Wardrobe Round-up: February 2020

2020-02-01

Happy π Day everyone! Slowly getting back on schedule with the round-up posts 🐌 Posting this ~2wks late instead of 4! Feels frivolous to be writing a fashion blog given the current state of things, but life goes on.

I’ve done a bit of spring cleaning around the blog. The “My Style”, “Wardrobe Tracking”, and “About” pages have been streamlined which hopefully should make the landing experience clearer to anyone first visiting the blog. There was previously a fair amount of duplicated content, or exposition that I don’t think was necessarily helpful for those sorts of pages.

Hard to say, though. Based on the WordPress stats, most people coming the the blog organically are finding it from googling “how to track what clothes you wear” etc or looking at my Madewell jeans and Dr Martens reviews, and hardly anyone views the top level blog pages 🤷🏻‍♀️.

The other big change is that I’ve removed the statement of purpose for the blog (which was to get to a point where I can easily make out fits that I love for any occasion). As discussed at length in the previous two posts, I’m thinking that given my personality, I will never get to a point where I feel like I can easily put together outfits that clear some subjective, personally-imposed bar.

I’m also trying to balance my commitments, and I think at this time it would be more helpful to focus on streamlining things day-to-day, like physically reorganizing the closet area and actually getting around to refreshing my reference of favorite outfits for different weather and formality. Of course/annoyingly-but-that’s-human-nature-I-suppose, it changed dramatically since I did one a couple of months ago.

It also seems to change significantly depending on how short my bangs are, so I may need to add that as a dimension in the outfits matrix (though, I’ve gotten so sick of always getting my bangs too short that I bought hair-cutting scissors to do my own bang trims, so we shall see how that goes). I’m also trying to put more time into moderator projects on reddit now that I’m finally finished with that goddamn 52-question survey report that I had to do almost entirely by myself.

Wear Counts

🔎 Your regular reminder that you can find the running count of what I’ve worn in the last 30 days as well as my entire virtual closet over at the Wardrobe Tracking page.

Clothes and Shoes

I am pleased to note that I own 6 white/cream sweaters, and I wear all 6 sweaters.

It’s been a lot of sweaters-jeans-docs this month. I was traveling for a couple of days at the beginning of February, then I was sick. I wasn’t feeling getting really ~dressed up~ this month, so for weekend errands I usually stuck with athleisure/normcore sort of things. However, I got in one extra fancy outfit when my SO and I went to go see a ballet, so I think that single-handedly carried the month (seriously – I think if it isn’t my most-liked Instagram post to date, it’s one of the top three). See it below in the Outfits section 💌

february 2020 clothes

Accessories

The weather warmed up a lot. No more chunky knit beanies and scarves!

For some reason I seem to only wear that block print scarf when I’m traveling. It’s just a thin cotton fabric, but being endothermic + thin scarf helps a lot.

february 2020 accessories

Purchased

Blundstone 1673 Chelsea Bootie, 8.5, $211.52 – I’ve been waffling about getting a pair of Blundstones for probably a year now and I am SO GLAD I got some. Simultaneously cute and sturdy. In fact, so well-rounded that if in some horrible world where I had to pick just one boot, I think I would pick these (though in black, cause if we’re being real, the antique brown finish doesn’t really pass above casual in terms of formality even if it’s cute).

Sizing review: I usually am either a 7.5 or 8 in most boots and shoes – one foot is closer to 7.5, and the other to 8. I got these in 8.5 and both feet are comfortable. I found that for the first couple of wears these were rather snug on the ankles, but they were fine for walking right away as long as I wore thicker socks (doesn’t need to be hiking grade – just not thin like dress socks). These are work to get on and off. Definitely not a slip-on or slip-off shoe. You’ll need to use two hands and depending on your balance possibly also sit down. BUT definitely not impossible, at least for my (afaik) fairly average sized feet.

While the more fitted profile requires more work to get on and off, it also feels supportive and the overall look is more feminine. I’m happy to wear these with anything from trash chore clothes to casual skirts/dresses, but the antique brown colorway is definitely a more casual finish.

Compared to docs (1460s), they don’t feel like they’d be as good for standing around a really long time in, but they seem better for a lot of walking because they’re lighter and less clunky. The sole is less bouncy than docs’, though still has plenty of support. On me, they didn’t cause any blisters from the get-go, although since the shaft is snug, I have to wear longer socks with it, at least for now.

2020-03-02

UC Botanical Garden baseball cap, distressed green, $19.61 – I now have 2 more baseball caps than I did in 2019, and I think that is just enough for that category for me. Ever since I picked up the orange cap, I’ve been wearing one every weekend while running errands. Seriously, I cannot believe I never wore these until now. They keep the sun out of your face, and unlike one of those straw sun hats with wide-ass brims, they don’t blow off as easily in a slight wind and look less odd to have on indoors, e.g. inside the grocery store.

I saw this hat at the gift shop at the local botanical garden and felt it was really the pinnacle of the Crunchy Casual style I’ve been into lately, so I bought it. Since the butterfly hat is a really saturated orange, I thought it would be nice to have a more neutral and muted option. I particularly like how the green colorway is pre-weathered.

Exploratorium retro style baseball tee, L, $0.00 – freebie from volunteering. I think a M would have fit a little better, but they only had L and S while I was there. I love the fun graphic, retro style, and colors, but I generally don’t buy 3/4 sleeved anything because I find that personally I don’t like it with cropped pants (it gives me a shrunken outfit vibe) so it’s less versatile for me than full length sleeves.

exploratorium retro t-shirt

2020-02-16

BDG (Urban Outfitters) grandpa cardigan via Poshmark, S, $35.33 – Got this one to tick off the “cardigan with pockets” wish list item, 95% of the reason was so that I could wear this flouncy floral dress to the office and not have to carry my phone and badge around in my hands.

I LOVE how works with the dress. I was worried it would look too washed out or like a pile-o-fabric, but I love the deeply textured monochrome effect. If anything, I think I actually prefer this to higher contrast layering. When I wear this dress with green I’ve always felt that it emphasized how similar the beige was in value to my skin tone and made me feel washed out.

I’ve worn this in one other outfit so far, just with jeans and docs and a v-neck cami, and I wasn’t too jazzed about it. I suspect this may become like the cropped tan cardigan which I pretty much exclusively wear with one top, but it goes GREAT with that item and I’ve worn the combo many times, which is fine by me.

I’m not sure if this one was a named product, but if you’re browsing Poshmark/eBay for it, the defining details are the diamond cable knit instead of the more common braid-like design, and it’s 100% cotton. I’m 5’1″ and usually a US 8, and I have it in size small.

2020-03-03

Levi’s 90s style “Diana” sweatshirt in peach blush, XS, $52.78 (30% off sale) – I was at the brick and mortar Levi’s in SF with my SO because he needed new jeans, and I was going around inspecting all the clothes. Levi’s definitely has a lot of questionable diffusion lines, but I’ve always found they tend to carry more of their Nice Things at the SF flagship. Anyway, I inevitably found something that I wanted to get, which in this case was a piece of max 90s normcore that I didn’t know I needed until I saw it.

I’ve often felt annoyed that all my zip hoodies and pullover sweatshirts are gray and black. My sweatpants that I wear at home are gray and black, and then it just ends up looking kind of depressing when I throw one of those on with them. When I put this on, I just felt like a kid again in a delightful way. I’ve been wearing it to ballet classes and just around the house mostly, but it’s really so much more cheery for me than my free hoodies and sweatshirts and I’m glad I found it.

This is not conventionally flattering whatsoever, but I think the cut definitely reads 90s normcore, which is what I wanted. I like to think of it as cuddly. While it isn’t flattering, for the cut, it does fit well. The sleeves aren’t too long – they reach right to my wrist bone when I have my arms extended, which IMO is perfect.

As a side note, their HQ (which is different from the flagship store) has a small museum that you can visit for free. They have some displays of truly ancient pairs of Levi’s (talking like, gold rush era) and some info on the development of the jeans. I wouldn’t make a trip out for it, but if you’re passing through the area and are into that sort of thing, it’s worth a stop. The plaza is quite pleasant, too.

2020-02-25b

I usually wear a very standard light pink tights + leotard + mesh skirt combo for class but occasionally I wear these green leggings, which always gives me a jazzercize vibe 😂.

levi's sweater

Free People “Write About Love” dress via consignment, size S, $20.71 This was $268 before tax back in (as far as I could tell) 2014, It has a hole in the mesh I need to repair (and I suppose, since all my volunteering has been cancelled due to the pandemic there should be plenty of time for that) and is slightly small across the bust, though the fit issue is acceptable for how awesome this is.

I really like that the mesh has some appliques on it and the lace integrates down into the dress in panels and box pleats, so it feels more designed than some random lace yoke slapped onto a tube of fabric.

I love the Victorian/goth vibes but with the trapeze mini dress silhouette, which keeps it from feeling too stuffy or formal.

Plus, the slip layer is nylon instead of polyester which I have literally never seen before in my life (I don’t shop at any high end stores and my local thrift/consignment don’t tend to get any true old-people-cleaned-out-the-attic vintage stuff because it’s mostly students)? Honestly, I don’t think it actually feels all that different from polyester satin at comfortable room temp, but I assume the difference would come out on sweaty public transit, since that’s when I always notice less breathable fabrics.

free people write about love dress

Previously purchased this year:

  • Burnt orange monarch butterfly dad cap

In future posts I will be moving the “purchased this year” overview to a separate page on the site in order to not clog the post with an increasing thousands of copy-pasted words.

Purge Limbo

Got a bunch right now, although these are I suppose more of an “early March” rather than February list. I’m at a point right now where I don’t want to dig up another dozen photos from the archive (it takes a long time to scroll and find things now, as unfortunately hosted WordPress does not allow you to rename uploaded media).

I probably would have had these under “Purged” already, but with all the encouraged quarantine going on, I am avoiding trips to the consignment store so these have just been sitting in paper grocery bags near the front door 😞

Seychelles tan pointed-toe lace up boots – I feel like given the choice between these, the plain granny boots, brown Blundstones, and the OTK taupe lace-up boots, I just never reach for these. I think part of it is the texture feels kind of stiff and shiny, but the boot style feels like it’s trying to be earthy?

On their own they are a cute boot though, and I feel like they’re unique enough (don’t @ me about the literal meaning of unique) that it will be hard to find a similar pair in the future if I decide I can actually factor them in.

linen blend green button-down shirt – The material on this is really comfortable and since it’s a blend it doesn’t wrinkle like crazy, but it’s a little too boxy for what I’d normally like. I occasionally wear it in themed or more dress up style outfits (i.e. the Slytherin themed one and an “adventure style” outfit or two) if I need a button down shirt. I would love to have a whole side closet of just “great for costume/theme outfits” stuff, but I’m trying to be realistic with myself that if it doesn’t fit in the 1 small Halloween bin or the hook on the side of the wardrobe, I shouldn’t be keeping it around because of space constraints (#400sqftsharedapartmentlyfe)

H&M navy floral blouse – This used to be one of my favorites, but I don’t reach for it much anymore. I don’t love the dark and busy print around my face and I really only wear it with like 2 pants. I think I was mostly keeping this as an emergency-need-a-business-casual-friendly-blouse thing, but I don’t actually like it and I’m sure that in the future should I ever need one I can find one at the mall or whatever in one day that I like better than this, and if I need a bizcaz blouse on less than 1 day notice then I probably fucked up and have more pressing issues, really.

All my structured shorts – 1 pair washed black mom shorts from ASOS, some ancient light-wash mid-rise pair from Old Navy, and one pair of faux leather shorts from H&M. These have all been in the “technically can put them on, but it’s at least one size too small” realm. Also, I feel like they are meant to fit more closely, and I think at this point I’d prefer a true high waist, slightly looser fit.

brown corduroy trousers – I have been periodically attempting to integrate these into outfits, but I think the size I have is just too loose for me (it may not seem like it in the front pictures if you can recall them, but it’s more apparent in person and from the back and side). I’ve seen smaller sizes on people of a similar height and I feel like those would work, but alas I don’t think it’s meant for someone of small height and mid size circumference. I don’t have enough loud tops either to really make it ~a look~, and it takes up a lot of space.

I was debating trying to hem it, but I think since it has kind of an ovoid shape, cropping it any more + cuffing it won’t let it slide up comfortably over my calves for movement. I think I will try and consign them, as the fabric quality wasn’t particularly fabulous anyway. Unfortunate because I was so excited to find a pair of brown cords similar to my favorite green ones.

brown flat oxfords – These are Børn brand and real leather, but they have always looked super fake and plasticky to me. The dark brown color is also a little too dark for my preferences (I’d prefer a warmer mid tone saddle or reddish-brown) anyway. I think I got these from eBay back when I was really on the “vintage-inspired” kick, as a least-bad option that actually fit just to try out the look.

I am still here waiting for hipster twee to come back because right now there is an absolutely garbage selection of cute, more femininely cut oxfords out there (don’t @ me about oxford vs derby vs…. I just call them all oxfords because the commoners stores just put them all under “oxfords” when you click through shop categories) in decent quality leather.

H&M Morris & Co printed skinny pants – The print on these is 🔥💯🔥, but I’m having to admit that the mid rise cut is just not doing it for me. We’re currently in the part of the timeline where there are a bazillion items from this collection on Poshmark, so maybe I can replace it with something I find more wearable. Alas, it seems that the pleated skirt from the collection is nowhere to be found. I love the dresses from that line, but I can tell from the photos that they won’t hang right on me (meant for taller folks) and I’m not sure I like them enough to try and frankenstein one of the dresses into a skirt and top.

Size 28 regular Madewell vintage perfect jean – I kept this originally even after finding the size from that style that fit better (27 curvy petite) because I had already happily worn it several times. But I’ve found that at this point I don’t wear light wash jeans enough that I don’t have an issue of the 27 ones being unavailable. I tried the 28s on last week on accident and was like, “YEOW why are the thighs so snug?” I think I’ve also gained a few pounds since buying these last summer(?) but at any rate, I can never see myself reaching for these in any scenario anymore.

Uniqlo black pleated-front wide-leg cropped pants – The black counterpart to the brown ones I wear somewhat regularly. I’ve found that over the last year or two I’ve really moved away from untextured black knits because it just doesn’t read clearly in addition to often feeling drab (I’m not at a point where I’m purchasing beautifully designed black knits from Rick Owens, Helmut Lang, etc). I considered downgrading them to loungewear but I found that it was terrible using them as pajamas because they would bunch up around my thighs.

Outfits

Fancy outfit inspired by the two-tone suits and wide waist belts in the Alexander McQueen Spring 2020 RTW collection. I wore this to see the SF Ballet in early Feb, which might be the last time for a while they have any performances since SF has cancelled most large gatherings and events.

2020-02-01

Simple monochrome travel outfit ft docs and block print scarf. I really liked the “rhythm” of this look despite it being all black/gray.

2020-02-03

This is what I mean by “rhythm” – it’s another way of approaching visual interest. Not sure which books these are from, so if anyone knows, please share!

Continuing the crunchy casual style. Now with Blundstones, a nice style medium between literal hiking boots and fashion boots.

2020-02-21

One of the few looks carried over from over a year ago that I still like! Honestly I’m not very keen on these pants with any other top as they always feel like pajamas when paired with more contrasting items. This top is a stretchy knit but has juuuust enough structure from the seaming and fabric texture to look right with the cheap-sweatpants material but pleated wide leg trousers.

2020-02-25

Wish List

Grayed out text is copied over from last month’s post. Any additional thoughts or new items will be in black.

[1] black chunky platform sandals for when I want something with more visual weight than the Birkenstocks, but with a different vibe than the brown t-strap platform clogs. I was thinking probably one of the Dr Martens brand ones would be the way to go.

My reservation with those is that while I always think they look cool and punky and badass in photos, when I checked a few of the styles out in person they all looked really orthopedic. I suppose it comes down to the styling, but with casual sandals I’d prefer that I don’t need to work to put together an outfit that doesn’t feel awkward.

I’m also concerned that they might be hard to break in, and I’m not about the life of breaking in sandals when you can’t rely on chunky wool socks to help if you want any hope of getting enough walking time on them before the sandal season is over (assuming that you don’t want to wear that sweet footwear combo to the office, that is).

Thinking of possibly getting some black platform Birkenstock Arizonas instead of the docs sandals.

[2] taupe blundstones purchased

[3] work appropriate short dress with long sleeves and pocketspurchased

[4] cropped sweaterEven though I’m mostly good on how to tuck in sweaters now, a lot of the time I mostly just wish they were cropped. I have a terrible time finding truly cropped sweaters though since I’m 5’1″, and it’s not like you can hem a chunky knit. (inb4 “knit one yourself!” – no I don’t have time to take up knitting to the degree of a sweater) I might have to have another look at Urban Outfitters or one of those teen oriented stores. I had a cropped sweater once and the length was great, but the one I had was chunky with drop shoulders which resulted in a heavy round-shouldered silhouette I didn’t like.

[5] circular sunglassesbeen wanting a more aggressively fashion-y pair since last year. Figured a kind of 70s style circle lens style would be fun. I ought to get prescription ones but finding more stylized lenses that support corrective lenses is going to make finding a pair I like more annoying.

Stock image from Urban Outfitters

[6] cardigan with pockets  purchased

[7] small gold hoop earrings sometimes the fake gauge almost-hoop earrings are a little louder than I want. I’m thinking of getting a second earring piercing on each ear too.

Stock image from Urban Outfitters

[8] striped long sleeve tee/sweater I love my short sleeved striped rib knit tee and would like a long sleeve that works in cooler weather. The ones that seem to be popping up again in the 00s-does-70s sort of vibe are really fun, but as usual, the perpetual struggle is finding one in a trendier style that isn’t made mostly of polyester. (I’m not fundamentally against polyester e.g. in activewear, but in casual wear knit tops and light sweaters I’ve always found it to feel very stifling and clingy)

[9] A cool graphic tee (probably with a white base) in a reasonably non-sheer/clingy fabric that feels like “A Fashion Tee, To Wear With Outfits, Outside The Apartment” and not “A Random Tee That I Got For Free This One Time In College”.

I’m thinking of getting something from the Parks Project brand since they have a lot of vintage-inspired designs and I like the subject matter + the charity aspect, though admittedly I haven’t done any research as to how effective/direct that aspect of it is.

It looks like I may have to dig for more substantial fabrics though, as based on the small sampling offered at my local Sports Basement + a glance at their website, even most of their men’s tees offering seems to be the thin af soft tee shirt material that gets bunchy when tucked in.

[10] Denim jacket – I don’t usually think of denim jacket being part of the nebulous and multidimensional idea that is “my style”, but I’ve thought to myself enough times now “this would really work better with a denim jacket” that I think if I bought one it would pull its weight in my closet.

I’m thinking a lighter wash, looser fit style that will work well over layers. In particular, I think this would work well as a structured casual stylistically neutral option with all my tougher boots and my white sneakers on days when I’m not feeling like doing A Look, but the now-weathered field jacket would give it more of a grunge flavor. I don’t have that many toppers I like with my retro tees right now, either, and I think this would work there too.

[11] Denim shorts – Neither of my denim shorts fits me. I don’t think I wear shorts enough to need two, and I’m not sure whether I’d prefer black or light wash. This is not urgent at all and I’m only looking for a generic high-waisted pair, so I think I’ll just try and check the local thrift/consignment for these continuously once the pandemic measures lift up a bit.

[12] White Converse Chuck Taylor High Tops – I’ve been seeing these styled in a lot of photos of items similar to what I have (or that I literally have) already. I think the fitted, taller profile makes sense for a lot of the cropped things I’m wearing now, and would be a nice alternative to dark boots in that silhouette. I’m not 100% sure this will play out like I have in my head, but I think it’s worth looking into.

I wore through probably 4 or 5 pairs of converse in various colors over the course of high school and I remember them happily. They were probably the only cool things I actually wore. But I mostly I haven’t felt that they went with my wardrobe when I was focusing more on the refined witchy/storybook style sort of aesthetic.

Stock photo of the brown cords which didn’t suit me, though I have other similar pants.

[13] Replacement brown oxfords that I actually like – Maybe? I think at this point given how hard it is to shop for secondhand shoes online and how little choice there is on Nordstrom/Zappos, I should probably just shelve this dream until they are trendy again.

[14 – 15] ??? TBD

In Conclusion

We have now reached the end of this tremendously long wardrobe round-up. I actually had even a few more items I wanted to try on, but they are at my office right now as I usually ship packages there. I need to pick up my keyboard anyway because I was dumb and forgot to bring it with me on the last day before WFH started, but my work laptop’s keyboard has awful keybounce issues and I am going to go insane if I have to keep backspacing all the extra i’s and e’s it inserts for the next 1-2 months.

I have a lot of backlogged items for Links of the Whatever that I’m excited to share, so hopefully I’ll get one of those out before the March round-up.

Stay safe everyone and hopefully you can find toilet paper if you need it! I am about to make a trip out for the week’s groceries but I’m worried there won’t be any left. My neighbors posted photos of our local store yesterday evening and it was cleaned. out. and I don’t know what day they usually get their restock delivery. I suppose in the immediate material sense this is less anxiety-inducing than when they kept shutting our area’s electricity off because we lived near a high fire risk area (though thankfully we were outside the cutoff map by literally one block, so our particular building had the lights on) but in the global sense it really makes you want to re-evaluate your priorities.

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