Affordable Tall Boots for Narrow Calves + Fall Preview Reviews

fall outfit idea_nordstrom bp owen lace up flat blanket scarf petites

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, 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.
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 saleI 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).
little black lace dress petites_nordstrom anniversary sale
Socialite Dress sz XS, Steve Madden heels sz 5.5 (runs narrow)

Socialite Lace Dress (2 colors) in xs - recommended for petites, as this may be micro mini on someone much taller than me. This was ordered for my cousin who is similar to me in size. It's an A-line swing silhouette and on the generously-cut side. Comfortable and very affordable for going out or date nights.
plaid shirtdress fall outfit tory burch nordstrom anniversary sale
Caslon dress sz xxsp, Steve Madden heels, husband's belt, Tory Burch satchel (old)

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.
Cece Cynthia Steffe scalloped dress Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Cece Scallop Dress: I thought this dress felt Kate Spade-esque. The smallest size available is one up from what I usually wear, so this was a little roomy on me throughout. It's made in a lightweight crepe-like material and fully lined in the torso with an invisible back zip. I thought this was cute but wasn't excited by the overall fit & look on me (for starters I'd want to hem it, since I like my straight shift dresses shorter), so I think it's going back.

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), Ivanka flats (similar - so comfy)

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 an open cardigan, here is an alternate option in the same light gray color.

halogen noble over the knee otk tall boots gray narrow calf
Halogen OTK boots (3 colors, sizes 4 - 11) - 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. 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). Even at the retail price of $189 I would've recommended these boots for the quality and fit, so at the current sale price of over 40% off it's a no-brainer. They remind me of these Ivanka Trump ones that I reviewed last year, with a major difference being the material on these is a sturdy-weight, good quality leather and not fabric!

steve madden eturnul over the knee otk leather boots narrow calf brown
Steve Madden Eturnul OTK boots (2 colors, sz 5 - 11) - also a very good value at ~ $110 for tall leather boots. These measured similar to the Halogen pair with a few differences. A size 5 fit me in the foot, however the back of the heel "cup" comes up a little higher and hits the bottom of my ankle bone. I might have low ankles as this is a common problem for me. It's not an issue with flats as I usually just add an insert to elevate my foot, but for high heels it makes the shoe a no-go for me. Also the leather on these is very thick - they will definitely be warm in cooler weather.
tall leather boots slim calf review for petites_steve madden eturnul halogen noble
Both of these are in size 5, and you can see the Halogen Noble style (on the right) is narrower in the toe area and has a slimmer heel. One aspect of the Steve Maddens that I like better is the upper back slit is smaller (see image below), for a closer fit at the thighs. A general tip to keep tall boots from gradually sliding down is to wear tall boot socks (here are some options, all on sale), which will provide friction.
tall over the knee otk boots for petite narrow calf review
Measurements of the Steve Madden Eturnul boots in sz 5: 4.75" across the ankle, 6.5" across the calves, 7" across the top opening, 18.5" shaft height (measured from the top of the heels), 3.5" heel height.

Measurements of the Halogen Noble boots in sz 5: 5" across the ankle, 6.25" across the calves, 6" across the top opening, 18.5" shaft height (measured from the top of the heels), 3.25" heel height.

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!

42 comments:

  1. Thanks for all the fashion inspiration.

    Liv

    www.livforstyle.net

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  2. La Bijoux Bella | by miaSunday, July 17, 2016

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

    La Bijoux Bella | by mia

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  3. 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!

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    1. 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.

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

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

    Jen | affecionada

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  5. 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!!!

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  6. 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?

    -Uyen
    https://wenandwear.com/

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    1. 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.

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  7. 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!

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    1. 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.

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  8. 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!

    xx
    Margaret

    www.maleemaleehong.com

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

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  10. 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

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    1. 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.

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    2. 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

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  11. 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.

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  12. Some really gorgeous outfits! Sophie x

    sophiehmstewart.com

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  13. 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

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  14. I very very like all of these outfits <3 :D :D

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

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

    Lifestyle by Joules

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  17. 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

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  18. 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/

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  19. 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.

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  20. So many awesome looks! Thanks for all the reviews!

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  21. Love these outfits!
    -Cheyanne
    www.lifeofcheyanne.blogspot.com

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  22. 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

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    1. 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...).

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

    xoxo
    Sharan
    www.MyGoldenBeauty.com

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  24. 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

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

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  25. 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'

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  26. 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:)

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    1. 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!

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  27. 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.

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  28. Awesome outfits. I love those knee high boots. Thanks for sharing. :)

    LifeOfArdor.com

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

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  30. 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 :P Thanks!

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  31. 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.

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  32. Thank you for this post! My order of the Ugg Suede boots just arrived and they slid right down my leg, clearly not made for slim calves :( Now, I'm leaning towards the Halogen OTK after reading this post. My only concern is that the bottom of the Halogen shoe doesn't look like a viable option for winter. Do you know of any ways to not slip in the Halogen boots in Winter when walking on light snow?

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  33. Are those halogen boots black or grey? Thanks!

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