Fall/Winter Fashion

20 Casual Fall Outfit Ideas for 2020


I was going to post a Try-On Haul today, but I didn’t have much for that, and what I did have is selling out. SO! I decided to do a fall outfit roundup with casual fall outfit ideas that are easy to replicate. I hope it’s helpful.

Since most of us are living casual lives these days, these are all fairly casual looks, but most can be adapted for the work place or dressed up for church or date night. Just swap the jeans for pants, and maybe wear a dressier shoe, depending on your dress code or venue.

I linked the exact item if I had it; otherwise I linked to similar, but the idea here is to shop your closet, so hopefully it’s not too frustrating when you can’t purchase the exact pieces.

Also, if you’re new here, I’m 5’5″ and 135 pounds with an hourglass shape. I typically wear a 6 or 28 in pants and jeans, a small in tops, and size 8 shoe.


#1. Camel Cardigan w/ Dark Wash Jeans & a Statement Necklace

I love a camel sweater with just about any shade of denim, but I think it looks particularly sophisticated with these dark wash jeggings. See more in THIS POST.

I also have and like this J.Crew Factory option. It has a very similar style and fit, but it’s a darker shade of camel.

I feel like the necklace really makes this look, but it doesn’t have to be this exact one. Any chunky necklace that fits in the neckline would work to create a focal point and bring attention to your face.

What to Wear with Dark Wash Jeans This Fall | Fashion for Women Over 40

similar cardigan // tank // jeans (6P) // boots // necklace

#2. Black Sweater w/ Blue Jeans & Leopard Flats

In my opinion, you can never go wrong with a black top, blue jeans, and pop of leopard. This outfit is as easy to throw on as joggers, sneakers, and a sweatshirt, but it’s so much more polished and put-together.

mid-wash skinnies // black v-neck pullover // leopard loafers // gold hoops // layer necklace

#3. Joggers w/ Denim Jacket & Fashion Sneakers

Let’s face it, a lot of us are wearing joggers more lately, but they can look stylish and put-together if you wear them with a fitted jacket. Denim is my favorite, at least until it gets colder.

The fashion sneakers also help elevate this athleisure look, and don’t forget to accessorize!

denim jacket // stripe tee // joggers // fashion sneakers (similar for less) // earrings // necklace

Here’s another example, this time with a leather jacket and camo print tee.

This jacket is almost sold out, and I’m having a hard time finding a similar one with a hood, but Kohl’s and Magnolia Boutique have faux leather versions, and Express has one with the shearling trim that’s really of fun.

leather jacket options here, here and here // camo tee options here and here (v-neck option) // joggers // fashion sneakers (similar for less) // earrings

#4. Cardigan w/ Graphic Tee & Snake Print Sneakers

Cardigans can sometimes read frumpy, so one way to make a cardigan look a little more modern is to pair it with a graphic tee. I also like how the snake print slip-ons add texture and interest to the look.

My NYC graphic tee is from J.Crew last year, but they have a similar one this year. I sized up to a medium.

similar NYC tee (M) // black cardigans // similar rag & bone Cate ankle skinnies // Vince slip-on sneakers (size down half; more sizes avail in this year’s version)

I’ve also worn this graphic tee with my joggers and a denim jacket, another version of #3.

denim jacket //similar NYC tee (M) // Zella joggers // white sneakers // earrings // necklace

#5. Utility Jacket + Grey Tee w/ White Jeans & Taupe Booties

Yes, I wear white jeans in the fall, I love to pair them with a grey tee and an olive utility jacket.

I wore light beige suede booties with this look, but you can easily swap them out for fashion sneakers or loafers if you want to tone it down. I would just stick with a lighter color. See more in THIS POST.

Try This: Utility Jacket + White Jeans with Grey Tee and Ankle Boots

utility jackets // grey tee (M) // white jeans // grey booties (cloud suede) // earrings

#6. Cheetah Print Tee + Black Leather Moto w/ Black Jeans & Mules

Cheetah print is a nice alternative to leopard, and it pairs so well with black.

My ATM cheetah tee was a major splurge during the #NSale, but I found a really good Amazon look-alike for a fraction of the price (it’s the color A-leopard03).

leather jacket options here, here and here // similar cheetah tee // black jeans // black mules

And I swap out the leather moto for my denim jacket, for a less edgy look.

casual fall outfit ideas with a cheetah tee

#7. Boyfriend Jeans w/ Leopard Tee + Black Cardigan & Ankle Boots

It takes a really good pair of jeans to get me out of my skinnies, but the rag & bone Dre is a nice slim boyfriend fit, and they’re also on sale! Just be sure to size down at least one full size.

The cardigan with leopard tee keeps the look comfy and cozy, but I’m dying to put one of my leather moto jackets on top to give it an edgier vibe. See more of this look HERE.

casual fall outfit ideas with boyfriend jeans

black cardigans // similar leopard tee // boyfriend jeans // suede Chelsea boots

#8. Grey Sweater + Demim Jacket w/ Black Jeans & White Leather Sneakers

Black jeans with a grey tee and denim jacket is one of my go-to outfits, and one day it occurred to me to try it with a grey cashmere sweater. I really like the juxtaposition of the luxe sweater and casual jacket, and it’s warmer than a t-shirt on cooler days.

The white leather sneaker trend is perfect for this look, and the P448s would look amazing with this too. If you don’t like the white, you could also wear black sneakers or casual booties.

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing VEJA Esplar with black AG legging ankle jeans, Two by Vince Camuto Denim Jacket, and grey cashmere pullover

similar grey sweater // black jeans // denim jacket // sneakers

#9. Graphic Tee + Leather Jacket w/ Blue Jeans & Snake Print Shoes

I never get tired of leather jackets and jeans! Adding a graphic tee is a fun way to elevate this basic look and express your personality, and the snake print booties add pattern and texture.

I’ve also worn this with the snake print slip-on sneakers shown in look #4.

This grey leather jacket sold out, but you could easily wear a black one with this.

casual fall outfit ideas with a graphic tee

similar NYC tee (M) // similar leather jacket // similar raw hem skinnies // snake print booties

#10. Olive Utility Pants w/ Denim Jacket & Leopard Tee

Olive green utility pants are a nice alternative to jeans in the fall, and they pair so well with a denim jacket. These exact pants are 40% off right now, and they run TTS; they fit a little snug at first, but they loosen up quickly.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: 5 Ways To Wear Olive Utility Pants

My exact leopard tee sold out, but I found one at Amazon that is sort of similar. It’s the color Multicolor #3.

casual fall outfit ideas with utility pants

cargo pants // denim jacket // similar leopard tee // similar mules

#11. Grey Sweater with Black Jeans, Leather Moto & Fashion Sneakers

This luxe meets sporty casual fall look is one of my all-time favorites. I love the combination of black and grey tones, and the mix of patterns and textures. See more in THIS POST.

Luxe Meets Sporty: A Casual Monochromatic Outfit for Fall

grey turtleneck // black jeans // similar leather jacket // fashion sneakers (options here and here) // hoops

#12. Camel Pullover w/ Black Jeans & Leopard Shoes

Camel and black with leopard is a fail-proof combination, and this particular sweater has some nice details. Unfortunately, it’s not on sale at the moment, but keep an eye on it!

Again, I like to add a statement necklace with a camel top, since camel is so close to my skin color. I feel like it helps break it up, and draws attention to my face. This one is really pretty and goes well with olive and other earth tones as well as camel. It’s also on sale.

I would usually wear leopard pumps with this, to dress this up a bit more, but I wore these flats for an outdoor dining experience where I knew I’d have to do some walking. The pointy toe and small heel keeps them dressy enough to balance out the rest of the look, whereas a ballet flat would be a lot more casual.

casual fall outfit ideas with a camel sweater

camel sweater // black jeans // leopard flats (size 9) // necklace // earrings

Need to level up your athleisure game for a Zoom meeting? Swap out the jeans for joggers, and throw on some comfy slip-on sneakers. Or, if you want to wear your slippers, no one will be the wiser.

casual fall outfit ideas with joggers

sweater // joggers // snake print sneakers (more sizes) // earrings // necklace

#13. Camel Pullover + Black Quilted Vest w/ Blue Jeans & Pop of Leopard

Quilted vests are great layering pieces for fall. I am always amazed by how much warmth they add to a look, and they’re so much less bulky than a coat.

I love to add a pop of leopard print to a camel and black outfit, but this time I did it with a scarf and kept my shoes neutral. See more of this look HERE.

Casual Outdoor Dining Outfit for Fall with Puffer Vest and Leopard Scarf

camel pullover // skinny jeans // taupe ankle boots // similar leopard scarf // similar vest (option) // taupe tote // sunnies

#14. Taupe Suede Moto + Black Tank w/ Washed Black Jeans & Taupe Booties

This outfit is definitely a favorite from my 22 Days of Fall Fashion style challenge. The combination of taupe suede and washed black denim is unexpected but so chic, and the mixed metal statement necklace and the belt are details that shouldn’t be overlooked. See more in THIS POST.

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing a taupe suede moto jacket outfit for fall

taupe suede moto // black tank // similar jeans  // similar belt // booties (size up half; Tuscan taupe suede) // necklace // sunnies (option)

#15. Long Cardigan w/ Blue Jeans & Pumps

I love this outfit for a leveled-up casual look you can wear to meet friends for lunch, or to any business casual event.

You can swap the blue jeans for black jeans if you want to dress it up a bit for church or dinner out.

Or, if you’re at home all day on Zoom calls, just trade the pumps for slippers and maybe lose the belt, but definitely keep the necklace! See more in THIS POST.

casual fall outfit ideas with a long cardigan

cardigan // woven tank // blue jeans // snake print belt // black pumps // croc print tote // layer necklace

#16. Grey Turtleneck + Burgundy Puffer w/ Black Jeans & Black Booties

This is a look from 2018, but I’ve always loved it. The luxe cashmere turtleneck keeps the look polished, and the quilted puffer adds a sporty vibe, plus of course, extra warmth. See more in THIS POST.

Unfortunately, the layered look vest I’m wearing sold out long ago, but you can do a plain burgundy vest instead. I have this one in brown, and it’s a great vest for the price, very flattering.

A casual-cool fall outfit featuring a Marc New York burgundy hooded puffer vest with black Rag & Bone skinny jeans, booties, and a grey cashmere turtleneck. #falloutfit #fashion #fallfashion #outfit #fashionover40

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

#17. Black Leather Moto w/ Blue Jeans, White Leather Sneakers & Cashmere Scarf

This is an outfit I repeat in some iteration over and over again. I love the juxtapositions of luxe and sporty, casual and edgy.

FYI, I highly recommend this cashmere scarf. I wore it a ton the last two seasons. It’s thinner than some, and made of the softest cashmere, so you can wear it either as an outfit making piece or a cold weather accessory.

It’s easy to remove and slip into your tote when you don’t need it, but it takes an outfit up a notch if you’re going to be out and about running errands, etc. Oh, and it makes a great holiday gift too!

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing VEJA Esplar with AG Raw Hem The Legging Ankle Jeans, black Bernardo leather moto jacket, and Everlane cashmere scarf

 similar leather jacket // black v-neck sweater // skinny jeans // cashmere scarf // sneakers

#18. Drapey Moto Jacket + White Tee w/ Blue Jeans & Fashion Sneakers

This drapey faux suede moto is a softer and more comfortable than the heavier suede and leather jackets I typically wear, but I feel like it’s more flattering than a cardigan. It comes in 4 colors, and it’s under $100.

The fashion sneakers are a fun way to keep it modern, but of course booties or loafers would work too. See more in THIS POST.

casual fall outfit ideas with drape front moto jacket

drape front jacket // white tee // blue jeans // fashion sneakers (similar for less) // silver hoops // Victoria Emerson bracelets c/o // sunnies (similar for less)

#19. Ivory Sweater + Blue Jeans + Animal Print Boots

This is a super simple outfit combo that always works. If you don’t have snake print boots or shoes, I highly recommend getting a pair. They’re a great way to add pattern and texture to a simple look.

casual fall outfit ideas with cowl neck sweater

ivory cowl // similar raw hem skinnies // snake print booties

#20. Black Leather Jacket + Black Tee w/ Black Jeans & Snake Print Shoes

You can never go wrong with an all-black look, and I love the little touch of snake print in the shoes to add texture and pattern to the otherwise monochromatic outfit. See more in THIS POST.

casual fall outfit ideas with black leather jacket

leather jacket options here, here and here // Everlane ribbed tee (M) // black jeans // snake print mules // statement earrings

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Fall/Winter Fashion

Experimenting with Chelsea Boots and Straight Leg Jeans

I promised you guys I’d play around with Chelsea boots and straight leg jeans, and I’m a pleaser, so here we are!

If you’ve hung around these here parts for very long, you know that I loooove my skinny jeans. I’m still a fan, and I will continue to wear them.


Some of the newer boot styles are not playing so well with my favorite skinnies. Case in point: the Chelsea boot.

Vince Henderson boots (size 8)

What is a Chelsea Boot?

If you’re not quite sure, Chelsea boots are close-fitting, ankle-high boots with an elastic side panel, and they’re worn by both men and women.

Vince Henderson boots (size 8)

They’re a classic style that has become very much on trend as of late, and they’re quite a change from the lower shaft, western-inspired styles we’ve seen over the past few years, often with a split shaft.

I picked up these beauties at the #NSale back in August when they were on a significant markdown.

They are absolutely gorgeous, practical (waterproof… holla!) and right on trend with the Chelsea boot silhouette on a lug sole.

But now that it’s finally chilly enough around here to wear them, they have created some annoying outfit problems. As in, they don’t look very good with my go-to skinny jeans. Hmph.

Last week, I tried to wear them with these Good American Good Legs jeans I’ve been wearing so much lately, but something about the pairing just seemed off.

sweater // jeans // boots

As I explained then, these booties have a tall, slim 5″ shaft, and the jeans seem to cut off at an awkward place.

Even though they’re skinny jeans, the leg opening of the jeans appears wider than the shaft of the boot, so it chops up the line of the leg, even though it’s all the same color.

Here’s a close-up of the side view — see how the hem of the jeans gets stuck between the heel tab and my leg, and then they fall over the front of the boot.

sweater // jeans // boots

I don’t know, maybe I’m over-thinking it. It doesn’t look terrible in these pictures, but when I’m looking at myself in the mirror, it’s all I see.

And I have the same issue with other Chelsea boots too, like these Marc Fisher Yale Chelsea boots.

I think these jeans actually look worse with these boots — I guess because they have a slightly lower shaft, and the line of the leg looks even more chopped up.

sweater // jeans // boots

As we discussed in the comments of that post, Chelsea boots seem to call for a different style of jean — one with a wider leg opening that allows the jeans to fall over the boots, or a crop style with a wider leg opening.

I styled the Vince Henderson boots with the rag & bone Dre slim boyfriend jeans (currently 40% off!) for a blog post back in August, and they seem to work well together when the jeans are cuffed to land right above the shaft of the boot.

sweater (XS) // tee // jeans // boots

I wish I’d tried these yesterday during my try-on sesh, to see how they looked in the mirror. I only have photos with a side-view from that post.

Of course, that will only work when the weather is mild. Once it gets colder, I’ll want to be able to wear socks, or at least wear the jeans over the boots, so I need to see how they look left un-cuffed.

So anyway! Yesterday, I set out to experiment with Chelsea boots and straight leg jeans.

Paige Cindy Straight Ankle Jeans + Vince Henderson Chelsea Boots

This is the Paige Cindy, and it has a 27″ inseam with a 14″ leg opening, for those who pay attention to measurements.

For comparison’s sake, the off-black Good American Good Legs skinnies shown above with these same boots have a 27 1/2″ inseam with a 10″ leg opening.

sweater // jeans // boots

Don’t get too distracted by the chewed hems on these jeans. They’re giving me all the Huck Finn vibes, and I’d prefer a plan raw hem or a more traditional sewn hem for these looks, but they are the best straight ankle jeans I have to play with.

(The Paige Cindy comes in a lot of other washes with different hems, if you like the cut of the jeans and not the wash. Unfortunately, none are on sale at the moment.)

Right off the bat, I feel like this pairing works really well. The jeans have a 27″ inseam, which is the perfect ankle length on my 5’5″ frame, and they fall nicely over the boots.

They’re long enough so that they don’t chop off the leg line, but short enough to expose some of the boot, which is on trend. And let’s face it, these boots are too gorgeous to cover up!

sweater // jeans // boots

I also think the heel on the boot helps my legs look longer and leaner, even though the jeans are on the shorter side.

And finally, this solves the frozen ankle issue we all face when we wear ankle jeans with lower shaft boots that expose part of the leg.

My only issue is, the color combination on this outfit is a little harsh. The black boots create a high contrast with the lighter wash jeans, but the darker top bookends the look, so I think it works okay. I probably would not like this look with a lighter top.

Paige Straight Ankle Jeans + Marc Fisher Yale Chelsea Boots

Next, I wanted to see how the exact same outfit worked out with the lower heeled, pointy-toe Marc Fisher Chelsea boots.

Again, the color contrast is a little harsh, but I feel like the jeans and boots look okay together. For some reason, I like the chunkier Vince boots better, though.

sweater // jeans // boots

Also, these boots have a slightly lower shaft than the Vince, and the back of my jeans gets caught in them when I move around.

But also note how the way these jeans are distressed, the hem is slightly shorter in the back than in the front. If they were cut evenly all around, this might not be an issue. Or perhaps a straight leg jean with a 28″ inseam would work better with these boots.

sweater (S) // jeans (28) // target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”boots (8)

Mother Insider Crop + Vince Henderson Chelsea Boot

Another pair of straight leg jeans that I’ve been struggling to make work with the rest of my wardrobe is these jet black Mother Insider crop jeans.

Unfortunately, this exact style is only available at Shopbop, and sizes are limited. There are more Mother Insiders at Nordstrom and Bloomies, but most have a frayed hem.

These jeans have a 25″ inseam with a 14″ leg opening, so they’re a full 2 inches shorter than the Paige Cindy shown above.

sweater (S) // jeans (28) // boots (8)

These are a true crop rather than an ankle-length jean, and I feel like they have a slightly flared silhouette, whereas the Paige Cindy definitely falls straight.

For this reason, I find these harder to style, and I always feel like they’re cutting off my leg line in an awkward way.

I’ve styled them a few times for the blog, but I rarely end up wearing them in my real life. I try them and always end up reverting to my comfort zone — skinnies.

I do like how they work with these boots. Because they are both black, there is little to no contrast between the jeans and the boots, so even though the jeans are cropped and slightly flared, I still get a cohesive look on my lower two-thirds.

sweater (S) // jeans (28) // boots (8)

The other frustration that I’ve had with the back of the jeans getting stuck on the tab of the boots is eliminated with this pairing because of the flare. It just doesn’t seem to be an issue, even though the hem of the jeans barely covers the top of the boot.

I just wish I had thought to style this outfit a bit more — I think a front tuck and a belt would really improve the overall look.

For one thing, it would balance out my proportions a bit — with the shorter jeans, a shorter top works best. Plus, it’s all rather plain, and I think a belt would really take it up a notch.

Mother Insider Crop + Marc Fisher Yale Chelsea Boot

I also wanted to see these jeans with the Marc Fisher Yale, and this is just okay to me. I don’t know if it’s the pointy toe or the shiny leather or the lower heel or a combination of all three, but something looks off to me.

sweater (S) // jeans (28) // boots (8)

Maybe the jeans and the boots are okay, and it just needs a different top. I think an edgier look on top — perhaps a moto jacket over a graphic tee — would be better suited to these boots.

I was trying to cut down on the different variables, so I styled everything with this same top, but I should have played around a bit more with other options.

sweater (S) // jeans (28) // boots (8)

The rear view is where these lose me; and I apologize for my nasty iPhone screen. I didn’t realize how bad this was until I went to upload these pix. But this rear view looks really elf-like to me, with the pointy low-heeled boots poking out from under the crop flares. I’m not feeling it.

sweater (S) // jeans (28) // boots (8)

And yes, I should have done rear view shots of the other looks… I didn’t even think about it.

Mother Insider Crop + Aquatalia Tilly

Finally, just for the sake of argument, I decided to try this same look with my Aquatalia Tilly suede sock boots.

I picked up these boots on an end of season sale last winter, and I already knew I liked how they looked with these jeans, so I wanted to try them on to compare to the Chelsea boots above. Even though they’re sold out, I link them so you can see the details and specs.

sweater (S) // jeans (28) // boots

These booties are a classic style that’s hard to define. I usually call them sock booties because of the high, slim 7″ shaft. That makes them really easy to slip under jeans and pants of all different lengths; I can even wear them under my skinnies.

They’re also weather-proof, so they’re perfect for our messy Pennsylvania winters.

The classic styling works better with this top, and in this case, I actually thought to give it a front-tuck.

sweater (S) // jeans (28) // boots

I feel like this pairing works, although I still see that skinny shaft against the wider leg of the jeans, and it seems weird to me. Maybe my eye just needs to adjust to the look after wearing primarily skinnies for so long.

Yes, I realize they aren’t Chelsea boots, but comparing other styles helps me decide if I like the Chelsea boots with these jeans or if there’s a better option.

Mother Insider Crop + AGL Pointy Toe Flats

Before I quit, I wanted to try one more thing — the AGL pointy toe flats.

Of course, these aren’t boots at all, but I had a feeling I might like them with this top and jeans, and I would love to find a few ways to wear these jeans so I can get a lower cost per wear out of them.

sweater (S) // jeans (28) // flats

While I still prefer the silhouette of a skinny jean, I can appreciate that this outfit is modern and flattering.

The proportions are working, and if I add a belt, I think I have a look I’d be comfortable wearing out and about.

sweater (S) // jeans (28) // flats

Of course, that doesn’t solve my Chelsea boot dilemma, but at least it gives me another option with these jeans.

As for the Chelsea boots, I think they work best with the straight ankle jeans.

I’m excited to come up with some other outfits around that pairing, although now I want to get a pair of straight ankle jeans without that chewed up hem… Time to go shopping, ha!

It never ends, does it!?

I hope this was fun. I know I could have been more thorough and tried some other combinations, but I wanted to get this post up today. I’ll definitely keep playing around with Chelsea boots and straight leg jeans as I’m putting outfits together over the next few weeks.

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


13 Easy Ways to Instantly Elevate Your Style

When I started this blog back in 2006 as a way to keep in touch with friends and family, I never imagined I would end making a full-time job out of it… much less, writing about fashion!

I’ve always enjoyed clothes and shopping, but putting it all together didn’t always come easily to me.

After writing this blog for almost 15 years and focusing primarily on fashion for the past five, I’ve learned a lot from reading fashion articles, following influencers whose style I admire and studying their techniques, and a lot of personal trial and error.

I still don’t consider myself an expert, but I’ve picked up some tips and tricks over the years that make me feel more polished and confident in my outfits, and I’m sharing them today.

13 Easy Ways to Elevate Your Style

#1. Dress for your body type.

You will look far more polished and chic if you’re wearing clothes that work together to flatter your individual body, and learning to dress my body type was a life-changing moment for me… or maybe I should say a style-elevating moment!

I credit Kelly Snyder’s Adore Your Wardrobe course for putting it all together for me, and I highly recommend it if you struggle with this.

When you know what works for you and what doesn’t, it cuts way down on the frustration of shopping, to say nothing of the amount of returns you have to make. This isn’t to say I never have to experiment or try things on, but I can eliminate a good portion of the options right off the bat, which saves time and aggravation.

And to go along with this, I would add, dress for the size you are right now. Wearing clothes that are too big or too small because you hope to lose another few pounds will only make you look bigger and frumpier.

Dress for your current body, and if your weight changes, you can always sell your gently used items to fund new purchases.

#2. Wear a properly fitting bra.

Wearing a properly fitting bra is such an important first step to creating flattering outfits. It can easily take off 10 pounds of visual weight, without even having to deny yourself dessert!

It’s also important to replace your bras regularly because they stretch out, and when that happens, they can no longer provide optimal shape and support.

If you need tips, I wrote a post about how to find a properly fitting bra, or better yet, schedule a bra fitting with a professional at Nordstrom. It doesn’t cost a thing, and it’s well worth the time.

#3. Practice proper posture. 

Good posture is another way to lose 5-10 pounds of visual weight without having to change your diet, plus your clothes fit better and look better on when you stand up straight. Proper posture also makes you look poised and confident.

I’ve been trying to improve my slouchy posture my entire life, and it feels like a losing battle, but I’m still trying. The situation has only worsened with age and sitting at the computer for hours and hours every week.

Has anyone ever tried one of those posture correctors? I’ve been considering it. Is it a gimmick, or does it really work?

#4. Whiten your teeth.

Yellow or discolored teeth are one of the fastest ways to cheapen your look and make you look grungy. I like my coffee as much as the next girl, but I finally had to take some action because my teeth were getting so yellow.

I went to the dentist and got a Zoom whitening system, but honestly, I had just as good results a few years ago with Crest Whitestrips.

There are plenty of other options available as well, but this is definitely a situation that is easier to remedy before it gets too bad.

And then, don’t forget to smile! To quote the incomparable Dolly Parton, “SMILE! It improves your face value!”

#5. Mix high and low. 

When putting an outfit together, try to incorporate a variety of brands and price points. It’s more interesting (and much easier on the budget!) than dressing head to toe in haute couture, and it achieves the balance between looking stylish but not try-hard.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: When to Splurge and When To Save When Building A Wardrobe

One tip I’ve read is to add one luxury item to your outfit. This elevates the whole look, and keeps your audience guessing… If you choose wisely, no one will know which pieces are high end and which are less expensive.

As an example, I wear jeans almost every day, so invest in premium denim. Then I often pair my pricey designer jeans with less expensive tops from stores like Loft and Old Navy, and mid-range fashion jewelry from brands like Lucky Brand and Kendra Scott.


#6. Wear all black.

When in doubt, a monochromatic outfit is a great way to look effortlessly chic. And really, it doesn’t have to be black. Any monochromatic ensemble will achieve this elevated look.

In fact, as we age, black can be too harsh for older skin, so feel free to try this with navy, grey, beige, white, even red!

The key is to mix textures and patterns to keep it interesting.

Effortless Fall Style with Elevated Basics


#7. Show some skin… but not too much.

As we age, our tendency is to cover up more, but allowing some skin to show — specifically at the neck and/or ankle — is generally more flattering than covering up and looks more fresh and youthful.

In the above picture, the ankle-length jeans paired with pumps expose some skin in the ankle area, and the scoop-neck tank elongates the neck and opens up the chest area. Both of these techniques help you look longer and leaner.

I should recreate this look with a crewneck top and full-length jeans with a higher vamp shoe, to show you the difference. Maybe I’ll do that for Saturday’s Try-On Haul!

Of course, this is one we don’t want to take too far. Exposing too much skin isn’t going to convey a polished, sophisticated appearance either, but finding that happy medium can really elevate your look.

#8. Incorporate animal print.

A pop of animal print has a way of elevating a simple outfit, and it adds a nice element of interest. It can be a top, a scarf, a belt, a pair of shoes… anything!

Animal prints are trending right now, so we are seeing them everywhere, but even when it’s not a hot trend, animal print is always a classic style element that you can incorporate into your outfit to level up the look.

My favorite way to incorporate animal print is with snake print or leopard shoes, as shown above.


#9. Be sure to accessorize, but beware of over-accessorizing.

Wearing a simple accessory or two conveys that you care and makes even the most casual outfit look more intentional. Even when I’m wearing joggers and a sweatshirt, I almost always put on a pair of earrings — usually a small stud.

On the flip side, over-doing it with your accessories can look cheap and try-hard.

Coco Chanel is said to have offered the following sage advice: “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.”

I suppose you have to know yourself and your natural tendencies before heeding this advice. I’m definitely of the “less is more” mentality when it comes to accessorizing, and sometimes I have to force myself to add one thing before leaving the house.

But the idea here is, don’t over-do it. One statement piece is all an outfit really needs; the other accessories just support the focal point.

In the look above, I wore a mixed metal statement necklace in the neckline of my top, and I kept the rest of my accessories more subtle — a black leather belt with silver buckle, hoop earrings, and a great pair of sunglasses… which brings us to #10!


#10. Get yourself a great pair of sunglasses.

Sunglasses aren’t just useful for eye protection; they’re also an easy way to elevate your look. They don’t have to be super expensive, but they should be on trend and flattering.

This is an area where I’m more likely to “go big or go home.” I think a pair of oversized sunnies is so chic. I have a few pairs of sunglasses I alternate, and I love them all for different reasons.

The ones I’m wearing in the picture above are rag & bone, and they are currently on sale at Shopbop. I also love these Gucci cat eye sunnies and these Maui Jims.

For a lower priced option, these oversized sunnies by DIFF look really similar to my Gucci pair, and Quay makes a lot of good options under $100.


11. Carry a quality handbag.

I’m a firm believer that a quality bag instantly makes an outfit look more polished and classy.

Your handbag is something you carry with you every day, and it’s always visible, so this is an area where I recommend buying the highest quality piece you can reasonably afford, but that doesn’t mean you have to carry a designer label. There are lots of good choices at a variety of price points.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Save, Spend, Splurge: Everyday Neutral Handbags

When selecting your go-to handbag, opt for a classic style without a lot of embellishments or trendy accents. Choose a good quality leather (unless you are morally opposed) in a modern neutral tone or a bold color that compliments most of your wardrobe.

And avoid fakes and dupes of designer labels. Besides the ethical issues with designer dupes, carrying a fake really cheapens our look.

Also, pay attention to wear and tear. When your bag starts to look worn, faded, and beat up, or if the threads are coming loose, etc., it’s time for a replacement. This goes for all wardrobe items, really.

Luxe Meets Sporty: A Casual Monochromatic Outfit for Fall


12. Incorporate trends sparingly.

Trends are fun and a great way to keep your look current, but as with accessories, beware of overdoing it.

When we’re younger, we can get away with wearing all the trends, but as we get older, we should incorporate them into our wardrobe a little more thoughtfully.

Decide which trends make sense for your lifestyle and personal style aesthetic, and combine them with other classic pieces, lest you look try-hard.

In the look above, my sneakers are definitely trendy, but I wore them with a luxe cashmere turtleneck and a quality leather jacket, and I kept my accessories fairly minimal.

Winter Outfit Inspo: J.Crew Wool Cocoon Coat, black & white striped cashmere v-neck sweater, black AG skinny jeans, Stuart Weitzman Women's Alljill Suede Over-the-Knee Boots | Jo-Lynne Shane #fashionover40 #winteroutfit

wearing: J.Crew Cocoon Coat (40% off)

13. Wear a coat to suit the occasion.

This is an area that is easy to overlook, but I’ve been caught on several occasions without an appropriate coat, and I vowed never to let that happen again. I mean, nothing ruins a dressy look faster than throwing your old parka on top of it, am I right?

This is largely dependent upon your lifestyle and area of the country, but most of us need a few different styles of coats for the various occasions that crop up.

For spring and fall, I like to have a lightweight quilted jacket and/or a casual rain jacket for my casual looks, as well as a classic trench for dressier occasions. For winter, I have a couple of wool coats for dressier looks, a quilted jacket with a hood for everyday wear, and a long puffer coat for the coldest days.

In addition to those, you may want a leather jacket, utility jacket, denim jacket, sherpa or shearling jacket, etc.

It all depends on your lifestyle, personal preferences, and of course your weather, but be sure to keep an appropriate coat handy for dressier events, even if they are rare.

P.S. J.Crew is running a 40% off sale on their coats and jackets right now!

In Conclusion

Like all matters of fashion, these are simply my opinions and tips and tricks I’ve found that make me feel more polished and put-together. I’m sure we won’t all agree on all of them, but I hope it’s helpful!

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Fall/Winter Fashion

What I Wore Lately Vol. 31

Hi friends! It’s already Wednesday again, and that means it’s time for What I Wore Lately — a roundup of my daily outfits from the past week. Let’s dive right in!

What I Wore Lately: Everyday Outfit Ideas for Women Over 40

SIZING NOTES: I’m 5’5″ and 135 pounds-ish, with a slight hourglass shape. Unless I say otherwise, I’m wearing a 6/28 in pants/jeans, a small in tops, a 6 in dresses/jumpsuits, and size 8 shoe.

What I Wore Lately

Starting with last Wednesday, I guess I got myself all gussied up for some mundane errands and a day of working from home. I don’t see anything on my calendar, but I feel like I went somewhere; I just don’t remember where.

It was clearly a nice day, since I was in a short-sleeved t-shirt.

I do recall having some really lovely, warm weather last week before a cold front moved in on Saturday. This time of year, I’m so busy with work that sometimes I forget to even look outside!

Anyway, I took this picture to show my bracelet, and as you can see, I’m carrying a bag, so I must have gone somewhere.

Also, this belt is too big. I bought it before I lost weight, and I like it so much that I continue to wear it, but I realized last week that it’s time to pass it on and find something that fits.

Good grief, I took a lot of pictures. I was clearly feeling this outfit.

I’ve mentioned these shoes a few times, but I love and adore them. They just went on a deeper discount — now down $129!!! Sizes are flying off the virtual shelves, so act fast if you wanted them. Size up half; I have the 8 1/2.

Oh my goodness, these jeans are marked down too! Sizes are selling fast. I found them true to size; I have the 6.

cheetah tee (sold out; similar for less) // off-black jeans (TTS and on sale!) // studded flats (size up half) // Everlane studio bag // similar hoops // wrap bracelet c/o Victoria Emerson

Okay, so the next day was Thursday.

I don’t know why I say things like that… we all know Thursday comes after Wednesday.

ANYWHO. I spent most of the day Thursday working from home, and I threw this on for an afternoon meeting.

This ribbed dolman top was in my October Favorites; I expect it to get a lot of use this fall.

I added a layered necklace and small drop earrings even though I was wearing minimal makeup and my hair was kind of ratchet. At least it was an attempt at looking put-together.

Oh, and these TB flats are on sale! This color is very similar to mine, just a tad darker.

dolman top // raw hem skinnies // similar suede ballet flats (30% off!) // layer necklace // drop earrings

Friday was our last high school football game and band performance. R was really down about it. She feels like she just got started, and it all came to a screeching halt.

I used the opportunity to wear my band mom tee one last time.

graphic tee // grey skinnies // P448 sneakers // leather jacket (sold out; similar here and here) // similar hoops // nails: Fuji Love

We attended an Oktoberfest party on Saturday afternoon, and I wasn’t sure how to dress. It had been really nice and warm earlier in the day, but a cold front was moving in.

I decided on this lightweight camo print sweater (from Anthro last year) and my trusty off-black jeans. I brought a black quilted vest along in the car to throw on later if I needed it, which I did.

And I decided I was overthinking the jeans/boots combo (see last week’s post if you don’t know what I mean), so I threw on these Chelsea boots and just wore them.

I think the length of the jean is okay with the shaft height of the boot, but I wish the jeans had a smaller leg opening so it would match up to the opening of the boots a little bit better. I doubt it’s that noticeable when I’m wearing them and moving around, though.

camo sweater (sold out) /// off-black jeans (TTS and on sale!) // Chelsea boots // similar hoops

That brings us to Sunday, and church! I was running late, and I threw on this long rust cardigan from my recent Ann Taylor collab with my raw hem black skinnies.

I totally forgot to add my snake print belt, but I guess the gold hardware wouldn’t look quite right with the silver studs on the shoes anyway.

These hoops are old and no longer stocked, but John Hardy designs some really nice pieces. I dug them out for the first outfit last Wednesday, and since they’ve been sitting out, I found myself wearing them a bunch this week.

rust cardigan (XS) // woven tank // black skinnies // studded flats (size up half) // croc print tote // necklace // similar hoops // nails: Fuji Love

After church, I switched into comfy jeans, a cozy Vince sweater from last year’s #NSale, and my favorite slippers.

My sweater is sold out, but there’s one lone blue one still available at Nordstrom Rack.

v-neck sweater // similar rag & bone Cate skinnies (30% off) // UGG slippers

Okay, so the last two days have been a bit of a bust. On Monday, I threw this on to go pick up my mail-in ballot and cast my vote at our local library because I was planning to go for a walk or run afterwards.

Unfortunately, everyone else had the same idea. With the deadline to claim a mail-in ballot looming, there was a verrrrry long line wrapped around the parking lot. It was rainy and cold, so we decided to bail and take our chances on Nov 3rd.

We came back home, and I worked the rest of the day like this. It was rainy and depressing, and I just couldn’t get motivated to fix myself up, or even go for that walk/run.

Vuori hoodie // Zella tee // Lululemon leggings // Saucony running shoes

And yesterday, I had a facial and I never put on any makeup or did my hair. I did put on real clothes, though. I didn’t want to spend a second day in a row in joggers.

bell sleeve sweater // Paige crop skinnies // snake print slip-ons (size down half) // nails: Fuji Love

And that’s all I’ve got to show for myself this week. Today looks like another dreary, depressing day, but I’m planning to get myself dressed and made up just because I always feel better when I do.

I also want to play around with some of my straighter leg jeans and boots, but we’ll see if I get that far. I have a lot of deadlines to meet this week, and I’m a little behind. I have a feeling this is going to be a computer day.

Make it a good one!

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October Favorites 2020

Greetings, friends! It’s time for my October Favorites. This is a roundup of new finds and old favorites I’m particularly loving right now.

It’s mostly a mix of beauty and fashion, but I added a few home-related items added in here as well.

Jo-Lynne Shane's October Favorites 2020
one // two // three // four // five // six // seven // eight // nine // ten // eleven // twelve // thirteen // fourteen

October Favorites 2020

one // I mentioned a while back that our Nespresso Vertuo coffee machine died. I was just going to order another of the same thing, but Paul did some research and decided we should get the newer VertuoPlus.

Well, I love it. It holds more water and spent capsules than the old one, and it’s smaller and more streamlined. You can also adjust where the water tank sits, to suit your specific counter situation.

I also find it easier to insert capsules and start the brewing process, and it doesn’t have that funky handle you have to turn; you just press a button, and presto! An amazing cup of coffee in about 60 seconds.

The best prices I’ve found are at Amazon or Bed Bath & Beyond. I got the machine only, without the milk frother, since we don’t need that.

Also, my favorite capsules are the Double Espresso Scuro (to which I add hot water from the microwave for an Americano) and the Stormio, which makes 8 oz of a strong, rich coffee with the signature Nespresso crema on top.

two // I recently discovered these wonder cloths, and I love them for washing my face at night. I use them to remove my makeup, and they’re just the right size and so soft against my skin.

They supposedly have some exfoliating qualities, plus my makeup doesn’t stain them so they stay looking nice and white.

three // I find myself gravitating to this sweater a lot this fall. The 3/4 length sleeves are perfect for our mild temps, and the ribbed knit skims the body without clinging.

Plus, it has a really flattering v-neckline and the little slits in the hem for added interest, and I think the camel color is so classy.

It was on sale, but unfortunately is not at the moment. It runs true to size; I have the small.

four // These jeans are on constant repeat lately. Everything seems to go with the off-black. I love how it gives an edgier vibe to sporty styles, and tones down my dressier tops.

Plus, they have a terrific fit, although I’m struggling to pair them with the taller shaft booties that are out right now… stay tuned for a post on that!

five // I recently added Everlane’s The Studio Bag in the black leather to my closet. I was looking for something understated and practical, and a medium size for everyday.

I especially like that it doesn’t have a lot of hardware, and what it does have is silver. I wear so much silver, yet most of my bags seem to have gold hardware.

It’s sleek and modern and practical, and priced right under $200.

six // I didn’t mean to create an entire outfit in this post, but I much exactly that. I purchased this tiger eye necklace specifically to wear with the camel sweater above (which also happens to pair beautifully with those off-black jeans!)

I was expecting to wear it with other tops as well, as it’s so perfect for fall. But I rarely find the need for a statement necklace. I have worn it twice, both times with this sweater — once to go out to dinner and the other time to church.

It’s currently on sale for $24, and I will definitely keep this around for next year, when hopefully I will have more opportunities to dress up!

NOTE: I’m also wearing these leopard print flats, which I LOVE, but they are almost sold out. The sizes that are left are marked down to $125 + an additional 50% off with code SHOPNEW, but they are final sale.

For size reference, I went up a whole size — I have them in the 9 medium. (FYI, in J.Crew shoe sizing, the h = 1/2, so 8h medium = 8 1/2 medium.)

seven // I’ve been gravitating to this particular pair of P448 John sneakers so much lately, I had to include them in this post, even though this exact style is sold out.

There are, however, lots of other fun styles available. These shoes actually have a bit of support, and I find them very comfortable, but the ones that have more suede on them are definitely easier to break in than the all-leather styles.

Sizing is a little all over the place with this brand. I have these in the 38 and my other pair in a 39.

eight // I finally broke down and ordered this tinted mineral sunscreen that Angie at Hot & Flashy recommends.

I hadn’t realized it, but I believe the slight burning sensation I usually experience when applying makeup in the mornings may be due to the Jan Marini sunscreen I’ve been using for so long. I thought I loved that product, but now that I’ve tried the EltaMD, I can never go back.

It feels so nice on the skin, plus it is slightly tinted, which is a nice bonus. Also, it’s a heckuvalot cheaper than the Jan Marini!

nine // I love my new The North Face insulated quilted jacket! It’s so flattering and comfortable, and the white with black and yellow accents is different and fun.

It also comes in black and navy, for anyone worried about getting the white dirty. This jacket runs TTS; I have the small.

ten // Hmmmm… another ribbed, v-neck sweater. I guess I know what I like! Also note how well it pairs with those off-black jeans. I’m telling you, they go with ev-er-y-thing.

This top is really easy to wear, the neckline is super flattering, and I love a dolman sleeve. This is the olive sarma, and it also comes in black, light grey, and a beige oatmeal color — all great neutrals. I had a hard time picking a color.

It’s true to size; I have the small.

eleven // Unfortunately, it’s back to full-price, but I’m loving this leopard print sherpa I picked up at Abercrombie a couple weekends ago. It’s so cute and cozy, and the leather trim is a really nice touch.

I actually put this on yesterday when I was cold in the house, and it warmed me right up! These run true to size; I have a small.

twelve // Another Angie-recommendation, this Colorescience Total Eye 3-in-1 Renewal Therapy is my new best friend. (I have the color Fair.)

It’s a gentle mineral sunscreen especially formulated for use around the eye area (including eyelids), and it contains antioxidants and hyaluronic acid, so it’s an eye treatment as well. It claims to alleviate signs of aging, dark circles, puffiness, sun damage, and dryness. #yesplease

Plus, it’s slightly tinted, so it starts color correcting even before you apply your makeup, and it evens out my ruddy skin on days when I go without makeup.

So far, I’m really happy with it. I honestly think my under-eye area, which is prone to major eye bags and puffiness, looks better after using this product for just a couple of weeks. Yes, the price tag is a little hefty, but I’m hoping it lasts quite a while. A little goes a long way.

thirteen // This is the other component of my new under eye routine that I’m really enjoying right now. This concealer is lighter (in weight, not color) than the ones I’ve used in the past, and it’s a lot more forgiving on aging skin.

I have the color 220 BUFF. You can find this product at Nordstrom, Ulta, and Macy’s; and it’s currently 15% off at Nordstrom and Macy’s.

fourteen // I ordered these pillows after someone here recommended them, and a few others chimed in and verified how awesome they are. I have to say, I’m really enjoying them.

They’re definitely the most comfortable pillows I’ve ever used, and they don’t lose their shape.

And that’s a wrap! I hope you enjoyed this post and maybe found a few new items to try.

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My Fall Closet & What I Kept

Good morning, and hello Monday! I get a lot of questions about how I organize my closet, as well as what items of clothing I kept from my fall style series, so I’m combining both in this post.

I’ve shared my closet before, but I reorganize it with each change of seasons, so this is pretty much how it looks right now.

When you walk into our closet area, mine is on the left and Paul’s is on the right.

We designed both of our closets soon after we moved in back in 2018, and we used Closets By Design. You can see more about our design process and both closets HERE.

My Master Bedroom Closet Reveal
I have to say, I always feel a bit uncomfortable sharing pictures of my closet and summarizing everything I’ve purchased (and kept) from a new season. It seems a bit braggy, and I’ve received a snarky comment or two in the past.

Yes, it’s a lot, especially considering that most of my clothes and shoes were purchased in the last few years, but keep in mind, this is my job. I wouldn’t be able to put a variety of outfits together, and experiment with different lengths and styles, and give you shoppable links to most things I wear if I didn’t have a good variety to choose from.

I’m actually a minimalist by nature, and I would love to pare down more, but I know I’d regret getting rid of some things. That has happened before.

Plus, the older I get and the more “investment pieces” I purchase for my own enjoyment, the more I find myself keeping longterm.

In years past, I had more of a “disposable wardrobe” each season, based on what I needed to style for the blog, but I’ve been trying to move away from that so I can be more true to myself. I can’t exactly preach “quality over quantity” and then buy a bunch of fast fashion and ditch it every season for new.

So, with that all said, this is my fall/winter wardrobe  as it stands now… bearing in mind, I keep more than I personally need so I have a variety to work with when I want to style new pieces for posts or try-on hauls.

My Fall Closet

The drawers you see in the middle house most of my lingerie and socks, etc. plus some pajamas and workout gear. In the summertime, I can fit all of my pjs and workout gear in those drawers if I use the KonMari folding method (Google is your friend.) But in the winter, I have to expand a bit onto the shelves to the right.

The bottom drawer is a hamper, which is AWESOME. I hated to give up drawer space, but I love having that hidden hamper. (Paul has one too.)

I try to keep all of my sweaters on the shelves above the drawers.

At some point in the winter, I usually have to allow some to overflow onto a shelf on the right, but this year, I moved my clutches over to the right so I have one more shelf for sweaters, and I’m hoping that will be enough space to accommodate any new pieces I add. If it’s not, that will be my sign to purge.

Speaking of which, I only have a set number of hangers, and when they’re full, I go through and purge. It’s one way I keep my closet from getting out of control. (FYI, here’s a link to my hangers — they’re plastic but look like wood; I love them.)

Currently, the very top right stack is my scarves, but I can move those if I need that spot for more sweaters.

Looking to the left, I have all of my pants and jeans hung on the top bar and my tops and shirts on the bottom.

I used to have jeans hanging on the top left side of the drawers, and pants on the top right side, but I recently combined all my pants/jeans so I could add more shelves on the top right. (In the summer, that is hanging space; in the winter, it is shelves.

Also, I have way too many pairs of jeans for my comfort level at the moment. I’m planning to purge some, but I’m still waiting to do some experimenting with different boots. This is an odd time of year, when I’m still figuring out what I actually need.

As far as all the short-sleeve tops, I kept a lot from the summer for layering under cardigans and jackets this fall, but I will probably get rid of some of those when the weather finally gets cold. It was 70 degrees a couple of days this week, so I haven’t fully transitioned all my summer clothes out yet.

On the left wall, I have my shoe shelf.

This area is challenging me this year. I have a lot of boots from last year, plus new ones, plus a lot of classic pumps that I rarely wear but feel like I need to have accessible.

I had to move some boots over to the shelves on the right, and I would prefer they were closer to the rest of my shoes/boots, but the shelves weren’t cut to the right size to put where my jeans are. So it is what it is.

Also on that right side, I have my clutches and special occasion bags up top, and workout gear and sweats on the bottom shelf.

FYI, I never had a shelf for workout gear and sweats before Covid, lol! I used it for boots last year, I believe. Or maybe extra sweaters?

On the bottom, to the right of the drawers, is all my vests, sweatshirts, etc.

I hang my cardigans — they are on the left of the drawers with the long-sleeve tops.

And rounding the corner to the right, I have my handbags on the shelves on top and dresses and jackets on the hanging rod below.

These are the acrylic dividers I use for my bags, and my belts are hanging on the wall with a command hook. Running shoes are on that bottom shelf, and I have a few older pairs of tall boots tucked away under my vests/sweatshirts too.

22 Days of Fall Fashion: What I Kept

As you all know, when Cyndi and I do a seasonal style series, we create at least one outfit per day for the entire month, and we try to make everything current and linkable. That’s a lot of new clothes!

It probably won’t surprise you to hear that we don’t keep everything we style. It doesn’t mean we don’t like them or recommend them; it just means we don’t need them all.

I think I’ve finally returned everything I don’t plan to keep from 22 Days of Fall Fashion and the #NSale, and I’ve also gone through everything I kept from last year and decided what stays and what goes, so my fall closet is pretty set.

I’m dividing this up by category, and I didn’t bother double checking to see that I included everything. I also didn’t add commentary about sizing or anything, and some of these are sold out, but I linked what I could.


Tops & Tees

Pants & Jeans



Jackets, Vests & Blazers

Sweatshirts, Leggings & Joggers

I’m sure I’ve forgotten some things, and I didn’t tackle accessories, but I think this hits the highlights!

As I said above, this list isn’t all inclusive, but it’s what I was able to find as I went through my ShopStyle account. Good thing I save everything I link!

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Coffee Talk 10.25.20

Good morning! It’s a dreary one here, but we did get a really nice mid-day break in the gloom yesterday, and I had a great run before the clouds and the wind moved back in. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look good for our family photos that were scheduled for this afternoon. Oh, well. You can’t win ’em all, I guess!

By the time I got out for my run yesterday, it was almost noon, and the sun had just decided to make an appearance. It suddenly turned into a gorgeous fall day, although it only lasted for about three hours.

I decided I needed a change of scenery, so I went out of my neighborhood and down one of our narrow country roads. I live in such a pretty area, it really is a shame to run circles around my neighborhood when I could be exploring different routes, but I don’t feel safe running on some of the roads around here because they are so narrow and windy.

(That is windy with a long I — although often they are windy with the short i as well.)

There wasn’t much traffic at noon on a Saturday, so it worked out okay. The leaves are at their peak here this weekend, and it was just stunning, albeit a little warm. It was right at 69 degrees when I got back to the house, which sounds lovely unless you are running in it and the sun is high in the sky.

I should have gone earlier, but oh well. I really need to start prepping my Try-On Hauls ahead of time. They take way too long to write the day I want to post them.

ANYWHO. I’m finally getting to the point where I’m no longer doing run/walk intervals, and I can just run without having to pay attention to the time. It’s so nice. I went out almost two miles, and I would have gone farther, but it was hilly, and I knew I had to get back home.

I did take a few short walking breaks, but for the most part, I ran the entire three miles. At that point, my legs were feeling a bit like jello, so I walked the rest of the way home and just enjoyed the views.

Unfortunately, the cold weather system that is hitting our area decided to move in right about the time our Oktoberfest party was scheduled to begin at 2:00. We thought we were going to get a pleasant afternoon for it, but it turned dark and windy and chilly as soon as we got there. I’m so glad I thought to throw a puffer vest in the car just before we left the house.

We were able to stay outside for the duration of the party, thanks to a bonfire that we set up when it started to get dark. It was a fun time with lots of good food, music, and games. We kept the gathering small, but it was nice to do something festive and fun on one of our last fall weekends.

It looks like the weather is finally going to turn. We’ve had some really mild days lately, but it’s only 45 degrees right now at 9AM, and it’s only going up to 50 today, with rain moving in. I’m really bummed because our family pictures were scheduled for later this afternoon.

This year was important to me because it’s our 25th wedding anniversary, D is turning 21, C is turning 18, and R finally has her braces off. I was planning to get a picture we could frame for one of the walls in our living room.

We worked hard to find a day when all of our schedules jibed for family pictures, but whatchagonnado? Can’t control the weather. When the kids all get up, we will have to have a family meeting and find another date. If the leaves are done, so be it. Maybe we should  just wait till it’s closer to the holidays and go somewhere with a festive atmosphere.

I’m not sure that’s what I want for our living room wall, but it would be nice for our Christmas cards, I guess. We’ll see… it will work out.

I hope you’re having a good weekend, and you have a restful and relaxing Sunday!

Fall/Winter Fashion

Try-On Haul: J.Crew, Abercrombie, Nordstrom, LOFT & More

Good morning, and happy Saturday! It’s kind of gloomy over here, but I hope it clears up because we have an Oktoberfest party to attend this afternoon.

This try-on sesh is LONG, so let’s get started! There are also a lot of things I’ve styled recently that just went on sale, so they’re sprinkled throughout the post as I noticed them, and I rounded up even a few more at the end.

For size reference, I’m 5’5″ and 135 pounds, with a slight hourglass shape. My “true” sizes are 6/28 in pants/jeans, small in tops, 6 in dresses/jumpsuits, and I wear a size 8 shoe.

Try-On Haul: J.Crew, Abercrombie, Nordstrom, LOFT & More

Abercrombie Sherpa Half-Zip Faux Leather-Trim Sweatshirt size S

But last weekend they went on a major sale, and R and I were at the mall, so I suggested we go in and look at them. I was thinking for her, and she did indeed fall in love… but so did I!

As it turns out, they aren’t as shapeless as I feared, and even though they’re not the most flattering form of outerwear, that’s not really the point. When you’re cold, do you care?

They do have some shaping through the waist, as you can probably see, and they’re also longer than I expected, which I think actually helps it not look so bulky. It’s even long enough for wearing with leggings, if you so desire.

Plus, they’re ridiculously cozy and warm — perfect for all the outdoor gatherings this fall!

Throw it on with your favorite denim and fashion sneakers, and you’ve got yourself a casual-cool, cozy outfit. (My P448 sneakers are an old style, but Nordstrom has several other styles 25% off.)

They look cute with UGGs too!

I’m wearing my usual size small, and right now, these sherpas are 25% off if you’re an Abercrombie member. (It’s free to join.)

In fact, while they’re on sale, I’m considering this mid-length sherapa coat in one of the solid brown colors. I think it would be a nice alternative to a quilted jacket with casual outfits.

VERDICT: Keeping!

also wearing: UGG Quincy boots with Kut from the Kloth Donna skinnies

J.Crew Factory Colorblock crewneck sweater in extra-soft yarn size S

I ordered a few sweaters from J.Crew Factory when they were on sale a week or so ago. Currently, they’re running a Shop More, Save More Sale: Save an extra 40% when you purchase 4+ items, 30% on 3+ items, and 20% on 2 items with code SAVEMORE.

This colorblock crewneck is really cute. I love the colors, the soft, spongy knit, and the color blocking pattern.

It’s made of acrylic/nylon/elastane/wool, and it runs true to size. It also comes in a Quartz/Begonia color way, but I like this Acorn/Navy much better.

It actually has a bit of shape though the waist, which I think you can see best in the rear view.

My only complaint is that it’s a little longer than I prefer. It hits me right at the widest part of my hips.

I didn’t try the front tuck, but I guess I should. I still think front-tucking a sweater seems odd, although sometimes I do it anyway.

VERDICT: I will probably return because of the length, and I have too many sweaters to settle for one that I don’t love, but I would recommend this if the length and everything else works for you.

also wearing: old rag & bone Cate skinnies (I was trying to see if they still fit) and Madewell Day Loafer Mules (love; size up half)

Speaking of these skinnies, rag & bone is running a 30% off sale (the code is TAKE30), and while this exact wash is sold out, there are a lot of good ones.

This Cate style is my favorite for rag & bone skinnies.

They also make the Nina with a similar fit in the butt and legs, but with a higher rise.

LOFT High Waist Skinny Corduroy Pants size 6

I saw these at LOFT and thought they would make a nice alternative to jeans this fall, but yeowsah… ugh. They look a lot better in these pictures than they did on my body.

For one thing, they are super high rise, which I don’t always mind, especially if I’m going to wear a sweater untucked over top, however, these do nothing to hold in the belly flab… if anything, they accentuate it.

I will say this, the rear view isn’t horrible, the pockets are a good size, and they have decent pocket placement, but there is something really weird going on around the, ahem, middle seam… I don’t know if it’s just the lighting or what, but… #nothanks.

The length and cut of the leg is flattering in a very traditional sense, but they don’t look particularly modern. Plus, they have a sheen to them which is rather unfortunate.

VERDICT: returning…  in case you weren’t sure about that!

also wearing: old Vince sweater and Madewell Remi mules

J.Crew Factory Button sweater in extra-soft yarn size S

This sweater is that same super soft, spongy knit as the colorblock sweater above, and I thought this rust would be fun for fall, but wow, it is BRIGHT.

The fit is cute, though, and the length is nice.

I first put it on with those cords and the snake print mules, but I decided to see if I could make it look a little more youthful with mildly distressed skinny jeans, and I definitely like this look better.

I don’t think the sweater really needs a front tuck, but I tried it anyway. It runs true to size, and it comes in a bunch of other colors.

This is the Spiced Cayenne, and I would say the color on the website is more true than my pictures, but it’s still brighter in real life than shown there. (I worked with these photos in lightroom and could not tone it down. I think it’s b/c I was using a ring light — it was a gloomy day, and my room was dark.)

VERDICT: Returning; too bright. I may try the black or burgundy, though.

J.Crew Factory Open-front cardigan in extra-soft yarn size S

Again, the color of this sweater is NOT as bright as it looks in my pictures, but it’s definitely bright. This is the Bronzed Ochre.

I actually had this sweater last year in the Hthr Acorn, and it’s a really nice camel color.

It’s really flattering for a long cardigan. I like the shape a lot, and the pocket placement is perfect.

Here it is with flats…

I do think I could have sized down in this. It’s pretty voluminous from certain angles.

I actually ordered this sweater so I could recreate this popular look from the blog a few years ago… who remembers this???

The funny thing is, I like the original outfit better. I much prefer the cut of that boyfriend cardigan… it fits closer to the body, and the length is much more practical.

Not to mention, the mustard is a much more wearable shade of yellow, and the contrasting buttons are a nice touch as well.

mustard cardigan

To recreate it for 2020, I ordered a more traditional fringed oblong leopard scarf, but it’s kind of short for the way I have it tied.

I also went for a pair of lighter wash flares, which I think look a little more modern.

Flares are definitely around, but not super popular right now. The more flared styles in lighter washes seem to be a little more of the moment. I also like the lighter boots with it.

You be the judge! Who wore it better? 2015 Jo-Lynne or 2020 Jo-Lynne???

J.Crew Zoe leopard calf hair d’Orsay flats size 8

I think these shoes are super cute and flattering. I had them in a different print last year and liked them a lot. The quality is meh, but if you can get them for 30 or 40% off, they’re a decent value.

VERDICT: Keeping!

Remember, use code SAVEMORE to get 40% off 4+ items, 30% off 3+ items, or 20% off 2+ items at J.Crew Factory this weekend.

Old Navy Cozy Long-Line Open-Front Sweater size S

It’s kind of mean to show you this sweater because it’s almost sold out, but I styled it two or three ways so I wanted to show how to take a cardigan from frumpy to chic with a quick swap of your pants and shoes.

I noticed that the tan stripe aligned perfectly with these cords, so I thought they would make a nice pairing. When I went to my closet to add shoes, I knew I couldn’t do a bootie with the length of these pants, so I settled on these navy smoking slippers. (They’re old, sorry!)

This outfit is fine and all, but it’s very conservative, and while each component is okay on its own, altogether it leans a little matronly.

I decided to try and style the cardigan to make it look a little more youthful and chic.

These bootcuts were already laid out from the yellow cardigan outfit above, so I threw them on with this and added these Vince Camuto booties in the tortilla suede color.

I like how these colors all coordinate and keep the rest of the look low-contrast so the sweater stands out.

It needs a necklace, but overall, this outfit looks a lot more youthful and fresh to my eye, although the flares don’t look particularly current.

So then I switched to the Kut from the Kloth Donna skinnies, and I swapped the woven tank for a white v-neck tee.

SO much better… yes??? (The white tee would have looked better with the flares too.)

But yeah, unfortunately this sweater is almost sold out. It’s available in some solid colors, though. It’s true to size; I’m in the small.

VERDICT: Returning, only because I don’t need any more cardigans I can’t link when I wear them. #bloggerproblems

Ann Taylor Ribbed Turtleneck Sweater size S

Next up, this gorgeous blue cotton blend mockneck sweater!

If this sweater looks familiar, it’s because it’s almost identical to the chunky ribbed turtleneck sweater I styled for my  Ann Taylor collab earlier in the week.

Effortless Fall Style with Elevated Basics

I didn’t even realize I ordered two of practically the same sweater.

This blue one has a different fabric content — 57% Cotton, 43% Polyester. I can’t find the fabric on the other, as it’s sold out. But look who is featured at the bottom of the page!?!

Anyway, this is more cottony, and I like the fit a lot better. Remember how I said I wanted to size down in the other one? This one seems to fit fine in the small.

It’s not the most flattering sweater, as the tall neck and tall ribbed hem aren’t very forgiving on those of us who are short-waisted, but overall, I like the fit and the length is great. I think it’s cute and cozy for this time of year.

For the fun of it, I also tried it with white jeans. I love this fresh look for winter! I would prefer booties, though… maybe these in the Cloud Suede.

FYI, Ann Taylor is doing $100 off a $200+ purchase, $150 off a $250+ purchase plus free shipping with code GETGIFTING. Some exclusions apply, but this blue sweater qualifies, as does the ribbed mockneck sweater I shared last weekend.

Also, my rust cardigan, woven tank, croc print tote, and the jeans and snake print belt I wore with both looks!

Okay, moving on to coats and jackets. I am going to try to speed things up here because it’s getting late, and this is taking for-ev-er.

I ordered a few splurgy faux fur jackets to try, as well as this casual quilted jacket from Gap.

Gap Quilted Jacket size S

This is cute enough, but I don’t care for the quality. I prefer a quilted jacket that is more weather-proof.

Also, the zipper with that visible inner placket, and no button option is a way to keep production costs down, but it’s awkward to fasten and looks weird when unzipped, even partially.

Oh, and also, when I tried to unzip it, it got stuck. I would definitely skip this jacket, unless you don’t ever plan to zip it.

But it doesn’t look good unzipped either… so yeah. Skip it. 🙂

VERDICT: returning

also wearing: AG Farrah skinnies with AGL studded pointy toe mocs (50% off; size up)

UGG Mandy Faux Fur Hooded Jacket size S

This UGG faux fur caught my eye as I was scrolling the Nordstrom website, and ohmyword, it is so soft.

I thought I’d like the cropped silhouette, but I’m not so sure. Does it look weird with my sweater hanging out?

Here’s a back view.

It hangs a little strangely when unzipped — it is not attached at the bottom, but it sort of looks like it is.

also wearing: AG Farrah skinnies with L.K.Bennett pumps (old)

Here it is zipped, with a black sweater underneath, and those AGL flats.

VERDICT: I’m undecided… what say you?

also wearing: AG Farrah skinnies with AGL studded pointy toe mocs (50% off; size up)

Vince Faux Fur Moto Jacket size S

And then there’s the Vince…

This jacket was part of the #NSale. I noticed it at the time and thought it looked gorgeous, but I figured I’d never get my cost per wear out of it because where on earth would I wear it anyway? An occasional date night, maybe?

Then it went on sale again, and in a weak moment, I ordered it, telling myself I can always return it.

Here’s the back view.

And the zipped-up view…

I decided to see how it looks with a more casual outfit.

I mean, it is GORGEOUS. And the quality is significantly superior to the UGG jacket, which is still a great jacket. But this one is in a different league.

But really, would I ever actually wear it? I don’t know.

It feels a little extra for the grocery store or the chiropractor’s office. Which, let’s face it, are usually the extent of where I go these days.

VERDICT: Undecided. I keep telling myself I should return it, but then I think, I’d have it forever… maybe? Gah, I don’t know. #firstworldproblems

Merry People Bobbi Rain Boots size 8

Okay, we’re really switching gears here, aren’t we? These boots were sent to me for review by the folks at Merry People — a brand focused on being merry and looking towards a positive future.

They are a female and POC-owned Australian company, started in 2014 when their founder found herself facing the dilemma around the lack of cute, office-ready boots for winter commutes.  Thus, the Bobbi boot was born. They launched in the US this year and ship most product directly from their warehouse in LA.

Unlike most all-weather shoes, these waterproof boots are designed with fashion and longevity in mind.

They’re super easy to slip on and off — perfect for commuting, a day in the garden, walking the dog, taking kids to sports practice, etc. I will certainly attest to their comfort.

They come in a traditional black, and an assortment of fun colors like this alpine green. I clearly wouldn’t style them with this outfit, but it’s what I happened to have on at the moment. They’e very cute and practical, if you need something like this.

VERDICT: Keeping!

also wearing: Everlane alpaca sweater tee with AG Farrah skinnies

Amazon Essentials Women’s Mid-Weight Puffer Vest size S

I wanted a few vests for layering this fall, so I ordered a couple to try from Amazon, but this one is longer than I prefer, and I didn’t really care for the fit.

I just wanted to show it zipped… clearly not how I’d wear it.

Side view…

VERDICT: Returning

FYI, this thermal stitch pullover is what I’m wearing underneath, but unfortunately it sold out.

Fuinloth Women’s Padded Vest size S

I like this vest much better. It’s shorter, thinner, and a little more fitted than the one above. Plus, I think the diamond pattern is nice.

Zipped up…

Side view… love the pocket detail.

And it has a really cute shape to the back as well.

VERDICT: Keeping!

Madewell Maysfield Cardigan Sweater size XS

And a couple of Madewell cardigans… this one is true to size. The XS is too small.

It’s a nice basic, though. It’s also $98 and then 25% off with code SNEAKPEEK.

VERDICT: returning; I may order the small

Madewell (Re)sourced Cashmere Ex-Boyfriend Cardigan Sweater size S

I like the fit of this one better. The shorter style is nice for a change, and it has a fun detail on the little pocket.

But the price is up there, and it does not qualify for the Madewell Black Friday Preview Sale, or the 25% off (almost) everything else.

VERDICT: Returning; would buy again if it goes on sale.

Halogen V-Neck Cashmere Sweater size S

This year’s version of the Halogen v-neck cashmere sweater is really nice. It’s not on sale, but it’s under $100 for cashmere, so not bad.

It’s really hard to see details on black, but I really like the wide ribbed trim at the neck, cuffs, and hem.

It has a classic fit, and if anything, runs a bit big, but I would not want to size down. I like the length of the sleeves and the relaxed fit through the body.

VERDICT: Keeping!

J.Crew Turtleneck sweater in supersoft yarn size S

Oh, my… I thought we were almost done! Real quick… J.Crew is doing 50% off! This sweater is super soft and cozy and very cute on, if you don’t mind the relaxed fit and longer length. It also has a subtle high-low hem.

It comes in TONS of colors. So cute and cozy.

VERDICT: Returning; I prefer shorter lengths.

also wearing: Good American jeans and AGL flats

J.Crew Mockneck sweater in supersoft yarn size S

This sweater has been around for a few years, and I’m glad they brought it back! In the past, I sized up, but this year I went with my usual small, and it’s plenty roomy. Love this color too.

Pretty details… and a shorter mockneck than some, which is nice for those of us with shorter necks.

VERDICT: Keeping!

also wearing: Good American jeans and AGL flats

J.Crew Open-front cardigan-jacket size S

This is not my favorite. It’s heavy and a little bulky.

And not very flattering front-on.

Here’s a back and side view… not as bad as the front, and maybe I need to size down.

VERDICT: returning

Leith Dolman Sleeve V-Neck Sweater size S

Home stretch! Almost there. I love this for a cute, casual, more affordably priced pullover. Flattering v-neckline, nice and wide, but not so wide that it falls off my shoulders.

The neckline is cut a bit lower in the back, which I like. It’s a nice length too.

The ribbed knit is nice, and I’m always a fan of a dolman sleeve.

VERDICT: Keeping

also wearing: Good American jeans and AGL flats

Born Boca Flats size 8.5

These are suuuuper comfy, but I should have stuck to my regular size. These were a bit roomy on me.

They aren’t the most flattering shoe, but they’re kind of cute in that fugly way… ha!

VERDICT: Exchanging for an 8.

And as if this post isn’t long enough… just a reminder of a few things I’ve worn that are now on sale.

That BR bell sleeve sweater is back in stock in a few sizes, and it’s marked way down this weekend.

My camo jacquard sweater finally went on sale! It’s 30% off for a limited time.

The Talbots Flyaway Cardigan is 40% off this weekend, as is their entire site. As a reminder, here’s the outfit I styled earlier this week.

camel cardigan // white tank // denim jeggings // suede booties // statement necklace

My Toasted Coconut color is pretty much gone, but Cyndi styled the Olive Night yesterday, and it is really pretty. I would wear it exactly how she did — over a white or ivory tank with black pants.

I love olive and black together. She did cords, which looked great, or you could dress it up with the Spanx perfect black pants for work, or dress it down with black jeans of course.

And that cable cowlneck is still fully stocked!

My rust v-neck hooded sweatshirt just went on sale. Sizes are getting depleted, so act fast. I have the small, for reference. And these Paige jeans are 20% off, but they’ve been on better sales.

And R’s AE oversized hoodie is still 30% off as well.

WHEW! That’s a wrap. I’m off to make a salad with root veggies, arugula, and citrus-ale vinaigrette for Oktoberfest!

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Fall Beauty Favorites at Sephora

Thanks to Sephora and ShopStyle for sponsoring this post!

Happy Friday, friends! I’m on a roll with the beauty posts this week.

Today I’m excited to team up with Sephora to share some of my favorite beauty products, new finds, and great deals they’re offering this month.

one // two // three // four // five // six // seven // eight // nine // ten // eleven // twelve // thirteen // fourteen // fifteen // sixteen

A lot of these are products you’ve heard me talk about before, and some are newer discoveries or great deals they’re offering right now that I plan to try.

Before we get started, be sure to sign up for Sephora’s Beauty Insider Program if you aren’t already a member. It’s free to join, and you get all kinds of perks, depending on your level. It is how you gain access to their biggest sales too!

Sephora Fall Favorites

FYI, these are not listed in the order of the graphic above. The graphic had to be arranged in a way that looked nice, but this list is grouped by topic and type of product.

Lancôme Hypnose Volumizing Mascara // Let’s start with my holy grail beauty products. I’ve been a fan of Lancôme mascara since I was a teenager. I’ve tried many other mascaras over the years, but I always come back to this one.

It thickens, lengthens, and separates like no other; and while I don’t use the waterproof version, it is pretty indestructible. It rarely runs or smears throughout the day, even if I shed a tear or two.

Givenchy Base Mascara Perfecto // In recent years, I’ve added this mascara primer to my makeup routine. It really does enhance the volume of my lashes, and I feel like it makes my mascara go on better as well.

A little goes a long way with this product. I apply it sparingly, let it set for a few seconds, and then go in with 2 or 3 thin layers of mascara on top.

Benefit They’re Real Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara // Okay, so here is where I get really extra with my lashes. When I want really super long, separated, luscious lashes, I add a coat of this on top of the Lancôme mascara.

I don’t always use this, and I don’t always use the primer, but when I want to go all out, I use all three. If you apply thin coats and let them dry for a few seconds in between each, these 3 products together really do give you the most amazing lashes. People truly ask me all the time if they’re real, and I no longer use any growth serums or anything.

Lancôme Bi-Facil Eye Makeup Remover // This is, hands-down, the gentlest, most thorough eye makeup remover I’ve ever used. I’ve used it off and on for years, and I always go back to it when I’m in the mood to treat myself.

Lancôme Le Stylo Long Lasting Eyeliner // While I’m sharing my favorite Lancôme products, this eyeliner is my go-to for my water line as well as my top lid.

I don’t use it on the bottom, though. I prefer to use eye shadow there because it’s not as harsh.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz // This is another product you’ve heard me talk about before, and one I would consider one of my holy grails as well. Even though I’ve had my eyebrows micro-bladed, I still use this pencil to touch them up in spots.

The super fine tip is so precise, and the brush end allows me to shape my brows and blend in the pencil so they look natural. Best of all, it never needs to be sharpened.

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Liner // Moving on from eyes, another one of my holy grail products is this Charlotte Tilbury lip liner in Pillow Talk. I use it under all of my lipsticks because it’s such a great neutral.

This is the only lip liner I’ve found that isn’t drying, and keeps my lipstick from bleeding. I highly, highly recommend it if you have trouble with your lipstick bleeding.

Charlotte Tilbury Mini Iconic Matte Revolution Lipstick Trio // I discovered Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick a few years ago, and it’s one of my favorites. It goes on beautifully and lasts very well, especially if applied over her lip liner

This gift set contains some of her most popular colors — in nude-pink Pillow Talk, berry-rose Walk of No Shame, and taupe-nude Very Victoria. It would make an excellent holiday gift for teens and young adults who are into makeup and beauty!

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask // This is another lip product you may have heard me talk about before. I get very dry lips that often peel and flake, and this is one of the only lip products I’ve found that helps with that.

I’ve always used the original Berry, but I’m going to try this Lemon Sorbet.

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Airbrush Loose Setting Powder // This is one of the best setting powders I’ve found for keeping my makeup matte and looking fresh all day. It’s very lightweight and talc-free, and it really does give your skin an airbrushed look.

They have it in a compact as well, which is nice for keeping in your purse, but I’ve found I don’t really need to reapply so I’m probably going back to the loose powder when my compact runs out.

Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray // My 17-year-old daughter just put me onto this. I actually gave it to her when it came in a sample pack because I didn’t think I needed it. But then she started saying how it helps her makeup not come off onto her face mask, and I ordered one on the spot. LOL!!!

It really does seem to help my makeup stay in place, but it also makes my complexion look fresh and dewy.

I don’t always use both this and the setting powder together. I usually use one or the other, depending on how dry my skin looks.

NARS Jumbo Orgasm Blush // My favorite blush in a jumbo size? Yes, please! This is a holiday-themed, oversized NARS blush in limited-edition packaging.

If you have a friend or family member who is a fan of this product, it would make a great gift. I just ordered one for myself because I go through the regular size about every six months or so.

L’Occitane Cleansing And Softening Shower Oil With Almond Oil // Moving on to body products… this shower oil is another one of my favorites. I use it as a shower gel and shaving oil all in one. It smells wonderful, and it makes my skin so soft.

The full size is a nice one to have, but the mini size makes a great stocking stuffer.

Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel // It may be fall, but it’s still nice to have some color on my pale skin, and my summer tan is wearing off, so I’ve been using my favorite self tanning lotion again.

I’ve been using this one for years, and it never lets me down. It applies evenly, never gets orange, and if you apply it well, it won’t settle into knees and elbows. You can see my self tanning tips if you need help with that.

Biossance Squalane + Elderberry Jelly Cleanser // This is a new one to me, but I’m going to order it because I’m curious to try it. I was happy with the Biossance products I’ve used in the past, and I like that this is a green product.

It’s a lightweight gel cleanser that claims to melt away waterproof makeup while nourishing and fortifying skin and leaving it soft and clean. As you may know, elderberry extract is an antioxidant powerhouse that promotes overall skin wellness.

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer Limited Edition Gift Set // Okay, I saved the big daddy for last. This is a huge splurge, but I’ve talked before about how much I love my Dyson hairdryer. It does wonders for my thin, frizz-prone hair. You can read all about it here.

This limited edition gift set includes the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer with smoothing nozzle, styling concentrator, diffuser, and non-slip mat; PLUS a 1.4” round brush, detangling comb, and storage hanger. If you’ve been on the fence, it’s a nice opportunity to get a few extra bonus pieces with this highly sought after hair dryer!

Do you have any Sephora favorites we should know about? Feel free to share in the comments!

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My New Under Eye Routine

Hey, friends! We’re taking a break from fashion to talk about my new under eye routine for aging skin.

These products and techniques have made a huge difference in the appearance of fine lines in that area and how my concealer wears throughout the day.

My New Under Eye Routine

I’ve been struggling with my under eye area for a while now. I’ve developed some pesky eye bags and puffiness, for one thing. But I also have some dark areas, not just under my eyes, but on the sides by my nose as well.

Over the past few years, I’ve tried a couple of different concealers, which I’ve shared with you. They cover okay, but I’ve noticed they tend to break up throughout the day and cause a lot of creasing, making that under eye area look almost worse than if I ditch the concealer and just bring my foundation up into that area.

I started poking around to try and find a solution that doesn’t require surgery or injections… not that I’m morally opposed, I’m just not quite there yet!

Anyway, I started watching some of Angie’s videos over at Hot & Flashy, and I came up with this under eye routine.

If you don’t know of her, she is a wealth of information for how to care for mature skin (she’s in her 50s.) I highly recommend her videos if you need skincare or makeup advice.

The very first step, of course, is a morning skincare routine. I will admit, I often skip this step. Or, at least, I do the bare minimum — splash water on my face and apply a moisturizer with sunscreen.

I always do the whole rigmarole in the evenings (you can see my nighttime skincare routine here) but I rarely wash my face again and do a whole routine in the mornings. Although I recently started using this CBD Face Oil before my sunscreen, to help moisturize and reduce redness. And if I think of it, sometimes I apply this Retinol Supreme Eye Serum.

But lately, I’ve started being more intentional about a morning skincare routine. I’ll start with this Replenix Gentle Antioxidant Soothing Cleanser I got from my dermatologist, as green tea is soothing and helps reduce redness, and then I will follow up with the CBD Face Oil and then my Jan Marini Antioxidant Face Protectant. It’s a moisturizer with sunscreen built in.

I’ve been using that Jan Marini cream in the mornings for years, and I get it from the spa where I go for facials, but I recently ordered the EltaMD face and body sunscreen, at Angie’s recommendation. It’s a mineral sunscreen, which is more gentle on the skin, and it’s also tinted, so it helps with color correction, and I have a lot of redness as well as melasma to cover up.

I don’t know if it will be as moisturizing as the Jan Marini, so I may need to add a morning moisturizer to my routine if I switch to that for my sunscreen, but I will report back on that.

But that’s for my face, not the under-eye area.

The first NEW product I recently added to my under eye routine, and one that I think has made a huge difference already, is this Colorescience Total Eye 3-In-1 Renewal Therapy SPF 35 — a tinted sunscreen and treatment cream specifically for the eye area.

You can find it at Nordstrom, Amazon, and Dermstore. (I have the color fair.)

Protecting the eye area from sun damage is super important, and a mineral based sunscreen is less irritating to that delicate eye area than the more common chemical sunscreens.

This product also has moisturizers and hyaluronic acid, which helps plump up that area and reduce puffiness, and it also has a color corrector in it. It immediately starts to brighten up the eye area, and I apply it under my eyes and into my lids as well.

I use my finger to apply this, not the metal applicator. A little goes a long way with this product. You don’t want to use too much, or will settle into your wrinkles.

And here’s something new I’ve learned from Angie. Evidently sunscreen needs time to set up before applying other products — like 15 to 20 minutes. I have NEVER done that. I usually start my foundation or concealer immediately after applying my sunscreen.

So lately, I do try to allow some time before moving onto the next step, which is a makeup primer.

The primer is an important step because it helps prevent your under eye concealer from breaking up throughout the day, which is the biggest issue I’ve had in the past with concealers.

I use the same primer all over my face and in the under eye area, and I’m currently using one Angie recommends — this Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Primer.

The original Laura Mercier Foundation Primer seems to be sold out, but I have been really happy with this one. I used to use the original one many years ago and always liked it, so I was happy to rediscover it. You can find this primer at Sephora, Nordstrom, Amazon, and others.

Angie recommends not using a silicone primer, which can cause makeup to slide around, and the Laura Mercier one says right on it, silicone-free.

After the primer, I apply my foundation, but I’m careful not to get it into the eye area. Using too many products also causes makeup to settle into fine lines and wrinkles, and I’m going to be using a concealer, so that will be enough coverage on top of the tinted sunscreen.

The other NEW product I added to my routine is the Lancôme Maquicomplet Complete Coverage Concealer, and I love it. It’s so much more lightweight than the ones I’ve used in the past.

It’s also moisturizing, which is good for the colder months, which is what we’re headed into here. You can find this concealer at Nordstrom, Bloomies, Ulta, and more.

I had to totally guess at color because I ordered online, and I went with the 220 BUFF (LIGHT BUFF). It seems to be working out alright. The idea is to go a shade or two lighter than your foundation.

I use a concealer brush to apply, and then I press it into my skin lightly with my fingers. Less is more here, as well.

You want to start by applying at the inner corners of the eye, and gently press outward, without getting too much into the crow’s feet, because it can settle in and make them more noticeable. Focus on the areas where you have discoloration.

Okay, finally! No, we’re not done yet.

This was a totally new concept to me too, but Angie swears by setting your concealer with a mattifying setting powder. This is especially helpful for reducing the appearance of eye bags.

She recommends the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores HD Powder, but I happened to have the pressed version already, so I’ve been using that. You can find it at Sephora, Ulta, and Amazon.

Again, a little goes a long way, and you want to gently press it on, not swipe it on, like you may do on the rest of your face.

And that’s it!

At this point, I’m done with the under eye area and ready to move on to eye shadow, liner, mascara, etc. But that’s a post for another time!

Yes, it’s a lot, but once you get used to it, it doesn’t add that much time to your makeup routine, and the results (for me, at least) are well worth it!

I can’t believe how much better my under eye area looks and how much better the makeup holds up throughout the day.

If you have any other tips for the under eye area, let us know!

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photos: Alison Cornell

Fall/Winter Fashion

What I Wore Lately Vol. 30

Happy hump day, friends! It’s another Wednesday already, and that means time for What I Wore Lately.

This is a roundup of my everyday outfits from the past week. Also, don’t miss my first Gift Guide of the season, which went live this morning!

I’ve got a few “outfit evolutions” in this post. It seems like with each change of seasons, I have to figure out what pants and shoes work together all over again.

Spoiler alert: I think I ended up wearing sneakers every day but one.

What I Wore Lately: Easy Everyday Outfits

SIZING NOTES: I’m 5’5″ and 135 pounds-ish, with a slight hourglass shape. Unless I say otherwise, I’m wearing a 6/28 in pants/jeans, a small in tops, a 6 in dresses/jumpsuits, and size 8 shoe.

Starting with last Wednesday, I had a photo shoot with Alison in the morning, and then I threw on this casual cashmere hoodie and jeans to work in my office for the rest of the day.

This navy hoodie is from last year’s #NSale. I was excited to break it out again, and even more excited when I found it still available at Nordstrom Rack! (I’m wearing my true size small.)

I love the juxtaposition of the luxe knit and sporty hood — it’s more elevated than a traditional hoodie but has the same cool-casual vibe.

I paired it with light wash blue jeans for some contrast. My jeans are an older style, but this pair of Paige Hoxton crops has a very similar wash and is on sale for $99!

Sneakers seem like the obvious choice with a hoodie, even a cashmere one, and I like how these have little leopard detail on the heel for added interest.

My exact shoes are sold out, but there are lots of new styles of the P448 John to choose from, and most are 25% off at Nordstrom right now, including the ones with the python accents.

Vince rolled edge wool & cashmere hoodie // rag & bone Cate skinnies (similar here and here) // P448 sneakers (25% off) // similar pearl studs

I don’t have any pictures from Thursday. I was feeling kind of craptastic (#girlyproblems) and I spent the entire day at home, cranking out blog posts.

That brings us to Friday, and it was rainy and dreary outside. I had a workout appointment, and then I came home and showered off and threw on a matching sweatshirt and sweatpants to go see my chiropractor.

I wore my white leather Vejas because rain, and I threw on my new The North Face jacket!

Yes, I decided to keep the white. Everything here is true to size.

Lou & Grey sweatshirt and sweatpants // Veja Esplar sneakers // The North Face quilted jacket // Lagos earrings

R asked to go to the mall on Saturday afternoon, and it doesn’t take much arm-twisting to get me to the mall, so we went after I got back from my run.

It was sunny but chilly, and I didn’t want to deal with a coat, so I decided to wear this faux suede draped jacket over a white tee with jeans. I chose a lighter denim wash since the jacket and top are both so light.

I first tried the outfit on with my snake print mules.

They’re cute with it, but they seem kind of dark against the rest of the outfit.

I think I’d like them better with my faded black jeans, which I could have worn, but I didn’t think I could walk in the mules all day, so I switched to these light grey booties.

I love the color combo, but the jeans are a tad too long for them.

It’s not a deal breaker, but I don’t like how they fall inside the booties. I’m especially aware of it since writing the post where I updated older outfits.

I thought my rag & bone Cates might be shorter, so I did a quick denim switcheroo.

And nope! Even longer. I guess I cut more off the AG Farrahs than I realized. #ooops

I decided I liked this shade of denim better with the outfit, so I kept the jeans and tried a cuff…

It’s okay, but I’m not loving it. And to be honest, these booties are comfortable, but they haven’t been sufficiently broken in, and our mall is HUGE. I wasn’t sure I could handle that much walking in them. I’m out of practice, thankyouCovid.

Then my eyes landed on these snake print booties. They have a lot of cushion in the footbed, and they’ve seen a lot more wear and tear than the rag & bones, so they’re well broken-in and very walkable.

These booties look a lot better with the length of these jeans because of the lower shaft, but I just wasn’t feeling the snake print with this outfit. They looked dark and heavy to me against the light tones in the rest of the outfit.

So I went back to my closet, and my eyes landed on these sneakers.

I know, I wear these too much, but look how perfectly they work with the outfit!

The light grey and white tones complement the light grey jacket and white tee, and there’s low contrast against the light wash jeans, so the entire outfit looks very cohesive and almost monochromatic. Then the leopard tab is a fun little pop of something-something.

The whole look is casual-cool and comfy, but polished and put-together. Plus, the sneakers are super comfy and easy to walk in.

My days of wearing heels to traipse around the mall may be over forever.

BlankNYC jacket (size M) // Banana Republic slub tee (size M) // rag & bone Cate skinnies (TTS) // P448 sneakers (25% off) // hammered silvertone hoops // compass pendant

We got back from the mall just in time to change to go to a friend’s house for an outdoor get-together. I knew I’d be too chilly in the outfit I’d been wearing all day, so I switched into this cozy leopard sweater from last year (on sale at Saks Off Fifth) and my go-to off-black jeans.

I added my Vince Chelsea boots from the #NSale, excited to wear them for the first time. But something about the jeans and boots combo just wasn’t working for me. This happens every time I try to wear these boots.

The booties have a tall, slim 5″ shaft, and the jeans just seem to cut off at an awkward place.

Also notice how the leg opening of the jeans appears to be a lot wider than the shaft of the boot, so it chops up the line of the leg, even though it’s all the same color.

I’m not sure if I’m thinking too hard about it, or if I need a different style of pant, but it’s frustrating b/c I love the boots, and I was sure I’d be wearing them a ton this fall and winter.

Here’s a close-up of the side view — the hem of the jeans kind of gets stuck between the heel tab and my leg, and then they fall over the front of the boot, so I don’t think longer skinny jeans would work because they wouldn’t quite fit over the shaft.

Maybe I need a slightly longer straight-leg style… or a shorter skinny?

Or maybe I should just stop over-thinking it and wear these together already.

I wasn’t ready to give up yet, so I tried a lower shaft (3 1/2″) taupe bootie, but this is even worse. (You can tell by the look on my face I’m not feeling it, lol!) I definitely prefer a black boot with this outfit.

So then I tried these black leather Chelsea boots with a 4 1/2″ shaft.

At this point, you may be thinking, why a Chelsea boot?

Well, they’re what I have, and they’re very on trend right now. But I confess, I always struggle with styling them.

I’m not sure why I can’t make them work, but I’m beginning to think the jeans are the issue in this case, not the booties.

Again, the side and back views aren’t so bad.

It’s only the front-on view where I see that line of demarcation between the booties and the jeans that bothers me, but overall, I’m just not loving these jeans with any of these boots.

I figured I’d go back to my safety zone and just wear mules and freeze… but I don’t even like these mules with this bulky sweater.

Don’t my bare ankles look naked and afraid against the chunky wool sweater and dark jeans?! 😂

So I threw the whole outfit away, and put on my blue jeans from earlier in the day with an ivory wool/cashmere sweater and my cozy UGGs.

The sweater is sold out, but I link it for the details, and in case anyone wants to try and hunt it down on Poshmark or eBay.

I tried adding this chocolate brown vest, but I didn’t care for how it was the exact same length as the sweater… overthinking again, probably.

It’s a cute vest, though. I like the way it’s designed in the back.

I ended up taking off the vest and wearing my white quilted jacket instead, but looking at these pictures, I think the vest was fine.

At that point, I was exhausted and too tired to think straight, and everything was looking wrong to me.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, at the end of the day, I’ll always revert to my comfort zone, even if it’s too plain. Less is more, and all that.

Whew! Okay, that brings us to Sunday.

I was tired of trying new combinations so I went for an easy, tried and true outfit.

I followed one of your suggestions and shortened this necklace, and I guess I like it.

Wearing it longer may be more intrinsically flattering, but it does seem a bit tired at the moment. I think I’d prefer two delicates better than the single pendant, but I love this piece and enjoy wearing it, so I’ll probably continue to wear it shorter for now.

And I am totally loving these shoes, by the way — definitely a splurge, but well worth the investment at 50% off.

The soft Italian leather feels so luxurious, the shape is flattering and feminine, and the delicate studs give them just a bit of an edge but still keep it classy.

They break in easily, but definitely size up half. I went for the 8 1/2, and they were a tad snug in the toe box when I first put them on, but after wearing them for half the day on Sunday, they feel like I’ve had them for years.

BR bell sleeve sweater // Good American Good Legs skinnies // AGL studded flats (size up half) // Yurman crossover necklace & cable hoops // croc print tote c/o Ann Taylor

I spent the better part of Monday doing try-ons for Saturday’s post, and when I was done, I threw on this comfy hoodie and crop jeans with my favorite sneakers for the rest of the day.

Yes, I’m aware that I over-wear these sneakers, but some weeks they just seem to go with everything.

Also, my Paige crop skinnies are on 20% off. I love the wash on these and the tattered hems, and they are soooo soft and comfortable.

This pair is similar and on an even better sale; the wash looks more similar to my rag & bone Cates.

Treasure & Bond v-neck hoodie // Paige Hoxton crop skinnies // P448 sneakers (25% off) // Lucky Brand earrings // Madewell necklaces

And then there was yesterday. In the interest of keeping it real, I didn’t change out of my workout clothes. I just wasn’t feeling it. Some days are like that.

Both the pants and top are Zella from Nordstrom, but I don’t have links because they’re older styles.

I’ll actually be doing a few sponsored posts with Zella in the coming weeks, so if you have anything in particular you’d like to see me style, let me know! I’m going to start sourcing products for the first post this week. Are you interested in outdoor workout gear, gym outfits, loungewear, athleisure looks? I’d love for these posts to be a helpful resource.

Finally, I want to show you one of R’s outfits because right now American Eagle has 30% off sweatshirts, joggers, and leggings. I shared this on Sunday, but in case you missed it, the 30% off sale ends tonight.

She fell in love with this oversized sherpa lined hoodie when we were shopping for her birthday, and she’s already worn it a couple of times. I think it’s so cute on her too. The sherpa lining is ridiculously soft, and the long side slits and oversized styling are perfect for wearing with leggings. (She is 5’5″ and has the XS, for reference.)

It would make a nice gift for any teen girls or young adult ladies in your life, or if you’re looking for something super casual and comfy to throw on with skinny jeans or leggings, this might be for you!

AE sherpa lined hoodie // Core 10 leggings // Adidas Superstars

She also snagged this oversized stripe sweater (in the XXS) and this oversized stripe sweatshirt (size XS), in case you’re looking for more ideas for the younger set.

I also want to let you know that a few more sizes popped up in this popular Caslon utility jacket. I have it in the small, but it’s a tad snug in the shoulders. I would suggest sizing up if in between sizes.

And this year’s version of the J.Crew NYC tee has been restocked in all sizes. It’s final sale, but it’s 30% off the markdown price, so there’s not much to lose. You can always consign it if it doesn’t work out.

I recommend sizing up if in doubt; mine is the medium. It’s last year’s version, so may not be sized the same, but if in doubt, it’s always best to size up.

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Holiday Beauty Gifts with HSN

I’ve heard your call for early gift guides this year, and I’m here to serve! Today I’m teaming up with HSN to help you get a head-start on your holiday shopping with these beauty gift ideas.

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

HSN has gift options for everyone on your list at discounted prices that are easy on the wallet, and they run smart deals and one day specials for even more cost savings.

For example, today’s special is this Intelliwhite Pen Set teeth whitening system.

This whitening gel pen uses a 14% concentration of hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth with precision, and it also includes a mouth guard.

Here are some more fun beauty gifts at HSN that are part of their hot deals for October.

Holiday Beauty Gifts with HSN

#1. EZ Foot Peeling Set

This gift set is perfect for the woman who likes to do her own pedicures… and more and more women are opting to stay out of salons and DIY it these days.

It comes with a foot cream and a foot file for exfoliating dry skin on your feet. I know, that doesn’t paint the prettiest picture, but it’s a seriously useful gift!

#2. Mented Red Lip Trio Stocking Stuffer

Just in time for the holidays, this gift set trio provides you with the right shade of red to create the perfect red lip for every occasion — Cran (Lip gloss), Blacker the Berry (Liquid Lipstick), and Red Carpet (Matte Lipstick).

#3. Too Faced Enchanted Dreams Palette

Got teenage girls on your gift list? They will love this! An amazing value by a popular beauty brand, this gift set includes a mascara, lip plumping gloss, and an exclusive palette with 12 eye shadows and 2 blushes, plus an eye shadow blush and a blush brush.

#4. Lancome 2020 Holiday Beauty Box

This Lancôme Beauty Box is a bit of a splurge at $200, but it’s an amazing value with a qualifying order. (Scroll down to Offers & Promotions and see the Ways to Save: BONUS BUY! Purchase this item for $72.50 with your qualifying purchase of $42.00 or more.)

I highly recommend the 3-piece Hypnose Mascara and Bi-Facil Set for $48 as a qualifying order. It contains 2 full-sized mascaras (this is the only mascara I use) and a 6.7 fl. oz. Bi-Facil eye makeup remover. This is such a gentle makeup remover, and the only one I’ve found that removes my eye makeup completely.

#5. WetBrush 5PC Holiday Set

>My daughters LOVE the WetBrush. This gift set comes in 4 color options: Pink, Purple, Blue, and Black.

#6. Mented Color Matched Holiday Lip Set 

This is the perfect lipstick trio for fall. I’ve already got this one on order.

#7. HSN Very Merry Beauty Sample Box

Finally, this sample set features top beauty brands such as Beekman, Benefit, Too Faced, The Beauty Spy, Prai, Ahava, Clinique and Korres.

Plus, it comes in the cutest holiday themed box. This one is a no-brainer. I can’t think of any woman who would not love to unwrap this.

Let the holiday shopping begin!!!

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