WIW: wide leg jeans, on the road

A few months ago I found some great wide leg jeans. But of course they were like a foot too long on me. I finally got them hemmed and I'm so happy with them! Perfect for the conference I'm at on Long Island.

Another few wide leg options arrived in the mail last week. I'd like a cropped version but we'll see how that looks on me. Photos when I get back home!

I was so proud of my packing job (a full week of outfits in my tiny carry on - mix and match rather than statements) but the forecast keeps getting warmer. All the lightweight, packable merino layers I brought are too warm! I'll be fine though. I brought 3 pairs of jeans with very different silhouettes, and plenty of layering tees, so with my leather jacket I'm set for warmer weather too without feeling too boring. I'll still need the heavier things when I go to Rochester at the end of the week.

The perfect mix and match packing list (all black except as noted):
3 jeans (wide leg, skinny, crossover)
6 tees (white and black)
merino cardigan and pullover
silk v-neck pullover
short sleeve wool pullover
silk buttoned shirt
white buttoned shirt
ankle boots
oxfords
leather jacket
wool coat
2 light wool scarves

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A new basic (WIW)

For years my FFBO was a silk sleeveless shirt, skinnies, and a drapey waterfall cardigan. I've drifted away from the waterfall cardigans -- styles change, and I can't seem to find one that fits the way I want. But the alternatives didn't seem better -- I've always had a poison eye for 'boyfriend' cardigans for myself, even as they became trendy. I think because I don't see myself as preppy and I associate the look with that style. Anyway, with all that, my old FFBO hasn't been such a fallback the past year or so.

Then I was at Crossroads Trading (used clothing) and found this J Crew cardigan in mint condition and tried it on. I love it! It flatters my shape more than a big draped cardigan (I prefer de-emphasizing my chest). And the pockets stand open with a bit of structure that adds some distinct style to the look. And for $16, it can't be beat! I think this will get a lot of use this year, though it's getting too warm for merino. So here's what I wore today, just a basic outfit that I can repeat again and again. (It would be better with a collared shirt open at the neck, rather than this neckline, but that's ok.)

I wonder why I had such a negative opinion until I tried it. It's such a simple basic that it's hard to see why I'd object. And I wonder if this means I'm shifting back towards closer fits.

(Edit: Yikes, I'm pretty sure my silk shirt isn't that see through in normal light. I hope!)

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WIW: 20th reunion

I'm home in Connecticut for Thanksgiving and tonight happened to be my 20th high school reunion.

I went, but it was a hard decision, to be honest. My school was tiny (graduating class of 68), and while the other kids weren't monsters to me, I was one of the very unpopular students. I was so awkward and lost in my own world of books. I really blossomed in college and I was more or less happy to never look back.

So of course, having decided to go, I particularly wanted to look chic. I wore my best-fitting skinny jeans (Genetic - as a biologist, the embroidered DNA logo is like a talisman) and my new Aritzia sweater. And I wore my Converse shroud wedges from last year's NAS. I had no idea I'd wear them so often, but they're amazing.

The reunion wasn't a smashing success for me, but I found people to talk to all evening. The attendees were all people who stayed in our rural town, and though the town is really a lovely place, I would have enjoyed catching up with the people who spread their wings and left. Most people ignored me, and I ignored them. But at least I know I looked a lot better than I did back then! (Everyone looked great, in fact!)

Bonus picture of my mother's horse enjoying the aftermath of apple pie -- and yes, that's an electric fence that I accidentally threw those peels onto! No horses were injured.

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Buttoned down boy (wiw)

A few people posted about button down (button up...) shirts and I thought I'd wear one today. This is a men's flannel shirt from Uniqlo, XS. It may not be to everyone's taste but I love the fit, though I have to roll the sleeves. It has room for my wide shoulders. My arms can move freely. And it doesn't puff out in front as much as the women's "boyfriend" shirts I own. So I guess the best way for me to get the stolen-from-the-boys effect is to do that, literally. (The shirt also fits my guy perfectly.)

By the way, for the fastidious wordsmiths, this one is literally a button down (the collar buttons) but regardless, I decided ages ago that I like the common usage of "button down" to mean a shirt with buttons.

I only wish my arms were longer so I could wear men's shirts with sleeves unrolled!

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Wardrobe maintenance pays off

Angie's reminder to prep our wardrobes for fall was well-timed. I'd been carting around a bag of things to bring to the cleaners for ages, so I finally made time to do it.

I also brought in a bag of clothing in need of minor repairs. I knew my cleaner could fix them more elegantly than I could. My favorite skinny jeans had a hole. They were new with tags at a consignment store because they had a small puncture on one leg, $50 instead of $300. But the tiny hole got bigger over time, and I never got around to fixing it. I also brought in a pile of sweaters with holes and torn seams.

I got it all back and it's all the benefit of shopping at a fraction of the price. All the repairs are perfect, too. Today's outfit is things I hadn't worn in ages because they were awaiting repairs: the R13 skinnies and a thrifted Club Monaco sweater that had pulled apart at the armpit. I like the outfit. With the sandals, it might be better with the jeans rolled, but that made my legs look really short...

Also, a year ago I posted looking for dramatic minimal sandals. I finally found them this spring! I don't think I've posted them here. These are handmade by a California brand called Cydwoq. They fit my very strange feet as if they were built for me. The high strap across the top doesn't rest on my "foot bump" where my metatarsals hit my foot at an extreme angle. Pressure on that joint hurts after a few hours, so it really limits what shoes I can wear. It might be more flattering to have the strap placed further along my foot, but I don't care, because I can actually wear these!

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Fashion icon challenge: Ines de la Fressange

Ines isn't one of my usual inspirations, but I love her style. (Her Uniqlo collab is pretty great too!) As I got dressed this morning, haphazardly, I realized I could add a few touches and channel her look.

The basics, what I was going to wear anyway, are the Joie metallic linen top and R13 boyfriend jeans (which are too big).

I added this old silk scarf that I love, a skinny belt, and tucked my shirt instead of wearing it out. The oxfords are a more Ines look than the combat boots I originally meant to wear. And my new smartwool socks add a little bit of hipster flair, I think, though I usually wear the oxfords with no socks and that might be better.

Does Ines come through at all?

(The jeans really are too big. Le sigh.)

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WIW: a challenging silhouette

Or maybe not so challenging. I bought this BR cropped shirt last year -- I know a few of you have the same one. I loved the concept, but I've only worn it a few times. I couldn't figure out how to make it work without baring too much midriff. I finally found a light tank top that fits under it and covers the gap. Obvious in retrospect! 

The other challenge is just getting used to the boxy look. Until I took these photos, I thought this style of top wasn't the best on me -- but once again a photo changed my perspective.

On the other hand, these ripped Zara jeans look less lovely than I'd thought. They really are just too big, and the extra fabric of the jeans and the tank top combine poorly. I'll try this outfit again with relaxed skinny jeans and a slimmer cami, and consider passing these jeans along.

I did really like the BR offerings the season this shirt came out. Unconventional shapes, interesting ideas. I can see why it wasn't commercially successful but the few things I bought from BR that year have all become favorites.

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Hi all! WIW, KR

I've been very busy at work and, thus, not thinking as much about clothes. But I thought I'd stop back and catch up on all your posts and ask for opinions on a few looks.

1-2. WIW: denim shirtdress, waxed coating. A black denim shirt has been a HEWI, and I realized this tunic/dress actually works better on me than a denim shirt. I haven't gotten used to the boxy shirt styles that are in right now and how they interact with my chest. I think the length of this dress pulls the fabric down and prevents the balloon look. I found this one at a consignment store (7 for all mankind).

I wore this out with chunky flat sandals during the day, and Dr Martens boots at night. Sorry the footwear isn't visible. I wish I'd taken a photo after I put on makeup - lime green eyeshadow that I think added a fun twist.

3. Equipment silk shirt that I decided to return - a size too big. But I love the pattern.

4-5. Everlane square silk shirt. This is flying off their shelves. I can't decide if I like it on myself (chest issues, again) but I think it works pretty well and it's definitely trendy. My only hesitation is that the silk is washed black, not deep black, and that limits which of my black(ish) pants I can wear it with. I usually prefer solid black tops with faded/distressed denim. Keep?

5-7. Frye boots I found at the Rack yesterday for only $70.  My boyfriend loves them. What do you think?

Tall boots are hard on me, because my lower legs are so short. These look better than any other tall boots I've tried. But they're too tight to wear over skinny jeans and I'm just not sure how much I'll wear them. They're maybe 1/4 size too small, but the next size up was too tall (and $230...)

8-9. WIW last week: jumping on the neckerchief train! I got these new R13 jeans on final sale and sadly they're a size too big. But I added a belt the next day and they looked quite good as a slim boyfriend, so disaster was averted.

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WIW: futuristic sweater and holy grail shoes

I'm so excited about today's outfit.

First, the sweater. It's a birthday gift from Everlane's E1 capsule collection, which is their first venture outside of (awesome) basics. I fell in love with this heavy merino turtleneck because it's bold and futuristic and sleeveless sweaters are practically my uniform this year. I'm sure it would look better on a tall person, but I don't mind the extra length.

Second, the jeans. R13 jeans that I found at a second-hand store months ago (new with damage - a small hole in one leg). They've become my go-to jeans. I thought I was done with skinnies, but they're perfect.

And third, the boots! These are the Atelje sneaker boots I asked about in another post. I love the Rick Owens vibe. I can tell they're going to be my default travel shoes because they cover a lot of different occasions and they are hella/wicked comfortable (choose SF/Boston terminology as desired).

And most excitingly, the boots are big enough to fit my custom orthotics. I've tried many many options over the past four years and so far only my Converse could accommodate the orthotics properly (other shoes don't leave room for my high instep). I don't have to wear them daily, but they make my feet so happy and I'm glad I have options now!

Everlane gave me a year-end credit as a thank you for shopping there a lot, and I'm thinking of splurging on these wool fingerless gloves (also from the fancy capsule collection). I never buy expensive accessories, but with the credit, they'd only cost me $15. Should I get them as a special gift to myself, or save the credit for something I would buy anyway?

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Velvet leggings and mismatched greys

With this morning's rain I wanted a cozy outfit, so I wore my new Gap velvet leggings with a long silk/cotton tunic shirt. They're woven, soft but structured, comfortable, and flattering.

The problem: these leggings are "soft black" but in daylight they look like a faded chocolate brown. Once I got outside I realized that the black shirt clashed horribly with the warm grey leggings. I have one grey silk shirt that's the same color as the leggings, but otherwise, I'm just not sure any of my black clothing will really work.

Question: should I go back and duplicate them in the solid black? They're half price today... I think the grey has more visual texture; the solid black is a little too much like a black hole. But the mismatched color is a real problem.

A few older photos too. I've tried to lighten everything so color and texture are more visible.

Photos 1-3: Today's outfit. #3 is in natural light, unedited, to show the color difference at its worst. Gap leggings, thrift store Pure DKNY shirt, Madewell boots.

4: Everlane short-sleeve merino sweater. It is so me. Worn with my R13 crossover jeans and Allsaints boots.

5: Juuust barely flattering enough? The Marc Jacobs main line silk pants, remarkably found at Crossroads, are great. But here I'm wearing them with my combat boots. What do you think? (My feet were sore, so these boots won out over my sleek pointed-toe ankle boots.)

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