Best of the Best – Part Two

If you caught yesterday’s post, this is the second part where I’m covering the best products from my favorite brands. These are items that I own and stick out to me as staples to have in your closet for years to come. Check out the rest of my list below:


I have recently come to know and love Vineyard Vines over the past few years and especially since they put a store in my area. Two of my three “stand out items” are part of their fall/winter collection and aren’t out yet but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them in their fall arrivals since they’ve brought them back the past two years.

Quilted Vest: I wore this all the time last fall-spring to the point I’m sure my family and friends were sick of seeing me in it. A lot of vests are bulky, this one is not. It’s thin, yet warm, and a little on the heavy side. It’s a substantial layer that seemed to go great over everything I wore. I love the leather detail on the back, and the gold buttons as well. It got a lot of compliments from strangers and I look forward to styling it again this year!

Chinos: I think a lot of people buy things from Vineyard Vines that look like they’re from the store (things with the logo, shep shirts, hats, etc.), but some of their best items fly under the radar. The pants in the photo above are hands down my favorite pair, which is why I got them in the tan when they went on sale. The fit of the pants is what’s key – they just seem to fit me nicely and the waist is perfect on them. They’re slimming and look great on their own, but can easily be tucked into boots without scrunching up. If they come back with them this year I am stocking up!

Shep Shirts: I have to add Shep Shirts to this list because I find myself wearing the ones that I own. They’re like a nicer version of your favorite sweatshirt and can even pull together a casual look. My favorite ones have the contrasting shoulder pattern or color because they’re so fun and very preppy.


Who doesn’t love J. Crew? It’s evolved over the years but still has stayed true to bringing in items that can act as staples in your closet. Here are the top three items I wear year after year from J. Crew.

Navy Blazer: All their blazers are incredible, but nothing is more classic that a navy blazer. Again, this is an item I keep out year round because it’s perfect in every season. A lot of brands make a navy blazer but there’s not one that will fit better and look better than J. Crew’s. I’ve had mine for around 7 years and it still looks new.

Puffer Vests: The best puffer vests come from J. Crew hands down. They are a thicker layer, but not too puffy, and just seem to layer nicely. I actually prefer the J. Crew Factory vests to the regular J. Crew ones because the pockets are angled instead of straight across, which makes them more natural to slip my hands into. I highly recommend getting a navy one for versatility, but they also have a burgundy one this year that’s a really pretty color.

Tortoise Hair Clip: You will find these at any J. Crew or J. Crew Factory and they’re incredible. I’ve had mine for 7-8 years and use it daily – it even goes on vacation with me. I use it in my bathroom to pull my hair back when I wash my face or to clip back sections when I’m curling my hair. I can’t believe a simple hair clip has lasted this long with daily use! If it does break someday, I’ll definitely be replacing it immediately.

Long before my Instagram/blog was around, I was a big Sperry fan. I remember one summer in college they had a photo contest on their Facebook where if your photo won you got a free pair of Sperry’s. I ended up winning three of those weeks until people kept complaining that the same person was winning. It wasn’t the last Sperry contest I won, and about 5-6 of the pairs I owned were won from the company. I first fell in love with the boat shoes, but really every type of shoe I’ve gotten from there I’ve been more than happy with. Here are my top three Sperry shoes:

Duck Boots: Their duck boots couldn’t be cuter and I like all the variety they have in styles. I have the pair above with the green and they’re great for fall. They are on the shorter end so they’re easy to style without having to tuck them into boots. I also like that they have a zipper on the inside of them so that they’re easy to take on and off and you don’t have to untie them. I’ve had mine for a few years and actually keep them on a shelf in my closet “on display” when they’re no in use because I think the style is so cute.

Wedges: I had a pair of wedges that were similar from Target that I got for $10, and I loved the style but they quickly started to fall apart and look cheap. When Sperry came out with their wedges, I was eager to try them and I’m so glad I did. Sometimes cheaper items are a nice trial to make sure you really love a style before investing in the real deal. These wedges are comfortable, stylish, and they go with everything. Again, I wear them fall through spring and after having them for years they still look fantastic.

Gold Cup Sperrys: I have more Sperry boat shoes than I’m comfortable with sharing… but if I ever get another pair of boat shoes they will be the Gold Cup edition. Sperry just sent me a pair two weeks ago of the Gold Cups and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to try them! The best way to describe them is it’s like slipping my feet into a cloud. They’re that comfortable, and I’ve been wearing them everyday even with outfits they don’t “go” with. I could go on forever about how great these are but it’s really something you have to try yourself!


I got my first KJP bracelet 8 years ago from some close friends. I had loved Kiel and Sarah and read their original blog, but at that point I had yet to share with anyone that I loved them so I was shocked that my friends knew me well enough to buy me one. I love that their products are made in America and the quality of every piece is evident to the smallest detail. I own quite a bit of KJP now, and here are my favorite items.

Pearl Necklace: I keep my jewelry on the simpler side and always tend to wear gold and pearls so this necklace was a winner. It was a slightly longer chain than most of my other necklaces so it layers nicely when I’m wearing something with a higher neck that would often hide a necklace (like a collared shirt and sweater over it). The monogram is an elegant and personal touch as well as the clasp on top of the pearl itself.

Oar Bracelet: This bracelet is so unique to me how they took the oar shape and made it into a cuff. The material in the oar design is a cork-like, which gives it texture as opposed to being a flat sticker like another company may try to pass off. My husband and I both own one and we get tons of compliments on them even from strangers. It’s simple yet eye-catching, and that’s a nice place to be at style wise.

Pearl Cuff: This isn’t an item I picked out myself since my parents gave it to me as a birthday gift in 2015. It’s funny how sometimes a piece someone else picks out ends up being better than one you would have picked out yourself. This bracelet has become my #1 favorite KJP item. I wear it all the time because I love the gold rope detail and the understated pearl. It’s a cuff so it’s very simple to take on and off, which is probably why I reach for it so often.



2 Comments on Best of the Best – Part Two

  1. SFE
    August 9, 2017 at 7:51 pm (6 years ago)

    I also prefer the Factory vests to the regular J. Crew version. The pockets are so much better! We share a love of quilted clothing – I also have the LL Bean jacket you posted yesterday and it’s one of my wardrobe staples. I’m really enjoying this series, so hopefully it will continue.

    • thedressdecoded
      August 15, 2017 at 10:13 am (6 years ago)

      The pockets are way better! And they go on sale more often!

      I didn’t realize I had written down so many quilted items until I started typing it out – they really are great and I’m glad you share my love for all things quilted! 🙂

      I may do one more part but the stores and brands I listed are the main ones I wear so I’m not sure what else I’d add. I will try to think of some though! Thanks for your comments! 🙂


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