What I Wore: Boxy Silhouette

In which I try out a new-to-me silhouette.

I feel like Lee Vosburgh from Style Bee in this top:

Still working on focus, folks…

It’s a much boxier/wider silhouette than I’m used to:

Turtleneck: Coldwater Creek, thrifted
Sweater top: Banana Republic, thrifted
Necklace: DIY from thrifted parts

Jeans: Paige, thifted
Socks: Target, retail
Flats: Trotters, repainted from my mother-in-law

I’m pretty sure that’s mostly due to this being a size too big. Here’s how Banana Republic styled it, for reference:

Source – same top selling for $18 on Poshmark. It retailed for $60 and sold at Goodwill for $9. PS If you love this top, Poshmark is selling it in Medium (the size I’m sporting here) in the source link and in XL here.

And here’s how much – sloppier? – it looks me:


A size smaller would probably still have given the “boxy” effect without being quite so big. And I usually advise against spending money – even at secondhand prices – on something that doesn’t fit.

So why did I buy it? I was really drawn to the boxy cut – something I’ve played with in blouses but never in this sweater/sweatshirt-y fabric. It felt like the overblown boxyness was adding a structural element I tend to stay away from, and I thought it would be fun to play with.

I was also smitten with the the feel of that fabric – it’s basically a sweatshirt on the inside. Plus it’s the exact right color for my cold-weather wardrobe – an eye-matching blue, part of a two-tone knit with some texture/depth that doesn’t just read “solid”:

FWIW Banana Republic calls this “chambray”

And the split, hi-lo hem sealed the deal – I just love that detail so much:

It looks much more reasonable from this angle!

I’m not sure if I’ll keep it as is, living into (over-shooting?) a new-to-me silhouette, or whether I’ll get out the family sewing machine and try to slim it up a bit while keeping the boxy feel. (Keep in mind this would have to be project #3 or #4 after I re-familiarize myself with, say, how to thread the machine.)

Thoughts? Good tutorials for the sewing novice on how to size down sweaters?

PS Speaking of Lee of Style Bee, she’s got a 10×10 fall style challenge going on right now (along with Caroline of Un-Fancy). I have done two of these in the past and really enjoyed them, but I’m postponing this one because despite the cool snap that inspired this post’s outfit, Boston just had the hottest September and first week of October on record (climate change anyone?) and it won’t be letting up any time this week.  But I don’t want to miss out on the fun – since I’ve been stocking my closet for my own Atlanta-to-Boston climate change (ahem), I have a lot of new-to-me fall pieces I’m excited to play with.  So my current plan is to do my own 10×10 in a few weeks when fall is actually here.  I’d love to know if you’re doing the 10×10 this time around!

What I Wore: Cerulean Plaid Blazer

You may recall my first foray into plaid blazer territory:


Last week I found another plaid blazer by the same brand (Merona), same size, featuring some gorgeous blues:


It came home with me, of course, although I wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to wear it. Those are some pretty striking hues:


It’s hard to tell but some of the skinny lines are pretty much purple.

But I figured I could use it in place of the lint-collecting navy blazer that had lost its shape in the laundry. (Yes, I know, not a good idea to wash a blazer. Sometimes I am lazy and foolhardy.)

My first attempt at creating an outfit with it turned out rather Dionne and Cher from Clueless:

WP_20170120_17_05_21_Pro clueless-cher-dion

The high contrast plus the turtleneck made for a very 90s vibe. I wasn’t really feeling the throwback look and figured I could fix it with a crew neck top, but I was already dressed and was feeling the late-to-work look even less.

I tried again on Sunday, a grey and cool day that practically shouted corduroy and plaid – style notes as you scroll through:


Why is it that Merona blazers fit me better than most fancy-pants brands I find at the thrift store?  Not that I’m complaining…just curious about their spot-on fit, which I associate with higher quality stuff than Target brands.



Sweater: Gap Designed & Crafted, thrifted
Corduroy pants: Style & Co., thrifted and tailored (waist taken in)
Blazer: Merona, thrifted
Socks: Target, retail
Ankle boots: Lucky Brand, gift from The Sister
Necklace: DIY from Goodwill finds

This time I think the softer oatmeal shade and the crew neck on this Gap sweater made things a little less eye-popping. The marled texture and split hem on the sweater also gave it a more current feel:



As did the snakeskin print ankle boots:


Next time it’s truly chilly I’ll be excited to pair this blazer with my navy turtleneck sweater to see if tamping down the contrast but leaving the high neck will work as well as I imagine.


How would you wear this bold blazer – if you would wear it at all? Was Clueless a cinematic touchstone of your youth?  If not, what’s your favorite stylistic movie reference? Scroll down to comment.


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:

wp_20161125_14_53_56_pro wp_20161125_14_55_11_pro wp_20161125_14_55_21_pro wp_20161125_14_55_55_pro wp_20161125_14_56_32_pro wp_20161125_14_57_00_pro

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:


Well, there were pockets:


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:


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


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!