The Friday Shop: 2/12/21

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The Friday Shop by Wardrobe Oxygen

A PSA: February is a good time to get great items on clearance, but a bad time to find good selection. Most retailers perform inventory this month, some do it in March, but in general retailers don't stock up on a lot of merchandise after the holidays until after Inventory is completed. So if you're annoyed that your favorite shop doesn't have your size or is sold out of a certain style, check back in a month!

Retail News

Nordstrom is rethinking the department store model. (Vogue Business)

LuLaRoe to pay $4.75M to settle pyramid scheme lawsuit. (Retail Dive)

Sephora announces new BIPOC-owned beauty brands coming this year. (Glamour)

For all the fashion brands that say it's not smart business to have inclusive sizing, or they can't justify the cost to invest in sustainable business practices, Target says, “how about them apples?” (Retail Dive)

Sale Alert

ally shoes

ALLY Shoes, which I reviewed their pumps here and their flats here, are great for a variety of widths of feet that desire well-made, classic shoes. Through the month of February, they have 15% off red and gold colored shoes on their site with promo code GOBIGRED.

j crew 2021
Kicking it old school with J. Crew: striped tee | packable straw fedora | classic trench | pendant on 30″ chain | Liberty floral shirtdress | green camera bag-style crossbody | straight-leg jeans | striped cashmere sweater | Liberty floral loafers | ‘Love' graphic tee

J. Crew has 30% off your purchase with promo code SPRING. This sale is through the 16th. The new arrivals at J. Crew feel more like what I've always considered iconic J. Crew: modern classics, happy colors, clean graphics, cool accessories, some Liberty prints and cute yet surprisingly wearable swimsuits. Can't vouch for the quality or fit, if it's anywhere near where J. Crew used to be, but at least one thing they have improved upon is size range. Everything in the collage above above except this specific style of jeans (size 32; this one is a 1″ shorter rise and available up to 37) and the trench (size 20) are available up to size 24/3X.

soma sale
Soma Sale: an example of their athleisure and activewear which is high quality | Cool Nights pajamas | such a pretty robe | the perfect loungewear jumpsuit | Soma hipsters – pretty and functional | I have this bra, it gives amazing lift | one of their wireless bra that has cult status for fit and quality

Soma has 25% off full-priced styles with promo code 55023. This sale ends the 15th. This is a super good sale, of bras, panties, sleepwear, and essentially everything at Soma that isn't on sale. As I mentioned in yesterday's post about how to get the best night's sleep I am a fan of Soma's Cool Nights sleepwear, but I also love their modern briefs and this is my favorite wireless bra for a large bust.

What I Bought and What I Thought

I've been on the hunt for a pair of non-skinny jeans in a lighter wash. Essentially, the polar opposite of my entire denim wardrobe. I love my Athleta jeans, but they are too short and the wrong cut to wear with ankle boots and right now is too cold for trendy sneakers and ankle socks. So I ordered a couple styles from Nordstrom.

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I have loved the fit of Jag Jeans in the past and so when I saw these jeans at Nordstrom, I ordered a pair in size 14. Yeah, no these are not made for my body in any way shape or form. They are too tight, too long in the rise, and make my butt look saggy.

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Am I the only one who thinks of Lee as the ones that had the cool pleated styles but like six months later they were considered passe and we were on to Levi's? So weird to see them back, and getting so much hype. So much hype, this person who wouldn't have been caught dead in Lee jeans in high school ordered a pair of this style at Nordstrom in size 32. I was pretty thrilled when I put these jeans on and knew they were not made for me.

I figured 32 would be snug but ordered just so I could get a gauge of the new Lee fit. Well, a 32 from Lee fits like a 32 who has no butt, no belly, no hips. And the wash… I am down with light but this felt like dorky light, a bit too blue, a bit too bright and the distressing looked too fresh. It's the kind of wash my high school self wouldn't be caught dead in but high schoolers now would look cool AF in it. And I am okay with leaving these jeans to the teens.

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And then I ordered these jeans from Wit + Wisdom. I have had success with Wit + Wisdom over the years for fit and quality. In the past, my Wit + Wisdom jeans are generously sized and I could often go down a size. However, not ordering a pair in a while and not fully knowing my size right now (thank you knit pants) I got my standard size 14.

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Dang, these are some comfortable jeans. I would stick with the 14 but could be comfortable in a 12 for a more fitted under blazers and longer sweaters look.

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I like that there isn't a ton of embellishment going on these jeans, there is a “vintage” feel to them but it doesn't feel try-hard, and I liked the back pocket size.

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These jeans have a special waistband that offers comfort, reduces the chance of plumber's crack, and supposedly slims the midsection though I've never seen much of a difference from other Wit + Wisdom jeans.

While I like these jeans, they aren't what I was looking for. While they're not a skinny jean, they're pretty slim on me and not light enough of a wash. If I desired a straight jean to wear with boots, Docs, and sneakers, I'd keep them.

best amazon makeup mirror

I've mentioned a couple times so far that I got this mirror after hearing Krista, a reader and member of the Wardrobe Oxygen Community, rave about it. I got it in silver, I love it. It's so bright (though you can dim it), it works like a ring light and I prop my laptop in front of it for Zoom calls. It angles, it has multiple colors, and if I stick this on it, I can do video with great lighting.

talbots sherpa fleece review

In passing, I have also mentioned this sherpa fleece from Talbots. I have it in XL petite in the pink color. I love this thing. It is super warm without making me overheat. I have worn it as my coat when running out to the car or taking the dog out in the yard, it has great pockets, it's comfy, has a nice shape/doesn't make me look like a throw pillow, full size range, doesn't collect dog hair like a Swiffer, and I've washed and dried mine three times and it looks new.

Screen Shot 2021 02 11 at 4.17.12 PM

I've discussed my thinning hair in many blog posts and I am always on the hunt for something that will help. I've tried Viviscal and biotin and scalp massages and prenatal vitamins and and and… nothing has given me results (other than acne and greasy roots).

jlo hers
JLo using hers Minoxidil Topical Hair Growth Solution

Why I decided to try hers Minoxidil Topical Hair Growth Solution I don't know. I tried minoxidil years ago and it didn't work for me. But like most people these days, I'm a sucker for an influencer or celebrity endorsement and when Jennifer Lopez said she doesn't get her thick hair by luck and uses hers (she's a spokesperson for it), I believed it and bought a bottle at Target.

First night, fine. Second night, fine. Third night, I am a bit itchy but that could be anything. Fourth night, yeah, that itch is annoying. By the end of a week, I had a lumpy scalp and it was spreading to my hairline and it looked a LOT like the reaction I had from SkinMedica. I stopped using hers, the reaction went away after a few days (though just writing about it now has me scratching my scalp. It is NOT a good feeling).

I started researching the ingredients that are both in hers and SkinMedica and reactions to them and I figured it out… propylene glycol. There are plenty of studies about the reaction to propylene glycol and it fits my experience. That being said, if you don't have a propylene glycol reaction, hers gets great reviews for being effective minoxidil at a good price (and unlike some other brands, the men's branded version is the same price as the woman's).

Now it's your turn! Any good sales you've seen? Made any purchases deserving of a rave or bad enough that you want to warn others? I'd love to hear from you!

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  1. Wondering if you have ever tried Democracy jeans… I ended up with a pair in a Short Story box and I bought them. Felt true to size and they come in petite. They have a bit of smoothing panel action. I’m a fan!

  2. If a Lee jean does’t say it’s ‘relaxed’ or ‘modern’ style it’s going to run small.
    They’ ve had some kind of a corporate event, the VF Outlets have switched around the merchandise they carry, no more big selection of brand name bras. I’ve noticed ads on FB for Lee, it appears their corporate raiders are working on repositioning the brand. Corporate raiders usually attempt to squeeze all they can out of a brand, we’ll see if they rework their sizing on iconic goods to fit modern bodies.

  3. Haven’t worn jeans since March did try them on recently and very tight but got them on, will work on it. Wanted to recommend the Bio Schwartz growth and shine vitamins from Amazon. I was taking vivisical, for months and noticed nothing, saw them recommended on TPF decided to try, and my hair lady commented on my temples filling in and how shiny my hair is. Total convert now and I can take it on an empty stomach.

  4. I was never a Lee jeans person, but have worn Levis since, well, since i started paying attention to what i was wearing. Speaking of which, have you tried Levi’s in your Search for a pair of light non skinnies?

  5. Am I the only one who never notices the clothes when you post because your skin is so fucking luminous 🙂 how are you and I the same age and your skin is so flawless? Inquiring minds must know.

  6. I very much want that J.Crew Love t-shirt just for the color combo — think I might have to pull the trigger. As for great buys lately, I dove into the deep end on Dudley Stephens fleece — I think they are my favorite thing in my closets (living in Minneapolis where it’s currently -15 might have something to do with that). I finally got a Lou & Grey softblend sweatshirt and never want to take it off. After loving the Vuori joggers, I splurged on a pair of their daily leggings which are probably my new favorite bottom. My latest fail? Lysse faux leather legging. They did nothing for my figure — skintight on the legs and baggy in the crotch. RETURN! And I’m now searching for a pair of white jeans as I impatiently wait for spring. Been on the hunt for years and haven’t yet found any that work.

  7. I think you and I are built differently enough that my best jeans might not work for you, but hey—I love the Talbots bootcut you recommended—so here goes! Have you ever tried Jen7, the less expensive line of Seven for All Mankind? I got a pair of their basic straight leg and I really like them—they remind me of NYDJ, but they stay up better.

    I also love a pair of Levi’s Ribcage faux leather cropped pants I picked up, and I keep meaning to try a pair of the jeans. But as the name implies, this is a high rise! As a person with almost all my weight in my tummy, I love the return of the high rise that locks everything in. But I know a lot of women don’t like a high rise.

    There’s also good old Universal Standard. I think they have some new styles.

  8. Re: light non-skinny jeans. I have two recommendations. I really like the Old Navy Mid-Rise Power Slim Straight Jeans. I also tried on a pair of Madewell jeans that was a similar cut to the Old Navy ones but in a much stretchier fabric and with a higher rise. I don’t remember what they are called, but someone might know!

  9. Can anyone comment on the quality of J Crew cashmere? I like their merino sweaters a lot, but haven’t tried the cashmere. Just looking for an opinion on thickness, sheerness, pilling, etc. thanks!!

    1. I think J Crew Cashmere is mid range. I have a sweater purchased for $100 on sale and it’s very soft, a nice weight, and not sheer; but, I also don’t wear it too much, and don’t EVER machine wash or dry (always hand wash in cold, flat dry). I make sure to wear real deodorant if I’m wearing it, not Toms, so I don’t have to wash each time. As for pilling, it’s pilling a little under the arms after 6 months of wear which is to be expected. I just take a razor blade or knife and depill by hand.

    2. I have 3 of their cashmere sweaters & really like them. They were my first ever cashmere purchases, and I’ve not bought a more high end brand to compare them to. I wash them in sweater bags on delicate & lay flat to dry. I keep a bottle of The Laundress cashmere spray handy & spray after each wear; I turn inside out & spray a bit on front, a bit on the armpit areas. Then I usually lay outside on a towel to air out on my covered porch.

      They do pill so I use a little battery powered sweater shaver, if needed. A couple of caveats: my 1st one was gray (wearing it now), size large. Even after almost 3 years, I still find it soft & cozy, although it’s starting to look a bit more worn. My next 2 were dark green & the wine color, also large. I’ve lost weight & dropped a size but they still fit well & I suspect they shrunk up a bit. They are a year or so old, still look good, still soft & comfortable. I live in the South, so heavy sweaters are not needed that often. These seem well suited to this, & I tend to wear them more on our colder winter days, when temps are in 30’s & 40’s.

  10. I want alllll the J Crew! The preppy, casual-cool, 90’s vibe is making me so happy. Their jeans are really comfortable & I recently got in 2 pairs of straight legs from them. One is actually the pair you featured & one is a bit darker; both are stretchy & soft. The dark ones work perfectly for work (public schools); the lighter ones, I’m not so sure about, but I kind of want to keep them! Today, I’ll be ordering that striped t-shirt you featured but, I’m going for the poppy color & maybe the navy with white stripes. And that green crossbody—please don’t tempt me! Those J Crew camera bags are my favorites—I’ve got 3, including a smokey blue shade from last spring that I still love. It’s fun to see all the cheerful colors!

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