Wardrobe Round-up: April 2020

April: Still social distancing, still mostly not actually wearing shoes.

shelf april 2020

As usual, no referral links in this post.

Wear Counts

Click the images to view them full size in a new tab.

At this point, I’m not finding the wear counts section very helpful. I like to have the collage recorded now for the year-end retrospective though. I think for now I will probably only write more extensively about wears per month about once a quarter when I check if there are any pieces that I didn’t use for a whole season.

Clothing and Shoes

53 items of clothing and shoes, although most of the shoes I just recorded as “would have worn” since I don’t go further than my building’s laundry room most of the time.

April 2020 Clothing

Accessories

I’ve not been very consistent at recording my earring usage, but overall I’m pretty happy with how consistently I’ve accessorized things given that I’m at home most of the time. While it’s nice to have a trash-outfit day every now and again it does make me a bit sad every time I have a week where I just didn’t get to wear many of my things that I love and have spent so long collecting.

April 2020 Accessories

Purchases

14 items kept. Having avoided the Nordstrom and Madewell sites, every purchase here is from Poshmark except 2 from eBay and 1 (to be returned) from Athleta. I think last round-up, I was thinking about replacement habits, since quitting any activity without a substitute has never worked for me. Well, I guess this is an improvement, since it’s at least all secondhand and I bought fewer things. But I’m not sure where to go from here. Pre-lockdown I’d been going to the local secondhand stores once a week or so (and usually coming out empty-handed, but having satiated the urge to file through clothes), and I don’t think there’s really anything better than that when it comes to weaning down a shopping habit.

As May continues on, just the way life stuff is going I don’t think I’m going to have so much time to waste on online shopping. I’ve been on a bit of an interior organization and decorating kick so I might end up spending more time and money on that instead. I’m not really in a place yet this year where I feel like I can put this front and center, but I’m hopeful that the numbers for May are looking better.

Still keeping a summary of the whole year’s wardrobe diff here.

Free People waterfall ruffle sweater dress size S $86.86 – The quality on this is amazing. It even has strap-catchers and came with a matching slip! But it’s (as I suspected but deluded myself out of) it’s too long on me to be flattering, particularly due to the thick fabric. It’s being used as ~luxe~ house dress. It’s not 100% the most practical, since I’ll have to hand wash it and it doesn’t have pockets. It feels like wearing a nice cotton blanket though.

Anthropologie “budding blooms” striped clutch $78.12 – This was on my Pinterest board for a long time. It’s one of those things where I figured it was out there enough that I wouldn’t want it anymore, but it really caught my attention every time I viewed the board for months. Of course by the time I wanted to actually get it, it was out of stock, but I was excited to find one for sale on Poshmark. Since I don’t go out much these days, it’s currently pulling its weight as a decorative textural element on my Aesthetic Shelving

BDG parker cardigan forest green size S $34.42 – Further discussed in the outfits section below. This one was a hit on Instagram and reddit.

Uniqlo x IDLF plaid button front corduroy midi skirt tan size 8 $48.63 – I basically collect these skirts now. I found that this came in a tan-based plaid, which I thought would be nice for more toned down looks when I’m not feeling the red plaid.

Uniqlo high neck ribbed top forest green long sleeve size M $18.04 – One of my staple basic pieces for the past few years has been a dark green rib knit crew neck top. I’ve often wished that it had a slightly more interesting neckline, as I find that when most pieces in an outfit have a heavy visual interest, the crew neck top feels too plain. Plus, with all the super high waist bottoms I have now, higher necklines usually look better in plainer tops in order to balance out the outfit.

(pretend the photo is dark green instead of olive)

BDG “parker” cardigan light gray size S $34.42 – I liked the green cardigan so much I decided to get it in a light colorway. Alas I thought based on photos and the “taupe” description that this would be beige, but it’s a very very light cool-toned gray. I found it paired really well with a lot of my activewear and loungewear though, so I’m still keeping it. I’ve been wearing it a lot mostly as a loungewear or throw-on-for-zoom-meetings thing.

BDG “parker” cardigan taupe size S $22.41 – This one is closer to the color that I originally wanted. I haven’t worn it yet though because I haven’t gotten around to hand washing it. It seems the old owner had a cat, which I’m allergic to.

BDG “parker” cardigan forest green size S $30.05 – The first cardigan it turned out had a hole in the shoulder. While thinking about how to best repair it, I thought it would be fun to embroider it. But I also wanted a solid version though, so I got ….. another one. This hasn’t actually arrived yet because the seller is taking their sweet time shipping it (I think this was purchased in the first week of April).

JoyLab gray mesh ‘rosaria’ top size L $23.50 – I was on a techwear and sci fi kick from one of the recent Theme WAYWT prompts, and I saw shipwreckghost and shellsinshoes talking about how Target’s JoyLab brand has a lot of really cool pieces. In checking it out I saw this top which I thought would be super cool for sci fi inspired active-ish looks or even costumes. The quality seems pretty solid (I’ve always found Target’s activewear to be good value, although I haven’t bought anything from there in 5+ years) and this was no exception, although the fabric is nowhere near as nice as what you’d find in Athleta/Lululemon/Patagonia/etc.

Uniqlo mustard long sleeve mock neck size M $18.04 – Once I confirmed the sizing of the green mock neck, I decided to get a light color one. My winter wardrobe is mostly white sweater and black base layers, so I wanted to have a cheerier color option.

This ended up more tan and less golden than I was hoping, so it isn’t the most flattering shade of yellow (not that it’s unflattering, it’s just “yeah, that’s a shirt” and not “NICE”) and despite being the same style and size as the dark green one, the arms are noticeably tighter. I recently saw another one of these that appears to be an orange in M, so I purchased that and will likely keep whichever looks better.

(tbh I can’t tell whether this stock photo is supposed to be the orange or the mustard one, but I suspect it’s orange)

This secondhand stock photo might be of the mustard?

The dream is to be able to pull random mock neck long sleeves / sweaters and the midi skirts during fall / winter and have multiple combos that work instead of just white sweaters.

Athleta inclination moto tight size medium petite in reddish brown $56.27 – Again on the activewear kick. I have all gray or black leggings except for one solid green one, and none of them have side pockets. This one seems to fit, has pockets that fit a phone (not handy during actual exercise, but nice for casual wear or lighter hiking), and is a definitively not-gray color, though earth toned and arguably still a neutral.

Uniqlo x IDLF red plaid skirt size 8 $39.89 – If you’re wondering why there are no size 8s of these available anywhere secondhand it’s possible I bought a good percentage of the available ones 🤔 I have this in a size 10 which I wear in the winter when I want to tuck a very thick sweater into it, but it’s too loose for wearing with standard layers. I thought it could be nice to have in my regular size as well.

Anthropologie ett:twa “Wesley” top white size M $22.47 (eBay) – I have this in an intense mustard color and have been looking for a white colorway. I’m not sure about the sizing on this, since the original one I bought in store was a small and fit comfortably, but another I bought with the intent to dye in the same color was a bit snug. I got this one a size up figuring if it was loose, I’d dye it, and if not, I’d just wear it. It’s a tiny bit loose, but not enough to dye. I don’t know. Sizing is a mess.

Anthropologie eyelet blouse size 10 $69.46 (ebay) – This is an exact duplicate of the white eyelet peasant style blouse I have. I’ve been looking for this for AGES and it felt like a miracle that the first I saw was in the right size. I’m planning to rotate these two tops and the mock necks with all my midi skirts during the summer-fall transition season.

Didn’t work

I’m going to need to re-sell or return these less shipping.

Athleta inclination moto leggings arbor olive M $81.93 – I was originally looking for a mid-tone color and couldn’t find any I liked on Poshmark or eBay. I know Athleta’s customer service is excellent so I decided that I might as well try ordering one from the website in an olive color that looked nice, thinking I could hem it if it was too long since it was a full length style and not 7/8. It turned out that in addition to the inseam being too long, the waistband was too high on me to the point where it would roll down if I bent over. It was also just a warm tinged gray and not anything I would describe as “olive”, so I returned this and ate the shipping cost (which honestly, is probably still a better return value than selling any popular brand on Poshmark that wasn’t purchased severely marked down in the first place)

Athleta inclination moto leggings lavender-gray M $38.79 – These seem to be an older model of this style, as the placement of the panels is slightly different. I’m guessing that the original owner was rather harsh on it with the washer/dryer cycles they used, as it had more pilling on it than I thought was possible with activewear fabric. It was also significantly smaller than either of the other two moto tights I got, to the point of being slightly uncomfortable even if it didn’t look too bad. The inseam was also ankle-length on me which I wouldn’t have expected from a regular sizing item from the brand. I resold these on Poshmark and ended up losing $10-15 in the whole process since I listed at the same price (which seemed fair).

Uniqlo mock neck ribbed top orange half sleeve size S $18.04 – This was just slightly too small. I could wear it, but the sleeves were starting to get into sausage territory. I did ask for measurements on this but it’s always hard to tell on stretch items until you actually put them on. I’m going to relist this one. The color was also a the slightest bit more muted in person than in photos.

Purges

Normally I am too busy to find it worth the time to sell on Poshmark, but since consignment is closed until further notice, I’ve sucked it up and started listing things. I expect that since most of the stuff I’m listing is not particularly interesting or trendy, while in good condition, it’s not going to sell unless it’s dirt cheap.

Even if an item is $5, with default tax and shipping that’s probably going to end up closer to $15 for most people, which is more than anyone would want to pay for a random t-shirt or shorts at a thrift store. I’ve listed most things for $5 or $10 but at this point I think I’ll probably just lower it to like $3 and $6 if it’s even possible on the platform because I just want this stuff out of the apartment (without literally throwing it away).

Madewell high rise distressed skinny jeans in black sea, 29P – I found I wasn’t reaching for these much, and even though it was petite sizing it was still slightly too long. Normally with a raw edge jean I’d just cut it and get on with life, but since these had knee rips, I found they had a tendency to slide down to slightly below my knees. Not far enough to look bad, just enough to bother me. I figured given their reasonable current desirability it’d be better off owned by someone else.

ASOS denim mom short, washed black, US 8 – I think I made like $2 from selling this for $5. There’s nothing wrong with these, but they were just too small.

Wish List

Sleeveless or short sleeve comfy dress – one that hits mid-thigh, is comfortable enough for loungewear, but cute enough to happily wear out. I have one sleeveless Modcloth dress but it’s a bit snug and made of quilting cotton, so not exactly lounge-worthy. The Free People dress mentioned in the purchases ended up being frumpty. My go-to dress for days when i don’t feel like thinking about clothes has been the green tiered eyelet dress, but it would be nice to have a sleeveless option (also one that’s just shorter, as that one still goes to my knees)

Accent color purse – All my bags are brown or black and there’s been enough times now where I’ve thought a purse to bring some color to an outfit would be perfect that I think it’d be worth getting one. Unless something is 110% perfect I’m probably going to go on the budget end for this because I don’t expect to wear it super regularly. Even once we can go out, I only use purses on the weekend anyway.

Postponed Wish List

In my area the official shelter-in-place has been extended through the end of May, and my employer has stated that they’ll likely be extending the WFH policy at least a few weeks past the official government relaxing theirs.

Things I don’t need for the next few months: outerwear and shoes.

It’s been interesting, sartorially, going through the WFH during warmer weather.

Denim jacket – After returning a Topshop one that didn’t fit pre-pandemic, I’d decided to try the Levi’s Ex-boyfriend jacket according to my takeaways from Emily Mariko’s review video. Something slightly retro but otherwise not terribly interesting.

Chuck Taylor 70s high tops in white – Apparently the 70s are better quality / more supportive than the standard ones. I love CTs and I wore through a few pairs in high school and college. Thought it’d be a nice option for light colored casual footwear.

Chunky platform sandals

Outfits

I’ve originally posted all of these to Instagram, where I also write about the particular styling choices I made and how it affects the outfit. I’m not copying that over here to avoid redundancy, but if you enjoy the blog and aren’t already following me on Instagram, I really think you’d like the content there too.

Overall I felt that I had a pretty solid month for outfits, possibly more than any to date.

Looking through a couple months of stuff also has me convinced that 40% of how I feel on any given outfit is based on how much my bangs are grown out (looking back, I always cringe a bit at photos where they’re shorter and choppy). I guess with quarantine I’m probably going to be keeping them long and trimming them conservatively, so maybe in the end I’ll come out with more outfits that get a boost from hair.

Aside from that, I enjoyed the sartorial freedom of WFH in the context of all those dozens and dozens of outfit challenges going on at Instagram right now.

Prompt-based

Pokemon

This Bug-type Trainer one was primarily for the Pokemon theme WAYWT on reddit. As usual, the colors photographed terribly, but the long sleeve top is green with a rib knit.

I went for the classic combo of sporty hat + loose pants stuffed into combat boots, colorblocking, layering, and bright secondary colors (primary would have been great too, but I didn’t have enough casual/techwear stuff to take that direction and palette).

2020-04-11

Techwear / Sci-fi

Techwear and sci-fi are basically the opposite of my main aesthetic preferences, so I had to get creative for these. I don’t think I’d have come up with either of them unless specifically aiming for a futuristic/apocalyptic style, so that was pretty fun.

This first outfit was more of a Mad Max / Tatooine / Desert Sci Fi look, with the raggedy handkerchief hem, tough shoes, and asymmetry.

This was a bit of a stretch submitting for “techwear”, but the crossbody belt bag at least was a clear nod to it.

2020-04-20c

2020-04-20d

This one was more on the minimal and wearable end. I rarely use these sneakers outside of exercise. With the athletic cut top and the just slightly fashion~ layered top, I think this is the first outfit with them which felt like a real look, and not just throwing things on. I felt pretty cool and sporty in this, though I don’t see myself significantly shifting my wardrobe weight towards these types of clothes.

2020-04-21

Kids movie

For #cinemasartorial on Instagram. Honestly for this one I reverse engineered which character to go with based on what was in my closet. I was happy to end up with one from a movie I still really love! “Dishonor on YOU, dishonor on your COW”

The headband is blue, though it looks pretty gray here.

2020-04-23

Villain

More #cinamsartorial. This was inspired by the generic evil-witch look of Bellatrix Lestrange as played by Helena Bonham Carter.

Probably one of my more creative looks when it comes to combining things, as this is a mini dress tucked into the midi skirt with a zip crop top over it.

2020-04-24

2020-04-24b

Storybook Style

aka the usual rustic-romantic flavored slightly extra outfits

Unironically Hobbit inspired

2020-04-14

A “costume lite” springy outfit inspired by the colors, textures, and details of the vintage adventurer style, a la Indiana Jones or Evelyn Carnahan characters.

2020-04-27

Probably how I will be styling this top 90% of the time. As intended, since I purchased it thinking it would be one of those “nice tops to go with jeans” things.

I will note for anyone thinking of getting a similar style, the long sleeve ties are impractical enough that I always change out of this if I’m going to be cooking or cleaning. I’ve been meaning to shorten them but realistically I don’t know I’m ever going to get to it.

2020-04-03

I think I’ve shared this a few times on the blog already at this point, but it was an April outfit. 70s flower power vibes, very fun and comfortable.

In further “items which are less awesome now that I’ve had them for a couple of weeks”, I find I’m not actually that into this cardigan. The quality is great but I find the argyle knit pattern on the back combined with the hip length cut means that in basically every combination except with this cream mini dress I feel like a huge cream box from the back. It’s not bad enough that I’m going to purge it, and I think that’s just intrinsic any light colored cardigan in this cut. I often feel guilty acknowledging these things, but I try to stay realistic about which pieces are really awesome and which are just alright. Not everything in a wardrobe is going to be 100%.

2020-04-02a

A red-riding-hood inspired look that I enjoyed enough to actually get outdoors photographs in. I always feel super cute in this blouse + midi skirt combo, although this particular skirt I now think I had hemmed too short. I initially had it shortened because I felt the fabric weight made it too droopy, plus I found that in the course of normal walking my shoes would catch on the hem and it was annoying. In retrospect I would have kept it about 2 inches longer because now the hem is at the widest part of my calf, which IMO is usually the least flattering spot a midi skirt could hit. But still, it’s a happy enough piece that I enjoy wearing it.

I find myself always clarifying something like “yes this is not the most flattering length but I still like it”, because I don’t want people to think that I don’t know it’s not a great length, but I also kind of hate myself every time I do that because it feels so insecure and defensive. Which I suppose it is, but I still spend a large chunk of my internet time on reddit and I haven’t gotten around to starting any therapy yet. I find myself really optimizing for the “intentional” look in outfits, no matter what style they are.

2020-04-17

Always fun when I get to wear this tried-and-true combo of thin cream sweater, brown braided leather belt, pleated cord trousers, and vintage-adventure-style boots. Even if the photo ends up incredibly grainy.

2020-04-08

The colors here didn’t photograph well at all (the top and headband are both spruce green, not black) but this was really fun. I felt like a character in a spunky detective librarian novel.

2020-04-20a

Better color + earring detail

2020-04-20b

Casual

In which there are many cardigans and sandals. I don’t go outside much but most of the time I try and pair shoes with my outfit just for practice.

This is basically the spring version of my “white sweater and light wash jeans” look. I really like how the dainty cable knit and the rouleau buttons on the cami give this outfit a little personal flair, while still remaining extremely wearable.

2020-04-14

This one is a sort of borderline storybook style / casual outfit mullet. It’s been a bit warm and indoors-based of a lifestyle these days to wear the cropped canvas wide leg pants + docs silhouette, but I miss having it in rotation. I enjoyed having my usual color palette as well as feeling like I hit that put-together but not fussy vibe.

2020-04-01a

I don’t know that I’m so on board with this that I’d wear it again, but it was fun to switch things up a little with the bright primary color palette and the barrettes.

If I’m gonna be honest with myself, the sleeves on this cardigan are too long, but it’s photogenic enough with certain poses or the sleeves scrunched up.

2020-04-16

Feeling very instagram/Pinterest basic here but I’m here for it. I feel like this type of dolman sleeve cocoon cardigan is a cut that’s on its way out at this point (corroborated by the fact that UO no longer stocks this cardigan, and it was one of their staple pieces for several years) but it feels SO GOOD to finally achieve a dream outfit even from the recent past.

I see why this was so popular – it’s super comfortable with an oversize fit but not oversize sleeves. Personally I like the cotton acrylic blend because it’s comfortable enough but also feels unfancy enough that I don’t worry about this knit while I’m wearing it.

Interestingly I find that on Instagram, this type of outfit is often what gets the most engagement. I think these more wearable looks gain traction on the petite or midsize style hashtags since the audience there is looking for personal outfit inspo, and most people prefer casual looks. Just a guess, since I can only see basic metrics.

2020-04-18

This cardigan serving its purpose as a pOp oF cOLoR in a nice easy Sunday outfit

2020-04-19

Whenever I do a poll on Instagram, people always say they want to see my “day off” outfits, but whenever I post them, they always end up getting like half the engagement of my “normal” outfits. I don’t take this to mean they’re bad, just not different, cool, or interesting enough to compel people to tap like.

Anyway, sometimes I still wear t-shirts. Usually it’s for pajamas or housecleaning stuff, but here’s one outfit I liked enough to actually submit to Instagram. This retro style Exploratorium graphic always puts a smile on my face.

2020-04-22

Sometimes I feel like I have an OOTD disease. This was originally supposed to be an IDGAF outfit, but I felt it looked too pajama-y, so I swapped out the shorts for a mini skirt, then everything felt too plain so I accessorized it. Of course, I did really like this outfit, but this happens more often than not where I just cannot let an outfit go and end up spending unnecessary (let’s face it, all my fashion efforts are long past the point of necessary) time adjusting it.

This doesn’t happen with activewear or pajamas or true practical outfits, but any “outfit for the day” will end up getting the full styling treatment and it’s exhausting.2020-04-25

Fun laser cut monstera earrings from the Conservatory of Flowers

2020-04-25b

Looking forward: May

For this month I’m participating in the May 30×30 challenge on Instagram, so I’m going to try and limit my item usage a little more than normal. To be honest, I feel like this is a colossal FU to all the awesome stuff I just bought (and that I already have), most of which was not included, but I think this is the only capsule challenge so far of the year, and I do always end up enjoying coming up with mix and match outfits for these. With all the additional internet interaction (and I’ve found that the instagram fashion circle I’ve fallen into is generally very kind to interact with) from a challenge hosted by a more established blogger, why not.

Other fashion things that might be nice are spending some more time fleshing out my paper wardrobe and cranking out a few non-recurring blog posts, including an updated version of the old how to style midi skirts post. I spent some time working on the OG Wardrobe Inventory and Outfit Logging post last month, trying to make the post more skimmable and include a summary. I felt really good about it afterwards, although I’m not sure how helpful it is in the end. I still get most of my pageviews on that post so I want it to be as well presented as possible. The midi skirts post was another popular one before I took it down (I really didn’t like most of the outfits I used in the photos, even if I still felt that they demonstrated the concepts at hand), so I want to do it (relatively better) justice.

On the side of more personal-exploration posts, I’m also thinking of doing a bit of navel-gazing when it comes to outfit formulas, or “uniform dressing”. Not in the sense that I’m going to go nuts and purge everything for a 50 piece capsule wardrobe, but just to revisit that idea of fine-tuning the go-to looks, and never stewing in that “nothing to wear” funk. I spent a lot of energy this month pushing my creative styling, so it makes sense that I’m kind of swinging back to fiddling with the familiar for a bit. I may also do a book review of the Storybook Style architecture book I found, just because it amused me so much to find basically an exact translation of a fashion style into architecture.

From the non-fashion side of things, not too much is going on, mostly just cleaning and cooking. I don’t think I’ve ever had this much time before to actually make the space a pleasant place to just …. exist. Although tbh it feels more like a cleaning compulsion than a zen thing, so we’ll see how long that goes.

One of my potted plants grew another leaf (the first one on a monstera that had an actual swiss cheese hole!!! I’ve had that plant for almost three years now), and I’m starting to think I may have planted about 4x as many green onions as we actually need because they’ve basically fully regrown after only a week. It’s kind of neat seeing how a lot of people have gotten into home gardens. One of the neighbors on floor above us adjacent to a sun deck got tomato and basil plants, and I’ve been seeing a lot of that online. Any other low-light apartment dwellers out there had success growing food or herb houseplants?

We’re still employed and generally healthy, so as much angsting and whinging I do here about outfit details, it really is pretty okay, considering. I’m at 4800+ words now, so I think I really just want to wrap this up (which is also how I’m feeling about this year, tbh). Hope everyone is doing as well as they can.

2 Comments

  1. I really like the Storybook Style and Casual outfits you wore. The Pokemon cracked me up as well. I’m in awe of the button-down skirts you have. The beige one you got from Uniqlo is really cute. I like that style of skirt, but I don’t own any yet. A long time ago I talked myself out of being a skirt/dress person. I only own one dress and zero skirts right now. I keep telling myself to get some to wear, but am afraid I’ll ignore them and just wear trousers/jeans as always.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! LOL the pokemon outfit definitely isn’t something I’d wear to the office (if I were still going to one) but it was fun to cobble it together from my stuff 😂

      I think if you’ve been admiring a type of item for several weeks or months it won’t hurt to try one out (especially if you can get one for less $ or secondhand). Can’t know if you will wear a skirt it if you don’t have it. The problem would be if you keep on buying the same type of item and not wearing it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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