Two trendy returns, and a keep with question

On the subject of trends that don't work...I tried the following outfit from J. Crew and both pieces are going back. 

The shirt had great potential as the kind of V I can actually wear. Plus, I have a massive wardrobe hole for a white woven top and in particular for one with sleeves. 

But with the bow at the waist and the puffy sleeves, it feels like entirely too much trendy and feminine detail. I feel like I am in drag. It is an example of feminine detailing of some kinds making a gamine type look mannish. (Not that there is a thing wrong with that if that's what floats your boat.) Also, it was so wrinkly, and tying that tie is about 20 times harder than tying the waist for my (very feminine yet somehow it works on me) 1901 dress. So. NEXT. Anyone who has suggestions for summer skirts or white or light tops, please let me know.

I would like to get a new midi skirt for summer, preferably A-line, because I'm still mostly wearing my very old and decidedly not trendy tube skirts simply because they are so stinking easy to wear! 

This one is made a of a nice fabric. The fit and cut are nice but I find it too short and the pattern is too bold for me. I would recommend it to the right person but if they have it in long, you might want to try that. 

The other item is a KEEP but I need to know if I should hem. These are super comfy chambray pants, pull on. Read the rave reviews. Showing first at the length they came, next about 3.5 inches shorter, and finally about 1.5 inches shorter. 

I think I prefer the last length best. How about you? 

Thanks for your thoughts. 

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.


  • Toban replied 2 years ago

    I like the last length the best, too.

  • Cardiff girl replied 2 years ago

    I agree with you on the top,It’s very nice but too fussy and swamps you,you can definitely do better.As for the chambray trousers I think that you could wear them at any of those lengths ,it depends on the look that you are going for.l m sad that you think tube skirts are out,l will be being untrendy by continuing to wear mine!

  • Bennett replied 2 years ago

    Funny how the sleeves look ballooned in person but straight on the model! I agree, it's too much fuss. Doesn't look like you. 

    The pants look best at the 1.5 inch turn. I have a love for anything chambray!

  • Sara L. replied 2 years ago

    I agree with you on the shirt and skirt.  The skirt if nice but too short if you're looking for a midi.  It's definitely something I would wear though so maybe I should shop at J.Crew more. :)  I also like the last length of the pants the best.

  • Gail replied 2 years ago

    Agree on the top , very fussy. The pants, I like the last length and the skirt I actually like but agree that it needs to be longer.

  • Jenni NZ replied 2 years ago

    I agree on the top. Hope you find something else in white though, great with the white streak at the front of your hair. I think the skirt looks awesome.
    And I actually like the pants at the length they came in! Elongate your legs!

  • LaPed replied 2 years ago

    Yeah, I know exactly what you mean about certain types of feminine detailing feeling like drag! I run into the same thing. I like the last option for the pants. Also, how is that skirt so long on the model?! It looks completely different.

  • texstyle replied 2 years ago

    Here's one at loft - and Club Monaco has a selection of white tops too.

    ETA: another one from loft...

  • Staysfit replied 2 years ago

    Suz, I wrote a response, posted it, and it disappeared!? I have no clue what happened, but I can see why you are reluctant to keep the white top. It has too many details. The side ruching and the bow together seem distracting and overwhelming paired together. I think one or the other might be okay. I kind of like the sleeves on you...

    I like the last pic for the pant length.

  • Sal replied 2 years ago

    Good to see the successes and returns. I like the pants either as they come or in the last pic. Great choice- so easy to wear.

  • kkards replied 2 years ago

    hate fussy in the best of times but fussy and the summer heat/humid are reciepe for a bad day!
    cute pants...and i agree on the lenght, last photo is best...
    re white shirts, i'm guessing that your not interested in long sleeves, but i've been thinking of this Boden top pick..
    i love the APC skirt --shape is fab but its really pricey...but the Madewell is cute and its reminds me of a skirt i had right after i graduated from college...

  • jackiec replied 2 years ago

    Hi Suz,

    I mentioned these on TG’s thread but I love the Aritzia Murphy blouse, and also their Wilfred Terre pleated skirts (size down). I avoid v necks too but this isn’t too bad and I like to put a chunky necklace in the V....

    I got a steal on the lilac-ish print skirt back in Jan and have had the Murphy for a year. I find the white tank super versatile.

    Ps my skirt is a bit rumpled and I realized I had 2 diff shoes on bc I was trying to decide which to wear...chose the sandal

  • Christina F. replied 2 years ago

    I agree with your assessments. You can do much better for a white top. The skirt length is awkwardly neither here nor there on you.

    The pants are great. I love the last length. Are they lightweight?

  • lisa p replied 2 years ago

    I actually like the white top, just not with that skirt . I think it would look great with jeans , and I’m not getting a drag vibe at all ;) I think the pants are cuter shorter - but am kind of leery of the whole idea of pleated pull on chambray pants in general .....

  • lisa p replied 2 years ago

    I also like the Aritzia Murphy top - I have it in white too .

  • unfrumped replied 2 years ago

    I like the last length, too. I have a pair of black “ wide leg crops” and I think tgst is about where they fall. Just short enough to wear with an ankle l- strap flat but will also cover a 4-5” ankle boot. Whereas “ midi” skirts I usually want to be shorter.

  • taylor replied 2 years ago

    I agree with you on the blouse. Complicated , fussy and wrinkly... just too much effort .
    I have added lots of white and light blouses for summer. You might want to take a look at the Brooks Brothers never irons. They come in sleeveless for summer and pretty light colors. You may already have the long sleeve version , but they are worth a look for quality and practicality.

  • Jessikams replied 2 years ago

    Nodding along with “feminine detail that makes a gamine type look mannish.” Yes! I tried the embellished sleeve trend and could never figure out why it didn’t look right- but I always felt like a pirate. In drag. Like a Shakespearean actor, or maybe Captain Jack Sparrow!

  • rachylou replied 2 years ago

    It’s a lot of bow. Lol. It doesn’t look bad, just the wrong personality.

    Lilypup btw just looks so wrong in a bow. I’ve tried every kind. Lol! :)

  • Liesbeth replied 2 years ago

    I don’t find the top mannish, though I’m smiling at all the self-deprecating humour here :). But I agree it lacks your usual sharp and right-on quality.
    For the trousers I agree with the last length looking best. Nice!

  • Lucy replied 2 years ago

    Yes, agree the top is just too fussy! I usually like wrap tops, and tried on a similar one in Uniqlo - the rest was the same, just too fussy... 
    Love the pants on you, especially at the shorter length. 

  • Katerina replied 2 years ago

    I agree on the skirt.
    I like the idea of the top, but, IMHO, this one just has too much fabric, it hides your lovely waist and looks a bit overwhelming. As for the style - I think a top like this (if cut right with right proportions) would look lovely on you with a less "feminine" skirt. Maybe with denim or navy solid bottoms or with pants.
    I really like the pants. The second length is the best IMO. 

  • Synne replied 2 years ago

    Just chiming in to say that I TOTALLY relate to the feeling of being in drag when wearing clothes too "girly girl". I am on a quest to force myself to dress more feminine though, but I steer clear of anything that gives me that vibe. Hard to pin point what it is though...

  • Laura replied 2 years ago

    I like the blouse on you but if it wrinkles too much - too high maintenance! Next!

    These skirts from 1901 are the bomb. I picked one up in chambray and now I see they have them in eyelet and I am sorely tempted to get another. I've been wearing mine with a simple tee and sneakers, or a short cardigan and low heels for dressier occasions. It is very cute on!

  • suntiger replied 2 years ago

    Yes, that white shirt is algo on you-but think the Murphy would work well with the black and white skirt. The pants I like more the original length or the last.

  • Suz replied 2 years ago

    Thanks so much for your comments, thoughts, and suggestions. 

    Bennet, Toban, unfrumped, Gail, et. al -- It seems as if the final length is best for the pants so that's more or less what I will do. 

    Laura, thanks for the link to the 1901 skirts -- promising! I might check the eyelet out. Are they longer than on the models? I want one that is a bit longer than these. 

    Katerina, Lucy, thanks. I think you are right -- there is something off in the proportion of this top, along with everything else. Oh well. And as Staysfit and others say, it's just a bit too much detailing. 

    Jenni -- thanks for the comment about my hair. Yes, white is now a great colour for me! 

    Liesbeth, I think the top itself is feminine -- so feminine I feel mannish in comparison. 

    Synne, Jessikams, La Ped -- I knew you'd get it re the overly feminine detail. On the question of which ones work and which ones don't -- proportions seem key, as Katerina suggests. I know for me, ruffles and sleeve detail are especially suspect. I can get away with (some) bows, but not if they are super fussy, I guess. :) 

    Rachy, of course Lilypup looks wrong in a bow. She's far too hip to go around looking like that. 

    Taylor, great suggestion. I will check them out. I just retired my long sleeved BB shirt because of staining under the arms. A sleeveless classic version has a lot of promise. 

    Thanks, Lisa. Pleats on these pants like perfectly flat -- no bunching. I guess because the fabric is so lightweight. 

    Christina, there's your answer. SUPER lightweight. The king of thing you could throw on at the beach. Like a summer skirt in weight. Couldn't wear in winter for sure! 

    Jackie, so great to see you! Thanks for popping in! What a treat. You look gorgeous in your lilac skirt and the Murphy top! Just beautiful. Alas, that skirt -- I think it is that skirt -- I tried it 2 years ago in red and it didn't work for me. I ended up giving it to my slimmer step daughter. I felt too puffy and shortwaisted in it. Something about the way the waist and pleats fell. I will give the Murphy top a try but am very doubtful it will work for me. I can't really wear regular V necks successfully especially when the top is loose around the arms, too. Has to do with proportions and body modifiers -- small bust, short hair, long(ish) neck. 

    Kkards -- thank you for those! It seems there are a lot of nice midi skirts out there this year. I just have to do a proper shop, I guess. 

    Sal, I think you'd wear these pants really well, too. 

    Cardiff Girl -- I don't know if tube skirts are "out" and don't really care, but I have been wearing mine steadily since 2012 and am getting a bit tired of the same silhouette all the time, you know? I still love them and will still wear them sometimes. Just looking for options. 

    Texstyle, those look like good options. Thank you. Popovers can be great in the heat. I'm going to go over to North Van (where they have a Loft.) 

    Sara, you are right -- that skirt would look great on you. They also have pants, and several tops in this fabric. It's really a nice fabric. 

  • replied 2 years ago

    There's too much bunchy midriff action on the shirt and scale of the print is overwhelming. Like LIsap I " kind of leery of the whole idea of pleated pull on chambray pants in general .." but because it's really the concept as much as the reality that's in the way for me here, maybe once you've styled them they'd look different?

    Or maybe a pair that are either wide OR have a non sleek waist?

  • kellygirl replied 2 years ago

    Just chiming in to agree with the analysis of the white top. Too much fuss. You look radiant in white though. Not sure about the pants length. They look great for summer though!

  • karen13 replied 2 years ago

    I think the top and skirt look good, but since you don't and it is fussy, pass. Vote the 1.5" hem on the pants.

  • nemosmom replied 2 years ago

    Whoa, there's a LOT going on in that top. I can't imagine wearing it in hot weather - you are smart to return. I agree with you on length of pants.

  • Laura replied 2 years ago

    Yes, the skirt is longer on me. You might also want to order a size down, as I usually am a size S in skirts and I exchanged for an XS.

  • shevia replied 2 years ago

    I like the wide pants at the length in the last picture. You could make the white blouse work, but why? Next! You look great!

  • Vildy replied 2 years ago

    Coincidentally, I was just looking at a picture of Garance Dore in a puffy white shirt.  I hadn't realized she's only 5'3.

  • Angie replied 2 years ago

    GOOD JOB listening to you feelings, Suz. SOOOO I'mportant. I like the trendy skirt and blouse on you. Looks fabulous! But YOU have to wear it and feel great - not me. Return. Next :)

    KILLER wide crops. Hemmed to last length, for sure. Style with boxy cropped top, tie top, shirt tied at the waist. 

  • viva replied 2 years ago

    I wish we could see the white blouse with a quieter, slimmer, bottom. I think it feels like too much because it's with that skirt - which also has a lot going on.

    I love the pants hemmed to the last length. They look breezy for the summer.

    And what fun to see Jackie posting again! :)

  • Firecracker replied 2 years ago

    I like the chambray pants, and I would pick the last length. Although I thought the shorter could work, too; I am SO challenged on cropped pant lengths. Anyway, seeing the chambray pant outfit next to the skirt outfit was an eye-opener for me; the comparison made me see that the skirt outfit, with the high-contrast print and the big puffy blouse design, was overpowering you.

    And here's a Find for a blouse. (I haven't seen it in person.)

  • Firecracker replied 2 years ago

    Oh, and another thing: Welcome back, Jackie!

  • lyn67 replied 2 years ago

    Disn't ready any comments, so: love the pants (COMPLETELY YOUR STYLE) and think can be hemmed to length in nr 4. Sorry for the shirt miss-I just can relate-a white woven shirt is my all time and almost  never achived HEWI so go next up!

  • nancylee replied 2 years ago

    Hi Suz,
    Here are a couple of white tops I found on the Nordstrom site, although I haven't seen them in person. I'm a big fan of gauze lately because even if it wrinkles a little it still looks good!

  • Helena replied 2 years ago

    Good call Suz! Objectively, the first outfit looks fantastic on you - the fit is great and the pieces are lovely - which makes it so tempting to keep them, even when they are not you. But if they don't feel right, they don't feel right. They are not as clean-lined as you usually wear, and that can make all the difference - although it would be interesting to see each piece paired with one of your tried-and-true pieces?

    I agree with you on the 'feminine' thing - I feel like girly clothes bring out the masculinity in my face. I think it's because I have a touch of 'dramatic' in my facial lines. 

    Agree that the third pants length is great!

  • Beth Ann replied 2 years ago

    I so appreciate the way you share your process!  I'm a big yes for the last length of the pants --- as for skirts:  with a gathered waist a-line I prefer a button front because it gives the skirt more structure.  My favorite kind of a-line is drapey, but more of a gored shape with no gathering on the waistline.  If I have time later, I'll drop see if I can post some examples!

  • Gigi replied 2 years ago

    I actually like the blouse and skirt on you and don't think the outfit looks mannish. But it sounds like you are having a strong emotional response, so definitely send the clothes back. The top looks like it might be really hot for summer weather.

    I like the last pic for pants length.

    As for places to get on-trend skirts, I want to say that Anthro has lots of lightweight A-line skirts that are midi length. They might be worth a look.

  • Angie replied 2 years ago

    Suz, start a separate thread on your search for white tops. 

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