Wardrobe Round-up: March 2020

I spent all my blogging energy earlier this month on Storybook Style: A Pinterest board, some outfits, and a detour down the rabbit hole of internet aesthetics, but better late than never.

As usual, none of the links are referral links.


Wear Counts

Clothes and Shoes

Still hovering around the usual 50-ish items per month. I miss seeing the volunteering tee in here, and I’m not sure when the museum is going to open again.

March 2020 Clothes


March 2020 Accessories


(Just putting it out there again that this is a “what happened this month” sort of blog, and not a “you should emulate this” blog)

I have just officially totally given up on any kind of shopping limit for this year. I felt I’d been doing pretty well, maybe not on track for only 15 items max in 2020 but definitely not like, 80.

At the end of last year I identified that almost all my shopping happened during my (public transit commute), so I purchased a YouTube Premium subscription and downloaded videos each evening to watch during the next day’s commute instead. I also made weekly trips to the local consignment and thrift stores to scratch any shopping itches, which was okay since those are usually less fruitful than having the entirety of ecommerce at my fingertips.

I’ve always found that replacing unwanted habits with other lower-friction or similarly appealing things is really the only effective thing for me, and I was so pleased with myself for having taken some successful steps to curtail my browsing habits.

Of course now I’ve been working from home (I started in early March, two weeks before the official shelter in place order in the Bay Area) those carefully crafted tracks have just totally gone, and there was the addition of a lot of stress. A lot of it from news for the first few weeks, and then increasingly from having to work out logistics of things like groceries, additional cleaning and cooking, and making cloth masks, adjusting to working from home (hopefully goes without saying, but I am so, so, so thankful that this is an opportunity for me – both to keep my job and to not have to go outside for it. But that doesn’t mean I have zero stress.), and the cancellation of pretty much all my activities that kept me busy and sane resulted in a lot of spiraling down the internet hole.

Though I have more computer time, I’m not completely idle – I still have to work and cook and clean and I take dance classes over Zoom. But I am going to need to brainstorm for alternate methods of curtailing shopping that don’t rely on willpower, but rather on offering a related low-friction alternative activity. I have some previously-started projects that I will probably pick up again.

Anyway, I have a lot of shiny new things. A lot of them are accessories, tops, and cardigans. Those have always been relatively less-stocked areas of my wardrobe because I just find it easier to find bottoms (sans jeans), and I’ve found that I tend to lean on shoes and outerwear for the structure and visual interest in my outfits. The wardrobe imbalance became a lot more apparent once I wasn’t wearing shoes and coats daily.

We’ll see how this all goes.

The more irregular looking listed prices probably include tax and shipping. I can’t be bothered to divvy up the tax/shipping price from multi item orders.

Madewell “Daisy Delight” enamel jewelry set (these are now sold out)

drop stud earrings $28.00

small hoop earrings $28.00

I thought both this and the above were equally cute when I first saw them, but I find that I like to wear these more because they feel a tiny bit more interesting and less like I should be wearing them with pearls.

daisy hoop earrings

friendship bracelet set $26.00

I love that this is adjustable and dainty. I have pretty small wrists and have trouble finding bracelets that fit. It comes in a set of two but I’m keeping both 🤷🏻‍♀️

daisy bracelet

pendant necklace $36.00


Urban Outfitters Snake Earrings $22.31

Pictured above. I find it pretty rare to find snake jewelry where the snake simultaneously

  • is slightly stylized
  • does not have a huge or tiny head (usually they are too large)
  • generally doesn’t look like a tadpole/reproductive cell (I’m not averse to the word, just paranoid about spam bot accounts somehow picking up on it)
  • is not an ouroboros (I know they’re supposed to symbolize infinity or some shit but I love snakes and that motif makes me sad)
  • have at least some attempt of shaping the head instead of just tacking on an oval shape (#notallsnakes but I find the python shape generally the most cute/appealing)
  • has the eyes further back on the head (many of them seem to place the eyes closer to where the nostrils should be and this looks particularly off especially when there is no additional shaping)

This one wasn’t the platonic ideal of snake jewelry, but it was still good! And I’ve been passively looking for snake jewelry for a long time. But that said, it’s UO jewelry and the quality is not much better than what you’d get at F21, though the price is higher.

Free People “Moon River” cardigan in sierra combo, size small, $107.07

I have a full fit / quick review post of it here. If you look for this I’d definitely check multiple sites, the sale price varies a lot.


Free People Moon River cardigan in cream, size small, $49.97 (pictured in the wall-o-text below)
Free People Moon River cardigan in yellow, size small, $49.97


Free People Moon River cardigan in sierra combo, size small, $49.97

I liked the cardigan so much that when I saw they were on sale at Nordstrom Rack when writing up the review for the first one I ended up getting the rest of the colors. Texture! Color! Not 100% acrylic or polyester! On trend! (I don’t insist on having an entirely on-trend closet, but it is nice to have some trendier option for each clothing category so you can mix and match it with older things. And I will still wear an outfit I know is dated or frumpy out, but I just feel a lot better knowing that it was a choice and not just because I didn’t know better.) It’s actually cropped on me! It goes with all my bottoms and I can throw it over any camisole or bodysuit or thermal and feel great!

I hadn’t felt this on-board with any new purchase for a long time. I was put off from cardigans for a while but now that coats and jackets are not really on the table for wearing around indoors I am 100% back on board.


I think before I was put off because I had initially bought a few from H&M (one of those overly-trendy fast fashion stores which I assumed must then only sell on-trend things, but turns out you can still totally built yourself a dated-looking outfit from new things at almost any brand) in 2016 when I first had interest in intentional dressing. I got feedback on my first top level post to r/femalefashionadvice that the cardigans were notably dated.

It made me so sad because I was initially very proud of that purchase, as it was one of my first “for the wardrobe” purchases vs aimless browsing of a clearance rack. There were so many other things I could focus on in my clothes that I just dropped cardigans as a focus for the next few years. (don’t @ me about ~*wear only what you love, fuck the haters~)

It’s weird looking back at that post because I’m so smiley (some of the comments were like “I love how happy you look!”). Now I’m now perpetually cranky but fashionable (at least assuming sincere feedback on instagram and WAYWT) and have less acne, but sometimes I wonder if I’d have been happier just having never gone down this rabbit hole, or just cranky and unstylish.

I really did not know what I was doing though and it made me uncomfortable when I had to get dressed for important events and knew that I looked bad. Given my personality type I’m not sure it would have been possible to get in enough to understand proportion, fabrics, formality, etc and not get completely sucked into it and become hypercritical of every outfit. At this point I’m just hoping it will mellow out with age :/

Reformation “Vita” ribbed long sleeve top in black via Nordstrom, size large, $58.50

Not sure if it comes across here, but I have space buns and not the world’s tiniest sad single bun. First Reformation item and I have to say it is nicer than all the ref knockoff stuff I’ve encountered (not that they have a patent on that ~romantic trendy minimal elegance~  whatever you call it style, but they are heavily associated with it now). Still, doesn’t objectively wow in terms of quality.

Based on how thin and clingy the fabric is I suspect that the white and brown colorways would show any outline of a bra clearly.

reformation vita top

Free People “Tasha” thermal in ivory via Nordstrom, size medium, $51.00

Anne of Green gables puffed sleeeeves dreams come true. It’s a waffle knit which I feel makes it easier to wear with jeans than if it was silk or rayon or lace or whatever. Sleeves are a bit too long on me and I have to push them up + I wouldn’t wear it while cooking because the ties would get annoying. But I feel like a Disney princess in this and it’s really fun.


Madewell via Poshmark “Sunday” flannel in Emmy plaid, size small, $50.81

This is purely something bright and happy to wear around the house. It’s very dowdy on me, especially from the back because it’s so long and loud and shapeless. But man, that plaid. The colors! Also it had side pockets, which is pretty convenient. Though it also makes it a huge pain to hem significantly.

Free People “modern femme” faux leather mini skirt in black via Nordstrom, size 10, $45.00

I have another faux leather mini skirt, which was originally I think slightly longer than this one, but I got it hemmed too short and now am only comfortable wearing it for ~going out~ and found myself wishing I hadn’t cut it so short. Now I have two length options.

I wore it in this outfit for indoor fancy date night, watching a recorded version of SF Ballet’s last show since they had to cancel the rest of the runs.


(if you missed them the last time around, these Leg Avenue snake fishnets are in stock again on Sock Dreams)

snake tights and pointy flats

Madewell Multicolored Shapes Barrette $12.95 (sale)

I was wearing my gold feather barrette a lot and wanted another option. This reminds me of those polished rocks that they sell in every science museum gift shop and that I had as a kid.

Honestly I feel like the Forever 21 barrette is better made. Whoever named Madewell is a freaking genius because literally every time you type it, it’s getting some PR into your subconscious.

Madewell Two-Pack Multicolored Shapes Alligator Hair Clips $15.40 (not in stock anymore, sale)

Hadn’t gotten on the small barrettes train yet even though it’s been all over Instagram for a while, mostly because I don’t find them practical (I have to additionally use bobby pins if I actually want to get my hair out of my face, getting rid of the whole point of hair clips), but these spoke to my inner rock collector.

Madewell Acrylic Circle Barrette $8.75

I saw this one and thought it might be nice to diversify my accessories a bit from exclusively nature motif things. This feels very generically trendy to me.

I’m listing the running tally of my purchases and purged items at 2020 Wardrobe Diff (probably not the best page name for SEO or whatever, but diff made the most sense to me). Behold, what I suspect is a clinical addiction.

Purge Limbo

Nothing added to the queue yet, though I did decide to give the brown corduroy trousers another chance. I still think they’re bigger than I’d ideally like because with the bagginess and a 13″ rise, the silhouette they make on me is a little extreme unless I have a mock neck or turtleneck or a top that otherwise has heavy visual interest (read: not something I can throw on with tees or my easy scoop neck long sleeves).



Here are a few from March that I liked. Also, check out this week’s other post if you haven’t already! There are a couple more recent outfits there Storybook Style: A Pinterest board, some outfits, and a detour down the rabbit hole of internet aesthetics

(If you made it this far down reading from the subscriber email, it looks like these don’t render in that format, but they will show on the blog).

View this post on Instagram

2020-03-06 Friday 🦢I was listening to some of the Odile music from Swan Lake this morning so here I am. It is conveniently dreary enough outside for a long coat but not actually cold enough to need a sweater under it too. . 👑 I like to have my hair away from my face when I wear this top so I don’t feel like I’m being engulfed in curtains of black. I started with a ponytail (a gibson tuck would be ideal to get it all up but stay soft, but my hair has a lot of short layers on the inside and I’m not about the 40 bobby pin day-hairstyle life) but I felt that I really needed some kind of headpiece for ~the look~ so I switched to a padded headband (with accompanying claw earrings). . 🦉 With monochrome outfits I always try to cram in as much texture as possible so it doesn’t feel flat and drab or like a big pile of one fabric. I like the extra depth here from the sheer layer of the lace blouse. . ✨ And the grey herringbone drapey wool blend coat is always fun. It’s got that kind of cape/cloak vibe but it works with a backpack. . 🎭 I got this new enamel daisy bracelet from Madewell which is great because it’s fully adjustable!! And not with those fiddly clips, either, it just slides. I’m hoping it will hold up decently but I’m not expecting it to last forever given their average quality. I rarely see slidey bracelets that are also cute though so I wanted to try this. I find most adult bracelets are too loose but sometimes I want another option besides a watch. . 56/47F ☁️

A post shared by Margaret 🔬 OOTDs in-depth (@mgetsdressed) on

Hope you all are staying as safe as possible. As complain-y as this post was about the zeroth world problem of irresponsible shopping decisions, I don’t think it’s something I’m alone in as a reaction to stress and isolation (at least, there were many people in the same boat in a discussion thread on reddit). Honestly, April has been pretty similar. I don’t know. I’m trying to virtually keep in touch with people, exercise, eat better, and donate to charity regularly. Re-kicking the shopping habit hasn’t come up my priorities queue again until now, but at this point I’ve exhausted my compulsive news reading (this was really all-consuming for a few weeks), so I think I can work on that.


  1. Plaid’s rad.

    I refuse to convert currency but is everything at Madewell or Reformation really expensive or what?

    You looked very nice this month! For what it’s worth, I liked your old outfits too and I think your smile sold them well.

    I hear your reaction to the stress of the pandemic and I want you to know that it’s ok to stress buy. I’m no arbiter of right and wrong but whatever keeps you going imo. Any glimmer of happiness, however brief or from whatever origin, don’t feel guilty for experiencing. We’ll get through this and sort out the fine details of dismantling the coping mechanism when we don’t have to cope anymore. Though I’m only saying that it’s not as unhealthy as some methods. Don’t start a meth habit on my account.


    1. Reformation is typically pricier (they market themselves as having relatively more sustainable practices than most mall brands, though I haven’t personally gone looking for researching verifying any of it) and I’d put Madewell somewhere in the middle for mall brands – more $ than say, Gap, but still not high end.

      Haha definitely not planning on getting into anything more intense than shopping. Gotta keep the savings account going though.


      1. Imagine if the Tiger King cast did nothing harder than fast fashion instead of meth. Totally different documentary.


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