Shop with Me: Nordstrom, LOFT, J.Crew & Ann Taylor

Well, yesterday was quite a day, I’ve gotta tell ya. Not only was the comment section on yesterday’s post quite lively, but I also found myself off schedule, as I often am, with one of my motherhood commitments, which always makes me feel like the biggest failure. It worked out, and all’s well that ends well, but it was stressful for a couple of hours yesterday morning.

I appreciate all the encouraging comments and emails yesterday. I have developed a pretty thick skin from blogging for over 11 years, but I still get teary-eyed when I get a sweet comment of encouragement. Please know that I read and appreciate every one.

I spent a large part of yesterday at the mall because I’ve been wanting to do a white denim comparison post. Of course, I got sidetracked by pretty tops and dresses! (I’m sure you’re not surprised.) I still have a few stores I want to visit for the white denim post, but I’m going to share some of the other cute things I found — and some of the misses too!

I started out at Nordstrom because, where else? LOL! It’s like my second home. The security guard at the entrance I always use acts like he expects me now.

Speaking of Nordstrom, their Triple Points Event just started today. It runs thru May 7, I believe. It’s a good time to make those bigger purchases you’ve been putting off or saving up for.

Also, unrelated, but too good not to mention, Tory Burch has a sale going on select products. Among them are a few bags I’ve been drooling over for months! For some reason, I can’t link directly to any of them, which is making me a bit ragey this early in the morning. You’ll have to click the SALE tab on her site, and I’ll just list some of my faves.

(1) Ivy Hobo (2) Woven Drawstring Tote (3) Perforated Logo Hobo (4) Block T Drawstring Tote (5) Block T Tote (6) Robinson Round Crossbody

That woven tote would be so perfect for summer, and I love that bedrock color on the Ivy Hobo for summer as well. That orange perforated hobo is calling my name the loudest, but I am trying to resist. LOL!!

She’s also got some wallets on sale too, and that Robinson Round Crossbody would make a nice grad gift for a stylish girl in your life who may be graduating this year. You can browse them all and see what catches your eye.

Also, speaking of handbags on sale, Nordstrom Rack is having a Marc Jacobs Event, and they have some gorgeous bags for 50% off!!! Marc Jacobs makes an absolutely sublime leather handbag. The name isn’t quite as trendy as Tory Burch, but the quality is every bit as good or better for similar prices, and 50% off makes them a steal. I put my top picks on my Facebook Page yesterday, so I won’t repeat them here.

I’ve been using my Facebook Page a lot more since the conference I went to a few weeks ago. Check it out, and if you like it, be sure to follow me over there!

So . . . on to my shopping trip yesterday!

This ruffle sleeve top caught my eye immediately, but I almost didn’t try it on because how many ruffle sleeve tees does a girl need? Well, I’m glad I tried it because it’s adorable, and I like that the fit is more forgiving than the other ruffle sleeve tee (NOW ON SALE!) I have from the junior’s department. Those of you who don’t like the juniors sizing might like this one better.

For size reference, I’m wearing the small. I did the front tuck because it was too long left out, but I’m showing it both ways so you can see the difference.

This lace shift dress is cute . . . for someone else. It’s really cute, just not for me. This might look better on someone with less of an hourglass shape . . . a straight or a pear, perhaps? The way the sleeves puff at the shoulders would offset fuller hips, but they create more volume than I need, plus I prefer a dress with more structure at the waist. For size reference, I’m wearing the small. Also, I would recommend a nude wedge sandal with this dress, not the grey ballet flats I’m wearing.

After Nordstrom, I wandered into LOFT. This indigo cap sleeve tee came home with me. It looks like denim (denim tops are trending this season!) but it’s actually a soft knit material. I am wearing the small, for size reference. It’s almost too big, so I’m hoping it shrinks (LOFT tops usually do.)

I also tried on this striped drop shoulder sweater, which I really like, but it’s getting warm here very soon (or so we hope) so I didn’t want to invest in another long sleeve top. It would be nice for fall too, though, so maybe I was being short-sighted. I love the citron yellow accents.

Finally, I tried on some shorts. I liked these cut-off denim shorts quite a lot. They’re a size 6, for reference.

I wasn’t as thrilled with these Riviera Shorts with the 4″ inseam. They’re okay from the front and sides, but the rear view is rather unfortunate. I have what I like to call shovel-butt disease, so I have to be careful with my shorts and pants and be sure I have a flattering shape from behind.

The 6″ shorts weren’t any better. I usually go for the shorter lengths. Not only do the longer ones tend to make my rear end look wider and flatter, they don’t fit me well in the thighs. You want your shorts to fit close to the body and follow the line of the leg for the most flattering fit, and I think these cut my legs off in an awkward way, especially when my knee isn’t bent. I’m trying to remember to take my dressing room pictures standing straight, not the fashion blogger pose I’m used to, lol!

After that, I stopped into J.Crew, and I was drawn to this embellished muscle tank. I tried both the small and medium, but I purchased the small, which is the size I’m showing here. It just fits, so I hope it doesn’t shrink! (It says to wash inside out on delicate and lay flat to dry.) I think it will be so cute with white jeans or blue jeans or even black jeans and shorts this summer.

For the fun of it, I tried pairing this top with a black ruffle skirt. I never wear this style skirt because it loses my shape somehow, but I always admire those who can pull off this look. Again, the ballet flats would not be my first choice of shoe for an outfit like this. A pointy toe pump works better, or a strappy sandal. It definitely needs a more delicate shoe with some height.

By way of comparison, this white sheath from Ann Taylor is a flattering shape, but it is too low cut for my comfort level, and I think a cami would ruin the neckline.

Also at Ann Taylor, I tried on this off-the-shoulder top. YIKES!!! So sheer. The style doesn’t really flatter either. It’s too long and doesn’t have enough structure. She had a lot of cute tops I wanted to try, but this was my last stop and I was exhausted so I didn’t bring many into the dressing room.

Finally, I tried this striped off-the-shoulder dress.For those of us with an hourglass shape, I think you can see how a sheath is so much more flattering than a shift dress or a full skirt.

I love the dress, but I didn’t buy it because I’m not sure where I’d wear it. If I find something, I’ll go back and buy it. I think it would be adorable with a red or pink shoe! Both dresses are a size 6, for reference. I usually wear an 8 in dresses so Ann Taylor seems to run big.

And that’s all I’ve got till I post my white denim comparisons. I did take a lot of pictures of white jeans yesterday, but I’m waiting to post till I can get to a few more stores, so I hope to have that post up this weekend.

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86 Responses

  1. I’m reading your latest post while my son naps it is my guilty pleasure – thank you for making time to blog when you have so much else going on! I have pinched many of your outfit formulas and am feeling more confident and put together having struggled with my style after having kids – much appreciated

    1. I’m so glad to hear that! Fashion and style don’t come naturally to me, but I have learned a ton in the last few years, following fashion blogs and looking up trends on Pinterest, and I’m happy to share! 🙂

  2. LOVE the JCrew muscle tee! Very cute and so many styling options! I agree with you about the Loft Riviera shorts… I wish they would revamp their shorts but they seem to keep producing the same style of shorts each spring and summer. I have the same problem – they look fine in the front and from the side but the back view is so unflattering! I enjoy the shop with me posts – it is nice to see what is out there from my favorite stores.

    1. Yeah, shorts are hard. I don’t have much luck with them. I think they look better when they have exterior pockets – so I end up in jean shorts most of the time, lol.

    1. I 100% agree with you. The lace shift was perfect. It fit you better than the model. Liked it way better thsn the white sheath. Everyone sees themselves differently than how others see.

  3. It’s really nice to see things on a person, Jo-Lynne. I usually love to order clothing online, but there are some things you just can’t tell from their models or laying flat!
    Like the sheerness of that AT top….that would have been a deal breaker.
    That AT white dress though—I think I wouldn’t tried to come up with a fix because it’s so gorgeous. (you know I”m a huge fan of you in a dress..ha ha). My mom is a whiz with sewing and has added a sheer fabric across the front of shirts like those so she doesn’t have to wear a cami….easy for her, but I may try it one of these days!

  4. I, too, think you look GREAT in that white dress! I also really love the last striped dress on you – so flattering! These posts are so much fun – thank you for sharing them with us. And thank you for all you do with juggling mom duties and your work . I think you do a wonderful job and I look forward to reading your blog every day!

  5. I’m not a stripes person but I LOVE LOVE LOVE what I’m going to call a “wide boat neck” dress. If this was solid I’d be all over it – as a small busted person I think this neck line is awesome

  6. I’m glad I read the post before starting my work day. You crack me up. I agree with you on all assessments today.

    So many cute off-the-shoulder dresses and tops out there today, but seriously when will someone be able to wear many of them?

    1. I know… that is the problem I’m having. Maybe if I lived in the south, I’d see them more for everyday. For me, it’s definitely a “night out” look.

  7. Love the Shop With Me posts and I love that white dress too but if you don’t feel good in it, that would be a deal breaker for me as well. Blessings on your day!

    1. Thanks, Nancy! It was a combo of being so low cut and then not really having a place to wear it. It’s too dressy for my church. But it is a great dress for someone!

  8. Buy the black and white striped dress! It loooks great on you and is so cute. I’m sure you can find somewhere to wear it.

  9. So fun to go shopping with you. It’s also nice to see that just as all women, we have some hits and misses and it all depends on your own body type and your comfort level with certain fashion trends. I really liked the JCrew tank. It would be great for a trip we have planed down to the Texas coast. I also liked the striped dress and thought it looked amazing on you, but I had the say thought….where to wear it? Thanks for sharing!

  10. I follow a ton of bloggers, and I always appreciate that you are so willing to share the misses along with the hits! So refreshing, but also so USEFUL!! We are similar in age and body type, so I always find good info with you, haha! Thanks for your blog!! Also wondering if your son liked Pitt? I am an undergrad alum, though haven’t been back in years! I knew I wanted a city campus, and a big school, and U of Pitt certainly fit the bill. I loved it there! My son chose the exact opposite lol. Small ivy, also lovely. Crazy times choosing those colleges!!!

    1. He DID really like Pitt. A lot. It is probably the front runner at this point. He is torn between the fun of going to a city school with D1 sports teams and wanting the conservative Christian-based education at Grove City, especially since his interest is currently poli sci. So we shall see.

  11. Your “shop with me” posts are probably my favorite.
    I feel like I am hanging out with a gorgeous, but unpretentious friend and your honesty helps me make good decisions when I am shopping, instead of just being drawn in by a style or trend.

  12. Love,,,love…love that black and white dress on you.!! Please don’t pass this one up. So much you could with color to change the look and it would look adorable with flats/sandals for a more casual look that would give you more use out of it. Seriously, that dress was made for you!

    1. You are tempting me… I do wish it was a smidge shorter. I know I can have it hemmed, but still, that’s a pain, lol. Esp since it’s not from Nordstrom – I usually have my tailoring done there b/c it’s free with a purchase.

  13. I love the indigo cap sleeve top, that color looks so good on you! And the white dress is stunning! Thanks for the fun shopping post ????????????????????????

  14. It would be so much fun trying on clothes with you, but you would have me wanting to spend more than I need too. I really like you showing us how different you look in the different style dresses. I do not like for my extra skin in the mid section to show, at all, so that plays a big part in my selection process. The muscle tee and the ruffle sleeve top are great pieces that will be fun to style. I hope today runs more smoothly for you!

  15. Definitely ordering the ruffle sleeve top! And I love the look of the last dress – wish it wasn’t off the shoulder. 🙁 That look just isn’t for me. The white lace shift dress is SO cute – but too short for my comfort. Looks great on you!

    I hope your day today goes way better than yesterday! 😉


  16. Your Shop With Me Posts are my favs – I very much look forward to them. I have to admit the embellished sleeveless top wouldn’t have been my pick from the rack but I am loving it – I will definitely expand my comfort zone. Love the denim shorts and striped dress as well. Today is better than yesterday and will lead to an even greater tomorrow. Thanks again Jo-Lynne – I am blessed to have you ‘in my life”.

  17. I LOVE LOVE these kinds of posts! Helps me see what’s out there without spending hours trying stuff on! It also helps so much to see it on a person and to read your comments. Thank u!!

  18. I always love these posts! You found some great tops. And I adore that last dress but like you, I have no idea where I’d wear such a dress. Also, please remember that not all of us are on Facebook! I know it must be a lot harder to create a blog post but I hope you won’t switch to doing all your “recommendation” posts on FB instead.

  19. I just wanted to comment on your hair. It looks SO good straight and sleek . It’s a great length on you too.

    1. Thanks! It didn’t look the best yesterday b/c it was 2nd day hair, lol. (I don’t know how women goes days and days without washing. Mine looks awful on day 2.) I got a flat iron yesterday and tried it out this morning, and I really like the way it looks. It’s fun to have a change from the curls.

  20. Love the outfits that you shared today. You always look fabulous!
    I have shovel butt too so don’t feel bad.
    The orange perforated logo bag is my favorite too. It’s calling my name.

    1. In the Nordstrom pictures, they were Caslon (I think – or maybe NYDJ) and in the J.Crew ones, they were the J.Crew toothpick jeans. I will be showing both in my white jeans review post this weekend!

  21. I’m looking forward to your white denim post! You cover denim selections so well. I love the JCrew muscle tee on you…the cap sleeve top not so much. I think helps to be under 18 for that type sleeve to look flattering 🙁 I loved the JCrew dress you blogged about last week but there was something about underarm area that didn’t look quite right to me.
    Thanks for sharing your shopping trip! It’s so helpful to see the clothes on you!

  22. BTW you look great in everything!! I loved the last striped dress – I am sure you could find a use for it!!! You looked great in it!!! Thanks for sharing!

  23. Good morning Jo-Lynne. I must say I haven’t even finished reading today’s post but I was compelled after reading your comment about yesterday’s post to read those comments. I know you received many beautiful heartfelt comments but I wanted to add one more so please bear with me. I started reading your blog about 2 years ago. I was a single mom newly out of an abusive relationship that had followed on the heels of a rough divorce from my daughters father. (That relationship too was full of turmoil). Needless to say my self esteem and self worth were very low. Your blog and your sense of fashion have helped me immeasurably. I now have confidence in myself and the way I dress. I admit I do splurge from time to time on items you feature but more often than not I am able to duplicate your look from the stores I normally shop in. You have also encouraged me to step out of my own comfort zone by trying things such as boyfriend jeans and girlfriend chinos (I am now a proud owner of not 1 but 2 pair of the Gap girlfriend chinos you featured along with a pair of boyfriend jeans!) My new and quite amazing husband tells me how wonderful I look in both not to mention how wonderful they me look from the rear view (who knew!? Lol). Anyway, I just wanted to say don’t ever stop doing you. You never know how many lives you quietly touch. God bless! Xoxo

    1. Larissa, it makes me SO SO happy to hear this! Most of all that you got out of an abusive relationship and have found a husband who is good to you – and I’m so glad I could help you feel more confident in your fashion choices. It does make such a difference, doesn’t it??

      1. It certainly does! Keep up your shop with me posts I find them so helpful to see not only why something works but also why something doesn’t. My own eye is becoming much more trained!!

  24. I bought that denim sleeveless top from Loft last week during their on-line sale and love it – so cute with khaki capri pants! I love the striped dress on you and I may have to take a look at that JCrew embellished top! Thanks for the great post!

  25. I’ve had the sleeveless denim top in my bag for a couple of days. Time to “proceed to the checkout.” Ha! It looks adorable with white jeans. The stripe dress looks perfect on you! Go back???? and definitely pair it with red or pink shoes!

    Have a great day everyone!!

  26. My vote is the black and white striped dress. You look fabulous !!! You could always wear it to a blogging conference 🙂 ~Lisa~

  27. I love your shop with me posts! Did you get the pink ruffle shirt? It was super cute and looked great on you! Love the white dress on you and I didn’t think it was too low. However, it’s so important to be comfortable or it just sits in the closet. BUT I’ve got to say … that last striped dress was AMAZING on you. I could see it for date night, girls night out, Sunday brunch, lunch with the girls. I think you could really dress it up OR dress it down.

  28. Thank you for the shopping trip its nice to see something form other stores then wallyworld the only place to shop around here without driving 50 miles ,love the tank

  29. Love the shop with me posts! And your facial expression is cracking me up in the white off the shoulder top! That’s how I always feel when I’m out trying on clothes!

  30. Love the shopping posts too. That striped dress looks so perfect on you!!! Really think you should run back and get it. Just sayin!

  31. Yay! Thanks for doing the hard work and shopping for me – I hate the mall! You are right on all counts. The jean shorts are cute, the orange ones, well, aren’t. 🙂 Keep trying! I loathe shorts now as my legs after having kids are not so pretty (veins!) My white jeans this season are NYDJ, not too sheer, thankfully. And I really like that white dress on you! It has a laid back vibe, similar to that white boho blouse from a month or so ago. Have a blessed day! Happy Shopping! 🙂

  32. I love your shop with me posts. I dread trying on clothes because I get hot, tired and grumpy, LOL! Thank you for all the work you do to show us these fashions. You look great in everything. The J.Crew tee is my favorite and that striped dress is gorgeous on you!

  33. I love the faces you make in some of these! 🙂 Makes me smile :). I love your blog and think you seem so sweet and kind. We all have different income levels (compared to Third World countries most all of us are probably rich!) and I appreciate you showing what you buy and wear… you give such lovely ideas. Anyway I’m just trying to say that I really appreciate your blog!!! Hugs!!!!

  34. Hi Jo-Lynne,
    You look great in everything. I too suffer from shovel butt., but am learning to cope thanks to your great fashion tips. I really love both white dresses on you and the embellished and cap sleeve tees. I may need to get those!! Can’t wait to see the white jeans blog. I hope you’ll do another one later in the summer on the regular denim colors too!!! Thank you, I had fun shopping with you.

  35. Your shop with me posts are my favorite ! You are so cute! I love the white dress on you, but if you aren’t comfortable it’s a no. Also the stripe dress????

  36. I love your blog, many things you wear, I will wait until they go on sale to purchase, I am watching for several tops to go on sale. I just bought the ruffle sleeve blouse today at Nordstrom. I love your style, & I am more confident now in what I am wearing!

  37. I love your dressing room photos the best. You are so open to show what looks good and what doesn’t. I hate trying clothes on in dressing rooms. I find sometimes if I go ahead and buy them they look different at home but if not I just return them. I love the Loft Indigo denim top a lot. But on their site some are saying it has a very strong fabric smell which I am really sensitive to. I may stop in the Loft store and try it on to see. It’s really cute!

  38. Sheer tops have perplexed me for years…especially short sleeved ones. If I’m hot (then cold, then hot, then cold), then i don’t want layers! But I digress.
    Loved loved loved the Crew tank and your Indigo top! Fun!

  39. Thanks for taking me along with you while you Shop! If I had more time, I’d shop in stores more often, but until I retire, which is still some ways away, I’ve got the net best thing. Your post are not only fun, but I really couldn’t look presentable with you. Thanks for all your hard work, Jo Lynne! The people who see me everyday thank you too…Haha!

  40. The grey sleeveless top looks beautiful on you…..I suspect it’ll be a perennial favourite of yours.

  41. Love your shopping post. I love the pink ruffle shirt……bought one almost like it last month. Haven’t worn it yet. 🙂 Also agree with everyone. I like the striped dress.

  42. Jo Lynne- I don’t recall you showing or using any Michael Kors purses on your blog. How do you feel about that brand? thanks! Karen 🙂

    1. Hi Karen, so yeah, Michael Kors makes a very nice bag. Excellent quality. I had one of his for a while, and I loved it. I think I sold it last year, but I had it for about 5 years. I don’t know why his don’t pop up more in my searches. The ones I’ve seen are beautiful.

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