Recent Fashion Purchases: Hits and Misses

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It’s that time of the year where everything seems too heavy or too light, and all the clothes you own you’re sick of. I’ve made a few purchases lately, here’s what I’ve gotten to help transition my existing closet and whether they have been hits or misses.

A by Amanda DressA by Amanda ‘Nora’ Lace-up Shift Dress

I love dresses like this, they’re easy to slip on and look put together. The fabric looked glossy like silk, the lace-up detail was fun, I figured I could pair with nude sandals and lace it up for work, add some gold bangles and heels for a night out.

The dress runs big. I got a Large and it was huge, I felt I was wearing an XL and a tall version. The sleeves almost hit my wrists, the lace-up was so low and wide you could see the little bow of my bra and a bit of the cups, and the dress was mid-knee length. The lace-up part cannot be laced up; while the lace is real the cut of the dress causes it to look weird and bunchy if you cinch it even a bit. I picked it up from the shoulders and I think if I had another two inches it wouldn’t expose at the bust, but still too big everywhere else. That being said, this is a really pretty dress that looks like silk and is well made. If you’re tall (I think at least 5’6”, likely taller if you’re not curvy), this is a great buy. Size down. For me, a fail.

_11731230Lulla Collection by Bindya ‘Bandana’ Silk Scarf – Blue

I don’t know why I ordered this scarf. I already own tons of scarves that hardly get wear. But the positive reviews and the idea of a glammed-up bandana appealed to me.

It’s nice. It’s real silk, it’s a real bandana print, and it’s a nice large size that can wrap a few times around your neck, be worn as a belt, or make a great headscarf. I like that it’s not stiff, I did fold it into an oblong and looped twice around my throat and tied it and it looked great. But I don’t need it so I returned it. If I did, I think I’d go back and get the black and white because when not worn cowboy style you can’t truly tell it’s a bandana print. I returned it, but if this is something you need, it’s a good buy.

freepeople bittersweet cold shoulder topFree People ‘Bittersweet’ Cold Shoulder Top – Black

Come summer, I like tops with a bit of interest to throw on with denim shorts. This looked like a great choice. It’s not. While it’s not as sheer as it appears on the model, it’s short. Like I’m 5’3” and there’s no way I could half-tuck it like the model because it’s a belly top. If it was longer in the front (say the same length as the back), I would have kept it. Also note this is a swing-style top – the shoulders and bust fit great but the body is really full. Fail.

topshop gathered shell topTopshop Gathered Shell Top – Black

Again, a top with interest for the summer. I thought I could wear it with pants to work, with boyfriend jeans for the weekend. This is a heavy fabric that’s a bit itchy. The neck is really small; there’s a button closure at the back and it’s not decorative – you need it to get this over your head. I ordered a 12 which they say fits like a 14; while it technically fit the armholes were tight, the whole thing fit really close and fitted, not at all like the model. And since it was heavy and fitted, the gathering looked like a manufacturing defect, not a cool detail. Fail.

rebecca minkoff mini suki orangeRebecca Minkoff ‘Mini Suki’ Crossbody Bag – Orange

My leopard Rebecca Minkoff Mini Mac is the perfect size and has held up pretty well. I wanted a more summery crossbody to carry the basics and thought this could be pretty cute (and we all know how much I love red-orange).

This bag is tiny. Not only is it tiny, the zippered opening is smaller than the width of the bag. I could hardly fit my hand into it; I can’t even fit my wallet in it. This is an essentials bag – a card holder, phone, lipstick, and keys but the size and weight isn’t one of those tiny “essentials” bag where you hardly notice it on you. It’s pretty useless of a bag, which is a shame because it’s otherwise a gorgeous bag. Fail.

Glint Mallory Wedge Heel Sandal SilverGlint ‘Mallory’ Wedge Sandal – Silver Metallic Suede

This is the kind of shoe I always wish I had in my closet. It’s seasonless, it’s perfect for outdoor weddings and cocktail parties, it can work with dresses and pants, and metallic is so easy to dress up and down.

This shoe looks exactly the same in person. It’s a very pretty shoe, and don't let the suede confuse you.  It's more like a sueded leather than actual suede. Too bad my feet are so chubby I couldn’t even slip my foot in under the strap to try it on. Also looking at the sole of the shoe, this looks to run narrow. If you have a slim foot, this is a lovely shoe. But for me, a fail.

J. CREW Collection featherweight cashmere striped boatneck sweaterJ. Crew Collection Featherweight Cashmere Striped Boatneck Sweater – Ash Navy Poppy

If you follow me on Snapchat you know I wore this sweater this week with my navy pinstripe Banana Republic pants, leopard pumps, and my vermilion Dagne Dover tote. So clearly I like the sweater.

This is a lightweight cashmere that is perfect for spring or fall, but it’s opaque. The poppy stripe at the neck and the arms is not poppy, it’s a neon coral. Like super bright. I personally love it, but it deserves a warning. I got an XL and it’s big, probably too big but it’s a final sale so I half-tucked it and pushed up the sleeves and the lightweight and open weave made it look (I hope) purposely slouchy and oversized. It’s super soft too. The sale price is $80, I think it’s a great price for the sweater, but I would never have paid the original $228 price for it. Hit?

J. Crew Navy Deck-striped T-shirtJ. Crew Deck-Striped T-Shirt – Navy Ivory

I got an XL. I am not an XL. This looks like I am wearing my husband’s shirt. While it’s not a dress on me, it’s big in the body, the sleeves, the shoulders. I LOVE the weave; it’s a loose knit and not too stretchy; I know this is a terrible description but this is the kind of shirt you want to throw on after a day at the beach. Though it’s huge I decided to keep it because I do love having that kind of shirt, and have it big enough that it doesn’t cling to sun-dried and salty skin and I have a fear it may shrink (haven’t yet laundered). But I like it enough that if it doesn’t shrink in the wash, I may buy one in a smaller size. FYI, it says it's ivory but it looks more like white to me.  There’s plenty of stripes available and at the time of writing this with the promo code they’re advertising on the site the shirt is only like $24. Hit.

J. Crew silver Vintage cotton V-neck T-shirt in metallicJ. Crew Vintage Cotton V-neck Shirt in Metallic – Heather Chrome Silver

I am still looking for a good replacement to my silver shimmer linen tee from Anthro that went in the dryer. I still have it, but it can only be worn tucked in because it’s so short. I decided to try this tee from J. Crew. I got an XL.

It’s not at all like my Anthro tee but that doesn’t mean it’s awesome. It looks like a standard heathered grey v-neck tee shirt, but it’s covered with this silver finish that’s super shiny. I got it and didn’t like it too much, it was stiff and it looked as though it was painted with silver. But then I washed it, and that’s when it got awesome. It softened up, it got slouchy and finally looked like it’s vintage name and looked like it does on the model. But the shine didn’t go away. It makes people stop and compliment it especially when it catches the light. I wear it a lot, it’s more fun than a standard tee but not too dressy. Hit.

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A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. The J.Crew slivery metallic vintage tee is on sale right now. I got it for $20.99! Hope it fits, or shrinks, as I normally wear petites and these are regular.

    And here’s another vote for Etsy jewelry. I have really thin wrists and skinny fingers. Ring size 4.5 is normally not available, but Etsy sellers have a great range of sizes, so I usually can find something that fits my small digits.

    Thanks for these posts

  2. This is random, but New York and Co has a very similar open shoulder black top. I just ordered it and LOVE it. They have it in gray too, I am thinking of ordering that one too.

  3. Emerson suggests that since if the J Crew cashmere is too large, maybe her dad could wash it?

  4. I found a hit in an unexpected place today: Costco! They have slouchy rayon cap sleeved blouses for $15! I got the chambray blue in L (UK 36F chest, broad shoulders), and while it needs a pin at the bust, that’s not news to any busty woman. The shirttail hem is pretty exaggerated and comes up high on the hip – is that called a dolphin hem? Anyway, I like it, it was cheap, and in addition to the blue, there are three plaid colors. I may get the black and white in a few weeks if this wears well.

    1. I recently picked up a pair of skinny white ankle length Calvin Klein jeans at Costco for $19.99 and I am very happy with them! My favorite skinny jeans are Rich & Skinny brand that I got at Costco as well.

      1. Yes, I had Calvin Klein via Costco velvet straight legged jeans I loved a few seasons ago. I usually can’t wear Costco clothing because I’m tall, but there’s an occasional hit, and I’m always grateful they stock the Calvin Klein pants up to a 34 length. Another hit was my 32 Degrees fleece jacket from Costco circa last November. It’s so good, I got one for my mother, too, because I knew she’d try to take mine if she saw it.

  5. Try the Rebecca Minkoff micro moto satchel. Amazon has several colors that are on sale for really good prices (I just ordered the luggage color for $74 the other day). The leather is great quality. It’s a small bag but it easily holds a full size wallet, phone a few other small essentials. It has fun tassels on the front to add a little visual interest too. Plus, it comes in several fun colors for summer as well.

    1. I totally took your advice and ordered it in the orangey-red color I got for the Mini Suki and the price was awesome. The bag is also super cute, but while I loved the poppy color for the Suki it looks so weird for the micro moto. I’m going to return but may repurchase in black. Thank you for the recommendation!

  6. and now I am debating between the deck striped shirt in the wide stripe or the skinny stripe. The striped shirt I am looking to replace is skinny striped. I don’t need both, but one never knows!

    1. I bought a skinny stripe in a different J. Crew shirt and don’t like it as much as wide on me, but I think with all my curves the skinny stripes get distorted more than a wider stripe. And come on, you can’t have too many stripes! #stripedshirts4eva

  7. Thank you for sharing! I am possibly in the market for a dress and I have been looking at striped shirts… I know, I know striped shirts.

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