Saturday, February 6, 2016

REVIEWS: Paige Denim + Target Shoes + H&M and Old Navy Tops

My last shopping review post was over 2 months ago (see them all HERE), but I finally unleashed the beast and have quite a few reviews for today!  Most of my shopping was for items I'd like to replace, though I tried a few others as well.  Spoiler alert: I didn't keep most of these, though there are a few gems that I'm keeping.

For reference, I am 5'6" with a short torso, normally 6/8 on bottom and S/M on top.  For shoes I'm usually size 8.5 to 9.  

Black Skinny Jeans
My black LOFT jeans have served me well, but they have unfortunately faded.  They were my first *real* pair of black jeans and I didn't know how to take care of them.  (Before that was a $9 pair from Forever 21 that I bought just to see if I even liked black jeans.  Those died real quick, no surprise.)  I don't mind the fading so much and it's actually grown on me.  It looks more casual which is mostly fine, except if I ever need black jeans to dress things up a bit.  The second problem is that I'm looking for more fitted ankles than they provide.  If they weren't faded I would really consider tailoring the ankles to make them skinnier.  But since they're faded also, I decided to use some store credit from Shopbop and Zappos to explore black designer jeans.

I initially tried a black pair of Lucky Brand jeans since I love my dark wash Lucky jeans, but the black ones were too big overall.  Then, since I also love my Paige skinnies, I moved onto those.

Paige Skinny Skyline - size 29
First up is the Paige Skinny Skyline.  Zappos says the leg opening is 10", which is the same as my Lucky Brand jeans.  However, Nordstrom says (HERE) the leg opening is 11" which I found to be more accurate.  (I think it's because Zappos measured from size 26 while Nordstrom measured from size 29.)

In the first picture I rolled the jeans up inward, but you can see in the second picture that they are pretty long on me otherwise.  The bigger problem was that the leg opening is the same as my current black jeans, less fitted around the ankles.

They are INCREDIBLY soft and stretchy.  Reviewers said they could be mistaken for leggings, which I could see.  However, though these jeans are on the thinner side, they are much thicker than leggings for sure.  Plus, they have a real front pocket.  And they don't lose their shape--hallelujah!  Great, great, great jeans if you don't want a skinnier ankle.

Paige Verdugo Ultra Skinny - size 29
I also tried the Verdugo Ultra Skinny.  The only differences between these and the pair above are that the leg opening on this is actually 10" and they are a couple inches shorter.

The first pic above is with the bottom of the leg folded up as if it were hemmed.  Second pic is at full length.  (They can also be found at Nordstrom HERE.)

I was worried that I wouldn't even be able to squeeze into something that was called "Ultra Skinny,"  but it turns out the wonderful amount of stretch is a magical saving grace (*praise hands emoji*).  And, to make things even better, the ankle is what I'd hoped for!

When I initially put them on, they were slightly "squeezy" on the legs, and the seat kept sliding down.  I am NOT a fan of pulling my jeans up all the time, so I was ready to package them up and send them back.  But for some strange reason I wanted to give them a second shot, so the next day I wore them around the house for a while.  What I didn't expect was that they started to conform to my body--without losing their shape--and the seat thing was no longer a problem!  Again, some magic saving grace there, man.  These things are pretty freaking awesome!

The only thing keeping me from pulling the tag off is that I want to try a couple of Levi's first--a pair of 710s (THESE) and 311s (THESE).  I've heard great things about Levi's, and they are much, much cheaper than Paige denim.  I ordered those yesterday and can't wait to try them!

Tan Pointed Toe Flats - size 9
Target used to be my go-to for shoes, but over the last year (year and a half?  I don't really know...) I've moved away from them and looking to take better care of my feet and body.

However, I think there ARE some decently comfortable Target shoes and wanted to give these a shot.  The design aesthetic is exactly what I was looking for--perfect color, pointed but not extremely pointed, simple, and sleek.  But ahhhhhh if they were just softer!  The part above my toes felt stiff, and while mayyyyybbeee they would have broken in...how can you tell if they would have?  I didn't want to take my chances.

Some of you might not have that problem, so these still might be worth trying.  They also come in a pretty bordeaux, or black, or grey.

Navy and Green Plaid Old Navy - Medium
I've been looking for a navy/green plaid shirt.  Pros: pretty soft, has structure, material is sturdier rather than ton the thinner side.  Cons: too muted for what I'm looking for, and pretty boxy on me and looks rather masculine.  I dunno, reviewers seem to love this shirt, so maybe going down a size would help me.  However, at the end of the day, even if it fit impeccably, the colors aren't what I'm looking for.  Overall, it feels sturdier than some of those thin shirts Old Navy carries and could be great.  But if you are between sizes I'd recommend sizing down.

Windowpane Old Navy Shirt - Small
This looks so cute on the model, but not awesome on me!  :(  It's more lightweight than the one above, but the bigger problem I had was the drop sleeve.  You can't see it that well in this picture, but the shoulder seem starts around the top part of your bicep.  Not only that, the fabric around that seam is a little bulky, which accentuates the drop shoulder.  On me, it just looked awkward.  Bummer, because I like the windowpane print!

Open Front Sweater - Medium
I've been linking to the black version of this sweater, but I've been wanting to try it because it looks so cute.  I opted for the red one, since I already have a black/white patterned cardigan.  This one is pretty cute, in either color!  I like how this one brightens things up, especially with spring around the corner, but I think the black and white one is really chic too.

Wearing the Medium fits fine but gives it an oversized cardigan feel, which I don't think is what it's supposed to be.  But it could work!  I think a Small would make it much more chic, but casual and comfy at the same time.  Reallyyyy easy to throw this over a plain tee and jeans, and paired with flats, you will instantly look good!

H&M Order
Addie shot up like a weed over the last few weeks, and before we knew it, we were down to only 3 shirts that fit her (and were doing laundry every few days because of it).  I looked at several stores (Target, Old Navy, Marshall's, you know...) but ended up placing an order at H&M based on stock and prices.  To fill the order and get free shipping I added some of my own stuff to the cart.  Hey, if I have to take one for the team, so be it.  ;)

First up is this super soft striped top.  I know, I know...another striped top.  While I have several long sleeved striped tops I've wanted to replace them for a looser fitting one.  The one I've been wearing, which I really like, has a peplum at the bottom (HERE), but I would like one without peplum also.  

This one is a thicker jersey cotton--really nice material!  It's thick, super soft, and super comfy.  I would not hesitate at all to sleep in this thing.  But, aye yai yai, so boxy.  I think a smaller size would fix that problem, though.  I ordered a medium since H&M tends to run small, but that's not the case for this top.  Kiiiiinnda want one just to sleep in it, but I know that's not necessary.  :)

Also comes in red/navy stripe.  

Striped Top with Zipper Sides - Medium
Another super soft top, thicker jersey top with zippered details on the side.  I really like this top and think it fits well if you're okay with drop shoulders.  It's cheaper than the one above also, and comes in black base with white stripes.  I could easily be convinced to keep this shirt because it's so soft, but I'm trying to convince myself otherwise, as it's thicker than what I was looking for.

Teal Plaid Button Up - size 8 
This fits a little too perfectly and I need to exchange it for a size up.  Besides that, I like these colors much more than the Old Navy one I showed earlier!  It's really soft and on the thinner side, though not as thin as the J.Crew Factory gingham shirt.  Overall, I think it's a cute shirt but perhaps not exactly what I'm looking for.

I didn't see this when I placed this order, but I think I want something with bigger plaid and not the western-looking pockets in the front, like THIS.

Comes in 3 colors.  

After all of those sizing misses we just went through, I think I finally nailed it with this one!  We have a winner!  It's much, much, much thinner than the other striped tees, but also costs less as a result.  It's more like a tissue-tee and would probably need a cami underneath.  I love how it drapes, and the length is good for peeking out under a sweatshirt or sweater.  

One small weird annoyance is that the hem for the sleeves has zero stretch.  I find that really strange and possibly annoying if you want to push up your sleeves and can't go past a certain point because of the lack of stretch.  As you can see, I could push the sleeve up a fair amount, but just thought it was worth noting.  Keeping it, though!

I had a lot of sizing misses, but I think the Old Navy open front cardigan would be a total hit in the right size!

Coming up next is a very colorful and fun order from ModCloth, and hopefully the Levi's jeans will have arrived.

Last note: Work is really busy right now, so I won't be posting next week.  I'll be on social media as usual, and then back on the blog the following week!  

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Valentine's Day Outfit + 12 Coral, Purple, and Red Pieces

Two of our friends got married last month and I was super indecisive about what to wear.  I had a navy dress in mind, but once I realized that the bridesmaids were all wearing similar dresses I scrapped it.  After tearing through all of my dress options, I eventually landed on this dress given that it was an outdoor wedding in January, (though 60 degrees--thank you, San Diego!) and this dress had sleeves.  Being maroon, it also lent itself better to a winter wedding as opposed to my bright pink or mint dresses!  :)

I showed this on Instagram and in the IG roundup earlier this week (HERE), but here's the full outfit.  
I'd wear it again for Valentine's Day, except my ideal Valentine's Day event would be either a) having dinner and playing boardgames with friends, or b) watching a movie at home with Benson while eating a really, really, really good pizza--in my pajamas.  As you can see, we are extremely exciting people, and this dress just wouldn't cut it for our fancy Valentine's Day plans.  ;)

But in case you're looking for an outfit idea for a nice dinner or perhaps an upcoming wedding, here you go!  I found several similar maroon dresses from Target HERE, ModCloth HERE, and Modcloth again HERE.

I know our Valentine's Day ideas are hard to beat, but what would be your ideal way to spend Valentine's Day?

Shop for the Look:
Dress: Target (similar, similar)
Jacket: Forever 21 (similar, similar)
Bag: c/o Gray Monroe (similarsimilar)
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington (exact)
Shoes: H&M (similar lower heel, similar higher heel)

Besides Valentine's Day being around the corner, SPRING is around the corner too!  I promise, people.  I know some of you are looking out your window and shaking your heads at me, but it'll come eventually.  (It's gonna be 80 degrees this weekend!)  Here are some pretty coral, purple, and maroon pieces either for Valentine's Day or just for spring.

Rows 1 & 2 are solids, row 3 has lace or crochet, and row 4 has patterns.  I especially love Option 1 and Option 2 for everyday put-together casual, though #1 could be dressed up with jeans, nude pumps, and a grey or black blazer.  Option 3 is fun for casual wear with jeans and flats, workwear with trousers or khakis and heels, or going out with metallic jewelry and a sharp blazer.  Option 7 is SO STINKING PRETTY.  Lastly, Option 11 is perfectly laid back but put together.  All you need is a dark wash pair of jeans and some tan flats, or brighten it up with white jeans and wedges.  

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

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Instagram Outfits Roundup #3

While my outfit posting has cut down dramatically on the blog, I *have* been getting dressed!  It's quicker and easier to take outfit pics for Instagram, and I post more outfits there than ever make it here.  Some of these may never make the blog in a full outfit post, or if they do it could take several days or weeks.  So here's a roundup of what I've been wearing lately over on Instagram!

Follow on Instagram HERE.  Or for random other life stuff--mostly of Addie--follow on Snapchat: audreyPMT.    

black tee marled cardigan distressed jeans booties

On Instagram I wrote, "A patterned cardigan and ankle boots go a long way.  Otherwise, this outfit is just a plain tee and jeans!"  I was tempted to go with black booties to make everything streamline but opted for brown instead.  I did it to add more components, into the mix, like even just another color, since the outfit is otherwise very simple.  

And shoot.  When I posted this cardigan just 6 days ago it was totally in stock and on sale.  But now it's completely sold out!  (Main reason to follow on IG: I'm so slow to post them here.  Shameless plug, but it's a legitimate reason!)  Luckily, Old Navy has a similar one right now (HERE) that is fantastic and can be casual but can also be more professional--something I didn't feel like this Target one could be.  

Shop for the Look:
Top: c/o Fancy Frills Boutique (very similar)
Cardigan: Target (similar Old Navy)
Jeans: Old Navy (very similar)
Shoes: Old Navy (similar)
Watch: c/o JORD (exact)
Bag: c/o Sole Society (exact)
Necklace: Nordstrom (similar but kind of pricey)

blanket scarf Everlane crewneck sweatshirt Paige denim JORD

I took this look from @dailydose27.  She's great at putting a striped top underneath a sweater or sweatshirt to not only add another layer of warmth but make the look a little bit more interesting.  This is a less sporty way to wear that Everlane sweatshirt I talked about a couple weeks ago.

Shop for the Look:
Sweatshirt: Everlane (exact)
Jeans: Nordstrom (similar)
Scarf: Zara (similar copycat)
Shoes: Old Navy (similar)
Watch: c/o JORD (exact)

maroon lace dress leopard clutch

A few weekends ago we attended a wedding.  You would think that because I usually plan all my outfits day-to-day that I super duper plan special event attire.  You would also think that because we've gone to A BAJILLION weddings I'd have it figured out by now.  Wrong.  Completely opposite.  I am that person who scrambles to figure out what to wear 30 min before we have to leave for an event!  I need to quit that!  

Anyway, this lace dress is an oldie but a goodie from Target.  I last wore it in Oct 2013 (HERE) shown 2 ways--one with tights and one with bare legs.  Since then I couldn't wear it anywhere because I got pregnant in Nov 2013 and after Addie was born I was nursing, and this isn't nursing friendly.  It needed some love!

Instead of nude heels, like one of my original Oct 2013, I went with darker brown and cognac which I liked much better.  Plus, a pop of leopard!  The best!

Shop for the Look:
Jacket: Forever 21 (similar)
Clutch: c/o Gray Monroe (exact, similar)
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington (exact)

green buffalo plaid infinity scarf

I already showed this one, but here's the Instagram version.  Sometimes outfits are more enjoyable with the person's head cut off, haha!  (I promise that's not a knock on anyone's face, and plus I'm saying this about my own head too.  LOL!  I just mean that sometimes it's easier to imagine an outfit on yourself without someone else's hair and face in the whole picture.  :P )  

I'm digging buffalo plaid a lot this season.  I got this scarf in red buffalo plaid (HERE), and I liked it so much that I went for the green one too (HERE).  I like that it's a little different than your typical red buffalo plaid!  

Shop for the Look:
Top: Nordstrom (similar)
Jeans: LOFT (similar)
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington (exact)
Bag: c/o Sole Society (exact, similar)
Scarf: c/o Ooh Baby Designs (exact)

cobalt blue sweater

More of this blue sweater!  When something's good, it's good.  One thing about style blogging--I discovered that I love pairing colors that are next to each other on the color wheel!  

Shop for the Look:
Sweater: Old Navy (similar)
Jeans: Nordstrom (exact, similar)
Shoes: Old Navy (similar)
Bag: Nordstrom (exact
Necklace: c/o That's Mine Boutique (exact)
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington (exact)

leopard print pumps

Neutrals and leopard will probably always have a place in my book of favorites.

This top is 40% off, putting it around $25.  It has a loose fit and is extremely long since it's a tunic, but I always do that half-tuck thingy in the front.  However, I've seen people wear it fully out as a tunic.  It comes in 5 colors: white, olive, black, teal, and maroon.  Even though it has a loose fit, I still got it in Medium because that's what fit my shoulders best.  (I'm normally S/M.)

Shop for the Look:
Top: Nordstrom (exact)
Jeans: Target (similar)
Bag: c/o Sole Society (exact)
Shoes: c/o Sole Society (exact, similar)
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington (exact)
Necklace: c/o Sela Designs (exact)

BTW, if you follow on Instagram you can shop these outfits via LIKEtoKNOWit.  That way less things will be sold out when you see them, unlike when I finally post them here.  (Sorry!)  It seems some people get confused by the whole LIKEtoKNOWit thing.  All you do is go to www.liketoknow.it and take a few seconds to register--super quick.  After that, when you "like" any post from someone (me or anyone else) that's tagged with @liketoknow.it, you'll be sent an email with links to shop that post.  It'll look like this:

This is a screenshot, but in your email those icons at the bottom are clickable and will take you to the item.  That's it!  (Note: the links are affiliate links, just like the links used here on the blog.)  

Honestly, I used to hate the whole thing, but it grew on me when I kept wanting to know exactly which pieces people were wearing.  In that sense I think it can be really convenient because you don't have to dig up the item yourself or guess if you found the right one in your own search.  But sometimes I just want to know where stuff is from and maybe don't want a link or want to have to go to my email to figure it out.  So if you ever just want to know where my pieces are from but don't necessarily care for the link, on Instagram tap my photos once and you'll see labels for where pieces are from.  The labels will pop up, looking like this:

Let me know if you like this format or if you would still like to see some of these outfits in full outfit posts with different angles and closeups!  Thanks in advance for your feedback!  

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Put a Pattern On It

Earlier this week I talked about go-to outfit formulas (HERE).  Here's one: solids with a pattern.  I avoid my solid pieces because they seem "boring," forgetting that I bought them because they serve as a clean canvas to accessorize however I please.  Can someone tattoo that on me, because I neglect my solid pieces for too long until I remember it again.  *smh* Come on, self, get with it!

On another note, tons of you have told me you're looking for the ankle boots with the front cutout after the post on choosing the right ankle boot (HERE).  A while ago I mentioned a very similar option, but the stock is low in many colors now and the price varies depending on which site you buy from.  The options are here in order of cheapest, but look through all of them for different sizes in a particular color: 6pm // Shoebuy // Amazon.  Another similar pair with great design aesthetic can be found HERE, though it is much, much more expensive.

Otherwise, some cute black boots without the front cutout are below:

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

Shop for the Look:
Top: Nordstrom (similar, exact--sold out online)
Jeans: LOFT (similar)
Shoes: Kohl's (similar but wood heel, similar but pricey)
Scarf: c/o Ooh Baby Designs (exact)
Bag: c/o Sole Society (exact, similar)
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington (exact)

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