Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! It’s time for another try-on haul! This week I tried to branch out from my typical sweaters and jeans. #youarewelcome
I ordered some dresses, workout leggings, blouses, blazers, and tops from a variety of retailers… plus, I found The Best Loafers!
For anyone new here, I’m 5’5″ and typically wear size 28 or 29 in jeans, a small in tops, and a 6 or 8 in dresses and coats. If you have any questions on sizing, I’m happy to answer in the comments.
Try-Ons: Ann Taylor
Let’s start at Ann Taylor!
This weekend, you can save 40% off your order, plus today only, take an additional 10% off with code WEARIT.
TIP: With a Shoprunner account, you can get free 2-day shipping AND free returns at Ann Taylor and so many other popular retailers. (CLICK HERE to see if you’re eligible for a full, free membership from a qualifying credit card company.)
I ordered a couple of classic black dresses because every woman needs a LBD, am I right?
The quality on this first dress is top-notch. It has great structure, it’s well-made and cut to flatter a woman’s figure. The fit and finish and attention to detail with lining, seaming, zippers, etc. is all on point.
It’s polished and sophisticated — everything you want in a classic LBD.
I love the cap sleeves and the shape of the v-neckline, but unfortunately it’s made a little long for me all over.
The waist sits a little low on my natural waist, the skirt length is a tad long as well, and the armholes are too deep. (You can see that it shows my bra, in the picture below.)
I like to take a front-on picture like the one below to see the true silhouette of an outfit. It’s not a flattering picture — you won’t see these mirror selfies on my Instagram — but it’s my way of double-checking the silhouette of an outfit.
If you look really closely, you can see it bulging a bit above the waist, because it’s a little too long for me, but the overall silhouette is still very flattering. There’s nice shaping through the waist, and the cap sleeves help balance out my hips.
The V-Neck Dress In Bi-Stretch (also in Petite and Tall) size 6 // Overall, this is a gorgeous dress. I could try a petite, but I know from experience that petites are usually too short, and sometimes regulars are too long. I am right in between, being 5’5″ and short-waisted.
I don’t think a size 4 would fit, but it’s worth a try. I’ve worn a 4 in AT dresses before. Alterations are also an option, but I think I can find something that fits better if I keep looking.
also wearing: Sam Edelman Hazel Pumps in Tropical Snake
For whatever reason, this next dress in the same size, from the same brand, in a very similar silhouette fits like it was made for me.
Here is the front-on shot…
You can see that it’s a good inch shorter in the length of the skirt, for starters, which makes no sense because they both say they’re 24″ from the natural waist. This is why you have to try things on, my friends.
This one also fits much better in the torso, waist, and under the arms…
It has front off-seam zipper pockets, and the material is the same four-way stretch fabric as the one above.
The lining is 100% polyester, which is common for this price point. (Silk would be the ideal, but I don’t mind polyester when it’s attached perfectly, as it is in this garment.)
I really like the scoop neck on this one. My current go-to LBD has a narrow v-neck, which I like, but this one is different enough to justify having both. I also like how a scoop neck layers under jackets and things… see the tweed jacket below.
The Scoop Neck Dress in Bi-Stretch (also in Petite) size 6 // Unfortunately this dress and the one above are excluded from the 40% off deal this weekend, but at $149, it’s a good investment. This is the kind of dress you can wear for 10 years. It will never go out of style.
also wearing: Sam Edelman Hazel Pumps in Tropical Snake
This jacket isn’t my usual style, but I really like it.
It’s unlined, which I found a bit odd, but otherwise it seems well made. The fabric is dense and it has a really nice structure to it. The contrast trim is really pretty too.
Ann Taylor Tweed Sweater Jacket size S // This is a great little jacket, and I think it could be really versatile. As much as I like this jacket with the black dress, I can also see it with jeans and a t-shirt for a smart casual weekend look.
I don’t know when I’ll learn to stop buying wrap dresses. They never fit me right, and I don’t have the patience to deal with fashion tape or pinning. I really like the fabric on this one, though.
The fabric is nice and thick, and they were generous with it — there’s plenty to wrap around you so you won’t be having a fashion emergency… unless you’re well-endowed, and then the front might totally open up on you. I’m standing as stiff as I can to get these pictures without my entire bra hanging out.
I also want to show you the neckline — I really like the notched detail on the collar.
also wearing: Stuart Weitzman NearlyNude Sandals in Adobe Nappa
This time of year, after a long winter of wearing neutrals, I’m always excited to integrate some red and pink into my wardrobe.
I ordered this blouse because I was drawn to the gorgeous poppy print on this cheery red background, but why, oh, why did they make it so long?????
Of course, I tried a front-tuck.
It looks pretty good, right?
But then there’s the side view… ugh. This is why I hate the front tuck.
So how about a full tuck? The material is really thin and shouldn’t create a ton of bulk tucked into my jeans.
I’m not used to this silhouette, but I suppose it’s okay. I mean, didn’t we always fully tuck in our blouses at one point?
The side view makes more sense, as in it doesn’t look as dumpy as the front-tuck, but I still feel like tucking a shirt in the back just calls attention to my “long butt” — yes, that’s a technical term.
I have a very high waist, but my legs are kind of average. That leaves a lot of inches between my natural waistline and hip bone, creating the dreaded “long butt”.
And now that age and gravity have begun to take their toll, it’s even more of an issue than it was when I was younger. Le sigh… Maybe I just need to get used to this look again, but right now, I’m not feeling it.
Ann Taylor The Poppy Camp Shirt (also in Petite) size S // All in all, this blouse is pretty and well made, and at 40% off, it’s a nice price if you need to freshen up your tops for work or church. I just wish it weren’t so long.
Try-Ons: Amazon Fashion
Switching gears now to some Amazon Fashion. A lot of you like shopping Amazon for clothes but are unsure about quality and reliability.
I tend to stick to the Amazon-owned brands like Lark & Ro, Goodthreads, and Daily Ritual. They seem pretty legit.
There’s a side zip for easier on-and-off, and that also helps ensure a better fit, although I was still able to pull it on over my head because the material is so stretchy.
Unfortunately, the fit under the arms is a little off — while it comes up high where the zipper is, it’s cut a little far forward and still shows a hint of bra.
And in addition to that, the neckline went askew on me. I think it’s because of the boobs, but a well-made dress wouldn’t do this.
Lark & Ro Women’s Cap Sleeve Bateau Neck Wrap Dress Navy (size 8) // Overall, this dress is a flattering style, but it doesn’t fit me well in the chest/neck/arm area. If you’re smaller chested, it might work fine for you.
If you like it, I’d say it’s worth a try. After all, returns are free with Prime!
also wearing: Sam Edelman Hazel Pumps
I was asked to share some lower priced leggings, so I ordered two pairs from Amazon.
This is their Core 10 brand, and they have a suuuuper high waist with a hidden pocket… here, I tried to show you.
They are thick and soft, and I really have no complaints. They’re very plain — no seaming details or anything remarkable, but they are comfortable, and they pass the squat-test.
In case you’re wondering, the squat-test is when you squat down and have someone check out your rear view, to make sure you can’t see through the pants.
If you’ve ever taken a yoga class or any type of group workout class, you’ve probably seen waaaaaaaay more than you wanted to see when people squat and bend over in their thin yoga pants.
Always do the squat-test, my friends. You do not want to be That Girl.
These have a 27″ inseam, which is considered ankle length. Showing a little bit of ankle is flattering.
Core 10 All Day Comfort High Waist Full-Length Yoga Legging – 27″ (size M) // These yoga leggings are thick and soft and come in tons of colors. I love the super high waist and 27″ inseam. No complaints here! For under $30, these are a very good value.
This pair is from UURUN, and I don’t think that’s an Amazon brand, but I’m not sure. The prices are a little lower than the Core 10.
These have a little more detail to them, which I like, and supposedly they have “butt-lift technology” — their term, not mine. They’re also thick and soft and pass the squat-test.
UURUN High Waist Yoga Pants Workout Running Leggings with Pockets (size M) // I have nothing bad to say about these. I like the details and the seaming, and I like the 7/8 length — a little shorter than ankle-length.
You can see more of their details on the Amazon website — the color I ordered is 1090 Pocket Black.
I’m laughing because these pants look so ridiculous. Stop, Hammer time! Break it down!
They’re too big, for one thing, but they just aren’t flattering. I don’t know that I’ve ever found a flattering jogger, now that I think about it.
Core 10 Cloud Soft Yoga Fleece Jogger Sweatpants size M // The fabric on these joggers is really nice — it’s soft and thick. I guess I could try a small, and see if that helps, but I just sent them back.
That said, if you’re in the market for soft and cozy joggers, these are worth a try. Just size down.
I like it okay, but it doesn’t have the shaping through the waist that my Vince Camuto denim jacket has.
Otherwise, the wash looks pretty good, and it has a decent amount of stretch to it. It’s not a bad deal at $39.
They’re generous with the sleeve length, and it has traditional styling with on-shoulder seams and a crew neck.
The quality isn’t fabulous, but it’s cute and wearable. In fact, I really love this color palette for spring.
Cable Stitch Women’s Colorblock Striped Sweater size S // This sweater is 100% cotton, and it runs TTS or a little big. The small fits me nicely, with a little wiggle room. The length is 23″.
Goodthreads is another Amazon brand that I like a lot, and I thought this tee would make a good layering piece for now, or a cute basic for spring.
I like the straight, vented hem, and the length is nice. It’s a little bit on the thin side, but that’s not a bad thing necessarily.
Goodthreads Women’s Washed Jersey Cotton Long-Sleeve Crewneck T-Shirt size S // This tee is 100% cotton, and the quality seems decent, but it runs small. I would need to exchange for a medium.
I love the styling and the comfort and the fit, and it’s a great price. It even has thumbholes.
This is the Dark Grey Space Dye, and it runs true to size, or a bit big. The small fits great over my thin t-shirt.
Amazon Essentials Women’s Brushed Tech Stretch Full-Zip Hoodie size S // This hoodie is great! The fit and quality are on point, it’s comfortable, and it comes in tons of colors. Highly recommend.
I’ve ordered a smattering of things from Nordstrom over the past few weeks, as they caught my eye. First up, this white blouse.
I don’t like traditional button-up blouses because the buttons often gape over my chest, and the collar irritates me. I think it’s partly the length of my hair, but I also just prefer a more feminine blouse, like this one.
This one comes highly recommended — it gets a bunch of stellar reviews, and there are tons of solids and prints to choose from.
I ordered the plain white since I don’t own a plain white blouse, and supposedly it’s a wardrobe essential that every woman should own. (I say that with a hint of irony; I don’t have one and never feel like I need one. BUT, if I did have one, I would probably wear it a lot.)
I like the fit and the cut of this one, but it is soooo thin. I’d have to wear a cami underneath.
Here you can see it with a front-tuck. It has a really nice drape.
The notched cuff on the 3/4 sleeves is a pretty detail, and I like the split neck and gathered yoke.
Curves 360 by NYDJ Perfect Blouse size S // This blouse is really pretty, and the quality is on point. Even though it’s thin, the material is dense and feels really nice against the skin. I just wish it weren’t so see-through.
VERDICT: Returning, but I may order a different (darker) color or print.
I often feel like I need a structured “3rd piece” that is a little more refined than a leather jacket, so I’m trying to find a blazer that I like. I ordered a few to try and compare, but only one has come in so far.
Blazers often feel stuffy to me, and sometimes lapels can add visual weight to an area where I don’t need it, but this one from the Gibson brand has a really nice notch collar with no lapels.
When I first put this jacket on, I thought it felt thick and constricting, but once I got it settled over the blouse, and moved around a bit, it became more comfortable. It has a good amount of stretch to it.
I sized down, per the Nordstrom website, which I do believe was the right choice. I wouldn’t be able to wear this over a sweater, but I plan to wear it over t-shirts and tanks most of the time.
That said, it fits perfectly in the shoulders, and I think a medium would be a little too big. I already have pretty squared-off shoulders, and I don’t need any extra width there.
The single button closure is also a little more feminine than two or three, and I really like how you can cuff the sleeves to show the striped lining.
Here you can see what it looks like buttoned.
My only reservations about this jacket is that the lining is not attached very well — it’s kind of bulky under the jacket and doesn’t lay flat; but once the jacket is on and I’m wearing it, it doesn’t seem to affect how it looks on, so it’s not a deal breaker.
Gibson Notch Collar Cotton Blend Blazer size S // I like this a lot! I’d actually like to try it in the burgundy or another color, but the black is a nice closet basic to have.
VERDICT: Keeping for now, but keeping tags on. I have two more jackets coming that I want to try before making a final decision.
I have this next top in a stripe print from last fall, and I like it so much that I bought it in this BLACK-RED C MIXED DOT pattern for spring.
This would would be perfect for a Valentine’s dinner out if it were warmer. I think the combination of red and pink dots is so fun.
I have it front-tucked in these pictures. Because it’s not very long, it works okay without looking terribly awkward from the side.
Here, you can see it untucked. It’s very boxy so it needs a tuck, in my opinion, but I love the round neckline and the cap sleeves.
Halogen Cap Sleeve Blouse (size S) // This top is a nice basic to wear alone or layer under structured jackets or cardigans. It runs TTS and comes in a bunch of nice prints and solid color ways.
I came home, looked at the pictures, and realized how much I like it. I felt like the camel wasn’t my most flattering option, so I ordered the grey.
Then I realized, I need another grey sweater like I need a hole in the head. And I actually really liked that oatmeal color a lot.
I tried it on anyway, to show you, and I put it with my snake print booties b/c I love them with all things grey.
Reformation Cashmere Blend Sweater (size M) // This is such a good sweater. I know it’s plain, but I love the rolled hem, the 23″ length, and the generous sleeve length, the thicker cuffs… and it’s so cozy and warm. I wish it had a v-neck, but otherwise, it’s such a great basic.
Definitely size up if in doubt; I usually wear a small, but I seem to be a medium in Reformation sweaters.
VERDICT: Returning because I don’t need another grey sweater, but considering the black or London Stripe… or maybe the oatmeal even though I know it’s not the most flattering color next to my face. I just like it.
When I tried this sweater on in the store, they didn’t have a small or medium in stock, so I tried the large.
I actually liked the fit and purchased the large, but when I wore it in my photo shoot, I could really see how it’s big in the shoulders. I stalked it until it came back in stock in the medium, and ordered it.
This is the medium, and I like the fit much better. It is on the shorter side, at 21″ but it still gives me enough coverage with higher rise jeans, and I kind of like the shorter look.
Here it is in the large, for comparison’s sake…
I like the overall length better in the large, but I like the fit in the arms and the shoulders better in the medium, so I decided to keep the medium and return the large.
Reformation Cashmere Blend Sweater in Ali Stripe // This is a really nice sweater if you don’t mind the shorter style. It comes in a bunch of solids, if this stripe pattern isn’t for you. It’s great quality, and eco-conscious to boot.
The material is 70% recycled cashmere, 25% cashmere, 5% wool. Definitely size up if in doubt; I usually wear a small, but I seem to be a medium in Reformation sweaters.
VERDICT: I kept the medium.
Yes, another blouse! Maybe I should have divided this post up by article of clothing, not brand… which would you prefer?
I really like the neckline on this blouse – the V is modest yet flattering, and the sleeves are nice and long. The overall length is not as long as the Ann Taylor one above, but still plenty generous.
Here it is with a front-tuck.
Here’s a side view. The sleeves are actually too long, I think. Even the shoulder seam seems too long. I don’t know, I may need an XS in this.
Halogen V-Neck Blouse in Tan Animal Print size S // I like this blouse in theory, but I think it’s swallows me up. It does come in some solids and a black and white floral print, if the leopard is not your thing.
VERDICT: Returning. I may try an XS.
Okay, moving on to Boden! I tend to forget about Boden, but I did really well there last summer, so I decided to see what they have coming out for spring 2020.
I thought this colorblock sweater was fun for something different. I really like the contrasting collar and cuffs, and the colors are bold and fresh.
It has a fairly classic fit, and I think it’s flattering on; it’s 23″ long. The fabric is 70% cotton, 30% wool, and it’s machine washable.
I think this would make a great little transition piece for spring.
VERDICT: Returning, only because I don’t love it. It’s a nice piece and good quality.
This tee is cute, and the material is thin but feels really nice. It comes in a bunch of other colors, if navy isn’t your favorite.
The fit is pretty classic, and it’s 25″ long.
Given the description on the website, as soft and drapey, I feel like it shouldn’t be quite as clingy as it is on me, so I’d like to try the next size up.
Boden Stripe Cuff Top (also at Nordstrom) size S // This is a nice top. The material is 48% cotton 52% modal, so it has a nice feel to it. It’s what I would call an elevated tee, but definitely size up if in between.
VERDICT: Returning; I may try the medium.
I had this tee last year in a different print, and I was really excited to see that they brought it back this season in a bunch of new patterns. This year’s version seems a little bit thinner than last year’s, though.
This is the same tee in the navy, and this one I love. The thin material is fine in the darker color, and I think the graphic on this one is super cute.
Here it is front-tucked. It doesn’t absolutely need a front-tuck, but you can. It works both ways.
Boden Robyn Scoop Neck Tee Navy Live Well (also at Nordstrom) size S // I really like this tee, in the darker colors especially. It’s 26″ length with a curved hem and scoop neck. Very fun and fresh for spring and summer!
I found some really cute dresses at Boden last year, so I was excited to try this one, but I don’t love it.
It’s too big on me, for one thing, but I can’t tell if I’d like it in a smaller size or not. I guess there’s one way to find out!
I do like the seaming and the slash pockets, and the material is nice and thick, so I’m willing to try the next size down.
Boden Bronte Jersey Sheath Dress size 8 // This dress is nice quality, but the fit is a little odd. I need to try a smaller size before passing my final verdict.
VERDICT: Returning; ordering the 6.
also wearing: Stuart Weitzman NearlyNude Sandals in Adobe Nappa
I’m not sure why I’m even showing you this one because I don’t like it, but this is for those people who say I look good in everything… haha!
I probably ruined it because I tried it on with these jeans, which are horrible on me, but I don’t think I’d like it even with my favorite skinnies. The sleeves are HUGE.
Anthropologie Karla Boat Neck Sweater size S // I’m clearly not fan. The quality is fine, but it’s way too trendy for me, and not cut for my body type.
VERDICT: Returning. Obvi.
I’ve also ordered two pieces from Revolve recently, and I can’t even remember why or how I found them. Both were Agolde jeans, and both were a disappointment. The first is the pair from the pictures above.
They’re just too straight, too big, too ugly. They look totally different on the model, but then, she’s probably a size 23. (I can’t size down; they fit in the waist.)
AGOLDE Riley High Rise Straight Crop size 28 // Not a fan of these.
I had high hopes for these white jeans, and I love everything about them except one thing…
The rear pockets. URGH! This is why I always take a rear view shot like this. These jeans looked great from all other angles, but the pockets are weirdly low.
See. Cute, not see-through, good fit…
AGOLDE Sophie High Rise Skinny Crop size 29 // It’s too bad the rear pockets are a deal breaker. I could really use a pair of jeans like this in my spring/summer wardrobe.
And finally, a couple items from Everlane!
I’ve been wanting to update my trench, and I thought this anorak was fun, but it’s a bit much for me and my classic style.
It’s supposed to have an oversized fit, and this is a size small, so it should be the right size, but wow, that’s a lot of material!
This is the light taupe, and the fabric is 100% recycled polyester derived from 28 plastic water bottles. It can be machine washed and tumble dry low.
Everlane The ReNew Anorak in Light Taupe size S // I want to like this, but I’m not sure I’m cool enough to pull it off. What say you???
Let’s end on a high note, shall we?
These loafers are THE BOMB DOT COM.
Does anyone say that anymore?
These loafers are soooo comfortable, ohmyword.
They’re made of buttery-soft Italian leather, and they slide on so easily. I didn’t want to take them off.
I also really like the styling. They’re not as clunky as some loafers, and they really mold to your foot as you wear them.
Everlane Day Loafers in Cashew (size 8.5) // These are super cute, super comfy, sustainable, ethically sourced, and they come in 10 colors. What’s not to love? (Size up, though. They run small.)
VERDICT: Keeping, and probably ordering in another color.
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