Easy Fall outfit ideas (& affordable over the knee boots)

fall outfit idea_nordstrom bp owen lace up flat blanket scarf petites

I had several hits from Nordstrom’s pre-fall sale, so wanted to share reviews while sizes were still in stock! This post also has several easy outfit Fall outfit ideas that can apply to basic pieces already in your closet!

otk tall boots fall outfit petite fashion

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. A definite keeper for me, but note the inseam is 29″ long, so fellow shorties will need a hem.

– 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.

– 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.

I know boots are on everyone’s mind come Fall –  I did a detailed review of the Halogen over the knee and  Treasure and Bond boots at the end of this post, so be sure to scroll down and read!

plaid shirtdress fall outfit tory burch nordstrom anniversary sale

Caslon dress (similar style), Steve Madden heels, similar leather 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.

fleece poncho fall fashion petites_nordstrom anniversary sale 2016

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

– 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 a petite length (see it on me).

paisley printed swing dress petite fashion

– O’Neill Lucy dress – I haven’t shopped this brand in ages but liked the print! 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.

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 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.

halogen noble over the knee otk tall boots gray narrow calf

– 2016 Halogen OTK boots (updated 2017 version – read note below**) – 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). **Note, I did try on the 2017 updated Halogen OTK boots, and didn’t think the suede was good quality. See the 2017 version reviewed in this post.

treasure bond otk boot review

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

2017 Update: As an alternative to the Halogen boots, I’m excited to share a pair of well-fitting and comfortable boots for under $100! These Treasure and Bond 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 the real suede on the 2017 Halogen over-the-knee boots.

Fit-wise, I had jeans on so cannot speak to how these look over bare legs (these are definitely not 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 this post, but I’ll be updating my original sale picks throughout this week with notes on how items turned out!
what to wear in the fall_easy casual outfit ideas
Thank you to Nordstrom for partnering on this post.


51 thoughts on “Easy Fall outfit ideas (& affordable over the knee boots)

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

    Thanks for all the fashion inspiration.



  • Reply 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

  • Reply 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!

  • Reply 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.

  • Reply 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

  • Reply 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!!!

  • Reply 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?


  • Reply 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!

  • Reply 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!



  • Reply 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

  • Reply 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

  • Reply 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.

  • Reply 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.

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

    Some really gorgeous outfits! Sophie x


  • Reply 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

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

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

  • Reply ClassyChica July 18, 2016 at 9:34 am

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

  • Reply 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

  • Reply 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

  • Reply 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/

  • Reply 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.

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

    So many awesome looks! Thanks for all the reviews!

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

    Love these outfits!

  • Reply 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

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

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


  • Reply 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

  • Reply 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'

  • Reply 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:)

  • Reply 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.

  • Reply 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.

  • Reply 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.

  • Reply 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…).

  • Reply Jean July 20, 2016 at 7:35 pm

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

  • Reply 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!

  • Reply 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.

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

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


  • Reply 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

  • Reply 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?

  • Reply 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!

  • Reply 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.

  • Reply Khizran A July 26, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    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?

  • Reply Anonymous August 7, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    Are those halogen boots black or grey? Thanks!

  • Reply Sarika October 11, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Jean the comments on Halogen OTK boots suggest that they may be low on quality. Charles by Charles David OTK are on sale on lastcall.com. Please let me know your opinion about them.

  • Reply Jean October 12, 2016 at 9:50 am

    Leggings + tunics are forever in, in my opinion! It's pretty safe and not a trendy look, so I don't think it's something that will go out of style, per se : )

  • Reply Jean October 12, 2016 at 9:51 am

    sorry for the delay, just saw this! I don't own them but I tried them on as similar to ones I already own. They are more comfortable than the Ivankas with a lot of cushioning.

  • Reply Jean October 12, 2016 at 9:52 am

    I have thick socks that go up / past my knees and i've also recommended thin leg warmers (since thick socks can sometimes make the foot area too tight!) to wear inside boots. The traction created by the knits against the leather helps keep boots from falling down too much.

  • Reply Jean October 12, 2016 at 9:52 am

    Mine are gray!

  • Reply Jean October 12, 2016 at 9:52 am

    I don't find mine to be low quality! I'm not sure which Charles David boots you're referring to but just note they are usually faux suede.

  • Reply Jean October 12, 2016 at 9:53 am

    I don't find mine to be low quality! I'm not sure which Charles David boots you're referring to but just note they are usually faux suede.

  • Reply Jean October 12, 2016 at 9:53 am

    Mine are gray!

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