**Today's deal: LOFT's Friends & Family starts now! 40% off your entire purchase w/ code FRIENDS. My fall work picks are the scuba (stretchy ponte) seamed pencil skirt in deep cabernet and the Penelope pointy cap-toe pumps in leopard, basic black, or plum for under $50.**
The faux-leather material was decent, but as you can see in the below photo, the knit middle part was a crease-y mess. After trying on the H&M dress, I came across this beautiful Theory version with ponte center and real leather sleeves/side panel. Although similar in concept, the difference in quality and execution was like day and night. The clean, simple lines and buttery soft leather reminded me of why I used to shell out more for garments from Theory, and it made me want to start doing so again.
2. I'm not too interested in polka dots, but since they are everywhere this season, I tried on this Divided blouse for fun. It's extremely boxy but looks a little better tucked with sleeves rolled up. As for the knit skirt ($17.95?), I was initially drawn to the rich burgundy color but the fit was awkardly curve-hugging. 3. Next up, the spotted "dalmation" print from my pants also comes in a peplum shell with gunmetal back zip. The material of this is one of the "nicer-feeling" polyesters, and in my opinion looks more expensive than the price tag. The peplum line is low on me, but has the potential to look great on someone a little taller. H&M Peplum Spotted Top w/ back zip sz 2, $14.95, item #0998654. Black & White shell, $29.95. I could not get this blouse to photograph well on my phone, however in person it looks very contemporary and more expensive than an H&M piece. It has a white base with black front/trim around the neck, plus a small placket seam running down the front center. I assume it is polyester, but again, is the nicer-feeling and non-clingy polyester that should wear and wash well. 5. Colorful slim-cut trousers and striped sweater. In the womens' work section, there are trousers made of decent material in all sorts of lovely colors for fall, including a yellow, a hunter green, and a burgundy. Unfortunately, these pants start at a size 4 and are definitely designed for someone taller. The fit was so frumpy on me, I did not even try envisioning how alterations would look. This striped sweater from the basics department, on the other hand, had a nice weight to it and a good casual fit. H&M basics medium-weight striped sweater sz 2, $17.95, item 051924, and yellow pants sz 4
Oh, look what else I spotted...a rack full of Gap's sold-out polka-dot chambray!
Just kidding...this was at H&M mens. Not sure why they chose to make this feminine design for men only. H&M white poly roll-sleeve blouse, sz 2, $29.95, item #073827
The last item I tried on was this polyester roll-sleeve blouse. It had good drape to it, but the polyester was the nylon-like, clingy type that I can see giving me a static afro. I've been wanting a classic silky blouse in both black and white, and contemplated buying this for a split second before deciding that a genuine silk version would surely be worthy of a splurge. I passed on everything in this post from H&M (except for the spotted pants), and went home to order this silk button-up blouse from Tinley Road in "Marshmallow" (7 colors available, free ship & returns). I've never tried this brand before for clothing, and will do a review once it arrives.