recent purchases -september 2022

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in the wise words of f. scott fitzgerald, “life starts over when it gets crisp in the fall.” while true “fall” weather won’t arrive in san diego until, honestly, november, or later, that won’t stop me from getting excited about fall clothes and fall style. i’ll turn up the air conditioning and wear long-sleeves indoors if i have to (thank goodness for our solar panels). speaking of long-sleeves, that was my main focus this month –adding in a few more white romantic tops more appropriate for cooler temperatures. ironically, the tops i did order to fulfill this void were amongst the “misses” but don’t you worry, there were plenty of homeruns in terms of my fall/winter wardrobe. most notably these dresses, another pair of my favorite pair of jeans, and a TURTLENECK.

the homeruns

vuori short sleeve halo crop (small –ordered in black heather & pale heather grey) || after seeing this short sleeve top on my friend while filming a class for studio barre on demand, and in an effort to continue to rebuild my workout wardrobe, i decided to order the top in both the black and grey. i think the silhouette is so fresh and feminine (and flattering!) and what i love the MOST is that it has a built-in bra with removable cups. so many tops do not have those cups and as someone whose ladies look a LOT different post-nursing (iykyk), that lining is crucial for this mama to feel comfortable while getting her endorphin rush. the fabric is so incredibly soft and the length is perfect for pairing with a high-waisted legging. i plan on wearing them for working out/park visits but honestly they look great with jeans, too. they’d be perfect for a sporting event or for wearing to an amusement park because they’re moisture wicking and will do well in a hot environment! i found them to run true to size.

better days co greens || okay so this purchase wasn’t of the sartorial variety, but i figured it was worth mentioning anyway. i’ve followed lisa allen for years and admire her so much for how well she parents her FOUR daughters. aside from that, i also love the fashion finds she shares. most recently, she started better days, a greens company specializing in both caffeinated and non-caffeinated greens supplements. for someone who drinks more coffee/iced coffee than she like to admit, i figured i could stand to swap out a couple of said iced coffees with a non-caffeinated green drink throughout the day. i opted for the raspberry limeade, arctic pop, and raspberry pineapple flavors and i must say, they are delicious. the latter is by far my favorite. i simply dump the package into 8-10 ounces of water with lots of ice, stir until its dissolved and enjoy. i have only been drinking them for a couple weeks so i can’t speak to its lasting effects quite yet but anything that is both tasty and allows me to sneak more nutrients in my diet is a win for me!

kosas air brow tinted volumizing treatment gel (medium brown) || after being a loyal glossier boy brow user for years, i have been on the lookout for something that offered a bit more of the “laminated” look (see also: more volume). after laminating my brows for the first time this year and becoming OBSESSED with how the fluffier brow framed my face, i wanted to find a product that could replicate said look in between treatments. i had heard good things about the kosas volumizing treatment gel (and had a gift card to sephora), so i decided to try it out this month and i have been super happy with the results. the product pulls the hairs upward while simultaneously adding color giving that bushier shape that i so earnestly wish i had maintained back in 8th grade when i got my eyebrows waxed for the first time. anyway, the gel comes in an array of colors so you can choose the best to match your hair.

doen blair dress (small –ordered in creme fleurs d’avignon AND noir fleurs d’avignon) || as soon as this dress came on my radar, i haven’t stopped thinking about it. the puff sleeves, the slim yet not bodycon silhouette, the pretty fall print. it had all the makings of a hero dress and most definitely a top contender for family photos this fall/holiday season. and when it arrived earlier in the month, IT LIVED UP TO EVERY INCH OF THE HYPE. this is the kind of dress that was worth every extra penny spent on it because it will be in my wardrobe forever. the fit is impeccable -as i mentioned above -it’s fitted without being bodycon and pulls away from the body ever so slightly to create a whimsical silhouette perfect for fall, but honestly, for spring as well. i’m still relatively new to doen as a brand so i utilized the size chart measurements to determine which size to order. i’d say it fits true to size if not a tad big but i wouldn’t recommend sizing down. it’s a pullover style with a side zipper and a button closure at the nape of the neck. it’s extremely light-weight making it a great transitional piece into early fall, but would also be great layered under a coat or leather jacket for when the temperatures drop. i plan on wearing it with my cowboy boots, ballet flats, sneakers, and even sandals as we oftentimes experience an indian summer come october. and yes i ordered both colors because it’s such a classic piece that i think having both print options will serve me for many years to come. as you have probably learned by now, if i find something i love, i tend to buy it in multiples.

tavi noir high waisted 7/8 leggings (small –ordered in ebony) || i already own these leggings in a charcoal grey color (a gift from studio barre on demand with our custom logo down the pantleg) and while i’m a pretty loyal lululemon align legging girl, i have really fallen in love with the fabric and fit of these. they are buttery and soft and great to throw on for a park visit or morning errands with the twins. they fit true to size and come in a bunch of colors, too.

tavi noir flutter bra (small –ordered in dusk lynx) || i mean, a peplum bra? could there be a more “shawna” piece of workout wear? i’ve seen this bra top on a few people and it looks so cute on that i had to try it for myself. you guys, it’s SO good in person. the v in the front isn’t too low and the open back makes it quite sassy. it hits me right above my navel, but i’m comfortable with the crop when paired with a high-waisted legging (see above). normally tavi bras run a little small but i stayed with my true size and it’s perfect! i decided to forgo them, but there are matching leggings!

amazon cat eye sunglasses (ordered in orange leopard) || after seeing these on one of the OG fashion bloggers, blaire edie of atlantic pacific (and subsequently a few other bloggers i follow), i decided to order them and try them for myself. my favorite sunglasses are ALSO from amazon (the faux ray bans i wear every single day) so i figured i might strike some sophomoric luck. they were also $12 so low stakes, people. GUESS WHAT? they’re amazing. i’m obsessed and i will be wearing them 24/7 until further notice. i might also order them in another color.

citizens of humanity horseshoe jeans (25 –ordered in magnolia wash) || oops, i did it again. i ordered my favorite jeans in the darker wash. i regret nothing.

gap oversized turtleneck sweater (xs –ordered in off-white/navy stripe) || this sweater is currently breaking the internet because it’s a REALLY good dupe for this toteme version that retails for upwards of $570. now normally i’m not a turtleneck girlie, but i really love the drape and shape of this one enough to give it a fair chance at making a home in my closet. i actually was able to run into the store and try it on in person (in the navy/white stripe) so i could at least see what size to order and i ended up surprising myself by how much i liked it. when the inverse stripe arrived, it was even better expected. am i a turtleneck person now?! it’s too soon to tell but i CAN tell you that i’m a huge fan of this particular sweater and i plan on pairing it with my faux leather pants and beloved horseshoe denim as well as my newest pair of ballet flats. it fits a little oversized so i would definitely size down.

gap shaker-stitch balloon sleeve sweater (small –ordered in chino beige) || i majorly pruned my sweater collection last year (in favor of sweatshirts) but i’m realizing that a heavier knit might serve me well come january. i think what i most dislike about sweaters is caring for them. usually they’re hand wash only or *gasp* dry clean only and i just can’t be bothered with such things, lol. so the fact that this sweater and the aforementioned turtleneck are 100% cotton and machine washable bodes very well in terms of their longevity factor. i loved the subtle puff-sleeve of this sweater and of course the beige color. it’s really cute on and fits true to size. i plan on wearing it with denim (of course) but i actually tried it on with this faux leather mini skirt in the store and loved the contrast, too!

the misses

zara swiss dot ruffled blouse (small) || as soon as i saw this blouse on zara’s site, i added it to my cart. the ruffles, its slightly victorian/romantic vibe, the fact that it was also long-sleeves for the fall season –it had all the makings of a hero piece. while the style did translate well in person, the fabric was a total miss and was its eventual demise. it’s a clingy, slightly itchy fabric (see also polyester) and while it wasn’t an investment, its almost $50 price tag was still to much to pay for being uncomfortable. it went back just about as quickly as it arrived.

zara cropped z1975 wide leg buttoned jeans (2/26) || having loved my similar pair of buttoned jeans, i decided to order this similar style with slight pleating. unfortunately the added style detail was enough to turn winner jeans into, well, not so winner jeans. i found the pleating to be incredibly unflattering. this pair also ran much smaller than my original ones and we don’t have time for too small of anything. TOODLES JEANS.

zara wide leg jeans (27/4 –ordered in khaki) || speaking of jeans… while i love my blue denim, i have been quite charmed by the emergence of the non-azure-colored jean. you know i love my stone-colored zara pants, so once i saw that zara released a khaki shade of these jeans (that i own and love in the blue shade), i decided to try them out. FUNNY STORY, when they arrived i physically could not undo the button in order to even get them on my body. like i tried a zillion different ways to get it released from the button-hole but to no avail. then i had this fear that IF i was actually able to get them undone and onto my body and button them up, WHAT IF I COULDN’T GET THEM BACK OFF?! that thought alone was enough to convince me that it just wasn’t meant to be. also the color is for sure not khaki, it was a weird grey shade. no thank you.

& other stories textured puff sleeve top (4) || gotta love finding a dupe for a top you can’t seem to get off your mind. after falling in love with the latter, i randomly found the former on SALE on the stories website and decided to try it out to see if it could scratch the itch created by the more expensive version. while it had so many of the elements i adored about the original top (the corset detailing and the puffed sleeves), the fit wasn’t ideal for my shape. ultimately it’s a bit too baggy in the boob area for me. if you’re blessed with a larger chest, i think it could be quite flattering on your decolletage. but the fact that it doesn’t fit impeccably (despite it being on sale) was enough to convince me that it wasn’t meant to be. i will say the fabric has a bit of a sheen making it more appropriate for evening than an everyday top, but it would be pretty with a pair of trousers or dark denim for date night or GNO. i sized up to a 4 and found it to fit perfectly.

& other stories ruffled lace blouse (4) || i oftentimes i run a piece by my husband to gauge his opinion before i hit purchase. when i initially showed him this blouse, he corroborated what i had myself already deduced –grandma vibes?! grandma vibes. but THEN i saw it on someone i follow in instagram and it looked so much cuter “in person” that i began to reconsider. and like a sign from above (i’m kidding, clearly), it went on SALE soon thereafter. we’re talking like 80% off. so i couldn’t just not not buy it to try, right? anyway, when it arrived it was unfortunately exactly what i had originally expected –grandma vibes. and not even the discounted price could get me to justify keeping it. it also probably didn’t help that it was about a size too big so if you’re curious about trying it, stay with your true size. this being my first experience with & other stories, i will say, i am very pleased by the quality of both this top and the aforementioned blouse, too. i will definitely order from them in the future, it just has to be the right garment.

madewell the perfect vintage wide-leg crop jean in tile white (25) || if you recall, i tried these jeans on in july, fell in love, but ultimately decided not to keep them since i have so many similar pairs in blue denim. but then on a recent “pruning” of my closet, i decided to clear out my current pair of white wide-leg pants and immediately thought, “hey, what about those jeans i loved but in WHITE?!” and so i pulled out one of my many denim credits (PSA: donate old jeans (any brand!) to madewell and get a voucher for $20 off your next pair) and click, click, click, a new pair was on their way to me. when they arrived, they were noticeably different than their blue denim cousin. they weren’t cropped (on me, at least) and the fit seemed slimmer than a traditional wide-leg. objectively they’re a great pair of white jeans, not see-through at all and flattering in all of the right places. however the silhouette wasn’t what i hoped for so i thought it best to return them and search for my desired style. honestly i’m about [ ] to ordering a third pair of my horseshoe jeans in white but i’m trying to practice self-restraint. that and they’re sold out in my size on most sites i’ve looked.

zara culottes (small) || i feel like every wardrobe should have a great pair of black pants. i most definitely had a couple pairs of what i’d call “hero pants” during my stint in the corporate world. when i transitioned into becoming a fitness instructor full-time and now, a stay-at-home-twin-mom, i began weeding out said dressier pieces since they did little more than collect dust in my closet. but lately i’ve been experimenting with non-denim pants. by now you’re well acquainted with these beloved straight-legs and this summer’s addition –the linen trouser that i cropped to ankle length. after seeing how versatile these pants have become in my wardrobe, i thought a black pair in my signature wide-leg silhouette might also be a closet workhorse. and while i love the idea of them, i know they’re not practical for my everyday life. mostly because they’re dressier than i thought they’d be after seeing their image on the website. they’re a heavier viscose fabric with pleating on the legs making them a gorgeous option for a more formal affair. if you’re looking for a great pair of black pants for your office wardrobe, at under $50, these are a great option. i also think they’d be great for a date night out with your partner. if i still owned heels, i’d pair them with something strappy and hit the town. otherwise, i think they’d be cute with the season’s hottest item –a striped oversized sweater and a pair of great black leather loafers. they’re a “miss” for me solely because my current lifestyle doesn’t justify keeping them.

madewell tapered-leg jumpsuit (xs) || if you’ve been here for a while, you know my plight with jumpsuits. my long torso usually torpedoes most efforts and yet i still press on (see also: never learn my lesson). i spotted this belted version at madewell and managed to snag it at a major discount during their big insider sale. i hoped it would finally fill my long-standing desire for a onesie to wear in the cooler months. but as always the joke was on me because it was WAY too short in the inseam. i’m actually pretty bummed because it’s a really cute style -i love the collarless neckline, the zipper up the front, the fact that it has pockets, and a flattering tapered leg. it’s also a delicious chocolate color, perfect for autumn. so do me a favor -if your legs and torso are more proportional or if you’re on the petite side, will you try it and wear it in honor of me? while it wasn’t a homerun in my book, i think it has such good potential overall. i’d wear it with my favorite sneakers for an easy mom-on-the-go look or with a block heel for a dressier ensemble. i usually end up sizing down in most madewell things so i recommend doing the same for a proper fit.

gap vintage soft raglan sweatshirt (small –ordered in heather grey) || i’ve been looking to replace some of my very well-worn sweatshirts for some time now so when i received an email that gap was offering major discounts on everything on their site, i figured it was a great time to look for a replacement pullover. i love my vintage black sweatshirt i ordered from gap in the very early weeks of postpartum life, so i opted for a similar version in heather grey. i tend to overdo it with outerwear, ordering one of every color, when in reality all i need are one or two great options to layer over tanks for easy workout/park appropriate attire. while the sweatshirt was exactly the fit i was looking for (slightly oversized but not so much as to look fussy), the STENCH that was infiltrating the fabric was too much to take. it’s the kind of chemical smell that most presumably wouldn’t be even be eradicated with a journey through the spin cycle. and honestly, i would run the risk of it tainting other garments, too. for that reason i had to take it back. i’ll keep my eye out for an alternative version, hopefully one with a better scent.

zara flowy jacket (small) || here’s my 47th attempt at becoming a “blazer person.” please remind me to not try for a 48th time. i have tried so hard to adopt this deemed “closet staple” but every time i try, i end up feeling like an imposter. part of me feels like i’m not “cool” enough (how many air quotes can i use in one paragraph?) to pull it off while the other part of me feels like i should be heading into the office to work my accounting job. in other words, it just never feels like me. i think i keep trying to make it work because i really do love the way they look on everyone else. but ultimately i think it’s time to take a pause at trying to make fetch happen. but if you’re on your own journey to find a blazer, i will say that zara has the BEST affordable selection. i think this one is a bit long, but it fits perfectly oversized so stay with your true size.

gap puff sleeve denim jacket in washwell (xs)* || following up from last month as this jacket didn’t arrive in time to share my thoughts in my regular round-up. i love myself a denim jacket and i love myself a puff-sleeve. so you would think that this piece would have been a homerun, right? while it had a lot of great elements, overall it didn’t knock my socks off. and you know my rule –if it’s not a HECK YES it’s a no. so because the puff on the sleeve wasn’t quite puffy enough and the fit wasn’t pristine, i decided to send it back to the gap gods. i will say sizing down was the right thing to do as i believe this style is meant to fit closer to the body versus a more intentionally “oversized” version. I found it to be a little too cropped for my torso but if you’re on the petite side, it could be a great alternative to a blue denim jacket.

gap lace button-front midi dress (small)* || after being backordered for what seemed like foreeeeeeever, this loveshackfancy dress dupe finally arrived. the way this dress had a chokehold on this summer’s must-buy lists, i had high expectations. and well, all i can say is that much to my chagrin, it definitely gave me more “let me go churn butter” vibes as opposed to “omg, what perfect little white dress.” i think it’s the sleeve length? it’s not quite 3/4 and not quite a traditional short-sleeve, it’s somewhere in between? while that could be fixed with a trip to the tailor, i think its button-front and doily-esque lace design don’t do it any favors, either? it’s funny because it looked so cute on so many people i saw sporting it over the course of the last few months but on me it fell flat. as far as sizing goes, i’d say it fits true to size because it has a slip underneath that fits a closer to the body than the dress itself.

*follow-up from last month’s purchases

and what has yet to arrive

h&m flounced blouse (xs) || this is a whole lot of blouse, but if paired with denim, i think it could be a great little piece for my fall wardrobe. i actually discovered it on blair’s blog while perusing her sunglasses (see above) and was shocked when it wasn’t designer (as most of her recommendations tend to be). it has the potential to look more expensive than it is. it also comes in hot pink which i think would be amazing with a cute little faux leather mini skirt, but it should come as no shock to you that i opted for classic black instead.

zara high-waisted pants (small –ordered in taupe brown) || in my most recent assessment of my closet, i pulled out a pair of trousers that sadly i haven’t worn as much as i originally believed i would (so i set them aside to be consigned!). much like my quest for finding the perfect blazer, my journey with non-denim pants has been a winding one. while trousers seem to be all the rage right now, i am instead setting my sights on finding a high-waisted tapered pant instead. call me crazy but i think a pant with a slimmer silhouette might actually be a very flattering style for yours truly. or i could be completely off, but i’m at least willing to try (shoulder shrug emoji). to be honest, i was heavily influenced by none other than former vanderpump rules star, stassi schroeder. she owns these pants in nearly every color and looks amazing in them. fingers crossed they look as good on me.

zara trf ripped wide leg jeans (27/4 -sized up one size, ordered in white) || piggy-backing off of the above sentiments, i also recently sold/consigned all of my old everlane wide leg pants. they served me well for many many years but i was ready to find some new pieces to give my pant collection a lift. since i got rid of my white pair (which oftentimes doubled as my “white denim”), i decided i wanted to try a more distressed pair. inspired by one of my style muses, sarah sherman samuel, i landed on this pair from zara, a similar style to my blue wide leg pair that i cropped. zara jeans can be hit or miss so we’ll see how these go! i’m keeping my expectations low to be honest.

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