recent purchases -june 2022

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june is birthday month (the 4th to be exact) so between the combination of wanting to treat myself (more so than i already do, lol) and the plethora of birthday discounts that brands offer for your special day, the past 30 days were filled with many purchases. some were splurges (exhibit a & b), but most were from the usual suspects (looking at you, zara) and nearly everything was bought at a discount. while i cannot believe the fourth of july holiday is THIS WEEK, i am very much looking forward to re-wearing this dress. so with that said, happy early america’s birthday and here’s a breakdown of what arrived at casa de rivera.

the homeruns

madewell denim pull-on utility shorts in grandfield wash (24 –sized down two sizes) || after having a rough time landing the *perfect* pair of denim shorts, i think i may have found a great pair to get me through the summer! ironically enough, they were a pair i passed on back in april but in trying on a second time, fell in love with. besides the comfort of the elastic waistband (#sorrynotsorry), what i like about them most is how polished they feel. kind of fancy without being fussy. in terms of fit, they have a 12″ rise (LOVE a high-rise for my long torso) and a 3″ inseam, making them short, but not so short that you feel exposed, especially if you’re bending over to pick-up your kids. as with many items at madewell, they have a generous fit (especially with the elastic waistband) so i would recommend sizing down at least one size, if not two.

anthropologie endless rose bubble top (xs) || speaking of pieces i passed on in the past, i tried on this top a few weeks back and ultimately deemed it not quite right for me but on a second visit to the store (on my birthday, in fact!), i decided to try it on again –this time in my proper size which had not been available on the first go around. turns out trying on something in your actual size helps a lot in determining if the top deserves a spot in your closet. i think the key with this top is to pair it with a good-fitting pair of high-waisted denim/pants. i did so with the jeans listed below and honestly i would have walked out the store right then and there. the puff-sleeves certainly have volume, but not in an obnoxious way and the hem has a loose elastic band so it cinches in at your waist creating a surprisingly flattering silhouette. i toggle between an xs and small in most tops but found my smaller size to be the best fit.

anthropologie paige harper high-rise wide-leg crop jeans (25 –sized down one size) || okay full disclosure -this is the first time ever trying the paige brand for denim AND it is in fact the most i’ve ever spent on a pair of jeans. however after ultimately returning these j.crew trouser jeans and having my birthday discount in my hot little hand (20% off your purchase during your birthday month), i figured it was time to YOLO and snag this pair of cropped jeans. they are CRAZY comfortable, the softest, lightest, buttery fabric and incredibly flattering, too. at this point in my life, i have concluded that the wide-leg silhouette is far and away my best option so investing in a pair i know i’ll get a ton of wear out of doesn’t seem like such a crazy idea. i love the front pockets (been looking for a pair with that detail) and the lighter wash and unfinished hem both feel fresh for summer. i cannot wait to wear these jeans with the aforementioned bubble top and this cropped top, and well, basically any other of my dozen white romantic blouses. since the fabric has a bit of a stretch, i recommend sizing down one size.

zara full length pants (small –ordered in ecru) || i was fully influenced by samantha of could i have that to purchase these trousers. she had seen them on her friend and purchased them on the spot, then shared the link in her instagram stories, and boom, i did the same. like a domino effect! i have been looking for a cute pair of lighter-colored wide leg trousers and these definitely fit the bill. they are a part of zara’s “join life” collection which focuses on sustainability and for that reason, their quality does feel slightly more elevated. they’re a light-weight fabric and slightly sheer, so i’d recommend wearing nude undergarments. they fit TTS and hit me almost square at the navel (i’m 5’7″ with a long torso). they are hilariously long so i will need to take them to the tailor –just keep that in mind if you are on the petite side. overall, i think they’re a fun pair of pants, especially if you’re looking to get into the “coastal grandmother” trend.

loeffler randall leonie ballet flat (9.5 -ordered in ballet) || i have had these ballet flats on my wishlist for months and after receiving a 15% off coupon in the mail, finally decided to purchase them as a belated birthday present. similar to my freda salvadors, they are definitely an investment, but they are gorgeous and bring me back to my ballerina days. i ordered my true size and they fit like a glove and i can’t wait to wear them with everything in my closet. i’m sure delilah will want a matching pair!

madewell lucie smocked tiered midi dress (xs) || after both this dress and this dress from madewell turned out to be busts, i recently stopped by the store to see if i couldn’t turn my dress luck around. it was the last day of their recent 30% off sale and like a little beacon of light, i landed upon this smocked embroidered number in the sale rack. unfortunately the size i tried on in the store was a little big, but it miraculously came back in stock in a smaller size online and when it did, i pounced! the discount was applied to the already slashed price so i managed to snag it for nearly half off its original price. besides the precious feminine design, what struck me the most was how heavy the dress is in the best possible way. it is so well made and feels like the kind of frock you could have in your wardrobe for years to come. i plan on wearing it for the upcoming 4th of july holiday but also think it will be adorable with cowboy boots as we transition into fall (if you’re a san diegan like me, you know we have an indian summer come october). if you want to hear more about it (and see pictures of it in action), i recently blogged about it here.

the misses

zara ruffled sleeve dress (small –ordered in black) || while i have certainly found a few hidden gems from zara over the years, i have learned that more often than not, the quality (and sizing) can be questionable. at the end of the day, it is a “fast fashion” brand (though it does have a sustainable collection), so the affordable price point doesn’t always garner garments that can stand the test of time. while this dress looked cute on the website, i was very disappointed with the fabric –it’s thin and it’s cheap. the bodice is a comfortable jersey fabric which i did find to be quite flattering, but i couldn’t get over the bottom half. for that reason, i returned it.

zara openwork embroidery midi dress (small) || so this dress had so much potential. unlike the frock above, its higher price point (+$100) led me to believe it would boast better quality materials. you can tell by the weight of it alone, it’s the kind of dress you’d have in your closet for decades and the classic design was incredibly flattering -especially with the belt at the waist to create an hourglass silhouette. however i don’t know if it’s the right dress for me.

madewell ruffle-strap tiered midi dress in textural stripe (xs) || much like my obsession with adding as many romantic white tops to my collection as possible, i’m perpetually on the lookout for the perfect white dress. in the middle of the month, madewell offered up a generous 30% off EVERYTHING on their site so i took it as an opportunity to scoop up two white dresses whose silhouettes were right up my alley (see also: puff-sleeve and/or ruffled). unfortunately, though i confirmed my purchase of this dress, i later received an email that my order had been cancelled since the frock had sold out prior to its shipment. womp, womp. fingers crossed it gets restocked before summer’s end!

madewell puff-sleeve drawstring mini dress (xs) || while i’m usually one to shy away from a mini dress, i will occasionally entertain one with that falls at least 36″ from the shoulder. i have found that at that length, i can still feel like my modest self while enjoying a little more leg exposure. while i loved the feminine qualities of this dress from its images on madewell’s website, once it arrived and i had an opportunity to assess it on my body, i found it to be a tad too juvenile for my liking. it does have functional buttons at the bodice making it very nursing friendly and pockets which is always a happy detail. however, the drawstring waistband didn’t quite hit me at my natural waist and the puff-sleeves combined with its shorter hemline made it feel not quite appropriate for my late-30’s self. perhaps on a more petite person it would be a real winner! i found it to run generously, so i’d recommend sizing down.

zara zw the marine straight jeans (26/2 –ordered in blue denim) || the obsession with zara’s marine straight jeans/pants is REAL, y’all. after adding these and these to my closet, i decided to order the denim and black version of my new favorite silhouette. unfortunately the denim version is NOT the same as the as my beloved bone-colored pair. the button is entirely different and they feel, dare i say, cheap. i’ve been so impressed with zara denim that these were unfortunately a big disappointment. i had no qualms in packing them up to send back. i will say, though i could get them to zip, they do feel as though they run smaller than the other colors –just something to keep in mind if you decide to try them.

zara zw the marine straight jeans (26/2 -ordered in black) || unlike the aforementioned denim version, the black pair IS INDEED identical to the bone style and therefore i obviously loved them. i tried them on with a few pieces in my closet and while i was pleased with the flattering silhouette (they really do make your legs look a mile long), i kept comparing them to the faux leather style i added to my wardrobe back in april. truth be told, the faux leather pair is SO good that i know i’d be reaching for them over the plain black version, making the latter essentially obsolete. so i did the responsible thing and decided to return them. BUT if you are looking for a black trouser jean, i truly can’t recommend this style enough. i find them to run TTS, a little tight upon first wear, but they’ll loosen up over time.

and what has yet to arrive

h&m oversized balloon-sleeved trench coat (xs) || it may seem weird to be purchasing a jacket when summer literally just started, but these are the kinds of pieces that sell out long before they’re needed. that’s how the fashion industry works. you’re buying bikinis in january and trench coats in june. anyway, all credit for finding this beauty goes to courtney of @courtneygrow, my go-to guide for all things chic and affordable. while i had quelled my h&m spending habits as of late, i made an exception in the name of outerwear (mostly because i’ve heard great things about their jackets, etc). fingers crossed it’s a winner so i can put it away for wear this winter.

boden tulle shoulder jersey top (2 -ordered in ivory) || i recently started following sarah of little spree and similar to courtney grow with the trench above, i credit sarah for finding this adorable tulle top. she posted it on saturday evening (my time, she’s lives in the future in london) and i swear i’ve never ordered something fast enough. a little tip when purchasing something online -ALWAYS do yourself and google “[website’s name] + promo code” because 9/10 there is a code out there that’s going to warrant some sort of discount. even if it’s 10%, which usually at least covers the tax. i managed to find a code that provided both 15% off AND free shipping which was such a treat because if there’s one thing i hate paying for it’s shipping costs! anyway, i look forward to seeing how the top is in person but with the tulle shoulder i just couldn’t resist.

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