Dressing Up a Breton Stripe Tee, Two Ways

My last few Thursday nights have been marked by a distinct lack of sleep. But Mama’s gotta work; wearing this Madewell Breton stripe tee (which is super comfortable – it basically feels like pajamas) is as close as I could get to staying in bed.  How to dress up such a casual-vibe top without completely scrapping the comfort factor?

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Decidedly casual.

I wore the outfits below on two consecutive Fridays to play with the styling a bit:

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Both: shirt, Madewell; blazer, Charlotte Russe; sneakers, City Sneaks. First: pants, Vince Camuto. Second: pants, Bandolino.

And how’s here I added some spit and polish:

The blazer was key to smartening up both of these looks; its touch of stretch kept it from feeling too confining or stiff.

How I dressed it up in the first photo: the “cigarette” pants are in a slim cut and a neutral hue. The necklace (closeup photo below) lends a little gravitas – it’s a focal point with some character.  And my cuff bracelet makes the whole thing look “finished.”

How I dressed it up in the second: the tucked shirt and skinny belt give a pulled-together look. While the sunglasses-as-headband look definitely reads “beach” in parts of the country, they are my first well-made, non-scavenged pair and they made me feel more dressy. (More on these in a later post.)

Admittedly the floral sneakers round this down to the casual end of “business casual.” If I really wanted to dress up, I would’ve combined all the polished elements listed above into one outfit (grey pants, tucked/belted tee, statement necklace, cuff bracelet) and skipped straight to my bronze wedges:
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But the combos above passed muster for Casual Friday in my office and prevented me from feeling like a slob even though I *did* feel like going back to sleep.

Here’s a closeup on the necklace, a vintage number that belonged to my Grandma:
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Do you have any tricks for dressing up t-shirts?  Or for masquerading pj-level comfy outfits as workwear? Scroll down to share!

 

Thrifting Upgrades: Side by Sides

Last week I promised side-by-side pics of my new (to me) and old striped tees. The former I stumbled upon in the thrift store and realized it would make a good thrift upgrade for the latter.

On top, Madewell; on the bottom, LOGG by H&M:
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You can’t really see it in the bottom photo, but I’m pointing to a side seam that twists all the way around to the front – blech. While we’re discussing its misshapen qualities, the LOGG shirt’s neckline has become asymmetrical. Although it’s super soft, I prefer its smaller stripes better, and it looks a little less casual than the Madewell shirt (shorter, more form-fitting sleeves, no overlock stitch on the sideseam), the Madewell tee is the winner in my book. It has higher quality fabric, is better cut (which means no twisting seams or odd necklines), and the silhouette is of the skimming, tunic shape I love.

Also in the name of comparing upgrades to the items they replaced, here is a much better shot of the color on the (grape? burgundy? – by Loft, on the right) cords I thrifted in lieu of the (wine? cranberry? – by Style & Co., on the left) ones that were too short and loose in spots:

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It’s much darker than my other winter colors, but I think it’s actually going to pair very well with the lighter tops I have, tops which will put some distance between the pants and my face so the intense hue won’t overwhelm my pale skin.

What do you think of my upgrades? What have you thrift-upgraded lately?

Fall Closet Clean Out

I mentioned in a recent post that I had been making room for new thrift finds by chucking some things that weren’t getting worn.  Since we all love a good closet clean out, I figured I’d give you the run down.

First up: Coral Loft dress.  This baby got a lot of high fives on Instagram (below), but it gapped in the shoulder blade area, the fabric was stiff and draped more like an A-line than a sheath, and it cut under the armpits just a bit.  I didn’t thrill to put it on and that’s all that matters.  I’ll keep an eye out for a true sheath in a similar color since it looked so great with my blue patterned cardigan and with my fresh white denim jacket.

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

 

Next: when something is so right on paper…  My two-toned striped tee by Madewell.  This had it all: colors in my color palette, an exposed zipper on the back, my favorite sleeve length.  I thought I would wear the heck out of this, but I’ve only reached for it once (pictured below).  Why?  It was a little too casual for work and a little too fitted for the weekend.  And it was two different tones of blue in a wardrobe that already had a lot of blue in it.  I don’t need to be THAT monochrome.

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

 

Two textured tees from last year – one of which I wore a lot but which just feels too frilly for my style (blush lace overlay tee by Loft) and one which felt like something I should wear on dates, not to work (sheer polkadot sweetheart tee by H&M):

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

 

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

I was on the fence about both of these but then realized they weren’t getting worn and someone else would find JOY in them instead of me holding on to them in lukewarm fashion.  Passed ’em on to a friend (more on how to do that here.)

 

Old jeans: I wrote about this here.  I realize the below silhouette fits the on trend “boyfriend jeans” look, but although I like that look, I don’t have a particular interest in creating it on myself…maybe because I’ve spent the last several years wearing these jeans and it doesn’t feel fresh to me anymore.  I *might* keep these for things like Habitat for Humanity work days or hiking in cool weather, but I could probably just as easily go buy a “new” pair of Dickies at the Goodwill that have a higher rise and thus involve less risk of crack.

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Palm print maxi dress: I was ambivalent about this even the one time I wore it and have not worn it since.  If I could magically have made that sheer palm print into a top (without paying the tailor a fortune), I would’ve.  But instead I left it intact for someone to find it who will fall for it just as hard but who will actually wear it.  (And spotted it back on the rack at the Goodwill!)

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Camel blazer: as I posted here, I ditched this puppy in favor of two statement blazers (one of which is the same brand/style but a better size and more visually interesting).  Haven’t missed it yet.

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What have you cleaned out lately?

 

 

Thrift Finds: June Edition

As I mentioned in this post, it’s been awhile since I’ve done a “Thrift Finds” post – partly because once my summer capsule wardrobe was set, it felt like I should quit shopping for warm weather clothes.  That’s part of the point of a capsule wardrobe, after all; you confine yourself to a certain set of clothes to help you realize that you need fewer duds than you think. (The punnery.  I die.) Continue reading “Thrift Finds: June Edition”