Winter Fashion Try-On Haul

Happy Friday, friends. I hope you can take some time this weekend to unplug and decompress. Meanwhile, this is my first Try-On Haul of 2021!

I’ve got styles from Talbots, J/Slides, Sam Edelman, Mother Denim, and more.

winter 2021 try on haul: talbots, sam edelman, jslides, mother jeans, and more

Let’s dive right in. For size reference, I’m 5’5″ and 135 pounds-ish, and I usually take a 6/28 in pants/jeans, a small in tops, and size 8 shoe.

Winter Try-On Haul: Talbots, J/Slides, Mother Denim, Sam Edelman & More!

I was drawn to the bright, fresh colors at Talbots this month. They’re the first retailer I noticed to bring out a whole new line for the new year. Even better, they are doing 30% off new arrivals, and everything featured here is included.

Talbots Supersoft Sorbet Stripe Sweatertripe sorbet sweater

sweater (S) // jeans (28) // mules (size up half)

This stripe sweater is soft and comfortable, and I appreciate the length of the sleeves. I also think the contrast ribbed trim at the neck and the rolled edges on the cuffs and hem are nice details, but I could do without the drop shoulders.

When I do these posts, I like to style the pieces with things I might wear from my closet, and this is the best I could do… I’m not sure I love it with the grey jeans, though. I actually think it would be nice with white jeans, but I didn’t think to try that at the time.

And while I love the white loafer mules, they seem a little out of place with this look. I think I’d prefer a bootie or maybe even a sneaker… definitely something that covers more of the foot.

In my perfect world, this sweater would be maybe an inch shorter in body length, but I think it will look fine when I wear shoes that are closer to the color of the pants and visually extend the line of the leg for more of a balanced look.

VERDICT: Keeping!

Talbots Microfleece Funnel Neck Top

top (S) // jeans (28) // sneakers

I thought this microfleece mockneck top would be fun for a casual, sporty look. I threw it on with the grey jeans because that’s what I was wearing, and I like it fine, but I wish I’d shown it with blue jeans. I like ivory a lot with light or mid-wash jeans.

This top is soft and comfortable, and it’s a thinner fleece, which I like for a more elevated feel, but it does run a tad small. I think it fits well and looks good, but it felt kind of small and constricting to me when I was wearing it. I didn’t keep it on long enough to determine if I’d get used to it or not, but I think I probably would. It also comes in a bunch of other fun, fresh colors.

VERDICT: I did return it, because I’m afraid I won’t reach for it, knowing how it felt a bit constricting. I do think it would be cute with a bright colored vest on top… maybe I should have held onto it. Sometimes I get so anxious to clear out my office, I get rid of stuff and later regret the decision.

Speaking of which… I wanted to photograph this Athleta Inlet Jacket before I returned it, and I totally forgot. D’oh! I’ve ordered some other running/workout jackets at various price points, and I wanted to share them all with you for a review/comparison post. #ooops

Okay back to Talbots…

Talbots Cozy Cowlneck Stripe Tunic

top (S) // jeans (28) // sneakers

Okay, this is interesting… same jeans and same sneakers as the outfit above, and almost the identical stance and camera position… and I think I look 10 pounds heavier (not to mention frumpier) in the stripe cowl neck.

Why? It’s all about the body length. The striped cowlneck top hits at the widest part of my hips, right where my thighs touch.

I’ll never have a thigh gap, and I’m okay with that, but the last thing I want to do is call attention to that part of my anatomy.

Otherwise, I think this top is super cute, and it is soooo soft and cozy.

VERDICT: returning. I think it would work well for some ladies, just not me.

Mother The Looker Fray Hem Ankle Skinny Jeans

jeans (28) // sweater (S) // sneakers

I’m not sure why I ordered these jeans because they’re so much like my AG Farrahs, but they were on sale, and I had a pair of Mother Looker skinnies before I lost weight that I loved.

I do like the wash on these a lot, and they are incredibly comfortable — thick and soft with just enough stretch to hug your curves and feel good on.

But, they’re too long for most of my shoes (read: sneakers) and I don’t want to cut them because I really like the hem detail.

I feel like if I cut them, they will look just like the AG Farrahs from Bloomies that I wear all the time. (I did cut those, but I didn’t mind because they didn’t have a chewed hem.)

But these do fit and flatter in an amazing way, and they’re still on sale. So if they have your size, and the 28″ inseam is a good length for you, I highly recommend them.

VERDICT: Returning, for the reasons mentioned above. However, I would recommend them.

Sam Edelman Women’s Clarem Square Toe High Heel Tall Boots

boots (8) // jeans (28) // sweater (S)

Still on the hunt for dressy knee-high suede boots, after the Blondo pair didn’t work out.

These are very comfortable, but not weatherproof, which is what I really wanted. But I do have black leather knee-high boots I can wear in inclement weather, so maybe these don’t need to be.

They’re also very tall, the shaft comes right up to my knee. I don’t know if I like that or not. I definitely like how they fits close to my calves. I have narrow calves, and this is always an issue for me.

My biggest concern, though, is that square toe. I like it, but it’s trendy, so I’m not sure these have a lot of staying power.

I really don’t have anywhere to wear them right now, unless I wear them to church once or twice before spring. If they look dated next year, I won’t get a very good cost per wear… although I did snag them when they were on sale for $100, so there’s that.

I do like them, though… I guess I should try them with a dress to make sure I like them both ways.

VERDICT: Undecided. What do y’all think? Keep, or return and wait ’till next year?

J/Slides Tristan Faux Fur Platform Sneaker Bootie (8)

at Nordstrom // at Bloomies // at Zappo’s // jeans (28) // sweater (S)

I had debated these up and down and all around, and finally bit the bullet when they went on major sale last week.

Guys, these bootie/sneaker things are SO SO COMFORTABLE!!! They are lined with faux fur, and they’ve got a leather, cushioned insole that is like walking on clouds.

My 15-year old tried them on, and she is obsessed too. They do need to be treated b/c of the light color, but otherwise, I really like them. I wasn’t sure I would, but they have a casual/cool vibe that I like a lot.

You can roll them down too, if you want, but I didn’t try that b/c my jeans are cropped.

I didn’t like how they looked with the light jeans and dark sweater, though, so I switched into this ivory sweater… which was going to be in this try-on haul, but it sold out.

It was one of my 360 Cashmere deals at Nordstrom Rack for like 60% off.

I like this better, but I think they would also look good with a more casual sweatshirt.

They run true to size, and they are still on sale, so if you like them, grab them now. They also come in black, which I debated ordering, but I like this taupe a lot.

VERDICT: Keeping!

More Looks with the Mother Tomcat Straight Ankle Jeans

at Shopbop // at Bloomies

I promised more looks with the Mother Tomcat straight ankle jeans, so I’ve finally got those ready to share!

I actually took these pictures on two different dates, which is why the white balance is so inconsistent. The lighting in my room is weird, and my iPhone seems to have a mind of its own. Even when I take several pictures in a row, the white balance can look very different, but when they’re on different days entirely, forgetaboutit.

I still don’t love them, but they do look better with shorter sweaters untucked, I think. Here are a few different ways I tried them…

With a camo crewneck sweater (old) and Marc Fisher Yale Chelsea boots

This feels a little too masculine to me; does that make sense? I also think the sweater is still a tad too long to really get “the look” just right.

With the Leith dolman and Vince Henderson Chelsea boots

I feel like this should work, in theory, but I dunno.

With a pink crewneck sweater and Aquatalia sock boots… Maybe I should have tried this sweater without the front tuck?

With a pink crewneck sweater and Vince Henderson Chelsea boots

Hmm… Not bad, could use a belt. And maybe a moto jacket.

Well, I think everything looks better with a moto jacket, ha!

Okay, and then this is the shorter sweater I had in mind, that I can leave untucked, but I feel like I just gained 5 pounds in my face. Not sure if that is the sweater, the camera angle, or bloat… lol!

It looks okay from this angle… I do think the length of the sweater works, but maybe an open neckline would be more flattering.

Some of you mentioned these jeans might work better with a more casual sneaker look, so I threw on these Golden Goose I’m trying out…

I dunno, this denim and sneaker combo is a little too too tomboy for me.

I think at the end of the day, these jeans are an awkward length on me. They’re too long for the trendy cropped/ankle look, and they’re just a tad too short for a modern full-length straight style.

Usually in this case, a cuff is a good idea, but I’m just not loving it here… at least not with these sneakers.

I thought maybe a different sweater would help, and I do like the hoodie better than the turtleneck… at least with the sneakers.

Is it me, or does my tush look HUGE in these jeans? I think it’s those Mother pockets. They are very large.

Look at the same outfit with skinnies…

Granted, these are cropped, and they kind of emphasize my hips. I wanted to try them with my rag & bone Cates, which are an inch or two longer, but they were in the wash.

I really wish I had a rear view pic for this combo, but I don’t. It would be interesting to compare.

So while we’re here, let me show you one other option I tried. These are the Agolde Toni straight ankle jeans, from last year.

Admittedly, I haven’t worn them much, but I keep them around because they’re more on trend than my usual skinnies, but not as high rise as most straight ankle/crop styles are these days.

I wish I had tried them with the navy hoodie, but I happened to have on this ivory sweater when I thought to try them with the sneakers.

Last year, I wore them with my Veja sneakers and a pink cowl neck to the mall, and I really felt good in that look.

I don’t know why I don’t wear them more often… probably because they go best with shorter sweaters, and I don’t have many.

ANYWAY! That’s it for today. I didn’t mean to go on so many tangents there at the end.

I admit, I kind of rushed through this, so if you have questions regarding size or fit on anything, feel free to ask in the comments. I will be around all day, so I’ll be able to reply and even update the post, if needed.

This post contains affiliate links. When you shop through my links, it helps support my business (at no additional cost to you) so thank you!

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44 Responses

  1. You are right: that cowl neck sweater would have been OK, EXCEPT seeing it next to the other top made it a big no. You look heavier because it’s not as fitted, the cowl neck adds bulk, and the length.  But that length could work for me as I am 3″ taller and the cowl neck would give me some bulk in the top where I have none.  So love that you try on things even if they don’t work out for you. I’m trying the Mother jeans with frayed hem as I need the 28″ inseam and that is hard to find.

  2. I have to admit my head is spinning with all your choices! HA!!! I was excited to finally see the Golden Goose sneaks, but you didn’t comment on them….how is the fit?? They look so cute. I like them best with the shorter, straight ankle jeans.

    1. Yeah, I’m not sure… the P448s are more comfortable, but maybe b/c I’ve broken them in? I like the more streamlined look, but it’s one of those things where I always love them on other people and then when I get them on, I’m not as excited as I thought I’d be, lol. For this price, I need to be Excited with a capital E!

  3. After looking at lots of  pics I think the best look with straight jeans is a dark, tight fitting top. Full tuck. I see lots of my millennial daughters friends in that look. 

      1. I would like to see that look–at a size 6 most of us think you would look good in any look, but we all know there are some looks that aren’t as good as others. But I am not liking those jeans on you, let alone me, so would be interested in seeing the recommended tight, dark top.

      2. I think the “trick” is to size up a full size from “ comfortable”. The “ too large” bottom when matched with a tight top is what I’ve found can make it work. My height and weight are chest are the same as yours. 

  4. IMHO The Mother Tomcat Straight  Ankle Jeans look worn and baggy in the knees. And, you’re right, they look kinda masculine. I believe if I have to work so hard to get a piece to look good, I probably won’t wear them much so I return. 
    I do love the cowl neck sweater, for me though. I’m 5’8” and small busted so I think it would flatter. Love the buttons on the side, the stripe and texture. 

      1. I agree with Joanna. I think the knees are just too baggy on these jeans. It’s difficult to find straight leg jeans that are still slim, if you know what I mean. I’m with you Jo-lynne, I love my skinnies and that’s what I wear.

  5. The comparison of the two Talbots sweaters and how the cowl neck one added visual weight was SO helpful. I really struggle with understanding why some outfits look good on me while others are not as flattering. I’m getting better since I found your blog. Thank you, thank you for these and all your tips! Hope you have a great weekend!

  6. Yes, the whole world seems to have tipped off its axis.  I heard on the radio one comment about “we have had a 7 days trial of 2021…. I’d like a refund!” and thought to myself “yup”.  Thank you for putting me onto Talbots!  I had never shopped there before or even considered it as an option for me before.  Sorry to say, I always pictured it as a place where my Mom and mother in law shop.  I am very pleasantly surprised!  I ordered two of the sweaters you featured: the slim fit black & white stripe turtleneck (for work) with gold buttons on the cuff and the funnel neck casual navy & white stripe sweater… and LOVE them!  I love the cotton sweaters.  So few places sell cotton sweaters. So, thank you!  Talbots is really good quality! The Sam Edelman suede knee high boots are lovely but could be trendy with the square toe box.  You gave the Mom Cat jeans a good college try – but no.  The back pockets are too large and other jean styles are far  more flattering on you.  Thank you for sharing though!  I learn a lot through what works and even more from what doesn’t work.  I have a similar body shape to you (although 10 lbs heavier sad to say) so learn from you.  Happy Friday!

  7. Thank you for all the try ons. Love it! My issue with the mother jeans is they just look like Mom jeans to me like we wore in late 90s. I just don’t like the look. I admire that you keep trying!

  8. I think you are too self critical.  Also not sure you were happy with any of the items you purchased.
    We have all had days like that

  9. I’m excited you are going to do a post on running jackets soon. There aren’t many out there that you can actually run in when it is below 30 degrees.  I’m curious why you are returning the Athleta Inlet jacket? I wanted to order it but it is out in my size in both colors. 

  10. Just a couple comments.  First, I’d wait on the black suede boots, if you even think the square toe won’t be around long. You know how this time of year is, our minds start thinking Spring by next month and like you said, you MIGHT wear them to church only a couple times. I’d just wear your leather ones for now and wait until you see whats out next Fall.  Second, I don’t like the Tomcat straight jeans at all. I think the length is awkward and they look like guy jeans to me.  I agree also that they make your back end look bigger and it probably is the large pockets. I don’t think I’d give them another thought. You look so much better in the more skinny jeans and I know we all think they are going out, but if the new styles don’t flatter, I’m not wearing them.  I heard a style of baggie jeans is coming?  Did you post that or Cyndi?  I’m not sure how that is going to go.  🙂  Enjoy your weekend.  I wish it would snow. I’m so tired of the dreary, warm, rainy days.  Snow, just would give a different feel, as we are stuck home so much anyways.  Snow just has that peaceful feel.  However, I do know those of you who have it for months on end think I’m crazy. 

  11. I am def in the minority here, but I love the “masculine” look of the Mother jeans and black boots.  I am not a fashion girlie girl and prefer masculine/tomboy fashion, so I loved it.😊

  12. I am in agreement with most of the readers who don’t like the Mother jeans here.  I think some of the outfits looked okay, but when you showed the back pockets…uh, no. They are way too big and distort the look. You look great in your skinny jeans, and you always look great in the right clothes. That pair isn’t working for you. And I am glad to hear you say that the GG shoes are not that comfortable. I haven’t even purchased the P448’s because my feet are finicky and they don’t even look comfortable. I have enough cool looking shoes in that category that work for me, so I really haven’t been tempted. 

  13. I just wanted to say THANK YOU for all of the effort you put into your posts! I especially love when you share pictures that may not be as flattering. It is much easier to see the reason why when you do the side-by-side comparisons. It is really helpful. I also really like how you “think through” your decision making process about whether or not you like an item enough to keep it. You are my favorite fashionista!

  14. Your comments were LOL funny. 

    I’ve been in the hunt for tall suede boots. First I tried a pair of Blondos from Zappos and I didn’t like the way they felt. Just returned the same SE you posted and something felt off about them as well. Doesn’t seem like there are a lot of options out there so will probably wait until next year. 

  15. I really had to chuckle with this try on post. I kind of like the Mother Looker jeans – then I priced them out with the pink sweater and the Golden Goose sneaks. YIKES let’s just say my budget can’t quite swing that so maybe a shop in my closet will work. Anyway, someone once said just have one pricey item in your outfit and you will look like a million bucks. Maybe that idea could be a future post for you??

  16. Great try on haul. I do agree with your keeps and returns,  Especially in the side by side pic… it helps as a reminder of our proportions when dressing. Sometimes I don’t think of that then look at a photo and wonder what was I thinking.. I’d try on the black boots with a sweater dress before making up your mind they are nice🤷‍♀️.

  17. Here’s my two cents……I agree with most of the other comments about the tomcat jeans. They are bad and I’m glad you’re not keeping them!! I totally agree with the masculine comment. With heeled boots they seem to short and the cuff was NOT good either. They do look baggy or something and even the wash is wonky to me.:{

    And for my second cent…I don’t like the chelsea boots either. The tall boots I don’t like either. Here lately when you’ve worn tall boots it just looks dated to me. I don’t know when it happened but all the sudden knee-high boots look weird to me. It’s kinda like we you notice something for the first time and then you can’t unsee it or see it the way you used to.

    Anyway, thanks for another great post and all the helpful information, not to mention the distraction from heavier subjects.

    Have a great weekend!

  18. I think you looked fabulous in the Mother Tomcat Straight Angle Jeans with the Leith dolman sweater and the Vince Henderson Chelsea Boots AND the twisted end Hair. I appreciate that you gave it a great try with all of the different combos. Those rear pockets would be a deal breaker for me…what were they thinking?

  19. My observations, for what it is worth…
    To begin with, you look great in everything because you are a beautiful lady, but I know, as a blogger, you are looking for the perfect look and fit to show!

    Horizontal stripes make everything look bigger, though you are right about the length, too.  
    The funnel neck sweater is very cute in the pics.  
    Sometimes trendy is not flattering.  It is an evil thing that designers do to us.  E.g.  square toed shoes/boots.  Occasionally  you have to decide between cute and cool.  Like this combat/hiking boot trend.  Very cool, but we all look llike our feet are three sizes bigger than they are.  
    As you noted, the straight leg pants are too short to be flattering and too long to be cool.  

    Thanks for continuing to try new things and different looks!

  20. I’m ordering the J/Slides bootie sneakers now. I believe I’ll treat them with a water/stain repellent because of the taupe color. I also purchased the Watson Dolce Vita high top suede bootie/sneakers from DSW that you showed last week. Love them! I purchased in black, so many compliments at work yesterday for casual Friday. You have the best recommendations, our taste is very similar and you make shopping from home so easy. Thank you! 

  21. Thank you for all of the work you put into your blog. I feel like I am out with a friend shopping without having to schlep along. You wear clothes that I like to wear without all the distraction of accessories. I also love how you give us glimpses of your life but the focus is on the clothes. Let’s hope that the beginning of 2021 is as bad as it’s gonna get this year. Like if 2020 was a bad habit and we are just taking the first 2-3 weeks of 2021 to backslide a little, and then we are like HOLD UP! Anyway, thanks again.

  22. I love your try on hauls!  I just don’t think these jeans work and not sure who they would work for!😂 The look seems extremely dated. Just don’t like how they come over your boots and they are too wide to cuff with your sneakers. Thanks for trying though!

  23. Guess I don’t understand the statement sneaker trend. Isn’t there a sneaker that doesn’t make a big foot (size 9 and up) look bigger than it already is?

  24. I’m sorry, I just don’t like the look of the straight-cut jeans on ANYone. It just never looks flattering, no matter how young/skinny/”on trend” the person wearing them may be. Give me skinny jeans or a well-fitting bootcut any day, regardless of the trends. I’m hoping the straight leg doesn’t stay popular too long!

    One big issue I have with all jeans is the ankle length being popular – I have really, really small calves/ankles, with long legs and feet, so having my ankles exposed can make me look like some kind of bird, as well as making the bottoms of the jeans look too wide. It drives me crazy!

    1. Yeah, I agree, and I have the same issue with the small ankles/calves. I’m about done trying. I know I have a fashion blog and need to keep on on trends, but I’d rather wear what looks good on me and try to make it as modern as possible with shoes and other parts of the outfit. And around here, I’m still seeing mostly skinnies on women my age anyway.

  25. Here I am a day late reading and responding to your post, again.  And I’m hunting, but, I am set up looking out a window in our home instead of sitting in a box in the woods.  The temp did not get out of the 40’s today with clouds, so it’s pretty dang cold.  Any way, the pretty stripped sweater is fabulous and makes me think of sherbet.  I agree that the stripped cowl- neck tunic does nothing for you.  I ordered a red chenille sweater from Talbots, but when I tried it on, it made me look even thicker than what I am, so I sent it back.  Regarding the sq. toe high heel tall boots – your commentary gives me the impression that you don’t love them, so I vote for sending them back.  I hope that you’ve had a fabulous day!

  26. I can see why you struggle with those jeans, you have so many that look GREAT on you I don’t think you should try so hard to make them work for you if you’re not really feeling them. At any rate, keep up the great content!

  27. I had actually liked the way the Mother jeans looked with that original outfit you posted a few days ago (with the cocoon coat), although like you mentioned, they seemed a bit too long with the boots. However, I didn’t think they looked that great in any of the pictures today. Definitely more of a masculine vibe (and this is coming from someone who loves boyfriend jeans, lol). I thought the Agolde were more flattering. They seemed like they had a slimmer fit, so maybe that’s why? I have the AG Mari, which I think is a straight leg, and I love them. My husband has actually complimented me on them, although he’s not a huge fan of the cropped hem.

    1. I tried those once in the dressing room, and kind of liked them, but didn’t think I’d really reach for them. They may be worth trying again. I think they’re this same awkward 27″ length, though. I’d hate to pay to have them hemmed shorter and still not like them.

  28. Just ordered the JSlide sneakers from Nordstrom! I was looking for something to coordinate with a shacket I just bought and  honestly would not have considered these sneakers had I not seen them on you.  Thank you! XO Nipa 

      1. Did you see the ivory/tan reversible shacket from Banana Republic?  It sold out very quickly, but I’m hoping that they’ll restock.  I hardly ever buy soft colors as my complexion is better suited to brighter/darker ones, but this shacket was soooo soft, I’m building my winter wardrobe around it!!! xo Nipa 

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