to set up our computer/smartphone for video conferencing, let’s talk about what to wear!

What to Wear for Video Conferences

#1. Choose an outfit that is appropriate for your work environment.

This basically reiterates #4 from the list above, but you want to wear something appropriate for your typical office or work environment.

#2. Choose clothing that isn’t too tight or too oversized (or too revealing… duh!)

Make sure the clothes you’re wearing don’t bunch up, gape, or reveal too much cleavage once you sit down.

If a sweater is too tight, it will create unflattering lumps and bumps when sitting, but if it’s too loose and flowy, it will drape and add visual weight.

Instead, choose pieces that have some structure and skim the body without clinging.

And consider adding a completer piece — this will help you look polished and put together.

A structured jacket is always a good idea for more professional fields, or if you’re a teacher, consider a cardigan or denim jacket.

#3. Wear colors that flatter you.

This should probably go without saying, but avoid colors that tend to wash you out or don’t flatter your skin tone.

Also avoid colors that are pale or close to your natural skin tone, as they can wash you out on camera, and you run the risk of looking nekkid.

A medium shade of blue or green is almost always a safe bet, and I also like the light pink I was wearing in the Facebook Live screenshot below.

What to Wear for Video Conferences

Don’t rule out a flattering neutral. Just be sure, if wearing neutrals, that they don’t blend into the background.

The grey sweater I’m wearing in the photo with point #2 fits well, but it isn’t my best color, and it also blends into the wall behind me. A bolder color would be more flattering.

#4. Patterns can be tricky. 

There are more don’ts here than dos.

Stripes and checks, especially the smaller scale prints, can blur and be a distraction on-camera. Large patterns can also be distracting, as they tend to dominate and take attention away from your face.

In this Facebook Live screenshot from above, I’m wearing high contrast stripes, and you can see how they would be distracting.

What NOT to Wear for Video Conferences

When doing Facebook Lives, I wear tops that I want people to notice because I’m usually linking to them. But if your shirt is not the topic of your video conference, it’s best to wear something that isn’t as overwhelming in the screen.

If in doubt, wearing solids is best.

#5. Consider accessories carefully.

Wear jewelry that is simple and small or medium-sized, depending on your personal style.

Big, shiny statement jewelry can be distracting, but you definitely want to wear something that reflects your personality and helps complete your outfit.

Earrings and a necklace are probably all that will show, but if you’ll be wearing headphones, you can eliminate earrings altogether.

Make sure that whatever jewelry you choose does not reflect, jingle, or sparkle — that’s distracting too.

I hope that helps!

Outfit Inspiration for Video Calls

Here are some Nordstrom Looks I created with some examples of outfits for video conferences. I try to add to these weekly, so be sure to bookmark the page and check back on the regular.

#1. Comfy Cardigan

I’m envisioning this outfit for the teachers among us or those with a more casual work environment.

#2. Floral Blouse

Even though this is a print, it’s a nice medium scale print that shouldn’t be too distracting on video. See more of this blouse in yesterday’s Try-On Haul.

#3. Solids

I’m always saying how much I love this blouse for work wear, and it’s great for video conferencing, especially in this solid navy.

The cardigan comes in grey, pink, and black, and any would work well over the navy blouse, depending on your skintone… yes, even black!

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Things I’ve Worn That Are On Sale + A Few Try-Ons

Happy Friday, friends! We made it through another week!

I realize different states are taking different approaches to this situation, and some of us are in higher risk areas than others. Where I am here in Pennsylvania, we have pretty much been on lockdown for two full weeks at this point.

While the regulations became stricter over that time, the initial recommendations were the same. They are just enforcing them now. That means we are only allowed to go out for food or pharmacy, and only essential businesses remain open.

Fortunately, my entire family is able to do school or work from home, so while we have some moments of boredom and inconvenience and miss getting together with friends, our day to day hasn’t been terribly affected.

I’m always curious to hear from people in other areas of the country (and the world.) What’s it like where you are right now???

Meanwhile, I’m trying to keep things here on the blog as normal as possible.

I usually post a try-on haul on Fridays, but I’m still waiting on a lot of orders to come in due to delays in shipping, so I’ll share what I have, but I’ll also share some of my spring wardrobe favorites that are on sale right now. There are a lot!

A Few Try-Ons

I’ve got a few new items to share with you — mostly from Nordstrom and Everlane. As always, links and descriptions are below the pictures.

For size reference, I’m 5’5″ and hanging out around 135 lbs. at the moment after losing 7-8 pounds over the past 3 months, thanks to intermittent fasting. When I say something is TTS (true to size) that means a small in tops, a 6 or 28 in pants and jeans, and a 6 in dresses. I also consider a size 8 my true shoe size, but I often have to size up or down, depending on the brand.

Everlane The Linen Scoop-Neck Tee (size M) // This linen scoop neck tee is a simple, classic piece that you can wear alone with fun accessories or layer under jackets/cardigans/etc. It has a traditional fit with a really nice drape and a versatile 25″ length. It’s 100% linen, so you should wash in cold water and lay flat to dry.

I ordered this in my usual small, but it was waaaay too snug, so I exchanged for the medium, and it fits perfectly. I definitely recommend sizing up if ordering. It also comes in black, white, and a pretty sage green.

VERDICT: Keeping

also wearing: Madewell 10″ High-Rise Skinny Crop Jeans in Pure White: Button-Front Edition (TTS; also on sale) with Marc Fisher Ltd Fianna Sandals

Sanctuary Enchanted Floral Blouse (size S) // This adorable top can be worn on or off the shoulder for an easy desk to dinner look… once things get back to normal.

For now, this would make a cute top for those of you on Zoom meetings or teaching classes online. And what the heck, I may even throw it on for a date-night-at-home on the deck one night this spring, when our weather warms up.

It’s 40% off at Nordstrom and runs TTS.

VERDICT: Keeping

also wearing: Madewell 10″ High-Rise Skinny Crop Jeans in Pure White: Button-Front Edition (TTS) with Sam Edelman Tesma Wedge Slide Sandals (TTS)

Veronica Beard Back Zip Scuba Pants (size 8) // I almost didn’t share these because they are ridiculously expensive, but I do have readers that wear Veronica Beard clothing, and these are one of her most iconic pieces. If you have no need for $295 pants, keep scrolling.

I have heard so many good things about these pants, and I’ve been curious about them for a while, but they’re always excluded from every sale, so I never tried them. Last week when Nordstrom went 25% off sitewide, these were included, and curiosity got the best of me.

When they arrived, I was surprised by how thin they are. I was expecting a thicker fabric because of the scuba in the title, but they’re actually quite thin. They are also rather short, with a 25″ inseam, but I have to admit, they do have an amazing fit and feel. They mold you in all the right places, and I can see how they would be super versatile. Unfortunately, the size 8 is a little too snug for me. No vanity sizing here!

I can zip them (they have a hidden zipper in the back) but they look pretty body-con. I don’t think they’re supposed to fit this way. Even at 25% off, they’re an investment, but I can see how they would be a wardrobe staple for many years. I’m tempted to see if Nordstrom will honor the sale price if I re-order the 10. Or I may hold onto them and exchange in-store when the malls re-open in a few weeks (months?)

At any rate, if you have the budget and the lifestyle for these pants, they are really good. But size UP!

VERDICT: undecided

also wearing: LOFT Daisy Cap Sleeve Mixed Media Tee (TTS) with Steve Madden Honey Heeled Sandals

Caslon Cotton Tank (size S) // I ordered this to have something easy to wear under cardigans.

T-shirts under cardigans annoy me because the sleeves get bunchy, and neckline never lays right. Plus it’s just more slimming to wear a body-con top under a cardigan, so this tank is both body-con and sleeveless. However, it’s quite long, so it bunches up when I place it where I want it on my hips, and it’s just kind of boobalicious.

Here’s how it looks under the cardigan…

And here’s a t-shirt, for comparison…

I dunno… thoughts?

also wearing: Goodthreads Mid-Gauge Stretch Hooded Longline Cardigan (cozy, comfy, and TTS) with AG Farrah Skinny Ankle Jeans (TTS) and Eileen Fisher Lee Espadrille Flats (size up half)

PJ Salvage Feelin’ Good Graphic Tee (size S) // This tee is really cute, but it’s very thin. It’s also soft and comfy and a nice easy length with deep side slits.

It’s meant to be a pajama top, and for that, it’s perfect. I will wear this all summer long, with shorts or long pajama bottoms. It runs a little big; I have plenty of room in the size small

VERDICT: keeping

Okay, that’s all I’ve got for try-ons!

Things I’ve Worn That Are On Sale

Pretty much everything I own is on sale, lol! I’ll try to feature the most versatile pieces that I think you’ll be interested in.

In this section, I ended up introducing the items before showing the the pictures, so the links are actually above the pictures. I don’t know why… it’s just how the post flowed.

Nordstrom has their annual Spring Sale going on! You can save up to 40% on select items throughout the store, plus they’re price matching the amazing sales going on elsewhere around the Web.

AND to encourage people to shop online, they are running a Bonus Points Event online only. Nordy Club members earn 5 points for every dollar spent, and Nordstrom cardholders earn 10 points through March 29th.

My Sam Edelman Tesma slides are 25% off…

I also have the snake print, which I love.

Oh, and these AG Farrah jeans are on sale too! They’re 40% off at Nordstrom, but sizes are limited. They’re 25% off at Shopbop.

These AG Farrah jeans are also on sale at Nordstrom; in fact, almost all of their AG Farrah styles are on sale.

My Eileen Fisher Lee Espadrille flats are 20% off right now. These are super comfortable, and they’re also very easy to walk in. I recommend sizing up half in these; I have the 8.5.

Eileen Fisher Lee Espadrille Flats

And my Marc Fisher Ltd Fianna Sandals are also on sale. Another pair of super comfortable shoes that you can walk easily in because of the smooth, soft, wide straps. They’re TTS; I have the 8.

And these Vince Camuto Marybell Platform Wedge Sandals are 30% off. They’re TTS; I have the 8.

This cozy Vince sweater that I’ve worn at least once a week for the past 6-7 months is 40% off again. It’s one of my most worn pieces from the #NSale last summer. It also comes in a really pretty blue, and it’s TTS; I have the small. Oddly, this sweater is also at Nordstrom Rack and on an even better sale, but only size Large is left.

The Rag & Bone Vee Tee that was a clear standout in my White T-Shirt Reviews a few weeks ago is 25% off. It also comes in grey and black, and I recommend sizing up one from your normal; I have the medium.

And the AllSaints v-neck is 25% off as well. I kept the grey, but the white is good too.

The Vince snake print slip-ons are 25% off, as are the Paige cargo joggers I wore so much last spring/summer/fall. I can’t wait to dig them out again!

Size down in both. I had the cargo joggers in 28 (and that was before I lost weight; I would order a 27 now) and I also had to size down to a 7.5 in these sneakers.

And my go-to denim jacket is also 25% off! It’s TTS; I have the small.

J.Crew has 25% off full-price styles and 40% off warm weather picks, and Talbots has another 40% off sale going on with free shipping (but a $5 handling fee for single item orders.)

The Going Out blazer I featured yesterday is 25% off, and the Talbots leopard sweater is 40% off.

This sweater is also really cute with white jeans.

J.Crew has brought this popular linen rolled cuff t-shirt back this year, and it’s currently 40% off with code SHOPNOW.

I have the navy in a size medium from last year, so I would say to size up if in between. I’ve ordered the grey in a size small to compare, since I’ve lost weight since last summer.

Here’s another Talbots top that is really cute for spring. I styled this stripe cutout back top with blue jeans and a yellow utility jacket for a blog post earlier in the week, but I wanted to show you how versatile it is.

I styled it here with white jeans and the same neutral loafers.

And here with off-black jeans (restocked!!!) and white loafer mules. Of course, both of these looks would be improved with the addition of a completer piece — I’d put a blue jean jacket over either of these looks, or of course the yellow utility jacket.

Madewell is doing 30% off smile worthy styles with code HAPPYPLACE, and an extra 30% off sale styles.

My 10″ High-Rise Skinny Crop Jeans are included.

And so is this dusty pink pullover sweater. It’s TTS; I have the small.

Oh, and my Tory Burch Edie ballet flats are included in the Tory Burch Spring Event! I recommend sizing up half in these; I have the 8.5.

See all my picks from the Tory Burch Spring Event HERE.

Finally, LOFT is doing 40% off plus free shipping with code COMFY! I’ve placed a few orders, but nothing has arrived yet.

That includes this pretty cap sleeve blouse and chewed hem skinny crop jeans I styled a few days ago. (The top is TTS, but size down in the jeans. I’m wearing a 6 and need the 4.)

And also this really cute jumpsuit. Size down; I needed the 4.

See my LOFT Favorites HERE.

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photos: Alison Cornell


Another Fun Way to Wear Red Jeans

Last week I posted a casual way to wear red jeans, and I wanted to follow that up with another red jeans outfit that’s a little dressier.

You may not have anywhere to wear this type of outfit right now, but these are all wardrobe basics that can be mixed and matched in various ways, and classic pieces that you can have in your closet for many years.

I’m actually most excited about this black blazer.

I’ve been on the hunt for a versatile black blazer for ages… years, really. I’ve had a couple that I eventually passed on because they weren’t quite right, but I think I finally found that elusive unicorn!

This is the J.Crew “Going Out Blazer” in a stretch twill, and the quality is excellent. Read the reviews — they are fantastic.

It’s fully lined, and the lining is done right. The last blazer I thought I loved had a wonky lining that showed below the hem of the blazer. Friends, that’s a #nobueno.

I love how this blazer has no lapels, and the 3/4 sleeves are fun. You can cuff them, as I did here, or wear them plain.

It has a slim fit and a clean, open front (no buttons.) This keeps it from being too businesslike, and you can dress it up or down. Wear it with a dress or blue jeans or anything in between… like red jeans and a leopard sweater!

Best of all, this blazer is currently 40% off with code SHOPNOW, and shipping is free for J.Crew Rewards members.

It also comes in navy, red, and grey; and I have the 6, for reference.

These high rise ankle fray skinny jeans are 25% off at Bloomingdale’s, and they run true to size. They’re also made in the USA, which is awesome!

They have a 10.25″ rise and a 27.5″ inseam, and I keep meaning to chop off about an inch so they’re closer to a 26.5″ inseam, which looks more modern to my eye. This length works fine with these shoes, though.

I realize they’re still pretty spendy for red jeans, so I rounded up some other options at the end of this post.

This leopard sweater is the same one I paired with black jeans and loafers earlier this week. I just love the fit, the shape of the v-neck, and the elbow-length sleeves. So flattering!

It’s made of a super soft fine gauge cotton/rayon knit, and it feels really nice on.

I’m wearing the small, but I almost could use an XS. I’m actually hoping it takes up a little bit in the wash.

And these sandals are a new addition this spring. I like them so much, I have them in snake print as well. They’re very comfortable to walk in, and actually stay on my foot really well.

I did size down half for my narrow feet, but they’re TTS if you have medium or wide feet.

I kept my jewelry classic and understated. I figure the red jeans are loud enough, so I wanted the rest of the outfit to support them, rather than compete.

A 3/4 sleeve definitely calls for a bracelet or two, so I wore this textured gold bangle.

I also wore my Anna Beck pendant and mixed metal charm hoop earrings, and my taupe Everlane tote is almost a perfect match for these croc embossed wedge sandals!

This outfit is definitely one you can play around with. Swap out the blazer for a cardigan for a more relaxed look, or a denim jacket would dress it down even more.

You can wear loafers or sneakers in lieu of the wedge sandals; and if the red jeans are outside of your comfort zone, black would be super chic, and blue jeans could totally work too.

Outfit Details:

blazer // leopard sweater // red jeans // wedge sandals // tote // earrings // necklace // bracelet

Shop Red Jeans:

For The Pinners…

A Fun Way to Wear Red Jeans

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photos: Alison Cornell


Mother-Daughter Spring Looks

Happy hump day, friends! C is joining me today to share some casual spring looks.

I’ve been holding onto these pictures for a couple of weeks. It’s hard to believe we shot these looks before we realized how crazy things were going to get in the world.

These were originally going to be “Spring Break Looks,” but maybe some of you working from home teleconferencing or teaching classes online are looking for a few spring tops or casual dresses to add to your new work-from-home wardrobe.

I’ll start with C’s outfit. She loves wearing dresses in spring and summer, so she picked out this jersey knit midi dress.

I love the smocking at the waist and the subtle ruffle details in the skirt. It’s such an easy breezy spring/summer look.

Knowing her, this dress will be on constant repeat all summer long. She can wear it around the house as well as to church or at the beach . . . hopefully we will get to the beach at some point this summer!

I like how it has thicker straps, keeping it regular bra-friendly.

For size reference, C is 5’6″ and typically wears an XS. This dress runs true to size, and fits her perfectly in the XS. It also comes in black.

Of course, it will be a while before it’s warm enough for a sleeveless dress around here, so she threw a denim jacket on top.

We actually decided to show it with both a blue and a white denim jacket.

The white jacket is a little dressier, and I like the crisp combo of navy and white with her neutral sandals.

But it’s also cute with a blue jean jacket too. This look has a slightly more casual vibe.

She’s also a big fan of these Circus by Sam Edelman sandals. She says they have a bit of padding in the footbed, and they stay on her feet easily when she walks.

My floral blouse is from LOFT, and I styled it two ways for this post as well. I love this large scale daisy print grounded on black.

I’ve talked before about how to choose a floral that isn’t frumpy, and I think this one is really fresh and modern.

It has a woven front and soft knit back, with a boatneck and cap sleeves, and it’s a nice versatile length at 25″. I felt like it looked a little sloppy left out, so I gave it a front tuck.

This blouse runs true to size, and today it’s 40% off + free shipping with code SMILE!

For this first look, I paired the blouse with chewed hem cropped white skinny jeans, also from LOFT. These are also 40% off + free shipping!

They aren’t see-through, they have the extra slimming and stretchy pockets, and the chewed hem is a fun detail. These jeans have a 10 1/4″ rise with a 26 1/2″ inseam.

I like these a lot, but I think I need to size down. I’m wearing the 6. They come in regular, petite, plus, and tall sizes; and they’re available in both modern and curvy fit!

I kept this look casual with gold Tory Burch Miller sandals.

These sandals are part of the Tory Burch Spring Event, where you can save up to 30% off with qualifying orders!

See all my Tory Burch sale favorites HERE.

I also added these filigree drop earrings. They’re silver, as is my bracelet, but the gold sandals are light enough that they don’t really clash.

I also wanted to show this blouse dressed up a bit with black crop straight jeans and strappy sandals for more of a date night look.

These are the Mother Insider crop jeans that I picked up during the Shopbop sale. I can’t find them anywhere on sale now, but I’ll keep an eye on them.

I styled these jeans last fall for a winter look, but they’re also really cute with strappy sandals for spring and summer. They have a 10″ rise and a 25.5″ inseam with a bit of a flared leg.

These sandals are by Steve Madden, so they’re pretty affordable.

I love the chunky wood grained heel, and the straps are soft and comfortable against the foot. They’re very easy to walk in too.

Here’s another closer shot of the blouse, this time with the black jeans. I should have thrown a denim jacket on top to show this look with a completer piece.

I think it would look great with white or blue denim, or even a lightweight cardigan. I’ve got this one on order in the black. I’ll let you know how I like it!

I can’t wait until I have the occasion to wear a look like this again. The second our restaurants open up again, Paul and I are going OUT!

Meanwhile, this top is perfect for those of you who are looking for nice tops for working from home and teleconferencing. Throw it on with your favorite joggers, and no one will be any the wiser!

Shop the Post:

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photos: Alison Cornell


March Favorites 2020

Every month I like to do a roundup of new finds and old favorites I’m particularly loving right now, so as we enter this last week of March, I’m sharing some of the spring wardrobe items and beauty products I’ve been enjoying while we are sheltering in place.

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

We’re well into week two of lockdown orders from our governor, and even this self-proclaimed homebody is getting restless. Yesterday we went for a drive, and it was nice to just get out of the house for a bit, even though it was raining.

I’m sure it’s no surprise that I’m turning to comfy clothes and some of my favorite pampering beauty products to get through these long, dreary days. Maybe some of these will resonate with you too!

March Favorites 2020

one // My current favorites for soft and cozy (loungewear vs. exercise) are the Beyond Yoga leggings I picked up a while back, but they sold out last weekend during the Nordstrom sale, so I’m linking you to the Alo high waist lounge leggings.

I have tried these, and they are the definition of indulgence. They are about the softest material I’ve ever touched, and they’re thick and stretchy and stay in place. They feel so good on. I didn’t keep them because at the time, I was looking for exercise leggings, not loungewear, but now I wish I had!

I’ve also recently ordered the Lululemon Align jogger, and I’m interested to try the Everlane Perform Legging — currently 2 for $100. For a more budget-friendly option, I recommend the Core 10 leggings from Amazon.

The sneakers I’m wearing here are the Everlane trainers I picked up last fall. This exact pair sold out, but this one is similar.

two // Speaking of Everlane, these mules are not new to any of you regulars, but I would be remiss if I didn’t include them in this post because I wear them so much.

In fact, I like my white pair so much, I recently added the caramel color, and it is GORGEOUS. I realize not everyone cares for white shoes, but the caramel is pretty much the perfect neutral. It will go with everything this spring and summer, and into fall when we are hopefully getting out and about more.

These shoes are super lightweight, and the leather is really soft. They easily stay on my narrow feet when I walk. I can’t say enough good things about them.

three // I’ve been wearing these two-in-one charm hoop earrings from Talbots almost non-stop.

Here’s the thing about me and jewelry. I usually take my jewelry off in the bathroom in the evening when I go up to take off my makeup. My dresser, where I store my jewelry, is on the far corner of our master bedroom; and my master bedroom is about the size of an entire NYC apartment.

I’m too lazy to walk it over, so it usually stays on my vanity all night, and when I go in to put on makeup the next morning, I usually just pick up whatever jewelry is sitting there and put it back on. These are super easy to wear and go with everything, so I just kept wearing them.

Talbots is currently doing a buy one, get one 50% off sale, with free shipping on 2+ items. I also really like the textured gold bangle I got with these earrings, if you’re looking for a 2nd piece for the BOGO.

See my Talbots post for more BOGO shopping inspiration!

four // This Everlane soft cotton v-neck sweater is on constant repeat these days. I like it so much, I have it in grey and navy.

This sweater is on the shorter side, and it has a relaxed fit that some have described as boxy. I love the length, and I think it has such a nice fit and feel, but it seems like those of us who are shorter and/or shorter waisted like it best.

It’s 100% cotton, and because it’s Everlane, you can read all about the factory where it’s made and feel confident you’re buying a quality garment that is eco-friendly and ethically produced.

Best of all, it’s just $50! It runs TTS; I have the small.

five // This pro-collagen cleansing balm is a treat every night when I go to take off my makeup. Not only does it get rid of all the makeup and grime from the day, but it smells heavenly.

It comes with a cotton cleansing cloth, and I’ve been hoarding collecting them so I have a good supply now. I try to use a clean one every night.

Here’s how I use it:

I apply a dab of the cleansing balm to my face while it’s still dry and massage it into my face and neck. Meanwhile, I’m soaking the washcloth in hot water.

Once the cleanser is applied, I wring out the cloth, and lay it over my entire face and press it into my skin for a few seconds, letting the heat and moisture from the cloth loosen up the product and open up my pores. This is seriously the highlight of my day. I try to take my time and just breathe in the scent of the product and enjoy the warmth of the damp cloth.

Then I wipe it all off, rinsing and wringing out the cloth a few times, until all my makeup is removed and my skin feels clean and soft.

You can even use this balm as a facial mask. Here are the directions from the website: Simply apply a teaspoon-sized amount to your face, neck and décolletage, massaging gently in with your fingertips. Relax for 10 minutes, then hold a warm, damp cleansing cloth over your skin. Gently wipe away.

six (also at Nordstrom) // This is another sweater I’ve shared a ton already. On milder days when I want to look half-way decent, I either go for this or one of the two Everlane cotton v-necks.

I wish I had a picture of it with white or grey jeans, because it looks great with those too!

It’s not as soft as the Everlane sweater, but it has such pretty details and holds its shape really well. Right now it’s 40% off the sale price! It runs TTS; I have the small.

seven // CND Winter Glow is one of my favorite nail colors for summer. It’s a gorgeous pale chalky pink that goes with everything.

I’m so fortunate my daughter has an LED nail lamp and all the supplies, so she’s been able to keep me in my Shellac manicures while we’re homebound. If you don’t have that, the Vinylux is a regular polish you can take off with regular nail polish remover.

eight // I’ve been living in this cozy cardigan lately. It’s just so comfy and soft.

I put it on over my pajamas in the mornings almost every morning in the wintertime, but lately I’ve also been wearing it over a tank top with yoga pants on some of these long days at home.

I wish I’d bought another during the Nordstrom Sale last weekend, but we were getting some unseasonably warm weather at the time, and I didn’t think I’d be wearing them much longer. Well, I was wrong about that! It’s cold and dank and dreary here in PA, and I wouldn’t mind having another color to alternate.

This cardigan runs TTS, or you can size up for more wiggle room. I actually have it in the medium, and I like it that way because I can wear it over long sleeves.

nine // You guys!!! RUN!!! These jeans are on sale again! WOOT!!!! They’re on sale and then 40% off that, which means they’re probably going to be discontinued.

They are such good jeans, if you want white cropped jeans that aren’t see-through. They do have a very high rise and a button-fly, so you have to be okay with that.

They also come in petite and tall sizes, and I took my regular size 28, but you may want to size up if in between.

If you already bought them for full price, hop on live chat and see if you can get a price adjustment.

ten // These sneakers are my new favorites. They’re spendy, but the quality is there, and they are soooo comfortable. They have a ton of cushion and support and feel soft against the foot.

Plus, I just love the styling. I’ve been wearing them pretty much every other day since I got them.

I realize no one is really seeing my feet right now, but they’re comfy, and I feel cute and stylish when I wear them. Hey, whatever it takes to keep our spirits up during this crazy time!

Ohhh, and they’ve been restocked and are 20% off again! WOOT!!!

They’re TTS, or size down if in between. I have the 8B/38.

eleven // I forgot to include this in the graphic, but the sweatshirt I’m wearing above with the P448 sneakers is another top I have on constant rotation right now.

It’s not quite as refined as the cotton sweaters I shared above, but it’s still cute and comfy, and perfect for long days at home.

This sweatshirt is also on a deep discount. Prices vary by color, but they’re all an additional 40% off. I recommend sizing up in this; I have the medium.

twelve // I’ll throw these jeans in here too, as they’re still on sale, and they’re the pair of jeans I seem to be gravitating to the most these days. Probably because they have such great stretch, and the length is perfect with my P448 sneaks. They’re TTS and 25% off at Bloomingdale’s.

Incidentally, these AG Farrahs are on sale too! I cut about a half inch off mine so they would show a little more ankle when I’m wearing sneakers. They have a 28″ inseam.

And that’s a wrap! I hope you all are hanging in there, and staying positive.

Let me know what things are like in your neck of the woods!

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Spring Has Sprung at Talbots!

Hello Monday! It appears that Spring has decided to hibernate for a few days here in Philly, but I know it’s on its way. The forsythia told me so.

Speaking of forsythia, I’m totally crushing on this utility jacket from Talbots. It’s such a happy shade of yellow, and who doesn’t need a little extra sunshine in their life right now?

I’ve had a few requests for spring jackets, and I think a lot of you will like this one. It’s such an easy way to elevate your casual spring outfits.

This jacket is made of a lightweight stretch cotton, so it’s comfortable and breathable and fits easily over your spring tops and sweaters.

I like how it has a drawstring in the waist so you can cinch it for a more fitted look, and it hits just below the hip, which is very flattering. (You never want your jacket to end at the widest part of your hips.)

It’s cut generously, and I probably could have gone down a size, but I’m wearing the small. It’s available in regular, petite, plus, and petite plus sizes; and it also comes in navy, white, and tan if yellow isn’t your jam.

Underneath, I’m wearing this fun stripe cut-out back top. It’s a lightweight cotton/poly blend, and it almost has the texture of linen, but you can wash and dry it.

Besides the cut-out in the back, it also has an exposed seam up the middle of the back for added interest.

I also like how the neckline is rounded, but not super high, so it’s both flattering and modest.

I’m wearing the small, and the fit is easy, but I wouldn’t size down. I’d say it’s true to size. It’s also available in regular, petite, plus, and petite plus sizes.

I kept the rest of the outfit fairly neutral with light wash jeggings and tan chain link loafers.

These jeans are stretchy and comfortable, but I definitely could have sized down. I’m in the 6 here, but I have the black ones in a 4, and the fit is much better. They have a comfortable high rise and I’m guessing about a 29″ inseam.

This is such a nice classic look for running errands or meeting up with friends, although it will be a while before we are doing any of that. We shot this look before our area went on lockdown. It’s also great for those working from home who still want to look nice for teleconferencing and remote learning.

While I was putting the yellow jacket outfit together, I also came across this animal print sweater that I couldn’t resist adding to my cart.

I think this is such a pretty print, and I like the rounded v-neck and elbow-length sleeves — such a classy piece to wear alone or layered under a blazer or denim jacket. I can see myself getting a lot of wear out of this sweater this spring and summer!

Once again, the fit is easy, and I actually think I might prefer the XS in this one. You may want to size down, if ordering.

This sweater pairs perfectly with black jeans or pants.

My new tan loafers also work really well with this look.

I used to wear a lot of Talbots shoes when I was a teacher back in the day. They’re typically well made and comfortable, and these loafers did not disappoint.

The suede is nice and soft against the foot, and while they were a bit stiff at first, they broke in quickly and easily with a few hours of wear.

I also like that they have just a slight heel. My podiatrist always tells me it’s better for my finicky feet to wear a low heel (as opposed to a flat.)

I really like the light neutral shoe with the black pants and the lighter top. I could have gone with black or a pop of color (red would be fun!) but I think the tan bookends the look nicely.

The longer length of the black jeans works well with these shoes.

A darker shoe would chop up the look, whereas the tan is low contrast against my skin, which allows the black jeans to make my legs look longer and leaner.

Talbots also has a great jewelry selection.

These two-in-one charm hoop earrings are a really versatile, and I’m always a fan of mixed metal jewelry. It takes all the guesswork out of mixing and matching. I’ve been wearing them with everything lately.

I also grabbed this textured gold bangle to complete the look. It has an easy hinge opening and a magnetic closure, and it’s lightweight and easy to wear.

You could add a complimentary piece like this linen blazer or a denim jacket, but this outfit also looks great on its own.

I was pleased to discover elevated pieces at Talbots that are classic yet modern and top-notch quality. They also offer an incredibly diverse range of sizes. Whether you need regular, plus, petite, or plus-petite; they have it all, and it’s all available online.

I’m also excited to tell you that Talbots decided to extend their 40% off sale! That’s right. Everything I’m wearing in this post is 40% off with free shipping (although there is a $5 handling fee for single item orders.) No code needed.

Shop The Post:

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photos: Alison Cornell


Coffee Talk 03.22.20

Coffee Talk + My Daily Looks

Well, friends. I don’t quite know how to start this post. What a week…

I don’t want the theme of my 2020 Coffee Talks to be coronavirus coverage, but I also can’t ignore the dark cloud that’s hanging over the world right now.

How about this? I’ll share what things look like in my neck of the woods at the moment, and then we’ll move on to lighter topics and some of the questions I’ve been getting lately.

I’ll divide things up with headings so you can skip over any part that doesn’t interest you.

Coronovirus Diaries

As of 8PM last night, we had 371 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state of Pennsylvania, 85 in the city of Philadelphia, and 1,327 in New Jersey.

So far, there have only been 2 deaths in PA, but of course this virus takes a while to run its course, so that number will start to multiply quickly over the next few days and weeks.

On Thursday, our governor ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania to close their physical locations, with enforcement actions against businesses beginning on Saturday,  March 21st.

Parks are closed indefinitely, restaurants are only allowed to remain open for takeout and delivery, and only “life-sustaining” business may remain open. That includes grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations, and stores like Target, Walmart, Lowe’s, and Home Depot.

The governor of New Jersey, our sister state just over the Delaware River from Philly, signed an executive order yesterday mandating residents to stay at home. He also canceled all gatherings until further notice — including weddings, in-person services, or even parties. I try to keep an eye on how the situation is unfolding in Jersey because I know we’re next.

For our family, life hasn’t changed much in the past week. We were already taking the governor’s recommendations seriously last weekend, although I was still allowing each of the girls to visit one friend, and we did get together with friends (outside only) one evening.

We put a kibosh on all that at the beginning of this week, and we’ve been pretty much living in isolation ever since. Fortunately, our home is a pretty nice place to be isolated!

My college-age son has had a 2-week spring break, while his professors prepare to teach the rest of the semester remotely. His classes start up again tomorrow, so he will suddenly have a lot less free time on his hands. He misses apartment life, but he’ll stay here for the foreseeable future.

My older daughter is a junior in high school, and she already schools at home through a public cyber charter school, so this hasn’t affected her much at all. In fact, she’s living her best life. Her quarter was extended for a couple of weeks, so she’s had more time to cook and bake and do my nails… haha! Teenage girls sure are handy to have around.

My younger daughter is in the 8th grade at our public middle school, and she misses school, her friends, and her teachers dreadfully. She’s been getting optional assignments from her teachers since Wednesday, so that has helped her keep busy, but she’s still bored out of her mind.

I’ve warned her that she may not go back to school at all this year, and that was not well received. Like so many kids, she’s missing out on so much she was looking forward to.

Paul’s job is I.T. and information security, so he’s able to work from home, although that has been a bit of an adjustment for all of us.

Our house is very open, and there’s not a door to the basement, where he has set up a makeshift office. He spends most of his days on conferences calls, and he has a booming voice, so that can be distracting. I’m just trying to be thankful he has a job that doesn’t require him to be subjected to COVID germs on a daily basis.

As for me, I’ve been working more hours than ever.

My job is never done, so I’ve been filling my days with work and the occasional walk around our neighborhood or over to a nearby park (although that has officially been shut down.)

I’ve definitely seen a decrease in affiliate sales over the past week or so, although the Nordstrom sale gave me a little boost, which was nice. A few brands have asked to hold off on the sponsored posts we had scheduled, but some are going ahead with them.

I do fear I won’t be getting as many contracts in the coming months, while we see how hard this is going to hit the economy, but at this point, we just have to wait and see.

If you’re curious how I make an income with this blog, you can read this post: How Do You Make Money On Your Blog?

And if you want to know how you can support your favorite bloggers during this uncertain time, I also wrote a post about Ways You Can Support Your Favorite Bloggers. (HINT: Most do NOT require shopping!)

Blogs are small businesses just like family owned restaurants, local boutiques, flower shops, etc. This blog does help support our family, and I truly value and appreciate your support.

Also, I’d appreciate you keeping my dad in your prayers. He’s retired, but he drives a bloodmobile for the Red Cross to stay busy. That requires him to go in and out of hospitals, and I worry about him contracting Coronavirus.

I FaceTimed with him yesterday, and he was in good spirits. He likes his job and doesn’t want to quit, and of course, someone needs to do it, but I do worry because of his age.

Meanwhile, we are trying to keep our spirits up by enjoying the little things. The other night, C treated R and me to a gel manicure. (She got all the supplies for Christmas.) That was a fun time to bond.

Paul and R have been having daily backgammon tournaments, and we’ve all been getting outside together a lot more. We’re trying to make the best of it!

Okay, let’s move on to lighter topics…


I’ve been asked how intermittent fasting (IF) is going since being homebound. I’m actually so thankful I started IF a few months ago because there’s no doubt, it is helping me keep my weight in check during this extended time at home.

With Paul and the kids around more, there is constantly food being prepared and offered, and there’s something about knowing it is not my time to eat yet that helps me be able to decline politely and walk away. It’s a mental thing.

Think about it this way. When you’re on a diet, you are constantly making decisions — what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat… you don’t realize how exhausting that is and how it wears you down until you eliminate all of those decisions from your daily life. Decision fatigue is a thing!

It’s not that I don’t want to eat, or that I don’t ever get hungry, but if it’s not my time yet, I just fill a glass of water or make another cup of coffee and go back to my desk. Once I get busy working on something, I forget about the food for a while.

Of course, I’m fortunate that my kids are old enough to cook for themselves. I don’t have to make food that I can’t eat, and we don’t sit down to any meals as a family except for dinner, so I never have to sit and drink coffee or water while everyone else is eating. I hear intermittent fasters talk about doing that, and I always think that I’d hate that. So the IF lifestyle works really well for our family schedule and eating habits.

I’m a full three months in (starting week 13), and not only do I look different, I’m starting to feel different. Areas where I used to have extra fluff that I could feel as I moved around are suddenly gone, and my clothes continue to fit better.

I know this is such a vain topic considering everything happening in the world right now, but we women know how much our weight affects our mental state. I think I would feel a lot more depressed and hopeless right now if I was also putting on weight.

I’m also hoping that intermittent fasting is making me healthier and better able to fight this virus if I do come on contact with it. There are studies that suggest IF can help strengthen the immune system. No one really knows for sure, but I’m certain it can’t hurt.

At the very least, I’m eating less sugar and simple carbohydrates, which definitely can deplete one’s immune system.

All that to say, I’m still going strong and very happy with how I look and feel as a result of intermittent fasting.

Kitchen Update

This post is getting long, so I’ll keep this part brief.

My kitchen is pretty much done, although the wine rack has a big area where the paint was pulled off when the guys installed it. The painters were going to come back and fix it, but they were traveling last week, so I don’t really want them in here after that. Maybe Paul can work on it because I have no idea when this lockdown will end.

The carpenter needs to finish installing my soft-close hinge and drawer pulls, and I’m still waiting to get the working vent hood, but at least I have one in place for looks.

I’m so very thankful we had the most important parts finished before life as we know it came to an abrupt halt. We spend so much time in this part of the house, and having it all fresh and new really helps boost my spirits.

We were planning to start working on our powder room, but thankfully we hadn’t started that yet. That’s definitely on hold for the time being.

FB Lives

Finally, a word about Facebook Lives. I’ve been asked multiple times to bring these back, and I really want to. I think this would be a great way to connect with you all during these strange times. My house is a bit of a zoo, though, with everyone at home and Paul frequently on a conference calls.

I think my best bet is to move my Lives to the morning. I used to protect those morning hours for photo shoots and bible study and appointments, but now I’m here all day, and the kids tend to be in the kitchen around 1:00 banging around, so that’s not a great time anymore.

I also don’t think I’m going to make a set time. I’d rather go Live when I’m feeling chatty, and I’m at a good stopping point with work and everything else going on around here.

All that to say, I’ll try to pop on a few times this week, sort of like I do with Insta Stories. I’ll just give you an update with what’s going on with me, answer some of the questions I get on a regular basis, and then you can chime in and ask me questions as you find me.

I’ll post the recaps to my FB Page and share the link in my newsletter the following day, so anyone who misses them can watch on replay. I’ll also try to give those in my FB Group a heads-up before going on, as well as in my Insta Story.

Okay, that’s it for me! Our church is having a virtual worship service this morning with Zoom, so I need to get off here and get ready for that.

Isn’t it crazy how this virus is affecting every area of life? I’m so glad we can still connect online.

Have a blessed Sunday, my friends! And please, stay home if you can. xoxo



Over the past year, the fashion sneaker trend has really taken hold and become mainstream. I hope my fashion sneaker reviews help you weed through the options and find the styles that work best for you.

Nowadays, women wear sneakers with everything from yoga pants to dresses! They’re a great way to keep your classic looks current, but there are so many to choose from.

Last year, I set out to find one pair of go-to fashion sneakers to incorporate into my casual looks and ended up with the solid white Veja Esplar leather low top sneakers.

I explained in that post that I’ve never been one to wear sneakers with my daily outfits, so I was surprised by how versatile they turned out to be, and how much I enjoyed wearing these shoes over the past year.

They’re still one of my favorites, but since I wear them so much, I wanted to add a couple other options to my shoe wardrobe. This time, I set out to look for something a little more fun, maybe with a pop of color or pattern.

Fashion sneakers are like any other wardrobe piece — there are tons of styles to choose from, so choose what works best for your body type, style aesthetic, budget, and lifestyle.

I hope this post helps you weed through the options and find the styles that work best for you!


For reference, I’m 5’5″ and 135 pounds, and I typically wear an 8 or 8.5 sneaker. (I share my height and weight because I believe that factors into how shoes look in proportion to my body.)

On top, I’m wearing the Everlane soft cotton v-neck sweater (size small) and my Rag & Bone shredded hem ankle skinny jeans (size 28.)

I’ve ordered these sneakers from my least to most favorite, but that doesn’t mean it’s a worst to best list. It’s just how they rank according to my personal preference.

Both Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom are running big sales right now, so I sourced these sneakers from those two retailers where I could. Both sites also have free shipping and free returns. I’ll share both the original and sale prices next to each link.

Tretorn NY Lite Sneakers $85 $68

Introduction: Tretorn is a Scandinavian sneaker featuring minimalist styling that was super popular in the 80s, and they’ve been making a comeback. They have a low profile and an almond shaped toe with the iconic Tretorn stripe emblem.

Pros: Out of the box, these are fairly comfortable. They have some cushion and support, and the leather seems durable. They’re also extremely lightweight for a leather shoe. I like how the gold emblem elevates the look.

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, or size up if in between; I’m wearing the 8.5.

Adidas Stan Smith Sneaker $80$60

Introduction: The Adidas Stan Smith is a unisex court style sneaker that has become something of an American icon. If you want a fun diversion, read about Stan Smith, the man behind the sneaker.

The original had a green tab on the back heel, but I chose the red one to try out for this post. They also come with a navy tab and an all white version. Bonus, they’re 25% off at Nordstrom today! Shop all 4 here.

Pros: I love the pop of red at the tongue and heel, as well as the perforated stripes. They have a traditional but modern look to them, even though they’ve been trending for years.

Cons: Because they’re a unisex sneaker, these run big and wide, and they have a ridiculously long tongue. I don’t know if that’s true for all Stan Smiths or just this pair, but it was a deal breaker for me because of the way it protruded into my leg.

Conclusion: If you have wider/thicker feet, these are a solid style choice at a great price for leather sneakers. Even though they run wide, they still have a low profile, which tends to be more flattering than the puffy sneakers that have been trending.

I love the styling, but I don’t care for how they fit my feet. Definitely size down, if ordering. I tried the 8 Women’s / 7 Men’s M, but I probably could have gone down a size.

Amazon Two Tone Star Lace up Fashion Sneakers $14.99 – $45.99

Introduction: This is the least expensive pair of sneakers I’m reviewing, and the only ones that aren’t leather. I wanted to include an under-$50 option, and these are some of the best I’ve tried. They’re a very trendy style, definitely a Golden Goose copycat, but cute and fun for casual looks.

Pros: These sneakers are very comfortable, considering the price point. The tongue is padded and soft against the foot, and while there is no support inside, they are comfortable to wear and didn’t require any breaking in.

Cons: I don’t care for how they’ve shamelessly copied the Golden Goose star motif, but they’re certainly not the only shoe company to do that The laces are really stiff, and they look and feel cheap; I would recommend replacing them with something a little bit nicer.

Conclusion: These are trendy and fun, and while the quality isn’t amazing, they’re a decent value for the price point. Definitely size up half, as recommended on the website. I have the 8.5, and I could probably use the 9.

Ecco Soft 7 Sneaker $159.95 $119.96

Introduction: Ecco shoes are known for excellent quality and extreme comfort. These sneakers are often mentioned when ladies are recommending supportive fashion sneakers to each other in my comment section, so I wanted to give them a try.

These sneakers have a super low profile, they come in 6 colors, and they have a removable insole in case you want to replace it with an orthotic.

Pros: The comfort and support is definitely there, as is the quality Ecco is known for. The leather is soft and supple, and they have noticeable arch support. The brown tab on the heel is a nice, subtle detail.

Cons: The laces on these sneakers are super stiff and long, so I would want to replace them if keeping. I also don’t care for the cap toe. Overall, the styling is a little stodgy for my personal taste. That doesn’t mean they aren’t right for you, but I don’t love them for me.

Conclusion: If you want a low profile comfort sneaker with good arch support, these are a solid choice. They’re an excellent value for the price point. They run fairly true to size, or size down if in between. I’m wearing the 8.

Paul Green Carly Low Top Sneaker $339 $254.25

Introduction: Paul Green is a women’s shoe brand known for uncompromising quality and luxe materials, and his styles lean toward the more mature side.

I ordered these low top sneakers at the recommendation of a faithful reader who has worn these all over the world and swears by their comfort and durability. They have a leather upper and comfortable terry lining, with colorful stripes around the foxing.

Pros: These sneakers feel surprisingly lightweight, and are extremely comfortable on the foot. I typcially prefer a leather lining, but the terry inside is very nice too. They definitely add a touch of class to a casual outfit, and you can’t beat the quality.

Cons: If I’m going to be picky, the grommets look really big and off-balance to me, and I don’t love the thick platform. Even though they feel lightweight and comfortable, they look a little clunky on my foot.

Conclusion: These are on the pricier end of the sneaker spectrum, so I definitely recommend buying on sale. They’re not as trendy as some in this roundup, but they’re not going to go out of style next year either.

Overall, these are a solid choice for those who have a classic/preppy style and appreciate comfort and quality. They run TTS, or size up if in between; I’m wearing the 8.5.

Everlane The Court Sneaker $98

Introduction: This is a court style leather sneaker with subtle suede accents in a contrasting color (and there is an all-white option as well.) It has a 100% full-grain leather upper and a recycled polyester lining with a leather-like feel, and the sole is a blend of natural and recycled rubber that’s 94.2% free of virgin plastic.

Pros: These sneakers are super comfortable right out of the box. The insides feel nice and smooth against the foot, and they’re soft and flexible. They’re an excellent value for an under-$100 leather sneaker.

Cons: The styling on these looks a little orthopedic to my eye; it’s something about the seaming and design around the toe box. I think these are super cute on younger women, but it may be a little bit tricky to pull them off over a certain age.

Conclusion: These sneakers are an excellent value for the price point. The comfort is unmatched, and you can feel good about purchasing from an ethical company.

That said, the styling could lean a little matronly depending on your age and style aesthetic, so I’m on the fence. They run TTS, or size up if in between; I’m wearing the 8.5.

Gola for J.Crew Bullet Sneakers with Cheetah Detail $95

Introduction: Gola is an English company that dates back to 1905, and they’re known for their soccer sneakers. This classic throwback style has been updated with subtle cheetah details, designed especially for J.Crew.

Pros: I like the soccer style shoe for a change, and I think the cheetah details are so fun. These sneakers are super lightweight, and the comfort is average but on par for the $95 price point.

Cons: These certainly aren’t as classic or versatile as some of the other styles I reviewed, but they’re really fresh and fun with the cheetah details. I don’t have much bad to say about them, except I wish they came in half sizes. The 8 was too small, but I fear the 9 might be too big.

Conclusion: These are a nice marriage of classic and trendy, perfect for those looking for something beyond a basic white sneaker. They run a bit small; I had the 8 and returned them because they my toes were right in the end.

Vince Janna Mixed Leather Low-Top Sneakers $225 $168.75

Introduction: Vince is a brand known for uncompromising quality and effortless style. I’m a huge fan of his shoes, and someone in my Facebook Group requested I include a Vince sneaker in this roundup, so I found these. While he’s well known for his slip-on styles, I wanted a lace-up option for the purposes of this post.

These sneakers are a mix of suede and leather upper on a sturdy platform sole, and they have a classic minimalistic style. They also come in oatmeal and black.

Pros: These sneakers are the usual amazing Vince quality with a luxe look and feel. I wouldn’t call them super supportive, but they’re leather lined and feel amazing on the foot. The styling is classic and versatile, and the combination of suede and leather adds interest. I also appreciate the lack of grommets.

Cons: I have nothing bad to say about these, but I just don’t love the suede/leather combo. It’s totally a personal thing, which is why I included it in both the pros and cons. They’re a great shoe, but too much like my Veja Esplars to warrant keeping them. Plus, I found a couple other pairs I liked better.

Conclusion: These are high quality sneakers with classic styling and a luxe look and feel, plus they’re super comfortable. While they are on the spendy side,  you’re getting a solid value for the price point, especially if you snag them on sale. They run big, though. I’m wearing the 8 and would need the 7.5. (I also had to size down to 7.5 in these slip-on sneakers.)

Golden Goose Superstar low-top sneakers $495

Introduction: For anyone not aware, Golden Goose Deluxe Brand is an Italian luxury fashion sneaker brand that has developed a cult following over the past few years. They’re handmade in Italy, and no two shoes are identical. I’ve heard it said it’s like wearing a piece of art on your feet. They’re part vintage chic, part skater sneaker, part luxury designer shoe, and one of their trademarks is the worn-in look.

Pros: Besides the amazing quality, which sort of goes without saying, these are the kind of shoes you slip on right out of the box, and they feel like you’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 love the neutral styling of the particular pair that I ordered, as it’s more on the classic side, which is best suited to my personal style. But I’m also drawn to some of the fun designs with animal prints and glitter details.

Cons: The price tag is the biggest con I can come up with, but these are also a very trendy shoe and not suited to everyone’s personal style. And of course some don’t care for the distressed rubber soles.

Conclusion: If they’re in your budget, and they work for your personal style, these are such fun shoes. This particular pair is incredibly versatile due to the neutral color palette, and of course you can wear them all year round (as you can any of the sneakers in this post), which helps reduce cost per wear.

Veja V-10 Sneaker $150 $112.50

Introduction: Veja is a French-born shoe company that uses organic or recycled and fairly traded materials, and all products are made in a high standard factory in Brazil. Since I like my white Esplars so much, I thought I’d try a different style with some colorful accents. This V-10 style was named after the label’s 10th anniversary, and these have a navy colorblock V along with a red heel tab, but there are lots of other color combos to choose from.

Pros: The quality and eco-friendly materials are a huge pro to these sneakers, and I just really like the styling. There are some fun details like the perforations on the toe box, and I like the colorblock styling for a change.

Cons: These sneakers are stiff at first, and the tongue is super long — longer than the one in my Veja Esplars.  (They suggest slipping the tongue to the side for a comfier feel.) While I found my other Vejas to soften up and break in fairly quickly, I still consider that a con compared to others in this review that are comfortable right out of the box. They also have organic cotton lining that isn’t especially soft; I prefer terry cloth or leather, but it’s a concession you make for this price.

Conclusion: For a quality shoe from an ethical company with a classic but on-trend styling, these are a solid choice for the price point. I like the looks of them better than the feel. They also run a big large; I’m wearing the 8 but would be curious to try the 7.5.

Tory Burch Howell Lace-Up Sneakers $198 $148.50

Introduction: The Tory Burch brand needs no introduction, and these shoes are a chic court-style sneaker made of a soft, supple leather with a contrasting heel tab accented by her gold logo medallion.

Pros: These sneakers are everything I’ve come to expect from a Tory Burch shoe. They were super comfortable right out of the box, and I wore them all day with no issues whatsoever. They have a leather upper with a combination leather and textile lining and a rubber sole. I like the subtle perforation details and the rounded toe is flattering and comfortable. These are basically an elevated Stan Smith.

Cons: I can’t really complain about the price, considering the quality, but it’s the only con I can think of.

Conclusion: These sneakers are a great choice for those who want a classic style with more luxe finishes. They run TTS or size down if in between; I have the 8.

P448 John Leather & Suede Low-Top Sneakers $265 $212

Introduction: P448 is an Italian luxury street style sneaker brand inspired by the skate world and hip hop subculture, and this is clearly reflected in their designs. These are the most similar to Golden Goose brand, without copying the GGDB signature star emblem, and the price point is much more palatable.

I ordered the John Leather & Suede Low-Top Sneakers from Neiman Marcus when they were on sale a few weeks ago, and they’ve almost sold out. Neimans has a lot of other styles, as does Nordstrom, and all are on sale right now.

Pros: I love the subtle perforated P448 logo and how it adds texture without being in your face, and I think the leopard print suede logo backstay is such a fun detail. The hand-distressed platform has that trendy worn-in look so you don’t have to worry about getting them dirty, and they are super comfortable inside. They have a cushioned footbed, and the tongue is padded and lined with a soft terry material, so they feel really good against the foot.

Cons: I can’t think of a single one other than the price. I love these sneakers, and I’ve already worn them multiple times in the couple weeks that I’ve had them. They’re definitely a more trendy/youthful style, which may not be what everyone is looking for, but I think they’re a great addition to my casual wardrobe, and I can see myself wearing these a ton, bringing that cost per wear down to mere pennies over time.

Conclusion: They recommended sizing up, so I ordered the 9B/39 EU, but those were too big and I ended up exchanging for the 8B/38 EU, so I would recommend going with your usual size or even sizing down.

The Verdict

Every shoe in this post is one that I’d recommend without hesitation. They didn’t all work for me (not that I needed 12 new pairs of sneakers, anyway!) but they’re all good shoes for various purposes/budgets/styles/etc.

Since I have and still love the white Veja Esplar, I wanted to add sneakers with some color or pattern to my closet, so I chose to keep the Tory Burch Howell with navy blue accent for a classic/preppy style, and the P448 John for a trendy skate sneaker.

I really wanted to love the Veja V-10, but I couldn’t get past the stiff tongue, and I probably would have kept the Gola bullet sneakers if they had fit better, but I didn’t bother to re-order in the next size up.

The other pair I really loved is the Golden Goose, but I just didn’t want to spend $500 on sneakers, and the P448 has a similar style with more subtle details for half the price. I’m really happy with those, and I like that they’re a little more under the radar, which I feel suits my personal style.

I also want to give an honorable mention to these Saturday sneakers from J.Crew. They’re backordered, so I couldn’t try them for this post, but I love the styling with the leopard print tab at the heel and black laces.

At the end of the day, these are all good choices. It just depends on your budget and what you’re looking for.

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