September tracking - week 4, final reckoning

Well, this week started off with a lot of outfits I didn't love. But I got my mojo back by the end! Amusingly, I accidentally wore almost the same outfit twice -- the first time was in my "meh" list, the second time in my "yay" list, and I didn't even notice until I wrote this post.

Sunday: I stayed in my bathrobe until dinnertime, doing various housework, but then threw on an outfit to go out for pizza. It was a chilly evening, so I cut the tags on my new Halogen wool moto - I love it.
Everlane faded boyfriend jeans, Madewell elbow sleeve merino top, Halogen wool moto (new), Frye engineer boots

Monday: White jeans are a big departure for me. I bought this pair a while ago as 'emergency' jeans when I realized the jeans I was wearing were really uncomfortably small. So... they are a full size too big. Between the size problem, the mundane sneakers, and my discomfort in white pants, I felt pretty meh in this outfit, and then I was asked last-minute to fill in for a grad seminar... Ugh.
Levi's wedgie distressed white jeans, J Crew linen v-neck, Gap cotton cardigan, Everlane jean jacket, Puma sneakers
But then I went for super energetic Irish folk dance, at a venue I haven't been to in years, and I had an excellent time.
Dance outfit: Club Monaco wool flare skirt, Gap tank, dance shoes

Tuesday: Another meh day. These are the full-length version of the Everlane jeans I asked about a few weeks ago. The combination with the Converse made it feel like something I'd wear in high school, but not in a good way. I'm going to hack off the jeans to hit above my ankle bone. Also, I love this cozy men's cardigan but it's too shapeless to make the outfit pop.
Everlane cheeky straight jeans (new), Zara cropped tee, Margiela wool boyfriend cardigan, Converse high tops

Wednesday: My most meh day! It was supposed to be a real summer-like day, so I wore the Gap crops that I haven't worn much this year. The combo with the drapey knit top made me feel twice as large as I am. I might pass this top on because I rarely feel fab in it.
Gap wide leg crops, Eileen Fisher knit linen top, Everlane jean jacket, Dr Martens sandals

Thursday: Getting better! These are the Gap mom jeans that I love but feel ill wearing because of the dye odor. After another few rounds of washing, once with peroxide bleach, then hanging in the sun, they were ok to wear all day! I think I should get the jeans hemmed a few inches.
Gap mom jeans, Everlane oxford, Everlane jean jacket, Free People asymmetric flats

Friday: Not bad at all! Very me. I am taking notes on what made this feel perfect. Amusingly, I decided against buying this Uniqlo top a year ago, but this year I bought it and I'm really glad.t.
Everlane boyfriend jeans, Uniqlo cocoon top (new), Everlane jean jacket, Free People asymmetric flats
bonus photos with my new wool moto - wasn't sure which I would wear out of the house - and the amazing purse I bought this summer!!

Saturday: Accidentally duplicated Tuesday, but, I like it this time. Same tee (I have 3) and jeans, but I folded up the jeans to show where I might chop them off. Maybe an inch lower than shown. Much better at this length and with oxfords.
Everlane cheeky straight jeans (new), Zara cropped tee, Zara nylon jacket, J Crew oxfords

Of note:

  • It's definitely fall, meaning I'm shopping and buying more. I cut the tags on the wool moto, Everlane jeans, and cocoon top this week. That makes three new pairs of faded black jeans this month... but I do like them all. What do you think of the 'cheeky straight' style?
  • I'm not sure about the white jeans as a look for myself, but I did manage to find the proper size on Poshmark, so I bought them and will sell these (no net $ loss). Big improvement over these. I wish they had just a touch of grey... the contrast feels too stark to me. But, the distressing takes them firmly out of preppy territory (not one of my styles) so I think they'll work for me as a wildcard. I'm going to chop them off (they're sold as raw hem, but too long on me, so I rolled them).
  • The Free People shoes really do jazz up any outfit! Both my sneakers outfits felt blah. I like the black Pumas with the white jeans, but I think the outfit would feel more my style with the FP shoes, or edgy sandals, or boots.
  • The non-meh outfits were put together more intentionally. I tried every pair of jeans I owned with the cocoon top to see what worked best. Solid black skinnies were the runner up, but I think this boyfriend look is best. It's interesting to see which tops work with all my new faded black jeans and which are best with solid black jeans. The faded jeans have the risk of looking sort of boring if I don't style them carefully.


  • jeans: Six pairs, one worn twice. Three carried over from previous weeks, three made their first appearance this week. I'm trying to wear all my jeans. Final total for September: 11 jeans (plus a skirt and a dress). Wore 11 of 18 that I own.
  • tops: A fairly standard mix of tees, sweaters, and shirts. I wore different tops almost every day of the month! Four repeats.
  • toppers and outerwear: Two cardigans this week. Three jackets. Wearing the Everlane denim jacket nonstop. Final total: 5 toppers, 5 jackets. I own many more but wore all the seasonally appropriate options.
  • shoes: Six pairs of shoes this week! The two pairs of sneakers are almost never worn, but I keep them for occasional use. Final total: 11 shoes. A few were worn once, the others were worn 2-3 times, and the Free People flats showed up 8 days! Wore 11 of 27 that I own -- but some of those 27 are up for sale on Poshmark, and others are more specialized (or a few outdated styles I am saving for the memories).

My main conclusion of this exercise: I have a large wardrobe. I do pretty well at wearing a lot of it, but there is so much more than I need. There's a core of pieces that see more use, but I don't feel a huge need to pare down the rest. I have storage space for my whole wardrobe, I cull things once I realize I truly don't like them, and variety isn't such a bad thing. But, I will be ruthless about selling things that never get worn, and I've done most of my shopping for the fall, so I shouldn't add many new items from here on.

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • jussie replied 5 years ago

    I love your style! I really like almost everything here. You look great. The only one I agree isn’t as sharp is Wednesdays outfit, just the silhouette isn’t as balanced.
    Those free people shoes and the white shirt are stunning.

  • Stagiaire Fash replied 5 years ago

    I think the starkness of white, whether in jeans or in the proper shirt, is what makes it work with your style. Both the pieces in the Wed outfit look good to me—they just do not belong together. I vote remix and keep.
    Your closet/wardrobe strategy sounds just right to me. I think the key is knowing when it’s time for a piece to move on, and then actually sending it on its way.
    I’m curious: do you have a colleague take pix at work?

  • Greyscale replied 5 years ago

    I take all my photos by putting my phone camera on 10 second timer mode. I have an old iPhone SE that is perfect because its edges are square so I can stand it on edge and it stays upright. They kept this phone style for a few extra years because so many of us loved it, but they didn’t update it in the last round, so I guess this is my last perfect phone!

  • Style Fan replied 5 years ago

    I like the combination of black and white in your outfits.  It looks edgy and, for lack of a better word, cool.  I am not a fan of white jeans but I like yours.  I think the distressing sends them into another place.  I also like the black and white outfit with the graphic carpet.  Pic #1 is my fav and Pic #3 is my second fav.

  • JAileen replied 5 years ago

    I was wondering how you did your pictures. Interesting. Your outfits definitely look like you. The wool moto looks especially good. I ended up returning my pink one. I though if I lived in the Bay Area it would be perfect. Here, though, it’s either hot or cold, rarely warm or cool.

  • Greyscale replied 5 years ago

    By the way, I would love advice about PPL and all these jeans. Photos make it clear that some are too long for sure.

  • Greyscale replied 5 years ago

    JAileen, yes, the wool moto will be perfect for the climate here. It might be too warm for daytime, but I have to remember how much it cools down at night - this will be perfect for coming home late from work. It fills a real wardrobe hole of a warm layer that fits over anything I might wear. Many of my jackets only work with thin layers under them.

    I actually had a boucle bomber in the same niche but I left it on an airplane after just a month! Sad, but this one is nicer anyway.

  • Jaime replied 5 years ago

    I love the white jeans outfit, even though it is more distressed than I usually prefer. I definitely understand your discomfort, but I thought I'd mention that. I also like you in the white button down - I think some skin or white really looks good on you - at least in photographs! Love the look of the oxfords toward the end. Sounds like you learned a lot from this challenge!

  • Angie replied 5 years ago


  • Ginger replied 5 years ago

    Greyscale, your conclusions are so apt, and particularly fascinating to me. Our aesthetics are almost totally opposite, yet we both have large wardrobes, that we really do use, and we're both quite particular about finding the combinations that are just right. Respect!

  • Runcarla replied 5 years ago

    YES to the white jeans outfit! Agreeing with Shevia about the distressing (works for you), and using more white (or skin) and Ginger's observation is brilliant.

  • Barbara Diane replied 5 years ago

    A very you wardrobe. I love that you look so good in your outfits, which are very different from mine. 

  • Suz replied 5 years ago

    OMG, I love that wool moto on you. It is SO GREAT. Glad you cut the tags. I completely agree about which outfits are best (Thursday/ Friday). It's fascinating that there can be such a difference even when the categories (jeans/ top) are so similar! Love the Free People shoe and also the J. Crew oxford. 

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