REVIEWS: Summer Dresses, Shorts, and More

I’ve been hard at work trying to get a handle on my summer wardrobe.  It’s the least developed part of my closet, but this year I’m determined to have an intentional, remixable collection of summer clothes.  With that comes a ton of shopping, so here are a bunch of reviews!  
For size reference, I’m 5’6″ with a short torso and typically S/M or 6/8.  I wear size 8.5 to 9 in shoes.

White Denim Shorts – size 28
I’ve mentioned a time or two how much I hate shorts, but I’m determined to have a decent collection of shorts that I don’t hate.  My go-to *would be* Old Navy, except most of their shorts have far too much material at the crotch area for me.  Typically other shorts are either too short, and/or the leg holes are too tight around my thighs.

I think I found a winner with these shorts from J.Crew Factory!  I got them during a huge sale.  They’re 4″ when cuffed as shown above, and 5″ if you unroll the cuff.  They are very soft and have stretch in them, aka comfy!  The rise is just under 9″ in front, and the leg opening for size 28 is 12.75″ across when laid flat.  They actually give me room around my thighs–whew!  If you’re unsure how wide you want the leg opening on shorts, go measure a pair of yours that either fit well or are just too tight and use those as a reference for how these would compare.

I’m typically size 6/8 and got these in 28.  Also, please note that the blue wash denim shorts that look like they should be just as comfy as these white pair (THESE) are NOT.  They are NOT soft or flexible.  They’re super stiff and uncomfortable!

Find the white shorts HERE.

Denim Vest – size S
This is for my girl Kelli who requested denim vest reviews!  I’ve not tried many denim vests, but the handful that I have tried have usually been too big for me, whereas I want a nice cropped look all around.  I thought I was already sizing down here by going with S, but it was still too big.  First, the middle column that’s left when open isn’t as open as I want it to be.  Likewise, the collar area was too closed and felt a little suffocating.  Also, on the right side above you can see there’s a lot of extra room in the bust for me.

Typically with jackets, not vests, I would want some room in the bust, I’d want my shoulders to line up perfectly with the shoulder seams, and I’d want room in the sleeves to layer over long sleeved tops.  With denim vests, I’m learning that I probably want them a size smaller than I’d normally do with jackets.  I don’t need to worry about sleeves fitting my long sleeved tops since vests don’t have sleeves.  Also, the shoulder seams don’t have to match up perfectly since there are no sleeves.  And I don’t want or need extra room in the bust.

Otherwise, I like the vest.  It’s a great medium wash and overall really cute.

I’m curious to try this in XS, but shipping is no longer free as it was the day I bought this.  However, the vest IS on sale right now HERE!

Blue White Striped Skirt – size 4
This skirt is so cute!  I adore that it has pockets and an elastic waistband which makes it easy to fit and more comfortable to wear.  It’s 23.5″ long, but I might debating getting it shortened a couple of inches.  I wear slips under most things, but I didn’t feel the need to wear one under this at all.

It runs large, as I’m normally size 6/8 and got this in size 4.  The elastic waist and a-line silhouette make it very forgiving.  Unfortunately it’s sold out in most sizes already, but a few are still available HERE.  There is a similar one HERE, though it doesn’t have stripes.

Floral Tee – size M
I’ve talked and talkeeeddd about this floral tee and showed you a bunch from Amazon that were hit or miss.  I have a top in this print, except the background is more peach whereas this one’s background is white.  Also, the one I have is a billowy silhouette which makes it hard to tuck into skirts and awkward to wear on windy days.  (See the billowy one HERE.)

The top I’m wearing above has the perfect silhouette as an alternative to my billowy one!  The crew neckline makes it wearable with any statement necklace or pendant.  The length for Medium is 25″ from shoulder to front hem when laid flat.  It’s super soft and stretchy and looks good knotted (as shown above) if you want to make your own twist tee that’s popular these days.  It’s on the stretchier side, so if you tend to not like that kind of material or worry about clinging, then take that into consideration.  The shop does show it on both a size S model and a size L model that is much curvier, which is soooo helpful!  See those images HERE.

It’s available HERE with free shipping!  Find it in navy HERE.

Tan Leather Sandals – size 9

I am so used to paying $16 for a cheap pair of sandals from Target, so these were a huuuuge stretch for me.  And naturally, there’s a huuuuuuge difference between these and cheaper sandals.  I wanted to give them a try because I love sandals this style, and this lighter tan color was spot on.  Also, as I’m getting older I’ve been trying to be kinder to my feet (and therefore the rest of my body–I have back issues!)  I’ve heard fantastic things about the comfort of Born shoes, so I wanted to try that first-hand.  These have not disappointed!

I have been wearing them on Instagram and Facebook (HERE and HERE) and have been getting asked about them without even highlighting them or bringing attention to them.  That’s just to say they’re cute!

Looks: The lighter tan color is perfect!  Also, the ankle strap is thinner than any cheaper pair I’ve tried, and for the shape of my legs, I love the thinner strap.

Comfort: More importantly, they are indeed quite comfortable.  I wouldn’t say there’s a ton of support–they are still a flat sandal with no arch support.  But the footbed is cushioned, which is where the comfort part comes in.  The outsole is rubber, and overall the shoe is flexible without feeling flimsy like cheaper sandals.

The shoe is made of leather, hence why it’s so expensive.  But it’s comfortable and feels like a “real” shoe rather than the synthetic, super flat, almost-cardboard-like cheaper sandals I typically wear from Target and Old Navy.  I would freaking hope these are way above those kinds of sandals for how much they cost!  😛

These come in 6 colors and can be found HERE.  

T-Shirt Dress – size M
This is one of those suuuuuper soft, stretchy pajama dresses.  (White dirt marks on the Old Navy Mirror are not part of the dress.  :P)

I swear I ordered this same dress a few months ago in olive green, and it was way too short.  But I tried this one in store and the length is perfect.  This particular one is also thicker than the olive green one I tried months ago.  I’m not sure if the olive green one was actually a different dress, or if this is just due to Old Navy’s inconsistent sizing.  Bah! *smh*

Anyway, I dunked this in a sink of water to see if it’d shrink, and I’m happy to say there was no noticeable shrinking!

That said, I’d prefer this to be a couple of inches longer because when I move around, it’s a little bouncy and comes up higher than I’d prefer.  The sleeves are such that when you raise your arms, the entire dress comes up with you, and this thing comes up above my mid thigh–yikes.  I’m definitely returning it and considering ordering it in Tall.

Striped Tank Dress – size M
I’m not one to pass up a good striped dress!  And as much as I love my striped t-shirt dress, sometimes you just need a bare arms.  This one also passed the sink dunk test and suffered no noticeable shrinking.  (Hand washed and air dried.)

Important question: Can you wear a regular bra with these arms since they’re cut a little inward?  Sorry for the unclear answer, but it’s a maybe.  It depends how well your straps stay in place or how wide set your straps are to begin with.  I haven’t actually worn this for more than 15 minutes testing it around the house, but for that short time period the straps on my regular bra weren’t a problem.  If a regular bra doesn’t work for you, a racerback bra should do the trick.

Unlike the black dress above, this one does NOT do the weird thing where the whole dress comes up when you raise your arms.  No sleeves = no problem!  🙂

Find it in 4 solid colors and 5 prints HERE!

Olive Tank Dress – size M
Yes, another one of these.  Like I’ve been saying, I have a *lot* of work to do in building my summer wardrobe, so I need to rebuild my dress collection.  I know this swing silhouette is not the most flattering on me, but frankly I don’t care.  It’s so comfortable, breezy, and laid-back.  And honestly, they are more flattering on me than most of the dresses available these days that have the seams right across your stomach.  Anyway, if you desire a dress with more structure, you can try belting the swing dresses.  You can play with how high or low you want the belt, depending on the dress and your body shape.

I really wanted an olive jersey dress for this summer, and since the striped one above doesn’t come in olive I scoured Amazon for one.  There are TONS, but many of them are too short for me at 33-34″.  I searched and searched and finally found this one that’s a nice 37″ and hits me just above the knee.  Oh, and it has POCKETS!

It’s only $17, comes in a bunch of colors, and can be found HERE.  (I really love the Kelly green version!)

Sandals – size 9
These are a cheap pair of sandals from Amazon, and they definitely feel cheap.  I’m not sure why, but they have a pretty decent 4 star rating!  On one hand, they are very flexible which is nice, as some cheaper sandals feel very stiff and rough.  On the other hand, I’m worried they’ll actually break or something if I step on a rock.  Perhaps I’ve been spoiled by the tan leather sandals I reviewed above! 😛

The plus side is that these come in a ton of color combos.  If you’re looking for a cheap pair of sandals to carry you through this season, these could work for that.  See them all HERE.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

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