Hey guys! I’ve been wanting to get this post up for an age. I’ve been collecting pictures from my try-ons at the mall and here at home, but I haven’t had time to edit them all and find the links and talk about them. These may seem like “lazy posts” because I’m just trying stuff on and talking about it, but I’m here to tell you, these posts take more time than pretty much any other type of post I write.
That said, I enjoy them because I really learn from them — seeing myself in pictures helps me figure out what works for me and what doesn’t and why, and hopefully it’s helpful to you too! (In fact, I recommend you do the same, especially when you’re in doubt about something.)
I edited most of these pictures this morning, and then I went out with the family for a while to run some errands and things, and now I’m going to try to link everything and share my thoughts before I have to get ready for dinner. We’re having some friends over for a cookout, so I’m looking forward to that!
For size reference, I’m 5’5″ and usually somewhere between 135-140 pounds. I have an hourglass/curvy body type, and I’m short-waisted. I tend to run between sizes — usually a 6 or 8 in pants and jeans and a small or medium in tops.
First, I have a few dresses I tried on at Nordstrom. A lot of us have occasions coming up like weddings, graduations, etc., so dresses are a hot item right now.
This first dress is really pretty in theory, but it didn’t fit me as well as I’d hoped it would. Usually Eliza J is a great fit for me, and a sheath is my favorite style for my body type, but I feel like this needs to be taken in some through the waist. It might work for someone else, though.
For reference, I’m wearing the 8, which is my usual size in this brand, but I sometimes wear a 6 in other brands, so take that into consideration if you’re ordering. If white isn’t your thing, it also comes in a really pretty periwinkle blue, which would be perfect for a summer wedding.
Eliza J Laser Cut Sheath; size 8, $76.80 (sale price)
This coral lace shift didn’t fare much better. I’ve never loved a sheath dress on me. I’ve got an hourglass shape, which sounds ideal, but it’s actually kind of tricky. I look best in a sheath because it provides structure that enhances my natural curviness; when things are cut too straight, I look more like a brick than an hourglass, ha!
Eliza J Ruffle Hem Lace Sheath; size 8, $168
I also don’t love this floral asymmetrical sheath, although it does have more structure through the waist area than the coral lace shift dress. I feel like it still leaves me looking kind of boxy and bigger than I really am. It’s a nice quality, though, so if you like it, it’s worth a try.
Maggy London Floral Asymmetrical Scuba Sheath Dress; size 8, $138
My favorite dress of the lot was this mirage print side twist dress, although it’s more casual than the other three. The fit is really nice, the neckline is flattering, and it is such nice fabric. It’s fully lined as well.
While the quality is evident, I feel like the price is high for a dress that reads pretty casual. Perhaps it would look dressier with heels, I don’t know, but I didn’t bring it home with me even though I’m pretty sure I’d get some wear out of it. I just don’t wear dresses a lot, and with no specific occasion for it, I decided to pass.
Moving on to more casual wear, this Nic+Zoe sweater is lovely, but I feel that the navy band draws more attention to my hip area than I would like, and it’s a lot to pay for a sweater that I don’t absolutely love.
This top is the same print as the dress above, I love it. The material of these Nic+Zoe pieces is truly sublime; they’re really nice quality, the fit is flattering, and the prints look like artwork. They’re definitely worth checking out if you need better quality work wear.
This next top DID come home with me, but I’m debating if I should keep it or not. I’m not loving the rear view — it’s so long. From the front, it looks really nice front-tucked, and the material is so pretty. It isn’t a soft material, though; it definitely has a rougher feel to it as these woven tops always do. For the price, though, it’s really cute. It is very thin, so I purchased a white cami to wear underneath since I don’t have one.
Some colors are on sale; mine is the Pink 2, and it’s not on sale, but there are a lot of good ones to choose from in the sale section.
I wanted to like this plaid top, but it’s cut kind of wide. I do like the print, though, and the length, but the price was a deal breaker.
You’re probably wondering why I even tried all of these on when the prices are higher than I wanted to spend. I didn’t really look at the prices, to be honest. I often shop in the Point Of View department at Nordstrom — they typically carry nice mid-priced apparel, and I like all of these brands, so I just started grabbing them as I saw things I liked, but for some reason the prices seem really high to me this spring.
Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem spending this much on a top; but I have to love it, love the quality, and know I’ll get a lot of wear out of it.
I also knew the Half Yearly Sale was coming up, and I was hoping more of these pieces would be included. They still may go on sale, though, later in the season. I’m going to keep my eye on those Nic + Zoe pieces.
Next up, I tried on some shorts and tops. These shorts are by Kut from the Kloth, and they’re a nice mid-length. I also like the cut and the rear view. Two thumbs up for these!
I also like this red top, but I think I’d wear it with white jeans and wedge sandals and a statement necklace for a more dressed-up look.
These linen shorts are also super cute. I typically don’t wear elastic waist shorts, but these are cut in a flattering way, and they have external rear pockets, which I find more flattering than the kind that are on the inside — or no pockets at all. For size reference, I’m wearing a small and they JUST fit. I might size up, but I fear the leg opening would be too wide. I should have tried the mediums on in store but I was running out of time. At any rate, I’d say they’re TTS; if you’re in between, you probably want to try both.
I would recommend sizing up in this tee. I like how it has no boob pocket, but it does have a curved hemline, which isn’t my favorite. It works okay with a front-tuck, but I feel like it’s a little snug. I would probably prefer a medium.
Moving on to White House Black Market!
WHBM is running a site-wide 30% off sale this weekend, which doesn’t happen very often. If you’ve had your eye on some of their pieces, now is the time to grab them!
I tried on their Bermuda shorts for you all who like longer shorts, and they’re really good. I know the camera angle is weird, and the lighting in their dressing rooms is horrible, but I think you can get the gist. Also, these are on sale this weekend!
I typically wear an 8 in shorts, even in brands where I wear a 6 in their jeans, but the 6 fit perfectly in these. From experience, this brand will stretch out some, so definitely go with your smaller size.
I think these embroidered cropped pants are really cute for those of you who like that look. This top is fun too. I didn’t tie it in the back, but it’s a great little detail. I tried on an 8 in these since they didn’t have the 6 available, and they seem to fit fine, but I’d be afraid they’d bag out. I typically take a 6 at White House Black Market.
I also really like these utility ankle pants, and they’re on sale as well. The fit is really nice, and they make a nice alternative to jeans. These fit well in my usual size 6.
Unfortunately, I just went to order them and found out the sizes are depleted, but they had a lot in the store when I was there last week, so I may try calling around to see if I can find them.
Back at home, I tried on a few things that came in the mail recently.
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I’m wearing my usual size 8, and they are none too big in the waist, but you can see from the rear view that the leg opening is a little too wide for me. This is always an issue for me with this style shorts — thus why I wear denim shorts so much! They have a lot of nice colors and patterns, though, if you like this style.
Every summer I end up ordering a couple Old Navy tanks because they’re so great for throwing on with shorts for casual wear. This EveryWear Striped Scoop-Neck did not disappoint, and it’s a steal for $6.50.
FYI, the entire Old Navy store is on sale this weekend, plus get an additional 20% off (no code needed) and free shipping over $50.
I ordered this Slub-Knit Tee Dress in tall because Old Navy dresses tend to run so short, and I love the length. Unfortunately I ordered my usual small, and it’s rather snug. I need to reorder in a medium tall because I think I’d really like it in that size. It comes in a TON of colors and it only $13.50 this weekend.
Old Navy Slub-Knit Tee Dress; size small tall, $13.50
For a more dressed-up look, this belted flare dress from Ann Taylor is really nice. The quality is lovely, it’s so comfortable, and it’s fully lined. I don’t love this style on me, but I can see how it’s flattering — at least from the front and side. Not sure I’m loving the back view. I feel like I need to tie the belt higher; it’s sitting below my actual waist, but if I tie it higher, it throws off the proportions. #shortwaistedproblems
Get 40% off full-price styles and an additional 60% off sale styles at Ann Taylor this weekend.
Ann Taylor Belted Flare Dress; size small, $119 + 40% off
This is another one of those dresses I wanted to love but I can’t quite get excited about it. For one thing, it’s fully lined, which is nice, but it makes it feel heavier and also dressier than the style and material convey. It’s also very body-conscious, which I feel it’s flattering to a point, but it doesn’t give me much breathing (or eating) room. I wonder if I should try to size up and see if I like it better in an 8.
Ann Taylor Faux Wrap Knit Dress; size 6, $118 + 40% off
I really like this flare sleeve top, and it’s nice for work wear — especially for women who are cold natured or don’t like to bare their arms. It’s 40% off at Ann Taylor, and I’m wearing a small.
This yellow top is fun — I think it would be cute layered under a denim jacket. It also comes in blue.
I ordered this white dress from J.Crew when I ordered the red espadrilles, thinking they’d be cute together. I love the espadrilles, but the dress notsomuch. What is it with the arm hole opening!?! It’s also rather stiff and uncomfortable. I ordered a 6 and an 8, and I honestly can’t remember which size I was wearing in these pictures. At any rate, they’re both going back.
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Moving on to Express… I’ve been asked for some more affordable pants for work wear, so I placed an order from Express when they were running a sale. These stretchy skinny pants fit really well, but the material definitely looks and feels cheaper than the brands I’m used to (Ann Taylor, White House Black Market, etc.) That said, they’re on sale for $55, which is a pretty good price for dress pants.
Everything at Express is on sale — up to 50% off, prices as marked.
I also ordered these ankle pants, and they’re just okay to me. Keep in mind, I never like this style of pant on me. I prefer a full-length version when pants aren’t form-fitting (more like the black ones above.) Also, the rear view is extremely unflattering. Yikes!
This next pair is probably my favorite, although the rear view isn’t particularly flattering in these either. It’s something about the pockets… Granted, I would probably wear a slightly longer top — I had this one pushed up so the back is visible.
I do feel that in general, cheaper pants tend to be flattening and widening, and Express is really a store geared to younger women who probably are a little perkier than the average 40-something mom. But anyway. I tried! I should get some pants from WHBM and Ann Taylor to compare.
I also found the material to be rather stiff and not very comfortable, but if you’re looking for more budget-friendly work wear options, Express is worth a try.
I also placed a small order from J.Crew Factory. I know, I’ve been on a roll! Anyone wanna come help me with all my returns???
Everything is 50% off at J.Crew Factory, even new arrivals! And an extra 50% off sale styles; prices as marked.
This striped tie-back top is really cute, but again with the arm hole openings being cut too big. Maybe it’s just me.
And for a few more random mentions…
You’ve probably already seen this sweater, but it’s really cute and I took pictures when I got it in the mail.
I wanted to love this striped maxi dress from Nordstrom, but it’s rather shapeless, and it’s cut too low under the arms. Maybe I need a petite? Not sure, but it’s going back. If you’re taller, you might love it.
Vince Camuto Striped Maxi Dress; size small, $89
Finally, this Madewell striped tee is a great little throw-on-and-go top to pair with jeans, shorts, or skirts for casual looks this summer. I’m actually wearing it with jean shorts right now! You can find it at Nordstrom or Madewell, and it’s on sale for $29.
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