What to Buy at J. Crew Factory

Last Friday, I took my oldest daughter to the mall. It was the first time in over a year that we shopped in person. We arrived as the stores opened, grabbed a coffee, and set out with a list of things we needed, like shoes for graduation, a party outfit for me, and some summer basics.

We left with lipgloss.

Macy’s was ransacked. Bloomingdales had four hangers-on on each rack with size options from 00 –  2. 

And J.Crew was filled with useless, overpriced pieces. Do I need a see-through bathing suit cover up for $150? I don’t think so. 

Since before I turned 40, I’ve found shopping for myself frustrating. Finally, at a place in life where I can comfortably buy whatever I want (within reason, of course), I find myself leaving store after store empty-handed.

Online is a better option since many stores are limiting their in-store merchandise, but generally speaking, there are only a few retailers that I would call my go-to. And while I can’t give my money away at J.Crew, I have no problem spending it at their factory store. This probably makes me the most basic of basic, and I am just fine with it. 

The trick is to keep it casual, skip their jeans or dressy options. J.Crew Factory is an ideal resource for a casual weekend, loungewear, fun accessories, and easy basics.

J.Crew Factory is always having some kind of sale, right now, online is 40% with an extra 15% off if you sign up for their (free) reward program. 

Below are some options worth checking out. 

 

What to Buy at J.Crew Factory 

What to Buy at J.Crew Factory in June

These posts are inspired by my years as a personal stylist. Before a client arrived at our shopping appointment, I would spend hours going through stores, selecting only the best pieces, and filling up her dressing room. It was such fun for me and immensely helpful for our clients, who worked with us because they didn’t have the time or patience to shop independently.

Think of this series as just that; these are the pieces I would put in your dressing room, based on everything I know about our readers who are looking for help creating a timeless, classic, modern wardrobe on a realistic budget.

Please note, prices are subject to change. 

Striped Sleeveless Popover Tunic

J.Crew Factory Striped linen-cotton sleeveless popover tunic

Striped linen-cotton sleeveless popover tunic, $29.50

If you’re tired of the ruffle-puff sleeve trend we see on almost every single top in stores,  you may love this sweet and simple sleeveless tunic. Its classic style will work with any casual warm weather bottom. Add a statement earring or layer delicate necklaces under the collar. 

Available in regular and petite up to a size 3X.

Sleeveless V-Neck Midi Dress

J.Crew Factory Sleeveless V-neck midi dress

Sleeveless V-neck midi dress, $44.50 

This dress is ideal for extra hot days, or afternoons when you get off the beach late and you want to slip into something light and airy. I’d wear this out to dinner on vacation with my hair pulled back and an oversized earring. 

Available in all sizes up to a 3X for under $45. 

Top Puff-Sleeve Pintuck

J.Crew Factory Puff-Sleeve Pintuck Top

Puff-sleeve pintuck top, $26.50 

This top won’t be for everyone, but there is something sweet about it. I love the fresh green color (it’s also available in white), and the pintuck detail on the sleeve adds an extra touch of femininity. I’d pair it with white bottoms and tan sandals.

Easy V-Neck Tank

J.Crew Factory Easy V-Neck Tank Top

Easy V-neck tank top, $14.50

A great basic in six colors (including black and white) and fits well and pairs with any causal bottom. Available in all sizes up to a 3X for under $15.  Easy-peasy. 

Short Sets

J.Crew Rainbow Striped Sweatshirt and Shorts

Rainbow Striped Sweatshirt, $34.50 and shorts, $29.50 

J.Crew Factory Ombré crewneck sweatshirt

Ombré crewneck sweatshirt, $34.50 and shorts, $24.50 

The quality of these two shorts sets is impressive. You can wear them together or separately. They are great for vacation, summer mornings or sitting outside with a glass of wine after a long day.

Crewneck Beach Sweater

J.Crew Factory Crewneck Beach Sweater

Crewneck beach sweater, $39.50 

I look forward to our time at the shore every summer. I love everything about it, especially the slower pace and laidback attitude. My beach uniform at night is a pair of comfy shorts and a lightweight sweater. So I grabbed this crewneck option in white to wear with my favorite cut offs. 

It’s available in five colors up to size 3X. 

Printed Tunic Cover Up 

J.Crew Factory Border-printed cover-up tunic

Border-printed cover-up tunic, $44.50 

Still need a swim cover up? I love this pretty printed tunic. It’s perfect for sitting pool side when you want to relax but feel finished and it looks more expensive than its $45 price tag. 

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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

 

 

 

 

What to Buy at Old Navy

This past weekend on the east coast was a hot one, the kind when even the breeze is warm, and many of us are scrambling to find something cool to wear. 

So for today’s What to Buy at post, I’m heading back to Old Navy to highlight a handful of casual options to help you get dressed for busy weekends in the sun. 

As a content creator committed to size-inclusivity, they are one of the few retailers that make my job a little easier. They offer all sizes, including regular (or missy), tall, petite, and women (or plus), with beyond reasonable prices. 

Personally, being in the phase of life where the cost of youth sports trumps designer duds, it’s nice to have an affordable resource for casual pieces. 

When shopping at Old Navy, it’s essential to know what you are looking for; otherwise, the sheer volume of options will feel overwhelming whether you are in the store or online. Therefore, I focus on casual basics, summer dresses, lounge, and activewear in the warmer months. Skip their accessories and shoes, they just cheapen your look. 

What to Buy at Old Navy 

What to Buy at Old Navy in June

My best advice is to layers these with your better quality pieces to create a timeless, classic look. Wear a better shoe, layer on high-quality jewelry, carry a good bag. The key to dressing well on a reasonable budget is to know where to spend and save and then combine those high and lower-end pieces.
Let’s get started. All of the options are becoming limited due to popularity, so grab them while you can. As of publication Old Navy is offering an additional 30% off on all of these with the code HURRAY.

Floral Dress

Old Navy Floral Midi Dress

Floral Midi Dress, $47 (Plus 30% off with code HURRAY)

What’s better than a lightweight feminine dress with pockets? Pair this with these Reader Favorite Espadrille Wedges, a pair of white sneakers or flip flops at the beach

High-Waisted Cut off Shorts

Old Navy cut off jean shorts

High-Waisted Cut-Off Jean Shorts, $35 (plus 30% off with code HURRAY)

I never want to spend on shorts, they are always on my “save” list, so Old Navy is a go-to. This under $30 pair fit well, have a high waist and enough room in the leg for, well, your legs. Pair them with a linen botton down or simple white tee shirt

V-Neck Top
Old Navy Knot Front Top

Knot-Front V-Neck Top, $25 (plus 30% off with code HURRAY)

Just a pretty, inexpensive top to pair with summer bottoms when you want something light but better than a tee shirt. 

Old Navy Waist Defined t-shirt dress

Waist-Defined T-Shirt Dress, $20 (plus 30% off with code HURRAY)

Stock up on this waist-defining t-shirt dress available in an array of colors and sizes. It’s perfect for super hot, casual days with your sneakers our flat sandals. 

Linen-Blend Pants

Old Navy high waisted linen pants

High-Waisted Linen-Blend Pants, $30 (plus 30% off with code HURRAY))

I bought these pants this time last year and LIVED in them during our “Covid Summer.” They look lovely with a sleeveless top, long necklace, and embellished sandals. 

Tie-Belt Midi Sheath Dress

Old Navy tie belt midi sheath dress

Tie-Belt Midi Sheath Dress, $40 (plus 30% off with code HURRAY)

Another tee shirt dress option in a midi length with a tie-belt. I ordered this as an option for my flight to Greece at the end of the month. I think it will be comfy for the long flight and easy to manage in once we land and get to our hotel. 

Gingham Blouse

Old Navy gingham poet blouse

Gingham Poet Blouse, $35 (plus 30% off with code HURRAY)

This sweet Gingham Blouse looks like something you would find at Draper James for four times the cost. That’s the beauty of Old Navy; you can find some wardrobe enhancers that feel special at great prices. This one went right into my cart to wear with white jeans or the jean shorts (above). 

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

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What to Buy at Express

In the late nineties, I was a fun-loving sorority girl living my best life at Temple University. Back then, my biggest challenge was figuring out how to go to a party at night and write a paper due in the morning.

I can’t believe there was a time when I didn’t start my night until after 10pm. The current me would be unrecognizable to my younger self, lol. 

It’s hard not to get a bit nostalgic with 90’s trends showing up everywhere. It was a simpler time, and I’ll always be grateful I had those years without the unbearable pressure of social media hanging over my head. 

Back then, Express was a staple in my wardrobe. Their inexpensive, trend-focused clothes were perfect for our nights out, or an off campus date. 

One item, in particular, became so popular with my house we called them “sorority pants.”

Sorority pants were a bootcut, low-rise, flat front trouser made of a completely synthetic material that perfectly clung to our backsides. They were indestructible, and we put them to the test three or four times a week. Paired with mid-drift baring tops and heavy boots that looked like tanks, we defined 90s style.

Looking back, I guess you could say it was the first time I embraced the idea of a uniform. 

But just like all of us, Express has grown up, and I’m here to tell you they are 100% worth checking out this season. Their pieces are sleek, sophisticated, and perfect for our finally back-to-normal world.

For today’s What to Buy at Series, I rounded up my top picks from Express as a former sorority girl, now 40 something-year-old woman who is happily sound asleep by 9:30 at night.

What to Buy at Express

A collection of clothes and jewelry from Express

This chic line up looks like a collection you would see hanging in a better department store.

Let’s talk quickly about sizes. Express runs true to size but go up if you are in between. Their size scale includes an XL which is equivalent to a 16/18 and has petite options. 

Express is on of the few retailers that has not offered non-stop sales and mark downs, so the price is the price. Inventory is smaller that what it use to be, so popular items will sell out quickly. 

What should you look for? Novelty pieces that will expand and add style to your current basics, dresses, fun tops and accessories. 

Oversized Linen Boyfriend Blazer

Express Oversized Linen Blend boyfriend blazer

Linen-Blend Boyfriend Blazer, $138 

I’ve never met a boyfriend blazer I didn’t love, and this linen-blend option is no exception. It is gorgeous. Pair it with slim jeans in a dark or light wash, OR make it a suit with these coordinating pull on bottoms for a relaxed tone-on-tone look.

Available in regular and petite, XXS- XL in sandstone (above) and copper. 

Puff Sleeve Wrap Front Sheath

Express Puff Sleeve wrap sheath dress

Puff Sleeve Wrap Front Sheath Dress, $78

The structure of this sheath dress is stunning. This kind of puff sleeve works well if you have narrow shoulders as is will create a shape that brings back your proportions. 

Available in XXS – XL in regular and petite

Leopard Ruffle Sleeve Smocked Waist Maxi Dress

Express Leopard Ruffle Sleeve smocked waist maxi dress

Leopard Ruffle Sleeve Smocked Waist Maxi Dress, $108 

I’m a sucker for a neutral leopard print and this maxi dress hits it out of the park. I plan on wearing it with gold accessories, and my favorite Tory Burch Patos Sandals for an easy but dressed up look. 

Available in XXS – XXL in regular and petite. 

Textured Off the Shoulder Top

Express Textured off the shoulder top

Textured Off The Shoulder Top, $54 

If picking up a few tops that don’t look like anything you would wear to work or on Zoom is on your list, Express as a ton of options. I love this breezy off the shoulder top wear on vaca this summer. Pair with skinny jeans or your favorite shorts.

Available in XXS – XXL in four colors including white (above) and black

Sleeveless Two Pocket Shirt

Express Two Pocket Portofino Top

Sleeveless Two Pocket Portofino Shirt, $48

During a recent LIVE chat I hosted with our INSIDERS we talked about our comfort level with sleeveless tops. I was thrilled to learn that the majority of our members are just fine with it, especially when you live in an extra warm part of the country. 

This sleeveless top stood out for it’s clean lines, gorgeous color options and under $50 price point. 

Available in XXS – XL, in blush (above), peach and crisp white

Floral Lace One Should Ruffle Tank

Express Floral Lace one shoulder tank

 

Floral Lace One Shoulder Ruffle Tank, $68 

This black one-shoulder top is GORGEOUS. I immediately bought it to pair with white bottoms for summer parties.

Available in XXS – XL in white and black, which I think is the absolute stunner.

 

 

Crackled Metal Rectangle Earrings

Express Crackled metal rectangle drop earrings

Crackled Metal Rectangle Drop Earrings, $24 

One trend I can get behind is the oversized earring. After a year of dressing down, it feels appropriate for accessories to be a bit over the top for the next few seasons. An earring is such an easy way to try a new look since you can find them at affordable prices.

This pair of rectangle drops are oversized enough to feel impactful but not at all heavy and only $24. 

Curb Chain Necklace

Express Curb Chain Necklace

Curb Chain Necklace, $24 

Finally, you’ll see bold chain necklaces popping up in all sorts of outfits. It’s another trend to try to incorporate into what you already have.
I like the ease of the look. Wear this chain over a white tee, with jeans and sneakers, or layer it under the collar of an oversized blazer.

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 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

 

 

What to Buy at Talbots in May

In our What to Buy series, I shop our reader’s favorite retailers’ new arrivals and round up the best options to help build out your wardrobe. 

Today, we’re circling back to Talbots at your request. 

Talbots is tricky. It has a distinct look, so the same advice you hear from me applies here: avoid mannequin shopping.

Why is mannequin shopping such a no-no?

Stores like Talbot’s, Ann Taylor, LOFT, J.Crew, etc., all adhere to a particular look. It’s what makes them popular and reliable.

 But you run the risk of looking like the BRAND instead of YOURSELF when you wear them head-to-toe. 

Since our goal is to help you create a chic and modern wardrobe on a regular person budget, these posts highlight the best options that will add value to your closet. When making our selections, I consider everything we know about our readership and what you already have in your closet. 

Basically, it’s what I would put in your fitting room if we were shopping together. 

Talbot’s Style

Scatter throughout Talbot’s inventory are some real head-scratchers. Every season I wonder what the heck their designers were thinking.

Does anyone over the age of five need a tee shirt with an embroidered bumblebee that reads, “Just Bee You”?

No, they don’t.

Many of their prints and color combinations lack sophistication, so avoid them. Also, some of their cuts are a bit dated.
That said, they offer a solid selection of basics, like bottoms, dresses, or button-downs. And, as you’ll see below, a few gems that will elevate your style.

Below are my top picks of Talbot’s new arrivals, a combination of classic pieces with a little bit of a twist.

What to Buy a Talbots in May

What to Buy At Talbots

Sizing and Fit

Where Talbots doesn’t get enough credit is in their long-standing commitment to size inclusiveness. They have been offering a full-size range for years. So almost every item is available in missy, petite, plus, and plus-petite.

Regarding fit, they run full depending on where you typically shop. For example, if you wear an 8 in J.Crew, you are probably a 6 in Talbots. 

Let’s jump in. 

Linen Popover Shirt

Talbots Linen Popover Shirt

 

Linen Popover Shirt, $89.50

One of the things that makes The Well Dressed Life different is that I know (or at least feel like I know) so many of our readers. So when I start to curate a collection, I have actual people in mind for certain items. I can see this lovely, high-low hem linen shirt working well in many of your wardrobes.

It’s one of those pieces that comes finished. So you don’t have to add much of anything to it complete the look, just paired it with either skinny or straight leg bottoms, in white or navy. 

Available in Missy, Petite, Plus and Plus Petite, $89.50

Linen Straight Leg Crop

Talbots Linen Straight Leg Crop

Linen Straight Leg Crop, $99 

We feature many linen bottom options because they are a nice alternative to shorts and a go-to for our readers in year round warm climates. I’m highlighting these linen straight le crops because they are a dressier version than the very casual, drawstring options you’re seeing everywhere. 

Available in Missy, Plus and Plus Petite, $99.

Twist Back Maxi Dress

Talbots Twist Back Maxi Dress

Twist Back Maxi Dress, $99 

I love a maxi dress. But sometimes, I feel like the less expensive ones fit funny like their cut is for a slimmer, less curvy body. I ordered this one for our trip to Greece this summer, and it’s pretty much perfect. It’s simple, but elegant, the twist in the back is a nice detail and it’s bra friendly.

Available in black and navy in Missy, Petite and Plus, $99.

Fringe Trim Twee Jacket

Talbots Fringe Trim Tweed Jacket

Fringe Trim Tweed Jacket, $189 

Ok, I adore this bright tweed jacket for spring and summer, but I HATE the stupid tee shirt they are showing underneath. No wonder why so many women are baffled at how to wear things. 

Instead, wear this jacket with a pair of dark jeans and a simple white tank or body suit. If you’re brave, go with all white with a pair of white jeans or trousers and a modern sandal. For added edge, pick a bottom with raw hem, or a touch of distressed detail. 

Available in Missy, Petite, Plus and Plus Petite, $189

Relaxed Chino Shorts

Talbots Relaxed Chino Shorts

Relaxed Chino Shorts, $54

Shorts are such a challenge. A good guideline to follow when looking for a good pair that fits well is to make sure they are no longer than fingertip length on your leg.

You can always go shorter, but when you go longer than your fingertips, you’ll run the risk of awkwardly cutting off the line of your body and looking frumpy.

These relaxed chinos are a lovely option if you prefer your shorts on the longer side, available in Missy, Petite, Plus and Plus Petite in several colors including black (above), white, tan and navy. 

Cotton Tie Waist Top 

Talbots Cotton Tie Waist Top

Cotton Tie Waist Top, $79.50

The big trend right now is a puff sleeve. And while I like the look, I don’t remember the last time a trend felt so overwhelming. So when I find something that works for the season and doesn’t have an exaggerated shoulder, I get excited.

This cotton tie waist top works wonderfully with a straight leg ankle pant in tan, white, or denim. Available in Missy, Petite, Plus and Plus Petite, $79.50.

Scallop Edge Skirt

Talbots Scallop Edge Skort

Scallop Edge Skort, $69.50

Skorts are great because they are a little dressier than a short but still sporty. This one has a sweet scallop hem giving it an extra feminine edge. Available in Missy, Petite and Plus in white and black $69.50.

Embroidered Tunic

Talbots Embroidered Tunic

Embroidered Tunic, $109

Coverups are hard to find. Often, they have less coverage than the actual bathing suit you’re wearing. And since I rarely go in the water, opting to sit poolside with a cocktail, these Cabana Life Tunics are my go-to. Aside from being pretty and stylish, they also have SPF 50 protection.

Cabana Life runs smaller than traditional Talbots pieces, so size up here. They also sell out quickly, so if you see a print you like, scoop it up. 

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

 

 

 

 

6 Reasons Why You Have Nothing to Wear

6 Reasons Why You Have Nothing to Wear - The Well Dressed Life6 Reasons You Have Nothing to Wear 

Waking up and feeling like you have nothing to wear is frustrating. It wastes time and starts your day off on the wrong foot. But like many women, you’re probably opening a closet full of things. 

So how is it that you have nothing to wear?

In the best of times, building a functional wardrobe is a lot of work. It takes an investment of time and money, two things we are all a bit short on these days.

Now that we are moving into pre-pandemic life, you may be starting this season off feeling more of a void than usual. One can only wear joggers and tie-dyed sweatshirts for so long. 

Why You Feel Like You Have Nothing to Wear 

6 Reasons Why You Have Nothing to Wear

Retail had never done much to help us before the world shut down, but now, inventory levels are at an all-time low. So on top of sizes being all over the place and styles geared toward our teenage daughters, when there is something we’d consider buying, it sells out almost immediately with no plan to restock. 

Shopping is downright overwhelming. Add to that body image and changes (raises hand), and the fact that we are constantly pressed for time, it’s no wonder shopping is a major chore. 

There aren’t many resources for grown-up women that provide:

  • Easy-to-digest tips.
  • Honest recommendations.
  • Explanations for why certain outfit combinations are better than others.

I created The Well Dressed Life because I saw a need for realistic style advice and practical shopping and product recommendations. I hope that our daily tips make your life a little easier and you feel more confident as a result.

And I’m a big believer in understanding the why behind any challenge. 

Because if you don’t know why you’re making confident choices, you’ll continue to make the wrong one and not fix the issue. 

And while it may seem so frivolous, feeling like you have nothing to wear is exhausting. It takes the fun out of getting ready to go out and can cripple our self-esteem. 

6 Reasons Why You Have Nothing to Wear

Today, I’m breaking down a few of the reasons you feel like you have nothing to wear. I guarantee you will see yourself in many of these examples. We’ll talk about how to fix it, how to avoid it in the future, and highlight our most popular posts filled with our best advice.

As always, I’d love to hear your takeaways in the comments below. 

1. You’re Buying for One Time Use

6 Reasons Why You Have Nothing to Wear 

If you’re buying for an occasion rather than multi-wear use, you’re going to have a closet full of pieces that don’t mix and match. You want your wardrobe to work together in a cohesive way that makes it easy to put outfits together quickly.

This remains my biggest personal challenge. I wait until the last minute, usually because I’m dressing everyone else in my house, and then run out or quickly order a dress or top for a specific event. 

A game-changing tip is when you are running to a store or hopping online to shop, even if it is with a specific event in mind, be sure you can wear the garment two or three different ways before you purchase.

This ensures you get the most out of everything in your closet; I call it the “Wear it Three Ways Rule.”

2. You Make Impulse Purchases

I encourage our readers to step outside their comfort zone and try a new-to-you style, but if you’re all over the place with what you are buying, none of your clothes will “speak” to each other.
So often, I hear from readers and our INSIDERS that it’s hard to walk the line between being brave with their style choice and practical.
You either end up with a closet full of fun and funky tops, OR you keep buying white tee shirts.
That’s why it’s essential to keep to a budget or price range when trying a trend. A few fun tops from Target aren’t going to derail your closet, as long as your wardrobe is heavy in better basics, like dark jeans, good black pants, and quality shoes.
Not only will this help you incorporate the trend into three looks (tip #1), BUT it also will elevate the less expensive piece in the overall feel of your outfit.

3. You’re Only Shopping Sale

No one loves a bargain more than I do, and these days sales are abundant. BUT,  if you only shop sales, you’re limiting your options and likely making do with pieces that don’t serve you well.

After more than ten years of cleaning out and reorganizing wardrobes with private clients, I know you will end up saving thousands of dollars over the years if you invest in better basics and use sales to discover a hidden treasure, or to add fun, novelty pieces.

See How to Mix High and Low Fashion and How to Look Stylish on a Budget

4. You Have Too Much6 Steps to Clean Out Your Closet in 60 Minutes

If you are short on time our post, How to Edit Your Wardrobe in 60 Minutes is a great way to kick off a good purge and get motivated. 

Back when I worked with clients, the one thing I was always blown away by was the sheer volume of clothes women had in their closets. We have to redefine what it means to “have enough.” Americans in particular tend to value having a lot of “stuff.”  You don’t need 25 pairs of jeans, you maybe need 3 or 4 depending on how frequently you wear them. 

Here’s the deal: you can’t see what you have when it’s hidden beneath clutter, and if you can’t see what you have you’re not utilizing everything.

If your closet is overrun with stuff, this is your very first step. Take some time to edit your wardrobe. Only keep what you love. 

5. You Lack Organization

Once your space is pared down, spend a little time getting it organized. You don’t have to spend a fortune, in fact, you might have everything you need in other rooms of your home. Be sure to give everything you have, every category a place you can easily access. If you can’t see what you have you won’t wear it. 

Corral scarves in baskets, hang necklaces on 3M hooks, and keep like items together either folded or hung. To make the most of your space, invest in slim lined flocked hangers, so everything is at eye level.

Here are some of my favorite, affordable items to organize your closet no matter how big or small. 

6. You Don’t Know Your Style

6 Steps to Find Your Personal Style

Our post, How to Define Your Personal Style will walk you through our simple process. 

Clients used to tell me, “I just don’t have any style.” But that was rarely the case. With few exceptions, most women have style; they can’t articulate it well or notice it when they see it. 

But guess what? Once you identify your style, editing your wardrobe and shopping become so much easier. 

If you’re not already on Pinterest, I highly recommend getting an account and creating a personal style board. You can add images of outfits you like and “pin” all sorts of inspiration.

Once you fill a board with 50 plus pins, go over it again and edit it down to only your absolute favorite.

You’ll start to see common themes throughout. 

For example, do you prefer pants to skirts? If you haven’t pinned any skirt outfits, stop buying them. 

Are you attracted to neutrals or bold prints and patterns? Have a board filled with neutrals; avoid bold prints when making a purchase. 

You’ll start to see what you like, and that will help you curate your wardrobe in the future.


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

What to Buy at Ann Taylor in May

Many of us grew up with Ann Taylor as a cornerstone in our wardrobes. The brand makes getting dressed easy, coordinating pieces, colors, and prints to help busy women pull a look together quickly.

But when you dress head to toe from a brand or a single store, you start to lose your personality and authenticity. While I’m all for a system that helps you create a uniform of sorts, you run the risk of missing out on the opportunity to develop your unique style.

Today, as part of our “What to Buy at” series, I rounded up my top picks from their new May arrivals. This month, I went interesting non-basics to help zhush up our post-quarantine wardrobes, there’s not a sneaker or jogger in sight! 

Think of this series as just that; these are the pieces I would put in your dressing room, based on everything I know about our readers who are looking for help creating a timeless, classic, modern wardrobe on a realistic budget.

What to Buy at Ann Taylor in May

What to Buy at Ann Taylor

Snake Print Sandals, $148 | Tortoiseshell belt, $60 | Puff Sleeve Midi Dress, $179 | Cropped Trench Coat, $159 | Tie Neck Shell, $55 | Boatneck Shirttail Top, $65 

Snake Print Sandals

Ann Taylor Snake Print Sandals

Snake Print Sandals, $148 ($50 OFF! USE CODE: OCCASION)

These sandals are fabulous. I’d pair them wide-leg trousers (remember, the block heel helps balance out the volume of the leg). And because they mix black and tan, they work as neutral for any solid piece. 

Tortoiseshell Belt

Ann Taylor Tortoiseshell Belt

Tortoiseshell belt, $60 

With so many simple cotton maxi and tee shirt dresses hanging in our closets, it’s nice to have a belt option to change up the look. You can add a belt to any black or white dress you have, especially if it already has a defined waist. Layer the belt over the elastic at the waistline and completely change up the look.

Available in XS/S and M/L

Puff Sleeve Midi Dress

Ann Taylor Puff Sleeve Midi Dress

Puff Sleeve Midi Dress, $179 ($50 OFF! USE CODE: OCCASION)

I adore the this puff sleeve dress – note, they are calling it Midi length, but it will fit more like a maxi, so you may need to have it hemmed. The print in green and white is so fresh and cheerful. Pair with neutral to you heels.

Available in regular, tall and petite up to a size 18. 

Cropped Trench Jacket

Ann Taylor Cropped Trench Coat

Cropped Trench Coat, $159

Tie Neck Shell

How chic is this jacket? They are calling it a cropped trench coat, but it’s not a a piece of outerwear. You’ll wear this they same way would would wear a blazer, so it’s perfect for an air conditioned office, or in person meeting. You can wear it many ways, like with white bottoms (above), black, dark denim or tan. 

Available in regular and petite up to a size XXL.

Ann Taylor Tie Neck Shell

Tie Neck Shell, $55 

I immediately added this to my shopping cart as I feel like I’m missing some easy yet special looking tops to wear in the warm weather. Available in regular and petite XXS – XXL. 

Boatneck Shirttail Top

Ann Taylor Boatneck Shirttail Top

Boatneck Shirttail Top, $65 

Finally, I thought of all of our Florida and Texas readers when I landed on this top. It’s a better version of a tee-shirt, with a soft fit in a linen blend. I love that they show it with white bottoms, such an easy, elegant look to recreate. You can also pair it with a pair of patterned bottoms. Available in regular and petite XXS – XXL

Shop What to Buy at Ann Taylor 

 

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

Brand Spotlight: Nic + Zoe

I first discovered Nic + Zoe over ten years ago, as a personal stylist just starting out. Initially, they weren’t my favorite brand. I found the designs and overall feel frumpy and nothing special. But the brand has evolved into a surprisingly fabulous resource, with size inclusive offerings, fresh styles and wonderful layering pieces. 

About Nic + Zoe

Lead by a mother and daughter team, Nic + Zoe started in 2006. Their initial offering was knitwear. Since then, their catalog has expanded to cover every category in all sizes. You can purchase directly from their website, or at stores like Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Despite being sold at better department stores, their prices are extremely reasonable for the quality, and you can always pick up a few items on sale. Nordstrom Rack often has a large sale selection. 

Regarding sizes, they fit like Talbots, so either buy your true size, or size down one. 

Inventory in general is already starting to become limited across all stores and brands, so for this post, I have multiple links to different stores to give you the most access to an array of sizes. 

Brand Spotlight: Nic + Zoe

Nic & Zoe Brand Spotlight

In our Brand Spotlight series, I highlight a brand offering options that work well for our community. As always, these posts are not sponsored. 

Of course, I don’t love everything. Like all brands they have a very specific look. Below are my favorite current items, that mix well with pieces we’ve featured here from other labels, and things I know you have hanging in your closet. 

Linen Biker Jacket

Nic+Zoe linen biker jacket

Linen Biker Jacket, $188 

Here is a gorgeous, lightweight layer is perfect for a chilly office or a day of travel. Wear it like a cardigan over a matching white tee or tank and pair it with any bottom from a simple black ankle pant to a print skirt. 

This is already limited in sizes. Most sizes are still available at Neiman Marcus (and you can take an additional 25% off). There are some petite sizes left at Nordstrom and Zappos has a selection including plus

Denim Jacket 

Nic+Zoe Denim Jacket

Denim Jacket, $158 

Many Nic + Zoe pieces remind me of something you might find hanging in the Lafayette 148 department; only these prices are so much better. Like this novelty “denim jacket.” This isn’t the kind of denim jacket we regularly feature; this is a fun statement piece.

Bloomingdales has a full regular size selection

Nordstrom has plus size options here and a selection of petite sizes here

Straight Leg Pants

 

Nic+Zoe straight leg pants in black

Straight Leg Pants, $80 

Just a great pair of classic black straight leg pants in a stretch material on sale for under $100. Available in petite and regular at Nordstrom, and plus size at Bloomingdales

Button-Up Shirt

Nic+Zoe button up shirt

Button-up Shirt, $148 

I love the modern polka dot pattern and nipped in waist of this simple, summer button-up shirt. It looks lovely with jeans or shorts, available at Nordstrom in sizes XXS – XXL

Day to Night Top

Nic + Zoe day to night top

Day To Night Top, $88 

Nic + Zoe has a FANTASTIC selection of layering pieces, like this day-to-night top in white, black or navy. You can wear this under a blazer for work, and with anything on the weekends. Available in regular and petite sizes here, in plus size white here, and plus size black here

V-Neck Top

Nic + Zoe v-neck top

V-Neck Top, $128

For all our readers that prefer a summer top with a decent sleeve, this one is for you. This easy v-neck top, again, goes with everything. Wear it instead of a tee shirt for a more polished pulled together outfit. Available in XS – XXL here

Shirt Dress

Nic+Zoe shirt dress

Shirt Dress, $113 

Finally, I adore this shirt dress for spring and summer events, like outdoor parties or graduations. It is gorgeous but will be too long on most, so give yourself time to have it hemmed to either the very bottom or very top of your knee and pair it with a neutral-to-you pump or wedge.

Sizes are limited here too, Nordstrom has the biggest selection.

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