More returns: Altitude

Okay, when you shop at a gear store for fashion, you ought to keep your expectations minimal. And I did come away with a few surprises!


  • Smartwool socks! Yay for toasty feet.
  • Two Armor Luxe tees. 

These aren't the true replacements I'd hoped for my aged LL Bean Mariners; those are heavier weight, somewhere between a sweater and a top, while these are (high quality, very soft, comfortable, and nicely cut) tees. But the LL Beans will probably last another season while I keep looking for their true replacements and in the meantime, experience with striped items tells me I will also wear these tops a lot. 


The Columbia puffer. Too coral a red for me and the zip does not work well; feels cheap. I'm seriously on the hunt for a lightweight and water resistant replacement for my old Thermoball, but that's for another thread, coming soon! 

The North Face fleece. Too warm for what I wanted, no double zip, and no substitute for the merino I really wanted. Colour is great, but next! 

The Frame Le High Straight jean. Nice quality. Fit is fine, but stretched out within an hour -- that's too much stretch for me. Also, the length was awkward. Supposed to be cropped but on me, it hit the ankle bone, which was fine with boots but did not work with sneakers, where the bottoms kept bumping into the laces. Rolling didn't work since they would flop down (not tapered or rigid enough to stay put in a roll.)!! 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Stagiaire Fash replied 2 years ago

    I'm frequently amazed at how similar our colors are. The red jacket is too orangey to me, and the hoodie that looks so good on you is a color I would wear as well.

  • cat2 replied 2 years ago

    You might want to try St. James for your Breton striped top, they have some that are the thick cotton pieces like your favorite T. They are not much more expensive than a mall T, and are really well made.

  • CocoLion replied 2 years ago

    I love my Frame Le High Straights, I have two pairs now.  The material is stretchy yes but hasn't been anything a belt couldn't fix.  I didn't roll mine I made one big fold and they stayed put.  Sorry they don't work because I think they look splendid on you.

    Absolutely no to anything with a zipper problem.   The tees look great on you!  And I love the red puffer color on you.

  • JAileen replied 2 years ago

    It’s so hard to tell color when shopping online.  That’s too bad about the red jacket.  Did you not like your Thermoball enough to replace it?  I bought one at NAS several years ago and it’s really become my go to.  

    All of the striped tops I’ve been buying lately are lightweight.   But it gets so hot here that lightweight is probably more useful to me than you.  I envy your marine air!

  • Jenn replied 2 years ago

    I agree with your decisions. Sagging jeans drive me crazy, and you'll be living with your winter outerwear for many years, so you really want it to be as close to perfect as possible. 

    FWIW, I really like my Smartwool socks, but kind of felt like the thinner ones wore through quickly...or at least quicker than I would have liked for the price.  Maybe I'm just expecting too much of socks, though.

  • Suz replied 2 years ago

    Thanks, all. Jenn, my Smartwool no-show or dressier socks do wear through relatively quickly, but when I consider the hard use they actually get, it's not so surprising. I walk a lot and there is friction when I walk, maybe more than typical because of my narrow heel -- in boots, for instance and even in most sneakers, my feet always shift around. Even so, my thicker Smartwool socks last years. 

    JAileen, I was pretty sure the red was too orange-y for me, but you never know how it will translate IRL and returns were free, so I thought I'd give it a go. 

    I'm on my second Thermoball coat. I had bright pink for two years, but the pink was too vivid for me, so I replaced it with a second-hand navy one. The navy is beginning to show wear and it has never been just right. The arms are too long, it has a bit more shine than I like, etc. Still, I'd replace it with the same model if I could find one in a colour I like at a price that makes sense. At the moment, they are over $300 in CAD and there is only one colour (a very pastel sagey green) available -- not for me. 

    Lightweight cotton tops work for layering here all year (or on their own) so they're a good purchase. But cat2, thank you -- I will check out St. James for more substantial versions! 

    Denise, that is so interesting. I wonder if these were a different fabrication than yours? I suspect they might be. What wash are yours? I think this particular wash (Rosalie) might have less cotton or something....I did really like the fit. The waist was not too high (as so many are) but felt current enough. 

    SF, it makes sense that we wear similar colours -- our natural colouring is not dissimilar, with cool skin tone and greying or grey hair. 

  • Tanya replied 2 years ago

    Those are great striped tees, Suz, and I agree about the color of the puffer.  

    I have the same Frame jeans in white denim, which is a completely different animal.  My experience with them is the same as Denise describes.   This pair looks great on you.

  • Suz replied 2 years ago

    So I looked it up and this wash is a completely different fabric composition than most in this style and has way more stretch. No wonder! Now I'm going to see if I can hunt down a pair in a less stretchy fabric because the fit was really nice. 

  • Sal replied 2 years ago

    The jeans look good so hope a different wash/fabric will work.

    The puffer and fleece - good reasons to not settle here.

    And essentials are obviously essential:)

  • Jaime replied 2 years ago

    Impressed with the striped tees, puffer looks good but good to hold out for exactly what you want, ditto for the jeans. Do you like 100% cotton? I have had good luck with Frame jeans but they do stretch out.

  • CarolS replied 2 years ago

    Well, the striped tee looks great on you, and you can't argue with warm feet, so that's at least a partial win. As you say, on to the next thing!

  • Bijou replied 2 years ago

    A good assessment. I do love the colour of the North Face fleece on you, now if only there was a puffer coat in that colour!

  • rachylou replied 2 years ago

    Shame, but must say you were still looking cute! :)

  • Katerina replied 2 years ago

    Good decisions! You are a great example of being patient and picky in the best way, thanks for sharing this.

  • Mary Beth (formerly LBD) replied 2 years ago

    The tops are cute!   The jeans look great, but yeah, the overstretching and floppy hems would drive me insane.    On to the next!

  • Jonesy replied 2 years ago

    Bummer, but I truly appreciate your careful analysis! Onward!

  • replied 2 years ago

    Too bad about the burgundy jacket- it's a great color on you!

  • Angie replied 2 years ago

    Bummer! All almost there, but not quite. NEXT :)

    Try Frame, G-Star and Everlane jeans. They have been my faves for a while. No bagging out at all! 

You need to be logged in to comment