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
at Nordstrom (8) // sandals in Gold Leaf (8)
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
at Nordstrom (8) // sandals in Gold Leaf (8)
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
at Nordstrom (M) // sandals in Gold Leaf (8)
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
at Nordstrom (6) // sweater (S) // sneakers (39)
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
shirt (S) // jeans (29; similar for less) // similar loafers (8)
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
at Old Navy (S) // MOTHER Denim (29) // M.Gemi mules (8.5)
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
at Old Navy (S) // jeans (8) // sneakers (39)
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
at Old Navy (8) // sweater (S) // sneakers (39)
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
at Old Navy (8) // sweater (S) // sneakers (39)
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
at Gap Factory (S) // Kick Fit Jeans (8) // VEJA Esplar (39)
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
at Gap Factory (S) // GF Kick Fit Jeans (8) // VEJA Esplar (8)
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
at Gap Factory (S) // jeans (8) // boots (8; also at Macy’s)
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
at Gap Factory (S) // jeans (8) // similar mules
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
at Gap Factory (8) // sweater (S) // similar mules
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
at Gap Factory (M) // jeans (8) // boots (8)
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
at Gap Factory (S) // jeans (8) // boots (8)
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
at Gap Factory (8) // sweater (S) // boots (8)
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.
Mother Weekender (29) // Gap Factory Mid Rise Bootcut Jeans (29)
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
jacket (S) // top (S) // jeans (29; more sizes here) // flats (8)
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
top (S) // jeans (29; more sizes here) // flats (8)
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
38 thoughts on “Try On Haul: Budget-Friendly Fashions”
Happy Friday, Jo-Lynne, and thanks for this post! Can you tell me a little more about the M. Gemi mules (latte) you are wearing? It looks like you went up a half size and are wearing the 39.5? My foot runs on the narrow side and I am always afraid I will be out walking and sling a mule right off my foot, but this one is sharp on so I am hoping…
I love them, but they’re definitely too wide for my narrow/flat feet. I was having trouble keeping them on my feet.
Well this is interesting but my favourite outfit on you of all those was the jeans with the tucked in white shirt and loafers. It was just so classic looking. I liked the more streamlined look of both shirt and jeans and just really loved it. You wore it well.
I agree with Sharon, the white shirt semi tucked with the jeans is so classic looking and really looks sharp on you. I wonder if the magenta dress in small would bring up the waistline and tighten it a little bit but still not be too small looking would work, sizing is so strange sometimes, love the color on you and like you I don’t always feel right in some prints but the lavender is also really pretty. I have a peasant top too but rarely wear it, some are easy to look matronly on me.
Way to go, Gap Factory – they are really stepping up on their jean game. Thanks for the budget friendly options, especially with trend items. Great options
Those GAP Bootcut jeans are almost identical to the Mother Weekenders! They’re a nice wash too. The green sweater is really cute and would be fun to wear on St. Patrick’s day. I like that it’s cotton too. I wish Gap had more V-neck sweaters, seems most of them are crew neck but i think V-necks are more flattering on me since I’m somewhat busty.
I have a fit update re: the Paige Jolie cargos you mentioned in your email and that are on sale at Bloomingdales. I ordered one size down (26) since you advised they ran big. Got them yesterday and they were still a little too large! I wore them around for a while and they “grew” a little bit. Also, the waist and front area is kind of “poochy”, for lack of a better word, and when you sit, there’s extra fabric around the middle which no one wants. I returned and decided to order a 25 and see if that works. I never order two sizes down from my usual, but we’ll see if it eliminates the bagging and bunchy-ness issues, haha.
Good to know, I just ordered the 28 to try, since they’re on sale. The 29 are too big, for sure.
I agree with the previous comment. I was surprised, but my favorite outfit was also the straight jeans, tucked in white shirt and loafers. You’ve mentioned in the past that you’re short-waisted and I thought it would only emphasize that, but not at all. Even the back view looked great. This style is not your usual but you should reconsider because it looks so classic and so good on you. I can see the same outfit with different shoes and even white sneakers.
I can’t help myself but I always seem to buy something when I go into Old Navy. I am selective on their tops and only choose ones that feel higher quality. I have a ton of their jeans though because they fit me well and the cost is amazing. And I love shopping factory/outlet stores so Gap Factory is a favorite. Thanks for sharing the budget priced items today.
I think it’s time for me to visit Gap Factory ! I like the kick flare because at 5’2 it’s not overpowering for my height and works with a sneaker!
Enjoy your weekend! We’re attending one of my closet friends 50th birthday party! And our sons finance will be here for the weekend and of course there’s the Superbowl!!!
I love the lavender dress on you. Go for it! The pink dress maybe try a contrasting belt that would sit at your natural waistline and provide some interest??
I also liked the white crisp shirt with the straight jeans! What if you added a blazer or cardigan and a fun sneaker🤷♀️
Liked the black with purple floral dress on you, the Pink one was OK but I thought maybe another belt might look better and I notice the gold tone sandals, maybe a belt (or wrap) to set the tone for the occasion ?? I wasn’t into the white shirt and jeans….some one else liked it on you lol we all like and see different things (comes back to you have to feel good in what you have on). I do like and might order one the striped collar sweaters, I don’t have any at all and starting to like the look. Thanks for referencing jean ankle length, I was struggling with what I like and what I think looks good on me, etc.
I agree that the white poplin button down looked great! Don’t understand the “dreadfully uncomfortable” comment? Was it too stiff? HAHA!! I would add a belt and fun shoes/sneakers/sandals and a colorful cardigan or jacket. I also liked the gauzy white blouse. I usually can find fun and interesting trendy items at Gap, BR, or J Crew Factories. Great ways to try something new! I also liked the green LOFT jacket. I may need to stop into a store to try that on! GO EAGLES!!!!!
I love the look of the white button up, but I also find those terribly uncomfortable! Great spring looks!
Great haul! I guess I am one of the few who didn’t like the tucked-in button-up shirt. It looks too blah and unimaginative for you; you have great style. I find shirts like that uncomfortable.
I love the mint-colored sweater!
I am with you on the white shirt and how uncomfortable it is to wear it tucked in. We have similar body shapes, and that must play into it. Do you remember 20-25 years ago they had cotton button up shirts with darts from bust to hem on the front and back? You could leave them untucked, and I had a couple of them. Because they had darts, somehow they would fit a larger bust without pulling. It’s been enough time, it’s time for them to come back. Otherwise, button-ups don’t work for me.
I remember those! They were the only button up shirts I have been able to wear and feel good in.
Love the Gap Factory boot cut jeans!
Jo-Lynne, it’s going to be hard to top that WHBM sheath! Maybe they will bring it out on another color that would work for the wedding.
I was thinking that!
Can you tell me the rise measurement on the Gap mid-rise jeans? They look fantastic on you! I loved all of the pieces you styled today. Thank you!
1st dress looks good on you. Keep it. Pink one too, but tie on waist tied higher for sure. I like collar sweaters in theory but I don’t like them on me…… I feel dated from years gone by. Wide leg jeans a no for me. I love white button down shirts but I wear mine oversized and front tucked. I know you would like that better. You should wear the old navy shirred peasant looking blouse more. I love mine and as you know want to get the fuchsia color in it. I’m looking for cotton sweaters, so keep those coming. I like the stripe on you, but I know me, I won’t wear them. Love the LOFT green jacket…… great color and fun swing to it. I bought the off pink Vuori jacket last year simila, on sale, but no swing. I look forward to wearing it more this Spring as I got late in the season last year. Great post Jo-Lynne, lots to choose from. Have fun at Becca’s performance tonight. I’m so glad she is able to be back with school and friends.
PS Would you please let us know how the Gap factory jeans wear? I just wonder how they hold their shape after wearing them awhile. The first pair of kick crop if you say they run shorter, would be good for me and they also come in petite if needed, but technically I like “shorts” not “petites.” There is a difference for me.
I, too, really like the crisp white button down shirt with jeans! I understand about it not being comfy- kind of restrictive… I know this is a Budget-Friendly post, but have you tried the Frank and Eileen shirts? That might be more your style- oversized and less restrictive. I’ve been wanting to try one, but haven’t yet! Also agree about the comment regarding Gap Factory putting measurements on their website! Can you share the length of the Mid Rise Kick Fit jeans? I’m a tall girl, so sometimes those cropped/ankle styles can be too short. So it might be better for me to order the full length ones you’ve shared and cut them myself!
Oh, wow, those are gorgeous! I’ve heard of them but I haven’t really looked at them.
I have 2 Paige blouses and live them. They fit true to size. Expensive but very classy looking
Good to know!
The white button-down, jeans & black loafers is such a classic outfit and looks fantastic on you! But, it can be very difficult to find the perfect fitting, comfortable button-down white shirt. I’m currently on the hunt for this right now! I thought you looked wonderful in all three dresses, but the first was probably my favorite. I too have a little trouble getting used to the drapey neckline, it’s a little fussy for my taste. The bootcut Gap jeans looks awesome on you – thanks for showing them, now I want a pair. I’ve been super hesitant about wanting a pair of wide-legged jeans but really did like the Old Navy pair on you. I might have to go try them on! Loved this try on – I’ll have to pay more attention when you post in the future 🙂
I really appreciate you sharing so many budget friendly items with us! For so many reasons I don’t buy higher priced clothing or handbags. I can’t wait to see your Gap Factory sponsored post.
Hi Jo-Lynne, can you tell us which you prefer between the wide leg Kut from the kloth compared to the Old Navy? What is the rise of each? I’m so tempted to try the style, but I can’t do too high of a rise.
I don’t know yet, honestly. I need to try both with other tops.
I also loved the white poplin shirt with the jeans and loafers! So classic and i thought it was slimming.
I love the white button down shirt with jeans and black loafers on you! It looks great tucked in; such an effortless classic look. Have you tried it with a jacket? I’d love to see the Paige blouses you bought.
Gawww no, it is uncomfortable enough without a jacket on top, haha! I really do not like that all tucked look on me at all. Interesting that so many do… although I can appreciate that maybe I need to allow my eye to adjust.
The first dress is my favorite. I have a navy and off white sweater that looks exactly like the one you’re wearing. I bought it on clearance at Kohl’s in a petite size. If you want an oversized big shirt, you should look at Old Navy. They have a crop utility shirt I plan to order. It’s not crop like in real short. It’s just not long past the rear. It could be front tucked and not real long in the back.
I’m going to have to check out the wide leg jeans from Kut from the Kloth. I’m keeping the ones I bought from Loft. I don’t have to alter the hem and they fit me well. I think wide leg looks best if very fitted in the torso. Thanks for giving us cheaper options. I’m going to have to try Gap jeans. I’ve had bad luck with Old Navy jeans.
I agree that wide leg looks best if very fitted in the torso, but I’m not comfortable with tops that are very fitted in the torso, lol. I do see them styled with other tops now that more relaxed silhouettes are in style, but I agree that ideally, you need to emphasize the waist in some way. This is why I’m not sure I’m going to be be able to truly embrace this style, but it might be fun to have a pair or two in rotation.
Thank you for your share. I found the info about the back pockets very enlightening. I always learn something from you!
My fav was the mid rise boot cut jeans and the beautiful Aloe global color sweater/top. I like the hyacent blue also. The Dolce Vitas are perfect.
The kick fit jeans are nice, too for warmer weather, as well as the white straight legs.
Green jacket is a nice color, too.
Old Navy always has the inseam details listed under “Details”, along with fabric content and care instructions. The wide leg jeans you showed are listed as 31” for the Regular length…I always take these measurements with a grain of salt, sometimes they vary a bit.
The dresses look nice on you, however I agree with you on the drape collar. I feel they are somewhat dated, but then again you probably know better what’s in or out! Ha ha. I do like the Viva Magenta dress and I think it looks great on you. I also really like the bright green jacket and I’m glad you snagged it on sale. Wish I could order it, but I have so many jackets and I live in Florida. Rarely do I get to wear a jacket, coat or sweater unless we travel somewhere cold.