Real French Woman Style: A Case Study

Much has been made of the inimitable French woman’s style and how chic, understated, classic, minimalist, etc. her wardrobe is.  Black features prominently in this depiction, as do basics.  You can Google myriad examples where this is the case, but from the time I’ve spent living in and visiting France (particularly not-Paris), this depiction is a pretty narrow take on “French” style.

Case in point:

The other evening my family attended a community holiday party where a French woman I’d met at the same party the year before was attending with her family.  The husband and their 4 sons wore homemade bowties while their tiny daughter was dressed exactly like Princess Charlotte but with bolder color.  Their children’s given names are gilded with old-fashioned patina – think Bénédicte, Marisol, and Thibault (not their real names, but a good idea of them). In short, they are charming and full of personality.

And the mother of this family?  She was dressed nothing at all like the “typical” French woman:

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(Items recreated below so you can get a better gander)

Let’s start with her top.  Okay, yes, a black base layer, but one that served as a neutral canvas to showcase her other two layers: a dark teal paisley blouse, peasant-ish, topped by a (faux?) fur vest and a multicolored scarf featuring blue, aquamarine, and copper threads.

On the bottom: bootcut jeans which aren’t particularly trendy at the moment (although wider flares are), and Timberland boots with wedges.  Timberland wedges, I tell you!  To top it all off, she had accessorized with a pair of big metallic drop earrings.

Her look was mostly boho, but those Timberland wedges said “street.”  Her look communicated both her unique taste and her complete confidence in wearing things others would never have put together.

(Her hair and makeup, I admit, did look typically “French” – nothing much besides black eyeliner and mascara, plus sideswept gamine bangs in front, with the rest of her hair clipped back in a way that looked like it had taken 2 seconds but was nonetheless full of unstudied elegance.  Am I waxing overly poetic?)

Since the photo is partial, I did some googling to bring you similar (and in the case of the boots and earrings exact) pieces so you can marinate on this combination yourself:

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Honestly, her funky mashup looked more “French,” according to French women I’ve known, than most things I’ve seen in the pages of Vogue.

To wit – here are style snapshots of several French women I know well:

One has a daughter living in America and has a soft spot for her Ralph Lauren navy sweater with the American flag on it. But when a wedding is on the calendar, it’s fascinators and textured silk suits all the way.

Another is an ashram-frequenting, reincarnation-believing goat farmer, and she dresses the part: work pants and boots below, Indian-inspired prints and colors on top.

Another is basically Catherine Deneuve – same age, same coqeuttish preference for dramatic makeup and feminine dresses with flair.

Another lives in Paris but has a villa outside Toulouse and, when there, stuns in a simple caramel-colored sleeveless dress and subtle gold jewelry. (She was the inspiration for the dress in this post.)

Another few dye their hair with henna and don’t appear to pay any special attention to style.

Admittedly I have often felt uncool next to my French counterparts, but I think it has had less to do with their wearing black and moto jackets than it did with a certain confiance en soi that made them seem self-assured.  Thrifting and writing this blog have helped me hone my style to the point where I feel this confidence in my own dressing – although I’m sure I would still see a difference between an American aesthetic vs. a European one.  Something I need to spend more time on to fully articulate, but generally having to do with cleaner lines, a little more quirk, good tailoring, etc.

 

What do you think of our case study’s look?  And what’s your take on the much-touted “French woman style”?  Geographically speaking, where have you been particularly impressed by people’s style, whether it matched the stereotype or not?  Scroll down to comment!

 

Red & Caramel

If you follow me on Instagram – and you should! lots of outfits of the day and delicious thrift finds – you’ll know I’ve gone a little overboard with the red and caramel lately.  (“Caramel” is the name I’ve made up to describe a sort of richer camel.  It’s kind of a honey brown take on tan, if that makes sense – like when caramel has been toasted.)

It started off with these ensembles on the Vivienne Files – particularly the purple sweater/camel pants on the right:

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I LOVED this combination, which surprised me because I had tried several iterations of khaki/tan/light brown pants before and always felt washed out and vaguely 1990s PTA mom in them (mad respect to moms who were on PTA in the 1990s – just lots of beige pants and solid color tops, you remember?).  I thought I was doomed to never wear khaki/tan/beige-ish pants, but then I saw these babies in a more…toasted? take on the color.  Warmer, richer, closer to picking up my hair color than washing out my skin tone.

I didn’t have any purple in my wardrobe so I didn’t feel compelled to recreate the exact look from the Vivienne Files, but a seed was planted.  I started looking for tan/beige-ish pants again – hopeful, though never quite finding the right shade.  Then it occurred to me that I had too many winter pants anyway, and why couldn’t I pick up this color in a top instead?

This first attempt was beautiful in color and in form, but too tight for anything but layering:

wp_20160912_12_59_46_proNo room for lunch!

It was exciting, though, to find the color on the rack and realize I loved it just as much in person as in theory.  It was not too brown (been there, done that); the warm honey tone picked up my hair and made my face pop.

I bided (bid? bode?) my time, and eventually found this merino J. Crew number in November:

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You may recognize it from these previously alluded to Instagram outfits:

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

From that initial success, I went a little crazy.  I picked up a skirt (even though I never wear skirts in winter and stick with just one or two in summer…we’ll see how that goes!), a shirt dress, and then pants:

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Skirt by Merona

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Safari shirt dress by Jones New York

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Velveteen bootcut pants by !iT Jeans

The pants are SO soft, but also appear to be a little on the cheap side, so consider ’em candidates for a thrift upgrade if they don’t hold up.

Also this same color is in the details of this fuzzy polar bear of a sweater paired with the above dress a few weeks back, and indeed, the pants and sweater paired together nicely in my recent cold weather travel wardrobe:

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BAM.  Instant outfit making.

 

I think I was craving some visual warmth in the increasingly short, dark days of winter.  A similar longing for festivity amidst the holidays would also explain the recent uptick in red in my wardrobe:

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on


This blazer might have been paired with my evergreen corduroy pants on Christmas Eve…

Isn’t that just the RIGHT shade of red?  Not too cherry or too burgundy, plays great with cream, grey, and of course, caramel. I’ve even gone back to daydreaming about red ankle boots, but since my true love in that category retails for $100+ and Santa has already come and gone, I think I’m going to keep an eye out for something similar in the thrift store.

I’m feeling good about all the ways to combine these colors with the rest of the staples in my winter wardrobe (navy, cream, grey) and love that they, along with these and these, have brought more color to what was a fairly polar palette.

 

What do you think of these colors – and what would you call the hue I’ve named “caramel”?  Scroll down to comment!

 

My Fantasy Style

And now, a little bit of sparkle leading up to New Year’s Eve…

If I could dress however I wanted, with no limitations due to boring things like jobs, budget, or practicality, I would dress like Luke Spiller, lead singer of The Struts, on stage:

A photo posted by lukestruts (@lukestruts) on

A photo posted by lukestruts (@lukestruts) on

Essentially: lots of gold, lots of sequins, glitter makeup, metallic pleats, and lots of leather.

A photo posted by lukestruts (@lukestruts) on

A photo posted by lukestruts (@lukestruts) on

Please dress me, too, Zandra Rhodes. (She dressed Freddie Mercury and Brian May and her clothing for Luke is discussed in this T Style magazine interview with the singer.)

A photo posted by lukestruts (@lukestruts) on

A photo posted by lukestruts (@lukestruts) on

We are thrifting kindred spirits: “The Struts are regulars at Los Angeles thrift stores when they’re not on tour, where Spiller has developed an eye for picking out the kind of special pieces — like an all-in-one white kimono from Max Mara — that have become his calling card onstage.”

A photo posted by lukestruts (@lukestruts) on

A photo posted by lukestruts (@lukestruts) on

 

This style affinity is how I end up with things like this in my closet:

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And this:

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And regrets about passing up things like this:

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on


The last of which I would rarely (ever?) wear IRL.

I think it’s healthy, though, to keep a little glam in your life, even if just in your imagination… what’s your fantasy style?  Scroll down to comment!

 

Friday ReBlog: When Style Is an Emerald Faux Fur Stole

Last Friday it was a RePodcast, this Friday it’s a ReVideo – what is the world coming to??

Anna of The Anna Edit recently posted a video of winter additions to her capsule(ish) wardrobe.  They’re all retail (shock!) but the reason I wanted to talk about it here is because of how well one of her picks illustrates personal style.  At just about 4:00, Anna explains how she has a “thing for emerald green faux fur” and that she’ll search clothing websites just to see if they have anything featuring it.

(If you don’t want to watch the vid, just go to this post to see the faux fur at the top and in the last pic before the embedded video – but really the best look at it is in the video itself.)

You can argue that emerald(ish) green is a current thing.  And that faux fur is a current thing.  But the two combined are not exactly popping up in every fast fashion store you can think of.  No, this love of emerald faux fur is an Anna thing.  Just something she personally happens to love. You can tell by the way she talks about it: this stole “makes me feel like Queen or something.” (I will leave it up to your discretion whether she means ERII or Freddie Mercury & co.  Personally I think it’s a combination of the two, because wouldn’t that be how you would get a fur stole (ERII) that’s emerald green (Freddie)?)

I think her words signify that this garment has hit her personal style sweet spot.  Which makes me wonder – what are those pieces you just love, not necessarily for a logical or articulate reason – pieces that no one else will be chasing, because they’re based not on trends but on your personal gut feeling?

Off the top of my head, mine are:

Frida Kahlo socks
Plaid statement blazer
Cartonnier blazer
White/gold v-neck sweater
Gold lame short sleeve top
Graphic cardigan
Snakeskin ankle boots
Blue snakeskin blouse
Velvet rose top
Floral sneaks

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These pieces give my outfits a little funk, adding some pep to my step and ensuring that even when I’m wearing something rather “classic,” I don’t just blend into the wallpaper.  I’d love to know what yours are – scroll down to share!

 

PS I guess with all those metallics I really should have bought these:

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

Ah well.

 

The Beauty of a Blank Slate

Over Thanksgiving I talked my spouse into a short stop at the Last Chance Thrift Store in Chamblee on our way home from cat sitting for a friend.  I promised a very short stop, which meant I had to be on my game.  I started with the “designer” racks and found some decent things, but nothing I wanted to try on.

Then I ran over to the kids’ section to grab my kid a coat (pics coming soon).  My final stop was the dress section – usually I skip this when I have a time limit because taking home anything involves a trip to the dressing room.  But something pulled me over, and lo and behold, there was a haul of vintage dresses!  Don’t ignore your spidey thrift sense when it strikes.

Someone must have cleaned out Grandma’s closet:

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A few of them were made in Hawai’i and there were some fabulous patterns.  (I would have gone for the first one – the spring green one with white trim – but it had pretty serious stains.  Wanh wannnnh.)

The one I tried on and bought, though, was solidly devoid of pattern:

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Well, there were pockets:

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Look, y’all know I love me some pattern and print.  But in addition to the summery-ness of all the above dresses, their prints and colors limit the number of ways they can be styled.  This dress, on the other hand – although it’s pretty boringly beige (thanks Spouse for pointing this out) – can be paired with a fantastic range of accessories.

My first choice?  This leopard-print ruana (basically a blanket with a big split down the middle so you can wrap it) passed on to me by my mom, which kept my arms nice and warm despite the dress’ short sleeves:

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I added a DIY necklace to give it a focal point and some funk:

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And capped it off with my snakeprint ankle boots.  (To be honest I think this would look best with riding boots, but since I have yet to thrift those, ankle boots it was.)

Other possibilities?  My snakeskin print blazer instead of the ruana; leggings on the bottom with my bronze snakeskin flats or champagne flats – like this:

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

 

My navy blazer and navy leggings  would also work great.

I can also put a shirt underneath the dress for chillier days – one of my many turtlenecks, or my leopard print blouse for some fun contrast.

Another great topper – this graphic cardigan:

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

 

And if I can thrift some nice cognac or dark brown riding boots, I’ll have even more options.

Separates are, by definition, easier to mix and match than one broad swath of fabric (a dress) that is highly patterned.  This is why, as much as I love interesting details – and as much as I would love to be the person styling wild patterns and funky cuts – my most frequently worn dresses are ones that are a single, solid, neutral-ish color.  See, for example, the off-white and blue dresses in the IG pics above.

The color of this dress is about as neutral as is possible to be – and although the neck, the longer sleeves, the pockets, and the below-the-knee length actually give it an interesting almost mod 60s vibe (who knows; maybe it was made then), on its own you could argue it’s kind of basic. But that’s exactly why I’m excited to use it as a blank slate for styling it multiple ways throughout winter, and even into spring.  (I think it’s a wool blend so it probably won’t make it into summer.)

What’s your take on blank, boring-ish slates that make it easier to accessorize vs. stuff with more personality that can be harder to style?  Scroll down to comment!

 

 

What I Wore/How I Styled It: Rainy Day Wherein I Fail at Button Downs Under Sweaters

This is what I wore to church yesterday.  Can you tell it was a rainy day?  (Hence the indoor photos and strong overhead light.)

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Plaid button down by Japna – thrifted
Blue sweater by Loft – thrifted
Blazer by Cartonnier – thrifted
Cream corduroys by Lauren by Ralph Lauren – thrifted new with tags, then tailored from a wide leg to a slim leg
Rain boots – thrifted, no label

I was, in theory, happy with this outfit.  I started it out (in my head) with these rain boots, knowing I would be corralling a small person in mucky, wet weather:

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This is the closest I own to riding boots.  Ha.

I wanted to pick up the pink, the light blue, and the dark navy, and this button down and sweater did the trick:

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My pink/blue marled Cartonnier blazer was the obvious topper.  (And I thought I wouldn’t get a chance to wear it this season – because these ain’t exactly wintry hues.)  Close up on the colors/patterns:

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The cream corduroys provided some nice neutral real estate between all the color and pattern on top and in the boots.  Navy pants would have worked, too.

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So here’s the problem: in theory, I love the idea of a button down underneath a sweater.  It seems so chic – little pops of pattern at the cuffs, neckline, and hem to contrast with a solid (or even not-so-solid) swath of sweater.  And the warmth!

But in reality, this pairing drives me nuts.  The button down never lays properly under the sweater (see all pics above except the first one, which I made my spouse retake for the sake of my vanity).  It looks lumpy and pointy and things pop out in unfortunate places. And even though this plaid shirt is decently long, I’m forever tugging at the hem to make sure it’s peeking sufficiently chic-ly below the sweater.

In short, this combination looks chic on Talbots models and in my head, but NOT on me.  Even this combo had to be pulled and adjusted all day, and flattened for this photo (and some button or other pointy part still looks mysteriously like an errant nipple):

 

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

 

Enlighten me, readers!  There have to be some of you out there who wear this look with aplomb and nary a stray scrunch.  What’s your secret?  Is my sweater too thin (it’s a thin cotton knit)?  Do I need to wash and dry it to shrink it up a bit or iron it before each wearing to get that smooth look?  Is my button down shirt not long enough or form-fitting enough?  Do you secretly safety pin or tape the whole thing in place??

 

Scroll down to comment – and don’t be afraid to wear rain boots as legit footwear, especially since there are so many fun patterns and chic styles to be found in the thrift store:

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

 

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

 

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

 

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

 

 

Some Illustrated Styling Tips

Thinking about how I put together an outfit got me ruminating on how I add that final touch to a sartorial ensemble to make it stand out or really pull it all together.  Here’s an illustrated list of a few tricks I use to garnish the drink, as it were.  Comment to add yours!

 

Use jewelry to pick up a color or metal elsewhere in the outfit

Cuff pants for a different/more versatile length, or to give it a casual touch:

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Roll or cuff sleeves to adjust for warmth/show off a bracelet

Roll blazer cuffs once or twice to show off contrasting liner or bracelet.  You can also scrunch ’em up to similar effect

Leave hair down to use it as a contrast color to your outfit (I often wear my hair down with grey for that reason – the yellow tones help warm up the grey):
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Put hair up to highlight a neckline or earrings (or to keep it out of your way):

Part hair in a new place to freshen up a tried-and-true outfit

Untuck the back of your shirt for a casual, cool vibe

Belt your natural waist to bring some interest to a solid color dress or tunic top:
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Scrunch socks to add some volume/texture in the gap between pants hem and ankle boot

Extend cuffs past your topper and roll ’em back once to create drama and contrast between your shirt and your cardigan/blazer

Try out different scarf ties to get shawl/poncho/necklace/collar effects.

 

FYI, Caroline at UnFancy is great at demonstrating simple styling tricks like this.  Nicole of The Spirited Thrifter can teach you how to throw an arm party (she’s also great at layering necklaces which I rarely do), and Dina of Dinatokio models some excellent ringage (as well as chokers).  Susan of Une Femme d’Un Certain Age also does both necklaces and bracelets well. Janice of The Vivienne Files will help you think through coordinating jewelry without making it too matchy. Also visit Susan and Janice for scarf tips, or check out this old favorite video of 25 ways to wear a scarf featuring mindboggling visual logistics.  If you wear a headscarf or a hair wrap, get thee over to Dinatokio NOW.  I have never seen anyone style a hijab so creative-mazingly. She wears hers rather less conservatively than many people, which means a lot of her styles also work for hair/head wraps.

 

What are your favorite styling tips?  Anything new here you’d like to try?  Scroll down to comment!

 

Putting Together an Outfit: Cords + Popover Tunic + Duster

Nicole from The Spirited Thrifter wrote a few weeks back about helping a client discern how to put together new outfits from her existing clothes  She included some handy rules and tips along the way, which got me thinking about how *I* put decide what goes into an outfit and whether blogging about it would be useful for others to read about.

So today, I’m going to grab an outfit pic off of Instagram and walk you through how I put it together.  I’m no expert, but I do love clothes and am usually pretty happy with my looks, so if you struggle with how to finish off an outfit, how to pair accessories or top layers with base clothes you’ve already chosen, or what “goes” together,  I hope reading about my thought process is helpful.  And if it works out I’ll do it with some more outfits.  Maybe you can even request faves from my IG!  Whoa, getting carried away here.

The outfit in question:

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

 

And now, how I got there:

Weather? Cool in the morning, warm by afternoon – I’ll need to layer.

Any activities at work that require specific clothes (e.g. big meetings with outside clients or funerals or cleaning out storage rooms requiring a dress (fancier) or pants (more casual/flexible)?  No.

So what do I feel like wearing for my base piece (the skirt/pants/dress I’ll use to build my outfit)?   Yesterday was a dress so today I’ll go with pants for a little variety.  I haven’t worn my newly tapered cream cords yet, let’s bust those out!

What top would go with that?  Hmmm…I haven’t worn my dotted cotton popover tunic in a minute, and that pattern will contrast nicely with the solid cream down below.
Now to add that layer… The shirt’s patterned, so let’s get my one and only solid cardi out – a blue duster.  That matches the darker blue in the top and will keep the outfit from feeling all over the place color-wise.

What shoes do I want to wear with this?  Hey, those blue-grey boat shoes I just painted would be perfect for the  chambray color of the shirt.  Plus this outfit is on the casual-but-put-together side and nice boat shoes can do that.  I’m still wearing them in, though, so I need some socks…these striped ones perfectly marry the colors in my top and cardigan.

Jewelry?  An open neck means a standard-length necklace and I don’t feel like making an earring statement today. But I will choose my cream drop earrings instead of my go-to gold studs because my cream cords are starting to feel lonely; picking up the pants color with my earrings will make the whole composition more harmonious.  Bracelet/rings?  The usual – my grandma’s cuff and my wedding/engagement rings.

One last styling adjustment – pulling the collar and cuffs of my shirt out past the cardigan, then popping/folding them back respectively will add a touch of interesting on the edges of that big block of color that is my duster – and make some room to show off my bracelet.  

Et voilà!  Done.

 

The above process probably took about 5 minutes to decide/put on my body.  Scroll down to tell me if this kind of analysis is helpful, and if so, whether you like reading it in present tense or if that’s just annoying.

 

PS Click here to take the ThriftShop Chic Reader Survey and help improve your blog experience!  Under 10 questions in less than 2 minutes.  Thanks!

A Tale of Two Statement Blazers

One of the things on my fall wardrobe thrift list was a statement blazer.  My inspiration for a statement jacket was this toreador bolero number festooned with ribbons, and – surprise – I have yet to come across anything approaching that amazingness.  Instead I have found both a snakeskin print and a plaid in unexpected colors:

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Snakeskin: Isaac Mizrahi Live! (Why does that sound like a talk show? – Googles… – turns out it’s a QVC brand.  Aha.)
Plaid: Merona – It’s the same blazer I own in camel but a size smaller, which I think is actually a better fit.

The first one feels like something a Jersey snowbird would wear to the casino, while the second gives off the vibe of a school blazer featuring oddly chosen spirit colors.  Or maybe your grandpa’s sport coat ca. 1973:

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Why yes, that’s orange, pink, and green all competing on a blue background.

I think I’m more into the ugly-chic of the second one, particularly since it adds more color to my closet than the snakeskin version (see this post on needing more color in my neutral-heavy fall/winter wardrobe).  Although I don’t own any pink of the variety featured in the plaid (or any orange – at all), I DO have that snazzy green in pants!  And I definitely have lots of that blue.  I’m excited to experiment and see how it wears with the rest of  my wardrobe.

The snakeskin version is meant to be kind of a neutral topper vis-a-vis my blue and grey turtlenecks and blue/grey/colorful pants.  (If leopard can be a neutral, so can snakeskin, darnit!)  I’m not sold yet, though: it’s suuuuper soft in that unstructured blazer way I love, but the area where the side seams meet the hem pooches out a little bit (you can kind of see it in the picture) and I can’t decide if getting it tailored will be worth it.  Does anyone have an idea of how expensive that would be?  Currently the seam doesn’t continue all the way into the hem so I think it will involve more Frankensteining than I care to pay for.

 

What do you think of these “statement” blazers?  Do you own any bold, printed jackets like this, and if so, how do you style them?  If not, may I suggest the thrift store as a great way to inexpensively try out the concept?  They always have a wide range of options, from subtly interesting to downright wacky depending on how crazy you want to get.

 

PS Click here to take the ThriftShop Chic Reader Survey and help improve your blog experience!  Under 10 questions in less than 2 minutes.  Thanks!

 

My Love Affair with Texture

This fall/winter as I continue to restyle my cold weather wardrobe, I’ve been looking for just the right pieces to hit my sweet spot – classic with an interesting detail that makes an outfit go from blah/bland to ooooh, yes!  in short order. An unexpected color/pattern, a fresh hem or decorative seam, metal trim or other embellishment all do the trick; but a particularly easy way to do that in cooler weather is with texture, since a funky knit or some velvet instantaneously conveys that cozy “sitting by the fireside with a hot drink in hand” vibe.

You may have noticed that I started to figure this out last year with this sweater:

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Yes, that’s a literal hot drink in hand.

See the contrasting knits along with the split hem? Yum.

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And this dress:

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Also with the contrasting knit (plus a zipper – bonus!):IMG_2753

 

These were two of my favorite pieces last fall/winter, so I wanted to take what worked here and apply elsewhere.  Thus you saw in my fall/winter wardrobe preview these luscious numbers:

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Chain detail!  And metallic weave!  I’m such a punk.

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Cartonnier blazer with salmon/cornflower marl – I can’t even believe this fantastic update to the boring (to me) ol’ grey/black marl exists:

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Two-toned blue sweater by Liz Claiborne – yes please!

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Colors are more accurate in the pic above but I wanted to give you a closeup on that contrasting knit:

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Toppers with stuff happening in them!

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Okay so technically I guess those last few were visual texture (aka pattern) instead of actual texture – knit has a texture of course but these are pretty flat.  I don’t really like sweaters that feature standard Aran knit or cable patterns in the weave – too preppy I guess?  Too expected?  Though other people do make them look lovely…

 

Back to actual texture  – corduroy pants with a wale so soft you’d think it’s velvet!

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And I recently snapped up two more pairs in navy and a cranberry/burgundy/oxblood color featured in these two posts LINK:

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Even the shoes have texture.  PS These pants are also featured in Sunday night’s post.

The navy ones (not pictured) will probably replace my Uniqlo navy pants; even though they are lower rise than I would like, they just feel so much more polished than the Dickies-esque flat texture of the Uniqlo ones.

 

Finally, on the same trip I found the red cords, I also nabbed the rayon/acrylic/cashmere beauty featured here. It’s by Joan Vass Studio and likely retailed between $70 – $90.  I love the rounded hem, the length, the color, and the texture contrast:

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(You can see more pics of me wearing both finds here.)

The tapered vertical lines (a little hard to see in the first pic) and the color reminded me of this top…

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…which I am starting to think is too athleisure for my taste – and also a little too casual for my workplace.  So I’m gonna swap it out and swap in the Joan Vass with a thrift upgrade.

 

As I home in on what I love about interesting, unexpected, contrasting textures – both visual and tactile – I’ll likely fine tune my cool weather wardrobe a bit more.  It might seem like a lot of clothes shuffling, but as I talked about here, I’m a fan of living into my style and trying new things out for new seasons – both weather-wise and life-wise.  Figuring out where my style sweet spot is definitely involves trial and error, but because I love thrifting so much and the price tags are so low, I actually enjoy the process.
What about you – what’s your style love affair?  Do you like the textures I’ve included above or are they too subtle for your taste?  Do you feel like you have to stick with clothes you buy for a season, or do you feel free to swap ’em out as your taste evolves?  Scroll down to comment!