Wardrobe Round-up: September 2019

I am super behind on posts! I was offline for a bit over a week in at the beginning of the October for vacation. It was great! Putting out this post out first for accountability/so I won’t be annoyed looking back at gaps in shopping data.

As usual, I don’t use referral links.

Wear Counts

Clothes

50 items of clothing, 26 of which were worn only once this month.

September 2019 clothing.png

Accessories

I think I was a bit lax on recording earrings this month, so those counts are probably a bit off. Still, I like seeing how many nature motif pieces I wore here.

September 2019 accessories.png

Purchased

All together this comes out to around $850 for 7 items of clothing, 1 pair of shoes, and 3 accessories with an average price per item of about $78.

An asterisk indicate tax and/or shipping was not included in the price.

Clothing

Slim Velvet Corduroy Mini Skirt in green, Anthropologie $90.00, size 8

This was a wish list item. It’s the color in the stock photo IRL. Dark colors don’t show up well in my apartment lighting and I don’t have space to store / don’t really want to have to explain a ring lamp to people.

I bought this in store and didn’t realize until after I had cut the tags off and worn it twice that they make this in petites. I want to get it hemmed like 2″ so I wish I had just gotten it in petite to start with. I found this was true to size.

I really like the way the pockets are incorporated as a design element, with the pocket corduroy at a different angle. I found this has a tendency to slide down and around throughout the day so it requires some regular adjusting, but nothing too annoying. It’s loose enough I think I should be able to get a sweater tucked into it, although I can’t remember offhand if I’ve actually tried that yet.

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Military Ruffles Blazer in washed black, Free People, $164.00, S

I got this dramatic steampunk mourning garb sort of jacket at the brick and mortar Free People in Portland (where there is also no sales tax). This is definitely more of a dark dusty purple than a gray as would be implied by the color name.

purple jacket

When buttoned it leans towards matron-in-mourning which I’m a bit meh on but I think the general fun-ness of the item still carries it through that. Definitely not an easy to style piece. I got it initially thinking it would at least be useful as outerwear for the Edwardian Ball this year and that I could probably figure out a way to wear it for weekend looks. I’ve tried it with jeans and trousers and while it was a cool look, it was too “anime prince” of a vibe for my taste so I’m going to stick with skirts and dresses with it.

It’s stretchy cotton and supposedly machine washable, which is great. No pockets though.

2019-09-29

Pleated Square Neck Top in olive, Forever 21, $11.04*, L

This was a wish list item for a while. This isn’t like glowing-halo-harp-music-plays great, but I reached a point where I was so tired of regularly searching for this I lowered the bar to “if it’s probably good enough sure why not”. I was trying to find a sweetheart/square neck top that fits, is not 100%-or-close-to-it polyester, isn’t super boobtastic but also isn’t Clearly This Cut For Modesty, but is still cut so that it covers standard bra straps. I like the color and this isn’t see through or horrifyingly clingy, but it does require periodic adjustment to keep the shoulders up. I feel like I should try and sew on a ribbon tie in the back or something. I think it’s also 68% poly which is on the high end.

I think “ruched square neck that effectively becomes a sweetheart neck” is more correct of a description than “pleated square neck top”. There are definitely no pleats anywhere on this.

Curvy petite high-waisted skinny jeans in black sea, Madewell, $141.88, waist 29

These have been on and off the wish list for a while. I decided that stretch jeans do have a purpose in my closet and that I would wear these at least once a week for volunteering at the local science museum where I move around a lot (once it isn’t shorts weather). I used to think that the straight leg “Farleigh slim mom jeans” that I have from ASOS filled the same niche, but I’ve gained a few pounds since I bought those and while they still fit, they’re not a loose fit anymore and are not comfortable to squat/crawl in. I also no longer have pleather leggings so there has been a gap in fitted bottoms there too.

👏 THESE 👏 ARE 👏 TRUE 👏 TO 👏 SIZE (unlike their curvy petite “perfect vintage jean” which I had to size down to a 27 in)

I have a 29″ waist and 39″ hips and usually wear a US size 8 in pants and skirts. Even with jeggings I found that more often they’d still have a waist gap even though they are a stretchy item. At any rate it was frustrating, but less frustrating than the search for non stretchy looser fit light wash jeans. Don’t @ me about alterations.

I was originally going to do a separate post on the quest for washed black high-waisted skinny jeans, but I decided that I don’t have time for that so I’m just including these here.

These actually still have a small gap in the back but it’s not enough to bug me and I can comfortably stuff sweaters into the jeans without getting a super lumpy look.

The fabric is definitely still jegging fabric and not sturdy denim, but it’s significantly nicer feeling than Target, Forever 21, Old Navy jeggings.

These do have distressing on the knees. I haven’t had distressed denim before but I figured by the time I’m wearing jeggings most of the time I’d be alright with distressed knees. I don’t think I’m a huge fan of the extra-distressed style (vs the knee slit style of distressing) but I can’t be too choosy on details on top of fit and wash.

When pulled up these sit an inch or so above my navel, for a true high waist. However as they are skinny jeans and aren’t mis-sized and cutting off my blood flow, they tend to slide down a bit as I move. Not enough to sag or look awful, but it’s noticeable especially as the knee holes sink down 1-2″. I think it’d be remedied by a belt, but I haven’t worn these with a belt yet. IIRC this happened with every other pair of jeggings I’ve had so I think it might just be a property of the item. The waist also seems to have bagged out a bit after two full days of wear, but not unacceptably so.

These are like an inch too long in their sagged state. They have raw hems so I’m considering just cutting them a little shorter.

$100+ is a lot to pay for non-ethically-made jeggings given that this is like the one type of item aside from tights/socks/underwear that I actually wear out. I would probably recommend the next pair over these just on that account. I don’t expect to wear through these as fast as I did any of my numerous previous jeggings because I no longer wear black jeggings 5-6 times a week (also they seem thicker than any I’ve had before).

2019-10-10a.jpg

Authentic Stretch High-Rise Skinny jean in ankle length washed black, Everlane, $68.00, waist 29

First of all, I would like to just put out there that it really bugs me that they added “authentic” to the product name. What does that even mean?? It doesn’t mean anything!! Everlane’s marketing generally annoys me and of the few products of theirs I’ve seen it doesn’t appear that they are really particularly quality than other mid tier mall stores. But alas out of several different pairs I tried on, these were the only ones that a) fit and b) were in washed black without distressing. I usually don’t even consider buying from them new, but I think I saw these on a petite blogger I follow and it seemed like it would fit, so I checked it out since this would have been several brands down the to-investigate list.

These are also true to size. I got these in ankle length which is a full length on me. I might get them hemmed to actually ankle length. I had also tried on their curvy version of these. I found that I could fit into either. There was no waist gap on either and these are both so stretchy I found any difference in hip fit negligible. I probably would have gone with curvy fit if it came in washed black. I don’t buy true black jeans because I find that even with air drying they tend to age badly when it comes to color fading.

The front of these feels and looks a lot more “it sucks your gut in” than the Madewell jeans, which is a pro or con depending on what you want for the day. (e.g. I would wear the Madewell jeans on a road trip / flight, but probably not the Everlane ones). This is also why I kept both this and the Madewell pair, in addition to the distressed vs clean styles. These are an above the navel high-rise on me.

I haven’t worn them out yet so I can’t speak to how bagged out they get. The fabric is noticeably thicker than Target or Old Navy jeggings but I’d still guess these would wear a hole through the crotch/upper thighs with regular wear in a year or two.

Rachele Tiered Babydoll Dress, Urban Outfitters, $67.38 (10% off),

This was also a wish list item! Although I had envisioned it as a solid color because I was planning to wear it with the printed docs. So idk, might still keep an opening for a short dress. This is a bit much for me with the Hieronymus Bosch print boots. However I put it on and it was one of those rare instant “YES I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS” items.

It’s a floral print that’s pretty heavy on leaves and feels like a cross between scientific illustration and grandma’s couch upholstry. I normally don’t even look at smock dresses because I feel like they swallow me, but the tiered ruffles break things up just enough. I think they also weigh down the front a bit to avoid an excessive boob tent effect (though the silhouette is definitely still more breezy than any fit or flare). I just felt super cute in it. It gives me mori girl style vibes but with the intense layering built-in.

It says machine wash on the tag I am quite hesitant to do any sort of washing with this as every “””machine wash””” 100% rayon item I’ve had before has shrunk hilariously in a cold machine wash + line dry. I avoid it now but I just loved this so much when I tried it on. I will probably try to hand wash with no-rinse detergent when it gets dirty.

2019-09-30.jpg

Crewneck Cable Cardigan in rust leather, Something Navy via Nordstrom, $89.00*, M

I have partially been procrastinating on getting rid of the ill-fitting orange cardigan because I really love the idea of having an orange cable-knit cardigan and didn’t want to get rid of the other one without a replacement. This one is quite a different cut but after playing some dress up I think this should be easier, though still not easy to style. It’s more of a 1940s style (it actually has shoulder pads) and I found that I liked it in outfits with more modern feeling elements like skinny jeans because otherwise it felt too “hello do you have a moment to talk about our lord and savior” which is not an aesthetic I’m going for.

The sleeves on this are really really long and I have to fully fold up the cuffs. The shoulder seam seemed too far out on me on first impression although upon checking it seems they sit in the same spot on the model so I think that’s how it’s supposed to fit. I am able to comfortably button it up, unlike the tan cardigan I have.

It’s an interesting medium weight 55% cotton, 26% polyester, 11% nylon, 5% wool, 3% spandex blend. Very soft opaque knit, and warm, although it feels a bit stuffy. I feel like it could pill easily but we shall have to see. The lambswool fabric of the ill fitting cardigan is definitely nicer but that still wasn’t enough to actually get me to wear it.

orange crewneck cable knit cardigan.jpeg

Comfortiva “Cordia” bootie in caffe, Nordstrom, $146.42 ($134.95 before tax), 7.5

(Pictured in the ruffle dress outfit) After the wrong turn with the taupe suede ankle booties, I’m now trying these vintage style boots out. I wore them 5 times already so they seem to be off to a good start. I particularly like that they are a more dainty cut and less of a kicking-ass combat boot (I have a lot of those already). They are a bit shorter in height than I was originally envisioning I’d go for, but I think that it will be nice to show off socks with.

They were comfortable out of the box, although despite the brand name they did not seem super supportive. Seems more like fashion brand quality than comfort brand. They are more supportive than flats, but nothing to write home about.

The leather is super super soft and thin. Mine have a few scuffs already but I was actually looking forward to an accelerated worn-in look. I usually wear a 7.5 medium and these were true to size, though on the narrow side. I can’t wear chunky socks with these. They come in wide sizing as well so I’d go for that if you want to wear them with winter socks.

brown lace-up boot.jpeg

Accessories

Molly Mini Headband in brown, Free People, $24.00

(Pictured on me above in the ruffle jacket outfit) After debating about how I would dive into the padded headband trend, I settled on this one. I also tried their regular size padded headband, but I found that with the width the overall feeling of head squeezing was a bit much for me.

brown velvet padded headband.jpg

Carter Knotted Headband in red, Anthropologie, $18.00

(Pictured on me above in the corduroy mini skirt outfit) A festive printed accessory.

striped knotted headband

Edith beret in turquoise, Anthropologie, $38.00

My other beret has a stiffer band and I found this fully soft one easier to style.

2019-09-27a.jpg

Purged

I did not get rid of anything this month.

Purge Limbo

I’m too lazy to add the photos again, but you can see pics of these in last month’s post.

Orange cardigan – This one’s not so much in limbo as just waiting for the next time I make it to the consignment store. I’m sad to see this one go, because I love the color, pattern, and buttons, and it’s great quality, but I just have never figured out a way to style it. It doesn’t have pockets so it isn’t functional enough to keep as an ugly-but-comfy loungewear piece.

Giant cream cable-knit cardigan – this is just entirely too much wool at once for my lifestyle

Wish List

 

  • nice (smart casual but not stodgy) blouses with visual interest
  • fitted rib-knit long sleeve shirt in saturated color that can fit a thermal under it
  • dark or neutral solid colored ruffled dress
  • solid colored work appropriate mini dress
  • longer heavier weight non fussy cardigan or light coat in light color (I have sadly concluded that the very nice vintage Pendleton coat I bought on ebay at the end of summer is just way too warm to wear in the bay area)

As a spoiler for the October round-up, I finally found a knee-length raincoat, so that’s off the wish list now. (Lululemon “Rain Rebel” jacket in Cayenne, size 8) I’d say it reads more as a warmer coral / washed-out rust than pink irl compared to this photo.

2019-10-07.jpg

 

I’m also considering getting a small clothing rack for “in-flight” clothes. The hope is that it will relieve The Pile that builds up during the week from tried-on or worn-once-recently clothing.

Conclusion

Well, I guess I’m not buying anything else new for the rest of 2019. I’m already four items in for October, though two of them were actual needed items and not just for fashion fun.

Other random fashion thoughts for this month:

I’m a little disappointed I’ve never seen any interesting items made of merino wool in mall tier brands. I had a thin black 100% washable merino cardigan from Gap once that was HANDS DOWN the most comfortable all-weather never wrinkled practical yet non-athletic-looking item I had, but I actively disliked how boring it made every outfit look so I got rid of it a while back. Idk if it’s just too expensive for that for what people will pay at mall brands, or if there’s some property that makes it hard to do cable patterns with.

After going on vacations I always feel like I want to just quit fashion and live in athleisure and a minimal wardrobe for the simplicity. But then it passes.

Recently and particularly since getting “promoted” to moderator I haven’t really felt interested in participating in r/femalefashionadvice aside from WAYWT. I don’t have a job where I can constantly check reddit anymore, so I rarely catch threads that are both new and that I feel I can meaningfully contribute to. Also I just feel like 99.9% of the discussion I’ve already seen at least twice in another iteration of a thread.

On the other hand I have been super enjoying the Theme WAYWT (“what are you wearing today” – basically just outfit sharing) posts, both seeing how people interpret them and how I’ve come up with looks that I otherwise wouldn’t have tried. I’m really glad I started that up again.

6 thoughts on “Wardrobe Round-up: September 2019

  1. UNIQLO is your best friend for good quality merino wool, including extra-fine, at fabulous prices. Not massively interesting designs but good choice of necklines and interesting colours. Also, do you already know about Woolovers?

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    1. Uniqlo is great for basics! But I find that their sweaters from their standard line are too minimal for what I’m looking for. Woolovers has a lot of fun pieces. I have a vintage “ugly sweater” from them with a little picture of sheep knit into it. It looks like all their merino items are untextured/thin knits too though… Maybe people usually only shell out for merino when they want something to be lightweight, so no one bothers to do chunky knits with it.

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  2. These are my favourite posts of yours !
    Thanks to reading your blog, I realized that my wardrobe lacks volume/silhouette/visual weight diversity. What I am guilty of doing is finding an item I live and buying multiple colors of it because I know I love it already. So I own 7 cachmere sweaters in the same round neck long sleeves cut, 7 short wrap dresses in the same materiel in different prints and colors… Last time I bought jeans I got three of the same asos farleigh mom jeans in 3 colors…
    And that’s why my wardrobe feels boring and even though I own so many clothes, I feel like I wear the same thing over and over.
    Anyway, that’s why I was looking more precisely at your items listed here and saw that you wore most of those pieces almost 30 times, which is baffling to me ! Granted I’ve only started counting wears in the beginning of summer, my most worn items (excluding shoes and outerwear since I own two of each per season) is a white tank top I wore 9 times…
    Since I wear mostly dresses, it’s not like I can mix and match tops and bottoms to create a lot of outfit, and the fact that I own 22 dresses doesn’t help. I feel guilty buying more to add interest to my wardrobe when what I already own doesn’t get that much wear.
    I’m stuck in this dilema. Maybe I should wait until I have a full year of tracking logged begore buying anything.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Buying multiples seems to be one of those shopping strategies that works great for some folks but not others. Personally I’ve been trying to at least cut back on buying multiples of the same item immediately – but if I like it so much I find myself wishing I had it in another variant then I’ll go and look for it. But even then I often find that I end up favoring one colorway over the other anyway. I’ve found focusing on the silhouette, fabric, and color value diversity has made it feel like a similarly sized closet has more variety, since any random combination will have more contrast (compared to before when I had mostly black and gray fitted items things really mushed together). If you’re feeling things are too repetitive that sounds like that could be a helpful direction for you too!

      It definitely takes a while to collect enough metrics to see patterns! But even after keeping this database for almost 2 years less than half my items have over 30 wears. Keep in mind the ones that are shown each month are only the items that got at least one wear! I have plenty of t-shirts etc that are worn sparingly. Really seeing how much you actually wear your existing wardrobe is a great motivator to buy more slowly for sure, which is good. But waiting a full year to start making changes when you can already identify specific things that you’d like to change might not be the most helpful course? It might be more helpful to think of wears per week at the beginning of tracking instead of total wears because it’s less demoralizing but you can still see patterns in what you tend to wear the most. In the end there isn’t really a right or wrong answer, just do what you can 🙂

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      1. Do you know where I can find inspiration for different silhouettes ? It is the reason I like your content (on here and instagram) but other than that, I’m quite lost.

        Also I’m scared of buying something *new* and realizing I don’t like it as much as what I already own, so it doesn’t get worn. Clothes are really difficult to resell I find.

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      2. I try to curate my Instagram feed so that I follow people who use a variety of silhouettes. I mostly follow other accounts from the #redditffa tag. Also never hurts to just search Pinterest or Google images for specific clothing with different silhouettes like “balloon sleeve sweater outfit” or “relaxed trousers outfit women”.

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