Happy Monday, friends! I have a winter fashion try-on haul for you today, with a bunch of cozy sweaters and holiday dresses. There are also a couple pairs of pants in here, and those Dolce Vita Petya Boots came in, and they’re really good!
SIZING NOTES: I’m 5’5″ and I usually wear a small in tops and dresses, a 28 or 29 in jeans, and a size 8 shoe.
I placed a big LOFT order on Cyber Monday, with a bunch of dresses and sweaters and a random pair of pants. Let’s start with the dresses. Also, LOFT is doing a Mystery Deal promo right now, and mine came up 50% off! Hopefully that will happen for you too.
LOFT Star Tie Waist Dress
I’m not sure why I ordered this dress; this style never works for me, but it would be cute on someone… Maybe a pear body type? I’m not really sure, but it doesn’t really do much for my hourglass shape because it obscures my waist. I think you can see what I mean in the shot below.
The quality is also a little lacking, but that’s my personal hangup. I do like the concept of the sheer overlay with velvety stars and the attached spaghetti strap slip lining.
Shoe Styling Note: While booties are the most trendy shoe pairing for dresses this season, I opted for suede pumps. I just like this more traditional styling better, at least for me.
VERDICT: I’m returning, but it’s definitely worth considering if you like this style!
LOFT Cardigan Midi Dress
I love the concept of this cardigan-inspired midi length sweater dress, but it’s kind of bulky and shapeless. Maybe I should size down, but I wouldn’t want it to be too clingy. The fabric (47% Nylon, 29% Acrylic, 20% Cotton, 4% Spandex) isn’t super soft, but it isn’t itchy either. I don’t hate it, but I also don’t love it, so I sent it back.
Shoe Styling Note: This time I did wear ankle boots because this dress is a little more modern than the one above, and ankle boots are in line with that. And also, the longer dress doesn’t expose so much bare leg as the shorter styles do, so I don’t feel so out of balance.
LOFT Fair Isle Sweater Dress
This sweater dress is much more my style! I’ve always preferred my dresses to hit just above the knee, and I love the bold black and white pattern. Plus, the fair isle style is classic for winter and also very much on trend right now.
The fabric is a soft and spongy knit (55% Cotton, 22% Polyester, 19% Acrylic, 4% Spandex) that feels soft and cozy against the skin. There’s no wool content, so it isn’t itchy at all, and it feels and looks like nice quality.
I like how it’s not too form-fitting, but not oversized either. Even though they describe it as a shift style, it seems to be cut with some shape through the waist.
Shoe Styling Note: Again, booties are the trendy shoe pairing for dresses this season, but I prefer a knee boot on me. While my body type is more of an hourglass, I’m almost an inverted triangle because my shoulders are slightly wider than my hips, so I generally prefer a bulkier shoe on the bottom to create a more pleasing balance.
I guess I should have tried both types of boots to compare for you, but I just know this by now, so I went right to these suede wedge knee boots from Talbots.
VERDICT: I was going to keep it, but I may return it. Keep reading to find out why…
LOFT Jeweled Button Neck Sweater Dress
Here’s another sweater dress option, and I actually wore this one on Saturday to a women’s Christmas event with our church. This one is also a soft and spongy knit (48% Acrylic 30% Nylon 8%Polyester 6% Spandex 5% Metallic 3% Wool) but I did notice a slight itch factor that wasn’t there in the black and white one above.
I also don’t feel like it looks or feels as high quality. This one is primarily acrylic, and the one above is primarily cotton, so that is important to note for those who are particular about fabric composition.
In spite of that, I love the jeweled shoulder buttons and the way it’s designed on top with the lines in the fabric. And in this case, I much prefer the dress with tights. It’s something about the way the black boots, bare legs, and green dress chops up the look.
Whereas with the black dress, the black boots bookend the look, so even without the tights, it looks somewhat cohesive. With that one, I could go either way.
VERDICT: Keeping, already wore it! I will say, though, you can probably size down if you tend to run in between sizes.
Sweater Dress Comparison
So I thought this was an interesting comparison…
See how the lines at the top of the green dress are designed to point up and in? That makes my shoulders appear narrower than they are, which is a good thing for those of us with broader shoulders. If you’re a pear, that might not be ideal for you.
Now, let’s compare to the black and white fair isle pattern. See how the white yoke extending out makes my shoulders look more broad?
Here’s a side-by-side comparison. I like both, and I actually prefer the black and white color palette, but I decided to return the black and keep the green because it’s more flattering.
The green is also a little more festive for the holidays — both due to the color, but also the hint of metallic thread throughout and the jeweled buttons.
Of course, I could keep both, but I don’t have a lot of opportunities to wear dresses, and I still have the Talbots one I haven’t worn yet.
Anyway, I thought that little comparison might be helpful… At least I found it interesting!
Winter Sweaters & Pants
Alrighty, moving on to sweaters and pants…. some of these are from LOFT, and then I have a few random Nordstrom finds at the end as well.
LOFT Riviera Slim Pants in Brushed Ponte
These pants are a mid-rise, ankle length slim pant, and the fabric is a brushed ponte. It feels like a heavy knit or a sort of flannel. They’re very soft against the skin and have a good bit of stretch, which makes them very comfortable.
I thought this Heather Camel color would be nice for winter, but I had trouble finding tops to pair with them. This sweater was the best I could come up with from my order, but I think they would work better with a blouse of some sort. I feel like this outfit is pretty frumpalicious.
VERDICT: Returning. These are a nice option if you need work wear, but I don’t really see myself reaching for them, and I don’t have a lot to go with them at the moment.
Now watch how I take the same sweater and throw it on with a great pair of jeans and boots, and it suddenly looks so much more stylish and fun…
LOFT Striped Fair Isle Turtleneck Sweater
Suddenly, this is like a whole different sweater! I love the striped fair isle pattern for a change from the typical fair isle yoke, and these colors are such pretty winter neutrals.
The contrasting ribbed turtleneck is soft and comfortable, and the contrasting ribbed cuffs and hem are nice details as well. What I don’t love about the sweater is the length; I wish it were shorter. I tried a front tuck, and it works, but you lose the contrasting hem of the sweater.
This sweater is a great option for those who can’t do wool. The fabric is 51% Nylon 29% Acrylic 16% Cotton 4% Spandex, and it’s very comfortable and soft and cozy.
I like the muted tones with the light wash jeans, but there are some deeper shades of grey and black throughout, so I tried pairing it with washed black denim for another styling option.
I like this too, but I struggled with footwear. The classic, somewhat preppy fair isle sweater didn’t quite seem to jibe with the Western boots, so I went back to my closet and found these lug sole boots from last season.
I feel like these styles work together better, although there’s probably nothing wrong with the Western boots either.
These boots are super cute with the buckle detail, but these jeans don’t really stay down over top the boots when I sit down and stand up again. Longer jeans would be better, but I’d still wear this outfit as-is.
VERDICT: Keeping this sweater for sure! I’ll keep playing with other styling options.
LOFT Striped Relaxed V-Neck Sweater
I’ve had my eye on this sweater for a while, although I meant to order the pink version. It’s just okay to me; I like the shape of the v-neck, but the wide stripes and drop shoulders seem to make me look bigger on top, and it’s longer than I prefer.
VERDICT: Returning. I didn’t even try the front-tuck or any other denim options. I don’t think the color palette does much for me, and there are other sweaters in this shipment that I prefer.
Dolce Vita Petya Boots (8)
Let’s take a break from sweaters to discuss these boots! I love them, that heel is so fun, and the slightly squared off toe looks modern and also makes them slightly less dressy than the pointy toe booties in my closet.
They’re very comfortable, and they have a high, soft, slim shaft that’s easy to slip under any style of denim. It would even work with most skinnies.
Unfortunately, they run smaller than my other Dolce Vita boots, so I ordered the 8.5 to compare. They’re also pretty snug, so they’re probably best for ladies with slimmer ankles and narrower feet.
LOFT Geo Mock Neck Sweater
I love the colors in this sweater, and the traditional set-in sleeves. (Drop shoulder sleeves add extra bulk through the shoulders that I don’t need.)
The mock neck is cozy and also soft and not restricting, and the fabric (48% Acrylic 28% Nylon 10% Polyester 10% Wool 4%) is fairly soft and comfortable, but there is that 4% wool, so it might not be the best choice for those who are sensitive.
But why is it so long???? I am surprised at how long all of these sweaters are, actually. I guess they’re only 24″, and they used to run 25″ and 26″ a few year ago when we were all wearing lower rises, but still…
The answer, of course, is a front tuck… I just don’t always like the front tuck with sweaters that fit this close to the body.
It’s not a deal breaker, but just something to be aware of. And if you’re someone who does like the longer lengths, you may love these options!
I like the way this sweater looks with the light wash bootcut jeans, but it also looks great with white. Take a look!
VERDICT: Keeping. Even though it’s a little longer than I prefer, I love everything else about this sweater, and it was a great price.
LOFT Fair Isle Yoke Sweater
As soon as I pulled this sweater on, it felt smaller and more constricting than the ones before. I also don’t love this mint color in person; it looks kind of garish to me, and the neck is kind of high and tight.
You also might want to know, the fabric is 67% Acrylic 30% Nylon 3% Wool, so word of warning to those who can’t wear wool.
VERDICT: Returning, not my favorite.
Nordstrom Zigzag Crewneck Sweater
So many fair isle sweaters, so little time… ha! This one is the Halogen brand from Nordstrom, and when I pulled it on, I immediately liked the more relaxed fit and slightly shorter length. Even though it says 24″ like all the LOFT ones, it’s about an inch shorter, and that inch makes a big difference.
The colors on this are really pretty too, and I felt like it was begging to be paired with white denim.
I also tried it with black jeans and black boots, to repeat the black from the fair isle design, and this works too, but they look really heavy to me. I definitely prefer it with the white, and I think I’ll like it with blue jeans as well.
VERDICT: Keeping! This one is really cute, and I think I’ll reach for it a lot
LOFT Champagne Sweater
Okay, last one from LOFT… This is a fun one for a NYE event when you want to be cozy but still look festive, but you probably wouldn’t get a lot of wear out of it.
I like it with the straight ankle jeans and pumps, but for another styling option, here’s how it looks with darker black ankle flares and booties.
VERDICT: I know I would only wear it once, plus I want to wear sequins on NYE, so I’m returning this sweater. Still, it’s a cute one if it’s something you need!
Jenni Kayne Cashmere Cocoon Cardigan
Well, this was a bust… I told you all I caved and ordered the coveted Jenni Kayne cashmere cocoon cardigan during their Cyber Monday promo. It finally came in, and it is HUGE! I probably should have ordered the XS to compare, I knew it ran big, but this is crazy oversized.
I would want to be able to wear it as a pullover, front tucked like this… but it ‘s just way too much fabric, and it’s also too low cut. So yeah…
VERDICT: Returning. I’m actually kind of relieved I don’t like it because it’s a chunk of change, even on sale. I’ll stick with my two Jenni Kayne fisherman sweaters and call it a day!
Paige Claudine High Waist Ankle Flare Velvet Pants (29)
This is random, but I ordered these ankle flare velvet pants, thinking they would be a nice alternative to coated denim for holiday looks.
With some accessories, this could be a really fun holiday look. I feel like it’s both classic and modern at the same time.
VERDICT: Still deciding on these… I’ll probably keep the tags and see if I reach for them or not. Since I got them at Nordstrom, I have a few months to decide, but I’ll make a decision before Christmas. If I do keep them, they would also be nice for Valentine’s Day diner out.
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