WIW on a surprise warm day

After yesterday's huge windstorm, the weather cleared and it's back in the 70s with bright sun again. Strange. So my planned outfit was too warm, and I pulled out this great high/low Helmut Lang top that is wool and silk and is perfect for the weather. I don't wear much because it seemed like a dress-up item when I got it, but now that I put this outfit together I realize it works well in a lot of casual contexts too.

Three realizations today:

1. I really am avoiding legging jeans subconsciously. This top fit my "silk tunic and leggings" uniform a year ago, and so I'm shocked that it works so well with cropped boyfriend jeans. I need a serious revamp of my jeans wardrobe.

3. These boots hurt. I'm heartbroken. They were expensive and I basically can't wear them. I changed later into oxfords. I guess I should sell them. But, I think I figured out what (expensive) mistake I keep making in shoe sizing. I need to make sure the ball of my foot is in the right place.

3. I desperately need a crash course in accessorizing. I even forgot to put on my little silver necklace that I wear every day.

I think this introspective, blah clothing mood is just because of insomnia and delayed coffee this morning. Despite all that I do really like today's outfit.

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.


  • kellygirl replied 10 years ago

    Love the simplicity of this. Ylf! No accessory necessary :) 

  • replied 10 years ago

    Great top! Sorry the boots hurt.

  • Kristin L replied 10 years ago

    I'm sorry the boots hurt, but it's great that you now know how to avoid it in the future. I love your outfit!

  • unfrumped replied 10 years ago

    Super top. And, I hear you on surprise weather and keeping a few off-season items handy.

  • FlorenceFearne replied 10 years ago

    Fortunately, your awesome hair and cute glasses add a lot of "accessory" already. I bet you'd look really cool in some chunky cuff bracelets too... not that you asked for unsolicited jewelery suggestions. Feel free to ignore that if cuff bracelets fill you with nausea and loathing. Ha ha.

  • MsLuna replied 10 years ago

    I love this outfit! It's quite edgy! 

  • Greyscale replied 10 years ago

    Florence, I have an awesome leather cuff bracelet! It's the only bracelet I ever manage to wear. I think I hate loose things on my wrists, and it fits nicely. Only problem is, it has a nifty magnet clasp that turns off my laptop screen if I'm not careful!

    And I would truly appreciate jewelry suggestions. Definitely my weak category. That and belts.

  • FlorenceFearne replied 10 years ago

    Hmm, OK. It's tough to jewellery shop for someone I don't know well, with no idea what type of jewelery you might wear... BUT I'm going to venture out on a limb and guess you may share my affection for jewellery that's bold, but not girly, or frilly, or fussy. So how about these for some ideas to get you started? 







    *I should note, I firmly believe that especially if you're still trying to decide what you like, there is no reason to spend a huge sum on money on your jewellery. 

    And finally, I'm not always in the mood for jewellery, but sometimes if I feel I need an accessory, I go with a cool belt, or a scarf. Phew! Long post is long. 

    ETA link for belts: 


    Literally thousands of buckles there. I have a bunch, and one belt. Ha ha. 

  • Greyscale replied 10 years ago

    I like some of those a lot - thanks! I tend to buy things but never wear them, so yeah, definitely not spending much.

    I do wear scarves a lot, so maybe I should start with a few new ones.

  • Suz replied 10 years ago

    First off, I love the top. It looks fantastic. 

    Secondly, I hear you on the jeans. I had to force myself to wear my legging jeans as part of the No Repeat November challenge. I just don't love them any more. I will continue to wear at least one pair because they are super comfy and quite warm in our winters (these are reversible coated jeans so they're like a double layer). Plus, with our weather, I am sure I'll be tucking into tall boots t some point -- I won't be able to prevent it, and legging jeans work best for that. So they won't go immediately into the donate bin. But the thrill is gone. 

    Three, maybe accessories are not your thing. After all, your specs are a constant, right? That's a pretty big accessory right there. When I'm wearing mine I stick invisible studs in my ears (well, nearly invisible) and call it a day. If it's chilly I might add a scarf. But that's enough. Maybe you need a change up pair of glasses to vary the look sometimes (if you don't already have, I mean). 

    Fourth, that is really a shame about the boots because they look fantastic. I wonder if an insole or one of those arch inserts might help? Or are you just buying shoes whose last doesn't really work for your foot? In any case you're right that figuring out the problem will at least prevent future mistakes. 

  • catgirl replied 10 years ago

    Great outfit!  I love the whole look.  What are the boots and how do they hurt?

  • Firecracker (Sharan) replied 10 years ago

    Great outfit! You are right, the top looks fab with jeans--a wonderful discovery. I love the booties with the outfit, too. That's so sad--I hate when I make expensive mistakes, but I've definitely been there. Maybe you could try to salvage them with inserts for the ball of the foot?

  • Greyscale replied 10 years ago

    The boots are Rachel Comey penpals. They're a 6 and I'm a 6.5. The 6.5 felt big but I bet the ball was in the right place. I happened to get a ball/arch injury from dance the same month I bought these (2 years ago) and I think they just doesn't distribute the weight well enough for me now. Some heels are fine but these make my feet and hips hurt. An arch insert or ball of foot insert might fix it but they're tight already.

    It's the same mistake I made with my awesome heels with little biker jacket details. In that case I totally lucked out - I found a 7 at a consignment store and sold my 6s. Huge improvement. So I might try to sell these and give up on heeled boots (and apply the money towards my new flat boots if I keep them).

  • rae replied 10 years ago

    Ooh, I would wear the whole shebang in a hot second (own very similar things, actually... have a white shirt in the same style and wish I had the black, too). Sad to hear about the boots... spendy mistakes hurt extra. Might you fix with some kind of insole that would mold to the ball of your foot?

    ETA: ah, I see they are already tight. TGF resale?

  • Greyscale replied 10 years ago

    So when I got home I dug out my box with all my zillion insoles - and I discovered that some of them do actually work in the boots! It's hard to know just standing in them, but I'm optimistic that they'll help. I'd only tried thin inserts before because I assumed thicker inserts would crowd my feet, but actually, the only place the boots are tight is the toe box, and the thick inserts don't affect that. I'm glad you all suggested it, or I wouldn't have thought to try it again.

    I doubt they'll ever be daily wear, but that's ok.

    Meanwhile, I think I need a few days of Converse+orthotics or my Mephisto sandals (almost as perfect as the custom orthotics) to recover from a week of too many dance classes.

  • Debra replied 10 years ago

    Love this outfit, great top that goes perfectly with these jeans. Hope the boots work out because they look fab :)

  • Suz replied 10 years ago

    It would be great if the boots could work for you. 

    I've also learned it's all about arch/ ball of foot placement. If that is there, then the shoe will be a lot more comfortable in the long term. 

    If you are able to wear the boots, the toe box might loosen up with time. You can also try Angie's trick of wearing them with wet feet, or you can stuff them with ice bags and freeze overnight. 

  • E replied 10 years ago

    I hope the insole makes the boots work!

    You look wonderful, and I don't think you need accessories unless you want them. Your hair & glasses are both strong statements on their own. :)

  • Angie replied 10 years ago

    RATE fabness. Your hair colour adds instant pop to all your outfits. It's fantastic. 

  • Greyscale replied 10 years ago

    Thanks so much to Angie and everyone else for your comments. I've learned a few great things from what you all said. I should stress less about "learning to accessorize" because I do like how I look without jewelry. I'll keep an eye out for a few nice silver accents and a belt or two, but the interesting statement items in my outfits are usually the clothes, and like you said, my glasses and hair are pretty bold too. Especially now that I have an interesting haircut (for most of my life it was just all one length).

    Angie, I know you are not a fan of all-black clothes. Since my wardrobe is entirely monochromatic, the lesson I've taken away from your writing is that I need to be extremely deliberate and careful in my outfit combinations. So I've been using gray or distressed jeans to counterbalance solid black tops, or making sure there are interesting textures or silhouettes (including simple columns of solid black - I'm not giving up on that, just being careful about it). I'm glad you think my hair color pops with the dark clothes - that's one of my rationalizations.

  • Greyscale replied 10 years ago

    Exciting update! I wore the Penpal boots today with the thickest inserts and they are working well. There's no room for my usual thin smartwool socks, but that's ok. The insoles distribute my weight differently so that my foot isn't sliding forward, and it makes a huge difference. I don't think I'll wear them very often but I'm no longer planning to sell them.

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