Saturday, March 25, 2017

REVIEWS: Spring Tops and Shoes + Nordstrom Triple Points Spring Recs

Happy Saturday!  Today I'm reviewing some items I've added to my closet lately.  Even though I've shown many of them on the blog already, I wanted to write a "formal" review for them for the archives.  

Also, in light of Nordstrom offering triple points through tomorrow (Sunday), I've also included a roundup of some of my Nordstrom favorites for spring.  Here goes!

For size reference I'm 5'6" with a short torso.  Normally size S/M or 6/8.  Size 8.5 to 9 in shoes.

Bell Sleeve Top - size S
This shirt is very, very soft and comfortable.  I have been slow to the bell sleeve trend, but a top with these smaller bell sleeves is a perfect onramp for me.  Someone in the PMT Style Challenge called them "beginner" bell sleeves, which is exactly how I feel about them, hehe.  It also has a nice open, almost boat neck neckline.  

I'm not sure how it washes yet.  I could see it pilling a little and needing a sweater shaver. (I own THIS one.)  I also can't speak to shrinking yet.  

There is an inner flap at the neckline that some reviewers found annoying because it's not sewn down.  I've usually worn this with the crystal necklace above, and it provided enough weight to hold down the flap so that it was never an issue for me.  I don't know if that'd be the case with a pendant.

In the PMT Style Challenge FB group people asked if these sleeves could be worn with utility and denim jackets.  The answer is yes because the bells are very small.  

Comes in 4 colors!  

Crystal Circle Necklace
I didn't take closeup pics because the product image is better.  See it HERE.  I used this in the PMT Style Challenge list (read about the Style Challenge HERE) after seeing it on some ladies who did the winter challenge.  It's exactly what I've been looking for, and it's currently on sale for about 50% off!  It is a tad shorter than I want it to be (18" with 3" extender), so I actually just added a little string to the back to extend it more to what you see above.

Let me start off by saying THIS IS CURRENTLY $16.83 WITH CODE SAVE15!  This is from Kohl's, and I showed this on Instastories already. I couldn't find it online at the time so I just said to check in store.  Thankfully some people found it online and let me know!  (Thank you again!)

I've had a $50 gift card to Kohl's for a couple of years, so I was more than happy to finally make a dent in it with this top.  A small dent though, because this is so cheap!  

It's not cotton material, rather like a stretchy kind of spandex-y material.  It's a very similar silhouette with the "beginner" bell sleeves like the one above.  I mean, those beginner bell sleeves have really got me!  And stripes.  Obviously, I couldn't pass it up--especially with a gift card that'd been burning a hole in my pocket for 2 years!  


These are also in the pic above with the striped bell sleeve top.  I've talked about them before HERE  but these are quite comfortable for having a heel.  Usually I can't walk in heeled shoes for very long periods--like I wouldn't run errands in them--because my toes get squished to the front being at an incline.  But these?  I totally DID run errands in them and I was completely fine!  So much so that I'm ordering them in taupe from Nordstrom because TRIPLE POINTS.  (I don't know if I'll keep them, but at least wanted to see the color first.)  I put a thin insole in them to provide some cushion.  But otherwise, I could really do some heavy walking in these.  I'm surprised.

Come in brown as shown, black, and taupe HERE.

Ruffle Tee - size M
I also showed this before HERE, but it's sold out in several sizes.  It comes in a blue-ish color that I like also.  I LOVE this twist on a basic grey tee.  You get the comfort and ease of wearing a t-shirt but look like you tried so much more.  Super easy to wear!  

Lace Up Booties - size 8.5
I've been showing these shoes but hadn't been able to find them online.  When I bought them they were nearly sold out in store as well, so I thought they were done and gone.  But NOPE, they're online finally (HERE)!  These are a dupe of a very expensive Jeffery Campbell pair at Nordstrom, but these are $38.  So. Cute.

I would not call them comfortable, but they are pretty normal for Target shoes.  Over the last couple of years you've seen me make the switch to much more comfortable shoes (and usually more expensive) shoes, so my rating scale has changed.  The upper is kind of stiff and not very flexible, but they're not so uncomfortable that I wouldn't wear them.

Because the upper is stiff, I had to loosen the laces a LOT, but I was grateful that I could do that with this design.  You can give yourself almost as much flexibility as you need by loosening the laces.

Cutout Heels - size 8.5
In contrast to the previous pair, these are SO comfortable.  These are from Nordstrom, but there is a lookalike pair from Target HERE.  I found the Target pair extremely uncomfortable, though reviews say otherwise.  The Target pair is stiff--stiffer than the previous Target pair above.  And the toes pinched me, but I couldn't widen them like the previous pair because there is a closure at the toe.  Also, the heel hit me right on the arch which was actually incredibly painful.

The Nordstrom pair shown above has a very, very flexible upper.  It's soft and pliable.  The heel is sooo comfortable and easy to walk in.  I walked MILES in these one day and my feet didn't hurt.  Someone else said the same in the PMT Style Challenge FB group. (Hi Christine!)  One thing I am concerned with with the Nordstrom pair is the laces.  They are not fabric, rather are the same faux-leather material as the upper.  I worry if I pull them too hard they may snap apart over time, so I'm trying to be gentle with them.  However, I'm sure they can be replaced with regular fabric laces.

The pain points of the Target pair might be specific to my feet, but those cost $33 and the Nordstrom pair is on sale for $49.90.  For how uncomfortable the Target pair is and how super comfortable the Nordstrom pair is, I think it's worth the slight $17 difference to get a pair you can walk in all day.

These come in 4 colors HERE.

I'm in love with all those pieces!  And, remember, it's a triple points event with Nordstrom right now so I've rounded up more pieces that I love!

Also, if you didn't know, Nordstrom has AMAZING customer service.  I've found a lot of regular Nordstrom shoppers don't know some of these things.
  • Shipping is FREE--both to you and return shipping.  Always, always free.
  • Their return policy is VERY generous.
    • There's no actual time frame you have to return things within.
    • You can return things you've worn.
    • You don't need a tag on items you've returned.  Nordstrom can usually track it, especially if you've bought it with a Nordstrom card.
    • Obviously, don't abuse the generous return policy.  But if something you've worn gets a hole in it or shrinks when it should be new-ish or has only been worn a few times, I'd feel totally comfortable returning it.  However, if you've loved a pair of jeans and worn them to death and try to return them 2 years later to be cheap, that's obviously abusing the policy.  (Though I've read stories of people doing it and Nordstrom taking it back!)
These are just to say with Nordstrom, I always just buy the items to try, especially since shipping is free both ways.  They include the return label in the box and everything so that you don't even have to go to the post office.  Just give it to your mail carrier.  So, if you've been thinking about getting anything, just go for it!  Especially during triple points time!  :D

Links to Shop:
one  |  two  |  three
four  |  five  |  six
seven  |  eight 
nine  |  ten  |  eleven

Special Notes & Sizing:
For reference, I'm 5'6" with a short torso and normally size S/M or 6/8.  Shoe size 8.5 to 9.  

2.  Grey Tee (HERE) - I wear size S.  Be warned that there are mixed reviews about these tees getting little holes in them because they are fairly thin.  That has not happened to me yet, however it has happened to lots of people.  But, nothing beats the drape on these tees plus the heather grey.

3.  Blush Bell Sleeve Top (HERE) - I wear size S.  See review above and see it on me HERE.

6.  Black Maxi Dress (HERE) - I wear size S.  I hand wash and air dry.  

7.  Tunics (HERE) - I wear M.  It says dry clean only, but I never do!  I usually hand wash and air dry, but I've also machine washed and thrown it in the dryer and they still look new.  Multiple readers have said they machine wash and dry and after *years* they still look new.  See my outfits with the white one HERE and a very similar blush one HERE.

8.  Cutout Heels (HERE) - I wear size 8.5.  See review above.  See them on me HERE.  

9.  Booties (HERE) - I wear size 9.  See review above.  See them on me HERE.

10.  Grey Ruffle Tee (HERE) - I wear M.  See review above and see it on me HERE.

Lastly, another quick reminder to check out the PMT Style Challenge.  If you're into remixing your clothes or you're looking to grow your style, check out the challenge HERE.  Registration opened last Friday, 3/17, and the challenge will begin on 4/3.  Hundreds of women are already signed up and are active in the Facebook group (only available for those doing the challenge). Women of all ages, sizes, and work situations are in it, and they're giving each other GREAT advice to build wardrobes they love!  We even have a few pregnant ladies.  Check it out and join us HERE!

Friday, March 24, 2017

16 Outfits With White Jeans + Tips for Wearing White Jeans

White Jeans for Spring - 16 Outfits

White jeans are absolutely a spring staple for me, even though I'll admit that I still get a little scared wearing them!  I know many of you are scared of them as well, but don't worry.  Not only am I showing 16 outfits with white jeans, I'm also going to share some tips for wearing white jeans, and I'll of course show a bunch of white jeans options at the end.

You can wear these with pretty much anything as they are incredibly versatile.  But besides versatility, what I really love about white jeans is how they freshen up any outfit.  Imagine any of these outfits with blue jeans.  Most, if not all, would be OKAY.  But change them out for white jeans instead and the outfit pops!

The collage above is loosely categorized by rows, though some overlap.  Hence "loosely!"  :)
  • Row 1: light colors
  • Row 2: prints and patterns
  • Row 3: t-shirts (mostly grey tees)
  • Row 4: solid colored blouses
I really love pairing them with lighter colors this spring, like in Row 1.  But Row 2 shows white jeans with bolder pieces like a contrasting black lace tee with a strong striped blazer, cobalt pumps, or a bolder floral print top.  Row 3 is with t-shirts, though only the first two are super casual.  The third t-shirt one has blush lace up flats to add a bit more polish, and the fourth outfit is a t-shirt with blue pumps!  Row 4 shows solid blouses of all different colors and all different accessories.  There is scarcely a top that white jeans won't go with!  

Before we move on, if you want to shop any of the pieces in any of the outfits, use the widgets below and scroll through each to see all the items.  If you're in Bloglovin' and can't see the widget you might need to get out of the Bloglovin' frame.  I included any pieces that are still available that are exact or very, very, very similar.  

Shop Row 1:

Shop Row 2:

Shop Row 3:

Shop Row 4:

White Jean Options
In the collage above, I'm wearing 2 different pairs.  The first pair I owned was/is a very old pair from Old Navy that doesn't exist anymore.  This pair was AMAZING because something about it hid scuff marks and minor stains.  They were slightly off-white, the material was a little sturdier or tougher, and they had some sort of very slight ridged texture.  I think all three of those things helped hide minor marks.  Many scuff marks brushed right off, or even tiny chocolate stains kind of got buried in there.  I was almost fearless wearing them!  I still have them in my closet but don't really wear them because they are slightly baggy on me all around--rise, leg, ankle opening.  HOWEVER, Old Navy currently has "stay-white" jeans (HERE) that I think might be very similar to what my old pair was like.  Plus size version HERE.

My second pair, the one in most of the pictures above, is from LOFT.  They are much softer and flexible than the Old Navy pair, and they fit me better, but they also seem to absorb stains.  (THIS is why I still fear wearing white jeans a little.  Would not be the case in my old Old Navy pair!)  I think how soft the material is makes them absorb dirt more than regular jeans, and much more than the tough material of my Old Navy jeans.  However, they don't lose shape!  Had I not experienced the glory of those Old Navy jeans, I would be perfectly happy with the LOFT jeans.  But because I have tasted and seen that not all white jeans are alike regarding stains, I'm always still looking for a pair that fits well AND is more resistant to stains!  If you're interested in the LOFT pair, they are HERE.  I'm normally size 6/8 and i'm 5'6", and I wear these in 6P to get them to hit my ankles.

Neither my old Old Navy pair nor my LOFT pair are see-through.  I wouldn't wear them if they were!  However, I do wear nude underwear just to be safe, which is one of the points below.

White Jeans
Links to Shop:
one  |  two  |  three
four  |  five  |  six

Tips When Wearing White Jeans
I'm asked about white jeans quite a bit, but it's usually just a few of the same concerns: 1) worry or gripes that white jeans are see through, 2) concern about getting them dirty, and 3) hesitation about having a larger lower half and not wanting to draw attention or have white jeans be unflattering.

Here are some responses!

-Keeping White Jeans Clean-
This is important both in general but also through out the day as you're wearing it--you don't want to walk around with a stain on you until you can get home to change.
  • For general washing, white is very easy to bleach.  In fact, it's nicer than colors because you don't have to worry about the color fading with too much cleaning.  I use Shout Gel on all any stains and try to put the jeans in the wash within a few days of them getting dirty, or immediately if it's a bad stain.  
  • Scotch guard.  To prevent stains to begin with, I've read two bloggers who take much better care of their clothes than I do say they use scotch guard on their white pants.  I haven't done it, but I probably should on my LOFT jeans!  I'd imagine it'd make the jeans a little stiffer...maybe?  Maybe close to what my old Old Navy pair felt like?  Even if that were true, it's worth looking into for peace of mind and freedom while wearing white jeans.
  • Napkin on my lap when eating. And I try not to order foods with tons of sauce while in white jeans!
  • Carry a Tide-to-go Pen.  I only carry this when I wear white jeans so that I can try to remove any stain immediately so that I don't have to worry about walking around with a stain on my jeans all day until I get home.  
  • Don't wear them in the rain.  Sorry, Pacific Northwest people.  I mean, you could, but I find rain kicks up so much mud onto my jeans that I would rather just find something else to wear than worry about that all the time.

-Jeans That Aren't See-Through-
Like I said, my LOFT and old Old Navy pairs are pretty thick.  I would never wear bright colored or printed underwear with white jeans because white is white and something is bound to show through if it's loud enough.  I always wear nude underwear and never, ever, ever feel self-conscious about my white jeans revealing anything.

-White Jeans With a Curvier Lower Half-
I've seen enough super curvy, plus sized, and/or bottom heavy women look fantastic in white jeans to not give into a belief that they can't look flattering on women with larger lower halves or more curves.  Though I'm not plus sized or super curvy, my rear and especially my thighs are quite larger than my upper half, and I actually had the same concern with white jeans accentuating my larger thighs.  

I believe that cut/fit is more important than color.  Even a pair of dark wash jeans that doesn't fit well or is cut terribly for one's body will be unflattering.  So, work hard to find the right pair that fits you well.  I didn't think I could do white jeans until I found the Old Navy pair.  Until then, every pair I'd tried was made of very thin material which DID accentuate my thighs, plus showed every lump.  Or they just weren't cut right for me.  The Old Navy pair was thick, and they fit my thighs well, and were flattering.  I ended up getting the LOFT pair because I already knew that cut fit me well in two other colors, and it worked out!  

Some more things to try:
  • Do the hard work of finding a pair that fits well, or get one tailored to fit you well.
  • Try finding ones with thicker material which should conceal any unwanted lumps and bumps.
  • If you're still worried about hips looking wider, wear tops that hit the middle of your hip or lower, which should balance out your proportions.  

I'm almost positive I missed something, so if you have any tips to add about wearing white jeans, please let us know!

See ALL my white jean outfits HERE.  There are still tonsssss more that I didn't even include in the collage!

Also, if you're into remixing your clothes or you're looking to grow your style, check out the PMT Style Challenge HERE.  Registration opened last Friday, 3/17, and the challenge will begin on 4/3.  Hundreds of women are already signed up and are active in the Facebook group (only available for those doing the challenge). Women of all ages, sizes, and work situations are in it, and they're giving each other GREAT advice to build wardrobes they love!  We even have a few pregnant ladies.  Check it out and join us HERE!

Also, for more One Piece Many Ways posts like this one, click HERE.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Spring Wardrobe: Fun Bottoms and Dresses

Time for the 4th post on building a spring wardrobe!  In the first post I said that I like to have a good foundation of basics/staples, and then mix in fun or trendier pieces each season.  I can keep the staples season after season and just rotate the handful of trendier pieces I get, allowing my wardrobe to stay fresh without taking a huge toll on my budget.

So far I've covered Staples for Tops (HERE), Fun Tops and Jackets (HERE), and Staples for Bottoms and Dresses (HERE).  Today we're covering fun dresses and bottoms for spring!

The collage below is separated in categories by row.  The first row has dresses with trendier elements for this spring, such as the knot tee, bell sleeves, embroidery, or ruffles.  The second row is full of floral prints, which is always in every spring!  The third row has maxi dresses.

Notes about the dresses:
  • Several are breastfeeding friendly with cross-fronts that open extremely easily: Option 5, Option 6, Option 9, and Option 10.
  • I own Option 6 (HERE), and it's reallyyyyyyy soft and stretchy and super cute!  I wear this in M.  I'm normally S/M or 6/8.  See it on me HERE (scroll near the bottom).
  • I also own Option 9 (HERE).  It's not a maternity dress, but because of the empire waist I wore it while very, very pregnant.  It's super soft and stretchy, and the back shoulder area is all crochet as well.  See it on me HERE.  I have it in medium.
  • I also own Option 12 (HERE) in black and a blue print, and the black version is one on my list of staples.  The floral is also really cute!  I wear S.
Links to Shop:
one  |  two  |  three  |  four
five  |  six  |  seven  |  eight
nine  |  ten  |  eleven  |  twelve  |  thirteen

I'm totally eyeing Option 5 as well as Option 12!  I just need to figure out how/if/when I'd actually wear it.  It's so chic though!

Row 1 has printed skirts, row 2 has solid skirts, and row 3 has lace skirts.  A long time ago I wrote a post on the importance of colored bottoms (HERE) for achieving a remixable wardrobe.  While colored pants scare many people, colored skirts and shorts seldom seem intimidating to people.  I think it's because they only cover half your body and don't feel quite as loud as covering your entire lower half in color.  Well, spring is a great time to take advantage of the pretty colors and prints!

Links to Shop:
one  |  two  |  three  |  four
five  |  six  |  seven  |  eight
nine  |  ten  |  eleven  |  twelve

Colored Jeans + Pants
Like I said in one of the other spring wardrobe posts, blush is really "in" again this season, so a pair like Option 4 would be awesome!  But I also think coral jeans and pants can always have some place in a wardrobe.  

In row 1, all are jeans except Option 5 which are chinos.  In row 2, all are trousers or pixie pants except for Option 8 which are jeans.  The last two are printed, and Option 6 would be a great alternative to jeans for anyone who's been thinking about the Spring Style Challenge but has been concerned that they need to dress business casual most days.
Links to Shop:
one  |  two  |  three  |  four  |  five
six  |  seven  |  eight  |  nine  |  ten

Most of the pants come in multiple colors, so if you're not that into pinks and corals or what you see here, click any of them and they'll give you other color options.

I've already added (replaced) my coral jeans for this year, but I need to revamp or tailor the skirts in my closet.  They're not fitting as well as I'd like them to.  And I already told you which dresses I'm eyeing!  Any kinds of "fun" bottoms or dresses you're looking to add?

Also, if you like posts like these that help you build a wardrobe, check out the PMT Spring Style Challenge HERE!  It's a list that combines some of my spring staples and some fun pieces and then creates 48 outfits out of them for you.  It starts in less than 2 weeks, so if you register soon you'll still have plenty of time to pull together your wardrobe from the clothing list provided in the challenge!  

Monday, March 20, 2017

Date Night Outfit + These Shoes are FINALLY Online!

A few weeks ago Benson, Addie, and I went out to dinner with some of Benson's coworkers.  I don't know why, but I was having the hardest time figuring out what to wear.  I think it was partially because it was sort of a nicer restaurant but also sort of casual, and more importantly we had a 2.5 year old toddler with us that I knew I'd have to care for.  I knew I wanted to wear my very comfy and stretchy Old Navy jeans (read important sizing info HERE--scroll down) to keep it casual for one, and also because I'd be moving around a it with Addie.  I also like wearing looser tops when a toddler is around--plus we were eating Italian food so it needed to hide my inevitable food baby!  This blouse is not cotton and is drapey, and closeup it has pom pom details at the neckline that can be seen better HERE.  To dress it up I went with a moto jacket of course, but more importantly, statement heels.

I was carrying my Lily Jade diaper bag, or else I would definitely have been carrying my leopard clutch!  (And btw, there's a great one available right now HERE.)

And GREAT news: THESE TARGET HEELS ARE NOW ONLINE HERE!  I haven't been able to find them online, but finallyyyyyyyy there's here.  They are a knockoff of a very expensive Jeffery Campbell pair, and I LOVE them!  Well, how they look, anyway.  They're not the comfiest (because they're Target shoes), but I've walked several blocks in them while holding a 30-something pound toddler and survived.  The upper is stiff and there is NO flexibility, but once I loosened the laces WAY way way more to make some sort of flexibility, they were alright.  The nice thing with these is that you can make them as wide or loose as you need by adjusting the laces.  I'm normally size 8.5 to 9 and got these in 8.5.  Check them out HERE.

My navy top is sold out, but there are some really cute ones below.

Option #3 looks boring, but I tried it in store and I really liked it.  It felt very similar to the top I'm wearing in this post.

Option #6 is the navy version of my white lace top (HERE) which is also BACK IN STOCK.  I'm normally size 6/8 or S/M and wear 8 as there is no stretch in it.  It's fully lined.  Please note it runs short and is likely not great for those with longer torsos.  Size 8 is 24.5" long.  It's perrrrfect for me at 5'6" with a short torso and I'm guessing would be good for petites.

Lastly, if you missed it, the PMT Spring Style Challenge registration opened on Friday!  Check it out HERE and join us!

Links to Shop:
one  |  two  |  three
four  |  five  |  six

Shop for the Look:
Top: c/o ModCloth (similar, similar)
Jacket: Macy's (exact--wearing M, similar)
Jeans: Old Navy (exact--sized down two sizes; read review HERE)
Necklace: c/o Dear Mushka (exact)
Shoes: Target (exact)

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