Spring Fashion Try-On Haul: Dresses, Pants & Tops

Happy Saturday, friends! I’ve got a new try-on haul for you today, with lots of pants and dresses, as well as some shoes and tops. I’ve been collecting pictures for quite a while, so I’ll see how far I get.

I’ll probably have to save some for next week, but I’ll try to get the most time-sensitive ones in here. I hate it when things sell out before I get a chance to share them with you.

Spring Fashions for Women Over 40

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.

Wit & Wisdom ‘Ab’Solution Skyrise Raw Hem Stretch Cotton Cargo Pants in Laurel Wreath

at Nordstrom (6) // Madewell tee (S) // perfectwhite tee (S) // Birkenstocks (39) // similar earrings

I shared these pants in my last Nordstrom Finds, and they sold like hotcakes. I love this modern take on a cargo pant.

The measurements are 26 1/2″ inseam; 18″ leg opening; 11 1/2″ front rise; and the fabric is 97% cotton, 3% spandex.

They have a really nice fit, with a little bit of stretch for comfort, and they’re a great price.

VERDICT: Keeping! I took them with me to Florida but didn’t get around to photographing them, so I plan to style them for an early spring look when I shoot with Alison next week.

perfectwhitetee Hendrix V Neck Tee

at Evereve (S) // at perfectwhitetee.com (S) // Wit & Wisdomepants (6) // Kork-Ease sandals (8)

I ordered this tee from Evereve, because I was fascinated with the shorter length. (It’s 22 1/2″ from shoulder to hem, whereas most t-shirts are in the 25″ range.)

For the price point, I wasn’t terribly impressed. I feel like the fabric and the way the neckline is designed looks too much like you’re wearing your husband’s undershirt. That’s probably the point, but I prefer more of a slub texture to my t-shirts and/or some detail around the neckline.

But the sleeves are the real deal-breaker here. They’re an awkward length and stick straight out from my shoulders. This one went back.

Madewell Whisper Cotton V-Neck Pocket Tee

at Nordstrom (S) // 25% off at Madewell (S) // Birkenstocks (39) // similar earrings

Now, contrast the perfectwhitetee Hendrix to this classic Madewell tee. You can immediately see the difference in the sleeves, and I like how this one has a subtle slub texture to it. It’s 25 1/2″ long and 100% cotton, with a flattering v-neck.

My biggest issue with this tee is the “boob pocket” but it’s not a deal breaker. My Caslon tee has that as well. This tee is slightly thicker and more substantial than the Caslon, if you’re comparing the two. Since I have the ATM and the Caslon, I don’t need another white t-shirt, but if you’re looking for a good closet basic, you can’t really go wrong with the Madewell Whisper Soft V-Neck.

Wit & Wisdom ‘Ab’Solution High Waist Kick Flare Pants in Pistachio

at Nordstrom (6) // Madewell tee (S) // Birkenstocks (39) // similar earrings

These jeans are similar to the raw hem cargo pants, but they’re more of a classic style with a finished hem, and they come in 4 color options.

The measurements are 27″ inseam; 18″ leg opening; 10″ front rise; so they’re more of a mid-rise than a high-rise style. And they’re the same 97% cotton, 3% spandex fabric.

I prefer the rear pockets on the cargo pants to these, but that’s a personal preference. These fit really well and feel nice on, so I’ll keep them for now and see if I reach for them.

MOTHER The Rambler Ankle Straight Leg Jeans

on sale at Saks (28) // at Nordstrom (28) // sweater (M) // Kork-Ease sandals (8) // platform slides (7.5)

These relaxed straight leg jeans by MOTHER denim are polished and crisp and clean. They keep your look current in a grown-up way, if you know what I mean. They aren’t slouchy or voluminous, but they look modern and on trend, and I feel like they’re flattering from all angles.

The measurements are 28″ inseam, 16″ leg opening, 11″ front rise; and the fabric is 94% cotton, 4% polyester, 2% elastane. These jeans are made in the USA, too!

As far as sizing goes, they seem to run big; the 28 fit me just fine, and I’m usually a 29 in MOTHER denim these days. If you can find your size at Saks, they’re on sale; otherwise they’re fully stocked (but full price) at Nordstrom.

PAIGE Leenah High Waist Wide Leg Jeans

on sale at Nordstrom (29) // on sale at Saks (29) // on sale at paige.com (29) // J.Crew tee (S) // earrings // necklace // similar bracelet (60% off w/ 60Jo-Lynne)

I’ve reviewed these before jeans, but I want to throw them in here for comparison purposes, and because they’re currently on sale at Nordstrom and Saks and paige.com. This is a full-length wide-leg style that is as polished and elegant as the ankle-length MOTHER Rambler featured above.

The measurements on these is 31 1/2″ inseam; 23″ leg opening; 10 3/4″ front rise; and the fabric is more of a classic stretch denim blend of 98% cotton, 2% elastane.

As you can see, these have patch pockets on the front to reflect the sailor styling trend that’s been all over the runway this year, and the rear welt pockets keep them elevated, but you definitely want to be mindful of the proper undergarments. I will wear the Wacoal Body Base Shorty under these for sure.

VERDICT: I still have these hanging in my closet with the tags on; I think I’ll end up keeping them, but I’m waiting until I start wearing my white denim regularly to be sure.

PAIGE Anessa Raw Hem Jeans

on sale at Bloomingdale’s (28) // on sale at Neiman Marcus (28) // KUT from the Kloth jacket (S) // Steven slides (8) // LOFT blouse (50% off) // Dolce Vita platforms (7.5)

I just noticed that both Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s have these jeans 25% off, so I wanted to share again!

I love this cropped wide-leg style with a raw hem in a medium-wash denim for casual spring/summer looks, and you can dress them up with heels too.

Here’s the same look topped off with a white denim jacket.

VERDICT: Kept them, wore them!

Kork-Ease Hutton Sandals

at Zappos (8) // at Nordstrom (8) // jeans (28)

I absolutely LOVE these sandals for spring and summer. They are soooo comfortable, without screaming COMFORT SANDAL! They run true to size for Kork-Ease. I’m wearing my usual size 8.

Ruffle Mixed Media Shell

on sale at LOFT (S) // MOTHER denim (28) // Kork-Ease sandals (8) // denim jacket (S) // similar earrings

LOFT is doing their biggest sale of the season, with 50% off + free shipping! I always buy a few of their mixed media shells for spring/summer, and I love this pink floral print. I just wish it wasn’t quite so long.

I played around with it, trying a front tuck and a full tuck, and here’s how it looks topped off with a denim jacket. This outfit is a nice option for Easter, or I might wear it to my son’s college graduation in May.

VERDICT: Definitely keeping this top! I already wore it once with the Good American Good Straight, which is a really nice white denim option for under $100.

LOFT blouse (S) // Good American denim (8) // Marc Fisher sandals (7.5)

Marc Fisher Dayne Slingback Sandals

on sale at Nordstrom (7.5)

I had to throw these in here because I just noticed they just went 25% off at Nordstrom! Even though I still have and love the Sam Edelman Kia, these are the ones I find myself reaching for with dressier looks this spring.

Not only are they flattering and comfortable, they have a lower (2.75″) heel, and they’re easier to slip off and on because there’s no futzing with the buckle once you set it where you want it.

MOTHER The Hustler High Waist Fray Hem Ankle Bootcut Jeans

on sale at Saks (29) // at Bloomingdale’s (29) // blouse (S) // Kork-Ease sandals (8) // denim jacket (S) // similar earrings

I was still focusing more on the MOTHER Rambler straight ankle jeans than the top, and I decided to try this same outfit with the MOTHER Hustler – my go-to white ankle jeans from last season. These are more of a bootcut or flare style.

I like The Rambler, but when I compare the two, I can’t help but notice how much more flattering the Hustler is on me. The raw hem definitely keeps them on the more casual side, though, and I like the elevated look of the Rambler for certain occasions.

Rambler vs. Hustler

But if I keep the PAIGE Leenah, do I need all three?

Rambler vs. Hustler vs. Leenah

Hm….. things to ponder!

Ikat Belted Scoopneck Jumpsuit

on sale at LOFT (S) // Kork-Ease sandals (8) // similar earrings

Alrighty… moving on! I ordered a couple of jumpsuits from LOFT, which are now 50% off + free shipping, but yikes! This Ikat print is definitely NOT me.

I mean, I’ll give myself a few points for trying to branch out, but I think I better stick to my solids and classic prints. Fortunately, they also make this jumpsuit in solid black.

Belted Scoopneck Jumpsuit in Black

on sale at LOFT (S) // Marc Fisher sandals on sale! (7.5) // similar earrings

This time, I made the effort to put on a strapless bra, but unfortunately, it shows under the arm. In fact, this whole jumpsuit fits in a weird way.

I think this is a really cute style, but something is off with the fit. Also, the fabric is kind of stiff and not very comfortable.

Maybe I need to size down, I dunno, but it went back… both of them, that is! It’s just too much work for a one-and-done wardrobe piece.

J.Crew Sheath dress in four-season stretch

on sale at J.Crew (10P) // Marc Fisher sandals on sale! (7.5) // similar earrings

I showed this dress before, but I forgot to photograph it in the petite size, and now it’s on sale, so here it is in the 10 petite! I rarely wear petite sizes at 5’5″, but every once in a while, it work.

The 8 regular fit well, but it was too long in the skirt, and it buckled funny under the chest when I wasn’t standing perfectly straight. Here’s a side by side comparison.

VERDICT: Keeping the 10 petite (the one on the left, in the photo above).

Dress the Population Catalina Fit & Flare Cocktail Dress Midnight Blue

at Nordstrom (M) // sandals (7.5) // similar earrings

I don’t wear many fit and flare styles, but this kind of works. Unfortunately, it’s a little boobalicious for my personal comfort level.

I also ordered the Electric Blue, and it seems to be the same dress in the same size, but they’re listed separately on the Nordstrom website, so maybe one is from a previous season?

Dress the Population Catalina Fit & Flare Cocktail Dress in Electric Blue

at Nordstrom (M) // sandals (7.5) // similar earrings

For some reason, this one doesn’t seem quite as low-cut. Here’s a side view. Even though they fit okay under the arms, they look a little long in the waist. I wonder if it would be worth it to have one of them altered; it should be pretty easy to shorten the straps by an inch, and that would help the cleavage issue, as well.

VERDICT: Undecided. I might take it with me when we go back to the seamstress who is altering my daughter’s prom dress, and ask her what she thinks.

MAGGY LONDON Sleeveless Ruffle Faux Wrap Midi Dress

at Nordstrom // sandals (7.5) // similar earrings

With a wedding and a graduation coming up, I keep ordering dresses. This floral number is pretty, but it’s a lot of ruffles for me, and I don’t feel like it’s all that flattering.

MAGGY LONDON Tie Shoulder Tiered Maxi Dress

at Nordstrom // sandals (7.5) // similar earrings

And this is the same style as the one I had last year, that I never wore. I don’t know why I ordered another, as I ended up donating that one because I never felt quite right in it.

VERDICT: It’s pretty, but it doesn’t make me want to run right out and find an occasion to wear it. I feel more like myself in the sheath and fit-and-flare styles. Maybe it’s because they’re solids and not prints? I dunno, but I sent this back.

Brielle Midi Dress

at Evereve (M) // Kork-Ease sandals (8)// similar earrings

You’ve seen this dress a few times, but I took this picture when I was trying on outfits for my Florida trip. I figured I’d throw it in here since I was showing other floral dresses with some ruffle details.

I think I like this one better because there is only that one ruffle at the bottom, and the top is more streamlined. It’s still not the best silhouette for me; I feel like I lose my waist in it, but it’s fun for a change.

Kork-Ease Della Wood Sandals

at Evereve (8) // at Zappos (8) // dress (M) // earrings

I am not a fan of these shoes, however. Way too clunky with the wide brown straps, at least with this dress. They’re comfortable, though, and they might look better with wide leg jeans.

If I’m going to wear a platform sandal with this dress, I’ll wear the Dolce Vita slides shown with it below. For one thing, the color looks better since it blends in with my skin, visually elongating the leg, plus it also repeats the yellow and gold from the dress. And the style is cleaner and more streamlined, which I find more flattering, as well.

KUT from the Kloth Boxy Cargo Jacket

at Nordstrom (S) // dress (M) // Dolce Vita sandals (8) // earrings

I think this cargo jacket works really well over this dress! Even though it’s a casual style, the ecru color looks dressier than the blue jean jacket I usually wear with it.

Eileen Fisher Sleeveless Jersey Dress

at Nordstrom (S) // Dolce Vita sandals (8) // earrings

This dress is definitely a splurge, but I’ve learned this brand is worth it. I got my first Eileen Fisher dress during the #NSale back in 2019 or 2020, and I’ve worn it a ton over the past few spring/summer seasons. Last year, I grabbed a black one. Here’s a grouping of the two, styled several ways.

These dresses are major workhorses in my wardrobe, so when I saw the blue column dress, I thought it might be nice to have a longer style. I’m also shopping with my Italy trip in mind now, and I’m planning to pack mostly dresses, so I popped this one into my cart.

Like the shorter styles above, I can dress it up or down. Here it is with flats. I didn’t expect to like the longer length on me, but I think it works…

It probably isn’t as flattering to the hip area as the shorter styles, but it has a really nice drape to it, and I think it looks better as I move around rather than standing still for the picture.

VERDICT: I think I’m keeping this, but maybe I should try sizing down; I have the XS in the two shorter styles, but this is the Small.

Caslon Sleeveless Jersey Maxi Dress

at Nordstrom (S) // sandals (7.5)

Okay, for a more affordable option that’s also long, this Caslon maxi dress has been around for years, and they brought it back again. It’s longer than the Eileen Fisher jersey dress, and it has an elasticized waistband and more of a tank style neckline. It’s also a great price, at $39!

VERDICT: I like it, but it feels heavier than the Eileen Fisher, and I’m not sure I love the longer length. I also ordered the red, that one might be nice for July 4th. We’ll see!

Columbia Freezer™ III Dress

at Zappos (M) // sandals (39)

This dress was recommended to me by one of YOU who is also planning a trip to Italy this summer! It’s expressly for the purpose of being super lightweight and moisture-wicking and also versatile. It comes in TONS of colors and patterns, but I feel like the solid black looks most elevated.

It definitely has an athletic vibe, but if it didn’t have that stupid triangle logo on the back, I think I’d like it enough to keep it. I wonder if that can be removed; I’ll have to look at it more closely.

VERDICT: This dress runs very small; this is the medium, and I’ve re-ordered in the large. It weighs almost nothing, so I think it might be nice to have for my trip if I like how the large fits.

Taos Trulie

at Zappos (39)

My plan is to bring 3 pairs of shoes to Italy – a pair of sneakers that I’ll wear on the plane, and two pairs of sandals to pack. One pair of sandals will be dressier (but flat), and the other pair will be some type of comfort sandal for alternating with the sneakers on walking days.

I ordered this Taos pair for the walking sandals, and they’re comfy, but quite rugged. I’m willing to sacrifice style for comfort, but I think I can do better than this. I just ordered these Naot sandals in the gold because they look like they might have a lower profile.

Michael Stars Valerie Roll-Tab Tie Waist T-Shirt Dress

at Nordstrom (S) // sandals (39)

I don’t know why I keep trying these drawstring waist dresses, because I find them awkward and uncomfortable. They never sit quite right on me, since my waist is so high.

The fabric is really nice on this one, though; it’s 50% cotton, 50% modal, and made in the USA.  I also like the roll tab detail on the sleeves and the flattering scoop neck. The color is pretty, too, but I just don’t feel like this style is very flattering. It’s also shorter than I’d like.

VERDICT: Returning; I can do better than this for the price.

Falls Jumpsuit

at Vuori (S) // sneakers (38) // similar earrings

Clearly not a dress, but this comfy jumpsuit is worth another mention since this Azure Heather color was just restocked in several sizes!

I’m wearing the medium, which is about right, so definitely size up. I feel like the straps could be taken up a bit, but you can set the waist where you want it, so it works okay. I like how the waist sits flat against the body, not gathered like the dress above. And this fabric is amazing; it’s like butter!

VERDICT: Keeping!

And I’m going to need to cut this off here. I have more pictures, but I’m out of time for today.

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28 Responses

  1. I’ve had the Taos walking sandals for a couple of years now. I’ve never worn them with a dress, but they are great with shorts or jeans. I’ve walked miles in them, and they are very comfortable!

      1. I second Barb – I have the Taos and have also walked miles in them. They look great with jeans and shorts!

  2. I really love the color of those pistachio pants! I find myself reaching for olive pants more in fall and winter, these are a great spring option! Also I fully agree that those white Mothers are a grown up way to do the wide leg trend. It also looks slimmer and less frumpy, especially for dressier and more professional settings.

  3. I love the W&W cropped cargo pants but they’re too short for me (I’m 5’9″.) 🙁 Will check to see if they come in a full length that I can have tailored. The electric blue dress is gorgeous on you! I hope you’ll try taking it up a bit in the straps. Not sure if you want to try a flip-flop style for Italy, but if you do the Taos Perfect sandal is my summertime go-to. I can walk in them all day.

  4. Hi Jolynne ~ I’ve been following you for years and used to comment a lot: you’ve always been very helpful! My husband passed away very suddenly about 15 months ago and I’ve been in a different world with the shock of everything and with trying to begin this new life alone. My question is – could you please give me some suggestions about where to begin in trying to update my wardrobe? I am truly at a loss. I’ve been wearing elastic waist sweat pants for so long and pullover tops that are very worn and outdated and truly “old lady-ish” so I’m not quite sure where to start. Pants, jeans, tops, shoes or ??? My lifestyle is similar to yours as a stay-at-home person but I am really quite frumpy now and not sure where to begin without breaking the bank or ending up with something that doesn’t go with anything, if that makes sense. What would you do? Would you buy an entire outfit or single items and update your wardrobe a piece at a time? I’m just not sure how to tackle this.

    1. Hi Tina, I am so very sorry to hear that. I can’t imagine the grief and loneliness you must be experiencing. It’s always hard to jump back into the fashion scene after being out of it for a time, and these days, fashion seems to move faster and faster. When starting from scratch, more or less, I think it’s best to start with an outfit or two. Then add pieces that mix and match into those. I’d look for a pair of jeans you really like, that you can wear with your everyday shoes. And then get a top or two that works with them. (And shoes, if you need them.) And then maybe another set of jeans with a top or two. And start building from there.

    2. Hi Tina! May I make a suggestion? First, clean out all of the frumpy, outdated stuff. Get rid of it all. Then see what you have left. You probably have some decent items. Then build on that. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to update your look. Try thrift stores! Ask people you know which ones are good for clothes–thrift stores are not created equal!
      I get great ideas from Jo-Lynne–I never would have thought that I would love flares, but here we are! I have 3 pairs! Also, you can peruse Pinterest for outfit ideas. I often search under “fashion over 50” or something like that, and outfit ideas pop up. As you see things you like, write them down, like “gray v-neck sweater.” Make a list and buy things little by little. Make yourself your new hobby. You deserve it! And my condolences on the loss of your husband.

      1. Totally agree with getting rid of the frumpy outdated stuff first. It’s easier to get style clarity when you aren’t encumbered by all the stuff you don’t want to wear.

    3. Tina….. I’m So sorry to hear what you are going through. My heart breaks for you. I hope you will make it a priority to gift yourself some new clothes. It really will help boost how you feel about yourself as you begin to heal from loosing your husband. I agree with Jo-Lynne. She has a post too about basics. I think she did a Spring one. Cyndi Spivey did too. It’s a good starting point. Be sure and get rid of the frumpy things and worn out things first. They aren’t helping you physically or mentally. There is lots of updated athleisure wear to replace your frumpy if you still want sweats. I’m going to pray for you. I don’t know if you know the Lord but most of all get into His word(bible) and He will give you comfort. Bless you.

  5. You can’t go wrong with any of the white jeans, they all look great on you. I love the electric blue dress on you and also the Eileen Fisher longer dress is growing on me, looks quite European vacation style to me, wonder how it would look with those new SE light brown slide sandals? The Ecru jacket looks so pretty with that print dress, I also think the print Maggy London dress is very pretty on you with those colors. Not a fan of the Michael Stars t-shirt dress, doesn’t look like their usual quality and fit.

  6. What a great post! I have begun changing over my closet and with the dresses I’ve recently ordered, I now have 11 to chose from. My plan is to wear them more than tops and pants, since they are more feminine and Larry has commented on how much he likes for me to wear dresses. Enjoy the rest of your day!

  7. I think you should keep all the white pants. I’m partial towards the flares, crops and wide leg. The blue dress looks great on you. I like the hot pink one too. My waist sits high too so I understand about draw string dresses. I want a floral dress but it has to be cotton. Most are polyester. I just don’t like a lot of frills either. I always enjoy your try-ons. Oh and the Kork Ease sandals are so cute.

  8. I’m an avid traveler and fully committed to good (and cute) shoes. I highly recommend Birkenstock Glenda sandals (they don’t look too birk-y) and Cariuma low sneakers. Both are comfy out of the box and served me well last summer through Egypt, Jordan’s, England & Scotland. Happy travels to you & I’ll share more travel clothes tips if you’re interested!

  9. I wear a ton of sportswear traveling. I found a brand called Houdini and LOVE a dress they make called the Dawn dress. It is so light and dries quickly. Has pockets and an adjustable waist. You may want to try it for Italy.

  10. You may want to try the Chill River dress from Columbia. It’s similar fabric to the Freezer dress, but is more of a traditional shift styling. I live in them in the summer.

  11. What size did you wear in the top
    two Wit and Wisdom pants in your post? Are they true to size in that brand? Thanks!

  12. My go to for sandals is Mephisto Helen. They are worth a try if you have feet on the narrow side. I like the look of the Taos sandals on you, and hear great things about that brand, but the Helens are a good alternative if you’re looking for something else to try. I wear them all the time and have worn them for two Europe trips with lots of walking (alternating with P448 sneakers). I got them in a metallic upper, which made them feel dressier to me, but not so dressy that they didn’t work well with shorts too.

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