My Winter Wardrobe

First, a note about my posting schedule. Work is ramping up (hello Advent, you’re right around the corner!) which means lately I haven’t had as much time as I would like to write and publish posts.  For the foreseeable future, you can keep expecting at least one post a week, but my usual Tuesday/Thursday schedule will now become the ideal rather than the norm.  Thanks for your flexibility and for continuing to keep this blog a fun and creative place for community and conversation!

 

And now, this year’s late fall/winter wardrobe, for your viewing pleasure. Since I broke up with capsule wardrobes, this is not a comprehensive list of every single piece I will wear this winter, but rather the pieces I imagine will get the most wear; they form the core of my wardrobe.

Tops

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Coin 1804; Gap Body; Eileen Fisher; Ivanka Trump; Workshop by Andrea Jovine; J. Crew; Cyn; Liz Claiborne; Gap; Loft; L.L. Bean; J. Crew; Joan Vass; Gap Designed & Crafted

I’ve really upped the number of tops this year for two reasons: I have about twice as much winter to contend with, plus my M.O. for expanding a section of my wardrobe tends to be “buy several different varieties I think I’ll like and then see what actually gets worn.”  Instead of “less is more” (which is where I hope to end up), this is basically the “more becomes less” approach.

Re: colors – is anyone surprised that my sweater palette is basically blue and cream, with pops of caramel, grey, and red? That’s my whole summer wardrobe right there.

 

And the dresses keep the theme going….

Dresses

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Gap; J. Crew; Merona; Caslon; Merona

I’ll wear these with cream, blue, and grey tights of varying weights.

 

The pants, however, have a liiiittle more variation in hue happening…

Pants

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Loft; Talbots; Paige; Lauren by Ralph Lauren; Banana Republic; Jessica Simpson

I’m enjoying pairing more neutral tops with more colorful bottoms – if you can call purple so dark it photographs as black (those first pants) “color”!  And yes, apart from the jeans, I’m sticking with the all-corduroy streak again this year. They just feel…cozier.  I’m probably deceiving myself that corduroy imparts extra warmth; after all, the fuzziness is on the outside, not on the inside where it would do some good.  I don’t care; just let me hold onto my comforting delusion!

 

Back to the trusty ol’ red/cream/blue color palette for my layering pieces.

Layers:

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Kate Hill; Merona; Tahari by Arthur S. Levine; The Savile Row Co.; Mercer & Madison; Loft

 

Last but not least…

Outerwear:

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United Colours of Benetton; J. Crew; Larry Levine
That’s a lot for now; I’ll share scarves/hats and footwear in another post.

In the meantime, check out my winter wardrobe this time last year; a lot has changed!

Summer Work Wardrobe

With weather regularly in the 80s here in the ATL, it’s time to post my summer wardrobe! (And as the title implies, this is for work – keep your eyes peeled for my casual summer stuff in a week or two.)

You’ll recognize pants, skirts, dresses, and a top layer from my spring closet; mostly it’s the tops that swap out.  You may have noticed from Instagram (on the side bar ->) that I’ve already been freely swapping short/sleeveless items from this “capsule” into my spring lineup; likewise, I’ll be using some of my long-sleeved spring blouses during summer as weather and context dictate.

Last but not least, my “disclaimer” from my spring post bears repeating: Since I broke up with (strict) capsule wardrobes last summer, this post does not contain every. single. piece. of clothing I will wear for the next few months; but it’s pretty close! My goal with a seasonal wardrobe like this is to have a curated closet full of things I love to wear that play well with one another; you’ll see that idea reflected in the color palette, style, and limited number of clothes shown below.

Without further ado, here’s what’s on the roster for summer 2017.

Tops
It’s time to break out the short sleeves and the no-sleeves! These all have a boxy or flow-y cut and lightweight fabric (mostly cotton or high quality polyester) to keep me cool during the Hotlanta summer.

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Beige floral – Talbots; sky blue sleeveless – Dalia Collection; white sleeveless with lace – Loft; navy polka dot – Jacqueline Ferrar; coral flowers – Old Navy; blue/green ikat – Old Navy; gold crepe – Zara

 

Jackets/Blazers
Fewer top layers this time around because it’s HOT.

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Navy blue blazer – Charlotte Russe; white denim jacket- J. Crew

Pants
I found the blue trousers I’ve been looking for!

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Alfani

Still in the mix from spring:

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Banana Republic; Bandolino; Vince Camuto

I also added these babies back in since summer is rather casual around here:

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Loft


Skirts
No changes here; these have worked really well for me. I do need to get the navy skirt repaired, though, because the tacking on the hem has come undone in one spot.

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Taupe – H&M; navy – J. Crew; white – Ann Taylor

 

Dresses
Out went the long-sleeved blue Land’s End dress – too hot. (Don’t worry, it will make a reappearance this fall.)

Staying on from my spring wardrobe:
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Orange creamsicle sheath – Ann Klein; white sheath – H&M; blue sheath – Ann Taylor; caramel shirtdress – New York & Co.; teal/pattern A-line – vintage

I haven’t worn the orange sheath much – I think its silky smooth lines make it a liiiittle too formal for my taste/environment.  Having a little structure (as in the white and blue sheaths) seems to break things up a bit and hit my sweet spot.  I’ll keep the orange one tucked into the back of my wardrobe in case of any formal summer occasions and then “make an assessment” (Old Gregg, anyone?) at the end of the season.

I haven’t worn the caramel shirt dress AT ALL yet – it’s a bit too short and the weather’s too hot for full-on leggings underneath. I’m looking for some above-the-knee white legging-shorts (sheggings?) to make it work, because otherwise I love it.

New this go around:
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Blue stripe – Old Navy; olive shift – Theme; Swiss dot shirt dress – Old Navy

I’m excited for these more casual dresses since our office really dials down the formal vibe over the summer. The olive shift dress is a new cut and color for me but I think it will work really well with my skin tone and I love the casual-yet-polished sleeve roll (plus who can resist the whole horsebit Gucci nod? Fun detail). The olive shift and the shirt dress also need sheggings, so keep your fingers crossed. (I think I’ve created an inverse wardrobe exponent…)

Confessional interlude: I bought this frick-frackin’ Swiss dot shirt dress by Old Navy AGAIN. (The first someone had cut it and left it with a raw hem so I had it hemmed to tunic length but the shoulders/bust were too small and I eventually, ahem, busted it. The second time I thrifted it as a shirt but didn’t love the hemline and didn’t like wearing it untucked which made it unacceptably un-versatile.) It’s a little less form-fitting and a little more, well, shirt-dress, and I’m hoping that once I find that elusive pair of off-white sheggings this outfit will stick. Third time’s the charm? I’m ether charmingly optimistic on this one or deliberately obtuse – only time will tell.

Shoes
No change here apart from the fact that I need to get my Trotters champagne flats repaired – the sole is flopping around on one of them and Gorilla Glue didn’t work.  Any DIY suggestions before I take it to the cobbler?
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Clarks sandals (retail); Bandolino wedges (more about these here); Champagne flats (more here); Floral sneaks (more here)

And there you have it!  I’ll keep my eyes out for sheggings, an off-white blazer, and some open-toed, muted red flats and that’s about it.
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Have you all switched over to summer wear yet? Scroll down to share!

My Big Aha Moment from the 10×10 Challenge

So I learned some things after wearing the same 10 pieces of clothes for 10 days.

-I really liked concentrating on just a few itens. Paying each piece some one-on-one attention, as it were, gave me a chance to figure out how I really feel about them.  I slowed down and considered, instead of just wearing, tossing aside, repeat.  Taking outfit pics and having to reflect on each ensemble helped with this – so thanks, y’all, for reading and for commenting!

-I’m really feeling the blouse/pencil skirt combo right now (shock):
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-I’m keeping this white sheath dress:
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It just feels good and is super versatile without being blah/shapeless.

-I’m not keeping this red linen/cotton blouse:
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Too baggy in the torso; someone else will love it as is; I have plenty of blouses.  Sorry, fans of the BR Soft Wash Shirt!  (PS it’s a size S; if one of you living in a humid clime wants it I’ll ship it to ya. #thriftsolidarity)

-I’m not as excited about this blazer as I thought I would be:

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It fits dreamily and is so comfy. But the print seemed to clash with my printed tops and the grey was just a little too cool and not a great match for my grey pants. I’ll see how it matches with all the other stuff in my spring wardrobe, but I have a feeling it’ll get donated, because of my last realization.

The Big Aha Moment

The biggest thing I learned was before I started, when I was trying to pick out clothes for the challenge.  I wouldn’t even call it a “thing” I learned, but rather a shift in perspective.  All thanks to a dress coat:

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Tahari by Arthur S. Levine

I was staring at my closet, ruminating on what jacket/cardigan/blazer/coat I would pick as my finishing layer for the next ten days. I figured if I chose just one I’d have more room in my 10-day mini-capsule for other things. My eyes lit on this dress coat (coat dress?) and I said to myself, “That’d go with everything.”

For some reason that little insight swung the door open to a much bigger one. If that dress coat really would work with everything else I planned to include (it would), why did I have so many other blazers/top layers in my closet?

I looked over at my dresses; I had similarly decided to include just one dress in my 10×10 wardrobe so as to have room for more tops and bottoms to mix and match. If one dress, styled two ways, was sufficient to get me through ten days of work outfits, why did I have two dresses I loved but didn’t really fit right anymore and another I never really loved but thought I needed for color variety? This was after I did my spring closet clean out, mind you.

Somehow the lens of a mini capsule wardrobe brought into focus what “enough” really is in my wardrobe. It suddenly felt easy to let go of those three dresses, two blazers I hadn’t fallen in love with yet, and a couple of tops that went with everything but were rarely worn because I had so many others I liked more. And instead of feeling like I needed to go get my thrifting fix after my thrifting fast, I felt myself relax.

I don’t need a dress in every color to “complete” my spring wardrobe.  It’s been a bit strange to look at my dresses and see a lot fewer colors; the rainbow they made brought a smile to my face. Anyone else get that feeling of chromatic satisfaction? But I’m really looking forward to wearing the ones I still have, so does it matter if all that’s in there for spring is white, blue, caramel, and orange?

I don’t need more than two weeks’ worth of dress tops. I do want SOME variety in my life; not repeating a top in two weeks, give or take a few days, is my happy place for now.

I don’t need every color corduroy pant known to humanity just because they look so enticing all lined up on the thrift rack. In fact, having just two seems to work quite well. (But maybe my green ones instead of grey because JOY.)

 

I feel a shift coming on: from buying (or keeping) something because it goes with everything else to keeping just a few pieces that meet my needs and are a joy to wear, not just look at. Maybe I’m headed back towards capsule territory – at least in spirit.

 

So that’s what I learned from the 10×10. Did y’all participate?  Learn anything? Wanna share?  :)

PS Here’s what I donated after this epiphany. Bye:
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Friday ReBlog & My 10×10 Wardrobe Challenge

I think I’ve mentioned the 10×10 Wardrobe Challenge before; it’s the brainchild of Lee from Style Bee but I found out about it through Caroline at Un-Fancy. Starting on Monday they’ll be teaming up for a spring 10×10 wardrobe remix and I’m playing along. You can, too!

What’s a 10×10? Both of the links above explain in more detail (and have helpful tips and examples!), but basically you pick 10 pieces from your wardrobe and wear nothing but those items for 10 days.

There aren’t super strict rules – you can count shoes in your 10 or not; you can do 10 straight days or two work weeks; if you have a special event during the 10 days you can leave your formal outfit out of the 10; etc. The point isn’t rules for their own sake, but limitations that spark creativity. Creating 10 different outfits out of only 10 pieces will likely produce new combinations you’ve never thought of, give you new insights into your style preferences and wardrobe versatility, and assuage some of your “I have nothing to wear” and “I need to go shopping” feelings.

Today I’ll share my goals for the challenge, the parameters I’m following, and the 10 pieces I’m including. Next week and the week after I’ll feature shots of how I put them together as outfits. And I’ll follow all that with a post on what I learned. Teaser: I may have had my biggest epiphany of the whole process before I’ve even started!

A tip before you get started: check the 10-day forecast and try to cover all eventualities with layering. My temps will (likely) run from the 50s to the 80s every day so I’m aiming for lightweight long sleeved blouses with a blazer/spring coat for early mornings and AC.

The Goals
I really like the general types of clothes in my closet (slim pants, pencil skirts, etc.) and feel like my wardrobe is already very mix-able, so I’m not looking to discover radically new combinations or silhouettes. What I would like to do is get over the hump with a few pieces I’ve been excited to try out but just haven’t worn yet. Do you ever have that problem in your closet or, say, with a new recipe or a new book? You know you want to incorporate it into your life but until you put it on/cook it/crack it open for the first time, it feels easier to go with tried and true favorites. I’m gonna just go for it with some new pieces that have been sitting on the bench for too long and see how they do.

I also want to challenge myself to post legitimate outfit posts every day for two work weeks. So far I haven’t found a camera set up/photo op time that consistently works for me, which means I haven’t used my Lenten thrifting hiatus to share more outfits/how-I-styled-it posts with you like I wanted to. This challenge is a good excuse to change that.

The “Rules”
Like Caroline’s, my remix will run next Monday through Friday and the Monday through Friday after that so I can focus on my work wardrobe. Although both Lee and Caroline count shoes in their 10, I won’t because I only ever wear the same two or three pairs of warm-weather work shoes that go with everything (you can see them in my spring wardrobe; click the link below) and I don’t think I’ll learn anything new from including them.
Also, accessories definitely don’t get counted in my 10. :)

The Players
All from my spring wardrobe.

Four blouses:
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Banana Republic; Chico’s; Forever 21; Banana Republic Heritage. 

I’ve only worn the muted red BR shirt once; including it will give me a few more test drives to figure out how to style it. I want to find out if the Chico’s top feels too casual for work with its lovely light cotton and tie neck. And I broke the BR leopard print in during cooler weather so I want to deliberately pair it with skirts to get myself out of the mindset that its darker colors belong in fall/winter.

Two skirts:
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Ann Taylor; J. Crew

I haven’t worn the white one yet at all since I tend to associate all-white clothes with hot weather, but I want to find out if it’s a keeper. It’s labeled two sizes larger than I normally wear but is actually tighter fitting than I’m used to; I’m guessing it shrunk in the dryer, which also explains why the lining is peeking out the bottom. I’m on the fence and need to give it a few good wears to decide.

One pant:
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Vince Camuto

One dress:
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H&M

Haven’t worn this puppy yet; it has interesting structural details I’m a little unsure about (aka weirdness in the chest), so I’m excited to see how I like wearing it.

Two finishing layers:
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Arthur S. Levine; Merona

I definitely won’t need these when it hits 80 outside, but my office runs cool and mornings will still be brisk.

Have you ever done a 10×10 (or similar) challenge?  Want to join in on the fun? Check Un-Fancy today for the hashtag to share your outfits on Instagram, or just document your challenge for yourself – you may be surprised by what you learn!

 

Reach For It

In reply to Tuesday’s post, reader Carol L. commented:

Like you, I also have a tendency to pick up “great finds” that are “nearly but not quite right”! How can we counter this habit? Maybe remembering the ideal of a streamlined closet? Or one in, one out?

Good question!  I think we find a system or a saying – like “one in, one out” – that works for us. In deciding whether something stays in my (theoretically) well-edited closet, my mantra lately has been “Do I reach for this?” And I think it could be applied proactively in the thrift store; I’ll explain how in a minute.

I’ve found that having a simple question like this keeps me from slipping into a lengthy pros-and-cons analysis – something that is unlikely to give me clear answers or a sense of peace about what’s in my wardrobe. (You know when something is unresolved and a small part of your brain is always paying attention to it? Not worth it.)

The most (in)famous of such mantras for clothing is Marie Kondo’s “Does this spark joy?”  I love this question in theory and find it works well in other areas of my life. But for clothing it doesn’t seem to cut to the heart of the matter. Why?

For starters, more than one closet favorite has started as a closet “eh” that I had to grow into.  Remember my futzing around with this sky blue Loft sweater that wouldn’t seem to layer? I was unconvinced for quite awhile.
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But then I figured out it looked smashing with my caramel pants (particularly when paired with this massive cardigan), and look how thrilled I am to sport it under a navy polka dotted vest! Good thing I didn’t chuck it because it wasn’t sparking joy right away.

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Second, I’ve found that some items that DO spark joy (see: fabulous sequined capelet below) are not things I ever wear.

IMG_4880Alas.

In contrast, “Do I reach for this?” seems to be where joy hits the road – do I love not just the piece itself but wearing it? Is it something I don’t have to talk myself into? The question also measures whether I’m being won over by an unlikely contender: “Hmm, I was not sold on this top at first but I seem to be reaching for it a lot lately.”

The concept helped me jettison a few items I’d been on the fence about during my last closet cleanout (post next week!) and I’m keeping it at the ready as I finalize my spring wardrobe lineup. When my Lenten fast from thrift shopping is over, I’m also going to try “Will I reach for this?” as a preemptive question while I’m still in the thrift store, trying to decide about a piece.

Stopping for a moment to figure out how I feel about a piece – am I excited to wear this the first chance I get? – rather than how I think about a piece – it’s so practical, it will fill a wardrobe hole, it has lots of features I normally love – connects me to same the emotional space targeted by “Does this spark joy?” In my emotional lexicon, thinking “I can’t wait to wear this!” or feeling drawn to something I love both fall under “reaching for it.”

 

Does “reach for it” do it for you? Or some other short question/phrase/mantra? Or do you prefer a more data-driven or analytical system?  Scroll down to share!

 

PS “Reach for it reach for it…” There’s your Hamilton reference for the day!  You’re welcome. (Sorry, can’t help myself when it comes to Lin-Manuel.)

 

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 /Winter Wardrobe Preview

We’re still in hot temps here but I know many of you have already started the slide into fall weather so I’m going to post some of what I *think* will work as my core/fringe items to get those autumnal juices flowing.  This is not an exhaustive or restrictive list but covers most of what I plan on wearing.

As you may remember, I’ve been restyling my cold weather wardrobe as I try to figure out some styles I love that keep me warm. I’ve been doing it during the summer to give me time to think about additions and go slowly without the pressure of chilly temps right around the corner – but this also means I haven’t been able to wear any of the clothes together yet! So consider this most definitely a first draft.

(Also, the cords below are currently at the tailor to be transformed into actual slim pants instead of boot cuts, so you’ll just have to use your imagination.)

Enjoy!

 

Mixing my core/fringe model with a dual-silhouette idea borrowed from Un-Fancy, I’ll do two core silhouettes – my go-to silhouettes that most of the clothes in my cold weather closet can participate in – and a fringe silhouette – the one I use occasionally to mix things up a little and that’s made up of some pieces that don’t mix and match as well with the core silhouettes.

Here’s my first core silhouette, continued from summer into fall:

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Torso-skimming top over slim pants.  This silhouette will cover a variety of temperatures with some lightweight tops, some toppers (cardignas, blazers, ruanas, etc.) over lightweight tops, and finally proper sweaters (with shell underneath for really chilly days).  Please ignore the tag on the top – recently thrifted and not yet worn! – and imagine the pants a little slimmer in general.  All my slim trousers were at the tailor.

 

Second core silhouette: sheath/sweater dress over leggings and long sleeves (as needed)

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Two more dresses I’ll be wearing in this manner: here and here

Merona – Land’s End – Merona – Jacqueline Ferrar – George – all thrifted

 

Here’s my fringe silhouette, moving from the starting list last winter to more of a relief pitcher this year:

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Fitted top over flares
I like the chic, long lines of this silhouette, but I got a little tired of it last year, so it’ll make some appearances this year but not take top billing.  Now I’m mixing metaphors…

 

And here are the items that will fit into each silhouette:

Skim over slim – lightweight tops

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Japna – Madewell – Meadow Rue – Merona – Ambiance Apparel – Piazza Sempione – White Stag – Coldwater Creek –  Pull and Bear (detail of sweater worn in silhouette photo above) –  all thrifted

 

Skim over slim – sweaters

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Liz Clairborne – Gap new with tags – Forever 21 – Mossimo – French Connection – Liz Claiborne – Loft (the back is more interesting) – all thrifted

 

Skim over slim – toppers

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Old Navy – Loft – Haberdashery by Personal – Merona – Cartonnier – all thrifted

 

Skim over slim – bottoms

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Uniqlo – Ralph Lauren new with tags (to be tailored to slim fit) – Banana Republic (to be tailored to slim fit) – Chico’s – F21 – all thrifted

 

Fit over flare – tops

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Banana Republic (featured in silhouette photo above – Express – both thrifted

 

Fit over flare – bottoms

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Old Navy – thrifted

 

 

Outerwear
Just one coat, because it makes me just that happy:

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J. Crew – thrifted

This feels like a lot, but not counting leggings, shells, or outwear, it’s 35 pieces – right about at the sweet spot for typical mix-and-match capsule wardrobes (although I do have a few more things on my thrift list that might either grow this list or elbow some of these items out of the way!).  I’ll keep you updated on what works, what doesn’t, what gets worn and what sits at the back of the closet or drawer.

What’s in your capsule or edited wardrobe this fall/winter?  Scroll down to comment!

 

Happy fall!

 

Summer Wrap Up

Time for a quick retrospective on the summer wardrobe before we turn the corner into fall – or, more accurately, before y’all turn the corner into fall. It’s gonna be hot here in Atlanta for awhile yet but I’ve worn these clothes four and a half-ish months already and I’m probably just as ready to put them away as you all are ready to get your autumn on.

So. Summer review today, and more on what I’m thrifting and wearing for fall tomorrow and next week (including how I’m incorporating little tastes of autumn while still dressing for highs in the 90s). Continue reading “Summer Wrap Up”

What I Wore & My Secret Weapon for Keeping My Wardrobe Focused

A quick What I Wore from our long weekend here in the states:

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I don’t typically wear necklaces over button-downs, but it seemed to work here – something about the delicate nature of the necklace and the way the leopard pattern broke up the strong lines of the shirt:

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Speaking of leopard, turns out I do own a leopard-print top…but in such a subtle, almost gentle color combo that it still does not solve my leopard conundrum.  (More on this later in the month.)

Top: Forever 21, thrifted
Pants: Banana Republic, thrifted
Sandals: Clarks, gift from family
Necklace, earrings: DIYed from thrifted parts

 

And now, as advertised, my secret weapon for keeping my wardrobe in hand.
Continue reading “What I Wore & My Secret Weapon for Keeping My Wardrobe Focused”

Other Fashion Rules to Break

Reader (and friend!) Sheena spotted this Old Navy advert featuring bloggers busting the myth that “certain jeans are for certain body types.” (Let us take a moment to celebrate that Old Navy didn’t select a bunch of skinny white women as their featured style bloggers.)

It reminded her of one of my “Can I Wear This?” posts where young women felt restricted and shamed by these very rules.  That post also features a picture of Sheena!  Isn’t she gorgeous?

Inspired by their take on things, Sheena asked me to do another post on fashion rules you should break – particularly ones that say that certain kinds of people “can’t” wear certain kinds of clothes. Continue reading “Other Fashion Rules to Break”