December is over! I’m going to do a separate post for a year-end retrospective.
As usual, I’ll go over favorite outfits, item wear stats, and what I bought, returned, purged, am considering purging, and my wish list.
This was a good month for me outfit-wise so I have five picks this time!
Head to toe orange! This one was really fun. I don’t think I’ve ever considered tucking in a cardigan until pretty recently (I pretty much never wear cardigans closed), but I’d been seeing the tucked styling a lot (Pinterest board link) so I gave it a try.
- Cardigan – Charter Club (ebay)
- Pants – Forever 21
- Boots – Steve Madden
I felt so cozy and wintery-cute in this. Worn during my trip to Boston! I might yet get out a post on that mini-capsule. I like that the hat is multicolored, but the burgundy band and pom-pom pull it back a bit.
- Hat – LL Bean
- Scarf – Steve Madden (from Macys)
- Sweater – LL Bean (Boston has a brick and mortar LL Bean store! I bought this and the hat during the trip)
- Pants – Uniqlo, hemmed
- Boots – Marc Fisher
I liked this one because it featured the round-toed t-strap pumps in a way that wasn’t super twee or 2013, but still felt a little vintage-y with the scarf-look headband. I always want to wear my long cardigans more, but I never like how they look with any pants other than jeans because soft-on-soft often leans too loungewear for my taste.
- Headband – Anthropologie
- Cardigan – H&M
- Jeans – ASOS petites “Farleigh slim mom jean”
- Top – H&M
- Shoes – Børn (ebay) “Polyana” pump
More winter-cute. I think the pleather midi skirt with these boots is one of my favorite combos now. I also like how the print on the mittens pops against all the black and matches the fair isle on the scarf.
- Scarf – Forever 21
- Coat – Calvin Klein (secondhand from a facebook buy/sell group, got the sleeves hemmed)
- Skirt – Forever 21
- Mittens – Isotoner (Macys)
- Sweater – JCrew (Goodwill)
- Boots – Marc Fisher
This month I wore:
- 43 items of clothing, 20 (47%, up from 56% last month) of which were worn once (not including loungewear, activewear, or thermals). -3 from last month, but I was on a trip to Boston for 10 days of the month.
- 6 tops
- 16 bottoms
- 4 dresses
- 6 outerwear
- 11 layering
- 47 accessories, 15 (56%, up from 38% last month) of which were worn once. 15 more items than last month!
- 8 shoes
- 2 socks (I count multiple colorways of the same cable-knit sock as 1 item)
- 4 necklaces
- 2 bracelets
- 10 earrings
- 2 belts
- 4 hats
- 4 rings
- 1 watch
- 2 scarves
- 2 headbands
- 1 gloves
- 5 bags
I realized after taking this screenshot that I logged the black floppy hat instead of the wool panama hat on accident in one outfit, but I’m too lazy to re-take and re-upload the screenshot.
Only one dud this time around. And I’ve worn all of these multiple times already, so a good month for purchases.
Cream balloon sleeve sweater, Athleta (“Lucca” sweater), $67.99, M – I have a dark gray oversized wool sweater that I love functionally, but I feel doesn’t fit my color palette that well anymore. This one is a cashmere-wool blend with balloon sleeves (my favorite sleeves, although it’s not as classic a cut as the other one I have) that I thought would be a great option. It isn’t the most thickly-knit sweater ever but it was plenty warm during my boston trip and I’m glad I got it! I wore it five times already since I got it this month.
Cream and gray mock-neck sweater, Athleta (“Rockridge” sweater), $55.19, M – I definitely did not need this sweater, but I tried it on and absolutely loved the double-sided knit (not sure what the technical term is for it) of cream and gray and thought the raglan sleeve style with the mock neck was interesting and really flattering! I usually try and avoid high polyester blends in sweaters because typically it’s a sign that it’s just cheap, but I guess Athleta being a higher-end activewear brand means they tend to use poly in a helpful way and here I think it made the sweater drape particularly nice.
Brown wool panama hat, Brixton via Nordstrom, $39.00 – Been wanting a medium-width brimmed wool hat for a while now since it pops up a lot in my style inspiration board on Pinterest, but I hadn’t found quite the right one. There were a few at Christie’s that looked really nice, but frankly I wasn’t sure I’d wear a hat enough to make it worth their price tag so I wanted a more mid-end one. This one is a basic taupe hat but I like the little braided trim detail! It took me a while to get to a point where I felt fashion-y enough to wear a hat that even remotely resembled a trilby due to hearing years of neckbeard jokes about them.
Gold scarf-look headband, Cara via Nordstrom, $28.00 – I like the rust headband in the same style a lot so I thought it’d be nice to have one in a more sparkly colorway. There is no way this is actually worth $28, but frankly at this point I’m okay with just eating the markup for the convenience of being able to purchase one that I tried on immediately. Headbands are so weird to fit. I don’t think I have a particularly large head (one size hats always fit) but I find most headbands to be uncomfortably tight.
Cream fisherman sweater, LL Bean, $99.00, S (also in the above photo) – I’d tried this on previously in a mail order in M and it just fit all kinds of wrong. The sleeves were super tight and the torso was a bit baggy and long, and the yarn was stiff and scratchy. I gave up on LL Bean sweaters after that since they don’t have free return shipping and there aren’t any brick and mortar ones in California. But there is one in Boston, so I was able to try on a few sweaters and determined that I’m probably a small in most of their items. I don’t know what was up with the yarn in the one I originally tried, but the ones in the store were a better texture.
Multicolored pom-pom beanie, LL Bean, $29.95 – I hadn’t previously considered ear coverage much when shopping for cold-weather hats, but after walking around in Boston in freezing wind for a day with the beanie I packed that only covered the tops of my ears when pulled down past my eyebrows already, it now is. This hat still doesn’t comfortably cover my ears but I think the design is a little longer so it’s still a solid improvement. I saw a lot of other people whose beanies covered their ears but I’m not sure if it’s just my slippery hair getting in the way or my head shape or not having the right hat or what. I should probably just get a hat with some of those ear flaps next…
I liked that this colorway of the hat was multicolored and cheery, but still comes off as primarily burgundy since the cuff and pom-pom match.
Fair isle chenille gloves, Isotoner via Macys, $18.00 (also in the above photo) – This was a purchase of necessity as unfortunately I dropped one of the gloves I packed outside our Airbnb building when I had taken it off to dig around my purse for keys and it blew away by the time I came back for it (this was the super windy day mentioned above). RIP basic fitted warm fleece glove. I like the print on these and they’re pleasantly plush, but despite the thickness I don’t think they’re actually as warm as the old gloves. I would have repurchased them (gift originaly) but they’re from Land’s End and I was disappointed in how they handled the whole Gloria Stienem thing a few years ago so I would rather not shop there if I can help it. I will probably keep on the lookout for warmer ones or ones in the removable mitten style which is easier to use with phone touch or digging around in a purse.
Gray check oversized blazer, Forever 21 via Goodwill, $5.99 – I got this with the intention of trying it just once or twice because I’ve seen loads of people with oversized check blazers and I think it looks cute, but after a few attempts at styling I think this one is a bit too oversized for what I was going for. I missed the return deadline so this is just going back to Goodwill.
Lotta stuff this time, end of the year and all. I’ve decided that I don’t have enough space to keep around some of the summer items and none of them are precious to me, so I’m just going to go ahead and donate them next time I make it over there.
The general themes this time in donations were
- things that lean towards pajama / loungewear looks, like open cardigans
- navy, gray, and black
- thin and/or flat fabrics (I wore so much jersey before)
which are all things I’ve been moving away from as I try to give my wardrobe more dimension. Specific things I’ve taken away are that I don’t like
- drop shoulders on thicker knits (I’ve also noticed this when trying on stuff in stores)
- boxy sweaters with a band at the waist
- waterfall cardigans
Being the end of the year, I took a look at all my items I wore 6 or fewer times (not even worn every other month on average) in the past year and had a look at the ones that I would either never reach for over another item in the same niche that I now had or was not worn within the past 9-10 months.
I may add photos later, but as it’s the end of the year I’d rather spend the time getting my 2018 retrospective post done than adding images here.
Gray rib-knit long sleeve top, H&M – this is actually a pretty solid quality item for H&M, though not spectacular. I noticed I didn’t like most of the outfits with it because the wide rib-knit pattern is too boobtastic for my taste. On top of that, the gray doesn’t fit with all the warmer items that I tend to reach for so I never pick this one. I have enough other tops I don’t think this needs to stay around as a functional piece.
Gray mock neck dress, Nordstrom – this is one of the now-rare shameful “still has the tags” donations 😦 I bought this right before I decided that I wanted to redo my color palette to include actual colors, and I never ended up wearing it. It fits well but it also needed to be hemmed before I wore it, and needed a slip if I wasn’t wearing it with tights. The quality is decent but nothing great.
Brown cashmere-cotton waterfall cardigan, Eileen Fisher secondhand – as usual for EF, this piece is really well made and the fabric is possibly my favorite I’ve ever touched. Cotton cashmere! Who knew there was such a thing. However I’ve come to dislike waterfall cut cardigans as I don’t find them flattering (without careful styling to me they feel like a “older woman trying to hide their stomach” cut) and they tend to feel very loungewear-y when in a smooth thin fabric. Sad to let this one go but as it doesn’t have a closure and has no pockets I find that I’m less likely to wear it around the house compared to basic-ass hoodies, even with the glorious, glorious feel of the fabric.
Cream open-knit linen waterfall cardigan, Eileen Fisher secondhand – similar to the above, this is super well made but I don’t like the cut even though it fits perfectly (even petite sized!). I used to have a lot of waterfall and round shawl collar cardigans in 2014-2016 when I mostly wore jeggings and leggings but as I almost always wear loose-fit bottoms now it just doesn’t work as well. They also come off as dated to me and that combined with just not working with my current silhouette means out they go!
Rust boxy cropped sweater, Forever 21 – The quality of this is decent for the price and acrylic-cotton blend, I still like the color of this one but I found that I hated the boxy cropped cut. I’m fine with loose silhouettes but my personal peeve is anything that makes me feel particularly apple shaped. Since this one was cropped with a banded waist and the yarn was a more substantial acrylic, it definitely leaned in that direction (although as usual, not awful). After getting a brown fitted pullover long sleeve top last month I don’t think I’d ever reach for this one over that, so out it goes. I don’t think I had a
Gray cotton shaker stitch cardigan, Gap – this is very soft and comfortable and used to be my workhorse cardigan. However I never reach for it now because the short and boxy cut suits skinny jeans and leggings more, it’s a bit too loungey, doesn’t have pockets or a closure (not going to reach for it if transitioned to loungewear), and doesn’t mesh with the colors of my favorite core pieces. If I had more space I’d keep this one in case I get back into skinny bottoms or go back into a gray/black phase, but alas I do not.
Gray ruched t-shirt midi t-shirt dress, H&M – the design of this is cool – you can adjust the ruching and it’s a fun witchy/dystopian aesthetic. But the quality is pretty awful as the fabric is thin and clingy in a way that makes you look lumpy if you’re not careful. It’s too casual for my taste to wear to the office and I don’t think I’d reach for it as a loungewear piece over more functional items.
Black box pleat jersey midi skirt, ASOS petite – I don’t like the length of this on me and I don’t love how it looks when I’m just standing. It’s too soft a fabric to hold up an A-line shape or even the box pleats, which end up getting swallowed. Now that I have the black pleather midi skirt I don’t think I’d ever reach for this. I have a black jersey maxi skirt that I think I would always reach for over it if I did want a softer black skirt.
Black cropped cotton cable-knit sweater, Billabong – I never reach for this because I’ve come to prefer pretty much any other color but black by my face. The dropped shoulders with the thick knit tend to make my shoulders look large and round. I don’t like how it pairs with my trousers, culottes, or a-line midi skirts, which is what I wear most of the time. It looks okay with jeans and there’s one skirt it looks nice with, but idk, that doesn’t seem like enough to keep it when I have so many other sweaters where I perk up when I think about them rather than feel meh.
Some stuff I’ve more recently considered getting rid of, but want to stew on for a little longer.
Black linen duster cardigan, Garnet Hill secondhand – flat, black, lounge-y item. I want to give it one more chance next summer because I know I had a black duster cardigan on a wish list for SO LONG when I was into the minimal witchy aesthetic. Not holding out too much but at least it doesn’t take up too much room when stored because it’s thin.
Black cotton oversized “double L” cable-knit sweater, LL Bean secondhand – this looks nice with black leggings and black boots but I don’t think I wear this enough to justify keeping it around. It’s not an oversized cut, just two sizes up, so it tends to need a lot of styling to look intentional in outfits. It’s super comfy and well-made though.
Cream cotton “double L” cable-knit sweater, LL Bean secondhand – similar enough to the new fisherman sweater, but I like how the fisherman sweater looks more so I suspect I would always reach for that over this one.
Cream open-knit sweater, Billabong – transitioning this to warm weather loungewear. This is comfy but I realized the cut is a little wider than I’d like and something about the design makes it look droopy rather than slouchy-chic. I also got the AllSaints open-knit top after I bought this and while it’s less comfortable the design is so much cooler (more structure, more unique) that for ~outfits~ I think I would always reach for that.
Cream basic long sleeved scoop neck top, Target – I got this in high school but never wear it anymore because it’s such a flat basic, but it’s one of those things where I feel that some day I’m going to want it for layering and regret getting rid of it. I’m really impressed with how well it’s held up. I haven’t worn it much in recent years but I used to use it all the time.
Instead of a general wish list, I’ve converted mine to an “‘I Wish’ List” on my phone’s notes app. I add something to it if I think “I wish I had a ____” when I’m actually getting dressed. I feel like that’s probably more indicative of “””need””” versus just seeing things that I like when I’m shopping or browsing inspiration photos.
- Camel Coat – non black/dark gray coat option
- Lighter mood festive top or dress
- Formal dress not black
- Long chunky cable-knit cardigan, not black – specifically cable-knit for adding texture to outfits. I like the taupe and dark gray ones I have but I think a more substantial one would work as an outerwear piece with a lot of my outfits
- denim or cord button-front skirt (to replace the current one which was a cheap “let’s try it out” purchase that ended up being too thin and stretchy for my taste)