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!

Thrift Finds: October 2017

First up, I want to share with you all Nadia at Happy Malista’s recap from her 10×10 challenge; she shared her outfits as well as outfits from a few other bloggers whose challenges she enjoyed, including yours truly! It’s sometimes hard finding a style blogger whose style is close enough to your own to resonate but different enough to inspire you; Nadia’s 10×10 hits that sweet spot for me. She’s convinced me I need to replace the blazer I used to own that was kind of a spring take on moss green…

And now, on to my thrift finds from last month!  Starting with the NOs:

A great soft dark grey turtleneck with split hem, made of supima cotton, that was too baggy – sigh:

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A Talbots sweater that made me feel like I live in a ski chalet – look at that great fringe!

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A wonky fit in the torso, though:

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I’m on the hunt for a caramel-colored turtleneck but this one was giant in the armpits:

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It hid its ginormous pits well, though:

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This dark cognac trench was a dream – 100% wool, and just had so much character:

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It was a little TOO oversized on me, and the color a bit intense – see how it’s the first thing your eye is drawn to in the picture, instead of my face? Sign of a tone mismatch.  Anyway, this would have fit my fantasy life (city dweller with a 20 minute walk across the Loop to get to my office) but not my real life (quick jog down the block to my office, then where do I stash this monster?), so I left it there.  Tear.

It’s hard to tell, but this riding jacket by Ralph Lauren was too big on me. The cut is very equestrian; can’t you see it paired with jodhpurs?

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But here’s where it shines – velvet collar and some purple woven in with that moss green. It’s like heather in a blazer!

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Various pants I tried out because I thought I needed grey jeans (probably not true):

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Several sweaters that didn’t make the cut, such as:

Loft – loved the diamond pattern but it was scratchy-atchy-atchy, as one of my kid’s storybooks says:

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Same with this Gap sweater – scratchy, and that neck plus those sleeves totally remind of the year 2000:

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Too much blue in this green sweater by Land’s End – but it fit perfectly! (Their tops are usually too wide in the torso for me):

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Italian wool from Banana Republic, too tight (that smudge is the mirror, not a sweater defect):

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And a J. Crew dress that underwhelmed, I think mostly because it was short enough to need leggings, but lightweight enough to show any lumps and folds from underlayers:

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That bottom half is navy, despite its greenish tinge in this photo.

 

And now, for the winners!

You’re familiar by now with my new cable knit sweater by Workshop by Andrea Jovine:

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Here’s my new goose down coat by Larry Levine; it retails for up to $200 but thrifted for $20. I may not be psychologically ready for the cold, but I will be sartorially ready for it!

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It’s just this side of dark charcoal, so hopefully it will not wash me out quite as much as pure black. Honestly, though, if I’m warm and I paid 10% of MSRP, I don’t care. Functional wins out over everything else in this case.

Here’s my first Eileen Fisher find! A bright, orangey red that is sort of intensely bright – what a great fall color:

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Check out that split hem!

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To wit, here it is styled:

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And this tan/cream patterned sweater by L.L. Bean:

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There’s a cat balancing on my phone!

…with a fun hi-lo split hem:

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Here it is styled:

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And last but not least, this merino wool plaid scarf in colors that complement my wardrobe in stellar fashion:

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Overall, a pretty good month.  Onward to November!

Did anything in my finds catch your eye?  What did you thrift this past month?

What I Wore: Preacher Casual

I’ve mentioned before that my new office is on the more casual side – jeans, capris, unfussy tees and polos – especially compared to where I previously worked. As the pastor, I’m aiming to appear polished but not make anyone feel under dressed in comparison (not that there’s too much danger of that since I run by the church in my sweaty workout clothes all the time…), so over the last few weeks I’ve played with translating my rather dressy wardrobe staples into my new style environment.

I’ve kept in rotation my collection of blouses to bring more casual ensembles up a notch, and added my trusty blazers to dresses in need of a little warmth or formality. But I’ve stashed my pencil skirts and wedges in favor of pants and sneakers/sandals; kept my sheath dresses mostly under wraps in favor of my more casual dresses; and left my trousers in the drawer in favor of chinos and jeans. I even wore shorts to the office once, gasp!

I don’t plan on donating my dressier dresses and skirts, since I love them and since they’ll come in handy for Sunday mornings and formal occasions. I’ll share some of those Sunday AM outfits in another post, but here’s a few examples of where I’ve landed for weekdays filled with office work, pastoral/hospital visits, and practicing communion choreography.

First up, a variation on what I wore my entire first week: jeans + blouse. Please note the authentic office decor including a not-yet-mounted-but-already-drawn-on-by-office-children white board:

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Blouse: no label, thrifted
Jeans: Paige, thrifted
Sandals: Saltwaters, retail

The best thing about this blouse – besides the delightful colors in the floral pattern and the collarless neckline – is the hem. It draws the eye pleasingly upward instead of chopping me in half horizontally:

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And the toes! Can’t forget to showcase the nail polish matching the shirt:

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This is a level of coordination I rarely achieve.

Basically all last week I wore these jeans plus a similar top. E.g. these:

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Banana Republic Heritage, Loft, Chico’s, Old Navy.

Here is another work outfit, on the even more casual side, which I posted last week:

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Shirt: Kenar, thrifted
Jeans: Paige, thrifted
Shoes: City Sneaks, thrifted

Each day I chose sneakers or sandals depending on the morning’s briskness. I added this blazer one especially cool morning:

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Mercer & Madison, a new thrift find already coming in handy.

This week I was feeling the need for something fresh, so I broke the outfit mold – and found a place to take decent outfit pictures! (Now I just need to work on focus and exposure, ha.)

Behold, my shabby chic garage siding, and a dress/blazer combo:

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Dress: J. Crew, thrifted
Blazer: Charlotte Russe, thrifted

Cuff bracelet: Monet, thrifted
Sandals: Saltwaters, retail

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^^I wore this for staff meeting and some office work.

The day before I sported this outfit for office work & pastoral visits:

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Top: Jacqueline Ferrar, thrifted
Pants: Banana Republic, thrifted
Belt: J. Crew, thrifted
Cuff bracelet: Monet, thrifted
Necklace: street vendor, Washington D.C.
Sandals: Saltwaters, retail

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Love that pop of leopard and gold showcased by a little t-shirt tuck.

 

Where do you fall on the formal/casual divide? How do you dress something up or down as the occasion/setting requires?

 

Summer 10×10 Remix: Day 4

As part of the Summer 10×10 remix (hosted by UnFancy and Style Bee), I’m attempting to post what I’ve been wearing each day as I live out of my suitcase on back-to-back family reunions. What’s a 10×10 remix? 10 pieces of clothing, 10 outfits, 10 days. What you count as an item is up to you (I’m not counting shoes, workout gear, outerwear) since the point isn’t following strict rules – it’s using limitations to spark creativity. 

Day 4: On the Farm

I feel so fancy having a great backdrop and a real camera to capture outfits!  Turns out it pays to go on vacation with people who will take outfit photos.

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This isn’t our family farm, but this corn crib is similar to one that my uncle & aunt disassembled last year. The 100+ year old aged pine was turned into a beautiful table where lots of us can eat and several other cherished furniture projects.

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Dress: J. Crew – thrifted
Hat: unlabeled – thrifted
Cuff bracelet: Monet – thrifted
Sandals: Saltwater (retail)
Sunglasses: Ray-Ban (retail)

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This is the most comfortable dress I own – so soft, so practical (I can sit cross-legged, and it has pockets!), and it gives a great silhouette – sort of boxy on top and almost like drawstring shorts on the bottom. Paired with the straw hat and some sandals that got me through fields, barns, and water fights, it just exudes easy, summery chic.

I feel like a legit style blogger over here:

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So many good memories from corn cribs like this and farm yards full of grasshoppers and monarch butterflies by day and studded with fireflies by night.

More tomorrow!

 

Spring 10×10 Remix: Day 8

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 8 comin’ atcha. I swapped the white skirt from last week’s outfit for a navy one and ta-da! Pretty different feel, if you ask me. (Maybe some of you are bored stiff by blouse + pencil skirt combos? Obviously I’m not!)

The blouse is Banana Republic Heritage, the skirt is J. Crew, and the slides are Bandolino. Everything but the jewelry (heirlooms) is thrifted. Forgot to put on my cuff this morning but if I had remembered it would be in there too!

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Side view with a senior picture-esque pose:WP_20170420_15_09_06_Pro

Close up on that all-important roll-tab sleeve:
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Styling notes: I rolled up those tabs to keep the sleeves outta my way (same as yesterday) and pinned the shirt closed in the front because the buttons are so small relative to the holes that they spontaneously undo themselves.  Hopefully you can’t even tell.

Thoughts: I hesitated on this combo because the navy and dark grey/taupe combo seemed too dark. I think I prefer this skirt with lighter/brighter tops, but I was actually pleasantly surprised that this didn’t look overwhelming. I think my pasty legs balance it out, ha!

 

So far I’ve really enjoyed this remix and the challenge to take daily outfit pics (at least on work days). What have you thought of the mix (either yours or mine) – too much same-same, or more like hitting a groove?

Next week (Tuesday & Wednesday) I’ll be back with outfits 9 & 10. In the meantime have a great weekend!

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!

What I Wore & How I Styled It: Steve Urkel Chic

Last week, without realizing it, I dressed like a great style icon of the 90s – Steve Urkel:

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I subbed a belt for suspenders, but otherwise I had his look down: coordinating cardigan, high-waisted pants, high hems on those pants, and ankle socks:

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Swiss dot cotton button down by Merona – thrifted
Wine corduroy pants by Style & Co. – thrifted

Merino wool cardigan by Talbots – thrifted
Leopard print hair belt by J. Crew – thrifted
Socks by Target – retail
Shoes by Clarks – retail

How’d I get to this fabulous combination?

First up: base pieces.  I started off wanting some warm hues after a week in my travel wardrobe‘s polar palette, so I paired this button down with these pants:

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The current iteration of this shirt, you may have noticed, is a true button down instead of the former popover tunic. I swapped the tunic version (too narrow in the chest/hips) for this same brand/print in a slightly larger size.  Yes, I cried a little to lose the popover cut and length, but I wanted to wear this great textured pattern more often than the constant tug-and-reposition act was inspiring me to do.  Comfort over style, people – or rather, style informed by comfort.

Next: a topper. My workplace is chilly in some spots but the temp outside was supposed to hit 66 F – hey Hotlanta, I love you so much this time of year! – so I decided to add a thin cardigan I could layer/unlayer with ease.  I went back and forth between the one on the left (from my spring wardrobe), which would have made for an interesting contrast in hem lengths, and the one on the right, which brought some extra punch in the pattern department:

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Hmm, the outfit on the left is basically this same outfit, translated for warmer weather.

Surprise surprise – I just couldn’t resist the contrast of two great patterns (one subtle) in related colors and chose the cable pattern one.

I buttoned the top several buttons because, left to its own devices, the top button flops around and doesn’t stay put, but I left the bottom several unbuttoned because I wanted the contrast in patterns to show through:

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Since the hem on this shirt isn’t as long as it used to be, I next had to decide whether to tuck or untuck.  The relatively similar length of the button down and the cardigan answered that for me – I’d much rather have a visual contrast between hem lengths than have them line up in a way that cuts me off:

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Well, then, of course the high waist drew attention to itself and looked funny with no belt.  Out came my trusty leopard belt – a print that functions like a neutral:

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A little less of a closeup:

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Last but not least, metallic bronze flats that would pick up the warm browns in the belt and the shiny gold of the cardigan buttons; and striped socks with all the constituent colors represented (a feat that makes me ridiculously happy):

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That’s a lot of sock showing.

 

So what do y’all think of my high-tide, pattern-mixing homage to Urkel – is it “No sweat, my pet”?  Or more along the lines of “Got any cheeeeeeese”?

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Scroll down to comment!

 

November / December Thrift Finds

I thrifted steadily through November and all the way up through the end of December; in the course of assembling this post I realized these were two fruitful months!  While several pieces that came home with me were for warm weather, all the winter goodies in this haul required some trimming of my cold weather wardrobe (the updated version of which will soon appear on this very blog).

 

First up, the rejects.

It was really hard to say no to this Loft brocade sweatshirt top:

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Because multiple textures!  And neutral/gold!  And a split hem!  But the brocade material made the front super stiff and prone to awkward pointy parts:

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Gorgeous green silk shirt with cranes and hexagons on it – too big, wanh wannnnnh:

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Loved the tunic length on this top by Zara woman, but it was pretty baggy in the arms and the print was too busy for me:

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This Lucky Brand sweater was basically a rag rug in cardigan form – I wanted to love it so hard because who wears rag rugs?  And my great grandma made rag rugs we still have.  It would have been so funky, and it has such great colors, but the drape was just too tent-like.  I think it would be great for someone with a more earth-mama style:

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Linen top by Old Navy – too wrinkly, and too big in the armpits:

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Pro tip: how the item appears on the hanger in the thrift store (super wrinkled, misshapen) is a good indicator of how well it will hold up at home.

 

Mustard blazer by J. Crew – I wanted more of a lemon yellow and the cut was too bulky in the chest, plus the sleeves were reallllly long:

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Great texture and cream/grey color on this cardigan by Madison Studio, but again, too wide for me:

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Closeup on the texture:

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And now, the keepers:

Leopard print shirt by Banana Republic:

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More about my quest for leopard here.

 

Red dress by Talbots – great for summer and also for layering in winter:

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Wool/cashmere blend red blazer by Kate Hill:

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Caramel velveteen bootcut pants by !iT Jeans:

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Caramel crew neck sweater by J. Crew:

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Caramel shirt by Jones New York – more here:

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(More on my red/caramel obsession on Thursday.)

 

Cream heathered sweater by Gap Designed & Crafted:

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Split hem on this baby (also a little pilling I need to take care of):

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Cold weather accessories:

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Jones New York black party dress & Chico’s two-tone blazer – more here:

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Neutral mod dress – more here:

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White skirt by Ann Taylor:

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With pockets!

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Pink/blue popover by Dalton:

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I’m thinking this is pretty tribal-inspired and might have to get re-donated – what do y’all think?

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Navy floral blouse by Loft:

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I love the colors and can’t WAIT to wear this in spring, as I’ve been keeping an eye out for something with a bold floral print:

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Bamboo tech shirt by Tasc Performance to replace an old one I’ve had since high school:

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With thumb holes:

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What thrift finds have you scored lately?  Scroll down to share in the comments!

 

Travel Wardrobe: Cold Weather in a Carry On

No Friday ReBlog today because I haven’t been reading enough (any?) blogs over the holidays to find good stuff for ya.  It’ll be back next week; in the meantime, send me your favorite thrift- or style-related blog posts at leah AT thriftshopchic DOT com or leave ’em in the comments.

We went to the Great White(ish) North for a week over the Christmas holiday and I had to figure out how to pack for cold weather in a carry on. The limited parameters on my wardrobe were not as dramatic as this trip when I packed my stuff and my kid’s into a tote bag (which I promptly forgot), but I did need to think practically about how everything would go together since warm clothes take up more space and thus afford fewer slots to play with.  Everything is thrifted unless otherwise noted.

Using the template from the How to Pack a Travel Wardrobe post, I’m factoring in:
-length of trip (6 days);
-weather/activities at destination (cold; family time + church + exercise); and
-laundry facilities (check!)

Knowing it would be cold, I started off with this wool/cashmere/angora sweater from the Loft, which is as cozy a garment as you’d hope to find:

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Then I picked out tops to go underneath:

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4 tops, with plans to either rewear or wash depending on how many living room dance parties were to be held.  L to R: Coldwater Creek, Piazza Sempione, Loft, J. Crew

I also tucked in a sleeveless undershirt in case it got REALLY cold – didn’t need it but was glad it was there.  And I wore leggings (see below) under my pants when were going to be outside for a significant amount of time.

Then pants that picked up the colors in the sweater and would serve as great neutral bases:

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L to R: Banana Republic, IT! Jeans

I wasn’t keen on the grey at first, since I had a grey turtleneck; doing too much grey because it’s just depressing when it’s dark and cold. But the corduroy on the dark grey ones is almost like velvet, making them so chic I knew they would dress up my otherwise comfy outfits.   I thought about bringing my navy cords, too, but since I couldn’t justify 3 pairs of pants (no room!), I decided to keep the grey and just not wear it with the grey top.  (Look for a post next week introducing the caramel velveteen pants.)

Jewelry:
Same ol’ earrings every day, plus one pendant necklace, the cream and dark taupe of which would jive nicely with my sweater:

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Necklace DIYed from Goodwill parts.

Shoes:
I went for one these two, to cover church (bronze flats by Clarks – retail) and everything else (navy Pumas):

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Plus sneakers for running (retail).

 

Workout clothes:
Luckily my sister-in-law is pretty devoted to her running schedule so I knew I’d get a chance to run with her – motivation!

I packed a silk undershirt to layer and keep me warm:

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And a bamboo tech shirt to layer on top:

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It wasn’t cold enough to need more than that – I just had to run about 5 minutes to warm myself up and the silk kept me nice and snuggly.

I also brought bulky but oh-so-worth-it track pants from highschool to keep my legs warm while running.

I brought two pairs of leggings, one for sleeping and one for layering under the track pants, both American Apparel (retail).  Here was my shirt to sleep in (and to wear one day before I slept in it):

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Faded Glory.

Sadly, I discovered ANOTHER hole in it, so it’s hereby consigned to winter sleepwear with no daytime cameos:

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Outerwear
I wore my trusty red wool peacoat on the plane (well, used it as a blanket) and packed my freshly thrifted winter accessories in the outer pocket of my carry on so I could get them out first thing after landing:

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J. Crew

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No tags.

Here are my outfits.  There’s not a lot of variety, but I liked the formula.  Furthermore, I had no one to impress and just wanted to look put together and feel WARM.  Mission accomplished:

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(worn twice)

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(worn twice – except for the bowling shoes, those were just worn once)

 

What are your strategies for packing sufficient cold weather clothes into a small space?  Do you ever just pick one simple outfit formula and wear variations of it to keep packing super simple?  Scroll down to comment, and Happy New Year!

 

 

Summer Wrap Up

Time for a quick retrospective on the summer wardrobe before we turn the corner into fall – or, more accurately, before y’all turn the corner into fall. It’s gonna be hot here in Atlanta for awhile yet but I’ve worn these clothes four and a half-ish months already and I’m probably just as ready to put them away as you all are ready to get your autumn on.

So. Summer review today, and more on what I’m thrifting and wearing for fall tomorrow and next week (including how I’m incorporating little tastes of autumn while still dressing for highs in the 90s). Continue reading “Summer Wrap Up”