L.L. Bean Signature | Cashmere V-Neck Sweater | $159
Usually I’m a save the best for last type of person, but in this situation with so many of my favorites at once, I’ll just start with the cashmere. Because you can never go wrong to start an outfit with cashmere.
In our endless search for cashmere that is has both a luxurious feel and a reasonable price, we noticed the LL Bean Signature line had made some fun silhouettes this season. Definitely worth investigating! We chose the Signature Cashmere V-neck Tunic sweater in the Light Gray with this look, and I love the combination of the light gray and ivory yarns chosen to highlight the texture of the rib knit on front. LL Bean sources their cashmere from Inner Mongolia, and the resulting sweater has a soft, cozy, and high-quality feel with a mid-weight. The rib texture gave it some extra heft on the front, but here in Maine the short sleeves on this sweater mean it’s best worn in fall or layered for the winter. Amy normally wears petites, and we found this style fit her more like a dress than a tunic! That being said, we loved it…we just agreed it is better suited to women of average to tall height. The dolman style sleeve on this will allow it to work for many body types, but in general it isn’t the best cut for pear-shaped body types as the extra fabric will emphasize small shoulders. So is it worth the $159 price tag? I would venture to say yes if you’ve been looking for an easy, drapey sweater to wear with leggings this winter, and if you live in a climate with a warmer winter or love to layer when its cold. It would be easy breezy with a collared blouse underneath and skinny pants for work, throw on some big earrings and go!
Korke-Ease | Velma Bootie | $190
The Kork-Ease Velma bootie in Port was a must-have for me this season! I saw them on an acquaintance at the grocery store and was immediately drawn to the classic lines (picture me with a cart full of groceries spotting her boots from across the deli section and reminding myself to be polite first! “How are your kids? …and where did you get those boots?”) I love a simple shoe in good leather that lasts forever, and it’s always worth a slightly higher price tag when you know they can be taken to a cobbler and resoled when needed. The Velma has delivered! They are super comfy, even when they never come off my feet while standing and running around in them for over 9 hours between work to chorus rehearsals on sundays. I have a very high instep (my arches just barely touch the floor on one foot, not at all on the other) and I was mildly concerned in the beginning that they would be too snug. No worries, they’ve stretched to a very comfortable degree, and after wearing them for 2 months straight, I can say I’m perfectly happy with them! I’m usually a 7 in boots, loafers, and ballet flats, and I found them to be true to size. Even with elastics on both sides of this Chelsea style boot, they do have a slim ankle opening, so I recommend putting them on with shoe horn to keep from breaking down the back of the shoe. They are definitely worth their $190 price tag, but they’re sold by so many retailers you can usually find some kind of discount on them.
J.Crew Factory | Black Skinny Jean with 28″ Inseam| $39.50
Out of everything I’ve tried and bought this season, my J. Crew Factory Black skinny jean with 28” inseam are my favorite. The only way they can improve these jeans is to offer this exact fabric (I love you, 3% elastane!) in more colors than just black. To be clear, I’ve never really been a black jean person. My neutrals of choice have always been navy and oatmeal, and my denim is typically blue or white. Then I tried these jeans on. They are AMAZING. As in, have held their shape in the legs while being worn at least 3 days a week for two months without being washed or dried kind of amazing. As in, I tell all my friends and anyone who mentions they are looking for denim that they need to try these jeans. These are the most comfortable, most flattering jeans I have owned so far. I’ve loved and felt amazing in other jeans, but none have beat them on comfort. They’re a mid-rise (my favorite), and I went down a size from what I’m wearing in the Rockaway Blue wash right now. Basically, I’ll be buying a second pair soon so that I have a spare for when I wear these out. The only downside to stretchy lightweight denim is their shortened life span. I typically get about a year out of denim this weight before I start wearing holes in the inner thigh. This fabrication also comes in a high-waisted version with a 29” inseam for any looking for a little more coverage at the top or bottom. Fortunately, at $39.50 on sale right now, these jeans don’t break the bank. I highly recommend them, and I’m waiting with bated breath for this fabric (91% cotton, 6% polyester, 3% elastane) in a medium blue wash (please?)