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Thursday, December 15, 2016

REVIEWS: Cozy Sweaters, OTK Boots + PMT Challenge GIVEAWAY Reminder + Almost 50% off Lily Jade Bags

If you follow me on Instastories you may have seen the stack of boxes that were in my house from all the shopping I've been doing lately.  I feel like I've been shopping a whole lot, but most of it has been a whole lot of trying with just a little bit of keeping.  It's probably better that way!  :D  

After trying a ton of sneakers, sweaters, and boots on (both online and in-store), today I'm just showing the highlights and what's worth some attention.  

PMT WINTER STYLE CHALLENGE OPENS TOMORROW + GIVEAWAY REMINDER!
Before we get to the reviews, I have been BLOWN AWAY and humbled by your responses to the PMT Challenge giveaway.  It's been inspiring and encouraging to hear how you've grown your style this year, whether it's been because of anything from this blog or not.  I just love that you're putting ideas into action, no matter how big or small they seem!  And to anyone who's grown because of content written here, I have been especially inspired by you to continue writing about style basics.  Thank you for reading!  I'm getting really excited for the challenge to begin!  YAAAAAHHHHH!

With all that, remember that registration for the PMT Challenge opens TOMORROW!  Read all about it HERE, and enter the giveaway if you haven't yet!  Today's the last day to enter!  Come back to the blog tomorrow for the registration link and giveaway winners.

Registration will stay open for quite a long time, but regardless, you'll want to register on the earlier end so you'll have more time to put together your wardrobe.  Also, if you register by 12/24 you'll get entered to win a virtual styling session with me! 

Now, onto the reviews!  BTW, if you're planning to do the challenge, pay special attention to the sweater reviews.

For reference, I'm 5'6" with a short torso.  Usually size 6/8 or S/M in clothing and 8.5-9 in shoes.

Pattern Knit Sweater - Size Medium
I've wanted to add a couple looser fitting sweaters, so although I haven't shopped at H&M in a long time I headed there based on what I saw online.  There were several sweaters in store that looked like this, but this one was the winner because of how nicely it hangs on me.  If you look closely, you can see the V-shape it forms from the front, which I think has a slimming effect on me.  It also lays nicely over my larger hips, whereas another sweater I tried either got stuck or poofed out by my hips.  This one is not itchy to me.  Plus, it's CHEAP at $19.99.  I'm glad I went in store because it looks so different on me than it does on the product page (HERE), and I would never have chosen it based on what I saw online because it looks really long.  

You can wear it with jeans like above, but I'm also hoping to wear it in an athleisure look with leggings and black sneakers.  It'd also go with maroon or olive jeans of course.  And it can be dressed up with a metallic or bright colored statement necklace.  Imagine it with black jeans + a bright red statement necklace + red pumps!  Or cobalt pumps and necklace, as I tend to do instead of red.  :D  

It's sold out in most sizes online, but it was well in stock in-store.  Wearing size M.  


Beige Knit Sweater - Size Medium
I liked this one a lot, but didn't LOVE it on me--at least that's how I felt in store.  Now that I'm looking at these pictures I'm like, "Hmmm, this is kinda cute!"  Haha!  But, it is fairly wide, which I think some people can pull off, but I can't.  When I moved around it didn't come back to sit well and made me look wider.  I also found it slightly itchy, but if I were to wear a long sleeve underneath it wouldn't be that bothersome.  If you can work the drapey, wider cuts, then try this because it's pretty cute.  Also only $19.99.


Olive Mock Neck Tunic - size Medium
For anyone thinking of doing the PMT Style Challenge--check this one out.  I included a forest green sweater as one of the PMT Challenge pieces already knowing I wanted to get one for myself.  The original one I used in the outfits that you will soon see is actually already sold out now (dahhhh!), but I'm happy for this alternative!  It's going to work with all the green sweater outfits in the PMT Challenge.  

I would NOT have tried it based on what it looks like online, so I'm glad I went in store.  Even though I usually stay away from drop shoulders, this one didn't bother me because the shoulder and sleeve are still fitted.  Because the neckline is higher up it should work with almost all statement necklaces, which is one of the looks in the PMT Challenge.

I could also imagine this in an athleisure look with my Zella leggings (HERE, reviewed HERE) and black Nike Tanjuns (mentioned below, found HERE).

Comes in several really good neutral colors.  I might order the black one too, haha!  


This is a very, very thin sweater, almost like a super duper thick t-shirt that is soft and fuzzy on the outside.  Hard to explain.  It's very stretchy though.  

This is actually my 3rd time trying this sweater because I really want it to work for me, but after finding the one above I think I'm putting this to rest.  However, there are some plus sides.  It's good for those who want a thinner sweater.  It is long and could go with leggings, except on me it gets bunched at my wider hips and doesn't hang nicely all the time.  Makes me concerned that it will not STAY over my rear and instead ride up and get bunched at my hips.  

Another downside for the Challenge is that it'd be hard to wear a statement necklace with this neckline.  However, an easy solution is swapping the statement necklace out for a pendant for that one outfit.  It'd still work for the other outfits.  

This sweater is the same price as the one above, but for how thin this one is and how the other one hangs on me in the side profile, I chose the other one instead.  

That said, tons of people still love this sweater!  It comes in 4 colors.  See them and read reviews HERE.


These are the same boots in Whiskey Sueded and Sandstone Suede respectively.  I'd been seeing OTK boots on others in ways I loved, so when these went on super sale during Black Friday I took it as an opp to try.

I love both of these colors and LOVE how these boots fit me.  The quality felt fantastic, and they seemed more than worth the sale price.  You would think given all that I would keep them, but I didn't.  :(  Still sad about it, but I needed to be more logical.

During Black Friday they were $129, which is a good price for a riding boot and an even better price for OTK boots!  And as much as I loved the silhouette on me, I still couldn't imagine myself choosing these over a normal pair of riding boots.  I've seen OTK boots in plenty of casual outfits, and another blogger with 4 little kids said she wears OTK boots basically like normal boots.  Yet, when I tried these on myself and imagined walking into daycare or church or work in them, I just kept feeling like I'd be way too overdressed, no matter how casual the rest of the outfit.  

I AM still willing to take a chance on OTK boots and explore them, but not at a $129 price tag.  Sadly, these went back, but they are AWESOME!  

For calf fit reference, I usually get riding boots with a 15" or less circumference.  The calf circumference on these is 15" and fit perfectly with jeans.


Target OTK Boots - size 9
These, on the other hand, are only $49.99.  They look extremely similar to the brown pair above, but you absolutely CAN feel the difference in quality.  That's what you are (not) paying for though!

The silhouette is also great on these.  But one thing I don't love is that the material doesn't really stay straight up, which is due to the thinner, cheaper, synthetic material.  You can see how the material is folding a little on the upper half in ways that the Franco Sarto pair don't.  But, overall, if any of you have been eyeing OTK boots but need a cheaper alternative, check these out.  They're available in-store.

TIP: Check if these are at your local Target in your size before making a trip out there.  Save yourself some potential hassle!  Head to the item's product page (HERE), click your color and size, and right underneath there should be a button that says "Find In Store."  Clicking that, you should have to enter your zip code to find your store, and then it should tell you if it's available there or one nearby.  

I still have doubts that I'll choose these over my riding boots.  However, they also come in black, and I am in need of new black tall boots.  Maybe black OTK would work instead?  I'll still need to keep these around and play with some outfits to see how I feel about them.  But for now I wanted to give you a heads up!


These are quite inexpensive for riding boots, and they feel much thicker and sturdier than the OTK boots above.  Online shows a lighter grey, but in person they are dark as shown here.  

I want to love these so much, but first of all, and I was sooooo close!  I tried these in store (shown on Instastories), but when I got home I noticed the ankle is kind of weird.  The boots really hug my ankle, then bunch out right above it.  They don't do that at all on the model on the product page, so perhaps I need to try a different pair.  If the ankle gets worked out, I'd try these in black instead of grey.  Like I said, I need a black tall boot, and while I was looking for a grey one I realized I'd prefer a lighter grey one.


Sneakers - Nike and Reebok for Casual Wear
I also landed on the Nike Tanjun in black (HERE) as opposed to the Nike Free RN (HERE) which made my feet look a little wide and flat from the top.  The Tanjun is gonna go well with the grey sweater I reviewed above!  For the Tanjuns I went with size 9 because 8.5 was slightly too short for my right foot. (My feet are slightly different sizes!)  I fit 8.5 in the Nike Free RN.  

I tried Reeboks in both grey and navy (HERE) because Kilee from One Little Momma looks so cute in them.  I liked them but also felt they also made my feet look a little wide, AND the Saucony that I've featured here before are more comfortable and cheaper.  (Find Sauconys HERE.)  I fit 8.5 in both the Reeboks and Saucony.

The ultimate reason I sent them back was because I needed to figure out what problem exactly I was trying to solve.  That's a question Benson and I always ask each other when we're deliberating about pieces that we may have lusted over rather than had on a well-thought-through list.  "What problem are you trying to solve?"  When I thought about the navy Reeboks, I knew I could wear them with jeans and all my plaid shirts should I ever want to wear non-athletic or sporty clothes but need to walk a lot in.  However, I decided at this point in how I dress, I would likely always wear flat riding boots with those kinds of shirts and just let my feet suffer a little if I had to walk a good amount.  If I needed sneakers in the spring with those same shirts I would just wear my white slip on sneakers.  It's what I would realistically do, and I had to come to terms with that and let go of the navy pair, even though they looked cute with a bunch of my tops.  


Lily Jade Bags
Lastly, I 'm selling a few Lily Jade bags that I don't need anymore because I really only NEED one.  I tried to convince minimalist Benson that I NEEDED two, but he won.  :(  Lily Jade bags are extremely expensive at retail, though fantastic quality, but expensive is expensive you know?  I'm selling 3 bags that were used at varying levels.  You can see the description and condition of each bag in the links below, along with images of the quality.  Click on individual images for very large closeup views.

See them all at once HERE, or individually below:


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