My goal for this month was to accessorize more specifically with tights and socks. I did, and I’m glad I’m getting more use out of all those fancy tights I bought months ago! It’s been fun, and I’ve done it enough now that I think it should stay in rotation.
Sometimes I get really tired of spending so much time thinking about my outfits, but at the same time I can’t un-see when I have a meh outfit now and then it really bothers me, because now I have the ability to make it better (vs before when I couldn’t identify why I felt any given outfit was a bit off, and didn’t have the items to tweak it). Overall I think I still have fun with it, but I hope that at some point I’ll better be able to really take days off (or hit a closet where every outfit can be an awesome outfit, I guess that’s really the goal here).
Click the images to view the full res in a new tab. Check out the Wardrobe Tracking page for more info on the Airtable base I use to log my outfits.
I wore 46 items (up from 43 last month), 23 of which were worn once. (50%, up from 47% last month)
- 9 tops
- 17 bottoms
- 4 dresses
- 6 outerwear
- 10 layering
I wore 44 items, 21 of which were worn once. 10 were shoes.
Green corduroy peg pants, Topshop via Nordstrom, US size 8 and 10, $68.00 each – these are absolutely my new most favorite pants ever. I was originally going to get either the 8 or the 10, but since the waistband isn’t stretchy I realized that the 10 worked well with chunky sweaters and the 8 worked well with thin sweaters and normal tops, and I ended up keeping both. I want to commit to wearing at least one of these once a week, but so far that hasn’t been a problem. I love the wide wale of the cords, the buttons, and the pleats.
Black faux leather snake buckle crossbody purse, Topshop via Nordstrom, $48.00 – I love me a good snake motif and this one was a great design. The purse itself is pretty meh quality, but it’s Good Enough for an item that I pretty much just got for looks anyway.
Crystal and enamel snake brooch, Ebay, $7.19 – Again, snakes. I wanted to try a brooch as a scarf/cloak fastener and went hunting for a snake themed one. Most of them looked like weird sperm or worms but THIS ONE actually got the subtleties of the head shape right.
Brown oversized blazer, Goodwill, $6.99 – a more “me” version of the oversized check blazer trend. I still don’t know that I like that enough to really keep it permanently, but I’m planning to get another few wears out of this before donating it back to Goodwill.
Cream cable-knit wool cardigan, medium, Ralph Lauren via Ebay, $60.64 – a wish list item from last month! This thing is serious. It’s three pounds of wool! Honestly more of a coat weight than any of my actual coats. I do have to roll the sleeves up and the pockets are a tad too low on the cardigan for me to reach with short arms, but over all I’m so pleased with this. Compared to the quality you’d get for twice as much money for something at Madewell or Nordstrom, this is fantastic. (Pictured in the “favorites” section)
Gray-brown checked scarf, H&M, $17.99 – I wanted a bit more plaid in my life and also another scarf that wasn’t black, and this fit. It was the exact shade of plaid I wanted, too. a very warm gray with muted orange in the plaid.
Brown corduroy midi skirt, size 8, Uniqlo x Ines de la Fressange via Ebay, $45 – (Picture that meme with the bespectacled anime man gesturing at a butterfly): buying the same item in multiple colorways “Is this, ‘adding variety to a wardrobe’?”. I haven’t gotten around to wearing this one yet, but sometimes when picking skirts for an outfit I wished that the red-orange one was a more muted tone. So I suppose this should fill that niche. I just love the pleating and yoke on this design so much. The 8 also fits great at the waist. I might get this one hemmed though, just to add a bit more variety (it also just comes off as a heck of a lot of taupe/brown, which is a bit less of a statement than the rich orangey tan skirt or the red-orange corduroy skirt).
Plaid corduroy midi skirt, size 10, Uniqlo x Ines de la Fressange via Ebay, $45 – one size up because plaid + chunky sweater = fantastic winter combo.
Tan teddy fleece bomber jacket, small, Uniqlo U via Ebay, $56.99 – Copy-paste of my initial thoughts on it on my Instagram post:
I think it’s really easy for outerwear like this to overwhelm a petite frame. But there are a couple of design elements here that make it more flattering (within the context of a fluffy bomber jacket, which is intrinsically not a slimming cut). The oversized collar adds some structure to it and draws the eye up to the face. The back is divided up into panels which creates smaller shapes that are less overwhelming. And the front panels along the zipper continue to the hem rather than having the waistband ribbing come all the way around, emphasizing the vertical line. It’s def still a stocky look from some angles but I’m gonna embrace it.
I had been low-key looking for a camel coat this season as a light colored loose outerwear option (I have a tan moto jacket which is great but doesn’t fit sweaters under) but I think this cropped bomber will be great with a lot of my outfits as I tend to wear relatively bottom heavy outfits and having the waist nipped in preserves at least a bit of negative space around the silhouettes
Green and brown rib-knit striped t-shirt, Goodwill, $3.99 – The t-shirt has a vertical rib knit in addition to the green and brown stripes and it reminds me of some tops I had as a kid in the 00s. I try to be careful styling tops like this to not look like I got lost on the way to high school but I find that wearing a watch + belt, sleek shoes, and non-hoodie outerwear is usually plenty to look intentional, especially with non-jean/legging bottoms.
White vintage style tea blouse with shawl collar and rouleau buttons, US size 8, ASOS $45.00 – I’m not much for white button-down shirts generally but this one had just the perfect old timey flair in its design. I love the narrow shawl collar and blouson sleeves. It def needs the cuffs taken up though, so it’ll have to make it to the tailor before I wear it to work. Given how… relatively structured and sheer and just generally A Look this is for me, I’m going to probably give it the same amount of thought as the plaid trousers when styling them. I’m thinking I’ll probably stick to more casual/fun/youthful bottoms like mini skirts or jeans at first.
Asymmetrical geometric enamel earrings, Glamorous brand via ASOS, $13.00 – these just looked so cool and artsy. I think the design is fabulously balanced and it definitely looks like a set and not like you just picked two random earrings to wear to be quirky.
Faux leather mini skirt, US size 8, ASOS, $32.00 – this one had a terrible faux leather smell even after a wash, but it seems like airing it out for a few days has gotten rid of it. No pics of this yet but not much to say either, it’s a basic mini skirt shape. The pockets are fake but frankly on a skirt this tight pockets aren’t that much help anyway. Generally not a fan of exposed / contrast zippers, but it’s not something I’ll die on a hill about especially if it doesn’t have a large buffer of cheap-looking fabric around it. This was a wish list item from last month!
26 items plus a few old layering camisoles that I don’t wear anymore after discovering the superior heattech camisoles from Uniqlo. This is a lot more than I usually purge because we rearranged the furniture in our bedroom in a way that greatly increased general storage space, but decreased my clothing storage space (totally worth it). I could have bought more under-bed storage, but at this point I have more stuff than I can really wear regularly anyway, so I opted for a purge. If I had like, a house with an attic or more than one closet for the whole place, I’d probably keep some of these in case I swing back into skinnies. But I live in a 400 sq ft apartment with my boyfriend, so out they go.
Again, I think these worked pretty well with my old wardrobe, in which bottoms were almost entirely black or gray skinny jeans, jeggings, or leggings. They just look kind of stumpy with my current bottoms which tend to gap and sit a few inches above the ankle.
Tan leather cutout booties, Seychelles
Black suede waterproof booties, Blondo
Black zipper detail ankle booties, Lucky Brand – I’m actually keeping these temporarily so that I can have a bootie example in my vaguely-committed-to-with-no-timeline blog post on how to choose shoes for different styles of pants (in the vein of the Styling Midi Skirts post).
Not my style
I optimized too hard on “it should go with everything” when I first became interested in curating my wardrobe and ended up with a lot of black and grey jersey items
Navy v-neck t-shirt, Gap
Taupe drapey vest, Target – was saving this for a costume or something, but meh. Space is even more precious now.
Black tank, Target
Gray knit blazer, Uniqlo – This thing is great. Super comfy, great pockets, fit well. I used to wear this one a lot back in the black and gray skinny jeans minimal scandi chic era, but it doesn’t really work with my current volume-on-the-bottom-defined-waist-rich-colors-texture thing I’m trying to get going. As I’m a software engineer, I expect that I will have no actual need for blazers in the future ever so I don’t need to keep this one around. I did keep the black one which I felt came off as a bit more polished in case I just have a day where I feel like a blazer, but this one didn’t need to keep taking up storage space.
Black woven shift dress, Old Navy – Used to be my go-to semi-formal dress. It’s an okay dress, but I have better nice dresses now. For casual black dresses, I have a comfier dress.
Black double-layer asymmetric hem dress, Cheap Monday via ASOS – this thing was so confusing to get on because it had several ever-shifting holes in the torso depending on the particular configuration of the sleeves. It was comfy, but also a tad long, and I didn’t like it enough any more to get it hemmed.
Gray rib-knit mock neck sleeveless midi dress – this still had the tags on 😢. It needed to get hemmed before I could really wear it (also it was thin and would have required a slip, which makes it less likely that I’d reach for it on dress days, which tend to be when I’m feeling more lazy), and I never got around to that and now it is not my style. Hopefully someone picks it up.
Ribbed gray crew-neck sweater, H&M – the particular width of the rib-knit stripes on this were also like, way too boobtastic for my preferences. I have a gray rib-knit mock neck with much a smaller rib, and I always reach for that.
Black jersey midi skirt, ASOS petite – the jersey material meant this had no body to it. That’s okay for very long skirts, but I found that compared to all my other midis I’ve since acquired, this one just felt really limp.
Gray v-neck t-shirt, Gap petites – this fits perfectly because I actually went and bothered to order the petites sizing online. But, it turns out that I haven’t felt the desire to wear any v-neck tees as an outfit component for months, and now always opt for real thermals for layering under sweaters.
Beige scoop-neck long sleeved t-shirt, Target – I’ve had this since high school! Probably one of the oldest pieces in my closet. But I hadn’t worn it in like the entire two years since I started tracking my item wears and I didn’t see any reason why that would change. It was 100% cotton but just not as comfy as some of my other stuff so I never even wore it as pajamas.
Plaid gray boyfriend blazer, Forever 21 via Goodwill – Oversized gray checked/plaid blazers have been everywhere in my area this F/W season, and it looked like it would be a lot of fun to try out. I already knew that item wouldn’t make it into my core wardrobe, but I still wanted to give it a try and when I ran across this one at Goodwill, I decided to give it a spin. However, once I got home and was trying out a few different ways to style it, I realized this was just too boxy and oversized for my preferences (I think I could have styled it with a large belt and still fallen under cool/trendy umbrella, but it just wasn’t my jam) and it just ended up going back to Goodwill. A waste, but not as wasteful as it could have been I guess.
White open-knit sweater, Billabong – I probably should have sized down in this one. It’s okay, but quite a bit baggier looking and with the drop shoulder sort of look, I didn’t like how saggy the whole effect was compared to the similar cream open-knit AllSaints top I found shortly after this one. I decided I’d never reach for it over the AllSaints top, so out it went, which is a shame because it was a pretty nice piece.
Black cable-knit cropped sweater, Billabong – This is cropped, chunky, and has drop shoulders, which result in my shoulders feeling a lot bulkier than they actually are. I also have just not been feeling the huge amount of black tops I have and hadn’t been reaching for this one and after identifying the shoulder issue I didn’t think I would in the future, either.
Gray waffle-knit top, Uniqlo – this was a July 2018 purchase back in my initial haul to add color and texture into my wardrobe. This is a pretty great shirt by its own merits, but I found that the waffle knit was just too casual for the aesthetic I ultimately fixated on and I found that I never reached for this. I had downgraded it to loungewear, but I have other long sleeve tops that are more comfortable so I would never wear this vs those. I did keep the tan version of this top though because I felt that it might be useful in a costume or something down the line.
Rust sweater, Forever 21 – Cropped + boxy + slash neck + not a drapey construction => square torso effect, which I didn’t like. This was a perfectly okay sweater for the price and if I’d gotten this back during college I’m sure it would have gotten a lot of wear, but I’m so picky now that once I realized what exactly I didn’t like about it, I knew I wouldn’t go for it. Elements that result in a square torso effect are now on the anti-wish list though, so that’s good. I often liked the boxy top look in ads for Madewell and such (even on busty models), but I’ve realized that the squareness of it specifically just doesn’t sit well with me. I’ll wear giant cardigans and coats with a trapezoidal or rectangular shape, but the waist-up boxiness, just, bleh.
Black button-front denim skirt, H&M – I actually liked the style of this one, but the denim it’s made of is really thin and stretchy, and I found out that it unfortunately gets crazy creasing if I sit in it for more than a couple of minutes. It was just an unacceptable amount of wrinkles. I’ve got a replacement black mini skirt on the wish list now (I had opted for the super cheap H&M skirt in the first place since I wasn’t sure I’d actually wear a structured black mini skirt) and I’m going to look for thicker denim or leather/suede sort of materials.
Black fleece-lined leggings, Uniqlo – these shrank in the wash! I wore them once right out of the package and they were lovely, but machine wash cold and line dry shrank the waist to be uncomfortably small. Going to stick with the normal extra-warm heattech leggings or the ribbed sweater tights from now on.
Gray ruched t-shirt dress, H&M – this was just so thin. I’d downgraded it to loungewear, and it was actually very comfy, but it always felt like it was on the verge of disintegration. I have some XXL t-shirts that are just as soft that I ended up always reaching for instead. I think this is from that DIVIDED line at H&M that frequently does post-apocalypse ninja witch sort of designs, which I often admire from a distance
Too Much Loungewear
(via “This silhouette is more suited to skinny jeans”)
I have a lot of loungewear. I work in tech and lovely soft gray hoodies and t-shirts have accumulated over the last ~8 years. As much as I am happy to opt for a bit of fussing for fashion in my day wear, for pajamas, if it’s not a pullover or zippable sweater with pockets, it’s a no. Open sweaters get tangled overnight, and I usually like to have pockets around the house while I’m tidying or cleaning. So some “very quality and very comfortable, can’t get rid of this!” pieces that were banished from the day wardrobe have now also been banished from the pajamas. I hope they do actually end up getting picked up by someone from the Goodwill, these were all nice.
Gray shaker-stitch cotton cardigan, Gap – formerly a core item, but it goes well with high-waisted skinny jeans, which I now own exactly zero of (I have two pairs of the same washed-black straight-leg jean, but idk, it’s not the same).
Brown cotton-cashmere cardigan, Eileen Fisher – this was like the best fabric and I kept this one around a lot longer than I should have because every time I went to donate it, I’d feel how luxuriously soft but sturdy it felt and then put it back. But I don’t actually wear it, and now I also don’t have space!
Linen open-knit waterfall cardigan, Eileen Fisher – as EF does, this was a really great quality piece. But open waterfall style! So flappy! So tangly! No pockets! Again, also goes better with maxi skirts and skinny pants, which I don’t have anymore. Hopefully when those all come back in style and I shift back, there will still be some nice EF pieces like this in consignment.
Black cotton tank top with a college club logo – this was a perfectly okay piece of workout attire, but as I mostly attend drop-in ballet classes and go to the ice skating rink, this was not getting used. The straps were also very thin and long and required tying together so that they didn’t flop off.
Escaped the purge!
Navy toggle coat, H&M – this is a perfectly okay item. The design is cute enough, but not exactly inspiring. The pockets are spacious but not angled well for hands. It’s polyester, so not terribly warm. But I realized that if I get rid of this then I’ll have no “trash coats”, aka a coat (when you need something a bit nicer than a hoodie) that I’m okay losing at a sketchy coat check. This one actually did nearly get stolen once at a party, but my coworker noticed a dude trying to leave with all of our group’s coats, and he put them back when called out. Back when I was very lukewarm on the majority of my items, I had no shortage of these, but now I think I would cry if I lost any of my other coats. So this final remaining specimen gets to stay.
- Lighter mood festive top or dress
- Formal dress not black
- Cute longer (mid-thigh) raincoat in green or mustard or rust – My current gray one is mostly functional, but it would be nice to have one with more coverage, a less finicky zipper, and that could actually be part of outfits
- Blouses / tops in not-black – probably mock neck or square neck and long sleeve since that’s what I like to wear for office outfits. My wardrobe is carried by my bottom pieces right now, and I think getting more of the color palette into the tops category will make it easier to make a variety of outfits.
- Light colored boots 1.5″-2.5″ heel. I’d like another “walkable” option besides the classic black Dr Martens.
I realized I was mixing up purgatory and limbo lol.
Cream cable-knit LL Bean sweater has escaped purge limbo! I realized that it has a different drape than the cotton fisherman sweater, and thus actually goes better with some items than the fisherman sweater.
Black oversized cable-knit LL Bean sweater is still in limbo, as is the black linen duster cardigan. I’ll see if I can come up with a few outfits for the black one. The linen duster I’m waiting on since I don’t like to purge super off-season things because it’s too easy to feel like you don’t use them just because the weather’s off.
I want to try making more outfits with my straight-leg jeans. I noticed that I tend to feel like I’m phoning it in with jeans outfits. I want to determine whether jeans will remain in my “purely functional” category or if I can make a sort of sub-capsule around them that I like. In the past I’ve liked jeans outfits with moto jackets or long cardigans more than pullover sweaters, I think because the “third piece” thing makes the whole thing seem more intentional.
I also want to play around with the idea of recognizing sub-capsules of style within my wardrobe and then doubling down on those rather than trying to shoehorn 3-4 watered down versions of styles into the greater wardrobe. What I specifically want to do around that isn’t solidified in my head yet so we’ll see if that pans out.