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Five Brands I’ve Been Influenced to Try–And Whether I Think They’re Worth It

We all see the same brands over, and over, and over again—and with so many influencers promoting them, it’s hard to tell which brands are genuinely good and which ones are just oversaturated. I’ve fallen prey to the influencer game a few times, and here are my thoughts on five brands I’ve been influenced to try—and whether or not they’re really worth your time.

Lake Pajamas*

One of the most ubiquitous pajama brands out there, I spent more time than I can fathom thinking about now in considering these. I did bite the bullet and I have one pair of pajamas* and one nightgown*, and I bought a family member a robe* for Christmas.

My thoughts

The Pima cotton is very soft, silky, and luxurious. It’s held up well to many washings. However, unless you’re going to lay flat to dry, they SHRINK. A lot. The issue I have with Lake is that the sizing is all over the place. I should have sized up at least two sizes for their pajamas*, but sized down at least one size for my nightgown*.

Are they worth it?

The fabric is great, and they’ve stood up to heavy wear and washings and still look new. I would say yes, they are worth it, as long as you 1) know your size and 2) are prepared to carefully wash them in order to stop shrinking (or size up to allow them to shrink.) The family member for whom I bought the robe* loves it and wears it almost every day, and as robes aren’t as frequently washed as pajamas, the sizing/washing is less of an issue. Overall, I recommend with those caveats.


Birdies seem to be less popular among influencers now, but when they first appeared on the scene, they were everywhere. The whole indoor/outdoor slipper aspect seemed to be their key unique feature. I have a pair of the Starling flats*.

My thoughts

I’ve only worn these as slippers (I have plenty of this style of shoe as an actual shoe and only was looking for an indoor slipper.) The footbed is extremely comfortable and the slippers are warm. I wear these every day and find them good for indoor wear; again, I can’t speak to how they hold up under outdoor wear. I did find the sizing to be a bit large; I would have sized down half a size.

Are they worth it?

I would say that they are a good indoor slipper with a comfortable insole; they are good for walking on hardwood and carpet. However, I have occasionally noticed that I’ve left marks on our hardwood floors if my foot has dragged—they rub away instantly, but it’s worth noting. If you’re in between sizes, or have a narrow foot, I’d recommend sizing down half a size. Overall, a strong recommend!

Alice Walk*

A newer brand on the list, Alice Walk has been pushed hard by the preppy bloggers and they are suddenly everywhere. I bought one of their tees* early on and have worn it weekly since.

My thoughts

The sizing was a bit wonky when I bought my tee (I sized up and they have since edited their fit and recommend taking your usual size). I’ve found the Pima cotton thin and breathable but a little less opaque than I’d like; this is a good wear around the house piece, but I wouldn’t wear in public in the plain white colorway I own, which, incidentally, is no longer available.

Is it worth it?

The quality is definitely there—this shirt has been washed at least twenty times and has kept its shape and size, despite being made of pima cotton. The shape is great! I would buy again in a different colorway and wear in public; right now I’m happy having a good around-the-house shirt, and am contemplating my second color. Overall, I would recommend.

By Merryn

I first stumbled across By Merryn when my friend Nan Philip sported one of her original offerings, and then I saw Merryn’s knits on a few other bloggers. I couldn’t resist the Lotte polo, so I ordered immediately, and I also have the Erica funnel (gifted, review here with a special discount code).

My thoughts:

Run, don’t walk! Everything about By Merryn—the cashmere, the designs, the manufacturing process, the sustainability, the packaging, and I could go on—is incredible. I am a sweater connaisseur and her sweaters are the best modern ones I’ve seen.

Is it worth it?

100000%. I love all the little details that make By Merryn’s sweaters stand out. I love the craftsmanship and the commitment to sustainability. I love that the entire sweater is made in one factory in England and that Merryn personally checks the production process before each new item goes into production. The sweaters are beautiful, timeless, and are the most-reached-for in my wardrobe.

Serena & Lily*

Serena & Lily* is essentially the set from the Nancy Meyers movie Something’s Gotta Give. Coastal, clean, polished but approachable, Serena & Lily is absolutely everywhere.

My thoughts

I had a pair of Miramar slipper chairs* until recently (they were destroyed in storage, RIP.) The quality was excellent. They’d been gifted to me by past babysitting clients when I was in my 20s in DC and not only had they made it through 5+ years of very active boys, they also survived three years with me, a move to New York in a U-Haul, a move the city, our first city apartment together, then a move back to Long Island. So—a lot! The shape and stuffing held up perfectly and while the upholstery got a little worn, that is really only to be expected after such a lifetime. They were a great shape and size and I still miss them!!

Is it worth it?

I would say yes, WHEN they are having their 25% off sale. The quality is great but the prices are definitely marked up. It’s worth the wait to score what you want at a discount, and if the saga of my chairs can tell you anything, their furniture can take a beating. (Although I obviously wouldn’t put everything to that test, like their grasscloth-covered furniture!) Overall, I find Serena & Lily to have great quality pieces for a reasonable price during their sales.

I hope you’ve found these reviews helpful! Happy to answer any other questions about these brands below!

2 thoughts on “Five Brands I’ve Been Influenced to Try–And Whether I Think They’re Worth It

  1. Thank you for this! I have been disappointed in a couple of brands (not those you discuss) that have well-crafted Instagram presences and are much loved on social media, so it is really helpful to read your honest reviews.

    1. Thank you so much, Emily! It was my hope in starting this blog to always provide honest reviews. I do like all five brands I mentioned (and LOVE By Merryn!); they’re all worth the investment (some with caveats.) it’s hard to find real, authentic reviews!

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