REVIEWS: Summer Items Under $30

Summer Item Reviews Under $30

Behind the scenes I’ve been working on a new Summer Outfit Guide, and thanks to that, I’ve started to put together my summer wardrobe.  Today I’ve got some try-ons from Old Navy, J.Crew Factory, and JCPenney.  Just in time to take advantage of Memorial Day sales! ? There are some comfy, easy to wear summer items under $30!

Tomorrow I’ll post again with a roundup of Memorial Day sale highlights from a few stores, so stay tuned!  Add some of these to your wishlist in the meantime, and subscribe to PMT Emails if you don’t want to miss it.


Old Navy

old navy linen wide leg pants review

Wide-Leg Linen-Blend Pants – size S
Definite “no” for me.  This cut is similar to linen pants I’ve tried in the past with the wider leg.  I always try them hoping to find the unicorn pair that might fit me well, but this was not it.  The rise was too short for me, which often ends up accentuating my hips.  Add that to the fact that I already have wider hips, and that made for an unflattering and uncomfortable fit.  I tried these on almost a whole month ago, so my memory is fading, but from what I recall these pants are not terribly thin compared to other linen pants.

I carry weight in my top half, so adding volume to the bottom is what I’d rather not do.  If you aren’t “hippy” like me and carry weight in your top half instead, a wide leg pant like this might create a better balance for you.  See it HERE.


old navy coral linen pants review

Linen-Blend Cropped Pants – size XS
Ahhh, SO much better.  I loved these so much that I bought them in 3 colors: tan/mustard (Orche), black, and coral (Terracotta).  Still debating whether I need the coral pair or not.  If they come out in olive green I’ll be ALL OVER THAT. ?

These are very lightweight which I prefer for summer pants to deal with heat and humidity.  They’re not the best quality, but they are very inexpensive on sale.  They are a mix between pretty soft and mildly scratchy, varying by color.  I HOPE that washing and wear will make them less scratchy but was also fine enough with it as-is.

FIT NOTES: These expand a lot.  Definitely order multiple sizes (Old Navy offers free return shipping on all orders!) and do the 3-hour stretch test with each size.  I first tried size S, which fit very well until they expanded.  When I sized down to XS they felt way too tight, but I knew they’d expand.  The pic of the tan/mustard pair above is after like an hour of wear, and the coral pair is after several hours.  If you were the same size as me prior to me doing FASTer Way to Fat Loss, I think S would fit you better.

Due to how the material expands, the knees get baggy, shown in the sideview of the coral pair above.

I have no idea how they wash.  I’m assuming they will shrink, but I NEVER worry about Old Navy clothes shrinking anymore because I can almost always restore items with a clothing steamer.

WRINKLING: I did not steam either of these before trying them on.  Whatever wrinkling you see above is straight from being folded and packaged up to wearing for several hours.  Given that, I’ve gotta say–this isn’t that bad when it comes to cheap, lightweight linen stuff.

On sale, I think they’re a nice addition for a one or two season type of thing.  If you’re looking for great quality, this is not it, haha!  🙂


old navy polka dot top review

Black Polka Dot Top – size M
This is a lightweight top that I don’t personally need in my closet but wanted to highlight it for you.  It’s really cute for a nicer casual look or relaxed business casual look.  Its print is versatile, and you could pair it with olive, khaki, coral, red, blue, or mustard bottoms (linen pants for casual wear or slacks/chinos for work), and jeans.  It’s made of rayon, so I don’t know how it’d hold up to wrinkles.  I’m wearing it in M which is slightly too big for me.

I wouldn’t pay full price for this, as it feels cheaper than a top you could find at LOFT for slightly more.  But on sale, it’s a good option if you need a versatile option that’s less expensive.


old navy leopard print sneakers review

Leopard Print Sneakers – size 8.5
I’ve been looking for leopard print sneakers for several years, specifically ones with a lighter and larger print like this.  I jumped all over these and so, soooo wanted to love them.  Unfortunately, despite great reviews, I didn’t love them.

They supposedly have a memory foam cushion, but it’s the kind that doesn’t hold its cushion, so it’s basically pointless as your fit just hits the hard sole.  On top of that, though I’m very used to wearing shoes with zero support, these–I don’t know how to describe it–however they were cut to fit feet just felt weird to me.  I personally didn’t love them, but you can try for yourself HERE. ??‍♀️

I’m usually size 8.5 to 9, and even in 8.5 these were on the bigger side.


Old Navy Knotted Slides

Knotted Slides – size 8.5 or 9
Gotta love a cheap summer sandal! ? These have a *tiny* bit of padding, emphasis on tiny.  But for being completely flat and cheap, they are decently comfortable.  These come in solid colors and in prints.  The solid colors are faux-suede while the prints are cloth.  For both, the straps are soft and flexible.

For sizing, I’m torn between 8.5 and 9 though I ultimately went with 9.  They are a tad long on the end–SOMETIMES, depending on how forward my foot slides.  But, while 8.5s fit my foot length exactly, when I walk sometimes my toe slides over the edge and hits the ground.  In protection of my toes, I went with 9.

They come in 6 colors which you can find HERE, and 3 prints found HERE.


old navy leopard print espadrilles review

Cheetah Print Espadrille Slide – size 8.5
These are sold out online but I want to review them in case you can find them in store.  Slides and espadrilles are both trending (again) this summer, and this shoe is both.  This has a cushioned footbed, and I find it much comfier than the sneakers above.  However, the strap is harder and less comfortable than the knotted slides, and it kind of cut into my foot.  Also, because the sole is thicker with its platform, they feel clunkier to walk in.  I’d be alright wearing them for a short period of time, but I’m wary of them for long periods of walking.  I’m sure they’d cut into my foot over time, plus I feel like the clunkiness slows me down.  If I’m walking for long periods, I don’t want to be slowed down–I like to hustle!  😛

Ultimately, I made myself choose between these or the leopard print knotted flat slides, and I chose the latter.  The flatter slides felt less fussy to me for the reasons I named of clunkiness and the strap.

I still love how they look, though.  If you have a higher tolerance for clunky shoes than I do, try these HERE!


old navy swing tank review

Swing Tanks – size S
These are some of Old Navy’s signature tanks, and they come in a variety of colors and styles.  Currently there are some fun brighter colors for summer, like coral, pink, yellow, and lilac.  In my experience they’ve come in a range of thickness, with THIS bunch being fairly thin and more breathable for summer.

I’m 5’6″ and they are tunic length on me.  I’m not 100% in love with the fit around my hips and still find the ModCloth ones more flattering (seen HERE).  However, the ModCloth ones don’t come in these bright colors for summer.  I showed it tied as well, in case you want a more defined waist.  I liked that better, but I’ll have to decide whether I ever want to wear them at full length before deciding to keep them.

These can be found at a VERY cheap price depending on the sale.  As I’m writing this, they are $8.50!  See all the colors HERE.


old navy eyelet top review

Eyelet Top – size M
A white top that’s nicer than a tee is a must-have for my summer wardrobe for elevated casual looks, and an eyelet one is a great option!  This top is on the thicker side with some structure, functional buttons, and baby bell sleeves.  It *does* have holes and no lining, so you can see peeks through it.  However, I was wearing a nude bra above and personally I couldn’t tell that you could see through it.

I like it, but given my affinity towards white tops, I’ll have to figure out if this takes a unique place in my closet or if I’ll always reach for white tops I already own instead.  However, if YOU are looking for a white top, try this one.  Would work well with linen pants or dressed up with boyfriend jeans and wedges.  See it HERE.


J.Crew Factory

j.crew factory linen pants review

Linen-Blend Cropped Pants – size 4
These are much thicker and sturdier than the Old Navy linen pants and feel like much better quality.  However, like I mentioned before, I’d prefer a thinner linen to deal with heat.  They have pockets and an elastic waistband with a drawstring.

They are roomier than the Old Navy ones and have wider legs.  They are also a bit longer.  I preferred the slimmer fit of the Old Navy pants, but the main reason I didn’t go with these because of how thick they are.  If you want a sturdier linen pant, these feel like great quality and worth checking out.  When these are on sale, the price point is good for what these are.  They are available in 6 colors, sizes 00 to 24, and in regular and petite.  See them all HERE.


j.crew factory linen shorts review

Linen Shorts – size XS
I am so happy to have found these!  They have a 5″ inseam and a wider leg opening of 12″, so there is room around my thighs (which is always hard for me to fit when it comes to shorts) without having too much room.  They have an elastic waistband and drawstring.  I love that the pockets are set a tad more inside which I believe is why they don’t flap open with my wider hips like many other shorts do.  These are a thicker, sturdier linen, but still feel lightweightNot scratchy at all. ??

For wrinkling, what’s shown above is straight out of the packaging.  After wearing for a couple hours (couldn’t make it to 3 hours, sorry!) they did not stretch out much, but did wrinkle more around the crotch after sitting.  Nothing out of the ordinary for linen shorts.  If there’s a way to get around wrinkling when it comes to linen, let me know.  Otherwise, I just see it as part of the deal.

SIZING: I originally tried S, which again had too much room in the crotch.  They were also too wide around the thighs.  (Things I’ve never said!)  Sizing down to XS fared much better, and I am very happy about the fit.

They come in 3 colors and sizes XXS to XXL.  I got them in mustard and olive.  See them HERE.


j.crew factory white knotted top reviews

Textured Tie-Front T-Shirt – size S
I thought this was going to be scratchy, thin material, but it’s quite the opposite!  It’s thick, very stretchy, and comfy to wear.  It is not see through at all in white, with a nude bra.  It’s on the shorter side at about 22″ from shoulder to hem in size S.  Perfect for my shorter torso, but not great for longer torsos, or something better paired with high waisted jeans.

This is fantastic for nicer casual looks.  A step up from a t-shirt, while still being very comfortable and easy to move around in.  Pair it with the linen shorts above, linen pants, or denim shorts for casual everyday looks, or pair it with boyfriend jeans and heels for a dressy casual outfit.

Due to it being thicker, if you are prone to sweating, this would not be a great option.  Otherwise, great piece!  Especially when it’s on sale!

Comes in 6 colors and sizes XXS to 3X HERE.  I wear size S.  You KNOW I can’t take my eyes off the yellow one.  😀


j.crew factory le weekend tee review

Le Weekend Tee – size M
J.Crew Factory tees run the gamut of being tissue thin or very thick.  This tee is right in a medium range of thickness and has a good drape.  It’s not see through with a nude bra, though pure white underneath would probably show.  It’s also quite soft and feels nice against your skin.  It’s 24″ long.  I was inclined to keep it because it feels so nice.  But after trying to be more thoughtful of my wardrobe, I decided to look for other graphic tees.  The white is creamy and warm, and I want something brighter.

Honestly, this tee feels great though and is totally worth checking out!  See it HERE.  Wearing size M.



jcpenney yellow tank review

Yellow Printed Tank – size S
I am so happy to have found this tank!  Besides it being yellow (one of my favorite colors to wear ?) and printed (helping your outfit be more visually interesting without having to add more stuff–great for summer style), it is stretchy and soft.  It’s fitted around the bust and floats away from the body without adding too much volume on the bottom half.  It drapes well when front-tucked into shorts or pants.  Pretty similar to the ModCloth tanks.  Comes in 6 different prints and is VERY affordable when on sale.  See them HERE!


jcpenney denim shorts reviews

Mid-Rise Shorts – size 6
Gosh, I tried these on almost a month ago and can’t find my notes on them.  I’ll share what I remember but details may be spotty.  From what I remember, these are fairly stretchy and comfortable, especially for a less expensive pair.  They retail at $37 but are often on sale–I paid $14.80!  I only ordered sizes 4 and 6, but should have ordered 8 as well.  Above is size 6, and while they feel comfy, I’d prefer the leg opening to be wider.  Wondering if size 8 would fare better.  Regardless, these are worth trying, especially on sale!  They come in two washes, this wash and a darker one.  See them HERE.


jcpenney bermuda shorts reviews

Bermuda Shorts – size 6
Again, fuzzy memory, but I think these were fairly soft and stretchy as well.  These were also a steal on sale, but I once again wished the leg opening was just a bit bigger.  I didn’t make it to the 3-hour stretch test, so I think I will reorder these in both sizes 6 and 8.  Sorry, kind of unhelpful review, haha!  But wanted to you to at least catch them on sale to try for yourself.


jcpenney paperbag shorts review

Paper Bag Shorts – size 6
Cute and comfy, super lightweight and airy.  However, I returned these because of a few problems.  One, the waistband was too tight for me.  Two, they were a tad short on me in the back.  And three, while I appreciated the room around the thighs, they’re so, so loose and so, so flowy that I was worried I’d flash someone whenever I sat or bent down.  Too bad, because they’re quite cute!  If that is never something you worry about, try these.  Such a cute, dressier but casual pair of shorts that are also well-priced when on sale.

They come in several colors HERE.


Very excited about the J.Crew Factory linen shorts and the Old Navy linen pants!  Excited about some of the tops/tanks and sandals too.  But pants and shorts are harder for me to find, so I’m excited to have lightweight pants options and seemingly good quality linen shorts once summer hits!  (Which won’t be for like another month and a half. ???‍♀️)

If you’re planning to shop Memorial Day sales, check back tomorrow for a short roundup of sale highlights!




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