My Current Winter Wardrobe

I started out my winter wardrobe with a color palette of navy, cream, grey, and touches of gold and blush pink.  3 months in, I’ve added some more color (thank goodness!), my pants have multiplied like rabbits, and I’ve axed the blush pink and some pieces I wasn’t wearing.  Let’s take a look!

Tops

Still on the team:
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From top left: Merona, Ambiance, Japna, Coldwater Creek, Piazza Sempione, Meadow Rue, Pull & Bear

The standouts in this category have been the velvet floral (above) and the leopard print (below).  No surprise there, I can’t say no to delicious patterns and textures.

Although I had previously proclaimed that this would be the Year of the Turtleneck, I’ve only strated wearing them recently as layers for the cold because I’ve had such fun with my sweaters.  I also haven’t worn the blue/taupe plaid at all, except for our trip to Michigan, but I still love the pattern.  I wore it every weekend last winter so it may just need a rest.

For the sake of transparency, I gave the exact Swiss dot tunic pictured above (first pic) to a friend because it was just too small, and thrifted the same thing in a shirt version, one size up.

Note to self: wear the Pull & Bear chain top more or out it goes!

New Recruits:
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I’ve behaved myself fairly well in this category – just one addition, this leopard print shirt by Banana Republic, which I LOVE. Pats self on back. Expect to see this well into spring/summer.

Axed:
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The left top, by Banana Repbulic, was too structured and scratchy.  You can read about axing the Madewell shirt here.

Relegated to workout/loungewear
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This Faded Glory turltneck is a great color but, true to its name, its glory has faded a little too much.  It had a couple holes and I like my turtleneck sweater, below, better.

 

Sweaters

Still on the team:
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From top left: Gap, Liz Claiborne, Liz Claiborne, Mossimo, Loft, French Connection, Express

The stars here have been the new-with-tags navy turtleneck sweater (so delicious and so chic) and the gold-trimmed cream v-neck (my holiday go-to).

I love the two-tone oversized sweater but I don’t love the oversize-over-flares look that I get when I pair it with my new jeans. I think I’ll slim those down (see below).

The athleisure Mossimo sweatshirt I thought about scrapping has earned its place as my weekend staple, just not for work. And I’ve recommitted to the robin’s egg blue zipper detail sweater (last pic) since recently discovering it’s great on its own (not with a layer underneath).

I haven’t worn my snow leopard (a favorite last year) or the cowl neck much (at all?) even though I still like both of them, in theory.  Is this a sign that I have…gasp…too many sweaters?!  I may tuck them away for next year and see if they feel fresh in 10-12 months.

 

New recruits:
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J. Crew, Joan Vass, Gap Designed & Thrifted

Read all about the first two here and here.  The third is VERY soft, short sleeved, and has a split hem, all of which I like.  But it also makes me feel like a millenial style blogger who wears nothing but expensive, organic neutrals.  Since I have so many sweaters, I’m waiting to see if I wear it enough to justify keeping it.

Axed:
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Forever 21

SO soft, but just too washed out for my newly warmed up, colorful wardrobe.  Kinda sad about it, but someone else will love it.

 

Toppers

Still on the team:
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Old Navy, Loft, Haberdashery Collection by Personal

I have worn the heck out of the first two.  The third I put through the washing machine and still haven’t ironed. :/  I’m feeling lazy/guilty about that since I probably should have just combed/brushed it…but it collects hair and fluff really easily and I’d love a navy velvet blazer in its place, so maybe I’ll just donate it.

Made a comeback:
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This merino cardigan by Talbots was sitting out this season until I suddenly had an urge to pair it with my Swiss dot button down.

New recruits:
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Merona, Isaac Mizrahi Live!, Kate Hill, Old Navy

I LOVE the plaid – so funky, unexpectedly goes with a lot of my wardrobe – and the red – it’s a wool/cashmere blend and is so soft and the cut is <insert A-okay or 100 emoji here>.  The snakeskin… well, I still feel kind of tacky wearing it.  But it’s almost sweatshirt-like and goes with a lot of what I have, so I’m committed to wearing it more to see if I can learn to love it.

Post to come on the vest!

Axed:
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Merona
You can read about our breakup here.

Relegated to spring wardrobe (for the most part):
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Cartonnier
I LOVE this blazer; the colors just go better with my spring/summer wardrobe.  But it’ll probably make an occasional cameo, thusly.

 

Pants
Remember my core silhouette (skim over slim) vs. my fringe silhouette (fitted over flare) – core being what I mostly wear, fringe being my alternate? (More about core vs. fringe here.)  I’ve divided my pants up accordingly.

Still on the team – slim:
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Banana Republic, Lauren Ralph Lauren Jeans, Chico’s

Love these, going strong.  Got the waist on the cream pants taken in a bit so I didn’t have to hike them up all the time.  And I wear the Chico’s skinnies (with an elastic waistband!) pretty exclusively on the weekends since they read so casual.

New recruits – slim:
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Jessica Simpson, Style & Co., Gap

Love the first two; love the third but they’re pretty darn lowrise.  Looking for a thrift upgrade so I don’t have to worry about exposing my backside to the world.

New recruits – flare:
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I’m keeping the caramel velveteen as they are since I’ll wear them mostly with slimmer tops, but I’ve taken the jeans to the tailor to have the legs tapered.  (I know, I know, y’all encouraged me not to, but I have passed over them too many times for having not as formal/chic a silhouette as I wanted.  These babies deserve to be worn!)

Relegated to spring/summer (left) or to storage ’til I love them again (right):
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Uniqlo, Old Navy

 

Dresses 

Still on the team:
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Merona, Land’s End, Merona, Jacqueline Ferrar, George

I haven’t worn my off-white sheath or my leopard much.  In fact, haven’t worn many dresses at ALL because I am so enjoying my new pants.  A happy problem to have.

Two new recruits meant for summer but which, when layered, also play well with winter:

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Talbots, Jones New York

You can read about my red & caramel love affair here (same as links above).

 

Coat stayed the same – although it doesn’t look quite this fresh and is in need of some de-pilling:
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J. Crew

I did add some cold weather accessories:

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There it is!

Looking over everything: wow, I like blue.

Overall, I am happy to claim victory over the winter wardrobe revamp pickle in which I found myself 8 months ago.  To wit: I have found a core winter silhouette I love – slim pants with skimming sweater on top; and some great fringe options – dress over leggings, turtleneck with big thick cardigan.  I thrill to get dressed in the morning instead of floundering around with too many disparate pieces and incohesive outlines.  Yippee!

Also, I have PLENTY of things for the rest of our (very short) winter.   Not counting gloves/hat, pieces I’ve barely worn but haven’t put away, and pieces that are primarily for warm weather, I have about 35 solidly “winter” pieces.  Even though that’s right in line with a lot of minimalist wardrobe recommendations (e.g. Project 333), it feels kind of overwhelming to look at them all laid out like this.

I’m no longer trying to create a silhouette I love or fill holes, so I expect to keep this wardrobe relatively static through the end of this winter, when I’ll refine things a bit and donate some pieces I’m not excited about keeping around for next year.  I pledge to be satisfied with what I have, but not so stingy that something delicious won’t sneak its way in…

 

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on


Congrats if you made it to the end of this post; I hope it was informative, or at least entertaining!  What are your winter wardrobes looking like these days?  Scroll down to comment.

 

Fall Closet Clean Out

I mentioned in a recent post that I had been making room for new thrift finds by chucking some things that weren’t getting worn.  Since we all love a good closet clean out, I figured I’d give you the run down.

First up: Coral Loft dress.  This baby got a lot of high fives on Instagram (below), but it gapped in the shoulder blade area, the fabric was stiff and draped more like an A-line than a sheath, and it cut under the armpits just a bit.  I didn’t thrill to put it on and that’s all that matters.  I’ll keep an eye out for a true sheath in a similar color since it looked so great with my blue patterned cardigan and with my fresh white denim jacket.

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

 

Next: when something is so right on paper…  My two-toned striped tee by Madewell.  This had it all: colors in my color palette, an exposed zipper on the back, my favorite sleeve length.  I thought I would wear the heck out of this, but I’ve only reached for it once (pictured below).  Why?  It was a little too casual for work and a little too fitted for the weekend.  And it was two different tones of blue in a wardrobe that already had a lot of blue in it.  I don’t need to be THAT monochrome.

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

 

Two textured tees from last year – one of which I wore a lot but which just feels too frilly for my style (blush lace overlay tee by Loft) and one which felt like something I should wear on dates, not to work (sheer polkadot sweetheart tee by H&M):

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

 

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

I was on the fence about both of these but then realized they weren’t getting worn and someone else would find JOY in them instead of me holding on to them in lukewarm fashion.  Passed ’em on to a friend (more on how to do that here.)

 

Old jeans: I wrote about this here.  I realize the below silhouette fits the on trend “boyfriend jeans” look, but although I like that look, I don’t have a particular interest in creating it on myself…maybe because I’ve spent the last several years wearing these jeans and it doesn’t feel fresh to me anymore.  I *might* keep these for things like Habitat for Humanity work days or hiking in cool weather, but I could probably just as easily go buy a “new” pair of Dickies at the Goodwill that have a higher rise and thus involve less risk of crack.

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Palm print maxi dress: I was ambivalent about this even the one time I wore it and have not worn it since.  If I could magically have made that sheer palm print into a top (without paying the tailor a fortune), I would’ve.  But instead I left it intact for someone to find it who will fall for it just as hard but who will actually wear it.  (And spotted it back on the rack at the Goodwill!)

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Camel blazer: as I posted here, I ditched this puppy in favor of two statement blazers (one of which is the same brand/style but a better size and more visually interesting).  Haven’t missed it yet.

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What have you cleaned out lately?

 

 

The 2 Best Things I Got from Capsule Wardrobes – and Why I’m Breaking up with Them

Breaking Up (3)

 

Well, “breaking up” is a rather overdramatic way to put it.

But last week I caught up on Caroline’s post at Un-Fancy on moving away from capsules and it put into words some frustrations with the capsule wardrobe concept that had been swimming in my head for awhile but that I hadn’t been able to articulate. Continue reading “The 2 Best Things I Got from Capsule Wardrobes – and Why I’m Breaking up with Them”

Friday ReBlog: Capsule Closet Tumblr

Lo at Capsule Closet on Tumblr has created a visual diary of her capsule clothing experiments using clean, well-laid-out graphics that will give the visual thinkers among us great capsule wardrobe inspiration.  Her style is self-described “minimalist tomboy” but, as with many capsule blogs, the conceptual thinking behind how she combines pieces to create outfits and build a wardrobe is applicable across any style genre.

Other great features?  She assembles regular Weekend Links to help you get to know new ethical brands and find your next style blog crush.

And – this is so cool – she’ll take a retail item that’s hot in style blogs right now (e.g. Madewell flare jeans) and compile half a dozen or more ethical alternatives at different price points.  Great place to start an ethical clothes journey, one piece at a time.

 

Enjoy!

 

Restyling an Off-Season Wardrobe

Copy of Winter capsule wardrobe (4)

I wrote last week about why I like thrifting garments off-season: it gives me several months’ breathing room to mull over my wardrobe, figure out what worked/didn’t and where the holes are, and assemble what I want in the lineup for next season.

Thrift shops make this relaxed, thoughtful process possible because they have all seasons of clothing available all year ’round instead of for just 2 weeks before everything good is sold out (thanks retail stores).

Since it’s almost May, that means I’m currently thinking about my winter wardrobe.  (Not that I’m not excited about spring/summer clothes…I was thrilled to break out my first short-sleeved work top and dress last week.)

This may seem counter-intuitive, but the juxtaposition actually helped me get a handle on what in my winter closet needs fixing. Continue reading “Restyling an Off-Season Wardrobe”

Spring Capsule Wardrobe 2016

Here ’tis, Fellow Thrifters: my thrifted spring capsule wardrobe. It is, indeed, all thrifted, but the rest of the title is a bit of a misnomer, since this puppy (minus the blazers) will carry me all the way through summer.

I feel like I may have one too many tops, but given how long it’s supposed to last me, it might be just enough variety.

I started off with 3 pants from last spring/summer, added the grey Vince Camuto cigarette pants I found this fall, kept several tops I loved from last year (bonus points if you can identify them!), and added a few more (see note about variety).

And since I can’t just leave a capsule alone, but glory in tweaking it as I search for just the right mix of stuff I love and actually wear, I’ll keep you updated as the warm months roll by.

Let me know what you think! And enjoy grooving to the sounds of one of my longtime musical crushes, India.Arie. Because “sometimes I stick to my capsule wardrobe, and sometimes I don’t.

P.S. Let’s all welcome Kali, the one-eyed cat wonder, to her YouTube debut.

 

Loungewear

Loungewear, aka what I wear on lazy Saturday mornings/to sleep in at night.  (Check out winterized weekend style—not the stuff I sleep in—with this post.)

I can’t say that I thrift much of my loungewear, because I’ve had most of it forrrrr everrrr.  I mean, isn’t loungewear just stuff you’ve had so long it’s not in decent condition to wear out of the house anymore?

I jest—most things that have gone all holey on me saw the garment recycling bag long ago.  (PSA: if you live in Atlanta they recycle textiles here.)  But most of my pajama-like garb is, in fact, decades-old retail purchases/gifts, or a hand-me-down from someone who didn’t want it anymore.

I’ve thrifted a few pieces and, tell ya what, if you’re like me and want that exquisitely worn-in feel (see below), thrift stores can be the PERFECT place to find something quality (won’t shred on you) but also pre-worn (someone else has already done all the work to get that cotton t-shirt to the ideal softness).

Now I know some folks advocate scrapping all the crappy stuff and buying yourself nice silky pajamas and robes because YOU ARE WORTH IT.  (Or you need to say goodbye to a bunch of clothes that are past their prime.  On that part, I agree.)

But, guess what: comfy, holey clothes that have been worn in just right feel so much more luxurious to me than the fancy stuff.  Maybe it’s cause I grew up sleeping in a t-shirt instead of night gowns or pajama sets, but I like my loungewear more on the “worn” side and less on the “lounge” side.  What about you?

Without further ado, my loungewear lineup.  Hold your snickers, please. Continue reading “Loungewear”

Weekend Staples

My capsule wardrobe is pretty much geared toward work/church: business casual, jeans only on Fridays, dressier shoes, etc.

On the weekends and some weekday evenings, I dress things down.  I like to be comfy/practical and not have to worry about getting dirt/paint/food on my work wear as I dig for compost worms/make art with my kid/cook with my spouse.

Having a mini capsule for the weekends that’s mostly unrelated to work wear also gives me a chance to wear colors/types of clothing I love but that don’t really fit with my mix-n-match capsule.  And since nobody’s keeping track of rigid rules here, a few things that do match my capsule aesthetic bleed into the work week on casual Fridays, for maximum usefulness/awesomeness.

 

Here are the main things I wear on the weekends and post-work evenings in cooler weather.

Land’s End oversized sage green roll neck sweater:IMG_3194
Thrifted from the Salvation Army.  Comfiest ever, plus very chic with leggings when One is pregnant (which One is not).  Looks stellar with a pendant necklace but that ain’t how I wore it here…this was a purely temperature-driven fashion decision.

 

Seafoamy green knit sweater, Old Navy; thrifted.  A little bit shlumpy/odd length at work:

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

But so comfy and a great color, so I kept it for home:IMG_2927

…and cut small slits in the sideseams to let it fall more naturally:
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Ombre H&M sweater, swapped from a friend.  IMG_3262  

It was too itchy for her, but luckily not for me.  I generally don’t wear black as it’s harsh on my skin tone, but the greys and whites soften this up a bit (and my toddler does not care if I look like death warmed over while we read together).  Plus, it’s just the right length to pair with leggings.      

 

I nabbed this stripey Mossimo number straight off the rack at the local Junior League thrift shop without even trying it on.  It was a brand and size I knew typically fit me; it was 50% off day (aka $1.50 grand total); and my child was about to come unglued that we were still—horrors—shopping.  Done. Happily it fit like a dream and goes perfectly underneath my lone hooded sweatshirt as a base layer, or singly when I work up a sweat but it’s still cold in our house. IMG_3249 Bonus: these colors are not in my capsule nor are they my favorites in real life; but they are quite lovely, and they just spoke to me: wear something DIFFERENT!  Even if it’s only on the weekends.

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And now for your pieces that fit right into the capsule vibe without missing a beat:

Ol’ faithful plaid shirt right here—worn many a casual Friday and weekend.  Seriously, this gets worn pretty much every. week. end.  Why fix what ain’t broke?

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Yikes, that mirror needed cleaning.

With camel blazer + brown suede boat shoes for Friday at the office:

  A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

 

Moving towards warmer weather, we have a 3/4-length sleeve Breton stripe tee from the Gap, perfect for when it’s just a tad too cool for short sleeves/no sleeves:IMG_3189

I pair with a blazer and jeans in cool-ish weather and frequently wear to work on Casual Friday, à la this very look ^^^.  But it also works peachily with shorts or knee-length cutoffs as the weather warms.

 

Do you have a mini-wardrobe that’s just for weekends/evenings, or just for cocktail parties, or just for ladies’ night out?  Or do you fit it all seamlessly into the same wardrobe because your style is just that consistent?

Scroll down to share, or click back to this post for some ideas on how to spread your style across your life so some pieces can play in all your wardrobes!