February! So rainy. So cloudy.
I’m trying to evaluate my progress on the following:
🌊 Depth – do textures, layers, and accessories provide a feeling of richness? Are there small, medium, and large shapes throughout the outfit?
✨ Whimsy and wonder – my general aesthetic goal is to have outfits that feel like they could be out of a storybook (see the My Style page for more details on this). Erring a little on the dramatic side is good.
☑️ Goals for this month – this month I wanted to try making more outfits with jeans, since I haven’t been getting a ton of wear out of mine (I just have two pairs of the same washed-black straight-leg jeans).
See part 1 for more detail.
I was on vacation in NYC for the first couple days of this two week period, and I missed a photo on the first travel day. I wore a white fisherman-cable-knit sweater and black culottes with my pointed-toe patent leather lace-up boots and my long wool coat. I had a extra outfit pic from going out in the evening though. Column1 Row2 outfit photo is a pic of an older outfit, but I wore a very similar outfit and didn’t get a picture (beige cable-knit sweater instead of this… similar off-white sweater).
I decided to just write this before my final outfit of the month in the interest of just finishing it, since I have a bunch of other posts I want to write and I think the outfits here already give an idea of how I’ve been doing.
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And for reference, here was the first half of the month:
Based on how I felt I did in the first two weeks, my goals for the latter half of the month were:
- attempt an outfit with cropped orange cardigan
- attempt an outfit with cropped tan cardigan
- outfits with long cardigans when it isn’t raining
- outfit with a scarf
I didn’t get around to making an outfit with the orange cardigan, but I did try working in the tan cardigan. A bit unfortunately the day I got around to doing it was rainy, so I was limited in my footwear choices. Normally I would have liked to have styled it with more vintage-y shoes and trousers rather than jeans. Overall I think this looked okay but it still didn’t really feel like an ~outfit~ to me, I think largely because the base outfit was so utilitarian and the basics were basic. So even though I added a scarf it was sort of like adding an icing rosette to a plain cake. Like, it’s okay I guess, but it doesn’t disguise the fact that the items individually and together are very plain. There’s a poster on reddit WAYWT, ruthannr94, who usually posts sneakers-tshirt-jeans-hoodie outfits, but every one of her individual items really extra and every one of her outfits is awesome. They’ve been a real inspiration for me to invest in more fun basics, even though she has a very different style from me. That way any thing I throw on can be fun, I don’t have to try and shoehorn it into being more interesting than it is. Hence one of my goals for 2019, which was to only buy items that increase the average visual interest of their category.
Anyway hopefully I can figure out better ways to style this scarf-bandana in the future. I agree with alaskanweredork’s comment on the instagram post that the bandana-shaped styling of the scarf is okay, but the rest of the outfit doesn’t exactly vibe with it. I do love the little tassel details. I’m thinking it would work well in an outfit with some culottes and pointed toe boots, which are both a touch more western.
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2019-02-27 Wednesday 🌂 Ended up not being too happy with yesterday’s outfit because I felt that the scarf placement on the indoors outfit made everything too visually heavy on top. I’m trying another outfit today with the scarf but also with jeans and one of my cropped sweaters because my goals for the last half of February included styling a jeans outfit with a cropped sweater and the month is almost done lol. I’m happier with this than yesterday’s look because everything is a bit neater. . I would have liked this better with brown shoes because all the dimensions of visual interest (color, texture, shapes) are in the top half of the outfit when I have the sweater on. But it’s raining so docs it is. I want to get some brown waterproof boots because I always hate HAVING to wear black boots when it’s raining out, but I also don’t want any more round toed boots that don’t work with wide legged pants… but the majority of my closet is also not wide-legged pants so maybe it still makes sense because tbh I still hate getting dressed for rainy days. I have enough variety in my wardrobe now that I find that there is rarely an item I could add that would go with everything. The new brown lace-up boots would probably be okay in mild to moderate rain but I would like to wear them a few more times before potentially ruining them in case they aren’t 😬 . Alas I did not have time to get photos comparing every variable change but I did poke at styling the scarf a few different ways. 2Left is the first pic I took and it was too busy with the scarf flapping around. I liked 3R w/o the scarf because the black top makes a continuous line in the outfit and it feels less divided stylistically, but the goal was to style the scarf! Also tried it wrapped more compactly but I didn’t like the extra shape introduced by the scoop neckline. Too many small shapes around the top of the outfit. I personally like outfits that have small, medium, and large shapes distributed throughout the outfit. . Cardigan // Old Navy (Goodwill) Scarf // Treasure and Bond Jeans // ASOS petite Boots // Dr Martens . 60/47F 🌧 raincoat not shown
The first outfit I wore the bandana with was also one of my long cardigan looks. I liked it (left outfit which was worn more of the day) less than the previous one because it didn’t feel very balanced as described in the caption. I think it would have looked better with just the top+skirt+tights and some sort of boots. I didn’t have a load of time to iterate on this one but I guess at least I have one more thing to keep in mind for the future.
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2019-02-26 Tuesday 🌼 Actually incorporated my rain stuff into my outfit today. I’m bringing a gym bag for skating later anyway so I brought a pair of oxfords to change into for the office as well as a long cardigan to tone down the pleather mini skirt and tights. . 🤔 I actually like the outdoors outfit better because the light jacket color pulls out the print in the scarf and just generally brings some more variety in color value to the outfit. The indoors outfit looks simultaneously too dark and too busy. I did actually want to wear my taupe cardigan, but it doesn’t have pockets which is less convenient since the skirt doesn’t have pockets either. . I think the boots also feel more balanced since most of the outfit is quite heavy. But I don’t think the suede oxfords look terrible, especially in person when you can see the texture and they don’t read like socks lol. I would have preferred ankle boots but I didn’t want to carry boots around in addition to skates. . Got a smaller lightweight scarf for indoors/warm weather accessorizing. I need to cut the wash/materials tag off. I really like the tassel fringe on my dark green chunky cowl scarf and I was pleased to find that they make summer weight scarves with tassels too 😂 Adds some extra visual interest and also keeps the scarf from being as flappy. . Jacket // Patagonia Cardigan // H&M Top // Madewell Skirt // ASOS petites Scarf // Treasure and Bond Tights // Vero Monte (amazon) Shoes // Clarks (ebay) Boots // Baffin . 58/53F ☔️
I did have some outfits I made wrt the specific outfit criteria I did like!
This one for long cardigan + scarf + jeans I liked overall, although in retrospect I think it does still lean a bit top heavy. The shoe+sock combo was fun at least.
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2019-02-20 Wednesday 🌲 Made another mindful attempt at a jeans outfit with some depth today (one of my February goals), ft this snood/scarf thing which I’m going to try to wear more while it’s still cold. I always like it when I wear it on my trips to colder places but I never think to wear it here. It isn’t raining so I made it a point to wear some non-techwear outerwear instead of throwing on my black softshell out of inertia and wore one of my pairs of ribbed velvet socks. . I do still feel like one of my heeled oxfords or t-strap pumps would have looked nicer but I was inspired by New York to try and wear my flat shoes more. I usually think of public transit commuters in SF as very practical dressers because of all the hills but anecdotally I felt like I saw an even larger proportion of practical shoes in NYC. . I’ve been meaning to switch out the laces on these to something less floppy/amorphous but it hasn’t been high on my priority list. . I think this would have looked better with a dark brown belt to make the shoes look more cohesive but I didn’t feel like wearing a belt. . Another example today of an outfit where I thought a bun would look cute but actually it just made my head look disproportionately small. I should have known better because I just had a post about this lol. . Didn’t get around to posting yesterday because I was so tired but I wore a version of my current default outfit of white sweater, green corduroy trousers, and docs. . Sweater // Ralph Lauren (Ebay) Scarf // Steve Madden Bodysuit // Gap Jeans // ASOS petite Socks // Treasure & Bond Shoes // Børn (Ebay) . 54/40F 🌬 50-70% humidity
Compare to this similar one without the scarf. I don’t know, part of it might just be that I’m still not super used to seeing myself in scarves, but I generally have liked all my True Winter outfits from east coast vacations which had scarves, so I think it’s more of a proportions issue in the ones I haven’t loved.
An evenly-voluminous winter outfit that I still really like:
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2019-02-18 Monday 🛫 Schlepping my luggage back to CA. . Repeat of one of my outfits from my Boston trip last December. It’s so much easier to accessorize when the accessories are actually functional rather than a bother just for looks. I should probably get more light scarves for back home. . Mid 20s to mid 40s F, misting. Coat not shown but it’s the same coat from the last three days. . Hat // LL Bean Scarf // Steve Madden Top // JCrew (Goodwill) Boots // Marc Fisher
and one ~long and layered~ outfit that I LOVED. So much texture, and all the hemlines interact really well! This is almost a repeat of my NYE outfit except with a pleather midi skirt and fancy lace tights instead of jeans.This cardigan layers really well with the jacket because it’s quite thin and doesn’t peek out too much, so it isn’t too busy. I think the skirt added some good volume to the final layered look too.
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2019-02-24 Sunday ✨ Wear something fancy, then throw masses of fabric over it. . I was originally thinking of wearing my open knit allsaints top but then I decided I wanted to squeeze a few more wears out of my fancy winter fabric items. Going to go watch the SF ballet then hopefully eat some fancy ramen 🍜 so might as well go all out 💃🏻 Well, I also wanted to wear my high heeled Victorian style boots but my calves are destroyed from returning to ballet classes after a three month hiatus so I’m going to be in 2” or shorter heels for a while 😵 . Detail of rings and calfhair clutch 🌟 . Check out my stories today for pics from my visit to the Museum at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) in NYC! I’ve saved them to a highlight as well if you don’t have time to view it all today. Pics from their 50 year anniversary retrospective and the Fabrics in Fashion exhibits 👗 The whole museum is free so if you’re ever in the area I recommend a visit. . Coat // Forever 21 (sleeves are hemmed) Cardigan // Halogen petites Top // Madewell Skirt // Forever 21 Lace tights // Vero Monte (amazon) Boots // Marc Fisher Clutch // Sole Society . 58/47F ☁️
The NYE outfit in question:
I also really loved all the proportions and shapes in this outfit (particularly from the oversized collar and the sock detail), as well as the forest-y color story:
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2019-02-23 Saturday 🐿 Vintage outdoorsy aesthetic today. . New boots (with socks folded over them) 👞 Tbh I’m only about 65% happy with these but apparently midrange brown leather lace-up boots with a pointed or almond toe, ~2” heel, >=5.5” shaft that have a more feminine cut than a straight-up combat boot in a size 7.5 don’t exist besides this one (I found a few that fit on poshmark and misc indie vintage stores but heck no I’m not spending $200 on a non-returnable shoe that might not fit). These are comfortable enough but could use more cushioning on the sole in the heel area, and I would have preferred a more textured leather (patent or distressing are both fine, I just feel like these are a little plain and look like faux leather even though they’re not) with some stitching detailing and hook instead of grommet closures for the top few pairs of eyes. . There’s actually a Chloé boot that fits this criteria but also costs half a months rent and considering that I have an office job I’ll live if these have suboptimal heel cushioning. . If I only bought perfect items I think I would probably have like three things in my wardrobe because I am so picky. I figure get more utility overall from having 100 things that I’m 75% happy with and can play with than if I kept my old wardrobe that I hated to not be naked while I slowly hunted down and saved up for perfect items two per year over 20 years. . tldr I guess is that I wish twee would come back in style. I want some dang choices in the styles that I like that don’t involve $200 no-returns gambles or stalking stores for months on end. (I know I could resell for less of a loss but frankly at this point at the price range I shop in, I don’t find it worth my time to resell.) . Jacket // Uniqlo U (ebay) Top // H&M Skirt // Uniqlo x IDLF (ebay) Shoes // Seychelles (Nordstrom) . 56/45F ⛅️
Overall, I think what was emphasized by these was that I really can’t just throw on one extra (literally additional but also in the “extra”/”extravagant”/”maximal” sense) item and hope that it boosts the whole outfit. I really should be thinking about the whole outfit. I knew that already, and honestly I did spend longer putting together those outfits that were specifically to incorporate one of the goal items than I would in a random other outfit, but it wasn’t enough.
It also is making me feel that jeans are not really something that goes with my primary aesthetic, especially since many of my items individually are a little interesting, but don’t exactly glow with rich embroidery or fine tailoring. I swear I have been working on a post about splitting my wardrobe into style sub-capsules but it’s still in progress. Thinking of just integrating jeans into a sub-capsule that fully embraces the casual.
I think if I do this again I would want to do two or three outfits in the time period for a given item just to be able to improve through mindful practice. It would probably be more efficient to just spend an hour or two trying on and photographing fully-styled outfits rather than going day by day, but frankly I don’t think I would make time for that, and this method I think is still helping even if it means I have more slight misses compared to straight weeks of “eh it’s fine” looks.
Evaluating the outfits all together, the first 2 weeks had 6 outfits with some attempt to integrate a “third piece” (cardigan or outerwear and/or a scarf) for depth, while the second 2 weeks had 9. I think I actually like the first batch better overall, mainly because there’s a larger variety of colors and color values. I wore a lot of black and gray in the past two weeks and I feel like the dark colors negated the depth added by extra items (partly because they don’t photograph as well in my existing setup). It really doesn’t feel like much whimsy or wonder on the whole either. In fact given that most of my dark items are not very textured or lavishly detailed, these definitely do not vibe with the storybook/charming movie costume aesthetic I talk so much about. Still satisfied with y outfits overall especially compared to even just a few months ago, but definitely not at the goal of most days being HECK YES outfits instead of “sure, that’s nice”.
The three outfits I really liked were all slight variations or exact repeats of former outfits (not that there’s anything wrong with that – just as an observation). Perhaps next month I should focus on semi-cloning those outfits with my existing items, like how I have a couple of variations of white top + green trousers outfits that I wear a lot because I love green trousers with white tops, especially with some volume.
Until writing this post, I haven’t had anything pressing in mind for next month in terms of specific goals for March. For now I think I’ll tentatively just wear whatever outfits I come up with while continuing to try and incorporate depth and whimsy+wonder characteristics in some form in everything, and in the second half of the month I’ll make some efforts to improve specific outfits from the first half of the month.
On that note I’ll just leave with this outfit featuring the hot item of 2012 for me which I finally found at a Goodwill in NYC:
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2019-02-17 Sunday 🖼 Living my best 2012 life with this space dress I remember desperately wanting but not having money for back in the day. Jokes on me now I have the money for it but also have a better sense of clothing quality and don’t want to pay $80 for an unlined dress made out of what feels like bedsheets. BUT the Goodwill near FIT came through and had one in my size for $13. . That was by far the best-stocked thrift store I’ve ever been to (I even saw an actual fur coat lol). Also really clean (though the fitting room still smelled like human waste, guess you can’t have everything). Still had plenty of H&M etc that were not worth the Goodwill sticker price but on average it had more interesting pieces rather than the collection of limp jersey knits and tech t-shirts back home. . This dress I believe isn’t a special petites size but the waist seam hits exactly at my natural waist which is nice. Layered it with a thermal top and a scarf for the walk down to the Met. I think this would also work with docs but I think I’ll avoid flats and thin cardigans with it to avoid a more dated look. I wore lipstick to feel a little less juvenile. . Dress // Modcloth (Goodwill) Top // Uniqlo Boots // Marc Fisher . In the mid 30s F most of today. . I’m 5’1” and usually a US size 8. . Items I’ve worn in the last 30 days are on my website mgetsdressed.com (link in bio) including brand and wear count 📊 . #redditffa #waywt #wiw #wiwt #ootd #ootdfashion #outfit #outfitinspo #outfitoftheday #whatiwore #currentlywearing #realoutfitgram #style #styleblogger #10x10friends #casualstyle #everydaystyle #stylediaries #petitefashion #outfitdiaries
Honestly I have no good ideas popping up on how else to style it besides with black lace-up boots, but it’s such a statement I think at least for the next few wears I’ll be happy to just let it depth-wonder-whimsy on its own 😂 For everything else, perhaps I should spend more time letting myself be inspired by my primary style inspiration board which I’ve spent so much time curating ✨
Do you have any specific characteristics you’re working to move your outfits and wardrobe toward? What are they? The only other person I know of who does a similar thing is @sarahiswearing on Instagram, whose goals are to have outfits that make her feel “rigorous, alluring, and self-possessed.” There are so many dimensions of a wardrobe that can be worthwhile to improve, but personally I’ve found that intentionally focusing on a few helps a lot. I saw a lot of people in new years resolutions posts have a “word of the year” like “intention”, but on the flip side, I find that the concepts have to at least be something you can then pull out somewhat objective descriptors from, otherwise it would be difficult to reason about your progress.