It’s Try-On Time! Black Pants, Blue Jeans and Quince

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Hi friend, how are you? There’s a lot evolving behind the scenes over here! And there’s been a BIG turn of events that I didn’t see coming. I’m dipping my toes back into Instagram again. I wasn’t sure if being on Instagram would feel aligned. But I’m shocked to say I am loving being on there. As an environmental empath, in the past I’ve absorbed a lot of emotional goo from scrolling there. But I’m using some good strategies that are helping me to stay self-connected and feel grounded. If you’re curious to see what’s happening over there, visit my Instagram and follow me, if it resonates for you.

Today, I thought it would be fun to try a different type of post and show you the pieces I’ve been trying behind the scenes. Trying on a lot of clothes is the norm for me. But most of them go back because they don’t fit. 

In the last month or so, I returned at least 8 dresses. Some made me laugh out loud with their wildly oversized puff sleeves. Others were just wrong, wrong, wrong. You’re not seeing them in this roundup because I don’t want to memorialize those looks with pictures that last forever on the internet. 

What I’m sharing here is the best of what I’m seeing, with pieces that could fill a genuine need in your wardrobe. And I’m also sharing my thoughts on two pieces that are being heavily endorsed on social media. 

Grab your favorite hot beverage, because today I have 3 styles of jeans, 4 pairs of black pants, and a V-neck sweater for you. 

Let’s start with jeans!

Jeans Try-On

The perfect pair of jeans makes all the difference in how you feel getting dressed. And right now there are a ton of different styles in the stores! I’m always striving to find the best options and that means I’m always trying Madewell jeans. Womp, womp. Other style bloggers love and rave about them, saying the Perfect Vintage jeans are, well, perfect. But unlike every other style blogger, they’re always a bust for me. Most of their jeans are 99 to 100% cotton, which, in their styles, isn’t enough stretch for my rear end. But periodically I scroll through their website to see if there are any new denim pieces that may work. So first up, is a pair of Madewell flare jeans.

Madewell, The Perfect Vintage Flare Jean in Wrenford Wash

These flare jeans are 98% cotton with 2% elastane for stretch. That’s 1% more stretch than usual, so I gave them a try. And they work!

Madewell Flares

Jeans | Top | Shoes

They’re dark navy and have a fabric that feels like a trouser pant. The denim has a subtle white fleck that adds some visual interest. There’s no whiskering or distressing on them, which makes them feel more elevated. These would be great work jeans, if your dress code allows it.

The flare is moderate but the leg inseam is 32-inches. 3-inch platform heels make them work for me at 5’6″. A pair of platform clogs or platform slides would be a super comfortable option to wear with them every day. Which reminds me, do you remember platform flip-flops from the 90s? I’m so curious to see if they make a comeback to go along with all these super long jeans.

I sized down to a size 30 from my normal 31 and they actually work. For reference, I’m 5’6” and 165 pounds. 

The website lists the rise as 11-inches, which is why I was excited to try them. I’ve yet to find a pair of flare jeans with a moderate 11-inch rise in the waist. It bummed me out to measure the rise and see it’s actually 13 inches.

Overall, they’re a great option if you’re long waisted or like wearing very high-waisted jeans. If you’re average height, given the length, they’re best worn with heels. Madewell is having a sale of 25% off everything right now if you are on their email list. They only have this kind of sale twice a year, so it’s a good time test out new styles.

Next up, we have the very popular Wit and Wisdom “Ab”solution Itty Bitty Bootcut Jeans.

Wit and Wisdom “Ab”solution Itty Bitty Bootcut Jeans in Indigo

These are jeans that get high praise online for being good looking jeans that work great for curvier figures. In the front there’s a mesh panel behind the pocket to give extra hold to your stomach. And the waistband has an extra layer of elastic fabric that adds reinforcement. 

Wit and Wisdom Absolution Itty Bitty Bootcuts

Jeans | Top | Sandals

They have a higher rise in the back than in the front, which is great for a curvy backside. The front rise on a size 10 is just below 10-inches. That’s a little lower than I like. I prefer a 10.5 or 11-inch rise for the coverage it provides. But a slightly lower rise can help to visually minimize the mid-section, creating a leaner look in the middle.

After reading the comments and sizing suggestions, I sized down to a 10 but I should’ve ordered my usual size 12. These were more snug in the rear than I like.

The fabric is 54% cotton with 46% stretchy fibers. They’re very stretchy. And have a very dark navy wash, with very little flecking in the fabric. They do have whiskering on the thighs that I could do without. I wish the wash and fabric looked a bit more natural. But that’s what you get when you have jeans that are a cotton-polyester blend. 

If you’re curvy on the bottom and looking for jeans that offer shaping and structure, these are worth a try. Because of the dark color, these are a good work option if your work dress code allows jeans.

J.Crew Factory Slim Wide-Leg Jeans with a Cut Hem, Antigua Wash

Aghh! Why I am so drawn to wide leg cropped jeans when they’re so wrong for me?! They fit great on the bottom, but they definitely make me look shorter. Bootcut or flare jeans are so much more flattering on me.

I was hopeful that I found a pair that I could love and wear forever with cute block heel ankle boots in the winter and block heel sandals in the spring.

J.Crew Factory Wide Leg jeans

Jeans | Sweater | Sandals

I love these jeans, just not for me. I just don’t need more jeans in a shape that’s not super great for my body. If these were a bit narrower in the knee with more of a flare at the hem, I’d be all over them. Plus, I already have a very loved pair of pink cropped wide-leg jeans that I paid homage to in this post, 20 Fun + Trendy Pink Pants Outfit Ideas You Can Totally Wear.

I’m hoping these will be perfect for someone else. 

The rise is 12 inches and they’re 99% cotton, which works for me in a wide leg jean. I bought them in a size down after seeing the reviews. But I ended up needing them in my usual size 31, pictured here. 

Unfortunately, these are sold out! But they have a similar style here in a slightly darker color. I’m sorry to say that they are nearly sold out too.

Black Pants Try-On

Black pants are a wardrobe staple. Everyone needs a reliable pair they can reach for to wear to work or for a night out. But finding the perfect ones can be tricky! 

Black pants can be an investment at around $100. That’s a big chunk of change to spend and if I’m going to spend that much, they need to be perfect. Here are a few I’ve been experimenting with that may have some promise for you. 

J.Crew Sydney Wide-Leg Pant in Four-Season Stretch

These are a great pair of suiting trousers in a wide cropped leg. I showed a few ways to style them in this post, 12 Super Flattering Ideas for How to Wear Wide Leg Pants

J.Crew wide leg pants

Pants | Flats | Blazer (Old) | Shirt (Old)

If wide leg pants are a good style for you and you wear formal pants every day, they’re definitely worth checking out. 

They’re a four-season stretchy material that’s very comfy. A reinforced waistband and button and double slide metal closures offer extra support in the waist. They have an 11-inch rise, and are definitely cropped on me at 5’6” with a 26.5-inch inseam. 

I love this length because they work well with flats, sneakers or ankle wrap sandals or pointy toe heels! They come in 4 colors and are very figure flattering with their soft draping fabric.

J.Crew Kate Straigt-Leg Pant in Bi-stretch Cotton

Honestly, out of habit, I often write off any straight-leg J.Crew pants as an option for curvier bottoms. But these pants are recommended by curvy blogger, Caralyn Mirand Koch. So I decided to try them. 

They run true to size and are high rise at 10 ¾ inches. With a 28-inch inseam in a bi-stretch cotton, they are ankle length for me at 5’6”. The material is thick enough to give structure and smooth some lumps and bumps. The waistband has a button and double metal slide clasps, which give extra waist cinching. They have sewn pockets that you can keep sewn up if pockets often pull open for you. 

J.Crew Straight Leg pants

Pants | Top

I debated long and hard about whether to keep these for myself. I ultimately decided to return them since, from behind, the straight cut of the legs makes my rear look really large. And they tug in the stomach region. I decided to keep looking for a pair with a bit of a flare at the ankles. Since a flare balances out the width of the rear end. 

These pants could work great on you if you like straight leg pants with some stretch.

J.Crew Factory Kelsey Flare Pants

These are a crop flared alternative to the last pants! A J.Crew Factory store just reopened in my town after shutting down during the pandemic. And I’m so glad to have another option for shopping!

These black Kelsey pants are a great alternative to the J.Crew Kate straight-leg pants but they have thinner fabric that works for warmer weather, plus a kick flare at the ankle and a shorter inseam.

J.Crew Factory Kelsey pants

Pants | Top

The rise is 12.5 inches. The inseam is 25 ½. They’re the shortest of the pants I’ve tried recently. They fit small and I had to size up one and am wearing a 14 here.

For me, there’s a small gap at the back of the waist. And since I had to size up and the rise is so high, they droop a bit in the crotch as I walk. But the shape of these are my top choice. I really love a cropped flared pant! My lifestyle is pretty casual and I reach for flat shoes 95% of the time. So cropped pants allow me to wear flats or sneakers, but also work with heels when I want to dress up for a night out. 

These pants come in 4 colors, including fuchsia! I don’t need a second pair of pink pants, but I really want someone to bring a pair home and love them!

Quince Try-Ons

Quince Ultra-Stretch Ponte Straight Leg Pant

Quince is a retailer that markets heavily on social media. They brand themselves as a store that offers quality pieces (like cashmere) for a fraction of the price. Their tag line is, “high quality essentials, radically low prices.”

Every time I open Pinterest, there’s an ad for these pants in my feed. With a young woman talking about how they feel like yoga pants that you can wear to work. That’s the line that got me to try them, because who doesn’t want that?

The pants pull on but look like trousers with a flat front and belt loops. I had high hopes because of so many positive ratings on the website. But, oh my, these were really, really not good on me. That’s why I cannot show you a picture of them. The belly area was full of lumps and bumps even with shaping underwear on. I don’t have this kind of issue wearing light compression workout leggings. The only way to wear them would be to cover my stomach with a loose long shirt.

So who can wear these pants? Someone with a slim stomach, anyone who prefers to wear a long flowy shirt untucked, or who feels comfortable wearing tight pants all over.   

The comments report that the sizing and proportions of the pants vary widely from pair to pair. The rise of these pants measures 12 inches. And the inseam is 28.5 inches after ordering the 28-inch length. I rolled them twice for them to be ankle length.

Quince offers a pair that are bootcut, which in hindsight might be a bit more flattering on me. But that actually won’t solve the problem of the stomach lumps and bumps. 

Ok, let’s move onto another Quince special, the cashmere v-neck sweater.  

Quince Mongolian Cashmere V-Neck Sweater

Ok, I have to come clean about my biases here. I’m always skeptical of websites that have 3,519, 4.9-star ratings on a single item of clothing. So I immediately go read the lowest ratings. I did that here and, as I suspected, I read many reports of pilling after wearing it for just one workday. And also of shrinkage and inconsistent sizing. 

Quince Sweater

Jeans | Sweater

When you look at this sweater online, you think this is a great price for cashmere since it’s just $50. A cashmere sweater from J.Crew would be 3 times the cost. But this is not the same cashmere that J.Crew is selling and won’t hold up in the same manner. 

I ordered this sweater as a replacement for an old silk cashmere sweater from Banana Republic. My old sweater is still in very good shape but it’s a thin knit so I’m looking for something that’s thicker and layers easily with button-up shirts.

After trying this sweater, I decided to stick with the one I have for now. This Quince sweater is fine, but it’s one to skip if you’re expecting it to be J.Crew quality and last for years. 

That’s all for today, but I have two pairs of black pants coming from Loft that I’ll be trying on soon.

If this kind of post is helpful to you, please leave a comment below and let me know, and I’ll keep writing them! And if you have a certain type of item you’d like me to source and write about, let me know that too. XO, Marya

Hi, Friend. I'm Marya. I'm so glad you're here!

I’m here to help women feel good inside and out through approachable everyday style inspiration and encouragement for midlife. Once upon a time, I worked as a therapist and coach. Now, I’m a holistic style blogger studying style coaching! Be So You celebrates leaning into who we were meant to be! 

Read about my  journey to self-discovery at 40. Follow me on Instagram here and Pinterest here. Send me a quick question through my contact page here.  

Fit Note: I’m midsized at 5’6″, 160 pounds, with size 12 jeans.

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