Corey Red Kendra Shift

Wearing a Shift as a Top Works Well for Tall Frame

Yes, I’m wearing a shift as a top instead of a dress – and it actually works! I’d normally nix the idea of wearing such a short dress because I’m so tall it would be super short. But I’ve been following Tanasha of Pretty Tall Style for a few weeks now and she pulls it off so well! She’s 6’4″ (which is 4″ taller than me) and I love how she wears this blue mini dress as a top. I’ve never thought of wearing a short dress as a top before, but it works so well with skinny jeans! I decided to try the trick of wearing a shift as a top for myself and ordered this Corey Red Kendra Shift from Rent the Runway as part of my Unlimited subscription.

This shift is the best, brightest color of orange. I love it how pops! It has a perforated pattern that is really fun and has handy side pockets. There is lining from the shoulder to the hemline. The three-quarter-length sleeves aren’t lined, so your skin is visible through the holes on the arms. I received a lot of compliments on the shift and I liked how it looked with my Hudson Nico Elysian Mid Rise Skinny Jeans that I reviewed here (available on SearchByInseam.com in a 30″ inseam) and my Earthies nude flats that have amazing arch support (and are available in sizes 5-12).

Other Rent the Runway reviewers wore this as a short dress. I think I’m the first one to wear it as a top with jeans! I’m going to have to try this again! No more ruling out short dresses; I’ll just re-purpose them! Thanks to Tanasha of Pretty Tall Style  for letting me in on this fashion secret for tall women. 🙂 Photo by Jason Henderson.

wearing a shift as a top
Wearing a shift as a top
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Corey Red Kendra Shift

Tips for Saving Thousands on Designer Clothing

 **This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.

I've been using Rent the Runway's Unlimited program for one month now and I love it! You Get unlimited rentals with Rent the Runway's Unlimited subscription for $139/month but there is a code on the site for 20% off your first month, which drops the price to $111.20. I'd heard about Rent the Runway from a friend 6 years ago at a wedding, where I admired her outfit. Flash forward to this month, where I was going to a wedding where that same friend would be attending and wanted to be warm, comfortable, and fashionable. I remembered Rent the Runway and decided to give it a try. I found this beautiful Diane von Furstenberg Blue Purdy Jumpsuit and thought it would be warmer than a short dress (the dress code was cocktail). The reviews said it was comfortable and it really was! I wrote a detailed review here. I heard from people at the wedding that I looked like I belonged on the cover ELLE magazine. So awesome! Especially since I was warm and comfortable too – my primary goals! 🙂 I really hate being cold… Here's the jumpsuit: 

Diane von Furstenberg Blue Purdy Jumpsuit

Anyway, I could have rented the jumpsuit for a standard 4 or 8 days, but after reading about the Rent the Runway's Unlimited program, it made sense to pay a little more so I could have it a few days before the wedding and spend time finding accessories and shoes. My husband also had a holiday party at work the following weekend, and I thought I could wear it there as well. PLUS I'd get to select 2 other pieces for a total of 3 at a time. Here are the gorgeous Ciner Marry Me Teardrop Earrings I chose to wear with the jumpsuit: 

Ciner Marry Me Teardrop Earrings

I felt like a million bucks! I've never worn an outfit that totaled over $700 before! I rented 5 other pieces over the course of January. I tried another size in the jumpsuit, a fur vest, a Kate Spade purse, a warm winter coat, and a cute tweed vest. I rented a total of 7 designer pieces in 30 days, which comes to $15.86 per item. Another way to look at this is dividing the subscription price of the first month ($111.20) by the total retail value of everything I rented ($3,331) to get 3.33%. I paid just 3% of the retail value of these items to rent them! Everything arrived in mint condition and I didn't have any dry cleaning fees like I would have if it was something I owned. I also got to try out different designers and styles, which was really valuable to me. I just cleaned out my closet after Christmas, and I loved how much WASN'T in there! This allowed me to wear new things without storing them. It's genius! Here's what I learned during my first month of Unlimited: 

  1. By reading reviews of women who had a similar body type to mine (reviews state height, weight, body type, and key measurements), I was able to figure out what size to order in almost every case. In the case of the jumpsuit, the 6L fit like a glove everywhere except the torso length was just a little too snug. I could have made it work, but because I had the Unlimited subscription, I had time to send for an 8L which was perfect! Because I could keep 3 items at a time, I kept the earrings and the 6L jumpsuit just in case the 8L didn't arrive in time. I used the first jumpsuit to figure out which shoes to buy. (I sent back a coat that was too short in the sleeves so I could order the 8L jumpsuit, which did arrive in time for the wedding, by the way!)
  2. I liked keeping 1-2 items at a time and having 2-1 in transit to or from Rent the Runway. That way, I always had a great piece at home to wear. You can have 3 items at a time. 
  3. It pays to have basics like black skinny jeans, black boots, and black turtlenecks (this is for winter rentals) so you can rent statement pieces like great coats, ponchos, vests, and furs. 
  4. At first, every time I'd get a new item, I'd send back an old one right away. I'd do it the same day since the UPS Store was right on my way to/from my son's school. Then I realized that with 2-business day UPS shipping, nothing much happens shipping-wise on the weekends and it was usually the same arrival time on the returned item if I dropped something off Friday afternoon or Monday morning. So if I could wear something over the weekend, it made sense to keep it an extra day or two. 
  5. When selecting a new item, I'd first check my calendar and see what events I had coming up and what I might want to wear. I'd also check the weather forecast. If it was going to be a solid week of rain, it didn't make sense to select a wool coat. Instead, I'd choose a vest or top that could be worn under a rain jacket. I kept a list of favorites and could easily search to see if my size was available when it ready to choose something new.
  6. I got to try out styles I'd been wondering about – without buying them first! It's awesome to be able to try something new for a few days before you buy it. I'd been thinking about buying a new handbag with double handles since I thought they looked so cute on everyone else. Guess what? I carried the bag twice before I decided it just wasn't comfortable or efficient enough for me. I have two little boys and I want to be able to hold both of their hands (vs. one and a purse!). I also tried carrying the bag with the shoulder strap, but the handles got in the way. This was really valuable information to have prior to making a buying decision worth hundreds of dollars. So when I do decide to buy, I'm getting a bag that ONLY has a shoulder strap! 🙂
  7. I also tried a fur. I didn't actually know it was real fur until it arrived, but it was a little fox. I felt weird about wearing it. It was super warm and might have been appropriate for a ski weekend at Whistler, but it felt over-the-top for wearing around suburbia. Now I know not to buy real fur, and I probably won't rent it again unless I have a ski weekend planned.
  8. To me, the cost is worth it. At a monthly rate of $139 (or less with new customer codes) that includes shipping, dry cleaning, insurance, and amazing designer pieces, I can have a rotating closet of killer clothes and accessories and feel good about how I look. I had a ton of fun selecting new pieces, tracking arrivals, and wearing new outfits. I didn't have to commit to owning anything, which was really nice for someone who tries to be selective about what I bring into my closet.   

These 8 lessons were gleaned from my first month of using Rent the Runway's Unlimited program. My second month is starting now and I'm excited to see what I'll learn in February. Stay tuned for more product reviews and musings! 

 

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Corey Red Kendra Shift

Bring on the Boots!

Ankle booties are great and all, but it's getting cold and it's time to bring out the tall boots! I tried wearing my ankle boots and skinny jeans the other day and I froze. My ankles were cold and I needed some thick warm socks instead of thin little no-show socks. I've posted a lot this fall about ankle boots and skinny jeans and the look is still current, but if it's getting cold where you are, know that it's just fine to bring out your tall boots. Skinny jeans still look the best with these too, because there's no bunching at the knee and you'll have a smoother look than a jean with more fabric. Some people have slim calves and have a hard time finding a boot that doesn't slap when they walk. If this is you, try a tall thick boot sock over your skinny jeans and under your boots. My shiny Hunter Tall Gloss Boots have an adjustable strap that works very well for this problem. I spent 3 years trying to decide if I really wanted to spend $150 on rain boots, and I'm so glad I finally went through with the purchase. They actually make me excited to leave the house when it's pouring outside, and that's worth a lot! Seattle hit a record for rain last month and I wore them at least 15 times that month alone, bringing my cost per wear to under $10 per wear. They are the perfect boot for rainy day drop-off and pick-up, stomping through the muddy kale patch at the farm every week, and splashing in the puddles with my 4-year-old. Pictured: Blank Denim Skinny Jeans. Photo by Amy Wimber Photography.   

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Corey Red Kendra Shift

Show Some Ankle

Here come the big chunky sweaters! If you don't want to be swimming in a sea of oversized, shapeless outfits all fall and winter, try pairing your big ol' sweater with a skinny ankle jean and short bootie. If you can't see some skin at the top of your bootie, roll your skinny jeans just enough for a sliver of skin to peek through. We've got a ton of great ankle jeans at SearchByInseam.com right now. You'll find them in all lengths, colors, and price ranges. Here are a few of my favorites, all under $100: Banana Republic Black Skinny Ankle Jean, Blank Denim Skinny Jeans in Gray, and Blank Denim Ripped Skinny Jeans.

 

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Corey Red Kendra Shift

The Only Jeans a Guy Needs

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"What guy goes commando?" my husband said when he read my last article, What to Wear Under Tight or White Denim. "That was way too girly." So I asked him what I should write about next that would apply to guys. He said guys just want to know what ONE pair of jeans to buy. One?! That's a tall order, but I can get it down to two if I have to – and maybe just one pair if the buyer doesn't wear jeans everyday…

I'm not a guy but I know a few of them pretty well, and they tell me they like to keep their clothes to a minimum. They want the clothes they purchase to be good quality, comfortable, and not too expensive. So how many pairs of jeans does a man need? Well, that all depends… If you're a guy who wears something other than jeans to work everyday, you might be able to get by with just one pair of jeans. If you wear jeans everyday, you've got to have at least two pairs. Here are my top picks:

The first pair of jeans that every guy needs to have is a classic medium blue wash bootcut or relaxed leg jean. These are casual and can be worn on the weekends, to see friends, to the movies, the game, etc. If you wear something besides jeans to work every day (e.g. scrubs, Carharts, slacks, khakis, a suit) and you're either doing casual stuff when you're not working, or you will wear slacks when you're going out for a nice dinner anyway, you can get by with this one pair of jeans.

If, however, you are someone who wears jeans to most places and you still want to wear jeans when you're dressed up (side note: no jeans to weddings or funerals!), I highly recommend a dark wash bootcut or straight leg jean that will take you almost anywhere you want to go. A dark wash jean is easily dressed up with a button-down shirt and a sports coat or blazer, and will have you looking sharp at a meeting, nice restaurant, theater production, church, etc.    

If you're going to have just one or two pairs of jeans, guys, don't go for anything trendy like destroyed (rips, tears, holes), moto, skinny, patched, or colored. You don't want a memorable jean because you don't want to look like you're wearing the same pair all the time (even if you are). You need to wash them when they get dirty (duh) and you need to fold them or hang them to keep them wrinkle free.

Low-cost options: The Old Navy Built-In Flex Boot-Cut Jeans in dark wash are under $40 and regularly go on sale for under $30. For a medium wash jean, Levi's 527 Slim Bootcut Fit Jean is on sale for $34.99, regularly $59.50.

Mid-range options: The dark wash Gap Original 1969 Boot Fit Jeans cost just under $60, while the Men's Express Boot Leg Slim Fit Jeans are just under $70. For a medium blue wash jean, Banana Republic's Bootcut Medium Wash Jean is a nice option that often goes on sale. It's $89.50 full price, but on sale for $62.50 right now.

 

Designer options: With men's designer jeans, you usually don't have a bunch of inseam length options, so it's trickier to find your fit. These medium blue 7 For All Mankind Brett Stretch Boot Cut Jeans have a 34" inseam and cost about $170. The dark wash 7 For All Mankind Brett Boot Cut Luxe Performance Jeans are $198 and have a 33.75" inseam length. When you shop for men's designer jeans at SearchByInseam.com, it's easy to find the exact length and waist that you need. There's no searching through every detail page to find out what the inseam length is!   

Shop now at SearchByInseam.com to find your next great pair of men's jeans!

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Corey Red Kendra Shift

What to Wear Under Tight or White Denim

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I try not to notice these things, but they pop up in my browser and on the covers of magazines at the store and salon. I'm talking about celebrities who get caught going commando, and it seems to happen with some regularity… While most of us don't have paparazzi ready to shoot our every fashion faux pas (thank goodness!), there is no reason YOU need to risk similar embarrassment. Some of our readers have asked if they should wear a thong under tight or white jeans or simply forgo undies altogether. I'm here to tell you that you can keep your panties on, people! If you don't find a thong comfortable (and I've only met 2 whole people in my entire life who claim they actually do), there are some great options out there that are perfect for tight or white denim. Your first option costs around $20 and is an Assets by Sara Blakely Mid-Thigh Shaper in nude. (Get the nude for white denim or white pants; black is fine for other colors of jeans and pants.) Maternity Assets shapers are also available. I've worn these mid-thigh shapers under white linen pants, white shorts, skirts, and short dresses as well, so they are really versatile – and inexpensive. Sara Blakely is the creator of Spanx and knows what she's doing. These shapers eliminate panty lines; you can wear them alone or with underwear underneath them.

  

Your second option, which has more shaping and control, costs around $35 and is a SPANX Power Short. Like the Assets, there's also a maternity option called the SPANX Mama Short.

    

Spanx are available at Spanx.com, Nordstrom.com and Amazon.com. If you want tummy control, go for a higher shaper vs. a low-rise shaper. Remember to buy a nude or taupe shaper if you're going to wear white denim or pants. If you're buying the shaper for blue denim or dark pants, feel free to purchase black. And if you want to shape your legs the whole way down, go for a footless or capri-length shaper. Whatever option you choose, you'll be saying goodbye to visible panty lines when you're wearing tight or white denim and pants – and avoiding your own embarrassing fashion faux pas!     

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3 Tips for Wearing Boots & Booties with Skinny Jeans

After reading the post How Long Should Skinny Jeans Be? Reader Julia emailed to ask for advice on how to wear different types of boots and booties with skinny jeans. Well Julia, I'm glad you asked because I've been thinking about this topic a lot lately! 🙂 It's fall and we have our family pictures coming up. We're having them taken at a tree farm in Snohomish and I thought it would look cute if the whole family was in boots. My husband wasn't too keen on wearing his black rubber boots, but I think I convinced him it would look good. Anyway… Boots and booties with skinny jeans! I've been people watching and reading online articles and have come up with a few pointers. Here goes:

  1. Tall boots pair best with a skinny jean. This is because a skinny jean fits tight around the knee and there's no extra fabric to pool around the top of the boot. You need a skinny pant or jean to get that smooth sleek profile that comes with wearing a tall boot. Before I got skinny jeans, I tried rolling my bootcut jeans at the ankle and stuffing them into tall socks, but the jeans were just too sloppy on top to wear with tall boots. Learn from my mistake, and pair your tall boots with skinny jeans or pants for the best fall look.                                                                                                                                                        
  2. Booties are super cute with skinny jeans, but you do have to be careful. The jeans need hit at your ankle bone or be rolled up to the ankle bone UNLESS the bootie hits above the ankle bone. Then you need the jean hem to hit just above the bootie. You need to see a sliver of skin between the jeans and booties when you walk or sit. For this reason, you need to wear a short sock with booties that can't be seen. Get a good pair of short athletic socks that won't fall down and drive you crazy. If this has ever happened to you, you know what I mean.                                                                                                                             
  3. Watch the contrast between jean and boot color – you don't want too much contrast. If you're looking for a classic and slimming look, you can't go wrong with black on black. If you want to wear a lighter color boot or bootie like gray or tan, go for a lighter wash jean. A dark brown or black boot or bootie is going to look best with a darker wash jean (medium blue or darker). Keep the contrast to a minimum for the best look this fall.

And there you have it! 3 tips for wearing boots and booties with skinny jeans this fall.  

               Light-fashion-hands-woman

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How Long Should Skinny Jeans Be?

I'll admit that I was late to board the skinny jean train. I just bought my first pair a year ago. I wasn't sure how long they should be, but it didn't really matter since I thought I was only going to wear them with tall boots. As time went on though, I started thinking skinny jeans looked cute with flats and booties and I wondered what length of skinny jean looked best with those types of shoes. After some research (reading online articles and comparing pictures of models in skinny jeans), it was clear that skinny jeans should be shorter than other jean styles. Whether you wear them with heels, flats, or booties, skinny jeans are most flattering when the hem stops around your ankle bone. If you already have a pair of skinny jeans that are too long (like mine), try cuffing them at the ankle bone or tuck them into a pair of ankle booties. If you've yet to buy your new pair of skinny jeans, get someone to help you measure the exact length you need and read on for step-by-step instructions and a how-to picture. (I did this with my husband and was really surprised to find out what my skinny jean inseam was!)

  1. You need two people to measure your skinny jean inseam properly. So first thing first, go and grab someone to help you!
  2. Wearing jeans, hold the 0" end of a flexible measuring tape (available at any craft or sewing supply store – or get this cute pink one at Amazon) against the inseam crotch seam and stand up straight.
  3. Have the person helping you carefully measure the distance to the inside of your ankle bone, making sure to keep the tape flat and tight. The number will likely be several inches shorter than your normal inseam length (e.g. I need a 35" inseam with bootcut jeans but a 31" inseam with skinny jeans that hit at my ankle bone!).  
  4. Use this new number as your skinny jean inseam length and shop at SearchByInseam.com for your new pair of skinny jeans that are just the right length!

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Measuring my skinny jean inseam

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How to Hem Jeans

I recently got an email from Maile, who told me she'd written an article about How to Hem Jeans. In the article, she mentions how to measure your inseam, how to hem using a sewing machine, how to hem by hand, how to hem with the original hem, and how to hem skinny jeans. The post has helpful step-by-step instructions and pictures. Plus, she mentions Search By Inseam. Thanks, Maile! :) Check it out!

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