White House Black Market Saint Honore Essential Slim Jeans

white house black market saint honore essential slim jeans review

What I bought: White House Black Market Saint Honore Essential Slim Jeans

What I paid: $78 (ugh, full price)

As I age, it seems like my body composition is…shifting. That’s the only way I can describe it. My weight hasn’t changed much, but the way my clothes fit has. Including my jeans.

On my birthday, I went to Mall of America to make some returns. As I was headed out, I decided to stop in White House Black Market and check out their jeans. I was instantly greeted by a sales person who found me a couple items, escorted me to the dressing room and then held me hostage in the dressing room for two hours. TWO HOURS. I’m assuming I tried on everything in the store.

In the end, I chose a pile of things to buy, then returned almost all of it a week later. White House Black Market has some cute stuff…but they also have some expensive stuff. The only items I kept were two pairs of jeans: the slim style, which I’ll talk about today, and a flare style that I’ll talk about in another post.

Primp Vest with White House Black Market Essential Slim Jeans

Primp Vest with White House Black Market Essential Slim Jeans | What Lindsey Likes

Primp Vest with White House Black Market Essential Slim Jeans | What Lindsey Likes

I’m wearing the jeans here with a vest I bought at a local store called Primp. I’m IN LOVE with it. I saw it on Primp’s Instagram account and then daydreamed about it for two days. I’m wearing it with a light blue/chambray button down from Gap (one of their boyfriend-style shirts) that I’ve had for a few years.

I want to say that I like these jeans…but they stretch generously in the waist. I didn’t take any photos to illustrate it, but let’s just say I could fit at least a half-gallon jug of milk in the waist. I may or may not have tried to do that just to see. It was an empty jug, if that makes this any less weird. It’s probably more weird to think about me wandering around my house for objects I could fit in my waist. Welcome to my world.

Anyway, my point is that the jeans stretch. A LOT. And they do it quickly. I put these on after washing and air-drying them. Within 10 minutes of standing around, they had stretched. No sitting, no lunges, no squats — just standing. Most jeans for me will take an hour or two to stretch, and that’s after doing some sitting. Not the case for these jeans from White House Black Market. The legs didn’t stretch much, though, so there’s that.

When I read the reviews on White House Black Market’s website, the reviews for this pair of jeans were pretty positive…but it looks like White House Black Market has a new color or style of essential slim that has next to no stretch, and everyone complained about how uncomfortable they are. I personally prefer the dark wash of the other jeans better than what I have — mine have some whiskering. I know that some people say whiskering is flattering, but I don’t think that’s true for people with pear-shape proportions.

Old Navy striped turtleneck with White House Black Market Saint Honore Essential Slim Jeans | What Lindsey Likes

And one more outfit, this time with a striped turtleneck from Old Navy and a leopard print scarf from Express.

I bought these jeans in the regular length — they’re way too long for me, so I roll them under.

I guess I’m on the fence with these jeans. They stretch so much that it makes it sort of hard to wear them on days where I’ll be really active. For example, I wore them while on vacation with my mom and was constantly pulling them up and readjusting my shirts with them. When I’ve worn them to work, it wasn’t so bad because I was mostly sitting or standing at my desk all day.

I do like the way they make my legs look — they are a skinny style but aren’t skin-tight around my calves. I could have the waist taken in, but have had a couple bad experiences with that.

Next time, I think I’d buy a pair and bring them home for a wear-test. Somehow I thought that because they were more expensive than my regular jeans, they wouldn’t stretch as much as others. Stupid, Lindsey! I’ve learned my lesson this time.


What I Found: Express Cardigans

Cardigans are a wardrobe staple for me. Mostly because I bought a ridiculous number of sleeveless blouses during my first few years out of college, thinking I’d be the uber professional person who wears jackets all the time. Since most of my jackets go unworn, I need something else to cover my arms and prevent me from freezing in the office. Enter cardigans.

Finding the perfect cardigan is hard. Years and years ago, I bought four or five of the exact same cardigan — in different colors — from Ann Taylor. At the time, I thought they fit me really well, and they were on sale, so I bought one in nearly every color. I also stupidly bought a bunch of dry-clean-only cardigans from a different store. I sweat a lot, so I basically got one wear out of each cardigan before needing to take it to the cleaners. Stupid! I’ve gotten smarter about the cleaning instructions for all my clothes. Conveniently, I also don’t sweat as much. So there’s that.

I bought a few of the Eversoft boyfriend cardigans from Gap a few years ago. They were nearly perfect — great length, really soft, non-dry-clean. Unfortunately I wore them ALL THE TIME, so the color has started to fade, especially on the black one. I have a couple black cardigans I bought from Target five or six years ago that I love, but they were clearance purchases. The store hasn’t brought back either of those styles, so I must have been the only person who loved them.

A few weeks ago, I decided I wanted to try wearing flared jeans again. I went to a bunch of stores, which meant I looked at things other than jeans at a bunch of stores too. While in Express, I tried on a few cardigans and loved all of them. In the end, I settled on this ribbed cascading-front cardigan. I bought it in black (below) and white.

Express open front cardigan | What Lindsey Likes

The length is perfect — it easily covers my bum if I were wearing leggings. It’s not at all clingy, which is a plus in my book. The arms look tight, and they are, but there is plenty of give — I’m able to wear these cardigans over long-sleeve button down shirts. If you wanted to make it slightly more form-fitting through the body, you could easily belt it.

Express open front cardigan | What Lindsey Likes

I was also lucky enough to find a black cardigan that is identical to this oatmeal cardigan I wore here.

j crew factory chambray with faux leather leggings | whatlindseylikes

I love the oatmeal one and had been kicking myself for not getting it in black. I was able to pick it up for less than $15. I had a coupon on top of that, so it was even cheaper! It’s so cozy and comfortable, yet it’s also lightweight so it’s not too warm. I wore it with an Old Navy t-shirt dress a couple weeks ago — it was perfect.

Speaking of Old Navy, I have quite a few cardigans from there as well. Most of them are boyfriend style, meaning they’re really long and not clingy. I bought several on clearance a few years ago in a variety of colors. I’ve worn all of them (yay!), but I don’t wear them often (I wore the cobalt blue one to a wedding I attended in February). There are very few shirts that work well with them — the shirts have to be really long and relatively shapeless. That sounds cute, I’m sure. To balance out the proportions, they almost always have to be worn with skinny jeans or pants. They work well with some dresses, as long as they’re belted. They aren’t the worst things I’ve ever purchased, but also not the greatest.

What I Bought: Old Navy Linen Boyfriend Tank

This month’s weather has been all over the place — last week we were in the 70s; this week it’s been dreary, rainy and cold. I’m pretty sure we had snow somewhere in there too. As we get closer to the month of May, I know that summer will eventually be here! And it makes me super excited for summer clothing.

Old Navy boyfriend tank and white Express shorts | whatlindseylikes

I had a stockpile of Old Navy rewards certificates collecting dust in my purse, so I bought a few summer-friendly items on a recent trip to Old Navy. This Old Navy linen-blend boyfriend tank top was 40% off at the time, but looks like it’s full-price online (today, anyway).

Old Navy boyfriend tank and white Express shorts | whatlindseylikes

This tank is oversized, hence the “boyfriend” style. The arm holes are bigger than I’d like, and the body is maybe a tad too big, but the next smaller size somehow seemed considerably smaller. Plus, when it’s hot, the last thing I want is something clinging to me. I’ll still have to wear a clingy tank under this one, but you won’t see sweat through this breezy tank.


These white shorts are from Express. I love Express shorts (Ann Taylor shorts are another favorite). They come in tons of colors and you can usually get them at a decent price. I bought a super cute pair of light pink shorts last summer and wore them basically every single weekend until the temps changed.

Old Navy boyfriend tank and white Express shorts | whatlindseylikes

Dig’s ready for warmer weather too — we love sitting on the deck on warm afternoons…for about 10 minutes, then he’s over it and ready to go back into the air conditioned house.

I’m wearing mega cheap Old Navy flip flops, but this outfit could easily be dressed up with better shoes and a cute clutch. And hiding your bra straps would take it up a notch too. Clearly I wasn’t uber concerned with that in these photos.

Sorry for going almost two weeks without blogging. I’d like to have a respectable excuse, like illness or heartache or an internet ban. But no. The honest excuse is Game of Thrones (we just finished season 3 — don’t tell me anything!) and Sons of Anarchy. Dan and I are obsessed.

Pinterest in My Closet: Thinking Spring

Overall, this winter really hasn’t been that bad in Minnesota. We had quite a few days that were warmer than normal, and the snowfall has been minimal. The month of February was mega cold, but March has been decent.

Yay for spring!

I found this adorable picture on Pinterest that looks so springy and fun. It’s from the blog http://trendytaste.com.

Mint green is the perfect color for spring. You can see my take on the Pinterest outfit below.

old navy marled sweater and express flared jeans| whatlindseylikesThe marled mint green sweater I’m wearing is from Old Navy (last spring). It’s super comfortable — it’s not scratchy or overly warm. If you’re looking for a moderately priced mint sweater, Old Navy has a few options: cardigan, honeycomb knit, lightweight v-neck. If you like spending more money, check out J. Crew: Merino wool Tippi and Tilly crewneck. If a sweater isn’t up your alley, there are tons of necklaces with mint green. J. Crew, J. Crew Factory and Bauble Bar are a few of my favorites.

I copied the Pinterest photo’s flared jeans and brown shoes…I would have worn brown boots of some kind, but my jeans are way too short! So instead I went with these brown Anne Klein iFlex Briona flats. You might recognize them from my post with the black pair. Yes, I bought both pairs, but haven’t decided if I’m keeping the brown ones. While I don’t wear a lot of heels, I do appreciate the way they look. If I were going to wear heels with this outfit, I think any of these options would be super cute: Giuseppe Zanotti, Style & Co., Burberry Prorsum, Finlay, and Guess.

The Pinterest blogger paired a gold watch and a bright yellow purse. I wanted to keep the accessories minimal, so I went with this striped scarf I got at J. Crew (or J. Crew Factory…I can’t remember) a few years ago. I very rarely wear it — I have a hard time finding tops that are the right color combination. This mint sweater works perfectly. Now that it’s March and everyone is in full-on spring fever mode, I think I can wear the sweater.

Speaking of spring, its arrival will mean that I can wear my flared jeans more often. For the majority of the winter, I’ve had to wear skinny jeans that’ll easily tuck into my snow boots. I’m so sick of my outfits being dictated by the weather! I have so many cute shoes that I’m dying to wear, but they can’t handle the disgusting salt that’s covering all road and sidewalk surfaces across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. On weekends, I rarely wear cute tops anymore since I know I’ll have my long, heavy duty winter coat on the whole time. While this does mean I can wear workout/yoga pants almost everywhere I go, it’s time to get back in the swing of socially acceptable clothes again.

These jeans are from Express from several years ago — they have held together unbelievably well. Almost no fading or fraying. I haven’t bought flared jeans in a few years, so I can’t tell you for sure where to go. Loft doesn’t have them, so I’d probably try Gap’s Long & Lean or any flared options from Express. Old Navy doesn’t look like it has “flared” jeans, but some of their bootcut options look almost flared…so it depends on your level of desired flare.

old navy marled mint sweater and flare jeans | whatlindseylikes

I hope the spring weather is making it’s way to wherever you live! I’m so ready for winter to be over!

Pinterest in My Closet: Coral Pants

Sometimes I buy things that go unworn for a very, very long time. Lately I’ve been more intentional about returning things I don’t love right away. These coral jeans from Express are a perfect example of how I used to be. To add to the ridiculousness, I also bought them in cobalt blue. I ordered them online in an optimistically too-small size. I exchanged them at a nearby store, knowing that they still weren’t quite the best look for my body. But dangit, I wanted bright colored jeans. I think I’ve had them for three years now, and I’ve probably worn them less than five times total between both pairs. Ridiculous!

But I’m trying to change all that.

So this is really like a Closet Misfits and Pinterest Shopping post all in one.

I found a really cute photo on Pinterest with a black and white striped shirt, coral pants, basic brown sandals and a coral and green statement necklace. I’d add the photo here, but the link doesn’t work, so you can visit my Pinterest board to find it. I thought I’d try to recreate the look, but unfortunately my black and white striped shirts aren’t the right fit to compliment the jeans.

striped tee and coral jeans | whatlindseylikes

I don’t think the outfit looks horrible in this photo, but all the other photos were pretty bad, which tells me that these pieces don’t work well together! I love this shirt, though. It was on sale at my nearest Old Navy for only $2 last spring. I bought it in almost every color and wore one of them at least once a week all spring, summer and fall. I’m excited to be able to put them back into my rotation soon! They are the softest shirts, and they go with almost every pair of pants/shorts that I have — except for these and any other skinny style.

striped tee and coral jeans | whatlindseylikes

My necklace is another attempt at layering. This combo is OK. Maybe a little busy — probably should have made the teal necklace a little closer to my neck.

layered necklaces | whatlindseylikes

I wasn’t ready to give up on the coral jeans just yet. I know they’d work with any of my J. Crew tunics (another post), but since I can’t wear those every day, I figured I better find something else. So I went with an item I haven’t worn a lot lately, but that was a wardrobe favorite a few years ago. I had tried it in my winter wedding options post, but it wasn’t part of the winning look.

black, white and coral | whatlindseylikes

Do you like how Digger is staring longingly out the sliding door?!

I used to ONLY buy Express jeans. As I’ve gotten older, I haven’t felt like they have been as flattering or forgiving as they used to. I’ll pretend it’s that the quality of the newer styles isn’t as good, but I think we know that’s probably not the issue. These jeans make my bum look horrific. Maybe my bum actually is horrific, but I’m not ready to accept that as a possibility right now. In order to wear these jeans, I have to wear something that’s guaranteed to keep my behind hidden. Luckily I have quite a few longer shirts, so I should be able to wear these — and the blue ones — more often than I have.

black, white and coral | whatlindseylikes

The pant legs are crazy long, so I have to roll them — under/inside — in order to wear them. Since I’m impatient, they typically end up being different lengths and I walk around all day looking strangely off-balance.

One more shot with Digger, just for fun.

black, white and coral | whatlindseylikes

What I’m Wearing: Hotlanta

I’m super excited about my upcoming trip to Atlanta to visit my brother. I haven’t seen him since Christmas, so I’m looking forward to this Quick-kid family reunion!

Unfortunately it looks like it’ll be raining a majority of my time there, so Hotlanta will really just be Atlanta. We’re trying to think of alternative places to spend our time. We’re considering Nashville (a place I’ve never been but would love to see), somewhere along the Gulf (I’d love to see a beach!) or somewhere along the ocean (again, beach, yes!). Apparently it doesn’t matter where we go — none of the locales we’re considering is expected to be sunny any of the days I’ll be there. The important thing is that I’m leaving the state of Minnesota! (No offense, Minnesota.)

Oh, and that I’ll see my brother.

Since the temps won’t be warm and the sun won’t be shining, I’m wearing mostly long sleeves and pants, with optional layers to add or remove as necessary. I should warn you, you’re about to see a lot of tunics from J. Crew.

At the airport, to Atlanta.

j crew tunic and INC jeggings | whatlindseylikes

Top: J. Crew tunic (old); pants: Style & Co. leggings (old); scarf: Express (super old)

My goal for this outfit is 100% comfort. I leave Minneapolis in the late afternoon and arrive in Atlanta in the evening, so very few people will see me. Honestly, if airports and planes weren’t super gross, I’d just wear my pajamas. But since airports and planes are covered in germs, I’m wearing regular clothes. A classic white button-down and stretchy jeans, with a leopard print scarf is a safe bet. These shoes will be easy to take on and off, but it means I’d have to go barefoot through security…so I might change that up. I’ll probably bring a grey oversized cardigan to keep me warm if necessary, and that could be used to take a power nap on the plane.

In Atlanta.Or Nashville. Or Florida. Or Eastern Georgia.

j crew factory tunic, express cardigan, old navy rock star camo pants | whatlindseylikes

This outfit will be perfect for walking around town. The cardigan will keep me warm if we’re standing next to a cool ocean breeze or in the shade near some country music landmark. If it’s warm, I can ditch the cardigan and roll up my chambray’s sleeves. The pants are comfortable, and these shoes were made for walking.

j crew chambray and old navy camo pants | whatlindseylikes

Cardigan: Express (mega old); chambray: J. Crew Factory (available now and on sale!); pants: Old Navy Rock Star side-zip camo pants (old); shoes: Anne Klein iFlex Briona flats; necklaces: Forever 21 (old) and J. Crew Factory (sold out)

j crew factory tunic and ann taylor ponte leggings | whatlindseylikes

Here’s another outfit that maximizes comfort. I truly love these Ann Taylor pants!

j crew tribal tunic, ann taylor ponte leggings and old navy vest | whatlindseylikes

Top: J. Crew Factory tunic (sold out); vest: Old Navy vest (practically my favorite clothing purchase of all time); pants: Ann Taylor zip pocket ponte leggings; shoes: Ann Klein Briona flats; necklace: Forever 21 (mega old)

I have a few other options that are more basic — three-quarter-sleeve tees with straight leg jeans. Nothing exciting enough to photograph and post!

At the airport, to Minneapolis.

coral j crew factory tunic and INC leggings | whatlindseylikes

This outfit is mostly about comfort. I do love my J. Crew Factory tunic — who doesn’t love coral?! And the Old Navy vest will be easy for carrying all my airport necessities without fumbling through my purse. I’ll probably use the grey cardigan (not pictured) that I could use on the flight to Atlanta for my flight back too.

j. crew factory tunic - airport style | whatlindseylikes

Top: J. Crew Factory tunic (sold out); vest: Old Navy military vest; pants: Style & Co. leggings (old); shoes: BOC Averie; necklace: Forever 21 (old) and J. Crew Factory (sold out)

I have to tell you how much I love these sandals. I actually owned a pair a few years ago that I LOVED. They are so crazy comfortable and perfect for trips that involve a lot of walking. I wore my last pair into the ground, so I bought a new pair. These are slightly different — the old pair had an adjustable strap around the heel. The new pair has an adjustable strap across the top of the foot. I miss the heel strap. This unadjustable heel strap pushes my feet a little farther forward than I’d prefer which makes me slightly worried about the potential for a blister…I guess I’ll find out after this trip!!

On a side note: I’m SO excited for the amazing spring weather we’re having. I’m even more excited that it stays lighter for later, so I can take blog photos almost any day of the week now. Yay for better lighting and prettier blog photos!

Life Last Week: Toastmasters Speech

I’ve mentioned a couple times that I’m in Toastmasters — trying to turn my total inability to speak in front of groups into something passable. I had my first speech in early December. I spoke about how I made my decision about where to go to college, which was heavily influenced by the Olive Garden. Mmm, garlic breadsticks…

So far Toastmasters has been a good move for me. I’m sure that makes me a total nerd, but that’s nothing new! The repetition of having to speak in front of people — even when it’s just for roles like Timer and Ah Counter (yeah, those are actual meeting roles every week) — has been helpful. I’m trying to maximize my speaking opportunities whenever I can, like volunteering to be the group representative at work meetings. I haven’t done the best job of pushing myself when it comes to actual speeches, though, so that’s my new goal. The next Toastmasters year starts in either June or July, so my goal is to give as any speeches as possible between now and then.

Originally my second speech was scheduled for mid-March, but someone had to cancel their scheduled speech for last week’s meeting, so I jumped in. My speech chronicled my history with headaches — what medications I’ve used and what treatments are working best (cupping!).

Overall, my speech was good. I didn’t use my notes at all, which made me super proud of myself…but my conclusion super sucked. Somehow I thought that when I was giving the speech on Tuesday, a new and better conclusion would just magically come to me. That makes no sense and didn’t happen.

I’m definitely not as good as I want to be yet: I talk too fast, I haven’t figured out how to casually recover when I miss something and I move my legs around while the rest of my body stays still. I also make the same hand gestures over and over. While they’re really great hand gestures, they get a little old after five-and-a-half minutes.

One of the best things about having a blog — other than getting to write about whatever I want at any time — is that it gives me TONS of material for speeches. Well, I have yet to do a speech about my favorite makeup or new pants. But my non-fashion-y posts typically work well for some speech inspiration. I’m pretty sure my third speech will be centered around why everyone should leave anti-dancers alone.

But since I’m all about the clothes, the second most important prep for my speeches is choosing my outfit. Here’s what I wore for my last speech.

j crew factory chambray with faux leather leggings | whatlindseylikes

I got this J. Crew Factory chambray tunic in December during one of their sales-on-top-of-sales sales. I really, really love J. Crew’s tunics. They are long enough to cover my bum when I want to wear leggings, but not dress-length long. The leggings are from Target. My oatmeal cardigan is from Express. Do you like my socks?

j crew factory chambray with faux leather leggings | whatlindseylikes

I didn’t wear these socks — even though they are crazy comfortable and warm (from Gap). Instead, I wore a pair of leopard print flats.

OK, I feel better about getting something fashion-y in there.