In Which I Try Girlfriend (or Mom?) Jeans

When I was at Restoration Project last month looking for some neutral pants for my Light Summer wardrobe, these pants looked like just the light, lovely color of blue that would light up my new (to me) wardrobe:


They’re by Gap and they’re labeled “Best Girlfriend Jeans.” Huh?

(This article will help you make as much sense as possible of all the jeans named after relationships in your life. Which is not much, because as the photos included show, what one brand calls a Girlfriend jean is someone else’s Boyfriend jean, etc. I still have no idea what makes jeans borrowed from your best girlfriend better than jeans borrowed from just your regular girlfriend. Le sigh.)

As far as I can tell, what Gap means by Best Girlfriend is jeans with a midrise waist and tapered but not skinny legs, that are rather roomy in the hip/thigh:



So….Mom Jeans. But cooler. (I think.)

(I should note that depending on the style, I wear two different sizes in Gap jeans and this is the larger one, so the fit might not be designed to be quiiiiite this loose. Yet they were such a dreamy color, and incredibly comfortable – very soft, good stretch – that I decided to branch out, style-wise.)

Mind you, this is only the second pair of jeans I own, the first being skinny jeans (the Paige Skyline – thank you thrift gods), so I feel like quite the cool kid in my slouchy denim. I’ve worn them a couple of ways so far: around the house when I want to look dressed but still want to feel pajama-level comfort, over leggings for some added warmth…

Distributing ashes outside for 2 hours in Boston in February is cold!

…and on snowy days when I’d rather stay at home and want to bring that comfy feel into the office:

The transition to New England style is complete.

I actually really dig them with the white button down shirt I wore to get a good picture of them for you – I guess it’s a case of good lighting + colors in the same season really lighting each other up:


The only negative is that I have to keep yanking them up as they work their way down my derriere – we’re not risking crack territory here, but of course it makes things look slumpier. I’m excited when sweater season is over to pull out a belt and wear them hitched up and styled with button downs and tucked in blouses for a relaxed look that maintains its lines.

Do you sport any Girlfriend/Boyfriend/Mom/Dad/Grandpa/whatever the newest person-related style is? Why or why not, and how do you style them?


Winter 10×10: Part 2, aka Mission Aborted

Click here to read about the 10×10.

Let’s start with Day 5:
Lands’ End plaid shirt
INC waterfall(ish) cardigan
Loft corduroy pants (deep purple although it’s hard to see)
Rain boots, no label – all thrifted


This is not a look I had planned but it solved the problem from my previous cardigan outfits – looking chopped in the middle. What fixes the issue here is the longer length of the plaid, the pattern that breaks up what would otherwise be blocks of color, and the way the purple (again, hard to see) of the pants and the dark berry of the plaid make my base layers look like one long column. Thanks to Danielle for getting me thinking in this direction!

I love the contrast of the plaid and white, and the long line of the base layers. The style is a little mixed – casual, homey plaid and more sporty, technical cardigan with those gold zippers – so I give it an 8/10. (On a non-rainy day I’d swap out the rain boots so their giant clunkiness doesn’t figure into my rating here.)


Day 6
Blue button down by F by Façonnable
Sweater by Loft
Corduroy pants by Loft
Snake print ankle boots by Lucky Brand

All thrifted but the boots (gift from The Sister)


I have to say, this look is a 10/10 for me – great textures, neutrals with a pop of color – and a great finish with those snake skin boots.


Day 7

Apparently I didn’t plan my mix very well this time – a white button down + white cardi doesn’t work so well; neither does a sweater under a sweater. So I have now paired nearly every top with every finishing layer that makes sense. It feels boring to me to just swap out pants with looks that are the same on top. Plus I just thrifted some more Light Summer-ish tops and was itching to get them in rotation.

So here’s Day 7 – all things not included in my 10×10 line up!
Pink button down by Forever 21
Cable knit sweater by Workshop by Andrea Jovine
Mom jeans by Gap
Sneakers by Puma – everything thrifted


I wish the shirt tails of the pink shirt poked out below to give that same burst of color in my other buttondown/sweater combos (which, full disclosure, really only happen if I’ve rucked up the sweater hem because that Loft sweater is so long!). I thought the shorter length of this sweater would take care of it but this button down is shorter in the torso than the others I’ve recently thrifted.

In this closeup, though, everything looks divine:


Let’s talk Mom Jeans. Gap has labeled these “Best Girlfriend Jeans,” whatever that’s supposed to mean – I think they’re supposed to be a slightly more tapered version of Boyfriend Jeans? which are a looser, straighter fit, like you borrowed them from your male significant other (that’s making a lot of assumptions about you, your orientation, your relationship status, and how you like to wear your jeans – but then, that’s marketing). They are looser in real life than they appear in this shot and oh so comfy. They’re my laze-around-the-house jeans, almost pajama territory. That being said, I don’t particularly like how sloppy they look if I haven’t just hiked them up; I think with a belt I could reign in their slouch factor. I’ll post more thoroughly on them in the future.

5/10 for this outfit. It’s comfy and I love the colors together, but the torso feels too short without the shirt tails and I’m not sure the pink is quite right for my face.

Speaking of which, I have had a really hard time picking out Light Summer pinks – finding something that’s the right saturation and not too warm has proven tricky. This pink, for example, looks like it belongs with the other pinks in my swatchbook – but it doesn’t seem to be doing my complexion any favors. That could, of course, be down to this sweater being not quite the right white or my foundation still being a bit too orange…sigh. This whole find-your-seasonal-colors thing is more complicated than I had anticipated.


Day 8 may well see a return to my original lineup – e.g. the blue button down with the white cardi – but Days 9 and 10 may be a free for all, especially because I recently found some stellar J. Crew Ryder trousers that will be A+ for church. Tune in next week for a full recap!

What I Wore/How I Styled It: Rainy Day Wherein I Fail at Button Downs Under Sweaters

This is what I wore to church yesterday.  Can you tell it was a rainy day?  (Hence the indoor photos and strong overhead light.)

Plaid button down by Japna – thrifted
Blue sweater by Loft – thrifted
Blazer by Cartonnier – thrifted
Cream corduroys by Lauren by Ralph Lauren – thrifted new with tags, then tailored from a wide leg to a slim leg
Rain boots – thrifted, no label

I was, in theory, happy with this outfit.  I started it out (in my head) with these rain boots, knowing I would be corralling a small person in mucky, wet weather:

This is the closest I own to riding boots.  Ha.

I wanted to pick up the pink, the light blue, and the dark navy, and this button down and sweater did the trick:


My pink/blue marled Cartonnier blazer was the obvious topper.  (And I thought I wouldn’t get a chance to wear it this season – because these ain’t exactly wintry hues.)  Close up on the colors/patterns:


The cream corduroys provided some nice neutral real estate between all the color and pattern on top and in the boots.  Navy pants would have worked, too.


So here’s the problem: in theory, I love the idea of a button down underneath a sweater.  It seems so chic – little pops of pattern at the cuffs, neckline, and hem to contrast with a solid (or even not-so-solid) swath of sweater.  And the warmth!

But in reality, this pairing drives me nuts.  The button down never lays properly under the sweater (see all pics above except the first one, which I made my spouse retake for the sake of my vanity).  It looks lumpy and pointy and things pop out in unfortunate places. And even though this plaid shirt is decently long, I’m forever tugging at the hem to make sure it’s peeking sufficiently chic-ly below the sweater.

In short, this combination looks chic on Talbots models and in my head, but NOT on me.  Even this combo had to be pulled and adjusted all day, and flattened for this photo (and some button or other pointy part still looks mysteriously like an errant nipple):


A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on


Enlighten me, readers!  There have to be some of you out there who wear this look with aplomb and nary a stray scrunch.  What’s your secret?  Is my sweater too thin (it’s a thin cotton knit)?  Do I need to wash and dry it to shrink it up a bit or iron it before each wearing to get that smooth look?  Is my button down shirt not long enough or form-fitting enough?  Do you secretly safety pin or tape the whole thing in place??


Scroll down to comment – and don’t be afraid to wear rain boots as legit footwear, especially since there are so many fun patterns and chic styles to be found in the thrift store:

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on


A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on


A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on


A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on



Monday ReBlog: Making a “Not My Style” List

I didn’t get to a Friday reblog last week (life…work…toddlers…you know), but I found a great blog post over the weekend so I thought I’d share it today.

Making a list of what constitutes your style can be really helpful as you’re piecing together a wardrobe.  But Anuschka at Into Mind flips the concept on its head – make a list of things that aren’t your style to help weed out what doesn’t work.  I particularly liked her idea to make a subcategory for “love it on other people, not for me” as those items can be distracting and disappointing when honing your own style (“I LOVE this, but I never wear it…”  “This looks great on my friend, why doesn’t it work for me??”).

A “not my style” list is even more helpful when you’re thrifting a large portion of your closet.  If you’re not rock solid on what constitutes your personal brand of style, sweet prices, the scarcity-based feeling that there are only so many secondhand clothes to go around, and the sheer smorgasboard of styles can combine to make you splash out on a great piece that isn’t really you.

So let’s make a list.  Here’s mine:

Great on others, not for me:

-skinny jeans (I keep trying these on, they keep refusing to let my circulation move freely)
-button down shirts
-dresses with short hems
-button down cardigans
-superoversized sweaters (I have one, I wear it at home or while pregnant)
-anything sheer (I’m not prudish but I’m definitely lazy and don’t want to add another layer to make sheer work appropriate)
-jewel tones

I just don’t like them (even if they’re on-trend):

-military parkas/utility jackets – always look too casual/busy with doodads and add-ons. Also I’m not in the military or going fly fishing anytime soon.
-super wide-legged pants
-twinsets (although one of my coworkers absolutely ROCKS these…shoutout to Patti!)
-faux suits – dressing all in one color when it’s not a suit (apologies to Janice of The Vivienne Files, and my mother-in-law).  I need more variety!


I’m sure the list could be longer but it’s late and my brain just overdosed on dulce de leche cheesecake.


Alright, Thrifters, let’s see YOUR “Not My Style” lists in the comments!  And tell me – do you think this is a helpful concept?