Wardrobe Round-up: August 2019

Wear Counts

Shoes and Clothing

48 items of clothing, 23 of which were worn once.

August 2019 Clothing

I feel like this is one of the most casual months I’ve had since I started the blog, with 7 t-shirts not including the volunteering uniform. I’m actually not mad about that at all. Having a summer wardrobe where I can just chuck something on and go out if I need to and still feel like I look cute (vs sloppy or just overdone for the weather). The cool-person jeans + clogs or birkenstocks + casual top + earrings + lipstick has been a really easy outfit formula.

Often times I feel like I went totally overboard with the whole wardrobe curation and outfit styling hobby and what I really just needed was to update my jeans and t-shirt/sweater silhouettes and get a few pairs of nice shoes and outerwear and understand how to notice larger trends.

To alternate universe me who is happily wearing random things chucked together while being generally aware of trends and how to dress for occasion: keep living your best life where you devote all this time to other hobbies instead.

Accessories

Same old same old. I’m still enjoying picking out which one of my handful of science/animal themed earrings to wear to volunteering at the science museum, which otherwise involves a uniform tee with jeans or shorts.

August 2019 Accessories

Purchased

Asterisk denotes a price that does not include tax and shipping.

I bought… way more than 3 items this month. Last month I only bought socks and a laptop case. But only 3 of those items are actual clothing though and those were all secondhand, so I guess that counts for something?

Clothing

Vintage Pendleton Wool Coat, $97.99 on eBay – I FOUND A COAT! Finally! I’ve literally had this on my wish list since October 2018.

pendleton coat fit video 1.gif

Since many stores started putting out their fall inventory I started looking into coats again. I ended up circling back to eBay because it didn’t seem like the coat I wanted existed in any mall brands. I was looking for a coat with

  • structure (not a drapey duster look)
  • at least 50% wool
  • that would hit me below the knees (for warmth and to mesh well with long midi skirts)
  • in camel or taupe or rust (basically, not black or gray)
  • some kind of tweed texture (finer wool texture in a structured coat seemed like it would come off as too formal for my usual outfits)
  • side-entry pockets (NOT patch pockets – I want to be able to put my hands in them without feeling like a t-rex)
  • lined
  • double breasted
  • small-to-medium sized lapels (I feel that larger lapels can emphasize an oversized look especially on petite frames when the item doesn’t fit EXACTLY)

And obviously, that fit me, but with room for layering since I figured a coat this long and heavy would be only be worn for properly cold/freezing temperatures. It was only maybe a 3/10 annoyance, but during the last two winter east coast trips I’ve done, feeling like a squeezed sausage with thick sweaters under my shorter black toggle coat did make everything less pleasant.

Trendiness: This coat feels kind of retro to me, but I can’t place whether it feels 80s or 90s. It’s definitely more structured than the cocoon coats and drapier coats that have been very popular through the earlier 2010s. There were a lot of similar coats on Mango’s website recently. I feel like it’s plain enough that it should be worth holding onto long term.

Pros:

  • It ticks all the boxes! Amazing!
  • The price was great – there is no way I would have found a coat this nice that price new. I will still need to pay to get the sleeves taken up about an inch and have the lining repaired (there’s a small tear that isn’t visible when it’s worn) but at this price I’m fine with all that.
  • I suppose this goes either way – this coat is WARM. I have faith that I will stay nice and toasty during our holiday trips (partner’s family lives in the Boston area).
  • Secondhand! Letting a nice wave of smugness wash over myself.

Cons:

  • The color is a little bit cooler than I was hoping – I think it will probably come off as gray in photos though in person the warmer colored threads are more evident.
  • Still getting used to the texture. It’s definitely a diagonal stripe herringbone sort of fabric at a normal IRL interaction distance, but I feel like it looks like industrial carpet pattern in my outfit photos. I hope it will at least be a little more trend-resistant than the full on large plaid coats that seem popular last year and this year.
  • Coat is very warm. It’s not actually that plush or thick, but it’s dense. While I think there’ll be a few evening outings in the clammy 40s and freak cold days, in SF and Berkeley on average in Dec/Jan is about a 55F high and 40F low. It rarely actually gets below freezing. I know I will definitely wear this on trips and if/when we move in a few years but I am a little sad it isn’t actually super wearable here at base camp. I do hope to wear the drapey coat and my trench coat more this year, but I’m still feeling a wardrobe hole for a general purpose LONG coat in fall to wear with all the midi skirts and looser trousers.

But overall I am happy with this purchase.

vintage pendleton coat 1

Seller’s photos

vintage pendleton coat 2

Old Navy green cable-knit v-neck cardigan, $25.23 on Poshmark – I got this mainly to wear with the beige v-neck cami, but it turns out I don’t like how the two v-necks work together (the effect is too busty). It’s not so bad I won’t wear it again, but it’s not what I was hoping. I think it’ll still be nice as an easy layering option for higher neckline shirts. Ideally I’d have the same cardigan as the round neck one but in a dark forest green.

green cable-knit cardigan.jpeg

2019-08-20a

Chicwish Daisy Everywhere Frill Hem Skirt in Black $13.50* but only paid $1 and change because of trade gift card at Crossroads Consignment – That Realisation Par leopard print midi skirt is at peak hotness right now but I’ve always been more taken with the daisy print style (there’s similar at Reformation and many other trendy brands). I found this one at the local consignment store and figured for a couple bucks it wasn’t a bad way to hop on that. I’d have been happy to pay $15 for this but not much more.

I haven’t owned any Chicwish pieces before this but it’s pretty much what I expected. The design is super cute but the fabric is shit tier polyester crepe and the elastic waistband feels really cheap and isn’t actually fixed to the lining so after pulling it on I have to spend a minute smoothing the twisted parts down. It stays once it’s on though and I appreciate that they were pretty generous with the fabric and the ruffles are double tiered all the way around. The pleating detail is also fun.

2019-08-26.jpg

Accessories

Brixton “Joanna” straw hat, $47.44 from Nordstrom – I’ve been wanting something halfway between the stiff-brimmed black straw hat and my floppy beige straw hat. This one has a 4″ brim vs 3″ on the black one and as such it’s also more functional. I have two other hats from this brand and have been quite happy with them. This one is a size M that I tried on in store.

straw hat fit video.gif

Next week: this blog pivots into gardening style

 

Green headband, $19.53 + Blue-grey headband, $19.53 Anthropologie – I’m just going to plug my all things Headbands post here. It’s a headband. Not much to say about the particular product.

2019-08-17

Owl Necklace, $28.72* + Bat Necklace, $28.72* from The Woods of Wonder on Etsy – I’ve been following their Instagram account for about a year now because seeing the little critters makes me so happy. I finally got some. The thing that caused me to cave was that the owl can hold a tiny letter in its beak.

Stock photos because these haven’t arrived yet though they have shipped (from the EU).

Seriously how cute is that?

barn owl necklace 1

IT GETS CUTER.

barn owl necklace 2

I do wish the bat had feet and that the wings were shaped more rather than just painted, but the head shape and overall effect are nice.

bat necklace

I actually impulse purchased the bat after I had submitted the order for the owl and I asked the seller to bundle them and refund the extra shipping if possible in a note on the Etsy order as well as in an Instagram message. They responded on Instagram that they would do that but they seem to have forgotten when they shipped it. Anyway, I’m looking forward to a kitschier fall. I’m planning to wear these with my black smock dress for an unrepentant Halloween/witchy theme.

Clothing-adjacent

Secondhand macaron trinket box display box, $15.00 on eBay – In retrospect I probably could have haggled this down more but I figured that I’d probably want $15 for the bother of packaging something up and posting it. But then I was annoyed because they didn’t even ship it in a box, just taped between two pieces of cardboard?? And they just wrote “Fragile! Do not crush!” on it.

Anyway, I’d been storing my core jewelry in cleaned out mochi ice cream dessert trays and wanted an upgrade.

This is from https://gradadmissions.mit.edu/blog/2017/Titan_H/blog2 which seems to indicate it’s from a foodspotting website

The Dallas Museum of Art was selling these super cute little macaron-shaped trinket boxes which were in an equally cute display case. The dessert theme is going strong:

stock photo

Here’s mine! It’s a nice calming pastel lavender with a vaguely baroque pattern on each side.

jewelry box 1

My vanity area (on my partner’s dresser) is packed but I at least got it all corralled. There isn’t really a theme, though it might be heading in the direction of fantasy tea house 🧙 (Hair ties are all piled into old aluminum tea canisters just out of frame).

There’s a ribbon connecting one side to keep the lid from flopping open too far. The macaron-holding bit is a perfect size for earrings.

jewelry box 2

T3 SinglePass Compact Travel Styling Flat Iron with Cap (White & Rose Gold), $82.45 from Sephora – Supplies for my upcoming foray into heat styled waves. I haven’t tried this yet (still need to get a heat protectant spray – probably will get either the Biolage or Kenra ones recommended here) but I got it on the recommendation of someone in r/femalefashionadvice. I was originally thinking to get something under $50 but I really liked that this one was travel sized and came with a cover, surprisingly two features that were not common together. My hair isn’t very long anyway. Here’s a video review of it in action by Theresa Kong (she only has two videos but bless her for uploading this one).

Purged

Well I finally took all the stuff from last month’s post to Crossroads and Goodwill. Crossroads did actually take everything besides the bodysuit (the Gap brand isn’t super hot and bodysuits don’t sell well because they’re harder to fit than tops, which seems plausible) and the boots (season + not in great condition).

I took “trade” for the first time over a cash payout (I think it’s either 2/3 or 3/4 the amount if you take cash) but then was disappointed to find out the gift cards don’t get applied to tax so you still have to get rung up for a dollar or two at the end anyway. That totally sucks all the joy out of the experience of getting a “””free””” item! I mean it’s obviously still better than paying for the main item, but from a psychological standpoint I hate it.

Embroidered maxi dress – I decided that this didn’t fit me well enough and I didn’t like it enough to have it tailored. The sleeves were too long and the shoulder seam hit too far off the shoulder and I felt that it made me look kind of droopy, especially from the back. If I’m going to wear something for the handful of occasions in the year where I’m watching a ballet, I want to feel on point and this did not hit that note. It’s also a bit much to wear for anything other than a formal event due to the maxi length. I need to wear it with 3″+ heels so it won’t drag on the floor and even then I was constantly getting caught up in the hem. I hope someone taller finds it from Crossroads and enjoys it, because for the right person I think it’s a fun way to get the Valentino embroidery look thing on a budget.

ghfstna

Purge Limbo

I recently tried to make some outfits featuring two of my wool cardigans from eBay and was pretty disappointed with all the attempts. I think I may try and sell these at Crossroads once they’re buying for fall/winter. I really wanted these to work because the items themselves are really nice quality, but I’m coming to the realization that the oversized cardigan trend really works better on items that were intentionally designed to look oversized, and not literal oversized items when they are this thick.

Seriously, this one weighs several pounds. The particular thing that bugs me is that it’s so heavy that it curves inward at the hem giving an overall oval silhouette. I love the overall look of this outfit because everything is so goddamn loud, but for every other outfit I’ve tried with it I felt like it was eating me. I would really like to have another chance to wear this outfit again in December and January though because it sticks out as one of the outfits I’ve had the most fun wearing in the past few years.

Also, with this much wool the thing smells like a sheep after being in storage for most of the year. I had it dry cleaned when I first bought it, but I think it’ll need to be stored hung up somehow so it can air out. It may have to live on one of the laundry drying racks.

fooxcoh

This orange cable-knit cardigan should have been the sweater of my drams, but every part of the cut is just not quite there. The sleeves are a bit too long and don’t cuff nicely, the neckline is too low to really wear it as a shirt, there is so much fabric overall that it just looks pretty lumpy when not meticulously styled and posed. I could see it working with like an athleisure-y outfit featuring leggings and heavy boots and maybe a hat, so I think I’ll give it another try for casual weekend fall outfits. If I don’t wear this one this season I will also purge it.

UJF082y

Wish List

Same stuff as last time, but minus the long winter coat

  • fitted rib-knit long sleeve crew neck shirt in saturated color (probably green, maybe rust)
  • nice (smart casual but not stodgy) blouses with visual interest
  • romantic/storybook style mini length dress (to add more variety to boots outfits)
  • long cheerfully colored raincoat (my current one is okay but the zipper tends to stick and the whole thing has a very it’s-raining-and-you-had-to-wear-this feel)
  • low heeled easy-on brown/taupe boots
  • denim or corduroy mini skirt (again to make more outfit options for docs)

I have recently not been too happy with my black skinny/straight jeans. I’ve had them for a few years now (I have two of the same ASOS Farleigh jean) and compared to the Madewell ones I’ve noticed that they just feel and look a bit more stretched out and tired (i.e. the zipper is kind of poofed outwards compared to the rest of the crotch seam), and that having a slightly higher waisted pair would help a lot with the kinds of styles I like.

I detest denim shopping (Madewell sadly doesn’t make a black version of the light wash jeans I got) but given how much easier the light wash jeans have made casual outfits, I think it’s probably worth doing that whole song and dance again to get one really good pair.

Conclusion

Really happy with this month’s purchases, although as usual I’m a bit disturbed that every month there are always a few older items that I dislike enough to purge that at one point I had been equally excited about. I think at least I’m good about not repeatedly buying the same type of item that doesn’t work, but it is a bit sad to spend so much time and money in the process of experimenting with new types of pieces, even if they are secondhand.

I’ve been enjoying the mild summer and I’m looking forward to see what sorts of lower-energy-to-put-together outfits I’ll end up wearing in fall (although fall here doesn’t really start until October). Looking back at my outfits from last year I actually don’t really dig most of them very much, mostly due to styling details. A lot of them feel kind of shoehorned together because one item doesn’t quite belong or the silhouette is a bit odd from forced sweater tucks. My wardrobe is more curated now and I’ve had another year’s worth of practice styling outfits with this iteration of it, so I’m hoping to see a lot of improvement in terms of tightening up silhouettes and accessorizing for a more intentional feel overall (lol, what else is new). Do you have any aspects of styling that you’re going to work on this fall?

6 thoughts on “Wardrobe Round-up: August 2019

  1. “But then I was annoyed because they didn’t even ship it in a box, just taped between two pieces of cardboard?? And they just wrote “Fragile! Do not crush!” on it.”

    That is WHACK.

    Congratulations on your officially medium sized head!

    Like

    1. Haha thanks, C! I remember I tried to measure my head once and must have done it quite incorrectly because I ended up coming out as an XL, which didn’t seem right since I usually fit most OS women’s hats.

      Like

  2. Oh! I missed a few of your posts! I totally feel you when it comes to feeling like fashion is starting to take over, and will I ever reach a point where I’m happy?… I definitely know I’m dressing better but I’m not where I want to be. Yet if I look around my office, half of the women are not well dressed at all, even when they have a higher salary than I do (and in a few cases, could afford the designer things I’m lusting over.)

    But still, I do enjoy pouring over the details and vicariously through others! I’ve reflected often about how I can feel unhappy or dissatisfied about something that I was excited about earlier, and I guess it reflects the growth from where you were.

    My summer wardrobe style was also nonexistant!… But actually I’ve decided having a slightly different spring/summer style (more fluid, and relaxed, lighter pastels + light neutrals) from fall/winter style (structured, tailored, black & white with burgundy/navy/forest green) is nice, since it gives me the variation I crave, while also helping have a smaller versatile seasonal wardrobe where the pieces are interchangeable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey thanks for checking in again 😀 Yeah, it’s kind of an up and down feeling. I watched an interview with Alex Honnold and he discussed how helpful it can be for morale to keep a log of how you’re doing when you’re working on something. Because you’ll always be working hard and it might feel that you haven’t made progress because you’re STILL working so hard, unless you can go flip back in your notes and see how bad you were before 😂 I do know a few people who went pretty hardcore on their wardrobe overhauls who have reached a happy medium where they’ll still buy the odd piece but aren’t actively curating anymore, so there’s some hope!

      Definitely diminishing returns to fixate on fashion after a certain point. Lol I’m glad to be working in a job where you don’t need to dress well to move forward, but I’d like to set some example that on the other hand it’s also okay if you do want to dress up.

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