Review: J.Crew Wide-Calf Harper Leather Boots

Nordstrom sweater (similar), Gap skirt, SPANX tights, Nordstrom belt (similar), J.Crew Harper boots (ordered up to a 9.5)

Traveling so much for work means that my wardrobe has very little consistency. I spend the work week in different cities around the country and my weekends in Charlotte, and as such have a closet that looks more like a mismatch of items than anything cohesive or weather appropriate. But if there was one item that transitions well from the chilly (albeit dry) weather of North Carolina to the freezing Winters of the Northeast and beyond, it is the riding boot. Boasting calves with a nearly 17″ circumference  finding a pair of boots that fit my feet, narrow ankles and wide calves has proven nearly impossible, until now.

J.Crew is one of the few retailers that sells wide-calf boots. I have tried a number of other pairs over the years and never found them very comfortable or of particularly great quality. During their last 25% off sale I decided to try again with these gorgeous side-zip Harpers, and couldn’t be happier with the purchase.

First and foremost, the leather is of amazing quality. I can see them lasting for years and being incredibly supple and molded to my foot shape over time. The sole is 100% leather and the gold zipper detailing and snap closure above are also of top quality.

The boots have a 17.5″ calf circumference leaving just about a 3/4 of an inch of extra room for me at the top. This doesn’t bother me at all as I have never liked the look of boots that were so tight they appeared painted on. The leather of these is stiff enough that they stay up on my calf regardless of the extra space. The toes are a beautiful almond shape and very comfortable for all day wear. If leather isn’t your thing, the boots also come in a gorgeous suede that also looks so supple and comfortable. One final note, I did size up from my normal 9 at J.Crew to a 9.5. I wanted a bit of extra room for thicker socks, but upon receipt have found that these boots do run slightly small. While i can tell that the size 10’s would be much too big, the 9.5 leaves just a smidgen of extra room for thick socks.

In other, completely random news: I purchased my first clip-less curling iron and loooove the result. I have naturally very frizzy, curly, and unruly hair and on days when I don’t want to blow dry or straighten it into place, this iron makes my natural waves bouncy and frizz-free. I highly recommend the iron I purchased and particularly love the quickness with which I achieved this look.

Have you found any wide-calf boots that you’re loving?

Making Gingham & Gold Bibs Work Appropriate

J.Crew Shirt (wearing a M), Banana Republic Jeans (wearing a size 30), Kelsi Dagger Boots, Kendra Scott Bib via Gilt (similar)(splurge worthy version)

On days when I am in the office but not working directly with a client, I like to look professional but still have some fun with my outfits. I recently purchased this gingham shirt during J.Crew’s 25% off promo (full review here) and couldn’t be happier with the fit and quality. The shirt isn’t too tight in the bust, has a slimming long length and stretch fabric that makes it wearable for everyday.

I was originally inspired to look for a gold bib/collar by a fellow blogger who sported this lust-worthy Oscar De La Renta stunner. A little bit out of my price range, I went on a hunt for a similar yet affordable option. I stumbled upon this Kendra Scott beauty and am so happy with the way it jazzes up any outfit. My only qualm is the short length. I am thinking of using Jean’s necklace lengthening tip to add a few extra inches to make it wearable with collarless sweaters and shirts.

I think the combination of the more modest shirt makes this gold piece and trouser jean completely office appropriate. I could also see wearing this beautiful gold necklace under blazers and scarves during the colder months.

Review: J.Crew Café Full-Length Pant for Work & Play

Gap Jean Jacket (old, similar), J.Crew T-Shirt + Café Trouser + Bracelets, Scarf gifted from Mom, Converse Jack Purcell Shoes

Over the last few months I have chronicled my journey in finding the perfect work pant. After trying nearly 30 styles in numerous stores, I decided to transition into the online space and begin ordering for trial and error. My first purchase for a more casual office look were the J.Crew Cotton Chino’s which I discussed in my last sale review. I ordered my standard size 12 and they were so tight I couldn’t even get them up my hips. Undeterred, I ordered these Café pants which happen to be the full-length version of my favorite work crops: the J.Crew Café Capri, and I love them.

My biggest qualm with the Café Capri was the length and the tapering of the leg. Skinny legs and cropped pants are tricky on pearshaped bodies and I found myself wishing they came in a longer length. Lo and behold, they do! These pants fit exactly like the Café Capri but come complete with a longer, wider trouser-style leg and slightly thicker material (98% cotton 2% spandex), more appropriate for office wear.

I ordered my standard size 12 at J.Crew and they fit like a glove. The rear is not too tight, the hip fit beautifully and they sit slightly higher on the waist for a truly office-friendly look. The pant pockets are lined with a silk-like polyester material and the overall material of the pant is more substantial than the cotton of the Café Capri. I did end up quickly hemming these pants by 1″ to make them wearable with flats for every day. For reference I am about 5’6″ and if I order another pair and plan to wear them with heels, I will be ordering a “tall” size to accomodate. Finally, I opted to keep the pockets stitched shut for a more streamlined look and would consider having them professionally removed or sewn to keep them in place.

Overall, i’m in love. Worn here for a casual dinner with my boyfriend, these pants easily transition from office to every day.

Review: Banana Republic Skinny Jeans & New-to-Me Trend of Boot Tucking for Pearshapes

Blazer: Guess (old, similar), Top: Madewell (on sale!), Necklaces: Repurposed purse straps, Jeans: Banana Republic Skinny, Boots: Steve Madden

This outfit breaks nearly every fashion rule I thought I had for myself. I’m wearing a looser fitting top, skinny jeans, and, get this, they are tucked into boots. Mind, blown. For years I only wore boots with tights and skirts or dresses because I had this notion that skinny jeans weren’t attractive on pearshaped women. And in all reality, they can go wrong in many ways. Unfortunate fading around the thighs, a lighter wash, or even ill-placed pockets can just add to width. But these dark wash skinnies from Banana Republic are near perfection for boot-tucking.

These jeans win for a number of reasons. They have a 6 inch rise, concealing any tummy issues and the front pockets are small decreasing the emphasis on the hips. They are high rise enough to tuck tops into, but low rise enough to be comfortable for every day wear. The wash is a perfect dark wash with no fading and the tapering at the bottom is just enough to be perfectly tucked into your favorite boot.

My only hesitation with these jeans was the pocket placement on the rear. As I have mentioned in past jean reviews, rear pocket placement is key. Too far apart and your bum looks wider, too close together and it looks like you’re wearing pants that are too small. These are a bit far apart for my taste but I think they actually do pretty great things for the bum.

I can’t wait to style these jeans with my new Hunter boots for colder months and explore this new-to-me trend!

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