Thursday, February 18, 2016

review: banana republic contrast tie front blouse + heaps more

It's been quite some time since I did any type of clothing review - almost two months! I didn't really buy a lot for the past two months, but now that I'm back to real clothes (at least for this rotation!), I've tried a few new things out the past month! 

Contrast Tie-Front Blouse
Banana Republic Contrast Tie-Front Blouse
First up is a blouse with detachable bow from Banana Republic. I found this while scanning the sales section, and fell in love with the feminine blush color mixed with the masculine "tie". Above I'm wearing a size medium - I also ordered it in large, but it was massive, so definitely size down if you are interested. My initial reaction was "can I pull this off?" - you guys know I'm pretty safe and conservative with my style choices! But the more I think about it, the more I really like this blouse. It's pretty, it's work appropriate, and because the tie is detachable, it's also fairly versatile. It also has a covered placket, which all of us bustier girls can definitely appreciate. As you can see, it is slightly sheer (at least not 100% opaque) so a camisole is needed (my favorite is from Express - I wear it under everything!).

Next is Ann Taylor's lace yoke top...and I promise I did not accidentally buy a maternity top. The online flatlay is so pretty, but of course when it's on an actual person, it doesn't look the same. I'm wearing a tall medium above - I was hoping that going with it in tall would make it long enough, but it clearly was not. Maybe I just need to let it go that loose and swingy tops are just never going to work on me. I bought this in the middle of January, and it has already long been returned, but I wanted to share in case anyone had their eye on it. It may work better for you if you have a smaller chest than I do...or if you are looking for a cute maternity top ;)

Sailor mini skirt
I haven't really ordered anything from Gap in quite some time - I used to be allll about the Gap a few years ago (I worked there for a short time in college - I do miss that 50% discount!) but haven't really found anything I loved. I did see this cute navy mini skirt, and I just became really excited to pair with every striped item in my closet. At the time of my purchase, there was only one review of the skirt, and it said that the skirt they got in the mail had a giant pleat in the front. I thought maybe they ordered a different skirt than the one that they reviewed, so I ordered the skirt in hopes that it didn't have a giant pleat. does have a giant pleat on the front, and the now many disgruntled reviews agree. Even without the pleat, this skirt was going right back just because it is obscenely short on me. I do love the idea of a shorter navy skirt though, especially because I prefer skirts over shorts in the warmer months. J.Crew Factory has those cute elastic waist skirts, so hopefully they will come out with a navy version this spring!

gap Mini crossbody
Since I was ordering from Gap anyway, I figured it was time to finally try out that little red cross body bag I've been talking about for months. It's cute, and for less than $20 definitely affordable, but I found it to be just too small for me. I could barely get my phone into it, so it too is going back. I just didn't want to keep it because I knew that I would have a hard time committing to a red bag in the future "because I already have one" plus my rule is not to keep something just because it was inexpensive. DvF has a cute red cross body that is obviously more expensive than this Gap version, but not at the $800 price point of the Chloe I love. 

Ooooh fun, another top where I look pregnant! This one is from Loft, size large, and just not meant to be for me. I will learn one of these times!

Next is a sheath dress also from Loft that should be amazing - black, pockets, sleeves, shows your shape without being skin tight. Naturally it looks amazing on the model online, but is all wrong on me. I'm wearing a size 10 here. I think personally, I don't really love the high neckline on this - if it had a v-neck, I would be a lot more forgiving of the next few issues I have with the dress. Really the biggest issue is the pockets - they don't lay flat at all so they just awkwardly jut out from your hips, one place I don't need extra jutting! I also think the dress was an awkward length - it hits me right at my knee. The reviews online are mixed, most are saying the fabric is thinner than expected (I don't necessarily agree) and that it's too long (agree). I'm just hoping that they will make a similar dress with a v-neck and more subdued pockets - that would be the perfect work dress!

This is the J.Crew sweater I mentioned in Sunday's post. I'm bummed that it isn't really working on me! I purchased a size large. I actually quite like the torso of the sweater - it's loose without looking like maternity clothes, the slits and perforation are fun little details, and it's not too short on me. My biggest issue is the sleeves! First of all, drop shoulders should just not be a thing - who do we petition to make them go away? Combined with super loose sleeves (something I don't usually have an issue with!), it just looks very sloppy on me. If only it had regular shoulders and slightly tighter arms, this would have been a fun addition to my closet. 

Halogen® V-Neck Lightweight Cashmere Sweater
I realized last week during our first real snow storm of the year that I really don't have very many sweaters - I have two! So I ordered the J.Crew sweater above and this cashmere v-neck from Nordstrom. It was originally $90, but now marked down 40%, which is pretty great for a 100% cashmere sweater! I'm wearing the pink hush color in a large, and I do think it fits true to size. Again, this has those damn dropped shoulders, but because the sleeves are fitted, it is less of an issue. I love the pretty soft pink, the length of the torso and sleeves, and the little slit detail on the sides. It is slightly sheer, but again, not a problem for me. I definitely recommend this sweater, and hope they come out with a few more subdued colors in the future (as well as without dropped shoulders, please!) as I would repurchase it in another color. It also comes in petite sizing if you are interested.  

Last, I just wanted to share a quick look at the Clare V. clutch I received c/o from my collaboration with Shopbop. I have wanted a Clare V. clutch forever - the leopard version that was so popular a few years ago was like all I wanted for the longest time. When I finally decided to get one, I was torn between going with the leopard version I loved for so long, or a more practical tan or black version. In the end, I decided that for occasion I would use a clutch, I would more than likely be wearing black shoes, so I went with the supreme fold over clutch in the pebbled black. I've used it twice now, and was so excited both times! It's the perfect size to hold all the things you need - phone, lipstick, and a small wallet. The inside is like a grey chambray fabric, which is great because I would rather have a lighter inside where I can actually see what I'm grabbing for. Oliveve also has a very similar style for $100 less - still expensive for sure, but a very similar style for "less". I almost wish I had seen it before I ordered mine just because of that price difference! 

So that kind of summarizes the past eight weeks or so of shopping for me! Have you purchased anything great lately? I'd love to hear about it!

ps. the nail polish in most of these pictures is essie's peak show (I'm obsessed!) and my phone case is c/o casetify.