Recent Purchases: Spring Clothing Shopping

Been doing a bit of shopping lately, a bit more misses than hits:

recent spring purchases clothing

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1. Halogen Roll Sleeve Maxi Dress

This dress looked like perfection for spring through fall. I imagined it with my vintage brown leather belt and heeled sandals for the office, with my silver Birkenstocks for the weekend. I have pieces from Halogen in this fabric and knew it would be great for travel. Since it’s a maxi, I chose a petite. I went with XL since it’s not stretchy and I need room for “the girls.”

The arms were so tight I could hardly get it on, and the front placket bulged. However, the torso felt a bit too long, the waist was too big and the skirt was loose. The length was perfect, just like the model so I knew switching to Regular wouldn’t work. Sadly this was returned, but if you’re smaller busted or taller scoop this baby up; it’s very similar to dresses sold by brands like Vince for four times the price and the fabric is nice – feels and looks like silk yet is machine washable.

2. Madewell Raw Edge Denim Skirt

I swore I wouldn’t buy a denim skirt this season. I did denim skirts a decade ago, and did them five years before that and a decade before that. There’s a point when you just don’t want to do a trend again. But then I saw a woman around my age wearing one with a Breton tee and Chucks and Wayfarers and gosh she looked so casually cool and classic. I didn’t want it crisp, I wanted a casual version, and I wanted it to come down to my knees. This one from Madewell via Nordstrom looked perfect.

And it is almost perfect. So almost perfect I’m wondering if it’s worth alterations. For the problem with this skirt is that it’s completely straight and if you’re curvy like me, a straight skirt turns into a bell. From the front, it’s cute enough but the side and back view is dreadful. However, if the skirt was tapered about an inch on either side, it would be awesome. I love the soft denim, I love the raw edge and subtle distressing that looks authentic, not torn apart in a warehouse. And I tried it on with the striped tee in this post and my Converse Shorelines and I loved the concept on me.  I should have also checked it out on the Madewell site where it's not pinned in back and looks more a-line.

So the skirt is sitting in a box in the corner of my room while I decide whether it’s worth additional alterations or if I find a better choice. If you’ve seen a similar skirt that’s more a true pencil, please let me know!

3. Gap White Linen Shirtdress

I’ve always wanted a dress like this – buttons all the way down, sleeves rolled, pockets, knee length, a self-belt that can be switched out for a different look. I’ve never bought one because white dresses are usually too sheer and they rarely end up looking good after a day of wear. But this dress got great reviews for opacity and wearability so I took a chance.

Again, I worked a hell of a long time trying to style this dress. Skinny belt, wide belt, raffia belt, braided belt, no belt, collar popped, cami underneath. It just isn’t flattering. The pockets are very bulky (why make the actual pocket of the same heavy linen? Use a lightweight cotton for gosh sakes!), there’s no loops for the belt so the belt slides around, and yes, it is too sheer to wear without a slip (though I have a cotton slip and that didn’t bother me).

4. Ann Taylor Stripe Shoulder Zip Cotton Top

I know, do I REALLY need another striped top? My gray striped J. Crew Factory tee now has a hole in it, and I wanted another gray stripe. I know, I know, but all my striped tops DO get regular wear!

This top is a heavy weight, the zipper detail adds a nice touch. It’s a structured top, too heavy to tuck in and far more substantial and less stretchy than a tee. I actually like that feature, it looks more polished when paired with jeans and can be worn in a Business Casual work environment. It was machine washed regular but line dried and turned out well. It’s not the best striped shirt I have ever had, but it’s a nice one that has already been worn a handful of times!

5. Gap Cinched Scoop Dress

I’ve worn the heck out of this dress from Lands’ End Canvas (RIP) and it got too worn out to look nice. This dress in navy looked like a great replacement. And it’s sooooo close. I ordered a petite because I feared the armholes would be too low and the skirt too long. And while neither of those were an issue with the petite, the problem was that the waist was at this weird point that isn’t empire and isn’t traditional. The elastic waist is begging to be covered with a belt, but is wider than all of my wide belts, and with the high waist, it just looked super wonky. I kept trying to make it work and realized that if a dress takes this much effort to style, it doesn’t belong in my wardrobe. But if I were taller and could carry off the regular, I think all the issues wouldn’t be issues. If you’re 5’6” or taller, don’t rule this one out as it’s that great fabric that can look good wrinkled or crinkled and will get softer with washings, it has pockets, is a classic style and quite comfortable. It could be dressed up or down and will dry quickly.

6. Banana Republic Brenna Slip-on Sneaker

I mentioned in this post that I purchased these shoes. I must say I really dig them. I have short toes,a high arch and a fat foot thanks to lots of padding on the ball from childhood toewalking, so slip-on shoes don’t usually work for me. However, I have had luck with Banana Republic in the past so I took a chance. Glad I did, these shoes are freaking awesome. The silver is shiny, but it’s clearly metal and not cheap. The fit is comfortable, and the leather has a bit of give. The perforations keep you cooler than a solid shoe, but you can slip a pair of peds underneath without them showing.

Wednesday, I created an outfit around these shoes and asked Karl how it looked. He agreed the shoes are badass, but do I NEED shoes like this? I have my silver Birkenstocks, I have my Converse Shorelines. I hate to admit it, he’s right, so the shoes are going back. But if you need such shoes in your wardrobe, these are even better in person! Do as I did, wait until Banana has one of their 40% off deals; while these are awesome I think the price is a bit cray for a trend piece.

Have you made any recent purchases? Anything we should check out? Anything we should avoid at all costs?

16 Comments

  1. Mrs.M in MI
    April 21, 2015 / 9:48 am

    Just curious – what brand/style is your favorite striped top? The striped tee I bought is the only maternity piece I didn’t want to burn in a bonfire by the end of my recent pregnancy, so I’m thinking I should get a regular one. Thanks!

    • April 21, 2015 / 10:30 am

      My favorite heavyweight is Lands’ End – it’s cream with skinny navy stripes and is a decade old and still looks new. My favorite classic is Armorlux – a reader in France sent to me as a gift and I still adore it though it’s snug now (wore most recently in my ECCO giveaway post). My favorite throw on and go are my two I got at J. Crew Factory last year – perfect width of stripes, perfect boatneck, perfect weight. However the gray has a hole and the navy has bled under the arms. Obviously not the best quality, but so perfect I wish I had purchased in bulk while they still had them.

  2. Lissa Thomas
    April 20, 2015 / 6:38 am

    Old Navy seems to be on a good role lately. I am loving their lightweight cardigan. They don’t have a huge amount of colors but the good news is they aren’t crazy weird colors either. They are no completely transparent but not heavy, sleeves are about 3/4 so good for summer, and the sizes are reasonable. (You know Old Navy can get a little wonky with the sizes.) I got silver and hot pink. Great over sleeveless tops and dresses during the spring or in an overly air conditioned office.

  3. Tracie Bowman
    April 19, 2015 / 9:00 am

    I’m dying to buy the Gap dress, but don’t know how it will look on my larger build. I may do it anyway. I love the stripes too, and I’ve got both short sleeve and long sleeve stripes in multiple colors. I love the simplicity and ability to mix the options with other pieces.

  4. April 18, 2015 / 6:51 am

    I love the simplicity of these items together as a ‘mini collection’. They have a minimalist chic vibe to them that makes me think of easy, breezy summer weekends. Nice picks!

  5. Diplospice
    April 18, 2015 / 4:47 am

    These are some of my favorite posts from you. I love that you tell it like it is (and I have that Halogen dress in my Nordstom shopping cart so appreciate the insight about fit.)

  6. Happinessatmidlife
    April 17, 2015 / 8:11 pm

    Good summer staples to add to your closet. Loft has been having some great sales lately and I just ordered some white linen pants along with some new maxi dress. I have mixed feelings about white linen, I love the look of them but usually not on me. Can’t wait to see to get them in the mail.

    Alice

    http://www.happinessatmidlife.com

    Hope to see you for TBT Fashion link up.

  7. Ginger
    April 17, 2015 / 5:18 pm

    Denim is something that I don’t alter. I just keep shopping until I find something that is close to the fit I want. That skirt is, IMO, fairly expensive for a denim skirt. I think I’d return it and keep shopping. You shouldn’t have to spend more money to make it perfect, and lots of times the seams on denim are welted and difficult to alter anyway.

    I have one denim skirt from Old Navy that I absolutely love. I ordered what appeared to be the same style in a different color and it is not the same at all. I feel like their quality control is part of the reason they have such attractive prices, and everything from them is provisional until I’ve tried it on.

  8. Patricia
    April 17, 2015 / 3:15 pm

    I just bought a pair of wide legged print pants in a fluid draping fabric from Twentyone Forever. They’re not too wide but I’ll need to wear a slim fit top to offset the wide bottom. I’ll wear them with leather thongs or chunky heeled sandals and a fun hat. Great warm weather piece and easy to try the wide legged look at only $22.50.I’m 5’6″ and this might be too much wide leg for petites.

  9. Jen
    April 17, 2015 / 2:29 pm

    I bought a denim skirt as well despite my reservations against. I quite like mine. I think it was Joe Fresh.

    I bought a lot this year because of recent weight loss. Lots of tailored shorts and everything in white and cream. A little pastel blue to top it all off. Leaving winter’s rocker chic behind and heading towards minimalism.

  10. Amy s
    April 17, 2015 / 1:12 pm

    I just bought a very light denim skirt from old navy. I’m 5’4 and it hits at knee. It seems pretty straight to me. I am trying not to buy from them because stuff is so cheaply made and doesn’t wash well. I made an exception for this and for $15 I’m very happy! I wore it with a floral kimono and it gave a bit of a 70s vibe. Good luck!

    • April 17, 2015 / 1:13 pm

      Thanks Amy! My absolute favorite denim skirt from the last time they were a trend was from Old Navy, I should check them out again.

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