Fuchsia Fail: Eventual Outfit added

So....today is Fuchsia Friday! And, uncharacteristically, I actually have someplace to GO; a former colleague's retirement party. It's at the university, in the library, and will take place between 3-5. Most people will be dressed in what they wore to work, which will mostly be jeans. Add to that, it's COLD today and I'll be walking.

The simple answer would be to wear some combination with my fuchsia jacket...maybe even just jeans and jacket...but I have worn that so much in the past month, and I'm a bit bored of it. So I wanted to try something different.

Here's what I came up with: my wintery dress (waving to dress twins Kari & Celia), my fuchsia silk top, my denim jacket, and my new BR scarf, which echoes the dress amazingingly. I am wearing silver earrings (with garnet insets) and a silver bracelet, plus the "shine" of the shirt's silver buttons. I tried it with different bootie/ tights combos, none of which work particularly well, IMO.

And riddle me this: Why do I look at my ordinary daily outfits (that are much more minimal) and think: MEH, BORING but then I look at this and think FUSSY and FEH!!

Not to mention the fact that I feel twice my normal size, but I guess that's a function of many layers.

I tried this dress just with the fuchsia jacket, but the footwear/tights issue became even more apparent then.

Maybe the answer is to put on the jacket and a pair of nice trousers and be done with it! I do have my grey Theory trousers that I could wear and I am sure I can find a good top to work with it.

ETA: the temps and your good advice won the day...it is SO cold. So, I am relying on the FB jacket. With the scarf. Copying Sona with the dark under layer...in my case, charcoal T-neck and trousers. Silver belt, zippers, cuff, and a necklace (which you can't see) for shine. And the first outing of the puffer coat this year.


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WIW: Taking Distressed, Slouchy, Skinny BF to the Movies,

....and working at home.

I am trying, really trying, to take pics of the real everyday outfits. It is a challenge because they feel boring. But I figure a record will help me figure out what works and what does not.

Sunday: We walked downtown for a family movie date. Slouchy Skinny BF jeans, puffer vest, brown cashmere T neck and my Reports with a scarf.

Monday: New BR detachable cowl-neck sweater in wine. My DL1961 skinnies - first ever premium denim!

Tuesday: Stripes and scarf. This is the LL Bean sailor sweater; it's longer than the Land's End one in petite. Not sure which I prefer. I ordered this one to replace the other, which is starting to pill a bit, but I can hardly complain when I wore it about 50 times over the summer and autumn.

Wednesday: AT shirt, a new sweater vest from Winners, black Really Skinnies. I think this looks better IRL for some reason.


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Brick & Mortar Love: Shirt Tales & Petite Pants Pranks

In a thread a while back, Unfrumped said: "in the "real" store you can touch, feel, see before you purchase and if you go to different stores and departments within a store, it becomes easier to compare items literally side-by-side, or at least via recent memory."

A few months ago, I had the rare opportunity to shop for a couple of hours in Toronto. I had to return my Zara moto and my badly fitting Brooks Brothers shirt. I also visited Ann Taylor. That was about all I had time for, unfortunately, but it was highly educational all the same.

I discovered quite a lot about fit in both Brooks Brothers and Ann Taylor. Some of what I learned is relevant to Laura's recent slouchy pants threads. (http://youlookfab.com/welookfa.....for-a-spin) So, my musings, in case they are of value to anybody else.

First, Brooks Brothers.

I had wanted one of their non-iron shirts for a long time. Over the phone, after discussion and the trading back and forth of measurements, customer service determined I should wear a petite fitted shirt size 2 or possibly a 4P if it were a tailored fit. I ordered a 2P. We saw the result of that in an earlier thread. The shirt is WAY too short.

(Evidence, Pic. 1) I ended up keeping the striped version simply because I can use it with skirts. But now, having been to the B&M store, I know my true size.

I tried on many, in both petites and regular.

Lo and behold, the best fit (except, predictably, for the sleeve length) was 2 regular in a tailored shirt (vs. the fitted style). The sleeves are not SO long that they look ridiculous full length, and since I scrunch them most of the time anyway, it really isn't an issue. (Pics 2 & 3)

Discovery #1: I can wear a regular shirt at Brooks Brothers -- despite being on the upper edge of petite height, and quite short waisted.

Second: Ann Taylor

In the past, I have had some success with Ann Taylor petites. I have a 4P jacket from them that fits perfectly, and also a silk blouse in that size. The sleeves and shoulders on both are ideal, and while the blouse is perhaps a bit loose in the body, it's loose in a good way. (Or so I think!)

On my shopping trip, because I *could* do so, I tried on both petites and regulars in a different silk blouse.

And here is what I discovered. The 4P blouse fit okay; in fact, the SA saw it and said, "That's a good fit." Which it was.

But the 0 regular fit much BETTER, except that the sleeves were a tiny bit long. Not a huge amount long, just a little bit too long. Not a problem for someone who always scrunches, and in any case, they can be folded back, like a French cuff.

Discovery #2: I can wear a regular shirt in AT! Yay! This expands my shopping options, so I am happy.

I also tried on a dress. I didn't compare the petite and regular. Just tried the regular size…and it fit!

Discovery #3: I can wear a regular dress in AT. Yippee! Another expansion.

In future I would like to compare dresses and see which is the best. I imagine it might depend on the particular style.

Lest anyone think that I'm simply a regular sized person who has been deluding herself that she's a petite, I can provide some counter-evidence in the form of Banana Republic, where the petite version of any top or jacket or skirt or dress will ALWAYS fit me better than the regular sized version.

Having said that, I NEVER wear petite pants, from ANY maker.

Umm…EXCEPT for Ann Taylor!

I have a pair of modern fit skinny jeans from AT in petite that I really like. Thing is, they are on the slightly slouchy side…probably a size up from my actual size (but I bought them just after I lost weight when I had no idea about my size). They fit quite snug when I put them on but an hour later the crotch point is sort of creeping lower a bit and they get a slightly looser look. To tell the truth, I don't mind it.

So, while I was at AT, I tried on pants in regular sizes. I figured, if the blouse and dress fit in regulars, won't the pants fit in regulars, too?

Um…no. They do not. Or at least I did not discover a pair that did. They were either too big, or just not proportioned correctly for me.

What I DID discover was that if I size UP in petites at AT, I get a fun, slightly slouchy look. And so that is how I bought my print pants. I think they are intended to be more snug, but I preferred the slight looseness. If I had sized up even further, as Laura did, I might have found a pair that would offer me super-slouch.

Discovery #4: I CAN sometimes wear petite pants!

I also tried on pants at J. Crew. Sarah had suggested I try the Matchsticks for slouchy skinnies. But alas, no go. They look okay in my actual J. Crew size (which I only discovered today) but a size or two up they just look stupid, not nicely slouchy at all but hugely baggy and ill fitting.

I also tried the Gap "Original Fit" in (what I think) is my actual size. Cinnamon Fern wears hers to perfection and I love them so much on her I wanted to try them out myself. But I would have to size down for them to work at all, and they probably wouldn't work then, either.

So the hunt for the perfect slouchy skinnies continues. In the meantime, I do have my great distressed BF jeans from BR, with their moderate slouch, plus my super-slouchy ones from Gap.

Thank you for bearing with this musing, and I hope it is of some benefit to somebody out there!


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Alas, Alack, my fickle fashion heart!

I've always thought of myself as somebody who (ideally) would like a small to moderate, well-curated wardrobe of good quality essentials supplemented by fun accessories and seasonal "extras." Sort of a Vivienne Files girl.

I was never really in a position to purchase the good-quality essentials...or not many of them, anyway, but that didn't interfere with my ideal. I figured I would buy these pieces slowly, over time, replacing my lesser quality pieces as I could afford to, and eventually I'd build a solid, functional wardrobe.

Well, this is my second autumn on YLF. And I am discovering something about myself that sort of disrupts my sense of my fashion self and as a result, I'm not sure this is the best plan for me going forward after all!

Here's the deal: I'm beginning to think that I might be a candidate for yearly wardrobe overhauls vs. small tweaks and additions/ rotations.

Here's why: I have learned that what I tend to do each season is pick a couple of favourite items and literally wear the HECK out of those items. I mean, I will wear these babies cheerfully several times a week, sometimes more. And I really don't want to wear anything else.

So what's wrong with that, you might say. What's the problem?

Well....the problem is, that when it comes round to the next year, I have ZERO interest in wearing these old favourites. I want nothing to do with them. They languish unworn in my closet and I don't care a fig for them. Instead, I want to wear my NEW favourite items all the time.

Okay...I admit, there *are* certain essentials that I will wear happily into season 2: denim, black trousers, a plain pencil skirt and sheath dress, my coats. Footwear (mostly) and also a few other accessories like scarves, plus layering Ts and a few button downs and blouses.

But when it comes to anything that has standout colour or pattern or any sort of distinctive or interesting cut (pretty much) I just don't want to wear it again!

Below are some pics of items that were total favourites last year, that I have yet to wear this year:

9 West Tweed jacket (consignment)
Patterned A-line skirt
Cropped cord jacket
High waisted ponte pencil skirt from Anthropologie

Okay...I admit, looking at these pieces I can see that to some extent my distaste for them now arises from my heading in a more minimalist, streamlined and modern style direction. I seem to be moving away from whimsy and the retro elements and towards a sleeker, more urban style.

"Distaste" is probably too strong a word, too...I still *like* these things in theory and might be attracted to them in a store. I just don't feel like wearing them.

Is this just a sign that I am refining my style direction? Should I just consign or give away these items and make room for the new, without regret, or should I worry about this tendency? Going forward, what would it say for my shopping? Should I still aim to build a wardrobe of simple classic backbone essentials, adding in a few "standout" pieces per season, and resign myself to the fact that those standout pieces might not last in my wardrobe very long? Does that mean I should seek them out at a lower price point? Or, on the contrary, is my current dislike of last year's "standout" pieces just a sign that these were cheap and cheerful finds, *not* particularly high quality, more "make-do" than truly aspirational. Maybe I should be seeking *true* standout pieces - one or two - each season, and maybe those would end up lasting me much longer. But how would I know in advance whether or not I would tire of them? I am afraid to spend a big chunk of money on pieces that might end up in next year's donate bag!

Yours in confusion....


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WIW: Channelling Shannon & Ariadne - Angie pick!

Despite the fact that it has started to rain, I decided to keep Shannon company in my boot cuts today. Sometimes a girl just has to wear a different silhouette!

On top I'm wearing my Angie pick BR sweater. Love this sweater so much! I saw it on Ariadne in just this combination, with the lovely BR scarf, and snagged both as soon as I was able!

I've also bought the sweater in Dragon Fruit (with a taupe stripe) but sadly, it is going back. The pink is just a touch too warm for my complexion. I'm considering one of the other colours, though -- maybe the ivory with the faint grey stripe. It is *that* comfy.

Pic #2 is there for fun - my daughter called it the nose-picking picture! And of course I just had to try it with my fuchsia jacket....

If my hubby were Shannon's hubby, I think he might have called this my sexy sailor look!

I am calling it my sexy Shannon/Ariadne look.

Thanks for the inspiration, ladies, and happy Thanksgiving to the US YLFers!


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WIW: in Theory --thanks, bj!!

Tough to see but here I am wearing my new Theory t-neck in navy, Theory moto skinnies, and, thanks to Bj, a gorgeous Theory trench! I thought it would be fun to show them all at once! Thank you, Bj!! Such a great coat.

I think I need a silver pendant with this outfit but I don't have one. Ah well.


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How Should the Back of Slouchy Trousers Fit?

So. I have these slouchy trousers.

Consensus seems to be that they look great from the front but that the back does not look right.

Too droopy.

So...my question is, how are they *supposed* to look in the back?

I have received a number of helpful suggestions about how to alter if I choose to go that route rather than returning. But before I do that, I want to know, what effect am I really after?

Visuals would be much appreciated!


K/R The Slouchy Trousers - Pic Heavy

Here are the trousers I brought home from Vancouver. They can still be returned.

I think, like Aida, I may be swayed by a lovely fabric. I don't know if these are "the ones."

I haven't exactly "styled" these because I don't exactly know how *to* style them! I am wearing them with my Doc Marcies; are those the right kind of shoes? The belt is notional only; it happens to be the only one I have at the moment that is the correct width for the loops. So please excuse that; it's something I could easily remedy.

I did try them with a few jackets and a sweater to show how they look like that.

I also do not know about the length. Maybe they are not short enough.

Maybe they are not even *slouchy* enough! They do not fall off but sit on my hips. I can pull them up to my waist and they are still very baggy in the thighs then with no crotch drop. Crotch drop is quite minimal when they are on my hips but there is an inch and a half or so. And I think you can see they are truly baggy on the thighs/ seat.

I am of multiple minds about these.


It's a look I'd like to try.
Fabric and details are amazing - wonderful drape, and although you can't see it, the waistband and pocket trim has a lovely subtle grosgrain effect. So they feel quite "luxe."


How to style?
They awaken some figure flattery concerns.
Not inexpensive, so if I buy I want to make sure they will be worn. If I can't style them, how can I wear them?

It is too late for these pics, but I just remembered that I bought a cute menswear influenced sweater vest that could be tucked with these or worn out - shorter than the sweater I put on here. I think it would work well with a button down underneath.


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Blogger Copycat Day 3: Epic Fail or Reasonable Riff?

Today I am reenacting what I wore on Wednesday for Day 3 of our Copycat Challenge.

This one seemed wearable. I had the right footwear!! I also had the pants and a denim shirt. But I didn't have the cool J. Crew sweater or the utility jacket.

I decided to play on the colour and the graphic boldness of A-P's sweater pattern and I chose my boxy striped sweater along with my new polka dot silk scarf, bought in China. For outdoors, I added a thrifted denim military style jacket and my red puffer vest.

I think in the end it is more like the "classic casual" look than it is like A-P's look, but on the wearability and happiness factor scales it earns a 10.

Now, if I could only remember to wear my sunglasses when I pose for these shots, I might even be ready for the blogosphere!!


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Blogger Copycat Day 5: Stripes and Sparkle

My interpretations keep getting looser and looser.

Today I had planned to copy a different A-P outfit, one with a skirt or one with shiny pants. But the only shiny pants I have don't fit properly. (My ill-fated thrifted fuchsia suit, remember *that* fashion fail???) And while I *really* would have liked to pretend that I could mimic her stripes/chambray/pink pants with *my* pink pants and a denim shirt...well...I know that my pants are way too 90s in shape. It's sad, because I had hoped to show an outfit with those components to Deborah, who tipped me off a while ago about A-P's combinations.

Then, I realized that the skirt look I had in mind would result in the same tight clingage that Janet complained about yesterday. Not to mention that the layered shirts, while fun in theory, promised to bug me twice as much as a layered shirt/tank/denim jacket bothered me a few days back. No way I wanted to go there.

So I "cheated" and picked a different A-P outfit.

This one lets me debut my new striped sweater. For A-P's print jeans, I have my coated legging jeans...they are a sort of burgundy-toned or purplish brown IRL. It's fall, so I'm wearing boots. In tribute to Goldenpig's question about leopard print, I'm adding the "spots" on my scarf via leopard print. And in tribute to A-P's maximal jewellery look I have even added an old-lady brooch, plus some arm candy.

Real life wearability: 10.

Happiness factor: 10.


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