End Of Summer Try-On Sesh {with TONS of Denim Under $100!}

Greetings, friends! This post is going up so late, I should probably just wait until tomorrow, but I was getting a few people asking about me so I figured I’d go ahead and throw it up now. I really cannot WAIT to get back to a more predictable posting schedule. Today is the first day of school for my family, and with that I hope to restore some order and routine to my work life.

I’ve been trying to get this post up for days. It was going to go up on Saturday, but things were crazy here, and I finally cried uncle and posted an outfit that I could explain more quickly.

Then today was another crazy morning, and I’m finally getting around to wrapping this up. I swear, I’m going to spend the rest of today and all day tomorrow preparing posts for the rest of the week so I can put a stop to this mad scramble every morning.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve ordered a bunch of jeans and assorted other items to try, and I did a big try-on sesh a few days ago. My goal was to find some jeans under $100 that I can recommend, and I did find a few gems! I’m also sharing some tops and a pair of dress pants.

I want to apologize in advance for causing your eyes to bleed with my rear-view shots, but I’m convinced that this is a crucial part of the denim-vetting process. So many pairs of jeans look fine from the front and sides, and when I look at the rear, I am horrified. So in my attempts to give you a complete review of each pair, I decided to go ahead and post pictures from all angles, even the dreaded rear-view.

Obviously, everyone is built differently and is looking for different things when comparing rear pockets, but for me, I tend to be wide and flat back there (#shovelbutt) so I’m looking for pockets that give the illusion of more curves. I like my rear pockets small and placed right in the middle — many are placed too far apart, for some reason. I’m sure that flatters someone, but not me.

I only know this from a lot of trial and error (and rear-view dressing room pictures) so if you’re not sure what looks best on you, my best advice is to try on a lot of jeans, and take pictures to compare. Looking at pictures makes it a lot easier to compare than just looking at your rear view in the mirror. I don’t know why, but it’s true.

With all that said, let’s get started. For reference, I’m 5’5″ and 140# with an hourglass shape. All of the jeans in this post are size 29 unless otherwise noted.

End Of Summer Try-Ons {with TONS of Denim Under $100!}

First, I ordered two pairs of jeans from Express. These skinnies are comfortable and soft, and I like the higher rise, but they’re too long for me so I’d have to hem them.

And while the front and side views are okay, I feel like the large rear pockets make me look wider and flatter than I already am. #nothankyou They’re placed well, but they’re rather large. Again, this is just me. If you don’t mind the larger pockets, I think these jeans are a good bang for the buck, especially since they’re currently on sale for $39.90. If they’re too long for you, you can always have them hemmed, but if you’re tall and have trouble finding jeans that are long enough, these are worth a try!

Express high waisted medium wash leggings, size 29 regular // Vince suede slides // Ann Taylor mixed jersey tank

This next pair is BlankNYC. I like the fit on these a lot. They’re a great length, they hug my legs without being too tight, and the rear pockets are well spaced, and they’re smaller than the Express pair.

The wash on these is a little funky, though. They’re almost an acid-wash. #the80sareback If you like that, they’re great jeans for the price.

BlankNYC skinny jeans, size 29 // Vince suede slides // Ann Taylor mixed jersey tank

I’m really sorry to say I don’t have a set of rear shots for these J.Crew jeans because they’re my favorite skinnies of the lot. These jeans are soooo soft and comfortable. Like, seriously impressive for comfort. I also like the fit a lot, and the lighter wash is nice for summer. Also, right now, J.Crew is running a promotion on their pants & jeans: 20% off 1 pair, 30% off 2 pairs, 40% off 3+ pairs with code PANTSPARTY.

The top I’m wearing is super cute as well. I like how it has some structure through the waist, and the deep v-neck is flattering. It runs very big, though. I’m wearing a small, and I feel like it’s a little too big. I expect it will shrink up some when it’s washed, though. FYI, this top is 40% off!

J.Crew high rise jeggings, size 29 // Vince suede slides // Hinge surplice top

I also ordered two pairs of bootcut jeans. This first pair is Wit & Wisdom. They have that ab solution panel in the waist that Wit & Wisdom is known for, which makes them comfortable, and they supposedly lift and shape the rear.

The wash is a nice, dressy dark wash that is very versatile. They’re just a TAD short on me with my go-to Hazel pumps, and they flare a little funny at the bottom, but that’s not a deal breaker for me. FYI, you will want to size down in these if you tend to run in between sizes. I’m in the size 6, and they fit perfectly.

I don’t care for the rear pocket placement — they’re a little large and wide-set — again, not a deal breaker, but with the length issue too, I decided to send them back. Plus I found a similar pair that I like a lot more…

Wit & Wisdom bootcut jeans, size 28 // Ann Taylor mixed jersey tank // Sam Edelman leopard pumps

This next pair is from Express, and I’m bummed I paired them with a top that’s too tight because it detracts from how flattering the jeans are.

The top is a Bobeau blouson sleeve number that I thought would be really cute for casual wear, but it is skin tight. #nothanks I may order the next size up, though, because I like the idea of it and the material is super soft.

The jeans, however, are bootcut perfection. I love the wash — dark, but not too dark, and they have just a slight fading in the hips and behind the knees to give them that cool, worn-in look. They happen to be the perfect length for me to pair with my favorite pumps, and they have a great shape through the leg.

Plus, the rear pockets are on the smaller side and placed perfectly, with just a slight curve at the top to give to the illusion of more shape.

Express mid-rise bootcut jeans // Bobeau blouson sleeve top // Sam Edelman pumps

I also ordered these Kut from the Kloth bootcut jeans, and I’m probably keeping them as well. I love the lighter wash, and the fit is fantastic. Unfortunately they are just a smidge too long, but not enough to warrant hemming. I think I’ll just wash them and hope they take up 1/4-inch.

Kut from the Kloth Natalie bootcut jeans, size 6 // Old Navy tank // Sam Edelman pumps

Okay, next up, straight leg jeans. So I found these at Banana, and I really thought they were fun. I ordered them in short and regular lengths because I noticed when looking at the website that they regular length had a 29.5″ inseam, and the short had a 27.5″ inseam. I like how they fit the model, and they look cropped on her, so I ordered both lengths to try.

At first try-on, I loved them in the short. I think they look casual and comfortable and modern. They have a great wash for the price point — that is often the first place where I can tell the difference between low and high end jeans — and the vented hem is a fun detail.

The rear pockets are larger and set wider part than I prefer, but I was willing to overlook that because they’re cute and I’m trying to integrate other styles of jeans into my closet.

Banana Republic slim straight dark wash jeans // Vince suede slides // Ann Taylor mixed jersey tank

But then I decided I should try them on with the regular (longer) length compare. To be fair, I tried them on with the same black tank and slides. (Why I never tucked that tag into my tank, I have no idea!)

At this point, I was conflicted on the length, and I started really second guessing that rear view. Those big wide-set pockets definitely don’t do much for me.

Banana Republic slim straight dark wash jeans // Vince suede slides // Ann Taylor mixed jersey tank

But I wasn’t ready to give up, so I decided to see how they would look with ankle boots.

Darn it, now I kind of like the regular length. As we head into fall, though, I’m not sure what to put on top. I mean, a sweater, obviously, but I need to try a few different styles and see how the proportions work out.

Banana Republic slim straight dark wash jeans // Sam Edelman suede booties // Ann Taylor mixed jersey tank

I also tried on the short pair with Converse and a summer top, and I think this works. The top isn’t very flattering on me, though, so I passed it on to my 15 year-old daughter. For reference, I’m wearing a small in the top and a 29 in the jeans.

Banana Republic slim straight dark wash jeans // Converse Shoreline // LOFT striped bow back tank

Curious also to see how they would work with loafers, I went back and tried each pair on again with leopard loafers. Honestly, I like both lengths. It’s just that one is a cropped straight, and the other is full-length on me. I feel like the cropped pair is cute for summer, and the full-length pair is better for going into fall. #decisions

Banana Republic slim straight dark wash jeans // Ann Taylor mixed jersey tank // leopard loafers // Caslon rounded v-neck tee // leopard slides

In the end, I decided to send both back because let’s face it, the pockets are really not working for me. But I want to like them, and I’m still looking for straight leg jeans to add to my closet this fall. I still have the Frame pair from the #NSale, but they are a lighter wash, and they sort of flare at the bottom. Plus, even on sale, they were spendy, so I’d love to find a more affordable pair.

This pair of 7FAM cropped straight leg jeans were 20% off last week, so I ordered them to try. I’ve been holding onto a few extra pounds lately and everything feels tight, so I ordered them in a size 29 even though I know I usually take a 28 in this brand.

This pair may be a keeper, but I’m still working how how to wear them, and I think I should probably exchange them for the 28 because after wearing them for 5 minutes, I can feel them getting loose in the rear. I also think they look a little big through the knee area, but maybe that’s just because they’re a straighter cut. The only way to find out is to try the 28 and compare, so I’m going to try to do that soon. Anyway, for now, I would say these are a contender. I like how the straighter cut balances out my hips, and they are so very comfortable. I love the b(air) fabric — it’s so soft and lightweight.

7FAM crop straight leg jeans // Old Navy tank // Tory Burch Miller sandals

For comparison, I tried them on with booties, and I think they’re a great length for that look. Again, the pockets are a little larger than ideal, but I think they’re placed well and fairly flattering. Obviously, I wouldn’t wear this tank with the booties, but I didn’t bother to style an entire outfit. I definitely want to play around some with this look though!

7FAM crop straight leg jeans // Old Navy tank // Tory Burch Miller sandals

I also placed a fairly large Banana Republic order, and I was pleased with much of it! These ponte moto leggings are really fun for casual wear. I’m not sure I love this sweater with them — I think I’d go with something in more of a sweatshirt material, and I really like how they pair with these backless leather skate sneakers. I actually ordered these in the short because I wanted the ankle length, but the full length might be nice too… I probably should have ordered both to compare.

Banana Republic ponte moto leggings // silk cashmere varsity v-neck //

These slim straight washable windowpane pants are a great workwear piece. They’re very flattering, lightweight, and comfortable. They aren’t lined, so make of that what you will. I still think they’re nice, and at 40% off (which is what I paid) they’re a good value.

And I really like this silk cashmere varsity v-neck. It’s just a classic sweater, but it has a flattering neckline and it’s very soft and thin and comfortable. Again, a nice work wear piece. For size reference, I have the pants in a 6 and the sweater in a small.

Banana Republic slim straight windowpane pants // silk cashmere varsity v-neck // Sam Edelman pumps

Whew! I feel like there’s more that I should say, and I’m sure I missed some sizing notes, so feel free to ask if you have any questions.

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