A timely query for silvery lavender

April's quest for silvery lavender tops was timely for me. I had the color on my mind as one to keep an eye out for. Specifically I wanted it to go with a jacket I made a few years ago, which I have trouble wearing, even though it should go with a lot of my clothes.

I went to Aritzia to see if I could try any of the tops Inge found for April. I came home with this one. It's very oversized. This is a size down from my usual, and it is still big. But I like the look and feel of it. I think it brings a little attitude to the jacket. I also tried it with my new blazer bought at NAS (which has a thin line of purple running through the checks), and with a knit vest that I also like to pair with an oversized blouse.

One thing I'm bummed about: I paid full price, and when I looked it up online to make the Find, I see it's on sale. If I had paid the sale price, though, I wouldn't be able to return it. So if I decide to keep it, I'll see if I can get a price adjustment (or return it to the store and order it online).

photos:
1) The shirt on its own. I buttoned the cuffs two ways. The sleeves are a little long, but when I button the cuffs on the second button, they sit fine, and I don't feel the sleeves look or feel too-too long. I buttoned the other cuff after turning it back, creating a faux cufflink effect, a trick I like to use sometimes.

2) With the jacket that could use a companion.

3) With my new blazer (1.State).

4) With a slate gray and off-white marled knit vest (OSKA).

5) What I wore shopping. Boyfriend jeans (Citizens of Humanity, Emerson); dusty teal t-shirt (Madewell); hemp knit off-white jacket (OSKA); off-white loafers (Open Edit); sage cross-body camera bag (Madewell).

I'm thinking I'll probably keep it, but am open to your thoughts.

P.S. They have the same shirt in cotton and in linen. I got the cotton one; didn't see the linen in store, but I'd prefer the cotton anyway, for year-round wear.

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couldn't resist the boilersuit

You Look Fab strikes again! I couldn't resist trying a boilersuit after all the cute looks posted here. I scoured the possibilities online and decided to try the style by Madewell that Angie got in pink. The green was just the right color for me, though I wasn't sure I wanted to be that green from head to toe! When I tried it on in the store, I was surprised to find that I loved it. (As many have pointed out, fitting a one-piece garment is about as hard as it gets; and I tried to keep my expectations low.)

My other choice is one that I have tried on before at OSKA, but, even at its current sale price, it is quite a bit more expensive than the Madewell one. (And bonus: Madewell was having a sale, too.) The OSKA boilersuit is a softer fabric and a slouchier style, and you can see it here. I liked it a lot, and to be honest, I liked the fit on me better than on the model. I am shorter, so it didn't pull at all in the seat as it seems to do on the model.

I haven't cut the tags on the Madewell boilersuit yet. I'm leaning to keep it, but also still wondering whether I should get the OSKA one instead.

I am a little concerned about how much I will wear this piece,
given that I have a pair of overalls that I ended up wearing hardly at
all. But I do feel less hokey in the boilersuit. I feel it is a little
more sophisticated, somehow. Though my DH suggested, in his typical
"helpful" way, that perhaps I should embroider my name above one of the front pockets.

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Keep? or get the denim one from OSKA? (The OSKA one is non-returnable, so I can't bring it home and try it on, then take it back; you'll just have to imagine it on me.)

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Found? Spring raincoat

I posted here about whether to look for a replacement for my torn blush trench coat. Taking in the wise comments you all offered, I thought about what I really need and want. I decided I could forego a new coat and get along just fine. But I also am in the mood for something new, if the right one came along. And the right one would be a pretty shade of blush again--I still really like that color and want to continue wearing it this spring and summer. Or another color that strikes my fancy--I'm not opposed to something different, if I'm really drawn to it. And I would like something that is sporty, rather than classic--so not another trench.

I think the Sosken Honor rain jacket may be the winner. It was love at first try-on when it arrived. I love the color, the updated, oversized fit, the fabric (which is like a tech fabric, but really nice quality).

I waited to try the Zella Cinch Me parka, which arrived today. I tried it despite the color, which didn't thrill me in the online photos. I thought it might look chic in person. But it's too silver for me, and the fabric is more like a typical rubberized slicker. It's a great value, just not quite what I wanted.

In case it's of any use to others, I was disappointed by fit of the Kristen Blake Tech hooded trench coat that I ordered; the color was lovely, and the coat is beautifully made. But while the coat fit across the shoulders, it was too narrow at the hip for me. I didn't take photos.

So I thought I'd share photos of the Sosken and Zella coats, just fyi. And in case you want to try to talk me off the ledge with the Sosken, which is a big investment for a lightweight coat. I do tend to hang on to these things for a long time, so I think I can justify it. Plus, I wanted to show you my most recent (and final, for this season!!) addition to my sneaker capsule, and a new bag I made.

Photos 1-3: Blush rain coat (Sosken Honor rain jacket), new blush-silver slip-on sneakers (Mephisto Korie); pastel Pendleton stripe bag with blush snake print pleather (made by me).

Photos 4-6: Silver rain coat (Zella Cinch Me parka), same shoes and bag as above.

Thanks for looking, and I welcome your thoughts!

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WIW to shop for shoes I don't need

Yes, I ended up buying shoes. They are a low-heeled pump with an ankle strap. I'm thinking of them as my version of the ever-popular Sam Edelman Okalas that Angie and so many YLFabbers have.

I rarely wear pumps, but I like to have them on hand for times when I want to dress up and really need a dressy shoe. I'm excited to have a pair that is light-colored (my other go-to pumps are black), and a low enough heel that I might actually wear them for non-dressy occasions. (We shall see about that; I always think that about pumps, and then I don't wear them.) I like that the heel is closed. The ankle strap hits me in a place that works for me (above my ankle bone), and it's actually long enough to go around my ankles. Ooh, and look! You can move the buckle to the side or the front (photos 3 and 1)! I love that feature!

I don't know how AGL does it, but they manage to make a rather dainty-looking shoe that flattters my high-volume feet. That's why I have collected a few pairs of their ballet flats--AGLs are the only version of that style that I really liked both the look and feel of on me.

The shopping outfit, with the new pumps, and with the shoes I wore shopping:
1-3: dark skinny jeans (Mother, the Looker, "coffee tea or me" wash); light green tee and long cardigan (Halogen); light blue prism-print scarf (Nordstrom); nude ankle strap pumps (AGL, Claire).
4-5: the outfit with taupe oxfords (Paul Green, Dale); navy trench (London Fog); gray backpack (Rebecca Minkoff).

Thanks for looking! I welcome your comments and suggestions.

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WIW & WIB: new coat and tee

I haven't posted outfits for a while, mostly because of a new schedule, but also I'm not that motivated. I feel I'm kind of on auto-pilot dressing, and my culled wardrobe makes it easy. Today, I decided to post because I'd like some feedback on this coat that hitched a ride home with me from Banana Republic.

Some background on the coat. I have been on the lookout for a warm winter coat. I've been wanting one that would cover my knees and be suitable for winter visits to the Midwest. I have considered down/puffer styles, and have tried on a few, but I really prefer good old-fashioned wool for my style.

After looking around online and in stores for a while, I haven't found anything that I'm crazy about within my budget, or perhaps even out of my budget, for that matter. The length is hard to find, and something not black or gray--well, that's just about impossible. I realize what I need to do is make the burgundy-toned coat I've been intending to make for 2 or 3 years now. It's a daunting project, and I keep putting it off. Yesterday I started the pattern work on it, and it's possible I could finish it in a few weeks.

Meanwhile, the coat I bought today isn't what I've been looking for--it isn't as long as I want, and it doesn't seem like it will be particularly warm. (Though there is room to layer a thick sweater underneath--a bonus.) So it doesn't preclude my long-put-off sewing project. I thought it was pretty cute, in the classic-with-a-twist way that always appeals to me. And it was ridiculously inexpensive (marked down further than what's shown on the website, plus an extra 40% off). So I could wear it a couple of seasons and not feel guilty about passing it on after that, right? What do you all think?

Yay: fun style to play with for a season or two
Nay: misguided impulse purchase

Photos 1-3: the coat (Banana Republic, Flocked-Hem Long Peacoat).

Photos 4-5: The outfit (worn for a day off and shopping): Straight-legged jeans (Kut from the Kloth, Stevie); mixed-media landscape print tee in brown and cream (made by me); taupe shredded-knit cashmere blend shrug (made by me); black and brown belt with studs (Suzi Roher); espresso moto boots (Miu Miu). This is the first outing for the tee, one of my recent creations.

Thanks for looking! I appreciate your feedback.

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wild cards & organized emotional shopping

In response to Angie's post about "Organized Emotional Shopping," I wrote that I carry around a mental list of what I’d like to have, usually for items
that 1)are going to help me wear things I already have or 2) represent
trends that I want to pursue.
I added that I recently bought a pair of shoes that did not meet either of these criteria. I feel like they are a departure from my usual style. And they are not only a departure, but perhaps one that harks back to a former style rather than moving my style forward. And yet, I bought them and at the moment plan to keep them. Perhaps I could be persuaded to return them, but I'm more intent on discovering all the ways I might wear them.

The shoes are clunky, cutout booties (Kork-Ease, Stina), which in the photos below, I just put on with what I was wearing earlier in the day. They are also shown as a Find. They seem more in keeping with my style of a few years ago, when I loved my Ariat clogs and other clunky shoe styles. Part of my attraction to rounded toes, chunky heels, and clog soles was that I felt they balanced out my calves, which are relatively large for my overall body size. I have since gotten over that idea and have gradually moved toward more refined footwear. One of my style goals in the last couple of years has been to aim for a little more sophistication.

And yet, here I am with a pair of shoes that are hardly refined and sophisticated and could possibly be the antithesis of those things. So what gives?

I came up with the theory that these shoes may be a wildcard for me--which Angie defines as "an item that is atypical to your style persona, but that speaks to you in some way."
Which makes me wonder if wildcards help put the emotion in organized emotional shopping. These particular shoes seem to speak to the same part of me that the arty pair of green/brown oxfords I toyed with last summer did. I ended up returning those, but these I don't have the same hesitation about.

What do you think? Where do wildcards fit in this OE shopping scheme? And what do you think of these shoes for me?

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A treatise on the oxford hunt

The backstory
My oxford hunt continues, even though I am ostensibly participating in Aesthetic, Ascetic August. I ordered metallic oxfords from Banana Republic and, after helpful forum guidance, returned them. Ultimately I didn't like the synthetic lining or the shape of the shoe on my foot.

Then I bought the Stuart Weitzman brogues on the last day of NAS, figuring that since the sale started in July, my purchase could be considered a continuation of July's sale purchases. They didn't work out, though, so I returned them. (I swear they fit in the store! They felt clearly too small at home.)

My impulse for oxfords is to have a pair that goes with things that my  well-loved caramel Born Arlettas don't go with. And that I like better than my current second pair of oxfords--black Josef Seibels. I have worn the Seibels quite a lot, though I find them a little hard to style without having them feel too, I don't know, unflattering? I was thinking a different style in black could work as my not-brown oxford, but I was also wanting metallic--and then you all opened my eyes to the possibility of metallic instead of black. Then there is the question of vibe, or oxford genre. What I like about my Seibels, besides the #1 consideration of comfort, is that they are kind of funky while also being, well, a traditional, or classic shoe (an oxford, after all). What I don't like about them is that they are on that razor's edge between funk and frump, and admittedly some might not actually see the funky or arty possibility in them.

The latest attempt
Yesterday, I came home with a very different, quirky pair of oxfords. Not metallic and not black, but a blend of colors that works well with a lot of my wardrobe. They are a style called Fox, in the Cliff Dweller line from Cydwok, and they are a "painted" leather in shades of green, deep teal, brown, taupe, and a little tan.

The photos
Here they are:
1: a photo I found on the web. The colors in mine look deeper and less light-green.
2-4: The shoes on me, with the outfit I wore yesterday. I have not taken any other styling photos yet--sorry--but I will do so when I get a chance.

The last photos are of my outfit yesterday:
5-6: Dark brown shorts (Eddie Bauer); turquoise v-neck tee (Caslon); tan belt (Trafalgar); jean jacket (AG, Robyn); caramel oxfords (Born, Arletta); navy and tan satchel (Dooney & Bourke).

More thoughts--pro and con
A little more info on the oxfords: They are very comfortable. You've probably heard me go on about my Think! sling-back Mary Janes (the Aida style below) and how great the arch support is in them. They are a no-fail shoe when I need comfort all day. I imagine these oxfords to be similar, because they are made with a steel shank and molded arch support. Unlike the Think! shoes, these have a negative heel, like the old Earth shoes (not sure if Earth still does that). I never got on that bandwagon, but I do find these comfy. I really like the idea of an oxford that I could count on for great support, for my increasingly fussy feet (recent plantar fasciitis).

On the other hand, I have been aiming for more sophistication in my style: more tapered-toe shoes, more jackets or stylish pullovers. Pre-YLF, I lived in closed-back clogs by Ariat--they were stylish, but still clogs--with my jeans, tees, and cardigans. I have an arty streak and a little bit of boho, but artsy-craftsy is not my style.

I did try on these shoes with a few things but didn't get photos. I liked them with chino pants, especially rolled up, and I can see them with skinny or narrow jeans (what footwear does not go with those? Okay, maybe clogs. . . ). I thought I might wear them with narrow skirts that hit at or just below the knee. I might even wear them with my Eileen Fisher harem pants.

What say you? Am I fooling myself with these shoes, looking at them through comfort goggles? Or are they an arty style that could work for me?

If you've stayed with me this far, thank you. And thanks in advance for your thoughts!

eta: new photos of the shoes. . .

7: on my feet

8: with what I'm wearing today 

9: with harem pants and tops I'm wearing today

10: with harem pants, denim shirt and wine hi-lo sweater

11: with wine corduroy skinnies and sweater

The shoes are an easy match for my browns and greens, but I wanted to see how they would go with black and wine, and of course, the harem pants, which I mentioned. Not sure about oxfords and harem pants, but that kind of potential pairing is one thing that makes me hesitate about another brogue style like my Borns.

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AGL tall moto boots from NAS

Me again, with another Nordstrom Anniversary Sale purchase. In my NAS report, I mentioned that I had ordered the AGL tall moto boots in brown. They came today, and I thought I'd show them here before returning them.

First, what I like about them: I love the color of brown--a deep espresso. The leather feels divine--so soft inside and out. The buckles are really nice--a subdued, burnished brass. The style, with a rounded toe, crossed straps at the ankle and a strap at top, is moto-inspired like a lot of current boots. But it can be worn like the classic equestrian style boots, too. That is, if they fit your legs.

What I'm on the fence about: I really like the round toe, but I'm trying to gather some more tapered toes in my wardrobe. And yet, this toe seems a little fashion forward, as the tapered toe has been strong for a while now.

Why I'm returning them: They are too tight on my 15" calves. Plain and simple. I could barely get the right one zipped up, over a knee-high stocking. There is a small elastic gore at the top, but it doesn't extend low enough on the boot to ease the fit over the largest part of my calf. The leather might stretch, but not enough to make them comfortable to wear over skinny jeans--the way I'd most want to wear these. Another slight concern (but not enough on its own to return them, probably): the leather is so luxurious, I'd feel very self-conscious wearing these on sloppy rainy days.

Just thought you'd like to see them.

I'm also showing photos of my current tall brown boots, for comparison. If the perfect replacement comes along, I'll upgrade them. For now, they are just fine! (And they cost half what the AGLs do, on sale.)

1-3: AGL Italia tall boot in espresso
4: AGL boots with their bag. Included this shot because I thought it was kind of funny--it looks like the boots would be a really tight fit in here!
5-6: Born Sosie, in tobacco (my current brown boots, from a couple of years ago). This style seems to be the same as the Roxie.

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my other NAS jeans: Hudson Beth baby bootcut

Really, how many pairs of jeans do I need? Well, I do wear them a lot. Let's see, I can't wear them to work (three days a week), but otherwise, they are pretty much in rotation 9 months of the year or more.
Though I will say, I've begun to realize there are only so many days in a year.

Anyway, I picked up these Hudson jeans to try on, simply because I like the pockets. I've always liked the Hudson flap pocket look, but whenever I saw them on sale and tried them in the past, they didn't fit. These came home with me, and today I put them on again to check the fit and the rear view, which is important to me. I thought I'd better take photos, because I can sometimes deceive myself with the mirror.

So, here they are for your consideration. As with my other post on straight-leg jeans I got at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, I am comparing these to a pair of Luckys I already had. Just to show I really don't need another pair of bootcuts. I will admit, I actually don't wear bootcuts as often as I wear straight/skinny legs. But the two pair of bootcuts are quite different: sometimes you need a flap on your pocket and sometimes you don't. And the colors are different, so I will wear them with different things.

photos 1-2: Hudson Beth Baby Bootcut jeans (new, tags still on). I've turned under the hem, because they are too long & will need hemming.
photos 3-4: Lucky Sweet Jean bootcut jeans (the ones I already owned), for comparison.

I'm not really inclined to return, unless you think the fit is off and/or I need to consider a different size. This purchase is just for fun!

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K/R: NAS Kut Stevie Straights

I got two pairs of jeans at Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. This is one of them: Kut from the Kloth Stevie straight leg. On me they are more like a skinny jean. My idea is to replace my Paige Skyline straight legs (also like a skinny jean on me), which I wore a lot--they were a real workhorse pair--but now are tighter than I want.

Now that I have the jeans home, I realize that they may be duplicating the Lucky Sweet Jean straight legs that were already in my closet. I bought the Luckys last fall a size up from my usual size--to serve as a slightly roomy but not quite boyfriend fit. They now fit me pretty similarly to the new Kut Stevie. When the Luckys had a more relaxed fit, they actually felt kind of frumpy; they weren't a favorite pair for that reason.

Photos 1-2: the new Kut Stevie straight legs. These are keep or return.

Photos 3-4: Lucky Sweet Jean straight legs, for comparison. (These are the ones that were already in my closet).

First thoughts: The Kuts felt amazing on, in the dressing room. Still do feel great. They were an immediate "yes" in the store. The fabric is thick and feels nice. I really like the wash, and the length and leg opening are great for all purposes (flats, heels, tucking into boots).

Second thoughts: a) I wonder about the back pocket design, though. Flattering or no? (Do they look like built-in panty lines??!)
b) I wonder if I'm being ridiculous to keep them, when the Luckys seem so similar. The Kuts somehow feel better, but in the photos I can't see why.

Third thoughts: I am willing to entertain keeping them even if they're duplicates.

What do you say, YLF wise ones?

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