WIW & WIMW: Khaki, red, white

Okay, I admit, the WIW is for the car, not for walking. It's really not warm enough to wear this outfit without an overcoat as well. But it's the first sunny day we've had, and I could not resist breaking out the white leather jacket. Love it! (Still hoping Inge will show us hers soon!) 

Wearing with the new Gap Original Fit selvege jeans (so called...since they're not completely selvage from what I can tell...but never mind, they are comfy.) BR sweater and scarf. I'd have loved to go without the scarf but that would have been courting illness. 

I am sorry my head is cut off. I seem to be having trouble with the angle of my tripod. 

WIMW: I ordered these pants for my daughter, but she doesn't like them. (Gap Broken in Straight Khakis). They are a size up from my usual and although you can't tell from the pics, I have to wear a belt or they fall off. Definite slouch and a bit of bagginess, although not a lot. 

Are they worth keeping? Showing them a couple of ways just for fun. Note: I do not currently own any lightweight non-denim casual trousers. Then again, I am not sure how big a wardrobe hole this is, because by the time I might yearn for a lightweight pant, I might not want a trouser at all. I mean I might be reaching for shorts or skirts due to heat. 

ETA: it's very interesting how our slouchy jeans and pants tend not to look at slouchy as they feel in the photos. I wonder what that is all about. 

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Tops for spring and summer: What to look for?

Yesterday on Angie's blog post I asked about tops for spring and summer, and she suggested I bring the question over here. 

I am fond of the "unstructured structure" look. Slouchy and oversize looks really tickle my fancy. Don't get me wrong. I also love a good tailored fit and that is never going to change. But especially for summer, a loose, flowing, oversize top or a loose crisp boxy top sounds really appealing. 

In theory. 

Here's the trouble. I'm having a tough time finding any that actually flatter me, personally. 

In winter, I could wear oversize sweaters (like the big Gap sweater) with a turtle or funnel neck or with a scarf to cover the neck area. 

The effect of that neckline was to provide a bit of structure. A slim cut sleeve also helps. 

But in trying on tops and sweaters recently, I found that when the neckline was looser (as most of them are) or when the cut was boxy (even if the shirt had a crisp fabrication and a collar) I just looked....lost and overwhelmed. 

I tried on a bunch of tops at Cos and came away quite disappointed, because nothing really worked on me. 

This is especially a problem in summer, when a regular tailored button down is too hot for me in our climate. I did buy some sleeveless cotton shirts last year (tailored fit) and although they were more figure flattering and practical than anything else I was able to find, I felt a bit frumpy in them. They just didn't feel all that current. 

What styles should I try? What might work for me? 

Below, a few of the things I tried at Cos (not all tops) -- none of which worked on me. <insert sad face here>


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WIW & WIMB: Luxury loungewear (thanks to Mo) and Gap Selvege

I got home from my trip to find the sweetest present. Mo had sent me a cozy cashmere hoodie and camisole set! It's in a soft off-white/ cream with a lovely texture and is the perfect addition to my work-at-home/ loungewear capsule! The hoodie has zippers that work both ways and little "kangaroo" pockets. It is soft and yet because it has a tailored fit, it's a bit structured. 

You know I'm always saying that my goal is to find work-at-home clothing that's as comfy as workout wear? Well, here it is, and it's ideal for my climate, too! Thank you so much, Mo, for sending this! 

I'm wearing with the Gap Original Fit Selvege jean in the worn selvege wash. I tried these in a dark wash in the fall after admiring them on Cinnamon Fern, but that pair didn't work for me at all. They seemed much too big, even in the smallest available size (down from my usual size) and even considering I wanted a slouchy fit. And they bagged out in weird places. 

I actually ordered this pair for my daughter. But they came and I tried them, and I may end up keeping them for myself. These are in my usual Gap size. The crotch is dropped and they are slouchy but not super baggy. They are soft, 100% cotton. 

What do you think? 

I ordered them a size up as well and tried those. They are truly baggy as well as slouchy and very comfortable, but the front rise area puffed out and on reflection I decided I'd rather go for a modified baggy/slouchy look than the more extreme version. 

I would prefer a pair with no distressing. But since my daughter stole my sexy BFs, I am also looking for a comfy jean I can wear, and I like that these are not too short to wear uncuffed (as the BFs are). 

Still debating about trying the True Religion Camerons that Angie got (if they are available) but worried about the varied reports on sizing. 


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A bra and a bracelet: All I bought in London

I'm back! We had a terrific trip despite the bitter weather; it was much colder in London than it is today in eastern Ontario. But neither bitter winds nor blowing snow and biting sleet (nor a very weird skin condition that erupted on my arrival) could spoil our enjoyment (at least for the most part). Thank goodness for the British tradition of tea, and for wise counsel from YLF friends. We were so grateful for our wool coats! 

My skin's all better now by the way. I have no idea what caused the inflammation, but I needed to take some anti-histimines and could not use any creams. 

My wardrobe worked out beautifully. I never did wear my trench coat (far too cold) and I also didn't wear a sparkly tank and a short sleeved striped top (ditto) and I didn't wear my Sam Petty booties or my pretty pumps --- but I certainly wore everything else I brought -- and wore it often, because layers were the name of the game. Every day I put on underwear, a camisole, a silk or knit button down, a sweater, a scarf (if the sweater was not a turtleneck), my taupe leather jacket, and my wool pea coat. I layered tights under my wool pants. And I wore boots. 

I felt really well dressed for the things we were doing, and always prepared. Angie, thanks for recommending I bring the taupe jacket; the white would have felt really out of place, given the weather. Plus, given the amount I wore it, it probably would have picked up some grime. I don't really calculate CPW but for what it's worth, it's pretty low on that taupe jacket already. What a perfect jacket it is for me, and I'm so grateful to Shannon for wearing her black version so frequently that I finally took notice of a good thing! 

I love my Vince Camuto pea coat. Zapotee has spoken about the importance of a great coat for travelling, and I could not agree more. Wearing that coat I always felt smart and sharp. It works with pants and with dresses. It is not too heavy but it is warm. Yay for the occasional spontaneous purchase; it wasn't officially on my shopping list but was a lucky early autumn find. So glad I bought it. 

I didn't manage to take many photos of people's clothing. Everyone was bundled and not necessarily looking their most fashionable. Hubby was struck by all the black, navy, and other dark colours. But I do think the cold wintery weather had a lot to do with that. People were still wearing winter clothes. 

Trends I noticed: Lots of snazzy sneakers. Some slouchy skinnies. Far more tall boots than I had expected -- again, perhaps in part because of the cold conditions. But I know they are returning again for fall. 

I spent a full day shopping. I tried on many things, mostly at Cos. But nothing felt quite right. I admit, it was difficult to think about buying for spring weather when the temperatures were so bitter outside, but there were also fit and flattery issues, and in the end I decided it simply wasn't important to buy something for the sake of buying it. So, exercising the YLF principle of PPP, I walked away. 

I bought only two things. One, a bra! If you've read my bra fitting woes, you know that I have a difficult time finding bras that work for me in my home city or even in Toronto. I finally was able to try on a Simone Perele bra, and walked away a happy woman! So comfortable and also pretty. 

In the Courtauld museum I also picked up this fun cuff bracelet made of stone. I thought it would be a fun addition to summer outfits. 

Next photo shows my trusty boyfriends for the trip -- Franco and Stuart kept me good company and made sure my feet were happy despite 14 hour walking and standing days. Well, okay. "Happy" might be an overstatement...but at least I managed to continue moving! 

A couple of outfits, and you can also see the little flat we stayed in. 

Glad to be back and looking forward to catching up. 


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WI Bought....thanks to MNSara! More Leiths.

Thanks to MNSara, who found a pair of these in my size, the Leith track pants are now mine. Wasn't that kind of her? And what a terrific purchase they are. Sorry, this is not a K/R post. I am keeping!!

I can wear these on my true waist or slouched down more. I love how it's possible to play with the zippers. 

I apologize for the photo quality; I seem to have cut myself off here in a couple of places and the light is not great. But I tried out a few styling options -- these may not be the best, but I can imagine many, many more. They seem like the perfect warm weather trouser to me. They can easily be dressed up and down. 

Thank you, Sara!!! 

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WIW: White Jeans in (endless) winter

So, winter just won't quit here. Yesterday was BRUTALLY cold. Today is only super cold, because the sun is shining. But I want spring, so I pulled out the white jeans. Wearing them with my Pettys and my Vince Camuto pea coat, plus a charcoal wool turtleneck. Happiness factor: High as it goes. 

On a sadder note: My local Gap does not carry the mesh sleeve sweater (or doesn't have it yet). BOO. 

And worse -- our accommodation in London is no more! We have to find a new place to stay! A pipe burst in the apartment and the electricity is out. They have offered to move us to another apartment hotel but the reviews of that place are not great. Double plus BOO!! 

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What I learned from (almost) a month of photos: Thanks, Krista!

A while ago, Krista wrote a terrific post about what she learned from tracking her WIWs for 100 days. http://youlookfab.com/welookfa.....s-and-long

Well, trust an educator to teach me. Because I had been on the forum for well over a year and it still hadn't occurred to me to keep track of my outfits on a daily basis. Partly because I didn't have a tripod and getting the pics was sometimes tricky. But partly just because I didn't really understand how the ongoing record could be so incredibly useful.

Krista, thank you for that lesson.

I didn't manage 100 days. But I did manage at least a month's worth of pictures. Most of them I didn't bother to show here, because most were variations (or, I'll be honest, complete repeats) of a very simple formula: pants (usually jeans, often skinnies because this was winter); a pullover; a scarf. Sometimes layered over a button down, sometimes a turtle neck. Pretty basic stuff.

This is my work-at-home wear.

When I'm actually going out into the world, it's a whole different story. I change the silhouette, I like to put on a skirt or dress occasionally, I add a jacket. And of course footwear and a bag and (in winter) a coat.

But at home in winter, comfort rules.

What I learned:

I don't want to wear loungewear while I work at home. But I want my clothes to FUNCTION almost like loungewear.

This means they need to have some give (knits, stretch) or some looseness (slouchy skinnies and BF jeans), and they have to be washable.

Some layering is fine, but I don't seem to want crisp shirts all that often when I am at home. (When I go out, it's another story - that's when the button downs come out!) This is for winter, of course, when cozy is so important in my climate.

I remember another post of CocoLion's a while back that has also been helpful to me. She made a distinction between "casual" and "smart casual" wear. She was putting most of her dollars into the smart casual capsule, when most of her life was lived in the casual capsule. And she wondered whether that was a problem and how to address it.

Well, I think I tend to do something similar. In addition to work-at-home, I also have relatively frequent trips to the city (where I tend to dress a bit differently than at home) and some appearances (ditto). And that's where a lot of my fashion dollars go. I get to "dress up' to my preferred standard in these situations. Some might say, "Well, just dress like that all the time," but it's not as comfortable or as practical as the way I actually dress while I'm at home. When you are curled up on a couch writing (what I do most of the time) you want to be able to, well, curl up!

Naturally, there's considerable overlap between the categories (denim, some sweaters) and I can feel pretty justified spending there in the future, I think.

I can also look for ways to create more overlap, i.e. look for very modern cuts in sweaters so I am wearing not just ANY pullover, but a really smashing one. This will be a goal next year. I have been inspired this week by Raisin's daily WIWs here! Club Monaco, here I come!

And in the meantime, I need to look forward to the summer work-at-home capsule, which is mostly shorts and tops. I think a major goal here will be finding cool, flattering, and fashion forward tops. Not easy to do around here for some reason.

Another really important factor is footwear; the right shoes really make a difference, and I can continue to put some dollars there.

By the way, when you saw my London trip capsule some of you wondered why there were so few casual outfits. Well, the reason is that I dress very casually almost all the time, and for me, getting a bit dressed up is a fun change. Maybe this selection of simple outfits helps to illustrate that.


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White Leather Jacket: It's all Inge's fault! :-)

So...the Danier white leather jacket went on sale and I bought it. Here are a few experimental stylings, a bit rushed and incomplete to some extent - I was pressed for time. The pics are not great quality. I have the tripod set up, but it's not always focusing in terribly well and I have not yet figured out my posing. To say the least.

It's washed leather, so a bit wrinkly-looking. Not as smooth and soft or luxe-feeling as my other Danier jacket, but not bad.

Sleeves on the long side, but I decided not to alter now. I can turn them back with the zipper feature, and even left as is they are not TOO long (I think). Some pics show a sleeve rolled all the way down.

Pics are out of order somehow to my actual posing, but I will try to figure out what's going on:

#1: with taupe silk top and booties and white jeans. As you can see - jacket is not optic white but a soft, slightly cool white. Can I wear with optic white?

#3 with striped sweater - playing with footwear options here and next.

#4/5 denim shirt - did not have belt on yet in #5 but it was natural light (no flash) so I wanted to include it for the colour.

Various views for the rest. The jacket can be worn with the collar up or "trained" to form a V more like a blazer, e.g. #13.

#12 closed.

I also have a few others to show later.

Now I need to decide whether to bring this jacket or the taupe on on my trip. Horrible problem to have, I know. Inge, I blame you. :-)


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WIMW: Schoolboy slouch

Lo -- the sun has come out. So I can wear my Petty booties.

I am feeling a bit better.

Here's my proposed outfit. I see the collar needs some adjustment. I will also have a bag, WATER (thank you, Gaylene!) and my coat, of course. But the coat will come off and the bag will go down.

Thoughts, critiques, suggestions welcome!

ETA: I don't know why it is so dark. Hmm. Anyway, sweater vest is a sort of blue-grey like the stripes in the shirt. I also seem to have cut my head and feet off, but you get the idea.