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!

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:


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.)

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


Necklace DIYed from Goodwill parts.

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


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:


And a bamboo tech shirt to layer on top:


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):


Faded Glory.

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



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:


J. Crew


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:

(worn twice)






(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!



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.)



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:


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:


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


Old Navy – thrifted



Just one coat, because it makes me just that happy:


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!


Restyling an Off-Season Wardrobe

Copy of Winter capsule wardrobe (4)

I wrote last week about why I like thrifting garments off-season: it gives me several months’ breathing room to mull over my wardrobe, figure out what worked/didn’t and where the holes are, and assemble what I want in the lineup for next season.

Thrift shops make this relaxed, thoughtful process possible because they have all seasons of clothing available all year ’round instead of for just 2 weeks before everything good is sold out (thanks retail stores).

Since it’s almost May, that means I’m currently thinking about my winter wardrobe.  (Not that I’m not excited about spring/summer clothes…I was thrilled to break out my first short-sleeved work top and dress last week.)

This may seem counter-intuitive, but the juxtaposition actually helped me get a handle on what in my winter closet needs fixing. Continue reading “Restyling an Off-Season Wardrobe”

Hi-Lo Fashion: or, a Tale of Two Turtlenecks


It’s no secret that I love turtlenecks. I’ve been working my way through my collection lately, updating what I have to colors that better match my other clothes and my skin tone. (The pics might be instructive if you’ve wondered about the difference wearing “your” colors makes.)  Thankfully, thrift shopping makes this kind of upgrade totally affordable.

So this midnight navy, almost indigo:

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on


became this warmer, dark blue (please excuse the running leggings):


Continue reading “Hi-Lo Fashion: or, a Tale of Two Turtlenecks”

How to Winterize Your Wardrobe

Way back when, my friend Sheena asked for a post about how to winterize your wardrobe.  Many of you are heading from the pleasant, crisp, colorful wonderland of Fall into the time of nasty winds, chilling rain, and grey skies I like to affectionately call November.  And some of you Northerners have already seen snow (perish the thought!).  So it’s high time to tackle her question.

Ya dig the slightly 70s Winter Wonderland vibe?

When you are creating a capsule wardrobe (read: curating your closet so you own only things you love and wear), one of the benefits is having fewer clothes to clean/maintain/fold/store.  To double down on that benefit, it makes a lot of sense to bridge some of your warmer weather clothes into fall and winter.  Fewer overall items to care for, and fewer $$ out the door!  Read on for my tips on how to make it happen.
Continue reading “How to Winterize Your Wardrobe”

What I Wore: Turtleneck Weather

This weekend it truly felt like fall.  We had a “cold” front come through—“cold” meaning lows in the 40s and highs in the mid-60s Fahrenheit—so for church on Sunday I busted out the tweed, the turtleneck, the long cardigan, and the fall accessories.  Oh, and socks with my dress shoes—it’s the first time it hasn’t felt sweaty to wear the two together!

I give you our pumpkin, Mr. Morris:IMG_2451

Continue reading “What I Wore: Turtleneck Weather”