Wide-leg crops: I did it my way

I've been inspired by the Rachel Comey Legion jeans (in Finds) but I just never quite found the right version for me. These Gap jeans checked almost all the boxes: fit well through the hips and waist, comfortable, and a nice faded black wash. Of course, these "crops" were almost floor length on me...

This morning I read Angie's post and immediately cut the tags and chopped 5 1/2" off the jeans. What do you think? If they're too short I can always sew the original hem back on (I love the released hem look of the Rachel Comey version).

What to wear with them was another learning process. I put on this high neck, mid sleeve ribbed top for a sort of 70s vibe, then went outside and discovered it was suddenly cold and rainy. Back inside for a sweater. Attempt one was this cropped cable knit. A good look, but it didn't feel like me.

I realized I'd feel far more like myself in some boxy layers. So the final outfit had this long felted wool cardigan from Uniqlo. Not exactly a spring look! But much more me.


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Monochrome essentials

With everything one color, it was a fun and surprisingly easy task to group things into essential categories. My wardrobe is more coherent than I realized. And the things that don't fit in these categories don't get worn very often.

  • button-down shirts, sleeveless and long sleeve (silk, cotton)
  • shirt dresses worn as tunics (silk, denim, cotton)
  • low-neck tees (the deep v adds some structure to outfits)
  • tunic-length tees and tanks
  • long cardigans, boxy cardigans (cotton, wool)
  • light v-neck pullovers (cotton, silk)
  • sleeveless or short-sleeve wool pullovers, often structured felted fabric
  • three jeans silhouettes: skinny, relaxed skinny, and boyfriend.
  • biker jackets (leather, denim, wool)
  • not black: white buttoned shirts and tees

I'm currently adding wide-leg jeans to the mix -- we'll see if it sticks. To go with the new jeans, I think I also need to add fitted knit tops, and maybe some grey or white options for contrast. I could also use a few more summer-weight cardigans of different shapes.

I can pick out some details that make these things feel like essentials, not just basics. The heavy wool sleeveless tops (eg, Helmut Lang felted wool funnel neck) and silk shirts are really my go-tos. My cardigans are interesting, almost architectural shapes.

This list is going to be really useful for packing!

Things that aren't represented at all, even though I own plenty of them:

  • skirts (ok, a denim skirt probably should be on the list)
  • pants that aren't jeans
  • pullover crewneck sweaters
  • grey (never wear it, except today, as it happens)
  • blazers (I LOVE my blazers but I guess I just never wear them)
  • dresses
Edit: On statements: I think my leather jacket and the structured wool tops might actually be statement items, come to think of it. Same with one or two of the shirt-dress looks. And the blazers and dresses would fit in that when I do wear them. But I think my overall look is a statement silhouette made out of essential items, rather than statement items, if that makes sense.


Jeansquest: the sequel

I'm still looking for high waist, wide or straight leg jeans. Here's the latest batch of options. It's funny how different they look in photos than in the mirror -- I still haven't gotten used to my new, curvier bottom half! But that's ok as long as I have cool jeans that fit.

1-2: Uniqlo U wide leg. I love these! I might be able to go down a size, except they're sold out, and there's nothing I hate more than tight jeans on my tummy, so I think it's a winner at this size.

3-4: Gap wide leg "crops" that are almost full length on me! I could let out the hem to make them truly full length, or I could chop them. What do you think?

Do I really need three pairs of wide-leg jeans (these two and the Rag & Bone flares I kept from the last round, a very different silhouette), as someone who still loves skinnies and boyfriend jeans?

5-6: Gap acid wash, button fly jeans. These had such potential but they are not winners. If nothing else, the fly is crooked. Too bad because I want something like this as my "white" jeans option.

And then, the other things.

7-10: I saw an R13 jeans+skirt look that I loved, but of course it's a zillion dollars. Then I saw this skirt at Zara and thought "hmmmm." Here it is over some straight-leg jeans. What do you think? Could this work as one of my weirder wildcards? It's $50, so pricey for a total wildcard, but I sort of like it. Does it fit ok? The sizing was odd.

I wouldn't wear the skirt alone (too short) in most circumstances. But I'm going to a cowboy-themed party tonight where a short skirt would be totally acceptable, so I'm tempted to cut the tags, but I don't know.

The shoes are also from Zara and, while they're comfortable, I think they are going back. They just don't quite feel like me? But it might be good to have nice leather shoes that stay on my feet, for professional situations.

11-12. Omg, I found these Coach haircalf high-shaft boots at Crossroads and they are perfect. I didn't know this was a wardrobe hole until I found them. I'm trying to be better about impulse buys but I couldn't pass this up.


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If sneakers are here to stay, which should I buy? EDIT: strikeouts

Update: Five boxes of sneakers later, I have an idea what I want, but no winners. You're all correct that the monochrome black Stan Smiths look like orthopedic sneakers. The Fryes don't fit right and are a little too plain on me. I'm in love with the simple lines of the Puma Suede Classic, to my surprise, but the men's size 5 was far too tight in the toes. Luckily the 5.5 popped back in stock and is on its way to me, but it might be too long. I also tried these wonderful Barney's Stan Smith exclusives: unlined soft lasercut leather (added to finds). They are beautiful, and oh so comfortable, but I just can't do the white sole with my style. I want to love them but I mailed them back right away to resist buying something I'd never wear.

I'm pinning my hopes on the larger Puma classics or this Puma x En Noir collab that is apparently a slightly wider style, with subtle gothy details that are just my thing (added to finds). I ordered two sizes. I might also try some of the Puma Basket styles if I can find them locally - I reached my limit for coping with shoe box deliveries.


Angie says sneakers are still everywhere this year, and I keep wanting to jump on the bandwagon. I keep looking for the perfect pair (monochrome black, for sure!) but can't decide what vibe is right for me. I might be casual but I'm not usually sporty, so I want something simple, comfortable, and minimalist rather than athletic.

Mostly I'm just thinking out loud but other ideas are welcome!

1. Dr Martens shoes - simple, heavier, more of a sneaker-inspired oxford, but that might fit my look better. (My boyfriend has these, so we'd match, for better or for worse!)

2. Stan Smith monochrome black. Nice that the men's style comes in small sizes, as they usually fit me better.

3. Puma classic suede - the synthetic lining makes me sweat, and some Pumas are too narrow in the toe, but these might be ok. (I loved the Rihanna velvet creepers but they just didn't fit right.)

4. Frye Gemma - possibly too narrow in the toe but I like the sleek look and the leather lining.

5. Fuzzy suede Pumas - I tried these on and I seem to remember that the fit wasn't great. They're sort of the opposite of sleek and minimal, but maybe I could use more subtle weirdness in my shoe collection.

6. Patent Pumas. Too shiny for me, I think.