Elie Tahari for Kohl’s

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Honestly, I don’t shop at Kohl’s so I was hesitant about doing this post. It’s not that I don’t like it. I just don’t have an opinion because I actually forget about it. (I used to get Soffe shorts there—miss you Soffe shorts—in high school and college but that is about the extent of my Kohl’s shopping.) 

Anyway, Elie Tahari recently released a collection for Kohl’s. It’s hard to get a good feel for the products based on the photos on Kohl’s website and I was wary because designer collaborations for lower-end retailers have left a bad taste in mouth over the past few years. I think Target’s collaborations used to be higher quality—or at least the items were priced at a level that made sense given the quality. With all that in mind, I decided to visit Kohl’s to try on what I could from the Elie Tahari collection to give you an idea of whether it’s worth your time. 

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The first thing I tried on was this Ribbed Funnel Neck Sweater ($48 from $64, also available in cream and gray). I really loved this. The fabric was substantial and soft and the style is on-trend for fall. I wore this with the Scuba Mesh Leggings ($37.50 from $50). These were the only pants left in my size so I’m wearing them in all the photos. I really wanted to try these sweatpants ($37) too but oh well! The Scuba Mesh Leggings are available in longs on the website—you can see here that the regular length is a tad short for me, though I like when pants hit me right at or above the ankle. I think it’s flattering with flats. These were very comfortable. They are thick and opaque with a flattering midrise. 

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This NYC sweater ($45 from $60) got some attention when Kate Bosworth and Ashley Tisdale wore it. It’s cute—I like the slouchy fit—but it’s overpriced. 

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I was most curious about the faux suede Motorcycle Jacket ($75 from $100). It’s also available in cream. If Kohl’s is charging $100 for a faux suede jacket, it better be good. It’s pretty good. The faux suede is nice enough to fool someone. It wasn’t a great fit on me (the sleeves were too short) and I wish they’d had the cream one in-store. I would have loved to see that one on. 

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The Ombre Convertible Cardigan ($66 from $88) is interesting. I loved the fabric. Even though it’s acrylic, it felt like wool or a wool-blend. If you’re allergic to wool, this is a great sweater option for you. The detachable scarf is fun. 

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This is the Textured Cardigan Sweater ($66 from $88). This entire outfit would be perfect for a casual workplace (I’m also wearing the Draped Mixed Media Top, $36, below). Again, I found the quality of this sweater to be very good. 

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The Draped Mixed Media Top ($36 from $48) was my favorite piece. It’s available in black, blue/black, cream/white and gray/black. The soft jersey sleeves are cut very long which is always a happy surprise for me. The back has a slight drape to it. One annoyance: the chiffon/charmeuse combination is ripe for wrinkling (as you can see). Still, this would be great for a business casual wardrobe (ponte pants + jacket + pumps) or for the weekend (black ripped jeans + sneakers). 

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This Chenille Sheath Dress ($58 from $78) is pretty but the print is a bit too fussy for my taste. With the right accessories, though, this could be really chic. I think it would look good with a sleek ponytail, black tights, wedge boots and a trench for winter. I was a fan of the longer hemline. It didn’t quite reach my knees, but still—sweater dresses are usually mini dresses on me. 

To sum it up: I really liked it. I was surprised by the fabric quality and the versatility of the clothes. I didn’t buy anything, but I’m considering it—especially the draped mixed media top and the funnel neck sweater (I love turtlenecks). I think Kohl’s clothing really needs to be tried on—I would never have considered some of these items if I went by their website product photos. The photos appear blurry unless you enlarge them and they don’t show some of the crucial angles of the clothing (one sweater has a pleated back but the only photo is head on). Anyway, I’m going to be more mindful about thinking about Kohl’s as an affordable clothing source. If you need inexpensive business casual separates, you should definitely give it a look. 

To see the full collection, click here. Get an additional 15% off your purchase today with code SEPTYES15. I wore size S in each item shown. 

This post was sponsored by ShopStyle in collaboration with Kohl’s, but the items included are things that I independently chose based on my personal preferences. I did not receive any clothing, gift cards, etc., in exchange for this post. 

Very excellent sweater options from J.Crew Factory (especially bottom left).

TOP:

BOTTOM:

This turtleneck tunic from Gap ($65) looks perfect. Take 40% off with code SHOP

Last Call marked down this Line cardigan to about $83 (using promo code EXTRA40) from $199. 

I love this collarless faux leather sleeve blazer from LOFT. It’s available in regular and tall sizes. It’s $128. 

I love this collarless faux leather sleeve blazer from LOFT. It’s available in regular and tall sizes. It’s $128. 

keeliraye asked: Hi Jaclyn! While I really want to be online booking a trip to the islands for the upcoming winter, I really need to be looking for a pair of boots. The weather man says this is supposed to be the worst winter in history, and on top of hating winter--I have perpetually cold feet. Can you help me find something stylish? And versatile? I like the look of Sorel, but don't know if I really want to be stuck with the snow boot look all winter? Thanks in advance!

If you like Sorel, Sorel’s Slimboot ($180) is an EXCELLENT option for you. It’s much more sleek than their other styles and still features a waterproof shell, knit lining and a rubber tread. Sorel’s Toronto boot is nice too ($180). It has a small wedge heel. Also check out these two pairs: the Conquest ($220) and the Winter Fancy Tall II ($190). The Conquest almost looks like a moto boot. But, like you said, there’s really no mistaking these for anything but snow boots. 

For a more disguised (but still practical) style, there are several options at different price points. They trend pricier. Anyway, ECCO’s tall boot ($210) is nice. It has a warm lining with GORE-TEX construction to help keep your feet dry. I’m a huge fan of Remonte Dorndoff’s leather tall boots ($120). They have a wool lining and a thick treaded sole. Eric Michael’s boots ($210) have a shearling lining. 

SoftWalk’s moto-inspired tall boot ($225) has a high-tech, comfy inner sole, a thick tread and is designed to be pretty rugged weather-wise. If you are going to be walking a lot, these are a good choice. KEEN’s riding boot (about $180) is waterproof. If you want something with a more hardcore tread that’s also less expensive, Tundra’s Bryn boot ($80) is waterproof with a warm lining. Last, North Face’s lace-up Bridgeton boot is waterproof, lined with PrimaLoft insulation and has a rubber outsole designed for winter walking. They’re $175. North Face’s regular Bridgeton boot ($190) is more of a riding boot style with the same weather-proof credentials as the lace-up version. It’s also available in brown. If you can find your size, 6PM has a North Face style from last year marked down to $85 (from $185).  

What I’ve Read:
How Toddlers Thrive by Tovah P. Klein - There are lots of books about toddler discipline or toddler “training” (potty, sharing, tantrums, bedtime, so much training) but I’m glad I randomly grabbed this one from the library new release section a few weeks ago. It’s a combination of research, anecdotal stories and advice. It’s not a dry instruction manual or a 5-step process to having the well-behaved, tantrum-free toddler of your dreams. There are no “10 Ways to Achieve Potty Training Success” chapters. Instead, Klein talks mostly about toddler psychology and brain development. She explains why common discipline or parenting tactics don’t (and can’t) work and shows how even the smallest changes in the way we talk to toddlers can have immediate and long-lasting effects on their behavior. There is a lot of explaining—this is why this happens, this is why they do that—and then Klein leaves the reader with practical advice that parents can bring into their own home. Klein’s emphasis on establishing predictable, structured routines is something I was nodding my head at each time she mentioned it. Klein argues that the more routine-oriented you are as a parent, the more free your child is to develop flexibility at their own pace. It also affects their ability to handle transitions and change later in life. I notice huge behavioral shifts when we change even a small part of Isobel’s routine. I’ve become more relaxed about her routine as she’s gotten older, but this book was a good reminder not to do that. Klein advocates a very hands-off parenting style: Let them play. Let them make mistakes. Don’t try and fix things for them. The chapter on Toddler Shame was fascinating. Even things we perceive as small (for example, “Let me help you write your name the right way”) leaves a toddler feeling ashamed of their own attempt. Until I read this chapter, I didn’t realize how often I was trying to “help”—let me show you! this is how you do it! let’s try this instead!—and it was eye-opening and humbling. This is the rare parenting book that is as informative as it is instructive. 
Frog Music by Emma Donoghue - The best part of this book is reading the afterword. It was only then, at the close of the book, that I realized how meticulously researched and carefully plotted the novel actually was. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to rescue the other 300-some pages from being agonizingly plodding. The book is set in late-1800’s San Francisco during a brutal heat wave (horses were dying in the streets) and the smallpox epidemic. Donoghue immerses the reader in the city and in the time period in a very visceral way—a small blessing because the plot unfolds slowly, in reverse. The book starts with a murder and then jumps backward a month to work slowly forward until we come again to the murder and its aftermath. The most colorful, fully-imagined character is the one most available to Donoghue (this will seem vague now but I’m trying to avoid spoilers). I cared less and less about the murder mystery the further I read: The rich historical setting was the best part of the book. If the story had been even slightly pared down or the characters a bit more real, I think it would have made a big difference. As it is, I found it good—but not good enough to recommend. I loved Donoghue’s last novel, Room. That book was suspenseful and enormously creative. This book—a murder mystery set in the underbelly of the “Old West” San Francisco—seemed likely to be just as exciting and vivid. But, in the few times the book does come alive, it’s simply a tease. 
The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker - This wildly popular European best-seller was finally published in the US earlier this year—and did not catch on and was poorly reviewed in US publications. I trusted the Europeans though and I’m very glad I did. However, a few housekeeping items: This book is not realistic and it’s a bit too long. It’s mildly ridiculous at times and cliched or cringe-worthy at others. It’s set in a small New Hampshire town and I can almost see Swiss author Dicker sitting at his desk picking the Best of American Character Stereotypes for filling out the roster of characters. (There is one Jewish mother he wrote who is just—no. It’s not good.) But, despite these things, the book is just crazy, stupid fun. The mystery is sufficiently mysterious and the book-within-a-book concept works better than it should. Our narrator, Marcus Goldman, is suffering from major writer’s block a few years after the spectacular success of his first book. Marcus’ old college professor mentor and friend, Harry Quebert, suggests he come to New Hampshire to write. Shortly after Marcus arrives, Quebert is arrested when the bones of a young girl gone missing over 30 years prior are found in Quebert’s garden. Marcus’ publishers—ready to strangle him for dragging his feet on a second book—see a wonderful opportunity. Write about Quebert! Solve the mystery! Find out who murdered the girl! Marcus reluctantly agrees and begins to dig into the town’s long-held secrets. As I said above, the book isn’t perfect. But, it’s also one of the most enjoyable books I’ve read in a while. Give it a try and let me know what you think.  
Have you read any of these?

What I’ve Read:

  • How Toddlers Thrive by Tovah P. Klein - There are lots of books about toddler discipline or toddler “training” (potty, sharing, tantrums, bedtime, so much training) but I’m glad I randomly grabbed this one from the library new release section a few weeks ago. It’s a combination of research, anecdotal stories and advice. It’s not a dry instruction manual or a 5-step process to having the well-behaved, tantrum-free toddler of your dreams. There are no “10 Ways to Achieve Potty Training Success” chapters. Instead, Klein talks mostly about toddler psychology and brain development. She explains why common discipline or parenting tactics don’t (and can’t) work and shows how even the smallest changes in the way we talk to toddlers can have immediate and long-lasting effects on their behavior. There is a lot of explaining—this is why this happens, this is why they do that—and then Klein leaves the reader with practical advice that parents can bring into their own home. Klein’s emphasis on establishing predictable, structured routines is something I was nodding my head at each time she mentioned it. Klein argues that the more routine-oriented you are as a parent, the more free your child is to develop flexibility at their own pace. It also affects their ability to handle transitions and change later in life. I notice huge behavioral shifts when we change even a small part of Isobel’s routine. I’ve become more relaxed about her routine as she’s gotten older, but this book was a good reminder not to do that. Klein advocates a very hands-off parenting style: Let them play. Let them make mistakes. Don’t try and fix things for them. The chapter on Toddler Shame was fascinating. Even things we perceive as small (for example, “Let me help you write your name the right way”) leaves a toddler feeling ashamed of their own attempt. Until I read this chapter, I didn’t realize how often I was trying to “help”—let me show you! this is how you do it! let’s try this instead!—and it was eye-opening and humbling. This is the rare parenting book that is as informative as it is instructive. 
  • Frog Music by Emma Donoghue - The best part of this book is reading the afterword. It was only then, at the close of the book, that I realized how meticulously researched and carefully plotted the novel actually was. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to rescue the other 300-some pages from being agonizingly plodding. The book is set in late-1800’s San Francisco during a brutal heat wave (horses were dying in the streets) and the smallpox epidemic. Donoghue immerses the reader in the city and in the time period in a very visceral way—a small blessing because the plot unfolds slowly, in reverse. The book starts with a murder and then jumps backward a month to work slowly forward until we come again to the murder and its aftermath. The most colorful, fully-imagined character is the one most available to Donoghue (this will seem vague now but I’m trying to avoid spoilers). I cared less and less about the murder mystery the further I read: The rich historical setting was the best part of the book. If the story had been even slightly pared down or the characters a bit more real, I think it would have made a big difference. As it is, I found it good—but not good enough to recommend. I loved Donoghue’s last novel, Room. That book was suspenseful and enormously creative. This book—a murder mystery set in the underbelly of the “Old West” San Francisco—seemed likely to be just as exciting and vivid. But, in the few times the book does come alive, it’s simply a tease. 
  • The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker - This wildly popular European best-seller was finally published in the US earlier this year—and did not catch on and was poorly reviewed in US publications. I trusted the Europeans though and I’m very glad I did. However, a few housekeeping items: This book is not realistic and it’s a bit too long. It’s mildly ridiculous at times and cliched or cringe-worthy at others. It’s set in a small New Hampshire town and I can almost see Swiss author Dicker sitting at his desk picking the Best of American Character Stereotypes for filling out the roster of characters. (There is one Jewish mother he wrote who is just—no. It’s not good.) But, despite these things, the book is just crazy, stupid fun. The mystery is sufficiently mysterious and the book-within-a-book concept works better than it should. Our narrator, Marcus Goldman, is suffering from major writer’s block a few years after the spectacular success of his first book. Marcus’ old college professor mentor and friend, Harry Quebert, suggests he come to New Hampshire to write. Shortly after Marcus arrives, Quebert is arrested when the bones of a young girl gone missing over 30 years prior are found in Quebert’s garden. Marcus’ publishers—ready to strangle him for dragging his feet on a second book—see a wonderful opportunity. Write about Quebert! Solve the mystery! Find out who murdered the girl! Marcus reluctantly agrees and begins to dig into the town’s long-held secrets. As I said above, the book isn’t perfect. But, it’s also one of the most enjoyable books I’ve read in a while. Give it a try and let me know what you think.  

Have you read any of these?

GapFit’s full-zip jackets are GREAT. They are hardly ever marked down but the one above is now $46 (from $65). I wear mine all the time in the fall/winter. Oh, and get an extra 30% off with code HAPPY. 

GapFit’s full-zip jackets are GREAT. They are hardly ever marked down but the one above is now $46 (from $65). I wear mine all the time in the fall/winter. Oh, and get an extra 30% off with code HAPPY

Everlane’s new silk pocket top ($85) looks awesome. It’s also over $100 cheaper than Equipment’s silk pocket blouse. 

Everlane’s new silk pocket top ($85) looks awesome. It’s also over $100 cheaper than Equipment’s silk pocket blouse. 

Acacia Scarf
Old Navy Sweater (Similar from Old Navy)
H&M Jeans (Similar from H&M)
Target Booties
I don’t buy H&M denim very often but the couple pairs I do have I’ve had for YEARS. And they’re some of my favorites! Really comfortable. I have a high-waisted black pair that I wear all the time in the winter. If you’re looking for inexpensive jeans, it’s a good place to start. 

I don’t buy H&M denim very often but the couple pairs I do have I’ve had for YEARS. And they’re some of my favorites! Really comfortable. I have a high-waisted black pair that I wear all the time in the winter. If you’re looking for inexpensive jeans, it’s a good place to start.