Coming in hot with lots of great casual items for summer, a backpack, and some swimwear to review! Truth be told, I am not ready to wear anything related to summer, but I wanted to get on top of the swimwear since I know we’ll be spending a lot of time at the pool come summer. And I was interested in some items from recent collages I made in collaboration posts, so I ended up ordering them and liking them! These are all from Amazon, Old Navy, Gap, and Kohl’s and are all between $12 to $43! You can also catch the Old Navy, Gap, and Kohl’s items for steals sometimes, since all of those stores have frequent sales. Let’s talk through them!
SIZING: I’m 5’6″ and usually S/M or 6 in clothes and 8.5 to 9 in shoes.
You can pair this cute, breezy, and breathable layer with denim shorts or over swimsuits. This one is super soft, and while there is a lot of material, it doesn’t feel bulky. It comes in 40 colors and prints and is only $24.99. See all the colors HERE. I’m wearing the color Palm Leaf which is one of the last colorways on the page and wayyyyy at the bottom.
Amazon Faux Leather Backpack
Several of you asked about this backpack when you saw it in “Three Ways to Create Stylish Spring Outfits With Neutrals,” and I’ve been waiting to share it with you! I wanted to try out having a backpack so that I could be hands-free while carrying more than what fits in my crossbody bags, and so far it’s been great to have.
As for this specific backpack, I wasn’t as picky with it as I am with clothes, but it’s still a pretty good option! It’s under $45 and has nearly 3,000 reviews and 4.6 stars. I don’t expect it to last a lifetime, but it’s doing the job for now and has become my go-to bag when I’m with kids.
The most notable thing that I like is that the main compartment opens on the INSIDE, not on the outside/front. It eases all my weird paranoia that someone might unzip my backpack from behind me and take things without me knowing. (😬🤷🏻♀️) It has adjustable shoulder straps, a crossbody strap, and a top handle to carry it in a variety of ways.
There are also three small zippered pockets on the outside, two small open, outer side pockets, and two small pockets inside the main compartment. You can see more details of all the pockets on the product site, especially in the video.
This comes in 34 colors, and I have it in “0 Retro Brown.” Note: My friend accidentally ordered one that had “oil” in the name, and it was super shiny which made it look cheap. See all the colors HERE. For a similar option that opens from the TOP instead of the back, try THIS one. I did order that one, but I felt the faux leather looked more “faux” than the one I landed on.
Shop the Outfit:
Top: Gap (exact—wearing size XS)
Denim Jacket: Nordstrom (similar—same brand, I wear size M; similar)
Pants: Gap (exact—wearing size 6)
Sandals: Target (similar)
Backpack: Amazon (exact)
Earrings: c/o Nickel & Suede (exact—wearing size M)
I have wanted a cute but sporty swimsuit that flatters a midsection and also provides nearly full coverage at the back, and preferably two pieces. It’s a tall order with lots of criteria to check off! Up until now, I’ve had several flattering swimsuits that provide just the right coverage, but they have been one-pieces AND they have not really fit my style. They have frills or a somewhat glamorous vibe, and while they are very flattering, I’ve always felt a little too cutesy or too glam for a random Tuesday at the neighborhood pool with all the neighborhood kids. I wanted something that was cute with a mix of sporty, as opposed to cute with frilly or glamorous.
(Shout out to all my Simply Put Together members who know the power of clothes that actually feel like YOU—and avoiding the awkward feeling when clothes don’t feel like you, no matter how cute they are!)
I’m happy to say I think I’ve put together something that hits all my criteria! I won’t really know how I feel about it until pool days roll around and I actually wear them, but as of now, it totally fits the bill.
I found a sporty swim tank with a cute print and several separate bottoms to pair it with. Here they are:
Amazon Swim Tank Top – size M
First the top from this set has a sporty vibe and a simple knot, which is the “sporty + cute” style I was hoping for. It comes in a TON of prints and colors, so I was able to find one that totally feels like me. You can check out all the prints HERE. I’m wearing size M, and I typically size up 1-2 sizes in swimwear.
Amazon High Rise Bikini Bottoms – size 8
Now for the first pair of bottoms! The swim tank comes in a set with bottoms, but I’m showing a separate pair above. I wanted something that covers the rear and contains and flatters the midsection, and the pair of high rise bikini bottoms definitely does! High rise swim bottoms are fantastic at holding in a midsection, but it’s even better when there is ruching, as that helps camouflage things even more. A lot of one-pieces have this feature, but it’s AWESOME to have it in a pair of separate bottoms so you can mix and match it with different tops.
Additionally, the back coverage is pretty dang good, too! I don’t review swimwear often and quickly realized I don’t know how to take a good selfie of the back, but hopefully what’s shown above is enough to see there is ample coverage!
These come in 6 colors, are only $19.99, and are available in sizes 6 to 22, HERE. I wear size 8.
Amazon High Rise Ruched Swim Shorts – size 10
Somehow I hit the jackpot and found a second pair of bottoms that also worked! These are similar to the bikini bottoms above as they are high rise and have ruching to flatter a midsection. But, there are two noticeable differences. First, rise is MUCH higher on these, as you can see it barely shows any of my midsection at all. If you have a longer torso and/or just want to cover more of your midsection, these are definitely worth trying. The second difference is that these are swim SHORTS, so they provide even more coverage at the rear as you can see above.
I’ll say I don’t LOVE how the leg holes sit around my thighs, so I made sure to size up to 10 so that nothing was squeezing me uncomfortably. Also, the rise is a tad high for me (I have a shorter torso) and I like where the green pair sits instead, in terms of comfort, but that will completely depend on your body shape and where you like your clothes to sit.
These are under $21 and come in 5 colors, which you can see HERE. I wear size 10. Size 8 fit okay, but I liked how size 10 fit a little more loosely around my thighs.
Old Navy + Gap
Now time for Old Navy and Gap! I’m lumping them together since the brands are related and sometimes items in the carts meld together and get shipped together. I believe for both brands, you can get free shipping on orders $50+ and free return shipping but of course double check that with their shipping policies!
Also, Gap is offering an EXTRA 30% OFF with code YOURS!
Old Navy Green Swim Shorts – size M
The last pair of bottoms is these swim shorts from Old Navy. They are roughly the same rise as the green pair of high waisted bikini bottoms I shared above, but they are shorts that provide fuller coverage in the back. I find the waistband, material, and fit pretty comfortable!
If you want to see a comparison of the effects of ruching, you can compare this side view with the side views of the previous bottoms. This side view is okay—I honestly don’t mind it—but there IS a difference between this and bottoms that have ruching. Just a note to try ruching in case that helps in some way!
Old Navy Linen Pants – size XS
I tried this pair of linen pants to see if it’s worthwhile for you all to check out and there are things I like and a few things that I wish were different, but aren’t deal breakers for me.
Pros: Lightweight, fits me fairly well (which I never take for granted—finding clothes that fit is hard for all of us!), elastic waistband, good color. It’s decent enough and does the job as a lightweight pant option for warmer weather.
Cons: The part around the ankle is slightly tight, so once in a while I have to pull down the leg to straighten it out. It’s not ideal as I HATE wearing clothes that don’t lay well and that I have to fidget with. But it’s also not a deal breaker since I’d probably only wear these during the summer. If it were a multiple-season item, I’d be way pickier. Also, the material is soft but not crazyyyyy soft. (You know how much I LOVE soft clothes. My bar is high, haha!) Last, I’m uncertain of how much they’ll shrink in the wash and how much length can be restored with steaming. Old Navy linen always worries me a bit, if I’m honest!
Overall, I think they’re decent enough for their purpose, and I like the sort of brighter green a lot.
However, to me, they are somewhat overshadowed by the Gap Tencel Pants that I shared in a recent blog post and are in the picture with the Amazon backpack at the top of this post. The tencel pants are soooo soft and comfy. They’re a different cut (straight leg) so they hold a slightly different place in a wardrobe, but they feel a lot better than the Old Navy linen pants. They are also a bit of a darker olive green.
Anyway, all that said, you could try these Old Navy pants for yourself. They have some good qualities. You might prefer their silhouette and color. They come in 6 colors and sizes XS to 4X and in regular, tall, and petite lengths, HERE. I’m wearing size XS.
Gap Linen Blend Muscle Tank – size XS
I recently shared this in the post “Three Ways to Create Stylish Outfits With Neutrals” but originally tried it in size S and said I wanted to try it in size XS, and I definitely prefer this fit!
This feels a bit pricey to me for a tank top, but I like it because I often feel like white tanks easily look like undershirts and this one doesn’t, thanks to its linen blend texture and drape. I also like its relaxed vibe. It’s fairly thin but not completely see through thanks to its texture. It comes in 6 colors and comes in sizes XXS to XXL and in regular, tall, and petite lengths, HERE. I’m wearing size XS.
Kohl’s 4” Denim Shorts
I mentioned these shorts in my Spring Getaway Packing List post, saying they are a great, affordable pair, so here they are on me! They are SUPER STRETCHY, so they are very comfortable, and they’re only $19.99! (They’re an extra 20% off with code MY20 through 4/26!) They have a 4” to 4.5″ inseam and the leg opening is 11” when laid flat. The denim is pretty thin, which is fairly normal for a pair at this price point. But if you’re looking for a comfortable pair that won’t break the bank, these are definitely worth trying. They come in 9 colors, HERE. However some of those colorways are a different style altogether with utility style pockets. 🤷🏻♀️ I’m wearing these in size 6.
Kohl’s Bermuda Denim Shorts
This is another pair I mentioned in the Spring Getaway Packing List, and just like the pair above, these are very soft, stretchy, comfortable, and affordable at just $19.99, with an extra 20% off through 4/26! They are also on the thin side. This pair has a 7” inseam at full length, and you can roll them up a bit to your liking. Note that, at least on this black pair, the color on the inside is different than the color on the outside which will create contrast if you roll them up. These come in 7 colors, including several blue washes. See them HERE. I wear size 4.
I’m wearing the Gap Linen Blend Muscle Tank from above, in brown.
For shoes, I’m wearing the rubber Crocs that I’ve mentioned a few times. In case you’ve missed it: they are very comfortable with a squishy footbed made of rubber. And they work in the water since they’re rubber. It’s great to have a pair of sandals that you can wear to the pool or to the beach that ALSO looks good with shorts, jeans, and dresses! And they’re under $40! I own them in several colors. 😅 Stock is currently limited, but I’m hopeful they will get restocked as summer actually starts. And different colors / available sizes vary across multiple retailers, so find some colors HERE at DSW, HERE at Zappos, and HERE at Kohl’s. For sizing, I’m normally size 8.5 to 9 but wear these in 8.
Kohl’s Puff Shoulder Peplum Top
This is a top that I mentioned in the Spring Getaway Packing List post, and it’s a good option for a nicer casual look or for a date. It’s on the shorter side, which is perfect for me since I have a shorter torso. It might be fine if you have an average length torso but probably wouldn’t work if you have a long torso. It comes in 6 colors, HERE. I wear size S.
I like it paired with the Kick Fit Pants from Gap that I showed in a recent blog post. These jeans have stretch, so they’re comfy, but they are thick enough to help you feel secure and held-in. I wear size 28.
This is the sweatshirt that I also mentioned in the Spring Getaway Packing List. I love this thing! It’s not very thick or cozy as the inside is sort of like terrycloth, so it’s a better weight for spring and summer. It’s really SOFTTTT and hangs and moves with you well. I wear this thing multiple times a week. 😆 And it’s only $12.96 right now!!! This comes in 13 prints which you can check out HERE. I wear size S.
Those are some of my recent finds. There are some great, affordable pieces here that I hope help you create a wardrobe that feels good!
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