Fall Fashion Try-On Haul: Coats, Tops & Denim

Okay, friends! I’ve finally got a new try-on haul ready to share with you. I had wanted to get it up last week, but that clearly didn’t happen. I’ve got some coats, some tops, some shoes, and a lot of denim.

Rather than divide these up into categories, I’m sharing these more or less in the order I tried them on, because one thing tends to lead to another, and it just makes sense as far as the story arc goes. If a try-on haul can have a story arc, that is.

Fall Fashion Try-On Haul: Coats, Tops & Denim

SIZING NOTES: I’m 5’5″ and I usually wear a small in tops and dresses, a 29 in jeans, and a size 8 shoe. Gifted items are indicated by c/o; everything else I purchased myself.

J.Crew Villa Coat

at J.Crew (6) // Jenni Kayne sweater (S) // Fidelity denim (28) // ballet flats (8)

I’ve been wanting a new camel-colored coat, so I ordered this one to try. I’m always drawn to it when I see it, and I decided to bite the bullet, so to speak, when it was on sale a few weeks ago.

I really like this length in a wool coat; it’s less fussy than the longer calf-length styles that are trending, but I feel like it still looks chic and sophisticated.

I also like this color a lot, but I don’t know what to do with that gigantic funnel neck. It’s so very awkward. This is how it looks buttoned up… there is no way to button the funnel neck and be able to breathe, so… yeah.

VERDICT: Unfortunately, this coat is going back, although I really wanted to like it. Maybe if I didn’t have a non-existent neck, haha!

Barbour Opal Water Resistant Belted Trench Coat

at Nordstrom (8 US) // PAIGE denim (29) // Dolce Vita boots (8)

I love my light beige LOFT trench, but I’ve been thinking I wouldn’t mind having one that’s better quality, and I really like the color and styling on this Barbour.

Plus, it’s water resistant, which mine is not. It’s not usually an issue because if it’s pouring, I will wear a more practical rain coat, but it is nice when your trench is water resistant.

ANYHOO. I saw this on sale, so I ordered it to try, but it’s way too big, and I’m not sure I would like the shape even if I sized down.

VERDICT: I returned this one, and I’m just going to wait until I see another one that strikes me, since this more of a want than a need at the moment.

Satin Wide Leg Pants

at Talbots (6) // mix media top (S) // black suede pumps (8)

I styled this mixed media top with sparkly wide leg knit pants earlier this week, and I also ordered these satin wide leg pants to try with it.

Satin is having a moment this fall and winter, and wide leg pants are a nice way to incorporate the trend into a more classic wardrobe.

I really like these. They have a nice drape without being too voluminous, and the Invisiflex Comfort Waist Technology truly does what it claims to do — it adjusts to your body for the perfect fit. The 31″ inseam is perfect on me with a low or medium heel, but the do come in petite, if you need that.

I also wanted to try them with something untucked, so I grabbed this Halogen sweater with the embellished buttons.

This works too, thanks to the 21 1/2″ length, and I like the mix of textures with the ribbed knit and shiny satin pants, plus the sparkly buttons.

These pants have side slash pockets, and they’re actually machine washable. They come in misses, petite, plus, and plus petite sizes; and they run true to size, or size down if in between. I’m wearing the misses size 6.

VERDICT: I held onto these. I think they might come in handy this holiday season. FYI, Talbots is doing a 30% off your entire purchase! They have a lot of really nice pieces for the holidays.

Halogen Embellished Button Sweater

at Nordstrom (S) // Talbots satin pants (6) // PAIGE denim (29)

I love a festive sweater for the holiday season that you can dress up or down, and this one is pretty much perfect in every way! The rhinestone embellished buttons make it festive, and the shorter length v-neck cardigan is right on trend.

The v-neck is low but not too revealing, and you can always wear a tank top or cami underneath if you’re more well-endowed. I like it buttoned-up, but you could also wear it unbuttoned over a satin cami for another option.

I also styled this cardigan  with black jeans and a pointy toe bootie. This is how I’m more likely to wear it for church or casual holiday events, and I like this look a lot. The sparkly buttons take the denim up a notch, and because it’s a sweater, I’ll be comfortable and warm and still look festive.

VERDICT: Definitely keeping. FYI, this sweater also comes in black.

PAIGE Leenah Trouser in Black Shadow

at Evereve (29) // Halogen cardigan (S) // Marc Fisher boots (8)

I’ve ordered a bunch of black jeans lately because they’re my go-to for pairing with sweaters and blouses for date nights and Sunday church services during the fall and winter, and mine are all getting old and tired.

I especially need a pair of wide leg or bootcut black jeans, and I ordered these because I loved my white PAIGE Leenahs from the spring and summer. These are what I might call a slim wide-leg jean, if that’s not a total oxymoron.

They have a fairly high 11″ front rise, and a 32″ inseam with 22 1/4″ leg opening. Usually a 32″ inseam is perfect for me with heels, but I think that measurement is off because these are too long with my highest heels, so I’ll need to get them hemmed. 

I also think they might be too big, although I have a hard time believing I can fit into the size 28. PAIGE denim tends to be pretty consistent in their sizing, and I’m a solid 29 in their jeans these days, but I have some wiggle room in these, especially if they stretch out at all with wear.

All that to say, I will wear them around the house and see what I think, and I also have the 28 on the way to compare. But I love the style and the proportions and the quality of the denim, so I’m planning to keep one of them.

VERDICT: Love these, just waiting to get the size 28 to decide which ones to keep, and then I’ll have them shortened a bit.

Shimmer Stripe Smocked Tie Neck Blouse

at LOFT (S) // PAIGE denim (29) // Marc Fisher boots (8)

Okay, so back to tops! This is a floral blouse from LOFT that I grabbed when they were having a sale. Of course, LOFT is always having a sale, and this blouse is currently 50% off with code CHEER.

It’s a pretty print, with a hint of metallic thread throughout for a festive flair, and I like the split neck and smocked shoulders, but the fabric is kind of funky. It just doesn’t drape very well.

I mean, if I stand just so, it looks cute and all, but as I move around and look at it from various angles, I realize I can do better.

Just for kicks and giggles, I also tried it with more casual blue jeans and ballet flats. I like this color combo a lot.

It’s hard to see, but there are some amber tones in the floral print, which tie in with the cognac suede ballet flats. And I think the light wash blue jeans create a nice contrast to both pieces. But I still don’t care for the top, and the jeans, well . . . keep reading!

VERDICT: This is one of those tops I can see myself wearing once and then donating it, so I decided to save myself the angst and send it back now.

FRAME Le Garcon Rolled Raw After Jeans in Deepwater

at Shopbop (29) // at Frame Denim (29) // Splendid cardigan (S) // Marc Fisher flats (8)

I’m not sure what is going on with these jeans. They are clearly too big, but I don’t think the silhouette is working for me either.

I got them from the Shopbop sale, but I like the description on the FRAME website:

A FRAME signature jean with a comfortable mid-rise waist that hits higher in the back and a relaxed taper through the leg with a pre-cuffed raw edge hem. Crafted from a sustainable comfort stretch denim that offers a vintage, lived-in feel upon first wear.

I would call these more of a girlfriend jean than a skinny, but whatever. I’m not a fan. Also, I am NOT ready for low rises to come back.

Both the Shopbop and FRAME websites cite a 8.75″ front rise, and I think that’s about right.

VERDICT: I doubt you will be surprised to hear that these went back!

Splendid Bella Cardigan

at Evereve (S) // FRAME denim (29) // Marc Fisher flats (8)

This cardigan, on the other hand, is kind of cute. I love the quality. Splendid makes such nice quality fabrics, and this is super soft and has a nice drape. (The fabric is 40% viscose, 30% nylon, 25% polyester, 5% cashmere.)

I like the button-up design and the deep v-neck and blouson sleeves, but I’m just not sure about that tie hem. With these low rise jeans, it’s more revealing than I like.

VERDICT: Debating. Keep reading to see this top with higher rise jeans.

PAIGE Sarah Straight Ankle Jeans – Art Piece Distressed

at Shopbop (29) // Splendid cardigan (S) // Marc Fisher flats (8)

These were another Shopbop sale find, and I was hoping they would be more of a classic straight leg jean for me since all of mine are a very much a slim straight, almost skinny silhouette.

The fabric is 99% Organic Cotton, 1% Elastane, so more of a traditional denim with just enough stretch (1%) to allow ease of movement.

This is how the PAIGE website describes them:

A true straight leg with a high-waisted silhouette that finishes at the ankle. This pair is crafted in PAIGE VINTAGE denim with a portion of organic cotton and comes in a light blue wash with lived-in details.

They have a 10 3/4” front rise, and a 28” inseam with a 15” leg opening, but they have an almost tapered silhouette, which I’m not a fan of. I do like the wash, though. I can see it being quite versatile in my wardrobe.

While I think the 29 is the right size for me, and they’re a nice length with ballet flats, there’s something about them that I don’t love, but I can’t quite pinpoint it.

I decided to try them with my new UGG Classic Ultra Mini Ankle Boots, since I plan to wear these A LOT this winter, and I will be wearing them mostly with straight leg jeans.

I guess this works, although I think I like them better with a slimmer leg jean, like my MOTHER Dazzlers. Maybe I should have tried a small cuff.

I also tried them with a heeled bootie. (These are the Aquatalia booties from the #NSale.) I guess this works, but the jeans still look stumpy to me, and I just don’t like that tapered leg, subtle though it is.

Here they are with sneakers… I’m still kind of meh. There’s still something about the silhouette of these jeans that I don’t love. I think it’s because they’re looser in the thigh, and that never quite works for me.

I just don’t like how they look baggy between the hip and the knee. It makes the shorter length look more awkward, and it just doesn’t flatter me.

I have thin limbs with wider shoulders and hips, so I look better when I highlight my arms and my legs with more close-fitting styles in those areas.

VERDICT: I think these will have to go back.

MOTHER Dazzler in Wish On A Star

at Shopbop (29) // at Saks (29) // Treasure & Bond sweater (S) // P448 sneakers (39)

I ordered these MOTHER Dazzlers from the Shopbop sale last week because I love the ones I have, but I was thinking I might like to have a darker wash with a finished hem. I don’t know why, but these feel off to me.

For one thing, the rise feels lower, even though the measurements are the same, and this length looks awkward to me, even though I like it in the raw hem version that I own and wear several times a week. It seems like a raw hem doesn’t create such a line of demarcation where they end, so it doesn’t shorten the line of the leg the way these do.

I tried a front tuck with this sweater, but I don’t care for this either. I usually wear it untucked for a more casual, relaxed vibe, but at least this shows you the rise of the jeans.

They also feel tight and not quite the right size, but maybe they’ll give with wear. I dunno, but these days, I really like a 10 1/2″ rise, and I think I would like an extra inch in the length.

VERDICT: Maybe I’m looking for a unicorn, I dunno, but for now I’m going to return all of these and keep wearing the straight leg jeans that I have.

Fair Isle Turtleneck Tunic Sweater

at LOFT // PAIGE denim (29) // ballet flats (8)

This sweater is a nice soft and squishy knit, and I love the colors and the fair isle design, but I am not a fan of the longer length.

What is happening? Why are we seeing more and more longer sweaters out right now?

They do not work with current denim styles, nor are they particularly flattering on most women. They have a way of cutting us right in half vertically, which is never a good thing.

I tried a front tuck to balance out the proportions, but no thanks. I’m over this look.

VERDICT: Sadly, this sweater is going back.

Ribbed V-Neck Cardigan

at LOFT (S) // PAIGE denim (29) // Aquatalia booties (8)

This cardigan looks cute online, but I feel frumpy in it. Maybe I should have sized up for a looser fit. Also, the quality is just meh to me.

VERDICT: This one is going back, too.

In last week’s Try-On Haul, I tried the Gap Boyfriend Cardigan, and I had the opposite problem. It was too big, and also kind of light and airy, and I said that I like the idea of it, but I want something warmer and a nicer quality. Well…

Nordstrom Signature V-Neck Cashmere Cardigan

at Nordstrom (S) // MOTHER denim (29) // tank top (M) // similar loafer mules

I caved and ordered this splurgy cashmere version. It’s 100% cashmere, so it’s super soft and cozy, and because it’s the Nordstrom Signature brand, it doesn’t cost as much as comparable sweaters.

I always say you get a lot of bang for your buck with this brand because you aren’t paying for a designer label. I would say the quality is more in line with Vince cashmere, but their chunky shaker knit cardigan is $525 while this one is $279.

I like the side slit detail and how it’s not too terribly oversized, but loose enough to be comfortable.

Here’s how it looks over a black tank with black jeans, and I showed it both buttoned and unbuttoned. I added brown booties to break up the black, but I really prefer this sweater with the blue jeans, as shown above. It has that casual, cozy vibe that I like so much.

VERDICT: Keeping this one. While the length might be a little less than ideal, I feel like it works when it’s paired with low contrast colors, and it fills a hole in my wardrobe.

And that’s all I have time for today! I did take some other pictures of items I want to share, but they’ll have to wait for next week.

Stay In Touch

If you liked this post, be sure you’re signed up for my email newsletter. In addition to my most recent blog posts, you’ll receive exclusive newsletter content like special sales, my newest favorite finds, and an occasional peek behind the scenes — all delivered right to your inbox.

I would also love for you to join my JLS Fashion Insiders Facebook Group! This is a friendly place to discuss all matters of fashion and style with other women, share your outfits, get advice, and stay up to date on all the happenings in our community.

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!

Join The Conversation

61 Responses

  1. What’s going on with Loft? I’ve ordered several things lately that looked great online, but something’s off in their sizing! Tops are too long, and sweaters and dresses fit frumpy. If I size down, the sleeves are too tight. I used to always find a few pieces that worked, but not anymore!

      1. Regular Ann Taylor looks like Walmart now and Loft is a disgrace. Very upsetting as regular Ann Taylor was my go to store for work clothes. Since they got bought out they have gone straight down the tubes. Quality is horrendous.

    1. I agree Betsy….. something is off and has been for awhile. I have a hard time ordering anything online. Need to try it first. They have great sales so I hope they figure it out. Guess we all need to write more reviews.

  2. I bet to cut costs and returns retailers are moving to a more unisex size structure which is longer in the torso and arms. I was having this issue with a “knit on demand” sweater company and they said moving to a unisex sizing structure cut down on their returns. Not all are as enlightened as this group.

  3. So many misses this time. I have been sending so much back also. Right now I am having the most luck with AG and Paige. Tops and sweaters too long, or if they are short enough, then too boxy. Maybe I have become too picky, but when you have things that fit perfectly already, you don’t want to settle for less.

  4. Seems like a lot of duds in this batch! I had my eye on that shimmer LOFT top, so good to hear that’s a no. The only thing that really interests me of any of these is that Halogen embellished button cardigan. Which I would probably buy in black because I buy everything in black.

    1. It might work for you. I have a hard time with wovens because they don’t drape the way knits do, and I need fabrics that hug my curves. Jen at Everyday Style School did a whole thing on knits vs wovens and why certain body types look better in one vs the other. It was eye opening for me. I didn’t realize it was a body type issue. I just knew I gravitate to knits.

  5. Your post made me LOL several times with your facial expressions and comments.

    I am also looking for a pair of true straight jeans but not having any luck. My Mother Dazzlers are too low rise on me and bag out. They also seem too much like skinnies, IMO.

    Let us know if find that unicorn.

    1. I’m surprised your MOTHER Dazzlers bag out. Sounds like you might have been able to size down? They definitely read more as skinnies to me these days, but I love my raw hem pair so I’m going to keep wearing them. I just don’t know that I’ll buy anymore.

  6. I think you looked great in that coat. The huge collar frames your face and when it gets really cold, you would appreciate being able to pull that big collar towards your face for warmth.

  7. Ahhhh jeans…the struggle is real! I bought a pair of Hudson straight ankle at Nordstrom Rack this week. They fit me like the ones you had on… I’m undecided. But you always say we need to adjust our eyes to the look. They fit nicely over boots but I haven’t tried them with sneakers yet. They feel wide on the hip/thigh to me too.. but they were comfortable! I just felt wide in them….
    Thank you for all you do for us Jo-Lynne!

    1. Yeah, the eye does need to adjust and I was looking back thru these pix this morning wondering if I should have tried the Paige Sarah with more different tops. I can always re-order if I keep having second thoughts, but Shopbop has a short return window so I had to make a fast decision.

  8. Love the Leenah and look forward to seeing the 28 on you. I’m guessing it’ll be perfect after the sit test. The NSig cardi is a great alternative to JK. The rest….ooff and yikes. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Like you, I am struggling to find flattering straight leg denim. For now, I am also staying with slim straight and boot cut. I can’t narrow it down to exactly why they don’t look good, but I think it might be the length. A slim straight is very attractive at 27 or 28 inch inseams, but a wider, true straight looks awkward at that length. I think they should be longer.

    1. I agree, these seem like they need to be longer. I do like the AG Mari, but I have lost a few pounds and I think I should have kept the 29 instead of the 30. I find myself not reaching for them because they seem schlumpy to me now. 🙁

      1. This made me sigh, because I actually have three sizes of jeans to accommodate my skinny and puffy days! I love the AG Mari, and would like to take those 30’s off your hands! We could meet
        behind the Mall!!! (Haha, a Taylor Swift reference)

        I really like the Nordstrom’s Signature cashmere cardi! 👍👍

      2. Yes!!!!! Pilates is working and your seeing results, keep it up.I was a runner and worked out….then “the mid life change”…..over time, I changed how I work out and was never into Pilates but now it’s my friend along with some weight lifting (also lots of flexibility stuff) and I walk or cycle instead of run :). A friend of mind said aging isn’t for sissies 🙂 and then the wardrobe thing at mid life…..how to look “in style” without looking like your students/daughter etc……..Have a lovely week end everyone.

        1. I do love Pilates, but I’m not sure I’m seeing results yet. I’m starting to feel them, though, with posture and core strength. I really need to walk more, and for longer distances. I tend to do the one mile loop with the dog and call it a day.

    2. My favorite true straight is AG alexxis. It has a pretty high waist so I sized up for that, comfort 🙂 The inseam is 30″ I have gotten away with wearing them with sneakers and heels. I’m 5.7 but a couple of inches of that is torso 🙂

  10. Thanks for this try on. I’m just not loving fashion as much lately. It’s been hard to find things and I guess from reading the comments I’m not the only one. I had to lol at some of your facial expressions. I agree with all you said. I’m not liking the more baggy straight leg jeans. You are right also in the more crop hemmed denim, I think the raw hem hangs better.

    1. I am not enjoying fashion as much right now either. But I did just get a few cute jackets in the mail, and I have a new lease on life! I think I might just stick with the denim I have and try to work on the upper half. I’m bored with my simple pullover sweaters, and I want to do more layering.

  11. I just received a gray Faherty cardigan from Nordstrom and I love it! Perfect length, very soft and you can button without wearing a tank underneath if you wish. It’s a relaxed fit and I found sizing down worked best.

  12. I’ve been wearing women’s Levi’s high rise 501 straight leg jeans after searching forever for good straight leg jeans. They are 100% cotton with no stretch so I sized up to a 29. They come in three lengths; 28, 30 and 32. They did not shrink when I laundered them and they don’t bag out when wearing. I don’t really think these are high rise, though. More of a mid-rise on the high side, if that makes sense, which I like because I am short waisted and true high rise jeans look ridiculous on me if I tuck anything in. I bought the “Take a Hint” (grayish black) and “Hollow Days” (light wash). These are pretty much perfect for me!

  13. I am very similar to your build but taller and I also favor a casual style. I bought some tapered jeans from Gap. I wanted to love them and they were very comfortable and unlike anything that I currently have but they were sent back. I, too, look best in jeans that are fitted in the thigh and hip area. My daughter also didn’t like the dark blue wash on me. I bought straight leg cheeky jeans at Gap (and loved them) but, when I went to order a black color in the same style, reviews said they were smaller than the other colors. It is difficult to navigate online clothing and I have sent many things back over the past three years. I love the range of sizes that the online shopping offers but it helps to try on in a store setting. I love the Nordstrom Signature cardigan on you! I have had good luck at Everlane and Quince for cardigans and Gap for jeans.

  14. I really love that J. Crew camel coat, the color is so nice and on the model wearing camel on their website the collar looks more relaxed and the blonde model wearing the black one it looks like a normal size collar; wonder if it would relax a little after some wear. Also wonder how the petite sizing would look; anyhow I just love the color and style although would prefer a smaller collar. It looked smashing on you Jolynn!
    Also loving those Fisher brown flats, seems to have a little more structure than some; very nice looking.

    1. Yeah, I don’t think petite is the answer, the sleeve length would be off. But I could have maybe given it more of a chance. I just didn’t care for how it felt, it’s too much for me.

  15. Not trying to be rude but you made the right call by returning all those jeans. They just didn’t look right. Shopping on line is becoming exhausting. I usually always send stuff back. I’m not a fan of Jeans but I have a pair of the high waist bell bottom type pant from lands end that fit me pretty well.

  16. I’m over ordering from Loft for so many reasons. I love your editorial in this post! I agree with your remarks 100%.

  17. Have you ever tried DL1961 denim? A few years ago I bought a few pair and they were amazing – the fabric, the fit, the color (which somehow never faded and still look brand new!) I keep looking at them hoping they’ll come out with the unicorn pair I don’t even know I need…

  18. I like the black satin pants and black jeans. No to the girlfriend cuffed ones. Your legs look short in them. That’s how my legs look with mid rise styles especially a slim or skinny leg. I agree about the long tops and sweaters. Maybe it’s because women are still wearing skinny jeans with long tops. I noticed Loft has a lot of skinny jeans on their website.

    1. After reading the comments I agree with the readers about Loft and just ordering on line lately. I haven’t ordered much this fall. I only ordered a corduroy JCrew factory blazer, a sweater vest from Loft, and trouser pants from Old Navy. I like those pieces a lot. Everything else I bought in person. I ju

  19. I know I am in the minority here, but I love the longer length shirts/sweaters!! The cropped version make me look heavier, because I carry my weight in my tummy.

    I think the mother dazzlers were a great fit on you! But completely understandable that if you aren’t a fan in what you are wearing, then it’s worth returning

    1. The longer lengths work for many women, I’m sure. I’m not very tall, plus very short waisted, and now that I know the length that works for me, everything else looks off. So I was loving the shorter styles trending. I’m surprised to see the longer lengths so prevalent all of the sudden, they don’t seem to work with the pant styles in the same stores. Maybe I need to shop more at J.Crew and Madewell and stores that cater to a slightly younger demographic, but ironically, theirs have gotten TOO short, lol!

  20. Oh my goodness the Mother Dazzlers look too short on you ….they’d be pedal pushers on me! LOL! Sorry you had so many misses on this try-on haul!

  21. Just an opinion….most of the jeans, the short ones, look like they shrunk…..or you were caught in a flood and are not very flattering! The fits are all off. There was one pic of a jean that looked like they were too small and to me made your hips and legs look big and out of proportion. I also think from looking at all the pictures that the shorter length sweaters actually are less flattering than some of the longer ones. The shorter ones to me make the waist and hip area look bigger and chunky. Not something you want to zero in on if you carry any extra weight around the middle. I guess it depends on the shape of the wearer or the trend but I’m so over the shorter length and that front tuck. It’s okay for the younger crowd but looks silly on older women. Again, just my opinion!

  22. The “wire cutter” ( NYT) did a recent deep dive on their top jeans, after lengthy trials..Levi 501 made their list too.

  23. Popping in to share that I bought that Capital Z crossbody from your newsletter in TWO colors, black and tan… and got a 25 percent discount for signing up for their emails! I’m excited to get them, I think they will add a lot to simple outfits. I have my eye on the totes too, but I have more crossbody days than tote days in my life.

  24. I’m having the same issues as you all in finding flattering clothing and I think it’s to do with my changing mid body and fashion silhouettes changing at the same time.
    My answer seems to be to stick with classics and brands that I know usually fit me well but I can’t help but feel the extra few lbs I’m carrying just make finding that great fit much harder and I hate to have to focus on weight loss but that’s kind of where I’m at right now!

  25. I’m the same size and body shape I’ve always been. I just think the clothes that are “in style” now are on the ugly side and not that flattering to a woman’s body.

  26. I just purchased in store at JCrew two cropped cashmere sweaters. I think you would like them and they are a perfect pairing with all the wide leg jeans. They work well for me because I am also very short waisted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close this search box.