Vintage high rise reprise [mom jeans]

Last week I posted about my quest for high rise, 80s/90s style jeans. I enjoy the look but it’s been hard to find the right ones, especially because my waist is really high and my tummy is sensitive to pressure.

As I said on my cowboy boots post, I’ve also found it hard to build outfits around these that aren’t boring. Shoes are one key. I’ve found some great cropped tees but they can look a little plain. Cropped or tucked oxford shirts are another option that I should explore.

Here are two outfits from this week.

[Edit to match the order of photos]

The first (photos 1 + 2, today's outfit) is Agolde Jamie jeans in a faded grey wash that I love. Again, they look great here but by the end of the day they’re stretched out - I broke my cotton rule and they’re 20% lyocell. Worn with a disappointing Everlane box cut tee (fabric is too soft and light), J Crew sleeveless cardigan, and old Allsaints pointed boots that almost fill the role of the cowboy boots I’m craving.

The second outfit (photo 3) is the Levi’s wedgie jean, the sample pair I found. This pair is 10% elasterell(?). Better for comfort, but sadly by the end of the day they bag out and sit almost on my hips for a very different look. Worn with a Uniqlo cropped tee in a nice heavy cotton, and J Crew kids’ oxfords.

Not photographed yet:

Both of these were thrifted and yesterday I hit pay dirt at Crossroads again: a pair of Re/done Originals that fit perfectly and don’t seem likely to stretch. I’ll post pics once I’ve washed them. Re/done started as a high end brand that remakes vintage Levi’s but at some point they realized they could recreate them themselves - vintage Levi’s aren’t a renewable resource! Anyway, at $55 they were a lot for second hand jeans, especially with my growing pile of not quite perfect jeans, but I have high hopes.

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Cowboy boots

I really want a pair of cowboy (inspired) boots. I keep putting on my jeans and thinking that’s what’s missing.

I know exactly what details I want. Ankle height. Pointed “snip toe” with a lot of structure (see the examples below). Short, tapered heel. Heavy sole. Real cowboy boot shank - they’re shaped perfectly like my feet and very supportive. Dramatic but simple.

I bought two options and I’m not sure either is quite right.

These leather Zara boots are certainly dramatic. They're a knockoff of something, I believe. The heel is higher than I want, so I worry I’d never wear them, like all my other heeled boots, and yet they are very comfortable. And I generally have a rule of only leather-lined shoes and boots, no synthetic, for comfort and longevity. They are high quality for Zara though (and the price shows it - $170).

The Frye Shane boot is closer, except they feel a little too normal (can’t quite explain it) for my taste. If they had a loose cowboy boot shaft instead of the fitted ankle they’d be perfect. They fit all the other desires. But they don’t make my heart sing. But maybe under jeans they really are ideal, and the quality and wearability are top notch.

The ones I really want are unavailable or too expensive (see finds) but I’m still searching for the perfect pair!

What do you think of either of these?

[edit: a note on the Finds. The Lucchese Flannery boots or the Dan Post boots are both just about perfect but not available in black anywhere anymore - I'm showing the purple one just for reference. The other Finds are out of my price range but I like them.]

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The infamous Levi’s wedgie jeans and my vintage high rise quest

I’m chasing that cool vintage high waist, button fly look and I don’t think it works for me. Do either of these jeans look right?

One is the Levi’s wedgie in deedee wash (heavy denim with stretch) and the second is a sample version of the same style that I found at a thrift store, in a lighter weight denim. I thought I liked the second better but now I’m not sure.

I’m realizing that my small weight gain all went to my waist. I haven’t adjusted to seeing the current me. So it’s hard for me to judge these.

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Yet another round of interview clothes (ETA photos)

The career rollercoaster continues! Seven months since my applications went in, and places are starting to reach decisions. I have a second visit to one school this week. That means they're seriously considering me, but no offer yet.

Second visits are more casual. No suit required, and nice jeans are ok. I need clothing for two days. The first day includes a casual presentation, so I want to look put together, and the second day can be more like my normal clothes. Weather will be in the low 70s - it looks like spring has finally arrived in New England!

I've collected all my options into this Pinterest board and added a few likely choices into Finds.
https://www.pinterest.com/mono.....l-round-2/

I'm realizing a problem with my wardrobe. I have dressy wool trousers, jeans, and nothing in between. I think I'll wear nice jeans for this round, because my black wool trousers just look a little too harsh. But then the second problem: my nicer jeans (better fabric, unfaded, flattering fit) are lower rise, and they don't play well with my new batch of stylish, slightly cropped shirts.

I run hot, so I don't want to wear a blazer during the day. But I think I'll want a light jacket as outerwear for the evening, and it's tricky to figure out what works with my outfits.

I'll play around with outfits and add options in comments here as I pack this afternoon, but in the meantime I was curious if anyone had ideas from the options. (Edit: problem is, all the jeans are drying on my drying rack right now! Hard to model them while wet.)

Edit 2: added a blazer option because it might be the best option for a light spring jacket, and not too dressy if I wear jeans. Would require rethinking the layers beneath it.

Edit 3: Photos.

1 - 2: Madewell slim straight jeans. Everlane oxford; Everlane notch collar silk shirt that I haven't committed to.

3 - 6: Madewell slim boyfriend jeans, cuffed. Equipment tee + Theyskens blazer*; old Everlane square silk shirt (is the new one too similar?), same blazer over a sleeveless shell (meh).

7 - 11: Everlane wide leg 'crops'. Upgraded from the ones I owned: a size down and solid black. I just zipped over to Everlane this afternoon and bought them. Here is the PPL issue: they are almost full length. But not quite. Shown with two shoe options (oxfords and x-strap flats). I could get them hemmed tomorrow maybe?? Currently wearing them for a few minutes at my desk to see if they stretch out as much as I expect or if I will continue to feel like I am in a corset. ;-)

12 - 13: R13 x-over jeans. Less in love with this than I expected.

Not shown because they are still drying: R13 skinnies (my most polished jeans), Rag & Bone full length wide leg.

So I need to find two outfits from this that are not too similar between the two days. I can mix and match - sorry for showing so many combinations. 

The next challenge is toppers...

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WIW: edgy preppy pink

Sooo I’m basically allergic to pink. As a kid / teen, I really really didn’t want to be a girl, and I had this knee jerk response of eeww pink. But it wasn’t always like that... in elementary school, in preppy New England, I wore pastel oxford shirts quite often, pink included. A plain oxford shirt, like my mother always wore, didn’t seem too feminine for me.

30 years later, I reconsidered. I found my new glasses with icy pink frames. I love them and it’s a good color on me. So since last year I’ve been keeping an eye out for my perfect pink shirt: pale and cool, no beige undertones. A masculine cut. Here it is! I finally bought this pink oxford from Everlane just before it sold out.

I love it! And I wish it were still available in white, too. Maybe they’ll make more.

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WIW: less black

My wardrobe is still monochromatic, but I've been mixing in more white and grey recently. Today's outfit ended up much lighter than I intended. White and black striped silk shirt, high rise grey jeans, and my new biker jacket. I'm not quite sure how I feel about it! I don't like wearing this shirt with truly black jeans, but I think I'd prefer a darker grey or faded black. But I was in a rush and these were at the top of the pile. 

(Photo captures an unwitting motion that I do far more often than I realize: adjusting my glasses. It made me laugh so I didn't re-take the shot.)

I'm also really waffling about this sleeveless cardigan from J Crew. It has a belt, but no belt loops, so I'm wearing it without the belt here. If I keep it, I might add little thread loops. I think it would look better with a loosely draped belt pulling it in at the waist. What do you think of it? Too shapeless? It's a nice heavy cotton/wool blend and I have to admit I'm cold in my office right now, so it's tempting to cut the tags!

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shoe zeitgeist

Maybe as a rebound from wearing the same shoes all of January for interviews, I've had my eye on footwear this week. I came across a few at Nordstrom Rack that I couldn't resist.

PSA - the Rack has changed their return policy to 45 days. I should be careful about buying things I'm not sure of!

First up - I want silver shoes. I don't think these are them, though, so they've gone back to the Rack. I love them but I know myself and I would never wear them. They're comfortable but not perfect. There's a bootie version that's similar and more wearable, but if I need mirror silver, oxfords are probably a better choice. Still, the retro, feminine aspect appealed to me (and when have I ever liked something because it's feminine? First time for everything!).

2 But then I was stuck on kitten heels, and I found these lovely Paul Green maryjanes at the Rack when I returned the others. Again, more feminine than my usual, but I think they'd be good with jeans. They're somehow a little avant garde? And surprisingly trendy.  My Paul Green flats are ah-MAZ-ing to wear and these might be too. I need to contemplate it. (I might be between sizes. These sold out long ago and this pair is a returned, refinished pair, so I can't compare with a size up.)

And then while I was looking for those in another size I found these Y's by Yohji Yamamoto sandals for a steal. I need to replace my Mephisto Helens. I was going to get regular Birkenstocks but these might be more me?

Also, I suddenly want cowboy ankle boots. Not real cowboy boots, but the pared-down urban style that Helmut Lang and a few others have had recently. My pointed-toe Allsaints boots are almost worn out after wearing them all month so this might be a good replacement. I suppose I could get silver cowboy boots but that's probably overkill.

Also in Finds:
Some cowboy boot inspiration (the Rag & Bone boots were at the Rack but not in my size; the silver R13 boots are, shall we say, aspirational, at $1300), a pair of kitten heels that I covet but which are out of my price range, and the bootie version of the silver pumps.

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Done with job interviews!

My interview capsule will head to the dry cleaner as soon as I get home from Boston today! I just finished up my last interview. Thank you all for the wardrobe advice and the encouragement.

I was very happy with my clothes, and much more importantly, all of my interviews went very well. They're exhausting but I held up much better this year than last year. I felt grown-up and together and truly like myself. I got a lot of positive comments on my work and I met a lot of awesome scientists. It'll be weeks or months before I hear anything solid, but I already have a comment from one department chair that I'm probably the top candidate (no guarantee of anything). So we'll see where that goes!

I've been enjoying visiting all these different cities (Seattle, Chicago, Baltimore, New Haven, Boston) and imaging where I'll live next year but it's bittersweet to realize that I might uproot myself from the Bay Area. But I'm really excited about it all. Stay tuned!

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WIW: my weird shirt, finally!

All year, I've wanted a Weird Shirt. You know, all these deconstructed shirts, strange angles... it seemed so 'me' but I had trouble finding mine. Many were poofy and frilled and didn't fit my style. Some were overwhelming on my short frame.

Then I found it! This fragmented shirt by Milly. It can be buttoned together in various ways: here I'm wearing it fairly conventionally. The whole bottom buttons off to make a cropped shirt, another good look.

I waited for its price to drop and drop some more. Eventually it ended up at the Rack. I had to size up because it was tight in the armpits; the end result is a little looser than ideal but I think it works.

Worn here with Gap velvet legging pants and an excellent consignment score: this wool Rag & Bone jacket I got for 10% its original price. It fits my shift from drapey avant-garde to a slightly more masculine inspiration over the past few years.

Edit: I added the Find. Note that the Rack website, and the tag, say it's silk, but it's definitely stretch cotton poplin, maybe with a bit of nylon. Also, here is a page of different stylings of the white version. http://www.milly.com/the-fractured-shirt/

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The academic interview grand tour begins: help me pack! (update)

(Update: Hello from Seattle! A new option at the end of the comments - a star-print Equipment shirt I got at a consignment store recently. What do you think?)

I am super excited to say that I have a month of really great faculty job interviews coming up. I might let myself feel a little bit optimistic about my career. It's been a slog and I really hope one of these works out.

More on my overall outfit planning later - six multi-day interviews is a lot of clothes - but for now: I leave first thing in the morning for Baltimore and I can't decide what to wear.

For my first interview, in Baltimore this week with sub-zero daytime temps, I've narrowed it down to a few options. This is just a one-day interview, so I only need one outfit. There will be some snow on the ground, so I have to wear boots.

The bottoms options are new Everlane mid-rise slacks (more formal, and a nice heavy wool) or old J Crew Collection wool pants that are really warm, flattering, and high-quality. They're essentially very fancy leggings, so I would only wear them with a longer shirt. The dark horse is my old suit, but the pants are less warm and, um, they don't quite zip closed anymore.

To give a sense of the pants in better light, here are the new Everlane slacks (1,2) and the J Crew pants worn with an Everlane striped silk shirt (3,4). These combinations are not interview outfits on their own but I wanted to include a few clearer, well-lit photos.

Interview options
5,6: Everlane slacks, striped shirt, Helmut Lang cropped blazer
7,8: same, but with J Crew skinny pants (and with the boots I'll wear)
9,10: Everlane slacks, black silk shirt, cropped blazer
11,12: same, but with J Crew skinny pants
13,14,15: old Club Monaco suit with grey silk sweater, and the sweater on its own (it looks much more blah than I expected)

My boyfriend and I both actually prefer the outfit in 11 & 12. It surprised me. It looks sleek and stylish and flattering. Unfortunately it doesn't come through well in photos. But it is very me.

Questions:
1. Should I keep the new Everlane slacks? I own a few others, and I don't wear slacks often. But the higher waist of these is much more current. They pull a tiny bit across the hips but overall I think they look good. They probably need to be hemmed a bit.
2. What about the striped silk shirt, either for interviews or just in general, perhaps with jeans? I loved it in the store but maybe less so in photos. 
3. And the grey Banana Republic sweater? Too blah? Tags are still on all three of these.
4. And of course, which combination should I choose for the first interview?

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