FALL 2019 TRY-ON HAUL: Nordstrom, Madewell, Old Navy, J.Crew Factory, Anthro & Amazon

Good morning and happy Saturday! I tumbled down the rabbit hole this morning and ended up reorganizing all my Pinterest boards… ooops! So that’s why this post is going up later than usual.

Well, that and the fact that I didn’t have any of it written when I got up this morning.

But anyway! It’s live now, and I have a new try-on haul for you today. It’s pretty much a sweater parade.

Someone asked in our JLS Fashion Tribe how many sweaters a woman should own… I’ll let you know when I get there. Haha!

I do love a good sweater, and I live in them a good 6 months out of the year here in the northeast. That said, I prefer quality over quantity, so even though there are a lot of good ones in here, I didn’t keep them all.

Let’s get started!

Try On Haul: Nordstrom, Madewell, J.Crew Factory, Anthro, & Amazon

By way of reminder, or for anyone who is new, I’m 5’5″ and about 140# with a short-waisted hourglass shape. I usually wear a small in tops, 6 or 8 (28 or 29) in pants and jeans, and an 8 in dresses. I’m also usually a size 8 shoe.

All links and descriptions are below the pictures.

Caslon Open Front Pocket Cardigan (size S) // This first cardigan is a little big on me, and honestly, it was kind of scratchy. On the other hand, it’s really pretty and a nice length. (I’m not a fan of the super long cardigans, I feel like I’m wearing a bathrobe.) I love the shades of ivory and grey.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE >> How To Wear Cardigans Without Looking Frumpy

VERDICT: Returning. I was going to order the XS to compare and see if I like the fit better, but then I got the next sweater in the mail . . .

also wearing: AT mixed jersey tank (one of my favorite base layers for dressier looks) with black AG skinnies (similar for less) and grey suede loafers (love these; SO comfortable; TTS)

Anthropologie Vera Cardigan (size S) // This sweater is soooo soft and luxe, and very warm — more so than the Caslon one above. I put it on yesterday afternoon after it came in the mail, and I had been chilly all day, but the second I put it on, I was so cozy and warm. I had to force myself to take it off and change into something a little dressier for going out to dinner.

I like the shorter length, although it is a little bulky, so probably not the most flattering cardigan, but for a cozy look, I think it’s cute.

It’s definitely more of a splurge than the Caslon one, but I did manage to snag it when it was on Anthro’s 25% off sale last week, so there’s that.

VERDICT: keeping!

also wearing: AT mixed jersey tank (one of my favorite base layers for dressier looks; TTS) with grey skinnies (similar) and Taryn Rose loafers (size up!)

Anthropologie Sophie Ribbed Sweater (size S) // This was the other sweater in my Anthro order. (I also ordered this belt but forgot to try it on yesterday.) I’m a sucker for an ivory sweater, and I love the quality of this one. It’s a dense, heavy, chunky knit with a great ribbed texture and relaxed silhouette. The boatneck is flattering, and blouson sleeves are very much on trend right now.

That said, when you have a larger chest, you have to be careful of adding volume in your sleeves. In this case, the sweater is a chunkier knit, which adds some volume, and it has a boxy and very relaxed fit through the body, which also adds volume.

With all that plus the sleeves, I feel like this sweater is a little overwhelming on me. The front tuck definitely helps, but for the price, I just don’t love it enough to justify keeping it. I have other ivory sweaters I think I would reach for instead. (Namely this one, which I love, and it was also a bit of a splurge.)

VERDICT: Returning, but if you’re drawn to it, definitely try it. It’s a great sweater, just not what I need right now. And if you’re smaller on top, this sweater may help balance out a larger bottom.

also wearing: grey skinnies (similar) and J.Crew Factory d’orsay flats

J.Crew Factory Leopard Open Cardigan (size S) // This sweater was a bit of a pleasant surprise. I didn’t expect to keep it, but I wanted to try it on because I thought some of you might like it, but I really like this one!

It’s a nice quality knit, kind of a tight weave, and a little dressier than your typical cardigan. It also has a flattering slim fit, and a nice length — shorter than a lot of the cardigans that are out right now.

This is definitely a nice work wear piece for those who might need that, but I can also see wearing it out to dinner over a strappy cami, to church over this mixed jersey tank, and with a t-shirt and jeans for a leveled up casual look.

VERDICT: keeping!

(For anyone considering this sweater, I got it for $58, so I recommend waiting for the price to go down. J.Crew Factory fluctuates their prices constantly, so you have to keep an eye on them and order when they’re doing a good promo.)

also wearing: AT mixed jersey tank (one of my favorite base layers for dressier looks; TTS) with black AG skinnies (similar for less) and black suede pumps (similar style)

J.Crew Puff-Sleeve Sweater in Extra-Soft Yarn (size S) // This sweater is suuuuper soft and cozy. The puffed sleeves are trending right now, and I feel like these are more flattering than some.

Remember how I said above, when you have a larger chest, you have to be careful of adding volume in your sleeves? This sweater is made of a thinner knit and it’s more fitted through the body, so I feel like I can get away with having some volume in the sleeves.

Also, I like how they have the long banded wrists, which is also more slenderizing than when the sleeves is wide all the way down.

VERDICT: I’m probably keeping this one, but I’m going to keep the tags on for a while. I like it, but I want to make sure I will actually reach for it and wear it. It also comes in some other really pretty colors, if this evergreen isn’t for you.

(This sweater was only $39 when I bought it, so if you like it, I’d recommend waiting for a better price.)

also wearing: black AG skinnies (similar for less) and snake print mules

J.Crew Factory Open-Front Cardigan in Extra-Soft Yarn (size S) // Another winner from J.Crew Factory! This one isn’t quite as soft as I was expecting, but that didn’t prevent me from keeping it. I wore it the other night to choir rehearsal, and it was fine.

I really like this shade of camel, it seems to have less yellow in it, so I think it works okay for my cool undertones. I also wore a white tee near my face, which helps. And I love how it coordinates with my snake print sneakers.

VERDICT: keeping! (This sweater was $44 when I bought it, so again, I’d recommend waiting for a better price.)

also wearing: Madewell 9″ skinnies with NYC t-shirt and Vince snake print sneakers (similar for less)

J.Crew Vanessa Sweater-Jacket (size S) // The sweater jacket is a big thing this season. It’s basically a glorified cardigan, and it incorporates that menswear-inspired vibe that is on trend right now. This one is a smoother, dressier knit — perfect for work wear.

Dressier cardigans can read frumpy, and this sweater jacket is a bit more polished and sophisticated. It’s a nice layering piece for those who are always cold inside but don’t want to keep a moto jacket or blazer on all day.

VERDICT: Returning, but I think this is a nice piece. I just don’t see myself reaching for it.

As far as the price, I paid $78, and it’s currently $79.99, so I can’t say for sure whether it will go down more or not, but it may. On the one hand, I feel like $79 is a lot for J.Crew Factory, but this is a quality piece and would probably go for that if it were Caslon or Halogen.

also wearing: Madewell 9″ skinnies with NYC t-shirt and Vince snake print sneakers (similar for less)

Madewell 9″ Mid-Rise Skinny Jeans in Pendale Wash (size 29R) // Madewell is known for doing quality denim that has good shape retention, and these are really nice on. I thought these looked like a nice alternative to the AG and Mother brand skinnies I often wear, so I wanted to try them out.

I feel like the fit is really flattering, and it’s a nice even mid-indigo wash that is more casual than dressy. The 9″ rise is high enough to be on trend, but still flattering on those of us who are short-waisted. The material is soft and stretchy and very comfortable.

VERDICT: Returning because I don’t need them, but I recommend trying them if you are looking for a pair like this. These are definitely a solid choice for a casual skinny jean without any distressing. They’re TTS, or size up if in between.

also wearing: NYC t-shirt and Vince snake print sneakers (similar for less)

So I decided to try something with these jeans . . . I also ordered them in petite.

The inseam on the regular pair shown above is 28.5″, and the inseam on the petite pair is 26″.

A 28.5″ inseam is ankle-length on me, and typically hits right at my ankle bone. This is a nice length for wearing with loafers, ballet flats, pumps, sneakers, and sandals. Most of the jeans in my closet are this length.

But they don’t work so well with booties, especially the higher shaft booties that are so on trend right now.

Here are some more pictures wearing the petite jeans with these higher shaft ankle boots. I still needed a tiny cuff, but it avoids that big thick cuff that we were all doing 3 or 4 years ago. This helps keep the skinnies current as straight styles are making a comeback.

If you go with a shorter inseam on your jeans, you have to compensate by wearing a higher rise (these would probably look better in a 10″ rise, but the 9″ is okay) AND you have to wear a shorter top (or front tuck.)

I think this works . . . what say you?

Madewell Petite 9″ Mid-Rise Skinny Jeans in Pendale Wash (size 29P) // Everything I said about the regular pair applies here. They’re a nice soft mid-weight denim in a clean mid-indigo wash, and I really like this 26″ length for wearing with booties.

VERDICT: Keeping! (P.S. These also come in tall.)

also wearing: Madewell Donegal Evercrest Turtleneck Sweater in Coziest Yarn with Vince Ridley booties (old)

Madewell Donegal Evercrest Turtleneck Sweater in Coziest Yarn (size M) // This sweater is very similar to one I had from Madewell last season that I loved, and I think the wide ribbing and rolled hems with the donegal knit is so pretty. I was undecided, so I ordered both the grey and pink.

I went ahead and ordered the medium because the one I had last year ran small, but I’m not sure I needed to size up in this one. I should have ordered a small to compare, especially since returns to Madewell are free for Insiders, but ya know… hindsight is 20/20.

SALE ALERT >> Save 20% off $100+ at Madewell with code NEWLEAF! (Exclusions apply.)

VERDICT: Holding onto these for the moment, and I’m going to order the small to compare.

also wearing: black AG skinnies (similar for less) and black cherry TB Minnie suede ballet flats

The Petite Perfect Vintage Jean in Ainsworth Wash (size 29P) // Because I’m a glutton for punishment, I also ordered these crop straight jeans. These are a thicker, stiffer denim, to give them that trendy vintage vibe.

I don’t know why I keep trying crop straight jeans. I just don’t really like them, but I’m also somewhat obsessed with figuring out how to make them work. I dont think these booties are right for this look. I would prefer something with a taller, slimmer shaft. The grey ones I wore above are probably too wide.

See? So many factors. Fashion is hard, yo!

VERDICT: Returning, but if you like this style, these are some of the better ones I’ve tried.

Madewell Houndstooth Sweater Coat in Coziest Yarn (size S) // This is another sweater coat, but this one is HUGE! To me, this looks a lot more like outerwear than the J.Crew version I showed above.

I could try the XS to compare, but it’s pretty thick, and I think I’d only wear it once or twice and then end up reaching for a moto jacket instead, so I think I’ll just return it.

TIP: Sign up to be a Madewell Insider for free shipping and returns on all orders!

That said, I don’t think I did it justice with my styling. Before I send it back, I want to try it with a turtleneck and booties, just to see how that looks. I’ll post pix!

also wearing: Madewell 9″ skinnies with NYC t-shirt and Vince snake print sneakers (similar for less)

Old Navy Relaxed Cardi Coat (size S) // For comparison’s sake, here’s a sweater coat I ordered from Old Navy. See, I told you this was a sweater parade!!!

This one is definitely more cardi than coat, which I like. The rust color is nice for fall, although not my best color for sure. This seems to have warmer undertones, so would be nice on a lady with, well… warmer undertones. It also comes in black and heather grey, which definitely would work better for me.

It’s a tight knit, not super soft but not scratchy either, and I like the subtle ribbed detailing and the small lapels.

SALE ALERT >> Get an additional 20% off your Old Navy order with code SWEET.

VERDICT: Returning because it’s not my best color; I like it, though. I might get it in black and return the J.Crew Factory one. This more casual style suits my lifestyle better.

also wearing: Madewell 9″ skinnies with NYC t-shirt and Vince snake print sneakers (similar for less)

Old Navy Textured-Stitch Boat-Neck Tunic Sweater (size S) // This sweater is very comfortable and soft, but I don’t love the length on me. It actually looks better in pictures than it did in person. I felt very schlumpy in this.

That said, if you like longer sweaters, this one is very comfortable, and the high/low split ribbed hem is a nice detail.

VERDICT: Returning.

also wearing: black AG skinnies (similar for less) and snake print mules

Old Navy Rib-Knit V-Neck Sweater (size S) // This is actually the same sweater C wore in our post earlier this week. She has the camel one, and it was so cute on her, I decided to order this hot pink to try.

It’s just a little too long for my liking these days. For some reason it looked better on her. Maybe because she was wearing heeled booties? Anyway, I think I’m sending it back, but it’s cute and nice quality for Old Navy.

also wearing: black AG skinnies (similar for less) and snake print mules

Daily Ritual Women’s Wool Blend Turtleneck Sweater Dress (size M) // This dress is from Amazon. I typically like their Daily Ritual brand and feel like it’s a good value for the price.

This dress is cute, but it’s a very thin knit, or rather a loose weave. Basically, it feels and looks a little cheap. That said, it’s a nice length and fits really well, and I like the relaxed cowl neck and waffle texture to the knit.

I just can’t say how it will wear through the day; I have a hard time believing it will hold its shape.

VERDICT: Returning, I’d rather spend more on one that’s better quality.

sizing note: If ordering, definitely size up if in between — the medium fits me perfectly. And it also comes in a bunch of other colors.

also wearing: Cole Haan Willa Knee High Boots

Lark & Ro Women’s Merino Wool Long Sleeve V Neck Sweater (size S) // Lark & Ro is another Amazon Fashion brand that I’ve had success with, and this sweater is a nice quality. It’s a thin gauge 100% merino wool, so a nice classic wardrobe piece, but it’s on the thinner side.

This sweater runs verrry small, though. Definitely size up.

VERDICT: Returning, too small, and I don’t really need it.

also wearing: black AG skinnies (similar for less) and snake print mules

J.Crew Mockneck Sweater in Supersoft Yarn in Spicy Jade (size M) // I had this sweater last year in pink, and I loved it, but it was pretty snug so I ended up passing it on to a friend at the end of the season. Well, it’s back this year, so I ordered the medium in this gorgeous jade green.

It’s verrrry soft and cozy, fits close to the body without clinging, and I love the knit detail at the shoulders and sides. Also, yay for on-shoulder seams! (As opposed to the drop sleeve style that is so popular right now.)

VERDICT: Keeping!

P.S. This sweater is currently 35% off with code WEARNOW.

also wearing: black AG skinnies (similar for less) and snake print mules

Cole Haan Willa Knee High Boot (size 8.5) // The pointed toe, knee-high boot is making a comeback, and I’m here for it! I think this look is so flattering,

I ordered these boots after seeing them on someone’s blog, I can’t remember who it was. They’re pricey, but they were sale when I ordered them. They have that Cole Haan Nike Air insole… sooooooo comfortable, ohmyword.

There’s a subtle western styling present here, which is very much on trend at the moment. My only complaint is, they’re a pull-on style, so kind of slouchy and not very fitted through the calf. I think that’s also part of the current trend, but I prefer a more fitted boot with a zipper.

VERDICT: Undecided. I love the styling, and they look good from the back and sides, but front-on they look a little weird to me in the calf area. That said, the comfort alone is enough to sell me on them.

I just keep thinking about our messy winters and how often I have to forego my suede boots for leather or weatherproof options, and I’m afraid I won’t get a good cost per wear out of these.

also wearing: J.Crew Mockneck Sweater in Supersoft Yarn in Spicy Jade (size up) with grey skinnies (similar)

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45 Responses

    1. I wear “legging jeans” or “super skinny” styles that are very tight to the leg. My boots just slide on over them, I really don’t do much except maybe wiggle my pants down if they get pushed up when I pull the boots on. Also, shorter jeans work best so you don’t have material in that ankle area pushing the whole leg up. In the winter, I often pull socks on over my jeans, and that really helps hold them down.

  1. So many great sweater options – thanks for all the try ons! Also, I am 5’4” and have sometimes ordered petite length in jeans and pants to get the right length for the shoes or boots I want to wear with them. I usually have to go up a size for fit. Unfortunately not too many designer jeans come in petite, so I will take a look at Madewell!

  2. You know, the cropped straight jeans are kind of confusing, but today (and maybe everybody else has already realized this but me) I looked at your pictures and instantly thought they just are another incarnation of boyfriend jeans, and boyfriend jeans really require a specific type of styling. But it seems like the straight crops are intended to be worn styled as regular jeans? I don’t think that’s really going to work on most women’s bodies! I do like that big gray sweater coat–it’s just a little big on you. But it looks really cool to me. Thanks for doing so much trying on for us!!

    1. They straight crop is rather similar to boyfriend jeans, yes. They definitely require a specific type of styling – shorter tops, for sure, which most of us don’t have a lot of b/c the longer, more relaxed tops have been on trend for so long b/c they work so well with skinnies. And then they also look best with a higher shaft bootie or mule, and a lot of us have the lower shaft booties with split shafts, etc. This is one reason I struggle to style them, I don’t really have the right components to make an outfit.

      Either we will all gradually shift to the different styles, or this trend will die without really taking hold in the mainstream areas. I read that they’ve been popular in urban areas for several years, but I am only now just seeing the younger fashion bloggers (even the ones in NYC) wearing them this season.

  3. Hi I love your fashion and it helps to see how you pair items together. It helps me because I have a hard time with that. I was wondering what your thoughts were on thigh high boots and if you ever wear them and how to put them together with an outfit. Thank you for your blog! 

  4. Thanks so much for always posting what size you are wearing . It’s a huge help when ordering items online . Loved this post!

  5. Great try on haul. It’s like a fashion show. I bought the old navy boat neck tunic sweater in the camel color but in the xs. It wasn’t as messy as the small fit. I also like Hope , have to usually size up when buying a petite ( I’m 5’3) not sure why that is? Plus the petite sometimes gets too short in the crouch and I’m long waisted.
    Happy weekend 

  6. I’ve tried the straight cropped jeans and never liked the look. I always figure if I have to try Too hard to get a look right, it’s not for me. I do have some straight jeans though and am wearing them daily, at least until it’s boot weather then it’s skinnies again. 

    I love those boots! Sounds like they hit the trends ( western & knee), are super comfy, and stylish. ✅✅✅ I have noticed on other fashion bloggers that the shaft is too big. Perhaps, that’s part of the style? I like the look. It emphasizes your slim calves. 

  7. You keep trying the straight cropped jeans for the same reason I try skinny jeans.  They look great on other people but not on me!  They just don’t look like you.  Love the Madewell jeans on you.  Some great sweaters here!   Thanks for trying them and reporting back.   As much as I love love love Cole Haan and especially their comfort line, I agree about the books and they kind of pucker in the calf area.  

    1. Yep, thanks for confirming my thoughts on both points. 🙂 I will probably never love crop straight jeans, esp not the vintage styles. And while I want to love those boots, for that price, I need to keep looking.

  8. I’m a relatively new reader and just wanted to say I really enjoy these try on haul posts. I think I’m close to the same build  as you (not quite 5’4”, not quite 140, larger of bust) so seeing you in different items gives me an idea of how they might look on me.

    Dresses might not be so useful for your lifestyle, but I’d love to see you try more dresses, not necessarily fancy ones, but dresses one could wear to work in a casual/business casual office. Just in case you are looking for ideas!

    1. Hi Annalee, I’m so glad you’re enjoying them! I try to do these every Saturday. I have done some dress try-ons in the past, usually I do more in summer for some reason. I will try to work some fall/winter dresses in next time. 🙂

  9. Love the Anthro Vera cardigan – looks great on you! Sadly (or maybe for the best since I need to cut back on my shopping) my size is not available.
    I agree on the Cole Haan boots, cute from the side but the slouchy look around the calf doesn’t look right.

  10. My favorites are the leopard Cardi, jade sweater and the pink sweater. All are great fits on you! It’s very helpful to hear your reasoning behind making your decisions. I’m on the hunt for a nice camel cardigan with cooler undertones and preferably in petite options. If you or your readers find a good one please let me know. All that I find are too yellowy or too long and frumpy for my liking.

  11. I love sweaters soooo much!  Thanks for sharing all of yours.  I love these posts! I especially love that leopard cardigan and the JCrew mock neck in Jade on you.  Gorgeous!

  12. My husband just cringed when he saw me reading your post. Nothing bad though, he just sees the bank account getting a little lighter. Our new dress code at work allows us to wear nice jeans. I am swooning over the sweaters, especially the second grey and white one. Thanks for sharing some of these ideas, I can use them for the holiday season.

  13. You tried on several things I’ve had my eye on including the JCrew puff sleeve sweater and the JCrew Factory super soft cardigan in camel. I’ve also been looking at those a Madewell skinnies.  My proportions are really similar to yours so thanks for modeling those items! I am so wary of the puff and blouson sleeves that are everywhere. I look so top heavy.  Right now we are waiting for our power to be turned off – again – in the Bay Area.  We are lucky to be safe though.

    1. Yes, they can make you look more top-heavy, esp if you already lean that way. This J.Crew Factory one is really good tho!

      Glad you’re safe, but being without power is a PITA. I hope it isn’t for long.

  14. Great job! Your try on sessions are so helpful. I especially appreciate you sharing why you like them or what the issue is with the item! I ordered the olive puff sleeve sweater and think it will look great at Thanksgiving here in Colorado for Christmas photos!

  15. Love the green J Crew sweater on you, perfect color!
    I’ve found that those straight crops work well with a sock bootie so it lengthens your leg. When it’s warmer I stick to mules or another shoe that exposes a lot of skin. 

  16. Well, I’m certainly late to the party on this one, but I LOVED this try on haul!  Such great sweater info!  I really enjoy all the combo’s you provide of sweater styles, jean colors and footwear.  Very helpful.  I think my fav is the leopard cardigan, it’s so chic looking with the black jeans & heels.  Last year I picked up a chenille cardigan that Cyndi had styled & loved it!  However; I discovered one downside to chenille, it left fuzz all over my seatbelt!  The next time I went to put my seatbelt on, fuzz all over & it transferred to the top I was wearing……not sure if anyone else has had that problem, but I’m careful of my sweater fabric now!  

  17. I was looking at jeans just this morning and was wondering if I ordered the shorter length if it would work out better with booties!! Too funny! Great minds think alike!! 🤪

  18. Hi Jo-Lynne
    Great post. As a size 14, and short waisted pear, I look for cowl and vneck sweaters that aren’t tunics or boxy, as that will overwhelm my frame. I took AYW and still hear KS voice about turtlenecks, lol!!!!

    Can you do a future post for short waisted with interesting neckline, not crew or turtle? I don’t want my face floating above the sweater with no neck!!

    Love your photos and descriptions you rock this!!!

  19. I was wondering if the Madewell jeans you bought stretch out?  I always buy the jeans you recommend.  But I do have a Madewell in a different style in size 28.  But they could just run larger.  Thanks for always having such great try-ons.

    Thanks again,

  20. Thanks, Jo-Lynne! This is all very helpful. I am petite (5’1”) with a short torso, larger chest and longer legs for my height. It is really hard to find clothes in stores so I mostly order online…I am in a wardrobe revision phase and I really appreciate your ideas!

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