WIW: zippers!

This is my first YLF purchase: the Aqua zippered sweater that Angie recommended. I've narrowed down my massive sweater search to this plus two other sweaters that are on their way. I love the size and shape, almost a tunic on me. Great for those days when I feel like nothing fits quite right.  It's so warm, perfect for my Christmas trip to Peoria (inlaws) where the lows were hovering around 0F.

The new Tsubo boots are here, too. The zippers aren't as obvious in these photos but it's fun to have two big exposed zipper items in one outfit. I felt like the zipper trend was over, but in both these pieces I really like it and think it's quite current. The boots are perfect on my short legs, I think. Opinions?

(I think I found a buyer for my previous tall boots, so I'm breaking almost even on this purchase.)

Bonus WIW: my favorite Theyskens blazer now back from the tailor with arms that are the right length! I think this is the same blazer Shevia scored recently. It's a big boxy boyfriend cut with very sharp shoulders, a few years old but I'm sticking with it.

Anyone else being tempted to horrible excess by post-Christmas sales? I'm trying not to give in to the temptation to buy huge, lovely wide leg trousers that are 70% off on shopbop but still far too much.


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Losing clothing

Have you ever lost a piece of clothing you loved? This seems to happen to me a lot recently, and it's very upsetting. For most of last year, I was driving from Santa Cruz (where I lived) to San Francisco for social events, and I often stayed for the weekend. I was in the habit of putting my weekend's worth of clothes in a plastic bag and throwing it in my car. And since I was coming up for social events, I brought my favorite clothes.

Well, the result is that I lost my absolute favorite skirt, one I'd thrifted by Maria Cornejo that would be impossible to replace. And I lost a second thrifted Maria Cornejo dress a few months after that (no idea how it was the same totally out of my price range designer both times). One may have ended up at my friends' apartment but the other is a total mystery - I remember having it later that weekend on my drive home, then never saw it again. It's been almost a year and it still bothers me all the time.

One lesson is that I no longer transport clothing (or anything else) in plastic bags, even though those drawstring Gap bags are so convenient. Too easy to think it's a trash bag, maybe?

I don't think of myself as prone to losing things, but life was so chaotic last year that I suppose I'm not surprised. I'm glad life has settled down a bit!

(This post was inspired by Suz's lost luggage situation. I really hope you get your bag back quickly!)


WIW: skirts!

Angie asked if I wore skirts, and I do!

The first outfit is from a party last weekend. It was my favorite type of party: a house full of dozens of my friends, since the hosts are at the nexus of a lot of social groups. Silk/cotton knit BCBG skirt (bought used), silk BR shirt, and my magic LD Tuttle shoes. I love the pattern on the skirt. It's knit that way, not printed. Jacky pointed out that it looks almost like animal print, but more geometric.

The second is from my dance group's annual Christmas party last night, bittersweet because our teacher just retired and we all miss him immensely. I decided to go with something simple: a leather a-line skirt (BCBG, bought used) and white blouse (Everlane), and the same Rachel Comey boots that I was afraid I couldn't wear (solved wonderfully with insoles!). I wished I had a dramatic necklace like this to make it more festive:
but I don't.

So, skirts. I have trouble with hemlines - my mental image and the reality are not always in sync. What do you think of the proportions on these outfits? The white shirt looks longer than idea though I like the overall effect enough that I decided to wear it.

Funny thing - I just redid the almost-shaved side of my head last weekend. When it's an inch long and my hair is down, people hardly notice it. But my dance group is full of older, more traditional Irish people (plus my wonderful flamboyant-but-traditional-Irish teacher!) and they were more shocked than I expected. One woman kept saying in dismay "Why did you do that? Your lovely hair!" and my teacher gave me a big smile, grabbed my head and rubbed the side. I swear it's been like this since June, more or less, and they just hadn't noticed til I put it up!


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K/R: tall boots for short people

Next up: the ongoing tall boot debate. Angie's post today was so well timed.

I bought Madewell Archive boots a month or so ago, then decided they are really too tall for my stumpy lower legs and gape around my upper calves because they hit at the wrong place. I also decided they're a little too classic for me (which would work if they were perfect, perhaps, but ill-fitting classic is so not my style). Luckily I can probably sell them for around what I paid.

So, I don't really NEED tall boots at all, but I found these Tsubo boots that are MAGIC for short-calved me. And the zipper is so me. I tried them on in brown and they looked amazing - they hit at the wide part of my calf but aren't stumpifying at all. I'll order them in black to see them in person. Do they seem on-trend and edgy enough for me? Comfort brands often end up feeling dated to me but Tsubo is often an exception.

But, when I sold a bunch of jeans at Crossroads yesterday, I also found these Fiorentini + Baker boots for the exact amount I had in trade credit ($55). They are probably not meant to be this slouchy but they don't pull up higher on my big dancer calves. I have a few days to decide if I should keep or return them (not enough time to get the Tsubos in person). I can't justify two new pairs of tall boots, and these might be too similar to my old Frye-style 12" harness boots.

Can you tell I have trouble making decisions? And am shopping a lot recently? I think I'm in some sort of wardrobe transition/renewal phase. Sorry to double-post a photo in two posts, but I wanted to separate the boot and top questions.


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K/R: That Helmut Lang wool top, and other contenders

I'd love advice on these three pieces, though I realize the lighting makes it nearly impossible to judge black clothing.

Photos 1-4:
A few days ago I linked to a Helmut Lang wool top with an interesting structured cowl. I bought it at Saks just to experience it, but it's a lot of money, so I will probably return it. This is the XS, and it feels too tight and bodycon (plus you can see bulges in places I didn't realize I had them). What do you think? I think it should go back.

Photos 5-7:
An alternative is a lighter wool top I got from Yoox. It was $100 (the other was $200!) so still expensive but more in range with what I can spend. In some ways this is my perfect top: wool, sleeveless, casual. I feel like I would just throw this on all the time, whereas the HL top would be a special occasion top because of the tightness. But does this one look too sloppy, too short, etc?

Photos 8-10:
Finally, I fell in love with this Eileen Fisher cotton sweater on clearance at Nordstrom Rack. This is a small and an XS would be a lot better, but it's sold out absolutely everywhere. I've been looking for something like this - casual, interesting color, shape, and texture - but perhaps I should practice PPP unless you all think the oversized drape looks perfect. Which it might! I'm a bad judge of oversized fits.

All these are with my awesome new R13 skinnies. I sold off two old black skinnies that just didn't work, to fund this purchase from Yoox, and I'm so happy with them. Maybe I'm not over skinnies after all! I now have the perfect jeans collection for me: these waxed skinnies, a straighter pair of black Gap jeans, grey AG boyfriend jeans, black R13 slouch skinnies, and straight leg grey jeans that I rarely wear anymore.

(However, I guess I need to beware of VPL. I wish underpants didn't do that...)


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WIW: New ankle boots and thrifted bling.

Thanks to all your feedback about my boot question, I returned the expensive Barneys boots. You're right - they weren't exciting enough for me for the price. Then, from a comment on Ironkurtin's post about shopping secrets, I discovered Yoox. And at Yoox I discovered these awesome Newbark boots for a very good price! So, now I have my birthday present from my boyfriend! And I have a Yoox addiction, which might be a problem for my budget.

The rest of this outfit is secondhand clothes, amazingly. I had a few specific items I was looking for this season, including gray boyfriend jeans (found a pair of AGs new with tags at Crossroads in October!) and a sparkly sweatshirt-style top (found this one a few days ago - it is silk and cotton, rather than synthetic, which makes overly-picky-me very happy). The coat was an amazing find a year or two ago, a practically new Club Monaco wool & cashmere overcoat for $30 that is the perfect compromise between a big man-coat and figure-flattering tailoring.

The boots have a bit of bling too, a sparkly texture on the back. Between that and the sweatshirt, it's the most sparkle I've worn since prom!

So, if you can't tell, I love the thrill of the thrift store chase and I'm finally getting better about being picky and not settling for less than ideal. That said, the sparkly top is actually a bit more fitted than I'd been searching for, but I like it better than any others I'd tried on. At $15, if I don't end up wearing it much, I'll just sell it back to them.


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WIW: a week of foot-friendly Converse looks

After doing Irish step dance every day for the past week, I had to give my feet a break. A foot injury (two years ago) led to custom orthotics to support my strong but very high arches and take the weight off the balls of my feet. The only shoes they fit in are my beloved Converse. I no longer wear the orthotics often, but I slipped the Converse on after my performances on Sunday and my feet felt sooooo good that I decided to wear them all week.

I got bored of them after three days. So, here are three WIWs, and tomorrow I'm back to other shoes.

Day 1:
I have a pair of loose, slightly bootcut wool trousers that I never wear. I tried to make them work with the sneakers by pegging the bottoms to make them a bit avant garde. I don't think it worked, so they are probably going to the consignment store. They are a size too big at the top, anyway.

Day 2:
A very me look. My J Crew wool Minnies, a long wool cardigan from the Gap that I wish I'd bought four of, and my new biker jacket. In putting this together I remembered that all my layering tees have holes. Time for new ones!

Day 3 (today):
Outfit fail. These jeans are folded under because I never got them hemmed. I need to hem them or replace them (they are baggy in the butt). I thought the pointed hem of the tshirt would work well with the cropped, draped sweater (which I love - Helmut Lang, total score at the thrift store) but they don't harmonize at all. It looks particularly bad from the side (not shown). Oh well!


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WIW: In which I am brave and wear my crazypants

Last year I waited in a long long line to get these crazy pants from the H&M Margiela collab. They're a reissue of an old Margiela style. Boosted by all your positive comments on my WIWs, I was brave enough to wear them to work today. Later, we're heading to a fancy dinner with my new department.

They are essentially giant men's trousers, folded over at the waist in front and taken in in two huge pleats in back. I love them and whenever someone compliments me on them, it's hard to resist undoing the hook & eye to show them how they work! (See the photos).

Do you think the v-neck cotton T works with the pants? I like how it tones them down to be more casual, and I like the geometric look of the deep, wide V, but I'm never quite sure what to wear with these pants.

I didn't get a good photo of the full look with my wool jacket, but I just took a quick shot of it in lab. 

I've been putting so much more thought into my outfits since I started reading this blog a few months ago - and my new job is a more grownup job, so I'm marking the transition by bumping up my style and not being afraid to look more dressy. It's making me so happy to be able to wear these things I've collected over the years.


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Two WIWs: preppy goth, artsy goth

Ok, not goth - but perhaps goth-influenced.

I found a wonderful cotton cable sweater at Mango and I've been wearing it all the time the past few weeks. Here's a look from a few days ago - I was feeling preppy so I paired it with a button-down and tall boots. Today I'm wearing the same sweater with slouchy jeans, wool socks, and heels, but I don't have a photo yet.

And then yesterday's outfit, a bit dressier, to meet with collaborators on campus. The sun makes it hard to see, but once I added a short-sleeve merino cardigan (not shown) and the jacket, it pulled in the waist of the sheer tunic nicely. This was a very standard look for me last year, but one I've been wearing less recently. J Crew Collection wool minnie pants, Fluevog oxfords, Vince silk tunic, Helmut Lang jacket. I love this jacket - warm cozy wool, perfect to throw over most of my outfits, and necessary in this week's freak cold snap.

I've been alternating between no makeup and subtle makeup recently. Can't decide which I prefer, but I'm happy that finally I've learned how to do subtle, natural makeup that enhances my face. These photos are both no-makeup, and I think my lips could use a bit of color.


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