Free Range Friday

My Stylish French Box for November will feature a holiday theme. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

French Charm…

There’s still time to sign up to receive November’s “My Stylish French Box”! Each quarterly box is based around a seasonal theme; for November it’s “vive les fêtes!” This season’s box will feature items to help you add a bit of French charm to your holiday decor and outfits. While the contents are kept a secret, I’m allowed to tell you that My Stylish French Box has partnered with Petrusse, a French line of scarves and stoles for this collection. Can’t wait to see!!

French scarves at Petrusse Chateau Mauriac. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

If you want to see a sample of the quality and attention to detail that Sharon brings to these lovely collections, you can read my review of the August box HERE. These boxes make lovely gifts for the holidays, and you can save by signing up for full year (4 boxes). Don’t miss out, though…availability is limited.

Elevated Wardrobe Basics, Down-to-Earth Prices

Everlane grey ballet neck cashmere sweater. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

One of the things I think we all struggle with is finding quality clothing at an affordable price. I don’t disagree that the overall quality of most fabrics and construction has taken a noticeable downturn in the past couple of decades. Even high-end brands have issues with less-than-stellar quality. I’m still committed to a wardrobe of “fewer but better” pieces, but I’m trying to be mindful of price as well.

I’ve had my ups and downs with Everlane over the years, but lately they’ve been hitting some home runs for me. The ballet neck cashmere sweater above, sells for $100, and is soft, lightweight and has an easy-to-wear silhouette. (Not too short, not too long, not too snug, not too boxy.) It has a luxe look and feel for less than many mass market cashmere sweaters. This is the kind of “elevated basic” that I rely on for my wardrobe foundation. I was recently gifted a pair of stretch denim jeans which you’ll be seeing in an outfit post next week. I was really impressed with the quality and fit, which is comparable to some of my premium denim!

Everlane Modern Loafer in black. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I’m still on the hunt for an ivory v-neck sweater that isn’t too long, and am hopeful this one might do the trick. I’ve ordered and will report back. And I still think their Modern Loafer is one of the best shoes for the money anywhere.

Where do you find good value for your money?

Stay in touch

Sign up to be notified of new posts and updates from une femme d’un certain âge.

Affiliate links in posts may generate commissions for See my complete disclosure policy here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. I love the look of Everlane’s shoes but they never fit me. I have a wide foot and I’ve had to send back every pair I’ve purchased. Like many companies, Everlane doesn’t make shoes for those of us with wider feet. The only decent wide shoes I’ve found are from Clark’s — but even there it can be hard to avoid all the granny shoes and find a nice-looking shoe made for a wide foot. Clark’s and other companies seem to think women with wide feet aren’t interested in a stylish shoe.

    1. I haven’t tried Everlane shoes–in fact, I’ve never bought shoes online because I want to try them on–but I agree with you that it is very hard to find fashionable wide shoes. And I mean wide in the toes–sometimes they are kind of wide all over and flop off at the heel.

    2. Look beyond your shores to European manufacturers for stylish well fitting shoes. I have feet like a shoe box and am totally sold on Rieker shoes that are made in Germany. Very funky styles among the more conservative looks. Also Vionic shoes and boots were a big surprise for me as they are very cute and very comfortable. I live on my feet at work but need stylish shoes so I think we need to wear what feels comfortable and I can tell you as pretty as those loafers are they wouldn’t come inches near my feet. I know a lot of people aren’t keen to shop for shoes on line but you get to see the whole line of shoes a manufacturer makes on their web sites, you might be pleasantly surprised as I was when I bought my Danko Mary Janes. Danko is known as a company that makes clogs worn and adored by chefs and health care people world wide and they are $$$. When I saw the little suede shoes (with the same support as the famous clogs) I jumped. Still quite $$ but very worth it. Good luck!
      P.S. Ecco is awesome as well

    3. Franco Sarto has beautiful shoes in medium & wide widths. I stay with a chunky shorter heel due to back issues. My feet are flat, flat & they fit me great! My mother always said to get good shoes because it always paid off on your feet.

    1. I’ve been able to return items for a refund (rather than store credit) without any problem. In fact, I just did so yesterday.

      1. Me, too. Never any issues. And, if you return them through a happyreturns vendor/place, you don’t even have to pay return shipping! I’ve returned at the Beverly Center, and I think that you can return at Paper Source now.

  2. Rieker has shoes with wide toe box and narrowish heel but they are kind of European look. Rieker Celia is my favorite

  3. I have had luck with Munroe, Ecco, and Clark’s, I have narrow heels and wider toes, a lot of shoes fall off when I walk, if anyone has any ideas on how to fix this I would love to hear. The heel grips they sell are too thin, I would need two or more.

    1. I have the same problem – I solve it by putting some light padding in the upper part of the inside of the the shoe. It works for me.
      Hope that helps.

  4. Ah, Petrusse. . . we rented an apartment for a month once, just ’round the corner from their shop on Boulevard Raspail. I never did buy myself a scarf, but I used to drool at the rich colours and gorgeous patterns in the window. . . I’ll be keen to see what you find in your November box of goodies.
    I also have a wide foot, and recently have found a few Italian lines that fit beautifully right from first try-on: MOMA and Officine Creative. On the pricey side, by my standards at least, but so well made I anticipate getting several years’ wear from them.

  5. This and that….L’Amour des Pieds shoes accommodate a wider foot. I order shoes from Zappos or Neiman or Bloomies or sometimes Nordstrom although I try not to buy from them and all of these vendors have free shipping and free returns.

    I find Everlane is cut for the people at or under a size 10 so it’s a tough one for me. Further, while I applaud their transparency, I am trying hard to avoid clothes made in China.

  6. Funny, I have had those two same sweaters in my cart. Kind of waiting for some reviews on them. Also somewhat interested in the jeans in the darker wash. The day boot sure is getting a lot of press and good reviews. Love the ecru and bone colors but not sure if they would get a lot of use here in Wisconsin. Please let us know how you like the sweaters and jeans. Have a wonderful weekend!

  7. Does anyone have suggestions for shoe brands for narrow feet? It is just as real a problem as needing wide widths. I just walk right out of a medium width and I can’t be the only one with this problem. Style and color choice is very limited even if I do find narrows. Zappos has been my best source so far. Any brand suggestions are appreciated!

    1. I have narrow feet, too, and the Everlane Modern Loafers are awesome! I ordered one size up to accommodate my toes, but they never slip off. Now, the Day Heel, as much as I love it, slipped right off, so I could not wear them.

  8. I find shopping at Everlane has been difficult for me. The models they usually choose are so very, very slight, and being more Amazon than Waif, myself, I have frequently found many of their items drape very differently on my silhouette. I’m pretty at ease with my own form, and I’ve been surprised by how very irritated this has made me feel, trying to shop there — like they’d really just like people shaped like me not to buy their clothes. (As a tall, busty size 10, I am not usually *that* hard to fit, and this is a feeling I usually just don’t get.) Too many pieces sent back, and now I’m off them. I’m glad you’ve had success. Their pieces do really do appeal to me (apparently, in my imaginary form, ha).

    1. Kristina, I have had the exact same problem with Everlane. With the exception of their classic cashmere, I too have returned everything. I get the feeling of a room full of very thin under-35 people asking how they can keep their moms from buying the clothes!! 😉 They certainly don’t design for busts. Like a lot of designers, they’d prefer we didn’t have them.

      However, I’m encouraged they find Susan cool enough to work with and look forward to her recommendations.

      1. Being short and busty, I find many brands are cut too straight and long for me. And I have the same issue with some Everlane pieces (and some J.Crew, and many other brands, especially with regard to tee shirts). Everlane has also started to show many of their styles on a variety of sizes of models, which some may find helpful. They don’t offer plus sizes yet, hope they will consider this in the future.

        1. Yes Susan, I agree it’s nice they feature some models who are not super thin. I do like that they also have reviews from various sizes of women who have purchased. I find those quite helpful. Almost pulled the trigger on the denim several times, so I am very excited to see what you think. The styles and washes are so classic and being Everlane, I’m sure the quality is there. It’s the fit that has stopped me from buying. I am short and busty also, so generally the brands you recommend work well for me. Again, thanks for all your advice and can’t wait to see your magic on Monday!

    2. Everlane has recently added more full figure models to their online store. This may give you a better idea of how the clothes will fit.

  9. My first pair of everlane day heels arrived today. Even though they appear to be the correct size I’m slipping out in the heel and I doubt heel grips would work in them. Overall, for the price and all the rave reviews I’m disappointed. I’ll have to check the return policy to see if I can get a refund.

    1. ahh, me too. I have a very narrow heel, and I had high hopes for them (and I see them on so many women around town), but they are not for me. Check out the modern loafer–they do not slip off my heel. I don’t know what their return policy is for worn shoes–most places do not accept them.

  10. I’ve often wondered about the name. How can an inanimate object have a personality trait?
    Seems silly, at best; to buy a box of random ‘stuff’ and expect it to help one be stylish.

  11. I like Everlane shoes and feel like they’re a good value if you have medium width feet and are in the market for a thin-soled leather upper shoe. If you need more than a slim insole insert for comfort they may not be your cup of tea.
    I just saw someone the other day on her way in a pair of nude Babo’s with ankle pants and it was a good look.

  12. I recently purchased two size small Everlane cashmere crews. They are deliciously soft, a nice weight for layering, and true to size. On the other hand, I ordered a size small long sleeved tee that arrived looking like it was made for a 10 year old. Everlane’s sizing is definitely not consistent.

  13. I am always on the hunt for good walking shoes for travel, stylish but comfortable. I discovered Paul Green shoes a few years ago. They are not cheap, but they wear well and last forever. They are so comfortable, and I can walk all day without sore feet. They are worth the investment, in my opinion.

  14. Just returned from Austria & agree with Susie about Paul Green shoes – brought back 3 pairs! I have medium width feet with narrow heels. Have found that Geox shoes are too narrow for me. Also, I follow a German blog & the lady who writes it has bunions and wide feet, so she wears and recommends shoes by a UK company called Callux. The shoe trends in Vienna are block heels, lots of loafers like the ones Susan showed above, lots of suede – especially in grays, mottled and burnished leather finishes, lots of walking/running shoe styles and booties with block heels seemed to be the favourites worn by all ages. Nobody going around in head to toe black. Instead, grays, icy pinks, blues, blue jeans, scarf/shawl around neck and short puffer jackets are all the rage.

    1. Forgot to mention the craze for the warm yellowish colour, ochre. And, pants & reefer style coats in Glen checks are everywhere.

  15. Another with narrow heels and wide feet, add high arch and instep too. In my family I’m known for shoes feeling OK in the store but not once I get them home. Munro, Fitflop, Bass loafers. The Everlane molded sandal is great but the Babo was too narrow and didn’t work with insoles.

    I’m towards the lower end of plus sizes, bought Everlane’s cropped city anorak in XL for a lightweight layer and it worked. I’m thinking about the Mac coat and since I live in SF, I can go to their store.