Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Why does it always have to be a learning experience?

I'm not going to subject you to an outfit-per-post arrangement because I am fairly sure it would bore all of us to tears. I don't think my wardrobe is terribly interesting (yet, hopefully this will change), but I do think I have a lot to learn by looking at what it is I'm actually choosing to wear. Here we have Wednesday and Thursday of last week, and it's all just kind of... inoffensive. Woo?

I actually really like the Born boots in the first pic (same style as these) but you can't see them at all. I love the scarf in the second pic (and not just because my mom made it for me) but it's probably saying something when a cleverly knotted grey silk/wool scarf is the most interesting thing about your outfit.

The shirt is not hanging in a remotely flattering way and the cut of the cardigan does pretty much nothing for the outfit whatsoever. It's not a bad cardigan per-se, but the length is really just all wrong for this shirt. That shirt mostly sticks around because I don't utterly hate it, but I think I could be convinced otherwise at this point. I'd offer replacements for this combination per my last post but I really think the best policy is to forget it exists altogether and move on.

I do however highly recommend that scarf knot (linked instructions with diagram here). It makes the scarf into a feature, doesn't fall off over your shoulder every eight minutes, and covers the neck very comfortably without appearing bulky. 

There is one other major difference between the first and second shot and that is a full face of makeup. I think the fact that this is *not* obvious (crappy camera work aside) is pretty darn awesome, and deserves its own commentary - more on that later.

I like the blue of my undershirt in the third picture and I feel like I must be able to pair that vest with SOMETHING in an interesting way, but this ain't it. All of the puffer vest outfits I've seen that work involve belting, a long slim leg, a play on the nylon texture, and heels. Example, Example, Example, Example. I do feel like there's something more out there, it's too shiny and carapace-like to abandon as too shapeless and uninteresting. Give me time!

(Also: suggestions welcome)

Here we see the first intro of my burgundy Grinders Oxfords which are hands down the most comfortable, heavily used, and durable shoes I've ever owned in my life and which are the last vestiges of my early 20s "you mean they make shoes which are not combat boots?" phase. 

Wow I just realised those shoes are at least 13 years old!

Continued after the cut.

This was Friday and I can't say I am too upset with this outfit. This is pretty much where I'd like to keep my comfortable casual baseline and I think it's a decent example of how to make the same basic elements as first outfit work together properly. The stripes + flats + pixie cut are all classic Jean Seberg style Gamine.

The cardigan was originally my mother's and may be older than I am. It's got some noticeable wear and tear and isn't exactly black anymore, but I really love the *almost* cropped length, slim sleeve, and slight nip in at the waist. The length works MUCH better with this shirt (a boatneck in heathered oatmeal and black) and my frame in general (looky, I have a waist again!).

It is the baseline by which I judge all other cardigans. Old Navy had a slightly lighter weight cropped crew neck cardigan online only this summer which is a very comparable cut but for some stupid reason (available mad money, I suspect) I only picked it up in white and teal before they sold out. I have my fingers crossed that it comes back next spring.

The dark wash boot-cut jeans are ubiquitous. They - and a few clone pairs - will figure prominently in the days to come. Though I am starting to get some ideas for re-purposing some pants I haven't worn in a while and I'm actually considering dragging out my sewing machine to make some new stuff for me.

The shoes are Miz Mooz Ditto ballet flats and I love the little corset detail on them. I have a few pairs of black flats which are a bit roomier to allow for heavy socks, but if it's not freezing I default to these. I'm not normally one for cuffed pants on me but it just seemed to be the right thing to do here and I think it showed the shoe to nice advantage.

New York in winter is a study in greys and blacks so I often make a point to keep colour around me. I LOVE this blue wool coat though I do wish it fit me a bit better. It's OK with a million winter layers under it but I swim a bit in tighter fitting outfits. I suspect I really need to start scoping the petites section more for coats as sizing up enough for my chest and hips means gaping armholes, sagging shoulders, and super-long sleeves.

Next up:
Breaking out of my desk jockey confines aka, the weekend


Certainly most likely probably one of those topics.


  1. I love that teal coat with the striped shirt!

  2. Last night I dug out a giant bulky scarf in a slightly richer shade of that teal which I forgot I had, and so today I feel like I'm just sort of rolling around in it like this...


  3. Replies
    1. In an amazing coincidence of timing Psyche of Economy of Style (probably the first style blog I ever really connected with) wrote a post about statement coats today.

      I had one winter a few years back where I had it with subdued sensible and I splurged on a few somewhat stand-out coats. This was one, a fire engine red cropped pea coat was another (now that I think of it, where is that pea coat anyway?), and a VERY 60s inspired black wool swing coat with leather detailing was the last.

      It was a bit of a hit at the time, but so insanely worth it (even if this one is a little big), I wear coats way too much of the year to stick to just one neutral coat and they last a lot longer when you're not wearing them to tatters.