• Affordable Tall Boots for Narrow Calves + Fall Preview Reviews

    fall outfit idea_nordstrom bp owen lace up flat blanket scarf petites

    Vince Camuto leggings (similar), Madewell bag (also sold here), similar chambray shirt, BP scarf (similar), Halogen flats (similar)

    Welcome to the 2 weeks each year when bloggers pile on fall layers while it’s 90 degrees out! All silliness aside, I did score several deals from the Nordies Anniversary Sale on well-fitting pieces, including a new arrival boot that narrow-calved ladies won’t want to miss. Today’s post is in partnership with Nordstrom – they asked me to do one this month, and I’m using the opportunity to post some of my hits and misses so far for pre-Fall! For those not shopping this sale, this post has several easy outfit ideas too that can apply to pieces already in your closet!

    otk tall boots fall outfit petite fashion

    I did a detailed comparison of the Halogen vs. Steve Madden over-the-knee boots at the end of this post (I did a detailed review of the similar option, Treasure and Bond boots at the end of this post), so be sure to check it out and see which one are the keepers! First up, lots of fit reviews on other pieces from my order that arrived first:

    – BP autumn scarf – a definite keeper and is surprisingly still in stock. Super soft, plus the colors will go with everything come autumn. Btw this is on the thinner side (yet still warm), so for those who typically feel overwhelmed by the mass of big blanket scarves, this one is less voluminous overall and easier to fold/style.

    – Halogen lace-up flats – the Chestnut suede ones I ordered arrived first and are lovely in-person. I’m squarely in-between a size 5 and 5.5 in these shoes, so would say order your usual size. They are comfortable out of the box and will get a lot of wear with skinny jeans and leggings.

    plaid shirtdress fall outfit tory burch nordstrom anniversary sale

    Caslon dress sz xxsp (similar), Steve Madden heels, similar belt, Tory Burch tote

    – Caslon plaid shirtdress (3 colors) – The images above show how a tiny bit of styling can take something from PJ nighty to a more put-together outfit. The dress was a little long and shapeless on me and the material (100% cotton) was not as soft as I expected, so this was not a keep for me.

    In the black leggings arena, I was overdue for a new pair and ordered 3 different styles to try for both workout and regular wear. Leggings get a bad rep but a good pair is incredibly versatile. The general rule (which I’m guilty of violating) is to just to wear a top or sweater that covers up your crotch. All three of these were of sturdy weight, and not thin or flimsy:

    Zella live-in leggings – I’m totally late to the Zella game and these lived up to their hype. An xxs fit well on me everywhere except for length, as predicted. These have compression and hold without being too tight, and I love the hidden pocket on the interior waist band.  Material is listed to be sweat-wicking and anti-chafe for working out. These are also listed as reversible, but I’m not sure why I’d want to do that since they’re black on both sides! Keeper for me but note the inseam is 29″ long, so fellow shorties will need a hem.

    – Halogen leggings in regular & petite – xxsp has a 26″ inseam. These have wide, exposed elastic band panels on each side of the waist which lend a super holding power effect in that area. Some reviewers like this feature but I didn’t care for it.

    fleece poncho fall fashion petites_nordstrom anniversary sale 2016

    Vince Camuto leggings xxsp (1.5″ folded under), similar leopard flats (see them on me)

    – Vince Camuto leggings in regular & petite – Loved these although the 27″ inseam is still a touch long on my legs. The wide mid-rise waistband is a comfortable height on me with a mall amount of control. I also liked the back seaming detail which was flattering on the bum. Apparently the regular sizing in these runs big, but petites is true to size. Keeping these over the Halogen ones as my non-workout leggings.

    – Caslon fleece poncho in xs/s petite – This is part of Mom’s order and I had to try it on as a poncho lover. It’s pretty warm, and feels like a fleece pullover but in a dolman-sleeved silhouette. If you prefer a wool cashmere cardigan, here is an alternate option that comes in petite length (see it on me).

    halogen noble over the knee otk tall boots gray narrow calf

    – Halogen OTK boots (this year’s version) – I’m so glad I added these to my cart, as they worked better for me than the SMs, and the calves fit 1.5 inches slimmer in a size 5 than the listed measurements! This is why I always emphasize using online measurement as a guideline, but only as a guideline because actual measurements may differ quite a bit for shoe sizes smaller or bigger than the sample size (typically a 7 to 8).

    I’m usually between 5 and 5.5 and would say these run on the narrow side in the foot area. I got a size 5 which is too small on me with socks, so I’ve ordered half size up (fingers crossed that the shaft measurements won’t become much bigger).

    paisley printed swing dress petite fashion

    O’Neill jersey dress xs, Steve Madden heels sz 5.5 (runs narrow)

    – O’Neill Lucy dress – I haven’t shopped this brand in ages but thought this print looked fairly grown up. The dress is made of thin jersey and there is not much construction to it, however they did take care to match up the pattern along all three seams. I’m keeping it as an easy breezy machine-washable piece to wear on hot days and layer with down the road. The armholes are lower cut so if you’re worried your bra will show, a solution is to wear one of those knit lace bralettes that look cute when peeking out. Please note the length is nearly mini on me.

    paisley print shift dress summer fashion petites_ nordstrom sale

    I also wanted to show ideas for transitioning a piece like this into the next season. Sleeveless swingy dresses can be pretty versatile, especially high-necked ones that can conceal various-style necklines of shirts layered underneath.

    how to style a printed dress for multiple seasons

    Steve Madden shoes sz 5, Hei Hei jacket (current version) xxsp, Gucci bag

    – Steve Madden Claara block-heeled sandal: these are now completely sold out in the camel color, so I hope some of you were able to snag a pair earlier! I also hope they will do a re-stock because these were just what I was looking for. Btw, the Vince Camuto Feina bootie in khaki was one of the first to sell out on Thursday, but I noticed most sizes were re-stocked today starting in sz 4! I got to try these on in-store and they were both comfortable and leg-flattering, like the pair I picked up by them last year (I take 5.5 in their booties).

    treasure bond otk boot review

    Treasure and Bond boots sz 5.5, J.Crew tee, Express jeans, Celine mini box bag (my review)

    I’m excited to review a pair of well-fitting and comfortable boots for under $100! These boots come in extended sizes 4 trough 13, and I have a feeling they won’t stay in stock for long! They feature a round toe, low block heel, and pull on style shaft (no zipper). Note the material is faux suede, but I found the material to look and feel higher quality than even the real suede on the Halogen Scarlett over-the-knee boots I reviewed here.

    Fit-wise, I had jeans on so unfortunately can’t speak to how these look over bare legs (but I could tell they wouldn’t be as fitted as Stuart Weitzmans). Over my jeans, they were a good fit both in the calf width (stretchy) and shaft height, hitting me just about an inch or two over my knees. I like that the top shaft opening of these boots is not split (typical of many OTK boot designs), which usually makes the boot look wider at the top and less streamlined on narrow legs.

    Whew! That’s it for today, but I’ll be updating my original sale picks post throughout this week with notes on how items turned out. The Cole Haan boots sure went quickly in small sizes – I hope those who ordered will love them as much as I do!


    51 thoughts on “Affordable Tall Boots for Narrow Calves + Fall Preview Reviews

    • Olivia DiTomaso July 17, 2016 at 9:34 pm

      Thanks for all the fashion inspiration.



    • La Bijoux Bella | by mia July 17, 2016 at 9:37 pm

      Superb finds! What a wonderful selection of items worn. Simply beautiful! 🙂

      La Bijoux Bella | by mia

    • Katie July 17, 2016 at 9:40 pm

      Jean thanks so much for the informative post! I always learn a ton of tips in styling and how to choose winners/losers when looking at sale items.

      For ONeil dress, I must be an idiot as I have no idea what is a knit bra that is intended to show. Could you share an example? Thanks in advance!

    • Jean July 17, 2016 at 10:15 pm

      Hi Katie – thank you for reading! : ) Have you seen the Free People bralettes? Those are a good example because they make lots of different designs either with lace or little straps, and I always see women wearing them peeking out from under tops or dresses as part of their outfits.

    • affecionada July 17, 2016 at 10:54 pm

      I'm definitely guilty of the legging rule as well…ha! I also ordered that scarf – excited to try it!

      Jen | affecionada

    • Alexa T July 17, 2016 at 10:56 pm

      This was so helpful! We don't have a Nordstrom so I have to order everything and hope it works! I'll try the Halogen boots!!!

    • Uyen July 17, 2016 at 11:15 pm

      Hey Jean! Thanks for the reviews. I managed to snag a pair of the SM Claaras and ordered 7. I'm usually a size 6.5-7, and hope I made the right choice. How did it fit for you? Did you think the 4 inch heel was comfortable?


    • Kimi, Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair July 17, 2016 at 11:49 pm

      Hi Jean! You didn't mention what size you ended up getting in the Halogen flats (only that you're in between sizes). I want to order a pair myself, and while my usual size is a 7, my feet are slightly wider than average and I wonder if the 7.5 would be more comfortable… Thanks for the detailed reviews!

    • Joiaching July 17, 2016 at 11:52 pm

      Hi Jean, thanks for the styling tips! But in fact I love the casualness in this post the most! It's like watching a friend's try on instead of the regular polished outfit photos!



    • Anonymous July 18, 2016 at 1:13 am

      I love the plaid dress, so bummed all the petite sizes in that color are out of stock 🙁 great reviews

    • Unknown July 18, 2016 at 1:39 am

      Thanks for this post!!! I just ordered the halogen OTK boots in black a few days ago in my normal size (6.5). It will be my first pair. I live in California so I have no need for thick socks with boots in the winter. You mentioned that they run narrow in the toe area. Would you advise sizing a half size up? -Tierra

    • Carla Krae July 18, 2016 at 3:34 am

      Victoria's Secret also has a lot of bralettes right now intended to be seen. A big thing they've advertised in 2016.

    • Carla Krae July 18, 2016 at 3:35 am

      Cotton usually softens a lot with a wash or two, so I give it a pass from the manufacturer unless the item is scratchy/itchy for some reason.

    • Sophie Stewart July 18, 2016 at 4:53 am

      Some really gorgeous outfits! Sophie x


    • Alice Gibbs July 18, 2016 at 7:20 am

      These outfits are all just SO beautiful. I really struggle with finding boots that don't look super baggy on my calves – too! Thanks for the suggestion 🙂

      Alice | Whiskey Jars Blog

    • Olga Żak Ms.WildHead July 18, 2016 at 8:42 am

      I very very like all of these outfits <3 😀 😀

    • ClassyChica July 18, 2016 at 9:34 am

      I love your insight. Thanks for sharing it. The grey are beautiful and are tempting me!

    • Julie Hiller July 18, 2016 at 10:37 am

      That plaid dress is perfection! I'm so excited for fall reading this post!

      Lifestyle by Joules

    • Tess Felber_Sequins are the New Black July 18, 2016 at 1:36 pm

      Haha I laughed when you started this post off with "welcome to the week bloggers wear sweaters in 90 degrees"..it's so true! Having skinny legs myself I always struggle with finding boots that fit well- thanks for sharing!!

      xox Tess | Sequins are the New Black

    • Jessica July 18, 2016 at 1:43 pm

      Thank you for the sale reviews Jean! I found your blog last year and was so inspired by it. I just started my own blog about style as a healthcare professional (pharmacist). Please considering visiting it soon. http://www.petitestylescript.com/

    • Anonymous July 18, 2016 at 2:45 pm

      Thanks so much for all of your reviews. Though the leopard flats are cute, I will never buy anything with that name attached to it.

    • Fashion Fills Your Heart July 18, 2016 at 10:22 pm

      So many awesome looks! Thanks for all the reviews!

    • Cheyanne Jordan July 19, 2016 at 9:08 am

      Love these outfits!

    • Mintifer July 19, 2016 at 10:51 am

      Please let us know if you see any good deals for wide calves gals… I'm petite with bigger calves..maybe this look isn't for me? Haha

    • Sharan Kaur July 19, 2016 at 2:16 pm

      Awesome picks! Can't wait to shop the sale when it opens to non cardholders!


    • Renee Wooding July 19, 2016 at 4:26 pm

      My burgundy suede Halogen OTK boots just arrived today and the are lovely. TTS and narrower than most in the leg so I don't look like the Puss in Boots cartoon character! Lol

    • angelina July 19, 2016 at 6:00 pm

      Ahh I'm very excited for when the sale opens to the public this friday! It's too bad about the camel Steve Madden shoes though, I would've really liked those as well. Hopefully the Manolos are still available as well!

      Angelina Is | Bloglovin'

    • Kemley Peck July 20, 2016 at 5:25 am

      Thanks for sharing this! I really hope I can get a pair of the Halogen Noble Boots on Friday. I have narrow calves and always struggle to find boots that don't drown my calves. I also love the info about the Vince Camuto leggings, I purchased some from Nordstrom a while back in the smallest size in regular and they were not fitted enough so I returned them. I didn't even realize these come in petite! Hoping to snag some Friday! Love your blog:)

    • Jean July 20, 2016 at 7:25 pm

      Hi Uyen – I'm usually between 5 and 5.5 and the 5's fit me, but I guess you just need to wait and see when they arrive! I did think they were comfortable given the 4 inch heel, but they are still heels. I absolutely love how flattering they are against bare legs.

    • Jean July 20, 2016 at 7:27 pm

      Hi Kimi! I actually ordered both of the sizes that I'm usually between and due to my indecisiveness, kept 1 color in one size and another color in the other. I am squarely in between sizes for this style! Half size down was snug (keep in mind leather should stretch out a bit) and half size up had a tiny bit of room. I would suggest ordering both a 7 and a 7.5 that way you can be absolutely sure you're keeping the one that is the better fit.

    • Jean July 20, 2016 at 7:31 pm

      Hi Tierra! Shoe sizing is really hard to recommend…I thought it felt narrow (and esp compared to the Steve Madden pair in the same size), but I think you will find out soon enough when your order arrives! Let me know what you think so I have a second opinion on the fit.

    • Jean July 20, 2016 at 7:34 pm

      There are LOTS of options in this sale for wider calf ladies!! I only singled out a few that were marked "narrow calf" in the item listings for this post, but I'm always envious of wider calf ladies due to the choices out there (or perhaps the grass is just always greener on the other side…).

    • Jean July 20, 2016 at 7:35 pm

      Yay! Good to hear. The burgundy color went so quickly for those!

    • Jean July 20, 2016 at 7:36 pm

      Hi Kemley! Ah I can see how the petite vs regular would make a big difference with fit, esp if they are saying their regular even runs a size big to begin with! Happy shopping on Friday!

    • Robyn Thaney July 21, 2016 at 12:35 pm

      I find that the Zella leggings get washed out & linty pretty quickly on the outside, but the inside seems to wear a little better. However, the inside tends to look a bit more like workout pants.

    • Yana Kasekamp July 21, 2016 at 8:22 pm

      Awesome outfits. I love those knee high boots. Thanks for sharing. 🙂


    • Unknown July 23, 2016 at 2:44 am

      I'm so happy that I came across your review on these boots because I ordered a half size up after reading your review in case my true size would be too tight. Anywho, my true size fit but was tight at the toes but a half size up felt much more comfortable. -Tierra

    • Lou July 24, 2016 at 4:16 pm

      So I love almost all these looks. Quick question, are leggings still in? You look great in them, but like the leggings tunic look?

    • Jacqui July 24, 2016 at 8:08 pm

      Do you also own the Louise et Cie 'Aradella' Genuine Calf Hair Pointy Toe flats (linked above as similar to the Ivankas)? If so, would you recommend them? Not sure which shoes the comfy comment was for 😛 Thanks!

    • Unknown July 26, 2016 at 1:51 am

      I bought the Halogen boots after reading your review. I really have a problem with finding a pair with calves narrow enough for my legs. So I will have my fingers crossed.

    Comments are closed.