Friday, October 21, 2016

Instagram Roundup #13 + Shop My IG Outfits From the Blog in Real Time!

Happy Friday!  I've been MIA on the blog this week because work has been extra busy.  We had some unexpected challenges that needed lots of attention.  Plus, I have a special thing coming up in November regarding work, and I've been working extra to get stuff in line.  I'll share about it as November comes closer!

Though I haven't been blogging, I've been posting a little on Instagram.  A girl's gotta get dressed, right?  :D  

I do these Instagram roundups because I often post outfits there that may never make it to the blog otherwise, or won't make the blog for weeks.  Follow along @puttingmetogether!  

HOWEVER, I've just included a new widget that allows you to see and shop the Instagram outfits right here from the blog in real time, even if you're not an Instagram user OR a LIKEtoKNOWit user.  YASSSS!  

At the righthand sidebar you'll see a new "Instagram Lately" section that displays my latest Instagram feed.  Click on any outfit you want details for, and you'll be able to shop the post right from the blog, without needing to use LIKEtoKNOWit.

Lastly, if you don't want shopping links for my IG outfits but just want to know where items are from, tap the photo once to see which stores items are from. 

We had a cooler week, and surprisingly I actually needed the cardigan the whole day.  Unfortunately it's back up to the 80s and 90s again now, but the dip in temp was nice while it lasted!

This is one of the ModCloth tops I showed as one of my "fall tops in fun colors" (HERE).  It is on the more expensive side of my comfort zone for tops, but I've gotten a surprising amount of compliments on it.  I've had maroon pants in my fall wardrobe for years and wanted a maroon top but hadn't found a good one until this one.  Many of them were too dark for me and I felt they dragged down my dark complexion.  I reallyyyy like the shade of this top, and the print is cute as well!  I'm normally size S/M and wearing Medium.

A very similar cardigan to mine is almost sold out but different sizes pop in and out of stock every day HERE.  Other options from Old Navy and LOFT that aren't quite as similar but are the same color can be found in the links below.  

Shop for the Look:
Top: c/o ModCloth (exact, similarsimilar burnt orange, similar polka dot)
Cardigan: Nordstrom (similar, similar, similar)
Jeans: Paige (exact, exact, similar much cheaper)
Boots: Nordstrom (exact)
Necklace: c/o Dear Mushka (exact)

To power through a few busy days I relied on this old favorite olive top.  It never fails with jeans, so I wore this exact outfit twice last week.  Don't ever be ashamed of doing that!  :)  This exact top is no longer available, but a super similar one can be found HERE.  Also, the longer tunic length version of this exact top is available in this color and 5 others HERE.  I have the longer one in white and blush and love that length too!

Shop for the Look:
Top: Nordstrom (similarbasically exact but longer, similar with buttons and for larger sizes)
Jeans: Nordstrom (similar)
Shoes: c/o ModCloth (exact, similar)
Bag: Nordstrom (exact)
Necklace: c/o Sela Designs (similar)

This is one of the Old Navy jersey dresses that I reviewed last week (HERE).  I wore this outfit to church last week, and I loved that this dress is soooo comfy--like pajama level comfy--so I could move around and bend up and down to pick up a toddler, yet I looked like a presentable adult.  :D

Shop for the Look:
Dress: Old Navy (exact)
Cardigan: Nordstrom (similarsimilar)
Necklace: c/o Dear Mushka (exact)
Boots: Target (similarsimilar)

I wore this tee last Saturday and my dumb little brother (who is 30 years old but will always be my "dumb little brother") gave me crap about it not being "Sunday."  *eye roll / laughing emoji*  I threw back that technically it was quite sunny that day.  

Anyway!  The tee is really soft with a nice loose fit and was great for running errands on the weekend.  I'm normally S/M and got this in S.

I also got to start this book by Anuschka Rees who has a fantastically methodical approach to curating a wardrobe that fulfills your needs.  She's more methodical, detailed, and thorough than I am, so if you like reading about finding your style and curating your wardrobe, check out her book HERE.  

Shop for the Look:
Tee: Old Navy (exact)
Jeans: Nordstrom (similar)
Shoes: Zappos (exact)
Bag: Nordstrom (exact)
Book: Anuschka Rees (exact

Enjoy your weekend!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

REVIEWS: Old Navy and LOFT Dresses and Sweaters

I found some pieces I'm really happy about from Old Navy lately and wanted to share them!  They are currently having a 30-40% off sale too!  I also tried some pieces at LOFT, which is also having a 40% off sale.  

For sizing reference, I'm 5'6" with a shorter torso, and I'm normally size S/M or 6/8.

Swing Dress - size M
These swing dresses are made of super soft, stretchy, comfortable jersey fabric.  I don't love Old Navy's rayon dresses, but I have usually loved their jersey dresses like these.

These come in 3 neutrals and 3 prints.  I chose solid maroon because I have printed blanket scarves that this dress would be a great background for.  I also chose a printed one which can be layered with all the usual completer pieces for fall but will give my outfits more interest without needing to add more layers if I don't want to.

They are fairly thin (but not see through) and can be layered with cozier and warmer items or paired with tights.  They are sooo soft and comfortable!

See the 6 color/print options HERE.  Currently 40% off with code FALL.

Textured Pullover Sweater - size M
I don't know why, but I used to think pullover sweaters didn't work for me.  I think maybe it was difficult to find ones that weren't very fitted but were a little looser.  Last year I finally found a couple of looser fitting ones, and I'm happy to add a couple more to the collection with the ones above.

I picked these up just a couple of weeks ago.  They are on the thinner side, or maybe a better way to describe it is the knit is more open so it'll add some warmth but probably not make you toasty.  I was really drawn to each of these colors.  The sea green is a nice way to brighten up fall and winter wear, and the camel is nice and rich, which I prefer to a more faded tan that I often find with similar colored sweaters.

Above I showed the green in small and medium.  The small technically fits, but I don't like how it emphasizes my hips.  It was too fitted for my taste, and I prefer the looser fit of the medium.  It'll also be easier to layer button ups underneath.  

I also REALLY like textured sweaters.  That's another thing I discovered that made me realize I like pullover sweaters.  Plain, smooth pullovers really didn't work for me and looked too plain or too preppy, or...I don't know.  But, textured ones just WORK!  

They come in 4 colors HERE.  Currently 40% off with code FALL.

Textured Pullover Sweater #2 - size M
I bought this exact sweater last year, and it's available again this year!  It was one of the "couple of looser fitting ones" that I mentioned above, so I'm glad it's back.  Of course, it's textured.

This is thicker than the ones above, but similarly, the knit is a little open.  If you are looking for a super duper warm cozy sweater, I doubt either of these will do the trick.  That said, this one kept me warm on cooler days in January, and if I layered something underneath it was quite toasty.  See the ways I've worn it HERE.  It's available in 6 colors HERE and currently 40% off with code FALL.

Smock Dress - size S Tall
This is the dress I mentioned in the last review post HERE that I said I really wanted to work because I could see it layered with tons of stuff.  I'm super glad to say that the Small Tall worked out in length, and it fits better all around than the S or M in regular sizing.  However, I still don't like the seaming, especially with my smaller chest.  The whole thing looks weird from the side.

Instead, I like the first dress I showed above (THIS one) much better, and it works even better and is more comfortable.

Peplum Top #1 (Navy Plaid) - size S  //  Peplum Top #1 (Purple Swiss Dots)
I really like these fake layered mixed media sweaters, so I was compelled to try a couple at LOFT.  These sweaters tend to be super thin (3 I tried at LOFT and 1 from Old Navy below).  I like them because they provide the interest of a layered look without the fuss of actually layering layering--great for warmer climates and for comfort, honestly.

In particular, the ones above are very soft and have a cute button back detail that can be seen on the product page HERE.  I had a hard time choosing between them, but ultimately I kept a grey version.  It's unavailable now, and when I ordered it it was only available in petite, which happened to work for me.  The ones above are both on sale, PLUS an extra 40% off!

Chiffon Hem Sweater - size M
This one is from Old Navy and is noticeably looser.  I prefer one of the LOFT ones above, but this could be a good option to try if you want something looser.  Overall, though they are nearly the same in thinness, the LOFT sweaters just felt better.  You also get more detailing for just a little bit more money (at least, compared at the current sale prices).

Peplum Top #2 - size M
People love this one in reviews, and while I think it's VERY cute, it didn't work well for me.  The top half is thicker than the other two sweaters shown above, but it is also a little stiffer and tighter.  That would be okay, except the side profile isn't great on me.  Much too poofy, but it might look better on someone with narrower hips than me.

Sunday Tee - size S
Last is this soft, comfy graphic tee!  A cute tee to have for a chill day.  I also tied the Medium, and while there wasn't a huge difference in the torso between S and M, the shoulders were wide on me in Medium.

Get it for 40% off HERE with code FALL.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Comparing Ankle Boots: Which Should You Buy?

Advice on Which Ankle Boots to Buy

Lately I've shown a fair amount of ankle boots, and personally when I see bloggers talk about how much they love this, that, and everything else, I find myself going, "Yes, I know you love all of them, but which do you love MOST?"  And more importantly, "Which one should *I* buy???"  I thought it'd be helpful to write one post comparing the boots I've shown lately.

If you are looking for guidance on how to find the right ankle boot for you or are wondering what characteristics you should be looking for, check out both of these posts: 1) Choosing the Right Pair of Ankle Boots and 2) How to Wear Ankle Boots with Jeans and Dresses.

In a nutshell, if you don't want to read those posts, how I personally evaluate boots is based on:

  • 1) Wanting boots with lower shafts or dips in the front to elongate my legs.  Other people can get away with any shape of ankle boot, but something about the shape of my calves or ankles makes many ankle boots look strange on me if they hit a certain area on my ankles.  They look like clunky elf shoes on me.  See HERE for picture comparisons of what I mean.
  • 2) Comfort.  How long or how much can I walk in these without wishing I had on different shoes?  Some days I need to do hours and hours of walking.  Some days I do little walking and can get away with less comfortable shoes.
  • 3) Color.  Do I need this color in my closet?

For sizing reference, I'm normally 8.5 or 9.  

If you made me choose to have only one pair of ankle boots in my closet, it'd probably be this pair or the pair below.  I got these during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and while they're not on sale anymore they got restocked and are available in most sizes.

Why I love it: 
  • Color.  This color is incredibly versatile.  Because I tend to wear darker colors in the fall I find many ankle boots that are a little darker, whether a darker taupe or tan/brown, can make my outfit feel dragged down when combined with darker colored clothes.  This is not always the case, but it often is.  This color not only goes with a lot of things, but it lightens up my outfits and makes them feel fresher.
  • Comfort + Low Heel.  It is not the most comfortable boot I'll speak of today, but it is comfortable.  I put my favorite insoles in them like I do with most of my shoes (THESE, reviewed HERE), but also the material is sturdy without being stiff, the quality is good, and the heel is low and walkable.  Several of you have told me you bought them after seeing them here and find them really comfortable.  
  • Low Shaft.  In Choosing the Right Pair of Ankle Boots I illustrated why I prefer a boot with a lower shaft or a cutout in front.  It elongates my leg line.  Secondly, it makes the look cleaner.  Other boots that are slightly higher come up around my ankles and look very loose.  When that happens the boot can look too big on me, appearing clunky and kinda like elf shoes.  This is of course particular to your leg shape, but the shaft on this boot is low and creates a streamline look for me both with jeans and dresses.  That is SO HARD for me to find!

What I don't love: Honestly, not much! :D  Sometimes other booties look better with certain colors or dresses, but if this were the only pair of boots I was allowed to have in my closet, I would NOT be sad about that!

They used to only be available in this color and black, but are now available in 5 colors!  Find them HERE.

Shop Outfit #1:
Dress: Old Navy (exact)
Scarf: c/o ModCloth (exact)
Boots: Nordstrom (exact)

Shop Outfit #2:
Top: Nordstrom (exact in other prints)
Vest: Old Navy (similar)
Jeans: Nordstrom (exactsimilar)
Boots: Nordstrom (exact)

Unfortunately these are several years old and not available anymore.  I get asked all the time for similar options, but I have been hard pressed to find them.  I think this style isn't really "in" anymore and therefore not widely available like it was the year I bought them.  I don't care--they are the most flattering for my leg shape so I really don't care if they're in!  

Why I love it:
  • Shape + Cutout.  I talk more about it as the ultimate example for me in Choosing the Right Pair of Ankle Boots, so head there if you want to know why.  They look good with all skirts and dresses, and I don't have to roll my jeans up as much to show a little ankle thanks to the cutout, which also elongates my leg.
  • Color.  I've had these for several years and I've found that these work really well for many outfits, but they are the biggest winners for outfits that no other color boot I own looks right with--including the lighter colored pair above.

What I don't love: I both appreciate and don't appreciate the heel.  The heel adds length and elongates blah blah blah, but I skip over these if I'll be out walking all day.  They're not even uncomfortable, but I just can't walk miles in these or can't walk as quickly as I could with a lower or heel like the pair above.  Sometimes you just NEED a flat boot.

I wear these when: The color of the previous pair of boots doesn't work, a skirt or dress looks better with heeled boots and the dip in the front, or when I don't need to do tons of walking or standing.

Shop for the Look:
Top: J.Crew Factory (exact--wearing S)
Vest: Old Navy (exact--wearing S)
Jeans: Nordstrom (exactsimilar)
Bag: Nordstrom (exact, similar)
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington (exact)

These are also several years old and not available anymore.  I got these shortly after I got the pair above.  They don't feel as good as the pair above, but they do the trick, they're flattering, and they're my only pair of black booties.

I wear these when: I need a black boot.  Pretty simple.

Shop for Outfit #1:
Top: Nordstrom
Cardigan: Nordstrom (similar)
Jeans: Nordstrom (exact)
Bag: c/o Sole Society
Boots: Kohl's
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington (exact)

Shop for Outfit #2:
Sweater: Old Navy (exact)
Jeans: Nordstrom (similar)
Scarf: Zara (similar)
Boots: Kohl's
Bag: Nordstrom (exactsimilar)
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington (exact)

I only got these recently and it's been quite warm lately, so I haven't had much opportunity to wear them.  My real test with any shoe is running errands for hours and seeing if they hurt or slow me down in any way, and I have only sat or stood for long periods in these shoes so far.  That said, here are my thoughts.

  • Price!  These are under $40.  I know not everyone wants to spend $80 or $100+ on ankle boots.  I've already said my reasons in recent posts about why I buy more expensive boots now, but it doesn't mean I don't still seek to find the same quality at a lower price point.  These are good for lower priced boots.  They don't seem like they'll do that annoying creasing thing at the toe like I've griped about before.  (Only time will tell, though.)  I don't think they look like $100 boots, but they are still better than other boots in their price range.  
  • Style - Heel + Color: The shoe is really cute.  The heel makes it easier for me to wear with jeans, extending my leg line.  The zippers add a fun element.  And the color--I like that it's a medium tan as opposed to darker.  Like I said, darker colored browns or taupes tend to muddy up my outfits.  

What I don't love:
As I said earlier, while they're good for the price, I feel a noticeable difference in quality and how the material feels between these and my more expensive pairs.  That's not true of all less expensive boots, but I do feel the difference with these.  Also, any heel is both a plus and a minus as I said with previous pairs.

I'd wear these when: I need a brown boot to wear with skirts or dresses, when I need to wear a brown boot and don't have to do a ton of walking or standing, or when I'm going to do activities in dirt or rocky areas and don't want to worry about scuffing up more expensive boots.

Shop for the Look:
Top: c/o ModCloth (exact)
Jeans: Nordstrom (exactsimilar)
Bag: c/o Lily Jade (exact)
Boots: Target (exact)

These are the most expensive ankle boots I own, but you can definitely feel the quality.  Recently another reader told me they bought a pair of Clarks booties 6 years ago and they're still going strong!  These are almost the most comfortable boots I own.

  • Quality.  Stated above.
  • Incredibly comfortable.  These are super comfortable, from the low heel to the cushioned footbed to the sooooffffft buttery leather.
What I wish were different: The height of the shaft isn't as low as I prefer, and the boot looks loose around my ankle.  I don't think these would work with dresses or skirts for me.

I'd wear these when: I need a brown boot and need to do lots of walking.  And I would have to wear them with jeans.  If they looked good with skirts and dresses on me (i.e. had a lower shaft or a dip in the front), I'd probably get rid of the pair above and always wear these.

Shop for the Look:
Tee: Nordstrom (exact)
Cardigan: Old Navy (similar)
Jeans: Nordstrom (exactsimilar)
Shoes: c/o Zappos (exact)
Bag: Nordstrom (exactsimilar)
Necklace: c/o Dear Mushka (exact)

I love all the same things about them as I said about the pair above: incredibly comfortable and well made.  However, these are slightly heavier than the pair above, and because I walk pretty fast I don't love walking in these because of their weight.  Unfortunately, that's the main reason I hardly wear them.

I wear these: Almost hardly ever, sadly.  As good as they are, I'd choose any of the other pair of boots above.  I might choose them if I needed a brownish gray boot with some more character--so basically mostly for style.

Shop for the Look:
Top: c/o Gray Monroe
Jeans: LOFT (similar)
Scarf: c/o Ooh Baby Infinity
Bag: Nordstrom (exactsimilar)
Boots: c/o Zappos (similar)

The color of this pair is similar to the Franco Sarto pair I talked about.  They are a lower price point, and you can feel the difference in quality, but I think they are decent.  The material is a little stiff compared to all the other boots I talked about, but they are still wearable.  The heel makes it easier to wear with jeans or skirts, and I don't need to be as mindful of how high the shaft as a result.

Personally, because I already own the Franco Sarto pair and the Target cutout boot (first 2 pairs) I felt I would always choose those pairs over these.  Instead, I mailed them to my friend who has been looking for her first pair of ankle boots!

In a nutshell, I prefer more expensive pairs over this pair because of the better material, but if you need a taupe pair under $50, look into these.

Shop for the Look:
Top: c/o ModCloth (exact)
Jeans: Nordstrom (exactsimilar)
Bag: Nordstrom (exact)
Scarf: c/o ModCloth (exact)
Shoes: c/o ModCloth (exact)

I've tried several peep toe booties/mules, but they usually came up too high on my ankles.  Not only do they look bad with my calves, they are uncomfortable when too high and cut into my ankles!  These actually worked, and I'm so glad!  They are on the less expensive side but feel pretty decent.  I've only worn them a couple of times so far, but already they are creasing--in a different place than other ankle boots.  Other ankle boots crease at the toe, but these are creasing where my ankle bends.  You can kind of see it in the photo on the left on my right foot that's crossed on front.

In terms of comfort, I wouldn't say they feel "AMAZINGGGG" or anything like that, but on the other hand, the shoe never bothers me.  The thick heel is very easy to walk in.  Overall, I actually really, really like this pair and am happy with them given the price.

I'd wear these when: Sometimes a fully closed toed boot looks kinda weird.  I don't know, I wish I had a picture comparison to illustrate that.  But, that's when I'd opt for a peep toe bootie.  Obviously also not when it's raining or snowing (which is seldom a problem where I live!)

Shop for the Look:
Top: c/o ModCloth (exact)
Jeans: Nordstrom (exactsimilar)
Shoes: c/o ModCloth (exact)
Bag: Nordstrom (exact)

Those are all the ankle boots currently in my closet!  Here are a few more below.  The top row is under $40 and the rest under $100 thanks to a current sale.  I have no personal experience with these, though for expensive ones I tried to choose ones with good reviews.  I have tried #8 and they are surprisingly comfortable.  Most of them come in a variety of colors, so if you like the style, see if they have a color you like.  Good luck finding a pair that works for you!
Links to Shop:
one  |  two  |  three  |  four
five  |  six  |  seven  |  eight
nine  |  ten  |  eleven  |  twelve

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Fall Tops in Fun Colors

HOW PRETTY and perfect is this top for fall?  This fall I've taken interest in expanding my arsenal a little from my typical plaid button up + cardigan + boots combo.  Not that I will ever give up that combo, but I'd love to add more variety.  :D

ModCloth has been extremely helpful in diversifying my fall wardrobe.  I've said before that when I'm looking to break out of my wardrobe norm I check ModCloth because of how much personality and uniqueness they have, and they did not disappoint this fall.  I'm grateful to partner with them again today to show you some of their cute pieces!  

Typically my color palette for fall and winter has been a lot of grey, black, white, tan, and navy (aka neutrals) plus olive and maroon.  And mostly only maroon PANTS.  It was hard for me to find colored tops in the past, but thanks to ModCloth I've found several colorful and fun pieces that have really rounded out my closet!

The rust top above is a gorgeous example.  (Found HERE.)  It's so cute for a fall party!  Others I added are THIS printed maroon top, and THIS floral top that provide fun prints and a dash of color.  

Shop for the Look:
Top: c/o ModCloth (exact)
Jeans: Nordstrom
Shoes: c/o ModCloth (exact)
Necklace: c/o Dear Mushka (exact)
Tote: (similar)

Here are some ideas for those tops:

YESSSS, found a maroon top!  The print makes it one of those "effortless to wear" tops I talked about HERE.

Shop for the Look:
Top: c/o ModCloth (exact--in Medium)
Cardigan: (similar)
Jeans: (similar)
Shoes: c/o ModCloth (exact)
Necklace: c/o Sela Designs (similar)
Bag: (similar)

This top can definitely be worn to the office with a skirt or tucked into trousers.  The navy background makes it easy to wear florals in the fall and even in the winter.  I paired it with these very adorable maroon loafers with the fringe detail, and they are fairly inexpensive.

For sizing, I'm normally S/M in most stores, but M/L at ModCloth.  I read reviews for this top saying the arms were tight, so I went with L just in case.  It fits me perfectly.  For shoes I'm normally 8.5/9 and got these in 9.

Shop for the Look:
Top: c/o ModCloth (exact--in Large)
Jeans: Paige (exact)
Shoes: c/o ModCloth (exact)
Necklace: c/o Sela Designs (similar)

If I'm going to deviate from my beloved plaid shirt ensembles, this is the way to go!  :D  I added THIS dress too, though it's sold out now.  :(   ModCloth not only has tops in great colors and prints, but they also have dresses and skirts and more.  For clothes that will give your fall style some personality, check out ModCloth's tops HERE, dresses HERE, and skirts HERE!

Created in partnership with ModCloth

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