I agree with Anne, OTS tops were everywhere this summer. Even if I could wear one, I wouldn't want to, now that everyone is!
Lisa, I hope you find something you like : )

Wow - Bijou, you have a wonderful collection of clothes!

I've managed to purchase quite a bit but have added very little in the way of true-summer clothes. Mostly basics and essentials, duplicates in high-wear categories (flannel shirt, breton top, chinos). It's still so cold and rainy here, our bulb flowers have *just* started blooming this past week, and summer trends just feel SO irrelevant when I still can't go outside without full-length pants and a jacket. I think we had, like, three? sunny days in April. I'm really enjoying my "transitional" pieces though -- field jacket, cotton cardi, desert boots, etc. Just wearing cotton layers instead of merino layers is pretty exciting right now. I've added two linen dresses, but it's going to be weeks before I can think about wearing them...and I haven't found decent summer shoes to go with them yet. What is up with sandals? They all seem to be various combinations of ugly and uncomfortable. You're *really* lucky you found a pair of shoes that "complete" every outfit you wear them with!!

Oh -- and I don't really ever mall shop. The mall nearest me is dismal so I don't bother. Majority of my purchases have been thrift/consignment/ eBay, and Etsy makers.

Oooh, Gaylene, I see that Tulipe Noir carried Metalicus! I can't wait to shop at those boutiques.

And Shevia, love that top on you! Look how well you wear the crops with that top and oxfords. Of course anyone with hair as gorgeous as yours could wear anything.

Bijou -- what a great wardrobe! And Sharan, love your new blush items, too.

The Cat linked to this woman's blog in Link Love, which I had never seen -- she has a few posts on dressing an adult woman's body. Some of her tips will be familiar to any of us on the forum, but she has a fun post about extravert and introvert clothes at Chicos (linked in the one I link, I think?) and a positive attitude about fashion and aging women with specific advice for shopping stores from Nordstrom's to J. Crew to, well, Chicos and TJMaxx. Her target audience is older than you, Lisa, yet some of the points might be useful anyway.

Seems I've been asleep on the bench, as some trends I'm reading about for the first time in this thread.

The body talk lately is somewhat alienating, personally. How should I interact when women significantly smaller than I am declare certain styles I'm enjoying unwearable for their size? Body dissatisfaction (or wardrobe malaise, for that matter) is so often a vessel for bigger challenges, it makes no sense to invalidate it.

Ruffles are one of the trends I hadn't noticed. I do have a ruffle top, tags still not cut. (Catalog images attached.) When I tried it on at home after buying it, the neckline seemed too high. The deep arm openings would require a clip to pull my bra straps toward the middle of my back, and I didn't know where to buy one. But now, I'm happy with my arms, and thinking about trying the top with cargo pants, or something. Or should I put it back in to circulation? Maybe I'll just go back to sleep.

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Same here. I am trying not to shop, and it's actually really easy because I haven't seen much that I like. Even J. Crew, who I usually love, fell flat for me this spring season. I like to sew, so I've been doing a lot of that lately - that way I can make things as unique as I want!

Karie- I love sewing too , and have never been more inspired to get back into it as I am now . It's high up on my list to get going on .....

Minimalist - you are dead right about body dissatisfaction and wardrobe malaise being a vessel for larger , other issues . The tough part is not letting it spin out of control . I keep reminding myself that most women are too busy focusing on themselves to notice anyone else's body - which is actually not a bad thing . It's like complaining about anything- it' s al relative to your own situation .

Minimalist, that top is so pretty. Those are some elegant, unfussy-looking ruffles. I say, wear it--and I like the idea of wearing it with cargos.
A few years ago at Nordstrom, I got a package of straps to turn a bra into a racer-back, apparently two different ways. It takes some fiddling to get the bra straps adjusted to the right length to pull into the center of the back, but the adaptor straps do work.

Janet's comment about Lucky brand reminded me that while I don't own any of their stuff, I generally am drawn to it when I see it at Nordstrom rack (in the wrong-for-me colors/sizes). Sorry not sorry I love a good boho top, ha!

Checked out the store site and they're having a pretty extensive sale -- and they have a pretty inclusive-seeming size range (to 24W).

Amongst the trends I saw covered shoulders and 2 arms. And solids for you total minimalists. So, progress!

It is obvious I got behind my reading. I'll have to come back this evening and read through all the comments.

I did not like majority of things this season. I don't like ruffles, off the shoulder or very cropped tops. Or too exaggerated sleeves. I don't like 100% polyester or 100% viscose. I don't like see through or things that require special underwear. I don't like most of the colors offered this season. But I still managed to buy arround 20 items during my spring refresh shopping spree (mostly online). But majority of items are just boring essentials. I am still looking for shoes to add some trends to the mix. But evem my wishlist is still empty.

All of this talk and I *still* managed to order a new pair of white shorts and olive linen tee from jcrew yesterday - their extra discount and free shipping got me. When all trends fail, buy stuff you like on sale I guess. My inventory of good shorts is declining as I can't find good replacements for a few favorites that have seen better days so it's a need more than a want.

Oddly enough, I've had a really good season, partly due to loving Loft's offerings a little too much. There are some seasons, like Fall, when their colors put me off completely. But this spring they're killing it. I also tend to fit in their pants and jeans well, so I've been stocking up during their recent 40% off events - I can have a hard time finding pants.

That said, I probably have bought one or two too many pieces with crazy patterns that I should return.

I don't like a lot of the current trends for cold shoulders, bell sleeves. too many ruffles (a flutter sleeve top is okay). I want things to bit a bit boho without being too Coachella (I'm too old for that stuff, anyway.) I do like a lot of the other stuff going on - rose gold, sneakers, crops, and bold florals. I think the vibe has coincided with something of a change in my own style, which is probably why I've gone so nuts.

I'm with you Lisap! Too many shoulder showing tops. I've tried a few open shoulder tops and just don't care for the look on me. And off the shoulder, forget it. Really for both styles, when am I supposed to where this? Most of my days are spent in an office setting.

The good thing about not liking most of the options in stores, and there not being much variety, is that it has forced me to make what I already own work harder. I only picked up 10 items to update my spring capsule wardrobe this season and I have no idea what the summer number will be, but I'm not expecting it to be a big number. At least it's helping me maintain a smaller wardrobe, which has been my goal for years and years and years anyway.

Lisa, I'm with you (and you too, Lisap, to an extent - although it's not really bugging me, not right now at least). I've purchased a handful to things to brighten my wardrobe this spring but the past few weeks have been like a desert - in terms of both interest and purchases. So I've been working harder in my closet, and I take that as a really positive development. I hope it means I will ultimately stay on budget, use more of what I have, and -- if all goes well -- have more money for the Fall/Winter refresh, which is the clothing I enjoy more anyway.

As for body talk, it's difficult. I'm guilty of it. I'm 54 and my body is changing. It's hard not to think about it or -- especially -- to vent my feelings about it here, in this safe space, with women I know will understand. It doesn't matter how much I weigh or if I am large or small, but body changes are difficult to contend with. I think we all get that.

Vivian - I too am appreciating wearing what I have, and I'm using it as a way to downsize my closet and get rid of stuff that I shouldn't hang onto. Every day, I pull out something old to wear, try it on, and if it's a no-go, I keep trying and tossing out until I find something I like. I have not bought a single new top of any kind for spring/summer, and I do admit I wish there was something out there I liked enough to buy, if only to refresh. I bet when and if that happens though, I'll appreciate it all the more .

I totally agree, Lisap. It's fun to refresh, but you can't push it. When it happens, it will be great.

Yes, so much sameness! What's unfortunate is that all the off the shoulder, striped and ruffled tops pale in comparison to what I've seen on designer sites. I'm a fairly classic dresser, but of course I like a trend or two, but I can't seem to find enough variety to create a balanced refresh...at least not yet.

I'm finding the brick and mortar stores have made extremely conservative buys while the great stuff is on line. I feel like on line shopping gives such a low return, I am apt to hold out.

Lisa, I set of skimmed this post initially because I'm never much up on trends, but a few trips to the mall and your words keep coming back to me ... I'm not a high end shopper and never have been, but I always appreciated that stores offered different looks .... Back in the day, I could go to Jacob (still miss Jacob lol) for dressy moderns classics, Gap for casual wear, etc. This season, it's the same in every store! The main variation is the relative quality of the same pieces. Someone mentioned the Bay and I felt almost every label in there had the same things. Even the stores my 8 year old shops at have that same cold shoulder top and striped OTS blouse with the ties!! On the bright side, this season will be good for my bank account ...

In my neck of the woods, all of the B&M stores carry the same stuff. It's been years since I've been able to distinguish one store from another. That's why I shop online.

Since the thread is still alive, I'll report, the jcrew white shorts and "linen" tee did not make the cut. Heck, they didn't even make the try on when it comes to the tee which felt just plain weird (no like linen at all). The shorts where just too short and wide at the leg opening. I ended up realizing that my old loft white shorts were actually better than anything new I've been able to find. And I have a different olive tee already - so no real need for the other.

I braved several mall stores this past weekend to find a grade 6 grad dress for my daughter. This tween age and size is difficult anyway, methinks. But if like my daughter you don't like most florals or anything blush - forget it. Same same everywhere. Finally ended up with a $15 striped skater dress from H&M and some new Converse (guess it runs in the family). She's happy so I'm happy.

I've been doing OK shopping this spring, maybe because I'm running noticeably behind lisap and others in picking up on trends! I've purchased:

- Cropped flares: I just bought my first "real" pair in January after trying on tons of styles but being reluctant to invest for a while and not finding anything I liked at lower price points.
- Block heeled sandals: just purchased last week, although I had been eyeing them for a while. Coincidentally in a muted blush color which works as an interesting nude for me. I didn't even realize blush was trending.
- Two cold-shoulder tops, found after many failures with off-the-shoulder which I like in theory but hate in practice. Both can be worn with a non-convertible bra if I'm careful which I choose--a black bra for the black top, a lower-cut demi-cup for the tank--and the BR printed tank even has bra keeps sewn under the wide straps.
- On a shopping trip/meetup with DonnaF this weekend, I just picked up a 3/4 bell-sleeve jacket topper. I'd been looking for the right bell sleeve and nothing spoke to me, it all felt too boho or poor-quality polyester or impractically long... but this one is just right for my wardrobe, and it surprised me when I was just browsing the petite section idly.

I've bought some other things, but they are in the essential-refreshing or hole-filling category. Five trendy pieces seem to have sated my appetite for the season though. Albeit only 4 distinct trends, and I'm being generous by counting things like cropped flares and block heels. My environment is very casual so I don't see anyone else wearing the same thing.)

I don't mean to nay-say everyone else's shopping woes, because they're definitely valid. For myself, I came in to the season thinking that I'd mostly ignore the trends in favor of refreshing my core wardrobe, and I ended up finding some nice surprise pieces.

I am tired of the potato sack look, and everything looks the same. Or no original ideas they just keep dragging old styles out of the hopper.

I had enough free time to stop into a couple of consignment stores today (Plato's Closet and Style Encore, the Winmark resale chains -- and then a local place which I used to really enjoy). I was BLOWN AWAY by the homogeneity and the poor quality. It was a sea of Loft, Old Navy, skinny jeans and poly blouses as far as the eye could see. I found a dress with a torn seam and a stained pair of pants. WHY, oh why, would I buy a secondhand Loft top for $10 when the retailer runs promos that bring the price of a new one down to $15? And if you're going to bother to curate what's on the rack, why put things for sale with stains and holes? Fast fashion is going to be the death of secondhand. The Goodwills and charity shops are slightly more interesting -- you can still find some dusty luxury hiding on the racks. Anyway, super disappointing. No wonder I do all my shopping online now.