Jun 092017

Store Name: J. Jill

Size Range: Misses 2-18, Petite 0-18, Tall 4-18, Plus 16-28

Shoes: Yes, but I can’t seem to find wide widths on the site

Trendy: No.  Understated elegance (my words)

Overall Rating (out of 10): 9

Last week we went retro/Goth with Torrid. Now we’re swinging back to the more classic side of the pendulum. This one should be easy for me. J. Jill is my favorite clothing store at the moment. Actually, it has been for the past two years or so. It’s classic, but not too classic that it steps over the line to Frumpy & Dumpy. I love their clean lines. And although I will never look like their willowy models, I love the way I look in their clothes.

The Clothing
OBH on Easter 2017

This is me in my J. Jill “Favorite 3/4 Sleeve Dress.” It’s actually still available in the sale section for $59.99. Super comfy, washes like a dream and I always get tons of compliments while wearing it. I’m wearing a Petite Large.

J. Jill has a really nice selection of classic pieces. You can find dresses, tops, pants, shoes, sleepwear and accessories. Most things come in all their different size ranges although, as usual, if you can fit a regular misses size range you have the most options. I have found the quality of the clothing to be very good and their customer service to be unparalleled. I ordered a dress for a special occasion. Two weeks later it was still in the land of the missing. I called. Turns out the carrier lost it. J. Jill replaced it immediately without charging me, gave me a free, two-day shipping upgrade to make sure I got it in time for my event and a prepaid shipping label to return the first one if/when it eventually arrived. It did show up, a week too late. In this day and age of no or limited customer service, I was, quite honestly, amazed.

Do You Like Linen?

If you’re a linen lover, you’re in for a treat. They have a lot of it in the summer. Personally, I don’t care for linen as every linen item I’ve ever owned has ended up looking like an unmade bed or a pile of laundry in five minutes or less. I have not tried J. Jill’s linen YET. I may in the future. But if you love linen and their styling, you’re in for a treat!


The clothing is pricey, at least by my definition of pricey. Most basic dresses are in the $89-$99 range. Sometimes, it seems like everything is in that range. Some items are considerably more. As much as I love this company and their clothing, I only purchase during sales or when I have some hot coupons. Preferably both! And while I don’t encourage credit card shopping, if you get their card you will get a percentage off your first order and 5% off every order you place after that, even if there are already sales applied.

Beautiful linen shirt from J. Jill

The Essential Linen Shirt. Great summertime piece if you love linen. $79 Reg. Price ($89 in Plus) You can choose this lovely print or from a selection of solid colors.


J. Jill has a full range of misses sizes, up through 18, which is unusual these days. Most regular sizing goes to a 14 or 16 and then they have you paying extra for the plus sizes. Great for the woman who just needs a smidge more room. Plus sizes are about $10 more. This is the only thing I don’t like about J. Jill. Misses, petite and tall are the same price. Granted, they all top out at a size 18 and the plus range at a 28, but a tall 18 takes considerably more fabric than a petite 18 does and they are the same price.

As to fit, I wear a 14-16 almost everywhere and I wear the Petite Large at J. Jill. It fits perfectly, like it was custom-made just for yours truly. I have never purchased shoes, so I can’t say much about them. If my experience with them is indicative of the entire line, you should be able to order your standard size without going up or down. I have two or three dresses, several pairs of pants, a skirt and a selection of tops and I feel they fit true to size. My one slight gripe is that their petite pants are a wee bit long on occasion. I have one pair that actually had to be shortened. I double-checked that I ordered petites and I did. Measured the inseam at 29″. Ummm, no, that’s not exactly petite.

Shipping, Returns and Exchanges

Standard shipping (4-7 days) starts at $5.95 and goes up to $19.95 depending on the price of your order. For $8 extra you can get guaranteed two-day delivery. For an extra $15, if you order before 3 p.m. eastern time, you can have your order in your hands the next day. Good to know if you need something NOW.

Exchanges are a phone call away at 1-800-343-5700 (7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday). Your new item is sent immediately. Then you send your unwanted item(s) back the same way you would return something to the company.

You can return anything purchased online to a J. Jill retail store if you have one in your area. You should bring your clothing item, the payment method used and the receipt that came in the package.

Beautiful layered tank dress from J. Jill

This may be my next summer dress if they run a HOT sale. It’s $119 in that print. Wearever Layered Tank Dress

If you want to return directly to the company, you use the Smart Post return label which is in all shipped packages. It is postage-paid; however, once all is said and done, J. Jill will charge your original payment method $6.95 for the return shipping. Full details can be found on the web site.

Special Deals

J. Jill runs sales at least three times a week. Once you get on the email list, you will be advised when there is a sale. These sales are usually a percentage off a certain class of items, like 30% off dresses or 20% off pants and jeans. There are online coupons out there. My first stop for online coupons is Retail Me Not.

My Overall Impression

As I said at the beginning of this review, I love J. Jill. Yes, I like stores like Torrid for fun clothing but. . . I seem to always come back to J. Jill. I think I wore out two pair of their wool-blend pants this winter! Classic but not stuffy, with a soft easy drape, very easy to wear, quality fabrics. . . I could go on and on. What’s not to love? If you have a retail store in your area and you like this type of clothing, go and try a few things on. I think you’ll be glad you did.

See ya next time!

Jun 072017

Do you have a problem with shoes? Many women do. High heels are all the rage but, sadly, my days of wearing hot hoochie shoes are long gone. Even if they fit properly, I’d break my leg before the second step! Big fat feet can be a problem.

swollen summer feet

This is my left foot only HALF way swollen during the summer. 🙁

My Personal Tale of Woe

I have pretty straight size 9 medium feet. I can hear you now, “Those are NOT big fat feet!” Well, they are 3-5 months out of the year because my size 9 mediums swell in the summer. Horribly. Balloons. Can we spell G-O-O-D-Y-E-A-R  B-L-I-M-P, boys and girls? This has been going on since I was 9 years old and I’ve never quite gotten used to it. I have to keep a couple of pairs of wide or wide-wide summer shoes for when the feet get huge. Barefoot doesn’t work for everything.

Your Feet Change

Would you be amazed if I told you many of my size 4 friends have wide feet? It’s really not totally related to weight. Did you know that women’s feet grow and shrink with weight loss, childbirth and age? They do. Maybe you didn’t always have big fat or wide feet. Here’s a few ways they can change.

If you gain weight, you may need bigger shoes. I’ve been told by more than a few doctors that if you gain significant weight, you develop fat pads on the bottoms of your feet, on the sides of your feet and even in your toes. Conversely, if you lose a lot of weight your shoe size may decrease.

Childbirth causes many changes, including foot size. Sometimes, your feet shrink back and sometimes they don’t.

Aging can sometimes give you bigger feet, too. So if you were a size 7 in high school, there’s a good chance that life grabbed you by the big toe and you are no longer a size 7 now.

Cute Shoes

Let’s face it, all women want cute shoes, even those of us with big fat feet. When I was a young woman, wide shoes were definitely not cute. Now? You have a gazillion choices. And, yes, even hot hoochie heels if you can wear them! The choices are really endless and they are readily available in most places.

Brannock devices are accurate for foot measuring

Brannock Device. This is the most accurate way to get your correct foot size.

Know Your Size

In a moment, I’m going to give you a whole bunch of links where you can get really cute shoes in many sizes and widths. But before you order, do you know your accurate shoe size? Don’t laugh. Experts claim that many women actually don’t know their correct shoe size or, if they do, they stuff their feet into smaller shoes. Oh, the pain!

Find a Brannock device (see pic), you know, that thing you stick your feet in and move the top and side sliders until it fits your foot? Make sure your foot is not squeezed and you leave yourself some toe room. Have a shoe professional measure you, if possible. Nobody sees the size of your shoes so even if it’s a number you don’t like, who’s gonna notice?

Now Let’s Go Shopping

Now that you know the correct size, let’s go shopping! One of the very best places to get wide and/or large shoes is Woman Within. You can also get the shoes at Roamans or Jessica London (same parent company). They have it all. Cute sandals, high heels, pumps, gym shoes, you name it. And most of it comes in sizes 7 through 12, Medium, Wide and Wide-Wide. Check the item description of each pair to make sure the shoes you want come in your size. They also have their own brand called Comfortview. I’ve owned many. The comfort is real.

Woman Within
Jessica London

Remember me telling you about Simply Be and JD Williams a few weeks back? They have lots of cute shoes, too, and most of them come in wide width. Some come in extra wide. When you shop from the USA websites, the sizes have been converted from the British.

Simply Be
JD Williams

Just this past Friday, we talked about Torrid. They have really, really, REALLY cute shoes, but in wide width only. And for those of you with Barney Rubble feet, they come in sizes 6 and 6.5 WIDE, very difficult to find in most places.


Here are a few more places to look. As always, check out the item description carefully for each item you’re interested in. Many large retailers get their shoes from different manufacturers. Look for notes that say something like, “Runs small. Order up a half-size.” (Or a whole size!) And read the reviews from folks who have already purchased the shoes. That’s where you find the real scoop.

Amazon has everything, including shoes. . . tons and tons of shoes.
Limited styles but nice shoes available from Lane Bryant and Catherines.
QVC has many name brands in wide widths.
Same for Home Shopping Network.
And don’t forget the monstrous online shoe store Zappos.

The Bottom Line

If you are a shoe diva with big fat feet, you no longer have to settle for ugly shoes or basic styles. Many brick and mortar retailers are now carrying wide-width and larger size shoes. Online, the sky’s the limit! As always, once you find a brand that fits well, stick with it. Now hit the dance floor!

See ya next time!

Jun 022017

Store Name: Torrid

Size Range: 00 through 6 in Torrid sizing, which is standard sizing 10 to 30

Shoes: Yes, in US sizes 6 – 13 Wide Width Only (Sizes 6 and 6.5 wide are very difficult sizes to find!)

Trendy: VERY

Torrid Strappy Peplum Halter Tank Top

This is the Strappy Peplum Halter Tank Top. Yes, you CAN wear this. It’s VERY flattering. Reg. Price $42.90

Overall Rating (out of 10): 9

Torrid is owned by the same company that owns Hop Topic, so that should give you an idea. Yes, it’s young, but please don’t stop reading yet. The clothing is goth, hippy, retro, current and a lot of fun. I was almost afraid to go into the one at our mall, but all the gals love me and show me what’s new every time I walk in.

The Clothing

Torrid has everything from undies and shoes on up to coats in the winter. You can get tops and dresses that harken back to the ‘60s. Like a good moto jacket? They have them. Need some new jeans? Lots and lots of styles and fits. And you can get extra short and extra long, too! Shoes are available in what they call a “true wide width” which they claim ensures that you never have to size up again. I’m using their words as I can’t wear that width. This is one time that I detest my more medium-width feet as the shoes are really cute!

Torrid Ravenclaw Sweater

Me in my Ravenclaw sweater from Torrid, sadly not available at the moment but KEEP CHECKING! (They have the other houses.)

The Collections (Pop Culture)

This, I feel, is what sets Torrid apart from some other clothiers. If you click on the “Pop Culture” tab on the website, you will see branded merchandise for all the latest films and characters. Right now, Wonder Woman is hot. They have a lot of things like Beauty & The Beast, Harry Potter, Dr. Who and more. And if you think these items are more for kids, check me out in my Ravenclaw sweater. 😉 And you get a clear shot of Jabba the Gut as I don’t have my Spanx on. LOL I should note that this merchandise is website only. They don’t put it in the stores because it sells out too fast and creates customer upset.


Torrid used to be a standard 1X, 2X, 3X plus-sized store. However, in talking to the folks there, they told me that smaller girls were coming in with their plus-size friends and complained about the clothes not being available in their size. They were encouraged to write to the company. It must have worked as they expanded the line out both ends. They now carry from a Torrid size 00 which is a 10, up through a Torrid size 6 which is a 30. Nice, wide size range to fit a LOT of different women.


I think their items run true to size. Most of my clothing from Torrid is a size 1 or a 14-16. Now knowing that all manufacturers do not size the same way, I have a few pieces that are not. I have one top cut huge which is a Torrid size 0 and one which is cut tighter which is a Torrid size 2. If you have a Torrid in your area, go try on a few things to get a feel for their sizing.

Shipping, Returns and Exchanges

Torrid has no catalog. Online purchases carry a $6 standard shipping fee in the U.S. APO/FPO addresses carry a $15 flat rate. Express options are available at a higher price.

You can exchange and/or return freely if you have a Torrid store near you, even if you purchased it from the website. Clearance sales are final.

If you return or exchange directly to the company, the postage is on you. It takes 2-4 weeks to process the return back to your original form of payment. There is more detailed information on the website way down at the bottom.

Torrid's Wonder Woman Reversible Dress

This is one of my favorites, the Wonder Woman reversible skater dress! Reg. Price $68.90

Special Deals

There are coupons all over the web for Torrid. Check your favorite online discount site. Mine is Retail Me Not. Get on the mailing list and you will get notified of sales, special offers and, yes, coupons. They frequently offer $30 off a $75 sale or $50 off a $125 sale. Once you’re on their mailing list, you will get occasional style books with these coupons inside, but they’re often at the top of the emails you receive, too.

My Overall Impression

I love Torrid! Yes, some may think it a little young, but I, for one, do NOT choose to dress Frumpy & Dumpy. I don’t wear dresses cut up to Kansas or shirts down to my breakfast, but I do like young-themed, kickier clothing. I’m very happy with everything I’ve gotten from them and the best-fitting jeans for me come from Torrid.

If you like more classic clothing, stay tuned next Friday when I review something that may be more to your taste. But if you like something a little different, Torrid is at least worth a look.

See ya next time!