Summer has arrived. My closet, as well as my Pinterest board, were craving for a good outfit haul. I try on some of the latest pieces I purchased form Express, Jing, Lulus and Mango. I knew I needed to get some dependable basics that accentuate and compliment my feminine physique after my somewhat disappointing Zara purchases. *Express enters the chat*. I truly needed a wardrobe refresh filled with new casual styles along with darling date night looks.
I'm thrilled to show you my haul and give you Dolls my honest opinion of each brand, as well as my recommendations for the products I bought.
Watch my Try-On Haul to see my first (and second) impressions as well as my honest remarks on the quality, fit, and sizing of each item.
Express is my longtime BFF.
I haven't bought anything from Express for the past year for no particular reason. My curious eyes were drawn to other labels like Zara, but after that slightly underwhelming haul, I remembered how much I cherished Express' excellent quality of clothing at reasonable prices.
Cable Knit V-Neck Sweater Set
The matching set is perfection. The sweetheart neckline top paired with the elastic waistband skirt is undeniably a recipe for feminine perfection. This is a lightweight, opaque, close-knit sweater fabric. Stunning for spring, early summer and fall.
The skirt has a fold-over waistband that cinches your waist quite comfortably. This is fantastic because some sweater skirts have thick waistbands that enlarge a woman's frame or make the clothing appear a little heavy.
There is also the option to purchase this set with a matching cardigan. Yes, I will also purchase the cardigan. I would love to style the cardigan & top with a cute pair of trousers or jeans. You know, when I finally buy a pair ;)
I recommend sizing down for a close-to-body fit. Originally in the video I was wearing a medium top. To minimize the fabric bunching on the sides of the top, I exchanged the medium top for the small size top. Doing so gives me a more flattering silhouette.
Body Contour High Compression Scoop Neck Cap Sleeve Bodysuit
"This is what Zara was supposed to do!" exclaimed Ebony, excitedly modeling the Express bodysuit.
This bodysuit is gorgeously made. The fabric is thick enough to avoid bra lines from peeking through. The buttons for the bodysuit are standard size and easy to pull apart & button together. Need I remind you that is quite essential for ladies with longer nails and pitstops in public restrooms. The last thing I want to do is struggle in a tiny bathroom stall trying to fasten my bodysuit. Anywho! The contour fabric really flattered my torso and silhouette so everything looked smooth and even.
So basically this Express bodysuit did everything Zara couldn't do.
This is my second purchase from the body contour line and needless to say, I would recommend these bodysuits. I suggest sizing down for all items from the Express body contour line for a form-fitting look.
Since this is made from the contour fabric, this corset style is very breathable & soft. Perfectly suitable for the summer. Considering that I downsized to a medium, the fit is excellent. This corset contains real boning, which enhances the desired sculpted look. I'd even argue that you don't really need to wear a bra with this top on. I'm considering getting another one in a different shade.
Yes, of course I recommend.
Their basics are pretty reliable and if you haven't guessed by now, the contour line is my favorite. This range includes skirts, dresses, tops, pants and more. I also enjoy most of Express's blouses and tweed sets. Additionally, I like most of Express' blouses and tweed items. When purchasing jackets, coats, blazers, and other goods, always check the buttons. It's a real shame that they frequently pair gorgeous fabrics with plastic buttons.
Every week, Express holds sales. If there are new items, they are likely to be included in the sale with a 40% discount or, if you're lucky, in the clearance sale. Every month, Express has a 60% off sale on clearance, which is more than their typical 50% off sale. I highly recommend eyeing your items & purchasing during the 60% off clearance sale.
is my next best go-to.
When it comes to their timeless statement pieces, Mango has my heart. I've previously purchased a pink tweed blazer and dress set from Mango last year, which I showcased in my Chanel inspired lookbook. The quality from the fabric to the buttons to the lining to the package was pristine. I prefer Mango over Zara any day.
Clementine Cotton Suit Blazer
It was a real treasure hunt to find this tangerine blazer and skirt set. I wanted to purchase this set last year for my Chanel Inspired lookbook, but I was afraid of looking like a pumpkin in the color orange. A few months later, my mother sent me an orange summer dress as a gift, which caused me to reconsider my rigid views on the color orange. Nevertheless, when browsing online, I came across the orange blazer and skirt again. I immediately felt the MO part of FOMO. I regret not giving in to FOMO then.
Since this set was initially released months ago and Mango has limited time for preserving styles, this set was nowhere to be found. Alas, I found this set on the Mango Outlet website! I was ecstatic, but of course my size was sold out. In order to find out if they actually restock the Mango outlet, I subscribed for notifications and even sent customer service an email. A few days after receiving an ambiguous response from them, I received a notification that my size was once again in stock. Immediately, I placed my order. And here we are today.
Fabric is superb, the buttons are large pearls and there is interior lining. I'm truly obsessed. Im happy I purchased this set at a great discount, despite the rigorous online treasure hunt. I hope you Dolls will have an easier time accessing these items than I did.
I would exclusively shop at Mango for their boucle & tweed sets over Zara, Express & Lulus.
A thousand times, yes, I recommend.
I'll do a complete brand review once I purchase more basics and other wardrobe staples from Mango.
LuLus & shoes... let's chat, Dolls
Adelaide White Pearl High Heel Slide Sandals - true to size
Jillia White Square Toe Lace-Up High Heel Sandals - true to size
I have previously bought summer shoes from Lulus. My previous pair of white platform sandals lasted for around two years. Not at all terrible considering the low cost. Sincerly, I don't think these sandals will last me more than five years.
The prices are very cost effective and for such a great price, I don't expect a super long shelf life. As time goes on, I'll provide updates to my Feminine Favorites. I expect to style these sandals with my dressy casual summer outfits. These sandals are low-heel and moderately comfortable to walk in.
The pearl sandals makes a flip flop when you walk which expected since they have that flip flop style. The tie-up sandals are gorgeous and such a comfortable heel height. I recommend for daily outings and for all nighttime rendezvous.
Yes, I recommend!
Jing...well, let's Chat about it.
Jing is one of those social media brands that piqued my interest with their feminine & classy styles. I believe Jing sources or creates their clothing in Asia and primarily sticks to the Asian body proportions when it comes to sizing.
I wouldn't dare purchase anything under a size Large from Jing. I've learnt from past purchases to order one or two sizes larger. Always, and I mean always, check the size chart before purchasing anything because it may vary depending on the item.
Date Night Dresses
PINK DRESS REVIEW
My pink satin dress was supposed to make me look stunning, but I felt frumpy & undone in the attire. I hadn't worn it out yet and one of the straps popped off. I promise you I'm not a she-hulk, but Jing could convince me otherwise.
This dress fit like a medium even though I bought it in an XL size. It didn't look nice with my full chest size. The draping on the side had construction issues. The draperies didn't lay flat, which widened my figure and prevented it from giving me a polished, effortless look. I could stitch the strap back on, but given the drapery error, I'm not sure if it would be worthwhile.
BLACK DRESS REVIEW
This is my only satisfactory purchase from Jing, a sweetheart, pearl-trim, ribbed dress. It is extremely comfortable and versatile for date nights. Again, Jing could convince me that I am the next she-hulk, because some of the pearl beading popping off. I will sew the pearl beading back on because I love this dress. I can't 100% recommend this dress. Just be aware of what could possibly happen if you do decide to buy.
MY THOUGHTS ABOUT JING
Based on my shopping experience, I wouldn't say Jing is a reliable store when it comes to quality clothing. Whether its the sizing issue or the construction issues, its truly hit or miss. Although I wouldn't absolutely rule Jing out, I would wait to buy until I had seen more try-on hauls and reviews.
What are your thoughts on each item & brand?
Dolls, we have an upcoming ShopCider haul!
What brand should I review next?
Let's Chat Dolls.