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I Went To The Mall And Here Is What I Bought Or Loved (In Search of Cute Comfortable Summer Clothes)

Y’all I went to the mall with my friends and snuck into the dressing room with a camera. I needed a few things – new shorts that aren’t crazy tight nor super ripped up and a loose/easy/breathable dress or two. I kissed/tried on a LOT of frogs so I’m just showing you the highlights here (and only bought a few of these because I didn’t NEED all of them). So let’s get into it.


The above dress was pretty darn cute. I wish I had bought it before I went to Costa Rica. It has pockets, was lined and those sleeves are so fun. I feel like it’s better suited for SoCal/Florida or a resort vibe so I didn’t buy it but liked it so much (I think I could pull it off up here if it were all one color). It felt high quality and like it was going to hold up nicely.

Wrap Skirt | Top

Now this set was SO CUTE and I feel like it’s something Mal (or Social Media Manager) would wear. It’s a little preppy tennis skirt with a crop top. I don’t think it suits my lifestyle right now and I like to be a little more covered up but for all of you who are into this trend, we really loved it.

Denim Romper

Now THIS is way more my vibe. It’s a great short jumper and had it not been white I would have bought it (I have since gone online and bought it in this color). It was comfortable, flattering, hung nicely, and is a less hot alternative to my denim and linen long-sleeve version (and more affordable). It comes in other colors, too. Again I liked the white in theory but my lifestyle doesn’t support a white jumper that much (aka I play in dirt too much).


I’m laughing in this shot because this “dress“, y’all, was CRAZY short and had so much volume that I thought it must be a swimsuit coverup (it turns out it is a tunic top :)). But again, I wish I had had this so badly when we were in Costa Rica in the humidity. It is SO LIGHTWEIGHT and breathable, feels like you are wearing nothing which is exactly what I wanted when we were there and I didn’t pack anything like this. So if you are going anywhere in the humidity this summer this is an excellent coverup (or dress should you brave the crotch risk). I kind of regret not getting it and If I think about it a lot while we are in Arrowhead I might swing back and get it. Stylistically it’s not wowing me like crazy, but the fit/drape/fabric made me want to wear it the rest of the day.

Yellow Shirtdress

Look at me in yellow! And I bought this! It’s a shirtdress but more special because of the drawstring, pockets, and dropped shoulders. I don’t think I’m selling it that well here, but we all agreed it was super super cute. I could dress it up with a blazer for work but I’ll likely wear it with sneakers or sandals. It’s the perfect 75-degree brunch dress – super lightweight but not overly “resort”.

Shirt | Shorts

Introducing my new summer shorts. These are the newer version of the Madewell ones I’ve been wearing for years, but they are a bit longer and baggier (which is the trend). I LOVE THEM. Such a good fit (I’m wearing a 28 here), comfortable, great wash, doesn’t go up your butt flares out nicely (which makes legs look slimmer if you are into that). The top I bought as well, not because it’s the best thing I’ve ever seen, but because it was really really solid. The pattern was cute, the sleeves were flattering, the fabric was medium weight and I felt like it would hold up really well, it’s boxy and cropped (my favorite profile) and just so easy to wear. I have so many denim button ups but this one feels more breathable and airy, just easy to throw on and feel good in.


Right before we left this store I found these shorts, tried them on, and loved them. They are a shorter and lighter wash, but super flattering cut (really flat in the front) and then flare out nicely. As you can tell I like short shorts and don’t mind showing off my legs (with tanning foam, obvs).


For those of you who like rigid denim, these are excellent. They are Levi’s, an awesome length, super flattering and we all agreed that they looked so good in the butt. I don’t like rigid denim anymore (I think I have a sensory thing – I can wear them for about 1/2 hour before I feel claustrophobic and need to be in more comfortable shorts). So I can’t wear Levis that go up my butt like this, but admittedly it makes your butt look good.


Y’all, these pants were an instant add to cart. I can’t wait for Brian to make fun of me once again for buying distressed/paint-splattered clothes but these are SO GOOD. The cut is that bow-legged shape that is so flattering. They have a wide-leg which I typically don’t wear (mostly because I like slim on the bottom and wide on top) but because of the shape, they are so flattering. Kaitlin bought them, too. I’m wearing a 26 here (which is smaller than I am). I think they are supposed to be super oversized, but I like this size on me.


The day before we went shopping I saw someone wearing these at the airport and I thought she looked super cool. They are totally balloon-y and not unlike scrubs. These were too big for me but we shot them because we thought they were cool – especially if you wear a tank/tee or super cropped top on top (none of which I do). I didn’t get them, but we all agreed they were a cool look.

Bermuda Shorts | Pants

I wanted to show you these because I think for those of you who work in an office, both of these could be styled to be very cool (and they were flattering, considering). The Bermuda shorts (NOT styled right here) are indeed in right now. I find them unflattering but know that if you are into this look the Vince brand is making them look cool. The pants we all agreed were a great fit and cut – the shape of the leg was modern and cool, and the crop is perfect. I don’t have a job where I need this so I skipped them but for all you office-goers, these are good.


I couldn’t put this dress in my basket fast enough. I’m going to wear this all summer long. The sleeves are so fun, it has pockets, and the green/white stripe is a hell yes. It’s lined and feels high quality (it should be, it wasn’t cheap). This is my dress of the summer.

Blue Shirt Dress

You know I love a shirt dress. I have enough of these so I didn’t get it, but both of these are good (especially for work). I like shorter dresses (as you can see above) so this dress felt like too much fabric for me, but it was a good cut, super lightweight, and could be easily dressed up or down.

Black Stripe Dress

Another good shirt dress (sorry for the far away shot, we were being super sneaky so It was hard to get photos in J Crew without getting in trouble). I like the Frank and Eileen ones because they are distressed a bit which makes them a little less serious, but this one is really good for a summer office staple.

Stripe Shirt | Shorts | Jacket

I tried on this white suit and it was pretty good. The shorts were excellent (but see-through so you’ll need a nude thong) but the jacket was a little too bulky for me (but remember I have big arms and boobs). The seersucker shirt has a great drape but I don’t need another blue and white striped button up so I skipped it.

Blouse | Shorts

Such a cute linen summer tunic blouse. I just bought a couple of shirts that checked this box (from Emerson Fry) so I didn’t get this but it’s really good/flattering/easy breezy. These shorts were good, too, and come in a lot of colors. The front pockets are super flattering (also not to call out J Crew but my god the lighting in the dressing room is so unflattering. Their sales merchants need to head over to Anthropologie and take a cue from their dressing room lighting – it’s just SHOCKING that they think this wattage/color of bulbs will make you want to buy their clothes).


These were the shorts that I ended up getting. I tried on the 6 and it fit but they were tiny (and that’s coming from me – I like short shorts). So I ended up getting the 8 and it sits on my hips better (but less flattering in the butt). They have great stretch. I bought them for all the times when I don’t want to wear jean shorts (i.e. bike riding or looking a little more pulled together) so it’s nice to have one pair of trouser shorts in the mix. The button-up is one that I already owned from Madewell and it’s excellent.

Have a lovely weekend. xx

*Photos by Kaitlin Green

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9 months ago

I love these posts, and even though we have different styles, (I like smaller on the top but flowy on the bottom – I envy your legs!), I always manage to add an item or two to my cart. 😬 So, thank you!

Also, are you still planning to do a post on your Costa Rica trip, or did I miss it? I will go back and do a search on the blog as I’d love to hear more about it. I’m thinking of taking my family this year for spring break and get so overwhelmed by all the different options on where to stay/what to do. Would love to read more about your time there.

9 months ago

I love these clothing reviews!! Thanks for sharing!

9 months ago

I love these posts too! The cropped tops so in style aren’t my jam but I’m still on the lookout for long flowy pants / top from a prior post. The thing I love most is that you push me to consider options I wouldn’t otherwise. Oh and after years of thinking that Target clothing missed the mark (or that I’d aged out), I bought a cotton knit dress there this spring and I wouldn’t have, without seeing cute Target stuff here. So thanks!

9 months ago

I love those balloon pants! A little out of my usual comfort zone, but I’ve been wearing more crop tops and then volume on the bottom.

9 months ago

clothing reviews are my favorite. but two pants and one dresss!

9 months ago

sorry bought two pants and one dresss.

Roberta Davis
9 months ago

Cute stuff!

9 months ago

I always skim these fashion posts but rarely see anything I’d wear so I was surprised to see those great Free People parachute pants. Imma get me some! From reviews over on the Free People site, sounds like most are sizing down a size or 2.

9 months ago

Yes, let’s talk about the LIGHTING in department stores! I was in a Nordstrom Rack this week and nearly had a heart attack when I saw my unclothed self in the mirror. It seems like the most simple sales/marketing tool ever to have better lighting. I always leave dressing rooms with some feelings. 😬

9 months ago
Reply to  Jessie

Hard agree!! I will say the Abercrombie I go to has the most spectacular lighting. You can adjust it from a warm glow, to a Daylight glow, to even kind of a party light situation. It must increase sales because I feel so freaking attractive in there!

🥰 Rusty
9 months ago

I’ve surprisingly enjoyed the last couple of fashion posts!
Gotta say, Em please… it’s not a “jumper” it’s a romper. 🤣 Jumper actually means sweater/cardigan for a lot of countries.
My favourite on you is the white dress – stunning!
You look great in the yellow dress, too, glowy.💛
Not on your nelly would I try a crop top. Eeks!
Lurve dresses with pockets, even thpugh it’s a mind stretch since it’s winter in the southern hemisphere. 🥶

9 months ago
Reply to  🥰 Rusty

Yes, on the “jumper” usage. What’s shown here is either a short jumpsuit or a romper. In North America, a jumper is a sleeveless, collarless dress, worn over a blouse or shirt. Similar to a pinafore, a classic school uniform when I was a kid. The navy blue or white top with the square back collar that’s part of the service dress uniform (Crackerjack) for US Navy enlisted staff is also called a jumper.

🥰 Rusty
9 months ago
Reply to  Sheila

Thanks, Sheila, really interesting!
The actual link item is called a “romper” , not a “jumper”, too.

9 months ago

OMG YES, what is wrong with the lighting at JCrew!? I have had the same thought so many times when in their dressing rooms–do they think I’m going to want to buy anything with this spotlight shining in my eye that makes me look completely washed out? Flatter me a little, and I will buy your clothes. 🙂

9 months ago

great legs!! WHAT ARE YOUR MULES THO????

9 months ago
Reply to  Andrea

Looks like Nisolo’s All-Day Heeled Mules.

9 months ago

i think the real winners here are those legs. they look good with everything! 😉

9 months ago

I think the long shirt dress would have been really versatile and different.

9 months ago

Please go back right now and buy those balloon-y pants and long striped shirt dress! So amazing!

Susan L.
9 months ago

So funny – I say the same thing every time I go into J Crew, which just happens to be right next to Anthro by me. Horrible lighting and it has to be leading to less sales!! Anthro is the opposite, love the lighting there.

Susan Marie
9 months ago

So many cute dresses and other options here! I really appreciate the ones with sleeves for sun protection. Also – Emily you are looking so fit and happy. Have a great summer!