Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Clothing Reviews: Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Boden, and a Mini Pant Review

With all the cute spring clothing coming out and great after-winter sales, I recently put in some orders to Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Boden, J. Crew and Express. Below are a few things I tried on this month:


First up is this scalloped pink silk blouse from Banana Republic. I ordered this in an XL, and as you can see, I'm swimming in it...it's HUGE! I loved the idea of this shirt, but for it being 100% silk, it didn't feel all that soft, the arms were ridiculously long and the whole shirt was too big. I could have tried sizing down, but I just didn't like it enough in real-life to mess with it, which is a shame, because it looks so cute on the model.

Verdict: RETURN


Next up is this pullover from Target, that should have been cute, but just isn't. While it is super soft, the extra bulk around the middle is making me look super pregnant and I'm not a fan of the extreme high-low hem. I tried this on in an XXL, and could have easily gone down a size in the chest/waist, but it might have been too tight in the arms.

Verdict: RETURN


I loved the idea of this fan-patterned shirt from Boden. I tried it on in a 14 and found it to be true to size. It has a silky feel and a nice drape, and while it's a cute top, it just didn't wow me, so I ended up sending it back.

Verdict: RETURN


I do, however, love this blue cotton scarf from Boden. It's nice and lightweight, which is perfect for Florida spring, and I love the little bobble trim. I probably don't NEED another scarf, but I decided to keep it to have non-winter scarf in the clothing rotation.

Verdict: KEEP


I was so excited to try the J. Crew No. 2 pencil skirt in double-serge wool, but I HATED it in real-life. I tried on a 16, and while it is well-made and fits well in the waist, it's HUGE in the hips and a little bit too long. Plus the color is NOT mustard as it looks online, more like a puke green. I couldn't rip this off first enough and return it. Yuck. I know a lot of people love this skirt, and if I had loved the color more it might have been worth altering, but overall it was really easy to say no to.

Verdict: RETURN


Next up is this lovely bathrobe from Ann Taylor. Ha, I mean wrap dress. This is a L and it's weirdly too small and too large at the same time. Another one that looks cute on the model, but awful in real-life.

Verdict: RETURN


Finally, a winner! I really like this silky stripe blouse in real-life. This is a L and I love the split-neck and subtle pink and white stripes. I think it'll look cute tucked into a pencil skirt or layered over dress pants or dressed down with jeans.

Verdict: KEEP


However, this dotted silk blouse from Ann Taylor is not a winner. It's an XL, and it's way too big, but I think a large would have had gaps at the buttons. Up close the dots are pink and gray, though online they look to be gray and black. Something to note if you're interested in this shirt.

Verdict: RETURN

Mini Pant Review

I've been on the hunt for a decent pair of dress pants since losing a little weight, and so I put in some orders to The Limited, Express and Banana Republic.


First up, is the The Limited exact stretch skinny pant in grey. Hello mom pants. I thought this were going to fit like my beloved black exact stretch pencil pants, but I was so, so wrong. There's nothing skinny about these pants and they look completely different than they do online. These are 16, and I could have easily gone down a size, but I'm pretty sure they'd still be way to big in the leg opening.

Verdict: RETURN


I've been a long-time fan of Express' Editor pants, so I was excited to try a their ankle version. Man, and I thought the Limited pants looks like mom pants, but these are so much worse! Another order in a 16, I could have easily gone down a size, they were so big, but once again a smaller size wouldn't have fixed the big leg opening and they look NOTHING like the do online. Maybe it's me and my weird body-type? But these skinny pants look the exact opposite of skinny.

Verdict: RETURN


And yet another pair of awful mom pants. These are the Express Columnist ankle pant, and in 16 are once again way too big and look nothing like what's pictured online. What's killing me in all three of these pants is that they fit in the waist but are freaking huge in the legs and hips. I think I'm getting a complex here...

Verdict: RETURN


Last up are the Banana Republic Sloan-Fit ankle pant. Better, much, much better. I like the thick weave of the material, the slim fit, and the small leg opening.They're a little long, but you can see in the far right photo, with a little inward roll, they're the perfect length. These are a 16 and fit true to size. I was originally a little worried about the polka dots being too bold, but they're definitely growing on me. :)

Verdict: KEEP

Whew, so that's the past month of shopping for me. Mostly returns, with a few keepers mixed it!

10 comments:

  1. i have the exact same problems in the leg and thigh. you couldn't even tailor them, there'd be so much excess fabric. love posts like this, and your side views, too. keep em coming!
    b

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    1. Thanks! It's funny before I had a baby, if my pants fit in the leg/thigh, then the waist was HUGE, now it's the opposite problem. Oh, well, the kiddo is worth a larger waistline. :)

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  2. Love the pink blouse you chose to keep from Ann Taylor, tempted me into looking at the blue for myself.

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  3. Ugh, why are dress pants so difficult to shop for?! The only ones I've had luck with are the Martin fit at Banana Republic and the Miranda pant by Michael Kors. If those are ever changed or discontinued, I'm in trouble!
    I love the Boden scarf and the pants you kept. Polka dots are always a good choice :)

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    1. Pants are the worst. That's probably why I wear the same two pairs over and over again. :) I'll have to check out the Miranda pant!

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  4. When there are a bunch of "returns" I always think, "well, now I know!" Don't have to wonder every time I spot that one whether I need to try ordering :) I've still never tried Boden but am always really tempted. Love the pretty blouse and the polka dot pants - I have a pair of that fit too and love the material. No wrinkling! And the dots are totally fun but still subtle enough.

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    1. I'm kind of glad I had a bunch of returns otherwise my budget would have been completely, scarily blown this month! Every time the seasons change I want to fill my closet with all the new, pretty things. I think I have a shopping problem. :)

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  5. Oh man, I was hoping to place an order for The Limited's Exact Stretch pants soon but we'll see. Dress pants are just awful to shop for and I currently have 0 pairs that fit.

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    1. Yeah, I'm hoping these pants were a fluke, because I LOVE my black and navy pairs. I prefer pants over skirts, they're just easier to wear, but ugh, they're the worst to shop for!

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