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

Bonus shot:WP_20170410_10_36_42_Pro

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 Wore: Liturgically Appropriate Advent Wear

Warning: this post contains liturgical nerdiness in the extreme.

This past Sunday was the third Sunday of Advent, also known as Gaudete (Latin for “rejoice”) Sunday. In many Catholic and Protestant traditions, the candles on the Advent wreath – one lit for each Sunday leading up to Christmas – are all purple except for the one representing joy this Sunday, which is rose.

(Many other Protestant and a minority of Catholic churches [since it’s illegal under Catholic law] use a color called Sarum blue, derived from the liturgical palette of Salisbury cathedral, for all of Advent.  The idea is that since purple is the color used for Lent, a penitentiary season, something different and more joyful should be used for Advent.  But old schoolers reply that this is 1) liturgical wishful thinking and/or 2) that Advent IS penitential in some ways as we prepare our hearts for the coming of the Christ child into a beautiful but messed up world.  As I promised – definitely more than you cared to know.)

Anyway, Episcopalian and Catholic clergy get to rock some pretty rad vestments on this day:

img_4691

My dear friend Sarah (2nd from right) at her former parish rocking the rose vestments.  (Butterfly headpiece optional.)  Source.

 

Sadly the only thing I own in this hue is strictly for warm weather.  But I did try to communicate some joy with the blush pink in this sweater:

img_4784

Sweater: Forever 21, thrifted
Corduroy pants: Banana Republic, thrifted

Snakeskin print ankle boots: Lucky Brand, gifted to me by my sister
Necklace: DIYed from Goodwill finds
Cuff: heirloom from my grandma

 

Close up on the very, very faint blush pink in the sweater:

img_4789

Pretty lousy attempt at a joy-filled color, no?  So I stuck these fun socks down below, which are both closer in hue to “rose” and make me smile every time I wear them, particularly so in cold weather:

img_4790

Socks: Target

Now that you are equipped with obscure trivia for sherry hour at the rectory, scroll down and tell me about the last time you dressed in a particular color for an event.

This post brought to you by the Vicar of Dibley, whom I sure has rose vestments somewhere…

dawn-french-vicar-of-dibley-600x337

…and who would invite you over for scotch, not sherry.

 

Thrifting for Blue Jeans – a Thrift Upgrade

When was the last time you called your denim “blue jeans”?  

I mentioned here that after many faithful years my Forever 21 jeans were wearing out and I was looking for a thrift upgrade.  The other week I had a chance to thrift; after a quick browse-through for other items on my thrift list came up empty, I decided I had time to devote to an initial round of denim hunting.

The search for jeans can be overwhelming even when you’re shopping retail.  My approach to searching racks and racks of secondhand choices while maintaining my sanity involves keeping in mind two things:

  1. It will likely take multiple visits to find a winner.
  2. Priorities – what features (fit, wash, cut, fabric, brand, etc.) are most important to me?

In this particular search, my priorities were the feel and the wash – I wanted something supple and thick in a darker, richer blue than my current pair.  Color is a quick visual differentiator, so I looked first for the right hue.  Next, with a brief touch I could tell whether a pair I’d spotted in the right color met my “feel” requirement. Only then did I check to see if the size/cut was right.  If you care about pockets, this is also a good time to check whether the pockets are heinous.  (One disadvantage to this method was that I sometimes got excited about a pair only to find it was capri.)

Next: given that sizes vary between brands – and within brands between seasons! – I pulled anything that was my size or one size bigger/smaller.  (It helps here to know what your waist size in inches – e.g. 29/30/31 instead of 8/10/12 – since many brands now size this way.)  I was also flexible about cut, given that I’ve had success getting a wider leg tailored to a slimmer cut.  (If you don’t want to pay for tailoring and have access to a sewing machine, Thriftanista in the City has good tutorials on DIYing a hem or a altering a pant leg at home.)

Here’s what I took to the dressing room:

Pair #1 by Not Your Daughter’s Jeans: too short for pants that are supposed to get me through cold weather. Also I was least impressed with this fabric – fell short of my expectations for NYDJ given rave reviews I had read on retail style blogs.

wp_20161028_17_33_28_pro

Pair #2 by J. Brand: too skinny to even get all the way up mah legs.  I so detest pants you have to literally peel off.  (I have seen this pricey and popular brand several times at the thrift store but have yet to find success with them.)
wp_20161028_17_34_17_pro

Pair #3 by Banana Republic: great cut but didn’t button.  Wanh wannnnh.

wp_20161028_17_36_34_pro

Pair #4 by Banana Republic: same brand AND SIZE as the previous number, and yet they fit perfectly in the waist.  As you can see, the pant leg is just a little more flare than your average bootcut; not my preferred cut.  But it checks off my priorities: the feel is luscious and the color is a gorgeous deep blue with stitching in a great contrasting rust color.  Bonus: the length is already just right, as evidenced by the break.

wp_20161028_17_35_28_pro wp_20161028_17_35_42_pro  wp_20161028_17_37_51_pro
Attitude.

Per rule #1 above, I fully expected to leave the thrift store with nothing other than more information about what I would look for next time.  But given my priorities, these last ones were winners.  I haven’t decided yet if I’ll get them tailored; unexpectedly, the wider leg feels like a fresh option to call on amidst a wardrobe of slim fit pants.

Here’s how they look next to my old F21 pair:

wp_20161028_17_38_18_pro

And next to my newly thrifted Pumas LINK – great match in color:

wp_20161028_17_39_06_pro

What do y’all think of the pair I picked?   What do you prioritize when shopping for jeans (thrifted or otherwise)?  Any tips for thrifting for denim?  And most importantly, SHOULD I TAILOR THEM TO A SLIMMER CUT??    Scroll down to comment!

 

 

What I Wore & My Secret Weapon for Keeping My Wardrobe Focused

A quick What I Wore from our long weekend here in the states:

IMG_4197

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:

IMG_4194

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”

July / August Thrift Finds

August ends tomorrow, so I think it’s pretty safe to say that I’m done thrifting for the month.  (But now that I think about it, I could conceivably hit up one last place Wednesday after work…tempting….)

Although I’m still feeling pretty satiated as regards my summer wardrobe, I have picked up a few new things since my last Thrift Finds in June, so I thought I’d share what I found.

Continue reading “July / August Thrift Finds”

Why You Shouldn’t Duplicate What Works (and a sneak peek at my winter wardrobe restyling)

As I’ve been retooling my off-season wardrobe, I’ve been tempted to double down on the one sweater I kept from this past winter’s wardrobe – my snow leopard print beauty:

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

 

Here is some photo evidence of my apparent obsession (and/or sartorial laziness) regarding animal print: Continue reading “Why You Shouldn’t Duplicate What Works (and a sneak peek at my winter wardrobe restyling)”