to shop / {gap favorites} march 2012

Of the Gap Inc. family, Gap is by far my favorite in terms of quality, pricing, and versatility. I like items that can be dressed up for work and down for play. Here are some of my favorites.

The Wrap Dress

ruffle wrap dress / pink (or navy) solid wrap dress / dotted wrap dress / black solid wrap dress

I particularly like the black one. The pink did nothing for my complexion and as I’ve learned in my recent purging, I tend to only like prints for a season or two. The style runs TTS to big. If you’re petite (which I am considered to be at 5’3″) but still want a decent length near the knees, go with the regular length and size down. Downside with the black dress is that returns are mail only. I found that the most flattering fit involved taking the belt out of the loop. The fabric is a nice polyester/rayon/spandex blend that doesn’t show all lumps and bumps. I will be testing Woolite Extra Dark on this.

The Maxi Dress

berry (or black, navy, pink) gathered maxi dress / dotted maxi dress / striped maxi dress

This style debuted last year with tremendous success (it barely went on sale).  It is back this year with more colors and prints. Of course I got it in black. It is super flattering and comfortable. I didn’t even need to size down to petite! The only downside is that the fabric weight is a little bit heavy for vacation getaways. It can be dressed up with accessories. Despite what the reviews say, I would never wear it to a formal event like a wedding!

The Striped Jersey Dress

striped jersey dress / striped shift dress

I’ve recently had a bout of unfortunate accidents. I got a dress similar to the one on the left from Gap. It was made of ponte and was dry clean only. I washed it in hand wash mode like I usually do and wanted it to dry a little. Well, I forgot it in the dryer and it totally shrunk. I rewetted it and stretched it out a little bit, but am going to see if my dry cleaners can work any magic. I was/still am devastated since it’s completely sold out online and in stores. I loved the fit/weight/versatility for weekend wear or dressed up under a blazer for work.

These two jersey dresses are pretty different from the ponte dress. It is of a more substantial jersey similar to rugby shirts, i.e. inappropriate in the height of summer. The dress on the left runs big and actually has a great fit, despite what reviews said. It helps that I’m not a stick. They are also machine washable. If you have time/room to experiment, order the regular and petite/tall sizes online. The regular length was a little above the knee. I’ll be experimenting with the tall length as many things shrink a little in the washer/dryer. I haven’t tried on the dress on the right yet, but I would surmise it is similar to the other one. It comes in a cheerful sailor blue scheme.

The Ballet Flat

camel tie-back ballet flats / studded tie-back ballet flats / black (or teal) tie-back suede ballet flats

In my opinion, Gap has the best inexpensive ballet flats, but they are inconsistent throughout the seasons. The last time they had good ballet flats was 2 years ago! I love a good, inexpensive ballet flat and by good I mean with a genuine leather upper, a low maintenance rubber sole, and the right amount of support. The type you’re not worried about getting caught in a rainstorm. I am not even considering those flimsy, foldable city flats that come in a bag.

I’ve been on a nude shoe rampage lately (will post somewhere down the road) and ordered the ones on the left during the last 40% off promotion. Pointy shoes often hit the width of my feet at the wrong spot. These were perfect. I found them to be true to size, but if you had to size down 1/2 a size, you could stretch them to your ideal size. The ones on the right are suede, so you might want to spray suede protectant.

Forever Stretch Legging Jeans

1969 forever stretch legging jeans in blue / 1969 forever stretch legging jeans in gray / 1969 forever stretch legging jeans in distressed black

I have no idea what ‘famous denim mill’ these are from, but they’re pretty awesome and are even making me reconsider those J Brands I got on sale recently. They are super stretchy, slimming but not circulation cutting, pretty light, and don’t stretch into the next size after you wear them for an hour. They also cover the derriere nicely (no chance of indecent exposure). They are so stretchy, that they only come in S, M, or L. Size up. I tried on the black ones and they are a distressed black in person, not ink black.

Let me know if you come across any finds! For extra discounts, be sure to check their website or Facebook page! If something is out of stock, inventory is fluid so don’t despair. I also highly recommend signing up for their card – built up points for gift certificates and free shipping!

All images from Gap.com.

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