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Emily Henderson

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by Emily Henderson
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It’s 3am on friday night. I fell asleep with the kids at 8pm and woke up realizing I forgot to write todays post. There is no “what I wore on my body” today because I wore such boring things all week, things you’ve seen 1 million times, that I couldn’t bear to show you. And not in a way that you would have appreciated the normalcy, more in a way that you might have been embarrassed for me. But I did do some shopping to try to rectify the situation, only to be unsure about these pieces (very excited about others which you’ll see next week). So instead of not posting my team took all the pieces that I brought to the office to debate, and threw them into a post. Next saturday will be full of some new spring pieces that I’m VERY excited by but this one is more a ramble about fashion and my body. ENJOY

Denim Puffer 

Up first, that denim puffer up there is SO CUTE. In theory. The reason it’s off her shoulder is because it’s so oversized that her frame literally can’t house the volume. I bought a small and it looks like I’m a 12-year-old wearing my dads coat. BUT both Julie and Sara bought it after they tried it on so they were apparently into the ‘wear your dads coat for the day’ look. I’m still of the old school notion that things should be somewhat flattering (or incredibly comfortable) in order to wear them. Mostly I just want my hands to be usable and not swallowed up by a sleeve.

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Vintage Navy Oversized Surplus Jacket

In my constant quest to be edgier I buy things like this. It is cool, but far too big for this frame.

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Carson Sherpa Fleece Jacket

The fleece is coming at us hard right now and I’m apparently trying to buy it, behind on a trend, but this guy again is oversized. I’m going to buy it in an extra small, but I’m not cool enough to rock the oversized. I love it when the body of it is oversized, full of volume, but the sleeves need to fit and be tight. Again, I like the use of my hands.

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Love Boy Tee

You know that SMILE tee I’ve been wearing for months? Well, this was my attempt to wear a different shirt. I love Sundry clothes so much, but unsure this guy is worth it so for now it’s sitting in my office in the ‘return’ pile (which is wear my team pulled all of this stuff).

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Floral Long Sleeve Top

I’m looking for a new gown, guys. If you haven’t noticed I have ONE ‘fancy’ dress – that navy blue ruffle number from Ulla Johnson from a year and a half ago and I still love it, but for every fancy occasion (premieres, weddings, etc) I pull that sucker out and even my kids are getting bored with it. So I bought this to see if it could be rotated into my repetoire. I fear its a bit too safe and sweet and I am NOT safe or sweet despite the hype.

But I have certain ‘gown’ requirements. I don’t like to show my arms, I don’t like super tight, I don’t like to show to much cleavage (listen I was raised LDS so modesty is just ingrained) so I’m always looking for something that might feel sexy without being too revealing. The way they styled that dress with those opalescent metallic shoes, I mean, NO. But picture it with a moto or a jean jacket and maybe?


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Short Sleeved Collared Denim Jumpsuit

I’m not really proving my case right now. But I like a wrap jumpsuit, too. Unfortunately, the Kamm pant is not for me. I could pose in a photo and it would look fine, but in real life there’s something about the torso length that didn’t fit me quite right. It’s just not what I want to grab or wear on a daily basis.

So after a HUGE purge this week (are you going to the rummage sale on Sunday?) I looked at every piece that wasn’t “bringing me joy” and a lot of them were high waisted wide legged pants. My body wants a boxy top/blouse, a jacket and a skinny pant or baggy short-short, and when I try the boxy part on the bottom of my body I don’t feel my best (I think it has something to do with my shorter torso).

But two days later, TWO DAYS,  I found myself buying a longer, looser version of those pants at a store, joking the whole time about my promise to stop buying wide legged pants, but still buying them. I’ve subsequently returned them, emboldened even more now about my pact. I, EMILY HENDERSON, will never, NEVER buy another wide legged high waisted pair of pants. I know in the moment they are cool. I know that when I see other people rocking them I WANT to do the same thing. But when I am just throwing on clothes in the morning I never ever ever opt for them.

I shopped twice for clothes this week and I came up with a NEW pact – If it’s not a ‘HELL YES’, it a “NO”. Unless I’m doing the literal happy dance, I’m not buying them. I found a new pair of jeans after trying on 19 pairs and yes, I did a pretty epic dance because I felt so good in them, and my friend who I was shopping with said ‘that is how you need to feel every time you are about to purchase something’.

That might be obvious to you guys, but you know how after you’ve been shopping for a long time you really want to come home with something so if something is ‘cute’ you buy it because you’ve invested the time and you want something in return? Well, no longer. Say this to yourself, “if it’s not a ‘Hell Yes!’ then its a ‘NO'” it actually makes it so much easier. I purged a lot this week so I don’t feel guilty about buying, because yes you are about to see a lot of ‘hell yes” next week.

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Vince Jesson Platform Sandals

Are we still wearing nursing shoes? These are from Vince, a brand that I trust is still kinda edgy but I’m not sure I can be trusted any longer because its in every mall now. That sounded like it wasn’t a hell yes, but I think it might be, I just want to put it on and style it out before the full commitment happens. Not sure if you’ve noticed, but I LOVE a nude shoe. These came in too big (order smaller) and we all loved them, but they were in my ‘return’ box because they are oversized. You know what piece of clothing should never be oversized? SHOES.

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Yumi Kim Park City Jacket

Ok. I’m debating returning this because I live in LA and I don’t need a faux fur coat, despite a lot of you loving it (and buying). I’m also worried that I jumped on this train too late and since this is expensive I kinda don’t want to splurge unless i’m going to wear it a lot.

That didn’t sound like a ‘hell yes’ did it?


Well, its 4:30am. I should probably go back to bed or get up for the day. But its been nice “externally processing” with you. While this was a last minute post I actually think if we had more a ‘what is in my cart and why’ series would be fun. Stay tuned for better fashion next week where I can show you my new happy pants, my updated nude mules (FINALLY) and the sweats that I don’t want to ever take off my body.

  1. Ummm, not to be mean but I think you should put all these items back in the return pile….

    1. I’m concerned for you. There must be a good reason why you would this rude. Please get help.

    2. Agreed

    3. That’s what she was saying. They are in the return pile.

    4. yup

    5. Agreed, I think Emily can do better (but if you don’t try stuff you don’t like, you’ll never find something you love, so I think she did the right thing by trying them)

  2. Saturday is my very favorite post day! Thank you for doing them. I also can not believe, that you referenced your smile T-shirt.
    I could t get it, but bought this and it’s so surprisingly good (and affordable).

    I’ll be ordering that jumpsuit now.
    Please never stop fashion (in addition to all you do!!).

  3. I adopted that mantra as well because I found myself falling prey to the “good deal purchase.” Things that I liked and were a good price, but I ultimately didn’t love and reach for.

    Also, I reached out to Jessie Artigue from Style & Pepper to help me with a style profile. She put it together more eloquently that I could:

    “I’m inspired by women who embrace a modern look but aren’t afraid to stand out. Trends aside, my comfort, my character and my creativity are the most important parts of my own everyday style statement.

    I know that how I look affects how I feel and will embrace nothing but confidence as I keep curating a closet that I love.

    Shopping Criteria:
    Is this item comfortable, yet interesting? Polished, yet effortless?
    Could I style this in a way that would get a head nod from Jen, Mandy or Emily?
    Can I wear this item styled in at least three different ways/outfits?
    Will this piece make me feel excited about getting dressed?”

    And the Emily referred to above is you because I had put that you were someone whose style I respected. Thank you!!!

    1. I LOVE THIS. and not just because you referenced me (but thank you). I’m going to copy this, text it to myself and read it aloud while shopping (and while purging even more this weekend). THANK YOU 🙂

    2. Love this! I saved it as well, thanks for sharing.

      1. yes! saved. thanks for sharing.
        now id love to know, tho, who is Jen and Mandy?

    3. I have similar criteria, and have added one after too many last minute packing/shopping freak outs: will this item fit all my other criteria and also be something I want to pack on a trip, and will it travel well? Often the clothes I travel with end up being my favorite clothes, so now I basically shop with that in mind.

  4. I love that philosophy but have such a hard time since I mostly shop online. Once I’ve already made the “sunk cost” of guessing as well as possible online, ordering, waiting, opening, I usually just go with “good enough.” I tried popping into a store with my 2 year old the other day and he literally walked around touching/pulling every garment on the racks like a tiny Isaac Mizrahi. Adorable, but not helpful!

    Can’t wait to see the “hell yes!” pile!

    1. Yes, that’s me too! So hard. I’ve got 3 boys 4 and under. Shopping is a complete joke

      1. OMG> 3 under 4. Thank you for even taking the time to read and comment. Yah, online shopping doesn’t really work with this rule because so much of it is fit and comfort. Most sites make it super easy to return but still there are more steps in a weird way than going to the mall.

  5. If you have to convince yourself, then it’s a “no.”

  6. 1,4,5,and6

  7. 1. I love your “hellyes” thought process. Wisdom!
    2. Is like to try the pink dress too, but the link is wrong. Can you please help?
    3. Put the second two coats in my virtual cart. Thinking of trying as I’m not a trim as you and they might just work!
    Thanks fir these!

  8. I cannot EVER envision your small, curvy & perfectly proportioned frame in ANY of these items! At 5’9.5”, I can’t even see myself in any of these; well, perhaps the blue faux fur waistcoat (but we’ve also just re located from fashion forward DC to gulf coast FL & live with five kids in a skoolie!) Thank you, for reminding me that everything we choose should bring a resounding “HELL YASSS!” deep down to the core. Excited to see what your new choices will be! XO I am embracing the recent pantsuits & of all places, Target has some great choices.

  9. I like the look of the Denim Puffer but I think you have to be very tall to pull it off. As for the Kamm pant, I think it’s only flattering … on 2% of the population. I’ll stick to my straight leg and skinny styles, thank you.

    Looking forward to seeing the new nude mules you’ve found. I just bought my first pair of Nisolo mules and you’ve probably moved on to another brand! 🙂

    1. No i love those, too. I wear those ALL THE TIME and will continue to. These are more clogs that have more of a heel. I’m too lazy to find link now. will do this week 🙂

  10. Happy Weekend!
    …Was it this past week you wore a cute blush baseball hat?
    Soooo excited to see next week’s post w/ your HELL YES picks!!!

    1. Its from Lulu lemon (pretty sure thats not how you spell it) and Its my running hat, but for some reason i’ve really taken to it for daytime/mom stuff, too. I guess it means its really good 🙂

  11. Look at Rixo London for long sleeved beautiful dresses.

  12. My shopping mantra is “doubt means don’t”, which is pretty similar to your new one! I remember reading it from an Oprah interview and it’s stuck with me since. Plus it’s easy to remember and has saved me lots of money!

    1. OOH I LOVE THIS. doubt means don’t. THANK YOU. the only place that this is going to be a problem is the flea market because its literally a once in a lifetime opportunity, but I’m going to try this and see if it works there, too. I’ve been better the last few years thats for sure.

  13. I like the pink dress with a long neclace and some boho-ish sandals?

  14. Return the denim puffer, the fleece and the blue faux fur. Love everything else, and they’d look lovely on you!

  15. I would recommend looking at Ganni for a dress. They have a lot of long sleeved styles with flattering silhouettes that may hit that edgy yet modest sweet spot.

    1. OOh maybe i will. i just bought a Ganni coat that I LOVE. that crazy pink trapeez thing from last week that makes me so happy every time I look at it. To be fair I also had doubts about that and it took me a while to make that purchase but maybe because its more editorial and weird?

  16. I’m just glad it’s not a post about how Chicago West has an Hèrmes…whatever. You have style girl!

  17. This was so fun to read. And I can relate. If you don’t love the thing, it shouldn’t come home with you, you will regret it later. Like all fast-fashion. I love to hear about others adopting a more critical eye.

  18. Yikes – nice to know what you think about my size 31 wide-leg pants. I know you’re talking about how you feel in them and that’s cool, but to say they only look good on “people that are teeny tiny” hit a bit hard.

    1. Erica, I rarely post but just wanted to say I’M WITH YOU. I am size 12/14 and LOVE my high-waist, wide-legged pants, and while I was just skimming the blog for some weekend levity, the “perpetual first trimester zone” comment really hit a nerve for me.

      As women, I think we could all reexamine our relationship with the word “flattering,” if what we really mean is as small as possible. It’s 2019. I’m not sure that looking “teeny tiny” has to be the goal. Do you?

      I don’t know you, Erica, but I think you are beautiful. I think we are rocking those jeans.

      1. Sorry guys, I’ll edit. My criticism isn’t anything about the body, more about that cut on my short torsoed body, but point taken and i’ll edit. You are right, “flattering” is an objective word and feeling. I’ll be more sensitive. xx

      2. Well before you get too judgey-McJudgerson, I am a size 12/14 and every single pair of high-waist, wide-legged pants I’ve tried on looks AWFUL on me. It’s an individual thing, about frame and proportion.

        No need to take offense to something that is so different from woman to woman.

      3. Thanks for this reply! It made my day. It’s actually kind of ironic that finding high-waisted, wide-leg, cropped pants is what made me finally say f-it to trying to conform to a more “acceptable” style of dress for my body type. I’ve never been happier since I decided that me and my hips are really good in my Madewell Emmett crops.

      4. I don’t think that’s what “flattering” means (unless this is a US thing?). For example, I have broad shoulders so anything with puffy shoulders accentuates that and I feel like I look like a bricklayer. Similarly, even though I’m carrying weight around my middle, anything that doesn’t have some kind of curve in at the waist just totally swamps me, however dresses that have an elasticated waist just cut me in half and do nothing for me. So these things, and more, are what I take into account when I do or don’t find something “flattering”.

  19. I am SO ready for the hell yeses! Also idk, I’m here for the Yumi Kim Park jacket. I hope it stays in the keep pile; it’s been cold in LA lately so hey you’re justified!

  20. Hahahahahaha
    And all I want is a link to those freaking overalls!!! They look structured but so so soft!!!

  21. have you tried the point sur j. crew wide leg pant? it’s affordable since j. crew has a sale every week, cute with patch pockets in front and way more flattering than kamm IMO

  22. I have a shopping rule for myself and that I taught my kids: Wear something you LOVE when going shopping. If whatever you try on you don’t love as much or more than what you are wearing, don’t buy it!

    And I agree with what others have said about what is “flattering” – it’s not necessarily what makes you look thin, it’s what makes you feel stylish or put-together or bad-ass or just plain fabulous. And we can feel those things without looking “thin.”

    Keep the fashion posts coming! They are fun!

    1. I agree–it happens to me a lot. I try on lots of clothes and think, “Ugh! What’s wrong with me?” Then when I put my own clothes back on, I think, “Ah, that’s more like it!”

    2. This is a great tip! And agree about the “flattering” thing.

  23. I am just over six feet tall and so I basically have to shop online in order to find things that fit right. It’s a struggle sometimes that results in simply not buying clothes sometimes. I’m also super cheap and don’t like to spend money. I don’t really get the appeal of really oversized things. Also, I’m tall and thin, but I hate wearing wide legged pants because I’m so small and incredibly flat on top that it makes me just look and feel like I’m just legs.

  24. Good job, Emily, return everything that isn’t “hell yes.” I am proud of you for learning this at an early age. Took me to past 47 to learn if I don’t love it on my body, don’t buy it. At 50, I don’t care so much about trendy, because I always feel good in classic styles with a hint of modern styling. I don’t care how on trend some styles are, I’m never wearing the jeans with holes nor shirts with cut outs in the arms. Know what make you feel pretty!

  25. Keep the Yumi Kam Park city Jacket and the Short sleeves collared Denim Jumpsuit

  26. My rules for clothing purchases are does it bring me confidence or joy? If it doesn’t, it goes back! The world is full of things, there are always more things. Don’t try to talk yourself into anything.

  27. I hope people will re-consider every time they want to purchase fleece, especially the furry, 100% polyester stuff that is machine washable. I keep hearing that our oceans are full of the micro-fibers that come from the water run-off every time we wash fleece. I’m no scientist, but I have read lots of articles about how random samples of the fish we eat is now contaminated with the polyester/plastic that comes from laundering fleece. I respect that some companies use recycled plastic to make their fleece, and I love the look of this trend, but unfortunately I can’t get on board.

    1. Thanks for mentioning this! Unfortunately, it isn’t just fleece. I only just learned about this the other day: polyester, nylon, acrylic, and other synthetic fibers are made up of plastic that shed with each wash. The fibers are too small to be caught by filtration systems, which is how they end up back in our lakes and rivers.

      A link, for anyone else interested: https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2018/9/19/17800654/clothes-plastic-pollution-polyester-washing-machine

  28. Have you tried Ace & Jig? Their incredible textures and colors would photograph well but are also practical for everyday life. Plus you’d be supporting a women-owned business with ethical manufacturing practices. How something is made is critical in making it a “hell yes” for me.

    1. I am working on this… a shift in thought and practice. I love Erin’s blog and this post was especially helpful in challenging me to think/spend differently: https://readingmytealeaves.com/2019/02/growing-a-minimalist-wardrobe-buy-from-bipoc.html

  29. wooow find the best site mrdadyar

  30. I’m a person who has chosen uniform dressing. I wear almost the same thing every day. I spend less, I’m always comfortable, everything I have is flattering. It only takes me a minute to dress every day, and my closets aren’t overflowing. I hate shopping and I don’t really care about fashion although I do care about style. I love to see other people expressing their creativity in clothes if they enjoy it, but it’s not for me.

  31. The pink wrap dress pictured is the Shawna Dress from ASTR the Label. It’s currently available online at Shopbop, Nordstrom, Steve Madden, & ASTR the Label.

    1. Thank you!!

  32. I think the link for your pink dress use wrong- it’s sending me to a floral target shirt.

  33. I’m a newer blog follower and I love your fashion posts. I am also short-torsoed and have found some of the high waist trends just terrible for my frame, particularly when it comes to wide leg cuts. I’m a fan of some of the demi-bootcut jeans from Madewell, which are more of a bootcut crop and something I feel more confident I can pull off when I want a non-skinny pant look. On another note, I ordered the Lucky Brand Utility pants on your suggestion since they are on sale- hoping they work!

    Excited for your shoe post! I am obsessed with clogs and mules. I live in Nashville so if there’s a specific Nisolo you’re hunting down, I could go straight to the source 😉

  34. Also- what happened with the denim jumpsuit from
    Madewell you purchased? Ive not had any luck with denim jumpsuits making me feel like anything but a mechanic 🙂

  35. Emily, I approve every single item, keep them! I imagine you very well wearing them and rocking 🙂

  36. Remember that gorgeous pink coat you posted earlier in the week? That too is a bigger, oversized silhouette….so not sure about your thoughts on the coats in this post….

  37. What you said… love it or leave it!!

  38. I’ve been following the “if it’s not a hell yes it’s a no” for years now, and it never fails! I have been teaching my daughter to do the same, as she’s getting to the age where she is experimenting with her own money and needs a way to avoid impulse purchases.

    It’s so true that sometimes you feel like you’ve invested so much time you want to come home with something – but I think there’s also something empowering in NOT making a purchase, and instead treating shopping as research. I try on a lot of different styles and shapes to see what suits my body, and if I happen to find the happy-dance number while I’m researching, then great. Otherwise it’s just “I’ll see how this looks so I know if this style suits me”.

  39. Keep the Yumi Kim Park City Jacket, the denim jumpsuit and the Love tee!

  40. When it comes to jeans I am firmly in the camp of if I don’t do my ‘booty dance’ when I try them on. I’m not buying them. I just can’t with jeans that are so so or maybe if I wear this with them or buy this etc. No. I love them or they stay in the store.

  41. I haven’t finished the post yet, but had to comment. That pink dress reminds me of an awful bridesmaid dress I had to wear several years ago for a wedding. Please return it so I won’t have nightmares. I’m confident you can find something way more flattering that meets all your requirements. I’m also in total agreement about the baggy clothes. I wish I could make them look good, but I just look sloppy.

  42. I am fully in line with the “If it’s not a hell yes, then it’s a no” method of buying. I’m slowly ridding my closet of things I’ve purchased ‘on sale’ in mass in the past. Some of those buys weren’t great and a lot of them were just fine – but almost none of those purchases really wowed me. When you stop spending money on clothes that are just so-so, it really frees you up to buy that one thing you really like when it does come into your life! Fewer, nicer, things is what I tell myself.

    I do shop online a lot, and I find if I put something in a cart and keep coming back to it, then I might actually like it enough to buy it. Though this does mean I have had to implement a rule where I actually return things if they are not amazing. It sucks to force myself to do it, but it’s all part of the master plan.

  43. I might be the world’s most annoying person to shop with. I’m kind of a cheapskate so mostly I look for reasons NOT to buy stuff. Here are my greatest hits:

    1. It’s too expensive. (I know, good quality is worth it, but budget matters a lot).
    2. I have nowhere to wear this.
    3. I like the cut but the color is meh. Or weird.
    4. the color is great but the cut is not flattering.
    5. Dolman/raglan sleeves. Never.
    6. Too tight across the bust.
    7. Too fragile/difficult to clean
    8. Uncomfortable/painful (shoes).
    9. I don’t really love it.

    If it passes all of those gates, then YES! Heh.

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