Unexpected Affordable Fashion

One of the most common requests I get from you guys is to post more affordable outfit ideas. And let me tell you, this one hits the nail on the head! The entire look, head to toe (including the shoes is under $100 but also looked amazing and was so fun to wear. I’m by no means a fashionista but what I love about fashion is that you can always make it your own and these days you can do it well at any price point. This is a sponsored post but my review is thought-out and I spent a lot of time testing the quality of pieces before I recommended them!

When Walmart Fashion reached out to me about styling a look from their clothes, I was at first skeptical but then saw how many brands and options they offered online. I also love their message of #WeDressAmerica where they state “We stand for fashion for all- whoever you are, wherever you come from, your style has a home here.”

Before committing, I ordered a few sweaters to test out the quality. In the last month, I ended up wearing them more than anything else in my closet! You can see this $17 waffle sweater in this blog post and here and the other one (which sadly sold out) here. The quality of both sweaters was far better than I had anticipated, so I jumped on board to style a full look from Walmart fashion for this post.

The first thing I was immediately drawn to was this flowy and colorful floral skirt. It’s only $24 and comes in six pretty colors. The navy is my other favorite. I am really feeling the midi skirts in bright colors these days! I thought it would be thin and flimsy but the quality is actually amazing for the price. I promise I’m not just saying that. You can see a close-up photo of it below to really get a feel for the fabric. Plus it has pockets. Sold! This skirt is so fun to wear because it has the perfect amount of swish when you walk. I’d recommend sizing up. Mine is a size small but it was a little tight in the waist.

I paired it with a $15 sweater. Yes, you read that correctly. $15! It comes in 10 colors and has the perfect deep v-neck. The quality of this one isn’t as great as the waffle sweater but it’s pretty good and I’ve been wearing it with leggings all week. Last night I bought it in black too.

The other thing I was excited about was that they sell Circus by Sam Edelman shoes, a more affordable line of shoes from one of my all-time favorite shoe brands. I was really really happy to learn that the pair of sandals I bought was comfortable, great quality, and only $54!

So what do you guys think of this affordable outfit? Should I style more like this?

Thank you to Walmart Fashion and RewardStyle for sponsoring this post. All opinions and reviews, as always, are 100% my own. No product was gifted for this post.

Sweater ($15) / Skirt ($24) / Sandals ($54)

Sweater ($15) / Skirt ($24) / Sandals ($54)

Photos by Julia Dags.

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  1. Meredith Parmon said:

    This outfit is adorable! Just scooped up the navy version of the skirt.
    Not to mention this was super informative- I had no idea how many brands they sold online!

    4.26.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      So cute, enjoy it! It’s really fun to wear 🙂

      4.26.19 · Reply
  2. Wendy Sewack said:

    Walmart? As a long time reader, I find it very difficult to believe you would ever shop at Walmart if wasn’t a sponsored post.

    4.26.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I definitely never would have, you’re totally right! That’s why I made sure to test it first and did my research before signing on for the post. I was happily surprised by what I found.

      4.26.19 · Reply
    • Lauren B. said:

      I agree with Wendy. This feels like the Crocs post from some years ago. I guess the only Litmus test we have as readers/followers is whether or not we’ll see this particular retailer featured again if not for additional sponsorship opportunities.

      On a separate but related note, Walmart has had a terrible history of mistreating its workers by paying them so little and instead encouraging them to sign up for Medicaid and other government-sponsored social services all while the Walton family is one of America’s wealthiest families. I appreciate your attempt to include some lower price points but I think it’s worthwhile to consider what is the trade-off for those low, low prices.

      4.26.19 · Reply
      • Julia said:

        Hahah oh man the Crocs post. Blast from the past! I learned a lot from that post and truly ALWAYS test things before I post them now and make sure it’s a brand that I actually like to wear/use. I signed on for this one because I vibed with the clothes but also liked the price point.

        But I hear you about it’s history and will look into that more. I don’t know a lot about it but thank you for educating me!

        4.26.19 · Reply
        • Christina said:

          Worth looking into as well, Walmart has previously been the subject of the largest gender discrimination case ever brought against an employer – this case went all the way to the Supreme Court and involved over a million employees, so got a lot of press. Walmart is currently facing another set of gender discrimination lawsuits, including significant allegations of discrimination against pregnant employees. It’s really disheartening to see so many bloggers not doing their due diligence on this partnership.

          4.26.19 · Reply
      • Jennifer said:

        I commented below with an article from 2/25/19. Walmart has a history and current practices of mistreating employees. It’s so frustrating that they have all this money to sponsor posts by many bloggers at once but not take care of their own employees who have been in the company for years. I don’t see how all of these bloggers are not privy to this information when many of their readers are.

        4.26.19 · Reply
      • Megan said:

        I can attest to the fact that working for Walmart absolutely s u c k s. The three months I worked there for a summer job were three of the worst months of my life ever. They have an extremely high turnover rate because they couldn’t care less about their employees. I really don’t think that they care about their customers either, just their bottom line.

        4.26.19 · Reply
  3. Meghan said:

    REALLY appreciate this topic and the thorough review (and testing) that went into it! Circus is new to me and I LOVE Sam Edelman so this is a great option to know about.

    4.26.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Glad you liked it, Meghan! Enjoy the shoes 🙂

      4.26.19 · Reply
  4. Jennifer said:

    A quick google search of Walmart reveals this:

    https://www.npr.org/2019/02/25/696718872/walmart-is-eliminating-greeters-workers-with-disabilities-feel-targeted

    Have you not seen this and many other articles like it? It’s disheartening that the Walton family has money to sponsor blog posts but not take care of their own employees.

    4.26.19 · Reply
  5. Bee said:

    I feel it’s a bit odd that this entire sponsored post is you having to defend yourself for buying clothes at a store you never shop at (which you freely admit) for a sponsored post. So why do it? What happened to you wanting to buy quality clothes and be more eco-friendly? And then you defend it by saying you’ve been wearing the clothes in other posts, but it wasn’t disclosed or marked as an ad at the time. It’s just v disingenuous. I know they were offering a lot of money (other very reputable bloggers have openly disclosed that Walmart offered them more money than anyone else ever has) and you have to feed your family, but this totally eroded trust. That’s how you build your brand! (To make this point… The Talbots IG post? Really? Have you, a young, active, mom of a toddler, who loves fashion and beauty, ever shopped at Talbots before?

    4.26.19 · Reply
    • Amy said:

      I have to agree, Bee. In general, I’ve been finding some of the content here to be disingenuous and haven’t been reading as often. There’s been a couple sponsored posts and then the post on Botox that really confused me. Doesn’t it feel like bloggers are becoming political candidates backed by PACs and special interest groups? It’s hard to know what’s real anymore.

      4.26.19 · Reply
  6. Erika said:

    Looks good in the pictures ! But I will like to see you wear it to an event maybe upclose in an insta story without filters/photoshop

    4.26.19 · Reply
  7. Pamela said:

    Do a post after the clothing has been laundered at least 10 times to see if the items hold together.

    4.26.19 · Reply
  8. Virginia said:

    I have to say, this post definitely feels like a departure from anything you’d normally do without a sponsorship. I don’t believe you’d ever shop at Walmart again if they weren’t sponsoring your post. It is absolutely reminiscent of the Crocs post from a few years ago.

    4.26.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I fully admit that! I actually would have shopped there again if I hadn’t watched The True Cost over the weekend. I have a post coming on that tomorrow so stay tuned.

      4.29.19 · Reply
  9. Marlene said:

    Yes! Please do show more affordable outfits, it drives me crazy when magazines and blogs post things that are way too expensive for most of us. This skirt is adorable!

    4.26.19 · Reply
    • Wendy said:

      Jcrew factory has affordable pieces as does loft. Also real simple magazine and Oprah magazine (which you can get free digitally from library) often do great features with a mix of price ranges.

      4.27.19 · Reply
      • Julia said:

        Good tip Wendy, thanks! I share/wear a lot of J.Crew Factory but haven’t shopped much at Loft. I know a lot of my friends love it though.

        4.29.19 · Reply
  10. Kristin said:

    Ouch. It must be rough to read through these comments but I do think the reaction speaks for itself. I do wish there was a way to move the blogging revenue model away from advertising because the sponsored posts do get to me. Speaking in general terms about blogging, not specifically your blog, but the pattern is to every once in a while accept a sponsorship which is so at odds with the blogger’s mission. A mission which 99% of the time is to keep things “real and honest”. No joke I remember following a blogger who was super committed to a natural lifestyle accept a partnership with Clorox awhile back. Super believable.

    The other thing that I have noticed is that the blogging community seems to have gotten very “cliquey”. I think it’s great that bloggers connect, share and become friends, but it comes across – especially on the social platforms – as an exclusive club vibe that reminds me of high school. Bloggers, particularly those in the same geographical area, aggressively promote each other. What ends up happening is that you follow 3-4-5 people in the same orbit (based on blogger recommendations) and your feed turns into a non-stop parade of the same content. Same events, same products, same design aesthetic, etc. Lordy. It’s been enough to make me unfollow quite a few accounts. And God forbid there is any criticism or questioning of motives, there is the inevitable post on how hard blogging is or a behind the scenes of what it takes to run a blog.

    I just hope the blogging industry finds a way to turn things around. There are fantastic things that come from some of the content but I’m just feeling there is an over saturation in the blogger market and things are getting kind of stale.

    4.27.19 · Reply
    • Whitney said:

      You wrote exactly what I feel when reading most blogs now. Actually there is not a lot of reading content in blogs anymore, it’s just advertisements for companies paying or giving bloggers free stuff. It’s sad when even a recipe is sponsored .

      4.29.19 · Reply
  11. Melanie said:

    i don’t ever go to WM for clothing, but that skirt is lovely. I may have to check it out. Thank you for posting affordable styles.

    4.27.19 · Reply
  12. Jasmine said:

    Just a note, it would have been more genuine if you said you liked the quality, the idea of affordable products, and the deal was a lucrative one. But it’s hard to believe your response that you weren’t aware of the highly visible wage, gender discrimination and employee issues WalMart has very recently faced. Literally Bernie Sanders abs other politicians introduced the Stop WalMart act at the end of 2019. The gender Case has been in the news a lot. They are the first things that come up in a simple Google search of “WalMart”….it may be time to take it easy on the Netflix series and instead focus on current events that affect people who read your blog.

    4.27.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Hi Jasmine! I’m so sorry that you feel that way. I was under the impression that it was changing it’s ways but I am spending the time doing research now.

      4.29.19 · Reply
  13. Kristin said:

    Hi Julia – I don’t want to repeat what others have wrote, but I think in acknowledging the potential concern with quality in the post you knew there’d be some eyebrows raised with this partnership. But not for the quality concern – and I definitely believe you tested it and think it’s good enough to share. But because Walmart is just so totally off-brand for you – and I say that as a long-time reader. I mean please be honest – would you even ever go to Walmart to buy toilet paper? You have a house full of beautiful, expensive things, as well as a wardrobe, and in your Stop & Shop partnership you had said you never shopped there before. I mean Lemon Stripes shopping at Walmart – REALLY?!

    I really feel like more and more bloggers will take a sponsorship or do a post and force it into their “narrative” and try to convince readers it works. So in that regards I am happy to see some pushback because it shows people do actually care and aren’t just following blindly. And I completely understand that you need to earn a paycheck – but I work hard at my job too, and if my boss and colleagues wouldn’t hesitate to tell me if something I can up with didn’t work.

    I do think the “fast fashion” piece is harder because it is VERY hard to shop for ethical pieces on a smaller budget. I enjoy your blog on a whole – but it’s more relatable when it’s actually believable.

    4.30.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Hi Kristin. Thank you for the feedback! Please read my blog post today (http://bit.ly/2LeZ1gb). We all make mistakes and I have educated myself since this post went live.

      Just so you know where I’m coming from when I partner with “new to me” brands is that I want to learn something new and share it with you guys. It’s not trying to fit something into the narrative. That said, I hear your feedback and will take it into consideration going forward.

      4.30.19 · Reply
      • Kristin said:

        Thank you for the reply Julia and yes – I saw your post today, though I haven’t read it yet. It’s really another topic entirely from my concern with this post though (albeit a very important one, although I struggle with influencers promoting “fewer better things” when constantly hawking products and posting affiliate links. But again a different topic).

        I think your “new to me” brand comment would work if it was a truly new brand. But you surely have heard of Walmart before and know what it represents – and I’m not talking about the wages etc., I mean it being a cheap place to shop. And that is just SO different from everything else you do and say on the blog and social.

        I’m truly not trying to be overly critical. It’s just frustrating as a reader. There isn’t a lot of authenticity left online it feels, so when someone you do tend to trust posts something that is just clearly for sponsorship, it’s disappointing.

        4.30.19 · Reply
        • Julia said:

          I hear you and I understand the frustration. I promise to try harder to be better! I appreciate you commenting in a thoughtful way.

          4.30.19 · Reply
  14. KW said:

    Ugh, I find many of the comments on this post SO OBNOXIOUS! You put out free content 365 days a year and people are upset when you have to do a paid partnership to pay the bills once in a while? I can’t even imagine how frustrating this must be for you and other bloggers in the same boat. I am a long-time reader and rarely comment on any blogs, but I just had to chime in here. For whatever reason, you seem to have some of the harshest, most judgmental readers in the blogosphere. When will people learn that not every opinion needs to be voiced and every criticism isn’t constructive or necessary? Knowing how sensitive you are to criticism, it hurts my hurt to think how you probably felt reading some of these comments.

    I think the “all or nothing” standard that people hold bloggers to is absurd. Just because you normally shop high quality brands and labels doesn’t mean you aren’t ALLOWED to buy anything else. I have clothes in my closet that cost hundreds of dollars and yet I just bought 2 shirts at Wal-Mart last week while I was in there picking up a few toiletries. I’m not normally a Wal-Mart shopper but a brand new one opened nearby so I decided to check it out and you know what? They have some really great stuff! I haven’t had a chance to dig in to the True Cost post and I recognize that it’s a major (separate!) issue that we need to pay attention to but the reality is, Wal-Mart is a LIFELINE for many in rural communities where other stores will not open and for those whose modest income doesn’t afford them the luxury of shopping elsewhere. There are shades of grey in EVERYTHING and everyone shrieking about the Wal-Mart stories currently in the headlines are failing to accept that boycotting your local Wal-Mart will hurt the regular people who work there and may ultimately lose their jobs a lot more than it will affect the Walton family.

    Also worth noting…my 79-year old grandmother retired from Wal-Mart last year. She retired from her first career with GE at 62 but wanted another job to keep busy, so she got a job as a greeter at Wal-Mart in her small town in Illinois nearly 20 years ago. She has LOVED that job and it has been so good for her. Her job gave her purpose and has kept her spry and youthful in a way that many her age are not. At almost 80 years old, she now owns tens of thousands of dollars in Wal-Mart stock (given as bonuses and purchased as part of her retirement) and was making $20/hour when she retired. I’m not discounting that some may have a very, very different experience working there and frankly, I hope that anyone who has been discriminated against does take legal action against them, but there are multiple sides to every situation and every news headline.

    I don’t even know why I’m writing this except to say… I wish that we could all just TAKE A BREATH and realize that just because someone puts themselves (or their content) out there, it does not necessarily require our critique. If you see something you don’t like or that doesn’t resonate with you, don’t read it. Skip the post. Click the unfollow button. Life is too short to spend time reading the work of someone you no longer feel aligned with. Find someone else to follow who is doing the exact type of post you deem acceptable (hopefully without any form of payment or sponsorship) and support the hell out of them. OR better yet, create a blog of your very own where you can control every single thing about it.

    5.1.19 · Reply
    • MG said:

      I totally agree with this. Is every magazine not an ad on every other page? Like my god just freaking don’t read a blog if you don’t like it but why do people need to chastise the authors? I am not a blogger and have no affiliation but I feel bad that all of these self-righteous people feel the need to lay into a perfect stranger on the Internet. It’s so rude.

      5.4.19 · Reply
  15. Kelly said:

    For what it’s worth, I work for Walmart eCommerce. Many people don’t know this but Walmart has consistently been a the largest and silent charitable contributor to natural disasters, and literally thousands of other charities dating back to the early 2000’s. At corporate we fund money internally that is matched by chief officers to support store associates through emergencies whether it be personal, health related, natural disasters, or extended family needs, as well as fund money to further education for store employees. In addition to that, Walmart also offers generous pay advances for associates during the holidays to purchase things like Christmas presents, meals, etc. This year there is significant money and effort going into not only improving store experiences but also removing all plastic waste for our own private label brands, as well as within our offices. We are also leading our suppliers to make the same changes.

    Walmarts past is bleak, there is no denying, we have long de-prioritized what the stores should and could be, but with all the growth comes change for the company and I truly believe we are just starting.

    Every store and associate’s story is different and shaped by circumstances involving other people, shoppers, and managers, but for employees who do aim to climb the ladder and invest in their career, there are literally hundreds of stories of people who did just that and found themselves working in corporate and taking full opportunity of the management benefits provided to them for free as an associate. When an opening in management becomes available, there are policies to ensure that store associates who are interested are referred and considered first.

    I went into the job interview not sure if I could support working for the brand, but was truly amazed at what they provide to the communities around them. Do I purchase all of their brands? Absolutely not, not all suppliers produce their products ethically, that’s true at Target (*ahem* looking at you target private label lines for $5-$20 pieces) as well. But do I support the efforts they are being made to use their scale to make some impactful changes, totally. I am a huge fan of their grocery selection and shop at one weekly and appreciate the wide variety of dietary options they are making accessible to millions who are on a budget. It’s huge.

    I think it’s really great that you are giving options on this platform, so many communities don’t feel represented in the blogging community because they don’t have access to shop sustainable clothing, and hardly see themselves in fashion and wellness posts.

    5.2.19 · Reply