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!

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!

 

 

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!

 

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”