Spring 10×10 Remix: Day 4

I’m doing the 10×10 spring remix hosted by Un-Fancy and StyleBee. All this work week and next, I’ll be using 10 pieces of clothing to create 10 different outfits, using self-imposed limitations to spark some creativity. All the details – and the clothes (all thrifted)– here.

Day 4. The dress coat! It’s everywhere!

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This time I wore it over my Banana Republic leopard print “Heritage” shirt and a textured white skirt (cotton/rayon/linen) by Ann Taylor. Shoes by Bandolino; all thrifted.
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Pockets!
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The jewelry: cuff bracelet by Monet
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Necklace = heirlooms from my Grandmother. The dove (Holy Spirit) is by James Avery. Not sure where she got the round rust-colored pendant:WP_20170413_10_10_34_Pro

Thoughts on this outfit: pencil skirt + tucked in blouse with a little drape and give, in classic white and funky leopard = my sweet spot. The leopard print pops against the white and the coat finishes it all off.
I included this skirt in my 10×10 because I was on the fence about it – it’s a little more booty-hugging than I prefer. Maybe I’m just used to looking at it in the mirror and pictures now, but it doesn’t seem as egregious as it once was; just a bit sculpted.  Pockets on skirts are always tricky because they are so prone to pulling; this skirt has a bit of that but not too much. The length is great and the fabric stretchy and soft, plus the liner makes it feel great.  You may have noticed, though, that the lining is peeking out, likely from dryer shrinkage. So after these pics I did my old can’t-get-to-the-tailor trick and pinned it:

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I simply fold the lining over itself about an inch (or however much you need) and then pin it to itself. If it doesn’t lay flat, run a hot iron over it. This will hold you until you can get to the tailor or hem it yourself. (Or you can just leave them in like I do – shhhh!)

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Ta-da! No more lining peeking out:

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I’ll get to try out this skirt one more time next week. Right now I’m thinking I will keep it, but I also did a thought experiment about donating it and realized I wouldn’t miss it that much – my navy and taupe pencil skirts go with everything, plus I have white trousers for a pop of white against my fun spring/summer blouses. Those puppies are lined, though, and get pretty hot on 90 degree days, so having a white skirt on hand is tempting.

What do you all think of this skirt?  The outfit?  How’s your remix? PS There’s lots of inspiration and ideas on Instagram #Spring10x10 – great for inspiration even if you’re not participating this go-around!

10×10 Spring Remix: Day 3

I’m doing the 10×10 spring remix hosted by Un-Fancy and StyleBee. All this work week and next, I’ll be using 10 pieces of clothing to create 10 different outfits, using self-imposed limitations to spark some creativity. All the details – and the clothes (all thrifted)– here.

Day 3: You may be getting tired of this Tahari by Arthur S. Levine dress coat (coat dress?) but I’m not! It goes with everything:
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Sandals by Clarks (retail); shirt by Banana Republic; pants by Vince Camuto; bracelet by Monet; necklace = heirloom

I actually thought about wearing my grey marled Merona blazer pictured in the post mentioned above, just for some variety; but the grey in it is juuuust different enough from the grey in these Vince Camuto pants that I wasn’t feeling it. There goes my idea to pair its pattern with these solid pants for a “casual suiting” look! (Don’t worry, the blazer will still get plenty of wear in this 10×10, paired with skirts and my dress.)

The action shot – long-haired people, you know that move where you untuck your hair from the coat/jacket/cardigan you just put on?
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Without the coat:
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This is the “Soft Wash Shirt” by Banana Republic – a mix of linen & cotton. I love how soft it is and how it combines that softness with some clean lines – see those seams on either side of the placket? They give it a little polish that brings its relaxed linen texture from “weekend” to “work wear”:
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And check out the roll-tab sleeves (y’all know I love a good roll tab):
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But. (Why does there have to be a “but”?!) The “fitted” look those seams give it is just not fitted enough for my torso:
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Meh. Now we’re back in weekend territory.

See the difference when I pin it behind my back?  Don’t know why I didn’t see this in the dressing room.
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It’s not terribly noticeable (especially when I’m wearing a coat/blazer), but not ideal. I’m not sure if I should re-donate it as-is so someone else can enjoy it, or take it to my tailor and see how expensive it would be to bring it in a little. With a spot of tailoring it could be a wardrobe star this summer when Atlanta hits 90+ degrees and 90 percent humidity every day.
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My overall feeling about this outfit? The color palette is right in my wheelhouse, and I love the way the coat looks over the blouse. I am not happy with the fit of the blouse, but since I included it to get a better feel for how it plays with the rest of my wardrobe, I see that information as a win. I’m looking forward to pairing it with a skirt next week to see how it does tucked in, since the fabric is stiffer than the blouses I usually tuck.

What do y’all think of the outfit? Would you donate the shirt or take it to the tailor? How’s your remix going?

 

10×10 Spring Remix – Day 2

I’m doing the 10×10 spring remix hosted by Un-Fancy and StyleBee. All this work week and next, I’ll be using 10 pieces of clothing to create 10 different outfits, using self-imposed limitations to spark some creativity. All the details – and all the clothes – here.

Day 2: white H&M shift dress paired with the same dress coat (Tahari by Arthur S. Levine) as yesterday, Clarks sandals (retail), and a little added interest with a leopard print belt by J. Crew and my new (to me) cuff bracelet (Monet):

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This dress. I love the length, the neckline is new (to me) and fresh, and the sleeves aren’t so cap they feel like afterthoughts:
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It has interesting structural details – 2 subtle pleats up front, diamond-shaped bias seams on the side (I’m making up these terms as I go along), and a strange, Jessica Rabbit-reminiscent lining showing through at the bust :
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Styling note: I turned the belt around because the weight of the metal buckle was pulling down in the front and keeping it from lining up with the very obvious waist seam. Ta-da:
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It’s hidden when I wear the coat but makes for an unexpected detail even when not hidden:WP_20170411_11_23_23_Pro (1)

This outfit is my sweet spot – a classic sheath dress with something a little funky to keep it from being boring. The coat is, again, super elegant and I dig that it’s not the exact same length as the dress, which keeps the pairing from looking too matchy-matchy or cutting me off at the knees.

Though I’m still not sure how I feel overall about this dress (that weird lining!), I’m excited to style it a different way next week to get a better feel for  whether it’s a keeper – which is, after all, why it’s in my 10×10.

What’s your Day 2 look like? What do you think of this look? Scroll down to comment!

10×10 Spring Remix – Day 1

I’m doing the 10×10 spring remix hosted by Un-Fancy and StyleBee. All this work week and next, I’ll be using 10 pieces of clothing to create 10 different outfits, using self-imposed limitations to spark some creativity. All the details – and all the clothes – here.

So Day 1.  I paired my peach leopard print blouse by Forever 21 with my taupe skirt from H&M and topped it all off with my coat dress from Tahari by Arthur S. Levine. The slides are Bandolino and the cuff is by Monet; everything except my earrings and necklace (heirlooms) is thrifted.

Still trying to figure out my camera set up… so you get a few early-morning closeups in my bathroom and a few blurry front-facing phone camera selfies. Good times.

IMG_5626Love this button detail: IMG_5628  IMG_5631

Sleeves worn long for chilly mornings:WP_20170410_10_34_33_Pro

Or rolled to get to work:WP_20170410_10_36_30_Pro

I was worried this lovely lined dress coat would be too warm for days with highs in the 80s, but man am I glad I wore it today. It was quite chilly this morning both outside and in my office when I first arrived.  Good call.  I wore the blouse sleeves long and rolled them up over the coat cuffs to bring a little pattern to the extremities of my outfit and make it all look a little more purposeful:WP_20170410_10_34_10_Pro

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You’re welcome. Ha.

This outfit feels really “me” – classic silhouette and proportions with the subtle leopard print thrown in for a dash of interest. The coat is still a newer (to me) piece but every time I put it on I feel like Jackie O. Bam, done – call the elegance paparazzi.

If you’re doing the 10×10, how did your planning go? How’s your first outfit?  Have a great Monday!

 

What I Wear Every Weekend

Surprise! A weekend-related post for the weekend.

Though I can be fickle with my weekday wardrobe – thrift something one week, donate it the next – I am a creature of habit on the weekends. In spring, here is the shirt I reach for without a second thought every Saturday (and often after work or church):wp_20160924_17_00_19_pro

It’s by Gap and made of incredibly soft, worn-in cotton.  It has my favorite width of stripes: not too thin or thick and evenly spaced so the shirt doesn’t appear too white or too navy. The drop shoulders make it look a little more modern although I wouldn’t care if they were normal shoulders. The wide neckline feels laidback as does the loose, but not sloppy, cut.

Most often than not I pair it with these cut-offs. They’re Gap jeans I thrifted 10 years ago right after I stopped buying retail. They were already cut to this Bermuda-esque length, which is just right for breezy days when shorts would feel too chilly.  And although they’ve stretched out a leeetle too far for their own good, I can’t give them up. They are perfectly worn in and just feel right. (I even wore them in one of my engagement photos lo these many years ago!)  I can roll up the edges for a neater look or let them go frayed when I’m feeling a little more free spirited.
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Both pics from this post.

That’s it!  If you see me wearing something else on a Saturday, it’s either unseasonably cold (and I’m in jeans) or someone forgot to do laundry.

Do you have a weekend “uniform”?  If so, scroll down to share.

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!

 

Spring Wardrobe

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.

So here’s what I’m working with for work outfits this spring – a glorious season of never-ending flowers and pollen dust when the Atlanta temps can go from 50s up into the 80s on any given day. I’m really proud that I got good photos of (almost) everything this time around, so you’re getting full-sized pics.  Enjoy! :)

PS For anyone new to the blog – everything below is thrifted except my sandals (marked “retail”).

Tops 
I’m going to list all my long-sleeved lightweight tops here and all my short-sleeved/sleeveless tops in my summer wardrobe, knowing that I’ll likely move back and forth between the two as the weather changes.

IMG_5563 IMG_5564 IMG_5572IMG_5565 IMG_5566 IMG_5562IMG_5567 IMG_5568 IMG_5569 IMG_5570 IMG_5571IMG_5600  Red/pink/white floral – no label; muted red linen/cotton button down – Banana Republic; coral/blue/white popover – Dolan; peach leopard print – Forever 21; white popover – Old Navy; grey polka dot – Loft; emroibered cotton popover – Lucky Brand; white with blue floral tunic – Chico’s; tropical popover – Loft; blue/turquoise/yellow floral – Land’s End; cerulean snakeprint popover – no label; leopard print – Banana Republic heritage (straight out of wash and thus wrinkly!)

Jackets/Blazers/Cardigans

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navy blue blazer – Charlotte Russe; pink/blue marled blazer – Cartonnier; grey marled blazer – Merona; white denim jacket- J. Crew; navy dress coat – Arthur S. Levine; white/gold chrysanthemum cardigan – Isaac Mizrahi Live!; blue pattern wool cardigan – Talbots 

 

Pants

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I hope to add some dressier navy pants like the Vince Camutos above, but I’ll have to wait ’til after Easter when my thrift fast is done.

 

Skirts
I have really been in skirt-wearing mode lately so just squint and pretend these have all been freshly laundered…

IMG_5585 IMG_5588 IMG_5584Taupe – H&M; navy – J. Crew; white – Ann Taylor

I had a camel skirt too but guess what?  I hate camel. (Somebody remind me of this next time I try to get a camel skirt!) Also it was too big.

 

Dresses
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Caramel shirt dress – New York & Co.;  blue long-sleeve – Land’s End; turquoise/pattern colorblock dress – vintage; orange creamsicle sheath – Ann Klein; white sheath – H&M; blue sheath – Ann Taylor

That vintage dress feels a little more special occasion to me than every day; but I plan to wear it to work occasionally so I included it.

 

Shoes
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Clarks sandals (retail); Bandolino wedges (more about these here); Champagne flats (more here); Floral sneaks (more here)

 

That’s it! I’ll likely have a few tweaks/edits/additions along the way which I will share when I’m getting ready to transition into full-on summer wardrobe in a month or two (spring is short here!).

What do you think of my spring wardrobe?  What’s yours looking like this year?  Scroll down to comment!

 

Spring Closet Cleanout

I like to clean out clothes at the end of a season (as opposed to the beginning) for two reasons. First, I can remember clearly what I did and didn’t reach for in the last few months; no chance for my memory to get fuzzy. Second, I find it a lot easier to say goodbye to clothes when I’ve just put them through their paces and know what they’re worth to me rather than at the beginning of a season, when wishful thinking (“Surely I’ll make use of it this year!”) can cloud my judgment.

So here’s what I’ve let go of as I’ve transitioned from wintry wardrobe to spring sartorial.

Puffy vest of yore, Kirkland (Costco brand)
This was an impulse buy right before a trip (the worst time for impulse buys!) 6 years ago and has not had a lot of wear since; just too casual.

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I also gave the bamboo/recycled down Nau awesomeness to a friend from the Pacific Northwest where, according to her, vests are mandatory. I loved how sustainable and different it looked but it was too sporty/Eurocool for my style.  More on my vest choices here.
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Sequined capelet, Joseph Le Bon
This had a lovely stay in my closet; although I never wore it even once (where would I wear this??), it made me smile every time I looked at it.  You better believed I thanked it for that, Marie Kondo-style, as I gently laid it in the “donate” bag.  May it make someone else just as happy!IMG_4880

Blue plaid blazer by Merona
My earlier foray into plaid blazer territory convinced me this would be a good idea, but the colors were just too intense (cerulean) and dark (navy) for my wardrobe/face:
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I reached for LINK this other one again and again, so I’ll stick with its dulcet tones for next year:
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Navy pants – Gap and Uniqlo
Every time I wore my navy corduroys by Gap I asked myself why I hadn’t just worn jeans since they read almost exactly the same – “casual navy pants.” The cords fit perfectly in the legs, but were seriously low cut; although I don’t love the cut of the legs in my jeans *quite* as much they fit superbly in the butt/waist and never make me afraid of giving crack to unsuspecting passers by.

Similarly, although these Uniqlo chinos fit well, they felt super casual due to their canvas-like fabric. Their weight made them great for cooler weather but I already had the cords and the jeans…plus the seam on one leg twists around to the front (poor fabric cutting?).  It’s not super noticeable but was another strike against them.wp_20161020_14_04_27_pro
I could only find a picture of one of the two pairs described above, which tells you how infrequently I’ve been wearing them.

I have concluded from tossing these two but still having a wardrobe palette where navy pants are a workhorse that I need some dressier, lighter navy pants to wear in the spring/summer/fall; something like my Vince Camuto cigarette pants:

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Add it to the thrift list.

Did I mention I’d tossed the snakeprint Isaac Mizrahi Live! blazer? Enough hemming and hawing, I wasn’t reaching for it and that’s that. Reasoning (and pictures) here.

Blue shirt dress by Virginia Hill
This had great flow but it felt like a mismatch for my style.  The smoothness, the completely structure-less collar, the intense color made me feel like someone with bolder taste should be wearing it. (If you are into seasonal analysis this is definitely a color for bright winters, which I am not.)

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In a rare fit of pre-seasonal sorting, I also chucked these spring wannabes:

Sleeveless navy blue rope-detail dress by Uniqlo. (Sorry Uniqlo, you did not fare well this round.)  The cut was too wide in the hips, made worse by pockets I wanted to love but which just bulked everything up. It was also a tad bit short.  Too bad, because the color works in my wardrobe and it felt so comfy while still looking stylish thanks to that textured detail. But I felt like I was compromising every time I put it on.  I’ll be on the lookout for a similar style/hue dress to keep me cool and comfy this summer.

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Grey/camel/white cotton floral tee by Old Navy
I like the colors and print in this tee and the softness of the cotton, but I want some COLOR in my spring/summer wardrobe! …it just felt too neutrally drab. The fit was also a little baggy in weird places.  In short, it was not making me happy to see it in my closet.

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Camel skirt by Merona
This is too big in the waist and therefore my waist is completely lost. I thought it was fine in the dressing room (below) but I wore it to work once and nope. Also I don’t like camel. There, I said it. Somebody remind me of this next time I try to buy a camel/tan/beige skirt!!wp_20161027_15_57_25_pro

Teal leopard print tee by s. Oliver
I just wasn’t reaching for it.  Too intense of a color? Too casual? No matter, I will trust my arm’s resistance to picking it out of the closet lineup.
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The Sebagos I painted.  The color was more blue-grey than the cement grey I wanted; plus they are utterly uncomfortable and I have no patience for wearing them in. Enjoy, Thrift Universe!
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This freed up some good space in my closet and inspired me to move my spring clothes to the fore:

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Excited to show it all to you on Thursday!

 

Winter Wardrobe Recap

I haven’t had much time for reading blogs this week so instead of a Friday ReBlog I’ve got a brief winter wardrobe recap before taking a look next week at what I have planned for spring.

Tops
Remember how I thought I’d be all into turtlenecks? The best laid plans of mice and thrifters… I wore turtlenecks sparingly, opting instead for sweaters or thinner shirts under blazers/cardigans. (Well, one of those sweaters was a turtleneck, so I guess that counts:)

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I didn’t wear this puppy at ALL but I still really like it, so I’m tucking it away in my box of classics until I’m ready for it to come back into the lineup:
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(You may recall that’s also where my sailor pants are living. Yes I know they’re back in style now but I seem to have a hard-headed allergy to wearing trends when they’re, you know, trendy:)
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Pants
I converted to all corduroy pants (plus one pair of jeans) and was very happy with the results, particularly after I added some color to the mix.

The hands-down faves for both color and fit – that off-white color (bleached out here a bit) is just so classy for winter:
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The best colorful addition – surprisingly versatile!
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The one I felt “meh” about by the end of the season:
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I got sick of the color and need a break from these to see if I get excited about them again next winter.  If not, I’ll look for a replacement that’s a different take on the red/berry/burgundy family and a bit longer. Those hems are SHORT and I got a bit tired of styling around them.

 

Blazers
For the first time I made blazers (instead of cardigans) a major part of my winter style. I let go a couple of neutrals that weren’t serving me well (camel and a fuzz-attracting navy) and let myself go wild with color and pattern, paring it back down by the end of the season to what I reached for over and over:

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I added a vest for leisure wear and loved how snuggly it was:wp_20170107_14_04_40_pro-1

Dresses
I was too enamored of my new corduroy pants collection to reach for my dresses all that often. I did, however, embrace layering warm-weather dresses, though, as part of falling head-over-heels for caramel and red:
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I have a few dresses about which I need to make decisions.
Pockets always pooch out; give away or cut ’em off and sew ’em up?
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SUCH a good shape, cut, color, thickness; but lining is all wonky (tailor fix?) and it’s too short to wear without leggings:
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Shoes
Still loving my snakeprint ankle boots, bronze flats, and Pumas:
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On the fence about my Coach cognac riding boots. I need inserts to make them not so flat-footed and therefore hard to walk in, and I’m still not sold on the width:
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And that’s the general gist of how things went this winter. Excited to put it all to the side in my closet to make way for spring things!  Next week I’ll share what I’ve tossed from my winter wardrobe (as well as a few things that didn’t make the cut for my upcoming spring wardrobe).

 

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.)