Basics Building: The Best White Jeans

Basics Building: White Jeans

I know, I know, it’s only February. Many of us are still buried under a blanket of snow, and spring seems so far away. But over in our Private Facebook Group, there has been lots of talk of white jeans. So today, I’m sharing what I think are the BEST pair of white jeans. And you can head over to the group to read everyones recommendations. 🙂 

If you could only buy one item to update your spring and summer wardrobe, consider a pair of white jeans. I wear mine all the time. You can pair them with just about anything and instantly create a crisp look that is always classic and always appropriate. 

Before we jump in, a few things to remember. I’m never one to create a sense of urgency. We are only talking about clothes. Keep in mind, though, that the spring and summer retail season goes by in a blink. While you may have warm temperatures for a decent amount of time, you don’t have a ton of time to shop for what you need. 

Shop early for specific categories, like swim (kill me now), shorts, and white jeans. 

Especially now that we’re entering the first retail season after a year of pandemic life, the depth of inventory that retailers carry is going to be much different than seasons past.  

Let’s continue our Basics Building Series, with great fitting white jeans in straight or skinny legs in all sizes that are NOT SEE THROUGH! 

The Best White Jeans

Basics Building: White Jeans

My favorite white jeans, not only for me but for clients, are by NYDJ. Their fit is on point, they are comfortable, NOT see-through, and reasonably priced.

Let’s talk about price for a minute. White jeans range in price from $25 for Old Navy, to multiple hundreds of dollars.

I see no reason to spend an exorbitant amount here, but you might want to spend a bit more to get a quality pair.

NYDJ averages $119.  You can find them on sale throughout the season so keep an eye out. 

In terms of styling, straight or skinny leg is the way to go. Skip trouser or boot cut because they end up looking sloppy, and the whole point fo white jeans is to create a clean and tailored look.

The most important sizing note, specifically for NYDJ is to SIZE DOWN. These run full and stretch out.

Straight Leg

 

Basics Building: White Jeans

A straight leg white jean is a nice alternative to a skinny while still creating a long, lean line of the leg. You want these to hit around your ankle, either just at or slightly below. This way, you’ll be able wear them with a low heel or flats. 

Here are my best picks: 

NYDJ Marilyn Straight Leg Jeans, 00-18, $119, Plus Size, 14 – 28, $119

Skinny Leg

Basics Building: White Jeans

Skinny: Petite and Regular, on sale $44

Then there is the skinny. Remember that while you’ll feel these on your body, they are not the same thing as a legging. If they are too tight, especially in white, you’ll be showing off everything. You still need to size down in these, they run a full size big. 

Here, I’m featuring the petite and regular also in 00P – 16. There are two plus options to highlight. The first is the denim plus option here, and above is a stretch cotton pull on pant that is a nice alternative to denim. 

Alina Legging Jean, Petite, 4P – 18P, On Sale, $44. 

Ami Skinny Jean, 00 – 18, $119

Amin High Waist Skinny Jean, 14 – 28, On Sale, $50

 

Our Style Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please  follow on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

Learn about our mission to help women look and feel their very best, every day, here

 

Get on The INSIDER Waitlist for Spring/Summer 2021

Become a Well Dressed Life Insider with Photo of Megan Kristel

Sign Up for Daily Content and Receive Our Free Classic Wardrobe Checklist

 

The Best Tall Boots Under $200

The Best Tall Boots for Winter Under $200

Finding the perfect pair of tall boots is a challenge. Some are gorgeous but exorbitantly priced. Others lack any kind of practicality. And some have almost everything right but then get it wrong by adding unnecessary details.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve received many requests for a round-up of reasonably priced, tall boot options. So today I’m featuring my best recommendations, in a range of styles all under $200. 

The Best Tall Boots Under $200

The Best Tall Boots for Winter Under $200

To get the most out of your purchase, look for a pair with clean lines, in either black or tan, with enough comfort so you can stand all day in them.

Basic Boots 

J.Crew Knee High Boots in black

Basic Boots, $150 

When I search for a tall boot to recommend, this is what I want: clean, polished, and will work with anything. My challenge is usually the price. Everything I like is $400 – $500 +, which doesn’t work for most people.

That’s where these J.Crew boots come in and save the day. They are high quality, comfortable boots available in black or tan for under $200. In fact, they are on sale for an extra 20% off making them about $120. 

Pair them with tights and a dress, or wear over skinny jeans or leggings and a long sweater. 

Have wide calves? Give these BØRN boots a try. 

Riding Boots

Sam Edelman Riding boots in whiskey

Riding Boots, $190 

Years ago, I bought Frye Riding Boots (in black and cognac), and they are hands down one of my best purchases. These flat, rugged boots are casual. I wear them frequently with jeans or leggings, when I want something better than sneakers. Or you can wear them with tights and a sweater dress, etc.

They get more comfortable with every wear and polish up beautifully. 

For a slightly more affordable version, try this similar style by Sam Edelman (above)

If you take good care of either pair, you’ll have them for a long, long time. 

Suede Boots

Sam Edelman over the knee suede boots

Suede Boots, $200 

If you are looking for a pair in suede, this stretch pull-on option is fantastic. They get 5-star, rave reviews for comfort and style. Available in black or tan. You can wear these with anything, from dressy to casual.

Stiletto Boots

Nine West Stiletto Boots

Stiletto Boots, $139 

Finally, if you have your basics covered and want to pick up something jazzy, these Nine West stiletto boots are the perfect combination of timeless and sexy. The Croco print adds texture and interest to a simple dress and tights. Available in brown (above) and black.

The Best Tall Boots for Winter Under $200


Our Style Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

 

 

 

Basic Building: Birdies The Starling Loafer

Birdies The Starling Loafer

Let’s get right to it: I AM OBSESSED WITH THESE SHOES.

We do a lot of entertaining at my house. Nothing formal, but there’s always a lot of wine and many cheeseboards. Nothing makes me happier than challenging my inner Ina, turning on the fireplace, playing music, and hanging out with friends around the kitchen island.

There’s real magic in opening your home and feeding the people you love. Over the years, I’ve learned the hard way: the more relaxed you are as the host, the better the night goes. So I’ve created my own routine when we have guests over to avoid reinventing the wheel each time.

There’s a place for everything, the drinks are self-serve, and the food is yummy but straightforward. I light some inexpensive candles, put out grocery store flowers, and I’m done.

But, the biggest challenge I had was getting dressed, specifically, what shoes to wear.

I want to look casual but not sloppy, and festive but not formal, especially this time of year. So everything I wanted to wear, from skinny jeans to velvet pants, required a shoe not practical for at-home entertaining.

I often ended up in my Rothy’s (which I still love), but I even kicked them off after several hours standing in the kitchen and ended up barefoot. Not ideal.

Then I discovered Birdies, a “stylish flat that’s secretly a slipper” and immediately ordered a pair. They are exactly what you want to wear whether you’re hosting at home, or a guest at your neighbors, or visiting family etc. 

This post is NOT sponsored, I just love them. 

Birdies The Starling Loafer

 

Birdies The Starling Loafer

The Starling Loafer, $95 

Birdies were founded by two moms who shared a passion for bringing family and friends together at home. Frustrated after years of hosting barefoot or in frumpy slippers, they created Birdies. They were initially designed as a comfortable and stylish slipper for home entertaining.

Umm, hello, they are geniuses!

The thing is these are so chic you can wear them anywhere. And I do. 

A Stylish Flat That’s Secretly a Slipper

Birdies The Starling Loafer

They offer so many options; to keep it simple and try them out, I went with The Starling Loafer.

The Starling is my favorite because the profile is slim and elegant, definitely the most versatile of their collection. You can wear them for anything from working to entertaining at home. 

The black velvet is ideal for this time of year. I like them with skinny or straight-leg jeans and a black turtleneck. You can also wear them with leggings (or faux leather leggings!) and a tunic top or sweater. 

If you picked up the J.Crew Factory Velvet pull-on pants from yesterday’s post, these would be perfect for them. I’m planning on wearing that as part of my outfit for Christmas Eve. 


Our Style Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist View Post and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

 

Basic Building: Long Sleeve White Tee

Old Navy White Long Sleeve Tee

Basics are the foundation of our wardrobes. 

If you struggle with pulling looks together, you may want to see if you have all the basics you need because having the right ones will make getting dressed a breeze. Like today’s feature, the long sleeve white tee, they are not always exciting, but they are essential. 

After searching high and low for something to casually wear with jeans or serve as a layer under vests and sporty jackets, I realized that the options presented to women are ridiculous. 

Most of them are see-through, which makes the top pretty much pointless. It doesn’t matter the price point; in fact, I’ve noticed the more you spend, the more transparent the material. 

And speaking of price points, who in their right mind would hand over $100, $200, or close to $300 for a cotton top? If you think I’m kidding, this simple white boatneck is $278 and almost sold out

The Well Dressed Life has never been about pushing the most expensive or inexpensive items. It’s not a bargain blog or one that focuses exclusively on high-end brands. Instead, my mission is to provide the best possible recommendations, using the current, seasonal retail mix in stores. In my experience, this is how most women shop, with limited time and budgets. 

So guidance around where to spend and where to save can be helpful, especially when price points across all categories seem out of control. 

While I try not to speak in absolutes, I will here; there is absolutely no reason to spend on cotton layering pieces. 

Instead, stock up on a handful of simple basics, like this long sleeve thermal knit top from Old Navy available in regular, petite, and tall from a size XS – XXL for an astonishing $8. 

EIGHT DOLLARS.

$8 Basic Building White Tee

Old Navy White Long Sleeve Tee

 

Long Sleeve Tee, $8.00

These are extra nice this time of year, especially in our current casual climate. Pair with cotton joggers, leggings, or your favorite comfy jeans.

To dress it up, add a denim jacket (with your joggers) or a vest and scarf (with your jeans.)

For $8, I was so impressed with the quality and details. These are thermals, so they have a classic waffle texture. It’s not too heavy, though, so you won’t feel like you are wearing thermal, cold weather underwear. Instead, it’s soft, comfortable, and not see-through.

Another lovely detail is the curved hem, which finishes it nicely, especially if you wear it tucked out with a layer on top.

If this is a hole in your wardrobe, pick up a few of these. Rotate wearing them to keep them white and crisp longer. 

Runs true to size but go up if in between sizes. 


Our Style Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

 

 

Basics Building: Leopard Print Transition Blazer

Ann Taylor The Hutton Blazer In Leopard Print

Need a piece to spice up your wardrobe as we move from the warm to chilly weather?

The Hunter Blazer in Leopard from Ann Taylor hits all the marks.  

If you happen to be new around here, welcome! Every Wednesday, I feature content specifically for work, and work these days is all over the place, so versatility is key. 

It’s rare that I find a piece and think most of our readers could wear it, but this might be it, if, of course, you’re down with the print. 

First, the print is fun but not in-your face thanks to the colors being slightly muted. You can wear it with black, brown, cream, ivory and any blue or black based denim. 

It has a nice amount of stretch so you can move in it comfortably and it will pair nicely with most of your business casual basics. 

Ann Taylor Transition Blazer 

.

Ann Taylor The Hutton Blazer In Leopard Print

 

Blazer, On Sale, $89.50 in missy and petite up to a size 18 

Let’s talk specifically about what you have hanging in your closet that you can wear with this. 

The Spanx Perfect skinny black pant is an ideal pairing because the fabrics complement each other. Wear this popular shell in black or ivory underneath.

Wear your Wit & Wisdom Absolution Skinny Jean, with a simple white tee for a day working from home, and add the blazer when you hop on a video call. 

Did you pick up a pair of joggers? Don’t be shy, use them to create an edgy, polished look and wear with either a slim profile loafer or a heel. 

If you are in a warmer weather part of the country, and picked up these AT cropped pants, throw this blazer on top to bring them into the season. 

Shop this Post


Our Style Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

 

Basic Building: Early Fall Jacket

Fall showed up immediately here on the East Coast. One minute we were sitting on the beach, the next, the leaves are falling, and there is a chill in the air.

During the Nordstrom Sale, I picked up this quilted jacket by The North Face. It’s just what you want in an early fall jacket. 

You get the quality of The North Face, in a classic style, so you can wear it season after season. It’s warm but super lightweight, water “repellent,” and you can throw it in the wash. If and when you start traveling again, it will pack like a dream too. 

This is the kind of purchase we talk about that has real staying power and a great example of price per wear. You’ll wear it all fall and early spring for years. 

The North Face, Westborough Insulated Quilted Jacket

 

 

The North Face, Westborough Insulated Quilted Jacket: $139 

Now that we are back into a relatively normal routine, I’m spending more time driving the kids around, dropping them off at various practices, going to early morning games, and planning some outside fall activities. 

I live in a uniform of Zella leggings, sporty tops, sneakers, and this jacket for busy weekend mornings.

I ordered both the medium and the large and ended up keeping the large. There isn’t a huge difference between sizes. The medium fit, but felt just a bit snug under my arms. So if you are in between sizes, go up one. 

Some of the reviews mention it feels boxy. That isn’t my experience. I don’t want something that is so fitted I can’t have the option to layer heavier pieces underneath. This still has shape, while having room to move. 

Available in black (above), and navy up to a size XL. Plus size? Try this similar style in black and navy up to a size 3X


Our Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist View Post and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

Basic Building: Perfect White Sneakers

Cole Haan Margo Leather Sneaker

Now and then, I stumble on an item so good I have to share it with everyone. 

If you need a classic, white, wear-with-everything sneaker for the fall, I found the perfect pair, by Cole Haan, and they are on sale, in all sizes.

As life continues to lean toward casual comfort, a stylish sneaker is a must-have. You can pair them with absolutely everything, from leggings and jeans to skirts and shorts. The challenge is sometimes, the sneakers in our closets might be too bulky or sporty. 

You don’t want to wear the same sneaker you wear on walks or to the gym. Instead, you want something with a level of polish and sophistication. 

 

Cole Haan Margo Leather Sneaker 

 

Cole Haan Margo Leather Sneaker

Cole Haan Margo Leather Sneaker, Sale: $89.97

Cole Haan, of course, is known for their incredible level of comfort mixed with style. There are a few elements to this particular pair that I am absolutely crazy about.

The slim profile makes this the ideal pair to wear with outfits. The leather is soft and smooth, giving it a high-end look (on sale right now for under $90).

But my favorite detail is the luggage color logo on the tongue, which creates a cohesive look when paired with other elements like this reader favorite crossbody bag by Madewell

I bought these for myself, so you’ll see me in them on Instagram, and I’m going to feature them throughout the season in outfit posts. They run true to size and get an A+ for comfort. 

Our Style Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please  follow on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

Learn about our mission to help women look and feel their very best, every day, here

Sign Up for Daily Content and Receive Our Free Classic Wardrobe Checklist

Become a Well Dressed Life Insider with Photo of Megan Kristel