Summer Fashion Try-On Haul for Women Over 40

Happy Friday, friends! Today I’ve got a new summer fashion try-on haul for you all with a smattering of tops and dresses and a few other odds and ends that have arrived on my doorstep over the past couple of weeks.

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.

Evereve Scout Collection

Evereve sent me a few items from their new Scout Collection to review, and I’m intrigued. This is their version of elevated athleisure, stylish pieces in performance fabrics that are perfect for travel or women who live active lifestyles.

Scout Tank & Wide Leg Pants

tank at Evereve c/o (S) // pants at Evereve c/o (S) // sandals (on sale at Zappos) (8) // earrings

This tank and wide leg pants are sold separately, but they make a really nice set. I first photographed it untucked, but it clearly looks better tucked in all around, which gives it the look of a one-piece jumpsuit, but with the ease and versatility of a 2-piece set.

The tank has a crewneck and a gently curved hemline, and knit inset panels around the arms for comfort and added interest.

And here’s a close-up of the pants…

Scout Wide Leg Pants

pants at Evereve c/o (S) // sandals (on sale at Zappos) (8)

These have a wide elastic waistband, which I found a tad snug. They fit fine in the hips, though. The wide leg style is very much on trend, but it’s not terribly dramatic. They also have split hems.

By the way, there are also Scout Shorts that match this tank, if you prefer or want more options. Both the tank and pants run true to size.

VERDICT: I definitely see myself getting some wear out of these, although they need a platform sneaker, or I need to have them hemmed for flats.

Scout Romper

at Evereve c/o (S) // sandals (on sale at Zappos) (8) // earrings

This black romper is really cute. It buttons up the front with a sleeveless design and a collared neckline, and the cuffed shorts have a 4″ inseam and side pockets.

The elasticized waist has a tie that seems to be more decorative than necessary, as the elastic fits pretty snug, and I especially like the knit panels in the sides for comfort and movement.

Unfortunately, it runs small and is too tight on me, but I like the concept. I’d love to try the medium.

VERDICT: I might try the medium next time they have a sale.

Spring/Summer Tops

I’m struggling with what tops to pair with wide leg pants this spring. A lot of ladies are doing a full tuck, but I always thought I was too short-waisted for that. Perhaps my eye will adjust; I’m surprised I didn’t mind the Evereve Scout Tank tucked into the Wide Leg Pants.

In the meantime, I ordered some shorter tops that are cut close to the body but not super body-con. Unfortunately, many are too short. I don’t understand why everything in stores right now is super short and tight, or super long and blousy. Case in point, this Madewell button-up tee…

Madewell Rib Button Front V-Neck T-Shirt

at Nordstrom (L) // at Madewell (L) // white jeans (also at Anthro) (29) // wedges (8) // earrings

I could tell this runs small, so I ordered the white in a medium and the black in a large. I tried the black one first, and while it’s not too tight, it’s definitely too short. (The length is 18″.) It also doesn’t have the quality I prefer in my clothing; it looks more like something my 17-y/o daughter would wear, so it’s going back. I never even tried the white one.

Pointelle Short Sleeve Cardigan

on sale at Boden (S) // at Nordstrom (S) // white jeans (also at Anthro) (29) // blue jeans (29) (25% off) // slides (8) // earrings

This v-neck cardigan from Boden looks more high quality, but it’s a little too precious for my taste with the pointelle knit and puff sleeves, and it’s still too short. (The length is 19 1/2″.) Plus, it’s extremely itchy. I couldn’t wait to rip it off.

The white PAIGE Nellie culottes I’m wearing above have a 10 3/4″ rise, so I switched to the PAIGE Anessa wide leg jeans, which have a 11 1/2″ rise, thinking maybe this sweater would work with them…

But no. It still shows the waistband, and when I move around, it shows my fluffy middle. No, thanks.

VERDICT: This sweater is going back!

Halogen Short Sleeve Pointelle Sweater

at Nordstrom (S) // white jeans (also at Anthro) (29) // slides (8) (30% off) // earrings

Okay, now we’re getting somewhere! This sweater is also a bit precious for my taste, but it’s made for a grownup woman. I love how it skims the body without clinging, and the 22″ length is just long enough to cover the waistband of the pants but not so long that it cuts me in half.

I like how it comes down over the waistband of the pants, which helps break up that expanse of white in the middle of the body that I get when I front-tuck a top into these. See what I mean here…

What I’ve learned so far from this try-on sesh is that tops shorter than 20″ do not work for me, but the 22″ length is perfect for wearing untucked with high rise, cropped pants. I still get that 1/3 to 2/3 ratio (or close to it) without accentuating my mid-life middle.

Here’s the side and rear view… It’s always good to see what you look like from all angles!

VERDICT: Keeping this for now, and I’ll look for other similar styles. Maybe I can find something without the pointelle knit and scalloped edges. I could do one or the other, but together, it’s a bit much. That said, this outfit is nice for church and other conservative venues.

Short Sleeve Power Tee

at White House Black Market (S) // white jeans (also at Anthro) (29) // slides (8) // earrings

I can’t remember now why I tried this top on next; I’ve had it for a while, and this color is no longer available. I think I was comparing how a t-shirt looks with these jeans, trying to figure out outfit possibilities for them.

I have to wear this top front-tucked because it’s an awkward length (24 1/2″) to leave out, and it’s also cut kind of snug around the hem, so it bunches funny, as you can see above.

I think it works okay front-tucked, and I love the sleeve design and the plunging v-neckline and the subtle texture. (The fabric is 95% rayon/5% spandex.)

VERDICT: Keeping! This is a nice beyond-basic tee for my summer wardrobe.

Short-Sleeve Utility Tee

at White House Black Market (S) // white jeans (8) // wedges (8) // earrings

This is the same top as the stripe one I styled with the white PAIGE Nellie culottes in this post. As you can see, I also ordered it in black.

This is how it looks untucked. Why, oh, why, are they still making curved hemlines? Ugh!

I love everything else about it, though. The fabric (57% pima cotton, 38% modal, 5% spandex) is a nice quality, and the sleeves and neckline are super flattering. I could have it altered to have a straight hem, but I probably won’t bother because I cycle so many clothes through my closet in a given season, and it’s good enough.

However, if you are not a fashion blogger and like to invest in pieces you can wear for a few years, it would be worth making a minor alteration like that to have a top that is perfect and not just good enough.

VERICT: I returned this, but I kept the stripe version. I feel like there are lots of black tops out there, but I do need a good stripe.

Treasure & Bond Allover Print Blouse

at Nordstrom (S) // white jeans (8) // sandals (8) // earrings

I already have this blouse in the Black Lou Medallion, and this Navy Blazer Paris Dot caught my eye, as well. I love this soft, flowy 100% rayon fabric; and while I could do without the curved hemline, it isn’t so bad on a blouse like this with such a nice drape.

Here’s how it looks front-tucked into these white straight ankle jeans. I feel like this is a great classic look I can wear to church or out with friends or on a dinner date with Paul. My only caveat is this top is quite low-cut. You could use fashion tape, or pin it to achieve a little more coverage, if you want.

VERDICT: I think I’m keeping both prints; I don’t usually keep duplicates in my closet, as I like each piece to feel unique, but the prints are very different, and I’m struggling with tops this season, so I think I’ll be glad to have both.

Vince Camuto Ciao Bella Ruffle Blouse

at Nordstrom (S) // jeans (29) // wedges (8) // earrings

I feel like Vince Camuto has been making this blouse for the past 10 years, but it’s still a good one! It’s longer than I prefer, but it front-tucks nicely, and it has (hallelujah!) a straight hemline. I also think this print is really pretty. Since it’s grounded on a black background, I styled it with black jeans and my black wedge sandals. It just needs a belt and maybe a bracelet, and it’s good to go to church or date night!

VERDICT: Keeping.

Pointelle Raglan Sleeve Sweater in Mint Pop

on sale at LOFT (M) // bootcut jeans (6) // sandals (8) // earrings

I have more pictures of this outfit, but I’m running out of time, so I wanted to give a quick shout-out to this green sweater because it’s marked down to $29.99 this weekend!

It’s 23″ long with a traditional cut, which works well with straight leg and bootcut pant styles. I sized up to a medium for a more relaxed fit. It also comes in white, coral, and eggshell blue.

LOFT Colorblock Sweater Muscle Tee

at LOFT (S) // jeans (29) // sandals (7.5)

This sweater, on the other hand, isn’t really doing it for me. I feel like the wide horizontal stripes and muscle tee styling make me look really broad and top-heavy.

VERDICT: Returning.

Summer Dresses

Alrighty! Moving on to dresses… I’ve never found so many dresses I like in a single season.

For anyone new to following, I had breast reduction surgery last spring, and I never realized how much my large chest contributed to my dislike of dresses. I don’t think I would feel good in even half the dresses I have in my closet right now if I hadn’t done the surgery. It’s really fun to have so many more options.

Caslon Twist Waist Organic Cotton Midi T-Shirt Dress

at Nordstrom (S) // sandals (8.5)

This dress is a good example of what I mean. With the high crew neck and horizontal stripes and close fit of the bodice, I would have looked top-heavy before, but I really like this! It does fit a bit snug, though. I think I need to try the medium.

Godet Dress

at White House Black Market (8) // sandals (7.5) (25% off 2+ pairs of shoes)

This is the dress I wore to my cousin’s bridal shower last week in Boston, and I styled it with pumps in this post. I feel like mirror selfies show things in a different way, so I thought I’d include these pictures here.

I don’t typically go for these flouncy styles, but I like the more streamlined v-neckline and the way it’s cut straight through the body, so you can place the tie where you want it without the top blousing out over top.

I should add that I’m wearing the size 8 here, but I ended up getting the size 6 when I was in Boston, and that’s the size I’m keeping. I didn’t really get a good picture of me wearing the 6, nor did I see myself wearing it in a full-length mirror, but I’m hoping it’s a little more slimming than this size 8, since there isn’t so much excess fabric. It definitely felt like it fit better.

VERDICT: Kept the 6. Wore it, love it!

Here I am with my beautiful cousin, the bride-to-be!

Matte Jersey Shirred Midi Dress

at White House Black Market (S) //sandals (8)

This is similar to the black and white twist front dress I styled in this post, but I like ruching better than the twist design, I think. I also prefer the cap sleeve because it covers that fleshy area beside the armpit… lol!

But this pattern is pretty bold, and I did keep the Godet Dress, which has a similar color palette and a similar scale print, so I’m undecided about keeping this one as well.

It’s really pretty, though, and I highly recommend trying it if you like it. It also comes in petite sizes.

Marc Fisher Colica Strappy Sandal in Light Natural

at Nordstrom (8) // at Zappos (8)

No, these are not a dress, but since I’m wearing these shoes with the dress above, I thought I’d give you a quick review.

I love the knotted straps and the cork-textured block heel, and this Light Natural is the perfect shade of nude for me, but they’re hard to walk in, so I sent them back.

They might be fine if you have thicker feet or higher arches. Also, they seem to run a bit small, so you may want to size up half.

Z Supply Cara Rib Dress

at Evereve (M) // sneakers (8.5)

After so many of you said you thought this dress looked good on me in a prior last try-on haul, I thought I’d give it another chance in the next size up.

This is definitely the correct size, but I still don’t love this shorter length. I feel like it looks like I bought it in the Junior’s department,  ya know?

I mean, if it were even one inch longer, maybe… But I know myself, and I won’t reach for it when I have other options in my closet that I’m more comfortable in. Plus, it isn’t cheap, so I need to love it.

VERDICT: Returning.

Paul Green Bixby Platform Sneakers in White Leather

at Bloomingdale’s (8.5)

I’m going to throw another shoe review in here. I ordered these after so many of you raved about Paul Green sneakers, and now I can attest to their superior quality. I love the clean white leather aesthetic and the subtle platform design, and the terry cloth lining is so comfortable against the foot. The silver grommets don’t even bug me like I thought they would!

Do you hear the “but” coming?

But… the topline of the shoes is a little rough and rubs against my ankles; I’m afraid they will create blisters, and I don’t want to wear socks that show. (I’m wearing my Sheec Active Mid-Cut Socks, but I just ordered some of the High-Cut style to try so I don’t feel the inside of my sneakers on the top of my feet.)

VERDICT: I returned these, but they also seemed to run big. I might re-order the 8 to try, just in case the issue with the topline was due to them being too big, or maybe it’s unique to the pair I received. One can hope!

Stripe Pocket T-Shirt Dress in Black White Stripe

at Gap Factory (S) (45% Off: Code GFCYBER) // Taos sneakers (8.5)

This little stripe t-shirt dress is a nice bargain buy! I think it’s the same as the pink one I styled in this post, but I really like the more subdued black and white stripe. It has just enough shape through the waist to be not too boxy, and it’s a good length. I just hope it doesn’t shrink!

VERDICT: Keeping… and while I love these Taos sneakers, I can’t help but notice how much nicer the Paul Green pair looks with the dress above. There’s something about them that just looks more elevated and higher quality.

Of course, they have a price point to match, so I’m still happy with my decision to keep the Taos pair, especially for travel, where they will likely get a little beat up.

Rails Izzy Dress

at Evereve (M) // sandals (8) (on sale!)

This is a nice quality dress, as it should be for the price! I was hoping it would be something I might bring to Italy in July, but while I like the neckline and bra-friendly straps, the tiny floral print isn’t really my thing, and that wide elasticized waist isn’t as flattering as I was hoping it would be.

It looks better from the side and rear, but I just don’t feel like this dress is “me”, and for the price, I need to love it.

VERDICT: Returned it, but I do love these sandals, and they’re on a really good sale at Nordstrom!

Sleeveless Split Neck Mini Dress in Blue Floral

at Gap Factory (S) (45% Off: Code GFCYBER) // sandals (8) (on sale)

I’m pleasantly surprised by how much I like this little dress! The quality is pretty good, and the floral print isn’t too sweet. There’s so much going on, you don’t really notice the ruffle bottom, and it’s not excessive.

The tie waist lays nicely against the body without bunching or creating a blouson effect, and you can adjust it to your comfort level. I do think this would be a nice one for Italy. It’s very cool and comfortable.

I also ordered the khaki beige floral in a medium because I was afraid it would run small, but that one did not fit as well.

I will note, however, that the khaki one is fully lined, and the blue floral is not. It’s fine, because the blue isn’t see-through, and the lack of lining makes it feel more cool and comfortable, but I wanted to point that out.

VERDICT: Keeping the blue, size small! For this price, even if I only wear it a handful of times, it will be worth it.

Whew! I have more pictures, but I’ll have to save the rest for next week. Have a terrific weekend!

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17 Responses

  1. If you’re looking for a simpler navy short sleeve sweater, I highly recommend the relaxed cashmere tee from JCrew. It’s a little pricey, and it’s warmer than a pointelle knit (so not great for hot summer days), but the quality is amazing and it looks great on. Similar length to the one you tried on here (23”). It’s my new go-to.

  2. I tried the same Madewell top, plus several others from Madewell looking for tops to go with my wide-leg WHBM jeans, and had the same problem. The shirt covered my fluff when I stood in front of the mirror, but any movement caused flashes of skin. No thank you. I am also short-waisted and I think that’s part of my issue with trying to find tops that aren’t too long. I also dislike curved hems– they somehow remind me of diapers! 99% of the time now, I won’t buy a top if it has a curved hem because it ends up hanging in my closet. The only way it would work for me is fully tucked in and I’m not sure I’ll ever go there again.

    1. Yeah, I thought so too, but a few times I’ve tried it and it sort of works. I think it has to be with pants that are the right rise. I’m going to start trying it with some and see.

  3. Hmm…here is a different perspective. I love curved hem shirts and never wear straight hem! With wide hips and a flat bottom, straight hems create on me a strong horizontal line and more “flatness” but the curved hem suggests curves where I need them and minimizes the width of hips and creates a longer leg line.

    1. I have thought the same thing when wearing a top untucked with a straight hem and a curved hem appears more slimming to my eye.

    2. I can appreciate that. The front tuck also achieves that effect when it’s done in such a way that it doesn’t create a straight line. And there are times when I like a curved hem, but it has to be the perfect length to leave untucked, and I like it best when the curve is subtle. This hem on this black tee is pretty exaggerated and too long for me personally.

  4. I love that Scout top and pant set! It has the look of a jumpsuit without the inconvenience. But why did they make it in polyester spandex? I do not find that comfortable in the summer months at all!

  5. At the risk of sounding like I am hitting on you, you have beautiful legs that look better in short dresses as opposed to the dresses that fall below the knee! If I had that I would never wear anything midi or maxi.

  6. You look great in the floral dress from the GAP! And I love the one you wore to the bridal shower. I agree with about the tops,

  7. I’m eager to see what other summer short sleeved tops you find. I’m also looking for elevated tees or blouses that don’t need the front tuck.

  8. Agree with your comments on the blouses that are selling now–so short and just not good for many women. When I am at my son’s high school, I notice that lots of the girls are wearing the baggy jeans with the short/cropped and fitted shirts. They look cute, but it’s just the look I’m going for as a 50 yr old. I’m enjoying all of your try-ons as you get ready for your Italy trip–so fun! When I travel in the summer, I go back and forth on wanting to wear dresses/skirts or ankle length pants. I don’t love my legs, and as I get older, I tend to want to be a bit more cautious of the length of dresses and skirts b/c while they can look fine when standing, they can get a bit short when sitting, climbing stairs, or even when the wind blows a bit hard!

  9. I bought the green sweater last weekend at the Loft store. I like the navy and pink tops too. The Gap blue floral dress is cute. Definitely a good dress for hot weather. I tuck my tops all the way in with my wide legs since they are all high waisted. I did buy a short wraparound top from old navy. It looks really good with my wide leg pants and jeans. With mid rise I can only do the front tuck. That part of my body is wider. It’s hard to find tops for me too. Even petite ones can be too long.

  10. For your tops that are too low in the chest area, check out the micro stitch gun – it is sold on Amazon. It puts a little removable stitch to close the top a bit. Works great!

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