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

 

 

Monday ReBlog: Making a “Not My Style” List

I didn’t get to a Friday reblog last week (life…work…toddlers…you know), but I found a great blog post over the weekend so I thought I’d share it today.

Making a list of what constitutes your style can be really helpful as you’re piecing together a wardrobe.  But Anuschka at Into Mind flips the concept on its head – make a list of things that aren’t your style to help weed out what doesn’t work.  I particularly liked her idea to make a subcategory for “love it on other people, not for me” as those items can be distracting and disappointing when honing your own style (“I LOVE this, but I never wear it…”  “This looks great on my friend, why doesn’t it work for me??”).

A “not my style” list is even more helpful when you’re thrifting a large portion of your closet.  If you’re not rock solid on what constitutes your personal brand of style, sweet prices, the scarcity-based feeling that there are only so many secondhand clothes to go around, and the sheer smorgasboard of styles can combine to make you splash out on a great piece that isn’t really you.

So let’s make a list.  Here’s mine:

Great on others, not for me:

-skinny jeans (I keep trying these on, they keep refusing to let my circulation move freely)
-button down shirts
-dresses with short hems
-button down cardigans
-superoversized sweaters (I have one, I wear it at home or while pregnant)
-anything sheer (I’m not prudish but I’m definitely lazy and don’t want to add another layer to make sheer work appropriate)
-jewel tones

I just don’t like them (even if they’re on-trend):

-military parkas/utility jackets – always look too casual/busy with doodads and add-ons. Also I’m not in the military or going fly fishing anytime soon.
-culottes
-super wide-legged pants
-twinsets (although one of my coworkers absolutely ROCKS these…shoutout to Patti!)
-faux suits – dressing all in one color when it’s not a suit (apologies to Janice of The Vivienne Files, and my mother-in-law).  I need more variety!

 

I’m sure the list could be longer but it’s late and my brain just overdosed on dulce de leche cheesecake.

 

Alright, Thrifters, let’s see YOUR “Not My Style” lists in the comments!  And tell me – do you think this is a helpful concept?