Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The point of (hopefully) no return

 "See? That was nothing. But that's how it always begins. Very small". 

-Egg Shen - Big Trouble in Little China

Sometime in the wee hours of Monday night into Tuesday the third I hit a wall. Barely days into December and I'd officially had enough of winter, my winter wardrobe, and my usual approach to dressing myself for the season in general.

Shortly after this post I turned off my computer, got ready for bed, and picked out a winning ensemble for my upcoming day at work. While falling asleep I remembered a picture series my friend Christa aka the BabbyMama  had done for a while and had the thought to start keeping track of what I was wearing.

Continued after the cut.

Tuesday December Second 2013

Woo! Can't you just see how thrilled I was to be taking pictures of myself in that outfit at 7:30 in the morning?

Old Navy in blue and grey literally from chin to ankles with a pair of worn out Saucony running shoes to cap it all off.

This is a fairly perfect exemplar of my everyday "style" as the VAST majority of my wardrobe is comprised of cotton casual separates from Old Navy.

These sneakers are too busted out for running anymore but they're fine cosmetically. I'm not really a sneaker person but I have been getting tired of my trusty burgundy Grinder's Oxfords of late and none of my flats would have worked with this vest.

The jeans are Old Navy Sweetheart bootcut in short (which I most decidedly am).

The shirt is an aqua and navy micro-stripe with wide cuffs and visible stitching which make it kind of a thermal style. I LOVE horizontal stripes (there just something about getting a pixie cut as an adult which makes you fall in love with horizontal stripes), but it certainly does nothing to elevate this outfit.

The vest is grey microfleece. I think this is the piece which really puts the nail in the coffin. I am totally rocking it cozy second-grader style here.

I don't believe I was wearing any makeup besides my usual black kitten eyeliner (basically a very minimal cat's eye - example and tutorial linked).

Simple, comfortable, fairly warm. Nothing hideous or terribly unkempt so I'm not exactly ashamed, but by the same token there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING OF INTEREST ABOUT THIS OUTFIT. If you saw an eight year old wander into a primary school classroom in the same outfit you wouldn't blink an eye.

And so we have what I think is a pretty solid "before" example.

So enough with the picking apart... what would I prefer to wear instead?

 To me an outfit like that translates easily to something more like this.

Double breasted grey wool coat from Etsy Seller RenzRags

I love military inspired styling and have been pretty happy tooling around in full coverage vests lately, so if I were to buy one item to transform my outfit above I would search for something high collared with a double row of big buttons and a defined waist. It fulfills all the same function of the micro fleece vest without that distinctive "tailgating before the big game" look. Toss on a different pair of shoes (even my oxfords would work) and I think that would be the kind of outfit that I'd actually enjoy wearing rather than one I'd just be okay wearing.

Military vest from Etsy (sold) via Polyvore

Here are a few other variations on the military theme: similar  similar similar similar similar.

I know most people would have done this with skinny jeans in boots but I've never been comfortable with that combo for me. At five foot two with fairly curvy hips I tend to think of my curves as being somewhat... concentrated.

Sometimes accentuating that much awesomeness can be overwhelming, you know?

I would pair that with knee high black boots, tall boot socks, and body skimming knee length trouser cut Bermuda shorts like this pair from Marc Jacobs. I have a pair I rather like from Old Navy but I do wish they were a bit higher waisted. The slightly looser cut of the long shorts with the boots breaks that line up a bit. Example 1, Example 2

My boot choice would be the Amelia by Mizz Mooz, not the least of which because I already own and love them to bits. Bonus opportunity for tall socks or boot cuffs.

Shirt options are endless but something with a wrist cuff would go nicely I think.

So what do you think? How would you have chosen to tweak that "look".


  1. Miz Mooz did a special version of the Amelia for modcloth, called the "Kapow!" boot (, I wish wish wish I'd bought it back when it existed! Great looking boots. :)

    1. That might actually have been the style that led me to Miz Mooz, there was a model on Sock Dreams wearing a pair that got them so many questions they actually posted the boot maker in their FAQ. I have three pairs of shoes from them and love all of them HARD.

      I'm currently eying a pair of their Janessa boots grey on eBay but their a bit scuffed up (great price though, augh).

    2. I just remembered my birthday is in a couple of weeks, so happy early birthday to me from the cats!

  2. I'm really loving the high cuff socks+tall boots look lately. Fortunately in CA it's warm enough i can pull that off with tights and a short skirt or skinny jeans. that with a cowl neck sweater and my motorcycle jacket is totally my fall/winter look of choice.


    Also: Dat jacket. Daaaaaang.

    Also also: It's funny that your before example is like the standard mom uniform for New England. Kind of sporty, like you're going to the hockey rink, appropriate for the weather, but not quite HOORAY.

    1. Also also also: Awesome jacket woman appears to be wearing her pants... backward!

  4. Hey, anything I can do for you (you know, to help out). I'm there.

    Like I said, I'm not ashamed or anything but I don't see myself looking back over the years to say "hey, you know what? At least I was always appropriately clothed for the weather".

    I noticed the unusually flat nature of the front of her pants, but unless those were made for a monkey there is no butt that would fit into that. I prefer to think there's a side zip. I actually rather like the look with the jacket though, maintains that military feel. Sorta Han Solo-esque!