This week’s try-on haul ended up being mostly dresses, and I found some nice options at a variety of price points! I also rounded up some new Nordstrom Finds at the end of the post.
Fashion Over 40 Try-On Haul: Summer Dresses
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.
CUPSHE Loose Fit Wrap V-Neck Ruched Maxi Dress
I was in the nail salon a couple weeks ago, and a woman came in wearing this dress. It’s not one that would have caught my eye online or even on a mannequin at the mall, but she looked so effortlessly chic and summery, so I immediately asked her where she got it.
Everyone who came in the room that day complimented her on the dress, and before I left the salon, I had logged into my Amazon account and ordered it.
It really is a pretty design, but it sort of swallows me up. I think I’m wearing the small in these photos, but I can’t remember for sure. (I ordered both small and medium, but I only tried on one of them.)
After standing every which way, I decided this silhouette just doesn’t do anything for me. It makes my strong shoulders look wider, and it doesn’t to much to accentuate my waist. A wide straw belt might help, but I don’t have one, and I don’t usually like how belted dresses look on me, anyway.
That said, it’s very pretty and comfortable in an easy-breezy sort of way. If it appeals to you, definitely give it a try!
VERDICT: This went back.
Dolce Vita Maze Espadrille-Sandals
at Nordstrom (8)
I just got these sandals in, and I love them! They’re quite comfortable, too.
VERDICT: Definitely keeping.
Marine Layer Corinne Double Cloth Cotton Maxi Dress
I ordered this dress at someone’s recommendation, even though I know I don’t typically like the tiered style. I was drawn to the gauzy fabric and the gorgeous color. I actually paid for rush shipping, thinking it might be fun to wear for the 4th.
But alas, my initial instinct was correct. This style just isn’t for me; the side view is very telling.
A friend messaged me after I shared this on Instagram and said if I really want to pursue this style, I need one that is more nipped in under the chest, and I agree. That’s where it goes terribly wrong. This just makes me look like I’m hiding something under there, lol!
SOMA Band Maxi Bra Dress
Soma has a bunch of dresses with a built-in bra, which is kind of cool in theory, but I’d rather have the shape and support my regular bras provide. I ordered a few to try, and all three fit very differently, even though they’re all size small.
This one is not nearly supportive enough in the chest, and almost seems too big on top. Plus, there’s just waaaaaay too much fabric in that skirt.
VERDICT: It’s definitely going back.
SOMA Halter Bra Maxi Dress
This dress is really fun; I’ve always loved a good tie dye print, for some reason, and these colors are so pretty. But the strapless/halter look doesn’t really do anything for me, and I don’t feel comfortable in it.
VERDICT: Returning this one.
SOMA Soft Jersey V-Neck Short Bra Dress
This one is my favorite of the three. It fits really well in the top, and it’s extremely comfortable, but I can’t get over the feeling that it looks like a nightgown.
It also creates some lumps and bumps in the back, where the bottom of the “bra strap” cuts across my back. I don’t think I can size up, though.
VERDICT: Deciding. I think it would be a nice option to have with me in Italy, but I’m not sure I’d wear it for much else.
Tommy Bahama Two Palms Cotton Gauze Midi Dress
I was hoping this dress might be another option for Italy. It’s fully lined, and it has pockets, so it’s a little bulky in the hip area, and it doesn’t do much to define my waist.
All that said, it might be nice to have because it’s different than anything else I have, and I like that it isn’t clingy at all. Of course, it’s linen, so it gets verrrry wrinkly, but I guess that’s part of the charm?
VERDICT: Still deciding on this one. What do you think?
Tommy Bahama Coral Island Cotton Gauze Midi Shirtdress
This isn’t my typical style, but I kinda like it for a change. The gauzy fabric is nice for summer, and it covers my arms and shoulders, so I could wear it when we are visiting cathedrals in Italy. I just wonder if it will be too hot for wearing all day. I also don’t think I’ll like it as much with flats.
Belted styes often don’t flatter me, but I think this one is okay. I can set it up higher towards my natural waist, and if I tie it tight and allow some of the top to blouse out a bit, I think it’s cute. In this picture, it’s not cinched tight enough…
VERDICT: Keeping for now, will revisit when I pack for Italy, or maybe I’ll reach for it sooner. It would be nice for church, too.
Eileen Fisher Organic Cotton Knit Tank Dress
Okay, so there’s a story behind this dress. I have the XS from last year, and I love it. It’s such a good basic, and I expected to have it for years. Well.
I photographed it with some different shoe and handbag combinations for this post a few weeks ago, and when I saw the pictures, I was not pleased with how tight it looked.
same dress, size XS
I’ve put on a few pounds since last summer, and I’ve noticed a lot of my clothes fitting much tighter through the hips and middle, to the point that a lot of my pants are uncomfortable.
All that to say, I decided to order this dress in the Small to compare. (I usually (or used to, lol) wear an XS in Eileen Fisher dresses, as they tend to run big.)
I think this is the way it’s supposed to fit, judging by how it looks on the models, but it fits awkwardly around the armholes, and I’m not sure it really flatters me.
size S with flats
See what I mean…
Here it is with heels… I mean, every dress looks better with heels, but I still think it looks too big, right? Or is it supposed to fit this way?
size S with heels
I laid the size XS that I have from last year on top of the size S to compare, and there’s quite a discrepancy. I wonder if my XS has shrunk, even though I always hang it to dry.
Here’s a side-by-side with me wearing the S vs. the XS.
size S // size XS
Here are a couple more angles, in the XS. Looking at these, I don’t think the XS looks bad, per se; but it’s a different look.
I will say, the S is much more comfortable, and I feel less self-conscious in it, but is it flattering?
VERDICT: I’m not sure what to do about this one. This dress is not cheap, so I really hate to buy a second one in a size up if it doesn’t fit perfectly. But after seeing those photos of the smaller one, I’m not sure I’ll want to wear it anymore. I’m curious to hear your thoughts.
Ming Wang Knit Tank Dress
You may be wondering why I ordered ANOTHER black dress in a similar silhouette to the Eileen Fisher one. Well, when I was looking at that one, this one popped up on the sidebar as a suggested alternative.
It’s pricey, but I was curious to try it because it looked to have the exact silhouette I love, and I especially like the scoop neck vs the crew neck on the Eileen Fisher one.
Oh, my word! I slipped it on, and it fit like it was made for me.
It’s a dressier fabric than the Eileen Fisher, which is more of a stretchy jersey knit. This is almost like a thin sweater material, but it’s very structured, it isn’t like it’s going to stretch out or anything.
It also has the perfect shape and skims the body without clinging. Here’s how it looks with heels. I also really like the length, and the slit hem. Perfection!
VERDICT: It seems like a lot to pay for 100% acrylic made in China, but after working so hard with the Eileen Fisher dress, to throw this on and have it be so effortlessly perfect makes it very hard to return.
Unfortunately, they don’t really serve the same purpose. I can see wearing the Eileen Fisher dress for a day of travel and sightseeing, whereas this dress is more of a dinner date kind of vibe due to the fabric composition.
Okay, that’s it for the try-on haul! I also rounded up some new items I have my eye on; some are already in my shopping cart. And Evereve is having a sale, so if you’ve had your eye on anything over there, this is a good time to snap it up!
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