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I Went To Old Navy And Found Some Shockingly Good Pieces (Totally #NONSPON)

I hadn’t been to Old Navy in years, mostly because it’s not at the mall that I frequent and Brian buys most of the kids’ clothes at Target. WELL… NO LONGER. I was honestly blown away by how good some of the stuff was. I, of course, vowed to buy NOTHING because I don’t have the lifestyle anymore to need as many different clothes, especially nice work clothes but not only did I find some great pieces for those of you who do leave the house for a job where you need/want to look nice, but there were a few pieces that I literally couldn’t not buy. If you want to read my philosophy of consuming RE fast fashion it’s at the end. But for now, here are some standout pieces that I found.

A Standout Linen Shirt (And Wide Leg Jeans)

Striped Linen Top, $40 | Jeans, $29 | Mules (not Old Navy)

What I don’t need in my life is another striped linen shirt, but for $40 I couldn’t believe how good this was (and my other one from 2 years ago is a little too snug right now so I justified this one quickly). I’m wearing a small, FYI, so it’s pretty oversized. The jeans were so good – high-waisted, wide-leg and I cuffed them because I don’t love the puddle look that many people are into right now. But I LOVED these jeans and if I had a job where I left the house needing to impress anyone I would get these.

My Maxi Skirt Formula IRL

Sweatshirt, $35 | Maxi Skirt, $35 | Sneakers (not Old Navy)

A cute cotton skirt (elastic waist, flattering tummy) and a boxy sweatshirt. I’m not totally selling it in these photos but we all agreed that this was such an easy/cute spring outfit to wear. I skipped the skirt since I do like showing off my legs when it’s warm out, but bought the sweatshirt because it’s boxy and super comfy (the color looks icky under their fluorescent lighting, but its a really nice olive).

The Cutest Striped Linen Set Ever

Linen Striped Shirt, $40 | Linen Striped Shorts, $30 | Sneakers (not Old Navy)

I’m taking the EHD team to Mexico in May (you know, for a very serious brainstorming session) and y’all I’LL BE WEARING THIS. This shirt is an XL so I ordered a medium, but the linen is soft and flowy, the shorts were so comfy and cute and as a set (with sandals) it is so cute (and doesn’t read as pajamas at all, which I think many sets can). I would probably style this with my Birkenstocks and something tied around my waist.

Linen Striped Shirt, $40 | Linen Striped Shorts, $30 | Sneakers (not Old Navy)

This comes in a lot of colors, but we agreed that this pink was perfect for me 😉 The top of the shorts is a light elastic (not too tight, doesn’t cut in).

Pink One Piece Swimsuit, $25 | Striped Shorts, $30

While this is not the suit for me I still thought it was super super cute for someone who might not need as much support and might not have the budget for my dumb splurgy suits (I’m EXTREMELY picky and curvy for being so short so I’m a TA3 gal – just got the muscle tank suit and OMG, I want it in every color).

Pink One Piece Swimsuit, $25 | Striped Shorts, $30

Again, if you have larger ladies this will not be supportive enough, but if you are smaller up top the shape is so cute, it’s double-layered so you feel more secure. I just liked the shape of the tank, the zipper makes it flirty and cute, and the color POPS if you are still in your Barbie season.

I Bought This Entire Outfit And I Feel Zero Shame

Blazer, $55 | Vest, $40 | White Tee, $8 | Jeans, $29 | Mules (not Old Navy)

While I do NOT have an office job, this linen jacket and vest was so good and affordable that both Kaitlin and I bought it. The vest is boxy and cool (and looks VERY expensive). I can’t stress this enough – the cut of it is far better than most other vests I’ve ever tried that try to make it too body-con and it feels either cheesy or hugs in the wrong places. This is more of a “boy cut” that is straight and very simple. SO GOOD. The jacket, too – double-breasted and perfectly tailored and straight. The boyfriend jeans were EXCELLENT and I’ve worn them 3 times since I got them last week. They were loose in the right ways that boyfriend jeans should be, with an excellent wash and I just feel so cute in them.

Blazer, $50 | Striped Tank, $20 | Shorts, $20 | Mules (not Old Navy)

Another EXCELLENT spring/summer suit for those of you who want to look professional and cool, while not being crazy hot. This isn’t how I would style it (the tank, which I loved and bought) was too high-necked for this but the jacket and shorts (on sale) were great. Also, the lighting in these stores SUCK.

Matching Summer Set With The Best Pull-On Shorts YET

Sweater, $45 | Pull-on Shorts, $30 | Mules (not Old Navy)

I bought two pairs of these pull-on shorts (one in white, one in denim) because they are such a good cut, so comfortable up top (doesn’t cut in to make a waist, just sits nicely up there with slight elastic in the back). The stitched pockets on the front are very flattering and flair out in the most perfect way. And yes, such a great summer-weight sweater with holes.

Sweater, $45 | Pull-on Shorts, $30 | Sneakers (not Old Navy)

I obviously tried it on in the olive, too, and sized up to a medium in both so you could see the difference (just slightly bigger). I bought small (the white pair above) but might size up for the days when I just feel like I want everything loose.

Quarter Zip Sweatshirt, $50 | Shorts, $10 | Sneakers (not Old Navy)

I absolutely LOVED this quarter zip and went online to buy the green one below in a small (only had white in store in small and my life is too dirty for white). It’s so soft, has a great shape, pockets with zippers – THE WORKS. The shorts have a liner and a nice fit at the top (not too tight). I’m going to have to break up with my $90 Lululemon shorts that I still really love but for $19 (just $10 if they’re still on sale!) these are just so cute (and since I’m not a performance athlete).

Quarter Zip Sweatshirt, $50 | Tee, $17 | Shorts, $10 | Sneakers (not Old Navy)

Here it is in the green – the set I ended up ordering. It’s so cute and comfortable and while It’s not flashy, I felt pulled together.

Windbreaker, $60 | Leggings, $45 | Sneakers (not Old Navy)

I’m not properly selling this windbreaker in this shot but it’s really good – the fabric is stiff enough to not look cheap and to keep its shape, and it’s cropped with buttons, pockets, drawstrings – all the goods. It’s the perfect spring layer that is easy to layer even over a sweatshirt (and yes, I bought this one). Also, the green ribbed tights were very comfy, with a thick band and side pockets.

Denim Shirt, $40 | Purse (not Old Navy) | Biker Shorts, $20 | Sneakers (not Old Navy)

Forever laughing that my team made me recreate some Gigi Hadid in biker shorts looking at her phone moment, but these two are really good. An oversized super thin and drapey denim shirt (that is also excellent if you are a sweater around the waist person like I am) and really affordable. Oh, and these are thick biker shorts (not too thick, but thick enough that it doesn’t show everything underneath). I brought home both.

Shirt Dress, $45 | Sweater, $45 | Mules (not Old Navy)

Another excellent shirt dress that has a cute pocket, pleating in the back, and pockets. This one is a bit see-through so you might want a slip. It’s a great shape and feels like an updated classic.

Shirt Dress, $45 | Sweater, $45 | Mules (not Old Navy)

A Triangle Tent Dress For All The Spring/Summer Days

Dress, $40 | Mules (not Old Navy)

Dress, $40 | Mules (not Old Navy)

Another shirt dress, this time super wide with an A-line shape that is just so easy to throw on. This might be too casual for many offices, but for those hotter days it’s kinda all you can wear in the summer. The pattern was cute, but it’s the cut that was so great.

Excellent Baggy Jeans

Shoulder Padded Tee (not Old Navy) | Purse | Jeans, $46 | Mules (not Old Navy)

This was my “woah, these are so cute” look. These are oddly floppy jeans, in a good way. Like they are fitted up top but then really flowy (probably the word I was looking for) and fun to wear. These are petite (shorter) which I loved as it’s more of the look that I like. I wish they didn’t have holes but at that price, I love them for the days when you want to wear jeans but not tight or thick denim.

A Good Layering Cargo Jacket

Jacket, $25 | Jeans, $29 | Mules (not Old Navy)

Gretchen and Kailtin said “You will wear this jacket every day” and they aren’t wrong. It’s structured but roomy so it’s great to layer even over sweatshirts. It has multiple pockets, a fun collar, and it’s just classic in all the ways. And yes, those are the boyfriend jeans again – so good.

Re my fast fashion philosophy. Not everyone can afford to buy from the brands that are making beautiful clothes with the best sustainable practices. I wish that was different. So if your budget doesn’t allow for those pieces, then “fast fashion” tends to be one of the main options. Yes, there is of course secondhand but that can be limited depending on your location and even size. And everyone deserves to look and feel good. With all that said, just because something is considered fast fashion doesn’t mean it’s automatically going to end up in a landfill. I’ve had some of those pieces for years and that is the hope of this post, to help us all find really good, affordable pieces that we’ll want to wear for a long time. As with everything we consume, we need to do so mindfully and do the best we can with what we have. 

*Photos by Kaitlin Green

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Libby
29 days ago

Vowing to buy nothing then buying 15 or so new things 😆 That’s more than I’d buy in a year. Everything suits you so well.

Cristina
29 days ago

I’m adding things to my cart bc yes, this is in my budget. Thank you Emily!

Melody
29 days ago

Some very cute outfits here!

I agree re fast fashion philosophy…if something is of decent quality and you wear it for years and you buy with the intention to wear it for years great. I’ve got “fast fashion” pieces I have been wearing regularly for 10+ years.
Also something that no one ever talks about when “buying less but better” is the way bodies fluctuate in size/shape. I try to follow this philosophy with shoes/bags/accessories/looser jackets or dresses that I know will fit me for years but I’m not going to spend a lot of money on more fitted items like pants or jeans when honestly I’m not sure they’ll fit me next year!

Hannah
28 days ago
Reply to  Melody

Yes! This is me! The baby season of life is one I’ve been in for the last 10 years and I’ve honestly tried to do the “less but better”. And the $60 tees get worn out in a season because I am only rotating through a few and mom life=messy life. I am truly confused when people can buy something once and wear it forever, because I get literal holes in my clothes. Not to mention the massive weight changes! But I’ve also always bought with the idea that I don’t toss it at the end of the season, I’ve had Loft and Old Navy tanks that last forrreeeever- way longer than some nicer brand I’ve purchased.
And this is a super timely post, because I’m due for some new spring/summer clothes for this 4 mo pp body that’s going to take some work to heal after this latest baby!

Kim Malkiewicz
29 days ago

So many of these items are “you”! I had to stop the scroll at those floppy jeans, may take a look at them at my local ON, today.

Cheryl
29 days ago

Fast fashion is something I normally like to avoid with one caveat: if it’s a timeless item made with a durable material, why not save the money where you can? I have a denim jacket, two sleeveless dresses and great denim jeans from old navy I wear all the time and they are all over five years old. I air dry the dresses and that’s really helped their longevity. It’s up to us to make our clothing go the distance, too. There has been nothing fast about those purchases. Love this post and your selections!

KD
29 days ago
Reply to  Cheryl

Same, same! I’m wearing a Target dress from 2018 as I type and still get complements every time I wear it. There are definitely some pieces here that I can picture wearing for years to come. And–bonus–I can afford them! : ) Thanks, Emily. This is helpful.

Emilie
29 days ago

I found this podcast episode on fast fashion really great: “Fashion’s climate impact and how to reduce it” (https://www.volts.wtf/p/fashions-climate-impact-and-how-to)

AC
28 days ago

I agree that fast fashion is not inherently wasteful. One of my favorite tops was from H&M and cost about $15. A white cotton knit pullover with tiny lace trim around the collar and 3/4 bell sleeves and just a great cut/fit. I wore it weekly 2005-2015 until a tragic stain did it in. I got so many compliments on that top!

J
28 days ago

Agree with your note on fast fashion! One thing I found helpful was learning about different types of fabric materials and garment construction (Jennifer Wang on youtube is a good example), as someone who tends to buy a lot of clothes I now have a much better “filtering” system and have realized some very expensive brands still make crap and some cheap brands might actually have decent quality pieces.

Phi
28 days ago

I know this is an Old Navy post, which I loved, but I just bought those mules, so cute, thanks for linking them!!

E
28 days ago

Emily, you look so pretty in the sage green running outfit – that is a stunning color on you!

Kate
28 days ago

Ok so I tried that swimsuit in the black and white and you’re completely right that it’s not for anyone who needs much support. But the two piece version is PERFECT. Tons of support and the same cute zipper and contrast edges. There’s a little safety hook in the top, too!

I agree with the other commenters that certain ON pieces last for ages. I stopped bothering w Gap/BR years ago because the ON quality is way better in terms of ratio to price. I have lots of pieces that have lasted for many years.

Alix
28 days ago

I agree re fast fashion – just because it was cheaper, doesn’t mean you need to wear it once and toss it. If you do, that’s on you. I have plenty of cheaper items that I have absolutely worn to death. Am I on the cutting edge of fashion? No. Am I dressed well when I leave the house? Yes. I think there’s some great choices here and only wish we had Old Navy in Australia.

Kat Selah
28 days ago

I really appreciate the mindfulness around fast fashion. I used to be (when I was in a different financial position) extremely dedicated to slow fashion, buying ethically made clothing. Some of it was outstanding quality, some of it I had for years. A bunch of it didn’t actually last any longer than fast fashion and several pieces were so delicate they fell apart. MUCH of it was incredibly sizest and not at all inclusive of larger bodied folks. I don’t love Old Navy’s ethics (terrible labor practices, no real investment in environmental sustainability) but several of my favorite and longest lasting pieces are from there. Many of my kids best pieces that actually last for years are also from Old Navy. I’ve found their clothes to be largely more stain and pill resistant than many others. I think regardless of what you buy, the most important thing to think about if you want to be mindful about consumption is to think before buying, “what are the chances I wear this 30 or more times?” If below 80%, pass on it. If above, doesn’t matter brand or label or whatever, go for it!

Paula
28 days ago

I had a blue shorts/blazer” suit that I wore to pieces ages ago. It looked a lot like yours only mine was a linen blend. And, yes, I wore it to the office. The San Gabriel Valley is HOT.

Shannon L.
27 days ago

What I love about ON is their dedication to size inclusivity. They carry all sizes in stores, not just online. AND for every item they show it on 3 different sized models. It is SO helpful and makes me feel great.

Gretchen
26 days ago

Just bought that cute striped shirt!

Gabi
25 days ago

“we need to do so mindfully and do the best we can with what we have” – GOSH I love you, Emily! Thank you for saying this and for steering away the potential shamers.

Kate W.
21 days ago

Curious how your boyfriend jeans hold up…? Mine developed a hole in the crotch seem after light wear 🙁 SO sad, bc you’re right, they’re so good!