WIW: a few casual outfits

Here are outfits from the last few days. The first one is what I wore in the evening to teach a sewing class; earlier in the day I had on the skinny jeans shown in outfit 3.

1-2 (worn to teach class): charcoal skinny ankle pants (Classiques Entier, City Weave); fuchsia cashmere boatneck shirttail-hem tunic (Halogen); gray short boots (Frye); fuchsia, purple, and dark blue scarf (Eileen Fisher).

3-4 (worn for a day off): dark wash boyfriend jeans (Kut from the Cloth, Catherine); gray and taupe open weave sweater (Kensie) layered over gray tissue weight tee; black belt with ornate silver buckle (Bed Stu); gray shimmer oxfords (Naot, Kedma).

5-6 (worn for a day off & shopping in the rain): medium-wash skinny anke jeans (Lucky, Charlotte Rail); charcoal and multi-color floral silk peasant blouse (made by me); black belt with ornate silver buckle (Bed Stu); short gray boots (Frye); taupe trench coat (Calvin Klein); black satchel (Elliott Lucca, Olvera).

Thoughts and suggestions welcome! Thanks for looking.


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WIW: a fall formula, dress & booties

While it's not yet too cold, I'm trying to get in some dress-and-booties outfits. I tried a couple of jackets over this dress, but went with a vest, since I don't yet need the warmth of a jacket over the long sleeves. I felt really good in this outfit.

The outfit (worn to work): long sleeved body-con dress in a knit that has a tiny-bubble texture, in tones of brown and white on black (made by me); black crinkle knit vest (Comfy USA); brown stretch leather belt with big hammered brass buckle; black tights (Commando); brown metallic booties with black elastic inserts (Donald J. Pliner); hammered brass earrings (Lucky); taupe trench coat (Calvin Klein); black satchel (Elliott Lucca, Olvera).
I've shown a detail photo that shows the dress fabric and the belt buckle up close.

I welcome your thoughts and suggestions for improvement! Thanks for looking.


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WIW: repeats & redundancy

Saturday I wore Angie's Mom on the Go Ensemble: The Statement Sweater. I wore it with two pairs of the same boots in different colors. In the morning I wore my new olive distressed suede boots. In the afternoon, I wore my older black version of the same boots, because I needed the black boots for modeling in a fashion show at Renee's Clothing (owned by my friend, Renee!) in Everett, WA, just north of Seattle. Thanks to Aida and her sister for attending--it was great to see your smiling faces in the audience and to visit afterwards!

Today I'm wearing the same outfit, but with flat black booties. Debating whether to change pants before going to a piano class this afternoon. I'm a little self-conscious about so much of my lower half exposed in these skinnies. I know I've gotten some feedback before about not wearing leggings as pants. I guess I am still unclear on skinnies versus leggings, perhaps in part because straight-legs fit me like skinnies and skinnies fit me like leggings! I know the safest route would be to just cover up (or change) when in doubt, and maybe I'll do that.

The outfits:
Olive sweater-knit cocoon pullover with crossed front panels and cowl neck (Nally & Millie); black skinny jeans (Eileen Fisher); olive coat (Laundry by Shelli Segal); black satchel (Elliott Lucca, Olvera); olive distressed suede boots and black distressed suede boots, both with spat design over the foot (Donald J. Pliner, Devi); flat black booties (Munro, Lexie); hammered silver and brass concentric-circle earrings (Marjorie Baer); leather wrap bracelet with silver and brass beads (Lucky).

eta: changed to ruched black knit tube skirt (Vince Camuto), black tights, and the Munro flat black booties--photos added.

Thought and suggestions welcome! Thanks for looking.


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WIW: paired orphans, midi LBD & scarf

A lot of the garments I make would fit the description, "It seemed like a good idea at the time. . . ." I made this black dress thinking it would be a great canvas for accessories, footwear, and jackets that I wanted to get more wear out of. After all, a little black dress is supposedly a wardrobe workhorse, right? I made this black midi shift dress with sheer sleeves some time back (a year or more), and I'm not sure whether I've actually worn it. I think I might have worn it once. When I finished it, I felt like it looked a bit like funeral wear. Nice to have in case the occasion arises, but not something I reach for. I have more fun things to wear for just about any occasion, even if someone invites me to the symphony or a play.

Today I decided to wear the dress with a scarf that I think was part of the inspiration to make the dress. I bought the scarf because I really liked it, even though I wasn't sure how I'd wear it. Clearly it would go with charcoal, and I do have quite a few charcoal things in my wardrobe. And it would go with black. I have worn it and even taken it on a trip or two, but it doesn't get a whole lot of wear.

The outfit (worn to work): black polyester crepe-backed satin midi shift dress (crepe side is out, satin side in--very comfy) with mesh-knit sleeves (made by me); ivory tissue weight wool scarf with sketched floral print in charcoal, pale green, and rouge (Asian Eye); black tights; black heeled booties with turn-down cuff (Munro, Grace); taupe trench (Calvin Klein); black satchel (Elliott Lucca).

I didn't feel fab in the outfit and probably won't wear it again. But it was serviceable. It got me and these two near-orphans out the door today.

I welcome your thoughts and suggestions! Thanks for looking.


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trying out pullovers & shirts

Today was my day to try a few pullover-and-shirt options. When I read Angie's blog post on this topic, I thought of a combination I wanted to try: a mint merino wool boxy sweater with a step hem over a big mixed-print shirt with a high-low and asymmetrical hem.

Photos 1-2: the shirt alone, over dark skinnies, with gray moto boots. The asymmetrical front on the shirt--one side shorter than the other--presents a little challenge for layering with a pullover.

Photos 3-6: the shirt with mint pullover sweater

While I was at it, I decided to try my problematic purple merino boxy sweater with the zip back over the same shirt. You all convinced me to hang on to the sweater and try layering it in other ways, to avoid the neck-chill problem.

Photos 7-10: the shirt with purple zip-back sweater

Later in the day, I tried on the new mauve print wool sweatshirt I showed here
with a gray silk blouse layered under it. I tried different jewelry options, starting with gray pearls, as Angie suggested. Mine are short, whereas I think she probably envisioned long ones.

Photos 11-12: the mauve print wool sweatshirt over gray silk collarless popover blouse (it has a collar stand, but no collar), with gray freshwater pearl necklace, earrings, and bracelet.

Photos 13-14: same outfit, but with two necklaces connected together and worn slightly differently. I connected my white and gray freshwater pearl necklaces together and wore them with the clasps aligned horizontally (in 13) and vertically for a pendant style (in 14). Not sure I'd go out of the house in either one, but was mainly trying to get an idea of length. What do you think?

Photo 15: same outfit with piano-wire necklace and bracelet.

Photo 16: detail of the blouse fabric (two prints)

My own conclusions: I love the cowl neck of the mixed print shirt layered under the pullover as I wore it today. The shirt-tail layering I merely tolerated. And I really like the gray blouse under the wool sweatshirt--I'll wear that one, definitely. Unsure about any of the jewelry.

Your thoughts or suggestions? Thanks for looking!


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WIW: sporty luxe w/ sweatshirt

I was influenced by the Karen's Summer Style post in which Karen wore a short, rolled-sleeve sweatshirt with a step hem over jeans. I loved the style on her and wanted to make something like it for myself.
Then I saw this "Valentin0 butterfly montage brushed wool" fabric on Emmaonesock.com and thought it would make a great sweatshirt to layer over long-sleeved tees (or blouses--if I had any that would work). The fabric was expensive, coming from current season designer ready-to-wear. I only needed a yard, to make a short-sleeved top. (I considered making it long-sleeved, but I thought it might feel pretty bulky, and it would have nearly doubled the cost of the garment!) It turned out there was only a little over 3/4 yard left, so I took the end of the bolt, and it worked out fine.

Today is its first wearing, as the weather hasn't been quite cool enough until now for fleecy wool. I decided to give the sporty look a little luxe with metallic sneakers. I think this sweatshirt would look chic over culottes, don't you? I don't have any yet.

The outfit (worn for a rainy day off): dark wash, undistressed boyfriend jeans (Kut from the Kloth, Catherine); eggplant crew-neck long-sleeved tee (Caslon); mauve, gray, olive, and ivory butterfly and flower print wool fleece cap-sleeved sweatshirt (made by me); pewter metallic high-top sneakers (Paul Green); black packable coat (Cole Haan); black satchel (Elliott Lucca, Olvera).

What do you think? How'd I do? Other styling ideas? As always, I welcome your thoughts and suggestions. Thanks for looking!


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WIW: column of charcoal

I had to bench myself on the long versus short cardigan competition, because I wear both. Here's my longest and newest one, a charcoal long boyfriend style, with step hem.

The outfit (worn for a day off): long charcoal cardigan (Halogen); dark gray coated skinnies (AG); hatchy-plaid print tee in grays, black, and white (made by me); flat black booties (Munro, Lexie); black packable coat (Cole Haan); purple specs; purple hobo bag (Kate Spade).

I tried some different options and would like your opinion:
1. cardigan closed, by buttoning a few of the buttons (photo 3) or open (photo1)?
2. pants worn over the back of the boot (photo 4)? or tucked to show the pull tab on the back of the boot (photo 5)?

As someone mentioned on the cardigan discussion, it is hard to wear a long cardigan if it's longer than the coats you usually wear. My outfit is an illustration of that problem. I am not fond of the cardi hanging out, but I'm wearing it like this anyway. I could get out a longer coat, but I'd rather wear this one, so I'm just trying not to stress over it. :)

Thanks for looking! I appreciate your comments and feedback!


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WIW: boyfriends and oxfords

Two days of boyfriend fits and my new gray shimmer oxfords here. These outfits grew out of a need for comfort, and I'm not entirely happy with how they look. I don't think boyfriend fits are as flattering on me as slimmer fits (skinny or straight leg jeans) or flares. I guess, or hope, they're JFE--just flattering enough. What do you think?

The outfits:
1-4 (worn to work): boyfriend chinos in cadet blue (Eddie Bauer); blurry print knit crossed-top tee in blue, gray, and ivory (made by me); stone and cream leather belt (Annette Goertz); gray leather jacket with quilted stitching (Halogen); gray shimmer oxfords (Naot, Kedma); olive coat (Laundry by Shelli Segal); navy and tan leather satchel (Dooney & Bourke). I took off the leather jacket at work, where it was unusually warm.

5-7 (worn for a day off): new boyfriend jeans in a dark, un-distressed wash (Kut from the Kloth, Catherine); mixed art nouveau print tee in greens, pink, taupe, and ivory (made by me); forest green cashmere shrug with open-weave sleeves and ruffle trim (made by me); belt, shoes, and coat, as above; taupe shoulder bag (Aunts & Uncles).

Thanks for looking! I appreciate your thoughts and feedback!


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WIW: fall workhorses come out of the stable

In the last couple of days I broke out some fall items--my taupe trench coat (essential) that I bought last year, and my olive boots (statement) from NAS this year. I expect both to be workhorses in coming months.

I'll join in the game and try to identify essentials and non-essentials/statement pieces in this post, as Alaskagirl suggested, and as Angie blogged about and elucidated on the forum.

The outfits:
1-2 (worn for a day off): taupe and white chunky knit cotton sweater (Amy Brill) [statement]; scarf in neutral shades (Asian Eye) [statement]; dark skinny ankle jeans (Lucky, Charlotte Rail) [essential] tucked into tall olive suede boots (Donald J. Pliner, Devi3) [statement]; olive jacket (Laundry by Shelli Segal) [statement]; taupe shoulder bag (Aunts & Uncles) [essential].

3-4 (worn for day off and work in evening): teal corduroys (Kut from the Kloth, Diana skinny) [statement]; teal, green, black marbled print knit peasant tunic (made by me) [statement]; taupe suede booties (Paul Green, Jano) [statement]; taupe trench (Calvin Klein) [essential]; taupe shoulder bag as above.

5-7 (worn to work): water-color-like print silk and cotton voile cowl-neck blouse (made by me) [statement] over navy tank (Tees by Tina) [basic]; navy linen knit drapey vest (made by me) [statement]; espresso skinny ponte pants (NYDJ) [essential]; denim ballet flats with navy cap toe and tan belt detail (AGL) [statement]; taupe trench, as above; navy satchel with tan trim (Dooney & Bourke) [statement]

I really am just stabbing at the pieces that Iabeled "essential." I wonder if they really are statement pieces instead. The ones I labeled statement seem more clearcut. What do you think?

Any comments and suggestions are welcome, on the outfits, categories, or whatever! Thanks for looking.


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WIW: something old, something new

Yesterday I wore older pieces, or at least not new this season. Today I wore new corduroys and my new oxfords. Over both outfits, I wore my black coat, and I brought out a purple hobo bag that I haven't carried for a long time. I'm not sure whether I carried it at all last year, but I still really like it. The color is so rich, and the leather so soft.

The outfits:
1-3 (worn to work): taupe cowl cardigan (AllSaints, Edgar); dark brown ponte knit wide-legged cargo pants (made by me); brown metallic booties (Donald J. Piner); brown metal tear-drop hoop earrings and necklace; black packable coat (Cole Haan); purple hobo bag (Kate Spade). (I tried to lighten up the photos so you could see some of the detail on the pants--they have a really long cargo pocket, extending from above the knee to mid-calf.)

4-6 (worn for a day off, and piano lesson): teal corduroys (Kut from the Kloth, Diana); mint boxy merino sweater with step hem (Eileen Fisher); read, teal, and purple tie-dyed silk scarf (Asian Eye); gray shimmer oxfords (Naot, Kedma); black coat and purple bag as above.

Thanks for looking! Any suggestions and thoughts are welcome!


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