Introducing a new section in Wardrobe Round-up: WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
I’ve been blogging for a little over a year now, so I can look back and see how old purchases worked out. What things made the cut? Did anything make it to 30 wears in a year? Read on to find out 👀
I’ve also refreshed the My Style page of my site to be more concise. If you haven’t checked it out before, it’s got a breakdown of the key elements of my usual “storybook” style, links to a gallery of my closet, and some of my inspiration sources.
Clothing and Shoes
51 items. Sneakers got more wear this month because I wore them the last 4 days of the month in a row due to needing to be comfortable.
30 items. I think I didn’t log my jewelry very religiously this month, since I wear earrings pretty much every day and there are only 20 logged.
Asterisk indicates the price does not include tax and/or shipping.
Lululemon “Rain Rebel” jacket in Cayenne, US 8, $231.31 (colorway not available at time of writing) – my months-long search for a knee-length (dry! proportions!) brightly colored (not getting hit by a car!) raincoat has come to a successful end. I don’t usually shop at Lululemon because I’ve always found Athleta adequate and I like that the latter is a certified B Corp. However for some unfathomable reason their knee-length raincoat-like jackets this season are not actually waterproof, just water resistant.
Anyway, this one fit true to size (my measurements are 38-29-39 and I usually wear an 8) and I didn’t have any issue with the zipper or the jacket riding up as I walked which were mentioned by some reviews. This is more of a red-orange in person than the pink in this photo (the stock photo is pretty accurate).
I’m not sure how “waterproof” is defined or if there’s even any meaning to that term in the retail industry (30 seconds of googling didn’t turn up a definitive answer and I can’t be bothered to look into it more right now), but I found that water beaded and rolled off this pretty well. However, like my older Patagonia and North Face jackets which were rated “waterproof”, if the water is allowed to sit on the jacket for a longer period of time it will soak into it.
I wore this most days on my leaf-peeping trip to New Hampshire last month and really liked how much more cheery it felt than my gray one with the half-broken zipper.
Madewell ribbed texting gloves via Nordstrom, $18.00 (sold out at time of writing) – Wool gloves with some kind of tech-friendly coating on the thumb and index finger tips. I’d previously lost some gloves I’d been wearing since I can remember in my trip to Boston last Christmas. I bought some knit gloves from the brand Isotoner (which I’d previously not heard of) at Macy’s while I was there, but those ended up being poor quality and had holes poking through the fingers after wearing them twice a week to ice skating classes for a few months.
These ones are pretty warm and not itchy since they’re 100% merino. I like that they sort of match the cream cable-knit beanie I have. I got these at the mall we stopped at to have lunch with my partner’s relatives on the way up to NH. I wore these at the top of Mt. Washington where the weather was wet and extremely windy. I think more technical gloves would have been better there, but I think these should be fine for city stuff.
Levi’s corduroy wedgie straight cord in “Shiraz”, size 29, $98.00 via Free People – I got these to have another colorful easy to wear pant option besides the green pants. I found these true to size and as with most regular length pants I need to cuff them. These attract lint slightly more than my other corduroy items but not enough that I find it bothersome (however I don’t have any pets).
They’re a brighter color in person (reference the stock photo for that). I wish they were above-the-navel high-waisted instead of at/just-below high-waisted on me so that they would still look high-waisted even with a belt. But these stay up really well without a belt so I guess that’s okay. I’ve worn them once so far but I’m thinking these should work really well with docs and other boots.
Topshop “Carly” Coat US 4 regular in brown, $125.00* via Nordstrom – I still plan to wear that glorious ankle-length vintage Pendleton coat I got off ebay a couple of months ago on east coast trips, but I decided that it was just way too warm for the SF Bay Area.
I had to size down (I’m usually a US 8) a lot in this. It’s offered in petite online, but I got the regular size after trying it on in store and the sleeves weren’t crazy long. There’s still room to comfortably wear a thick sweater or light jacket underneath.
I absolutely LOVE the rust color, which I think will work well with my green and black bottom pieces and white sweaters for winter. It’s polyester and unlined and should be good for 40-50F weather.
I prefer side pockets to patch pockets but I’m kind of at a point with coats where I think that I would rather have one that’s 80% ideal (within the scope of design preferences, not base functionality) than one now than one that’s 50% ideal and waiting years and years and potentially forever for a “perfect” coat.
Still getting used to the drop-shoulder silhouette. I’d tried on a few more tailored coats at Uniqlo etc that were more of a Chesterfield style, and found that they felt too formal for everyday wear for me. Previously I was vehemently anti drop shoulders on coats because it felt like lazy production in most mall tier things (like the company couldn’t be bothered to actually make a nice pattern), but with more experience I’ve also realized that having constricted arm movement s more annoying. So combined with the desire for something more relaxed fit: an exception to my no drop-shoulders shopping rule has been made.
I was originally looking for something more midi length, but I hadn’t seen many long options in brick and mortar. Hopefully this doesn’t end up pilling too much.
Snake print fishnet tights (x2) for total of $23.87, Leg Avenue via Sock Dreams –another one for the collection. I like that these have a villainous vibe without being overtly Halloween like spiderweb tights.
I ended up returning the square/sweetheart neck shirt from last month’s round-up. I’d originally tried it on in an evening where my apartment was particularly stuffy from cooking, and it seemed a little warm, but I assumed it would be fine in normal room temps. Turns out it was still too stuffy for my tolerance when I tried it on again later so back it went.
Where are they now?
How did things I purchased a year ago end up working out? September 2018 was the first real wardrobe round-up since I didn’t buy anything in August 2018 (I attempted to do a much higher overhead review of my July 2018 purchases after six months, but that wasn’t sustainable in terms of writing effort).
First thoughts: WTF? I know was doing a style refresh but damn, 17 items is a lot to acquire in one month.
I’m bucketing things into great (this is happily in regular rotation), okay (nice to have it but I don’t reach for it as much as the great things and wouldn’t try and replace it if it died or got lost), and bad (hardly worn, probably don’t have it anymore). October 2018 turned out to be decent but not a home run.
- great 65% (11)
- okay 23% (4)
- bad 12% (2)
5 clothes, 1 shoes, 5 accessories
Ines De La Fressange x Uniqlo Corduroy skirt in orange, Size 8, $39.90 – This is my favorite and most-worn skirt! 28 wears (median for skirts is 8 wears).
Cream cable-knit sweater, L.L. Bean via Crossroads Trading Co., $16.50, S. – I have enough sweaters that I don’t wear this every week even when it’s cold, but the thick cotton knit has been great for local weather. 12 wears.
100% cotton tan cropped cable-knit cardigan, Old Navy via Goodwill, $5.99. 19 wears. I pretty much only wear this cardigan with this camisole, but I just feel so cute with the combo of fabrics and buttons that I don’t mind them basically being one unit.
Olive green textured boxy crop tee, Banana Republic via Crossroads Trading Co., $16.50, M. 11 wears – it’s not as versatile as my white and green striped t-shirt because it doesn’t tuck well, but it’s been a good easy-with-jeans option. It’s nice and thick, and the ridge stitch pattern adds some structure without being uncomfortable. I think I’ve been wearing it more recently since I’ve eased up on taking daily outfit photos.
Mustard square-neck top, Anthropologie, $54.40, S – 22 wears. I liked this one so much I got the same top from Poshmark a few months after with the intention of dyeing it black. Which I still haven’t gotten around to. I like that the neckline is deep enough to not feel stodgy but the sleeves also stay up on their own. I’ve found the saturated marigold color a little hard to pair but even so it’s gotten into regular rotation.
Black patent leather witchy boots, Marc Fisher LTD at Nordstrom, $249.95, 7.5. 61 wears which is still about a $4 cost-per-wear. One of my favorite pairs of shoes ever. I wasn’t sure how wearable I’d find the patent leather when I first got them, but it turned out that the pop of shine has been really great in more monochrome outfits or with black tights. I haven’t done anything with the coating and it’s held up through all the wear.
Full-grain leather belts in cognac and black, $30.00 each. (from a local market where they custom punched the holes) – These are your ISO standard leather belts, which I did not have any of before. 17 and 40 wears respectively.
Cream cable-knit faux fur pom-pom hat, Amazon, $12.99. 5 wears – This is my go-to cold weather hat, but as it rarely gets Actually Cold here, has mostly been worn on trips. I’m going to try and wear this more this year just for fun. I’ve machine washed this once and it came out pretty much like new, though I needed to use a hair dryer on the faux fur pom.
4-pack patterned fishnet tights, Amazon, $14.99. 20 wears – These have been fun way to incorporate some texture into an outfit, and are an easy way to add depth to all black looks. I definitely wear some from the pack (art deco and herringbone) more than others (chevron) though.
Rust wool beret, Brixton via Nordstrom, $48.00, M. 7 wears – pictured above. This one has a more structured band than most berets I’ve seen. I think I actually prefer the more relaxed look of the slouchy kind. Going to try and wear this more during the winter too.
3 clothes, 1 accessory
AllSaints “Mayur” jumper, Size 6, via Crossroads Trading Co (consignment), $24.00. 9 wears. I still think this is a really cool item, but I’ve found the cut works best with skinny jeans and leggings, limiting its versatility.
Mustard sweetheart velvet mini dress, Kimchi Blue (Urban Outfitters brand) via Crossroads Trading Co., $16.50, M. 2 wears logged, but I mostly have been using this as fancy loungewear (machine washable ftw) because the neckline needs to be pinned up to wear outside.
Tan faux-suede moto jacket, Anthropologie, $134.40, Petite S. 26 wears – Despite being a better fit, I’ve found this less versatile than my black faux leather moto jacket because the suede matches fewer things. However, it’s been a nice option to have when I want something earthier than the traditional black jacket.
Mahogany Coach “Willis” bag, Ebay, $85.00. 30 wears – This is definitely a better quality bag than the similarly sized Madewell crossbody I have (e.g. the strap is finished on both sides, whereas the Madewell one is raw on the bottom which can pill delicate tops), but I find I tend to reach for the Madewell one more because the sable color brightens up outfits where this dark chocolate brown tends to mute things. Whenever the Madewell tote bites the dust I’ll probably replace it with a lighter colorway of this bag.
1 pair of shoes, 1 accessory
Black suede oxfords, Clarks via Ebay, $34.99, 7.5. 6 wears. These looked too much like socks at a distance. These are like the opposite of visual interest so they ended up at Goodwill.
12-pack sheer black ankle socks, Amazon, $11.99. 1 wear. These ended up not really looking all that sheer from a distance and are tight enough at the band that they are less comfortable than regular socks. I’m not sure what to do with these since I don’t think Goodwill would take it.
- fitted rib-knit long sleeve shirt in saturated color that can fit a thermal under it
- dark or neutral solid colored ruffled dress
- not neutral colored formal dress
- some kind of activewear pant (that isn’t cargo pants or legging-pants)
For those of you who keep tabs on your clothing purchases, do you ever do retrospectives? What sorts of things do look at? Have you learned anything interesting or changed habits after looks back?
It’s still in the low of 45F high of 75F weather here and I’m trying to think of it more as an opportunity to wear coats and hats in the mornings instead of an annoyingly wide temperature range to dress for. After having discovered actual sweaters and coats in recent years (up through college I considered anything that wasn’t a hoodie, sweatshirt, or technical jacket Fashionista/Formal People Clothes instead of just like, a category of clothing that anyone wears), I’m looking forward to actually needing them in the evenings too instead of just being slightly sweaty in them. At any rate, I’m glad most of my chunky sweaters are cotton, because it’s a nice way to get that Actual Winter look without overheating.