Happy Friday, friends! Today I have some budget-friendly fashions from Nordstrom, Old Navy, LOFT and Gap Factory. All of the featured items are under $100, and some are currently under $50 due to some good sales going on this weekend.
Budget Friendly Dresses, Denim & Tops
SIZING NOTES: I’m 5’5″ and I usually wear a small in tops, a 28 or 29 in jeans, and a size 8 shoe. I’ll do my best to guide you with sizing, but let me know if you have any questions. I’m happy to help!
Connected Apparel Floral Drape Neck Dress in Dusty Lavender
As I mentioned last week, I have an afternoon wedding to attend this summer, so I’ve been ordering some dresses. I love the pink sheath I shared in that post, but it’s too close to the color of the bridesmaids’ dresses.
This floral drape neck dress is affordable and looks a lot nicer than it is, in my opinion. I think the color palette is pretty, but I can’t decide if I like that floral pattern or not.
I like the style, and I feel good in it, but I also feel like it’s been done before. It’s not that it looks dated, but it doesn’t have the quiet elegance of the structured sheath, and I just can’t quite get excited about it.
Connected Apparel Floral Print Cowl Neck Midi Dress in Black Floral
This appears to be the same dress in a black floral, which I like a lot, but I think the lavender would be prettier for a summer wedding. It’s also less expensive, for some reason.
I feel like both of these dresses are very flattering, but I’m just not sure I’m digging that drapey neckline, and I really prefer solids at this point in my life.
Speaking of solids…
Chaus V-Neck Belted Midi Dress
This dress plays into the Viva Magenta color trend this spring, and it’s definitely a good color for me, but I think I should have ordered the size small. It seems a bit roomy, and I don’t love where the tie waist hits me. I guess I could have moved it up higher, closer to my natural waist.
The sleeves are also a little longer than I prefer, but I think some of you may like them.
Now that I look at it again, I think this is the right size. It fits perfectly through the shoulders; I think I just needed to tie the waist a little tighter and higher.
VERDICT: Not sure I love this any of these enough to wear to the wedding I’m attending, but I’m holding onto the lavender floral for a while. I plan to bring it to Miami.
KUT from the Kloth Meg Wide Leg Jeans
I’ve got several wide leg denim styles to show you today. These are kind of fun. I like how they fit snugly through the hips and upper thighs, and the bottom isn’t suuuper wide. (They have a 30 1/2″ inseam with a 24″ leg opening, for reference.)
The welt pockets are a fun detail, and the rear pockets are quite a bit smaller than the Old Navy pair that I liked above… almost too small?
Here they are with clogs… but they’re too short for this. They kept getting caught under my heel when I walked around the room.
VERDICT: Holding onto these for a while, I want to play with them some more.
Nordstrom Classic Poplin Shirt
Okay, so I want to be the girl who wears the crisp white button-up tucked into straight leg jeans with loafers and a designer belt, lol!!! I thought maybe now that I can wear a button-up without it gaping across my chest, I might finally like the look, but this just doesn’t feel like me… and it is also dreadfully uncomfortable. How do you all do this full tuck???
The shirt, itself, is pretty nice. It has just enough stretch to it to not be dreadfully uncomfortable, but it still has that clean, crisp appearance that makes it a versatile wardrobe basic. It’s not terribly see-through, but it might bother some of you.
VERDICT: Returned it. I might try some others, but I’m just not feeling this one. I think I need more of an oversized style that I can front tuck, but not tuck in all the way around.
Old Navy Try-Ons
Old Navy is doing 25% off your order, even clearance styles. I noticed one of my top sellers from last spring is back this year, and it’s on sale. Plus, I ordered a few pairs of their jeans and a few sweaters to try.
Shirred Double-Weave Long-Sleeve Blouse
This is the top from last year that they brought back, so I wanted to take a picture of it real quick. I apologize that the jeans and shoes aren’t so budget-friendly, but this top would go with pretty much any pair of jeans you have in your closet.
I love the crinkly fabric; it seems so light and summery. This one is fairly thick, so it isn’t terribly see-through, and it’s also quite soft. You can wear it front-tucked or untucked, and it runs true to size.
VERDICT: I prefer more fitted styles, but this is fun for a change. I saved it from last year, but I think I only wore it once, so we’ll see…
Striped Cozy Collared Sweater
Stripes are huge for spring, so why not start now? This collared style is right on trend as well, and this sweater is a soft and cozy knit.
It’s on the thinner side, but that’s fine as we head into transition season. I also ordered the Black Jack, but this White Ground has better inventory at the moment.
VERDICT: Holding onto this one for now; I don’t have any collared striped sweaters at the moment, and I’ve been wanting one. Usually I prefer higher quality knits, but this one might be fine for a trendy item.
High Waisted Wide Leg Jeans
As I said above, I’ve been trying out wide leg jeans, and I’m pretty shocked that I actually like this pair. For one thing, they’re extremely comfortable, but I also rather like the fit, and they’re the perfect length. Not that I’m opposed to having my denim hemmed, but it’s better if I don’t have to.
Unfortunately, Old Navy doesn’t offer denim measurements, and I haven’t taken time to measure, but I will do that. I’m curious to see how they compare to the KUT Meg.
I do wish the rear pockets weren’t QUITE so large and in charge, but maybe it makes sense when the jeans are a baggy fit. Smaller pockets might look funny in proportion to the wide-leg silhouette… again, with the KUT Meg.
I like how these jeans pair with my P448 sneakers, and I can see wearing them for super casual looks this spring.
VERDICT: I’m going to hold onto these and play around with some other styling options.
Mid Rise Baggy Loose Jeans
Now, these are definitely too wide and baggy for my taste. I know someone is going to say I could size down, but I can’t take them any tighter in the waist. I actually ordered the 6 and the 8 in both of these jeans so I could compare, since I tend to run between sizes.
VERDICT: These went right back!
At this point, I’m not sure if I’ll start wearing these wide leg styles or not, but I’m curious to try them with some other top and shoe combos. I like them more than I thought I would.
I want to try some premium denim versions, as well, but these budget-friendly styles are a nice way to try them out without making a big investment.
Gap Factory Try-Ons
Gap Factory is doing 30-60% off sitewide, plus an additional 10% off with code GFRESH. I ordered a bunch of transitional items to vet for an upcoming collaboration, and here’s a sneak peek!
Spoiler Alert: I’m really impressed with their denim, and I found a great trench under $100!
Modern Trench Coat
If you need a trench coat that won’t break the bank, this is a nice one. It has the classic double breasted styling with a minimalist silhouette, and it’s a little longer than the single-breasted style that I featured in yesterday’s post.
I like the longer length, and I don’t mind that it doesn’t have the epaulettes that usually accompany a classic trench because they can add bulk to the shoulder area. I also really like this shade of khaki. It’s a nice piece for a great price.
This is a size small, and while I can button the top button, it pulls in an unattractive way, so I would recommend sizing up if you tend to run in between sizes.
VERDICT: I have a beige trench from last year that I love, so I don’t really need this, and I prefer a single-breasted style. But it’s a good buy for someone!
Poplin Big Shirt in Baltic Blue
This is the shirt I’m wearing underneath the coat, and I think you can tell from my expression, I’m not quite sure about this! The different stripe patterns are fun, but a little busy for my understated sense of style.
These oversized button-ups are trending this season, so this is a good way to experiment with the trend without making a huge investment. I’d say it runs true to size.
VERDICT: I styled this for an upcoming post with Gap Factory, and those pictures actually have me reconsidering this one!
Shaker-Stitch Stripe Crewneck Sweater in multi stripe milk
This sweater is a nice lightweight 100% cotton knit for transition season, and I love the colors. It’s a good length for wearing with higher rise jeans.
VERDICT: Keeping this one! Stay tuned for my post with Gap Factory coming later this month!
Shaker-Stitch Stripe Crewneck Sweater in Navy Stripe
And this is the same sweater in the navy stripe. I like everything about it except the drop shoulder, and I’m not sure why the final white stripe is so close to the hem. Otherwise, it’s a nice springtime wardrobe basic at a great price.
VERDICT: I probably won’t keep this one, as I have the LOFT one that is similar.
Mid Rise Kick Fit Jeans with Washwell
These are the closet budget-buy I can find to the Mother Hustler. They’re just a tad shorter, but still in that crop flare/ankle-length flare range. They also come in petite and tall sizes.
I also really like the rear pocket placement. They’re an average size and shape, placed squarely on the tush, and spaced nicely too.
They pair well with sneakers and loafers, and I like this light wash for spring/summer too. Well done, Gap Factory! I just wish they provided denim measurements in their descriptions. It’s hard to know what you’re getting until they arrive on your doorstep.
Stripe Wide-Collar Sweater in Olive Green Milk Stripe
I love the color of this sweater, and it’s a really nice, soft cotton knit – softer than the shaker stitch styles above. The wide collar is right on trend, and I think the banded cuffs and hem are a nice touch.
I just wish it wasn’t already selling out! I settled for the medium because they were out of the size small. The navy stripe is fully stocked, though.
Shaker-Stitch Crewneck Sweater in Bright Aloe Global
I think this is the same shaker stitch sweater as the ones above, except in solid colors. I love this shade of aloe green, but it also comes in a really pretty
Mid Rise Bootcut Jeans with Washwell
These jeans are another winner. These remind me a lot of my Mother Weekenders. The measurements are almsot the same, and this is a really nice looking wash. They’re comfortable too.
Here’s how they compare to Mother Weekender. I would need to wear them around for a while to really judge how they look after they’re broken in, but so far, I’m impressed.
VERDICT: I held onto these; I don’t really need them but I’d like to style them for the blog so I have some more affordable options to share.
LOFT Spring Styles
Okay, home stretch! I recently ordered a couple of pieces from LOFT that I wanted include here, since they’re on sale this weekend. They’re doing up to 40% off sitewide, prices as marked.
LOFT Modern Rain Jacket
This jacket caught my eye when I was shopping in-store, so I waited for it to go on sale and snagged it when it went 30% off.
I love this bright shade of green, as well as the raglan sleeves and 24 1/2″ length. It has a bit of a swingy shape to it, which is fun. With bright colors trending this spring, this will make a nice topper to my neutral outfits, and it’s not as dressy as the orange trench.
LOFT Daisy Textured Flutter Sleeve Top
And this floral top is really cute; I just wish it didn’t have the puffy sleeves. They’re pretty, but they aren’t really me. I prefer to stick to more streamlined styles. This top also runs small, so be aware of that. I took pictures with it both untucked and front-tucked so you could see the length.
VERDICT: I returned this one, but I have a feeling some of you will really like it. It’s just a little too cutesy for my taste.
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photos: Alison Cornell