In my lifelong mission to show you alllll the options available to us in a given season, I bring you this cheeky video, in which I show you hits and misses from your favorite stores. My goal is to gently steer you away from the frumpy-unflattering-what-the-heck-were-they-thinking items and towards the cute-modern-will-make-me-feel-confident options. But I don’t stop there.
I take it a step further (don’t I always?) by showing you why frumpy things are frumpy and cute things are cute, so you can repeat the process on your own in your favorite store.
I also get a little excited and wave my hands around a lot, so you know it’s going to be spicy.
You can find all of the items in this video/post right here.
J. Jill has some genuinely cute and wearable stuff mixed in with the bad stuff, and I’m here to show you the best and worst options in a couple of different categories.
Tunics are tricky, and the best ones are just longer versions of a regular shirt. The buffalo plaid version, with it’s awkward shape, isn’t oversized enough to be a tunic and is something you should skip.
In the second pairing, skip the faux layered top, which isn’t fooling anyone (it has a deep V-neck so it’s obvious there’s no layering). The wide white band at the bottom draws a line across the hips and it’s also just not modern or chic. Try the blousy velvet style instead.
The first sweater is completely shapeless, and would look bad no matter how you style it, but is even worse as part of the baggy and unflattering outfit. The second sweater is a much more modern and chic choice.
White House Black Market
When White House Black Market gets it right, it creates polished and chic pieces. But it goes wrong with busy and over the top items with too much going on.
The Wine Jacket
This peplum jacket is a little over the top, and will date quickly. Plus it’s instantly recognizable as an item from the store this season. The more modern velvet jacket is a much better and more versatile choice.
The White Jacket
Once again, there are two examples of jackets. One is more of a statement piece, and the other is more of a basic. The statement piece is fine if you love it, because it’s relatively simple, but the solid white jacket is going to have a lot more versatility.
Christopher & Banks
This mall brand is a go-to for many women, but they have lots of potentially frumpy items. The key with a brand like this? Keep it simple, and stick to the basics from brands like this.
Simpler is better at these over-40 brands, so stick to solids or very simple prints.
This popular store is super affordable, but you have to pick and choose carefully.
The Graphic Tees
Cato has a nice selection of graphic tees. Just keep them simple, and skip the weird scrunching and cutout details.
Chico’s has so many questionable tops this season, and it was hard to narrow it down. Fortunately, for every borderline top, there’s also a great one.
The Graphic Sweaters
Skip the florals and the tunics and stick to simple streamlined shapes in geometric patterns.
Talbots has some lovely options this season, but also some of the older frumpy styles that it was known for, so pick and choose carefully.
This is an easy place to go astray at Talbots. The simpler the better should be your mantra. Skip the patterns when possible and go for simple solid styles.
What do you think of my hits and misses from these stores? And is one of these your go-to places to shop? Let me know in the comments!