What are your surprising workhorses this season, and why?

I'm perpetually puzzled by how difficult it can be to predict my wardrobe workhorses. 

It never fails. The item I think of as a throw off, a cheap thrill, or perhaps as an indulgence, turns into the item that I wear to death! 

Last fall it was my $20 fast fashion fuchsia jacket. Who could have known that a bright knit jacket would become so darn useful? 

Well...this season -- an unusually long and cold spring -- my workhorses are as follows: 

1. (Pic 1) Theory trench. Previously loved by another YLF member, now adored by me. 

2. (Pics 2 - 4) True Religion Camerons. I can wear them down, I can wear them cuffed, and I adore them. Big expense, totally worth it in my jeans-wearing life. (Waving to jeans twins, Angie, Denise, Rae).

3. Button downs. (Pics 2-3) Angie and Inge recommended J. Crew tux shirt (waving to shirt twins Inge and Tanya) and striped linen shirt. The first was also something of an indulgence but I am rapidly reducing the CPW. As for the second, it has become my best friend. 

4. White Hi-ness Cons. (Pic 5) (Waving to shoes twins Angie, Mona, Ceit). Wow, these have been great in our uncertain weather. They do require a good wash now, but I love that they breathe, grip the pavement, can take the wet, provide a bit of a lift, and give some ankle support. I wear them with jeans and skirts! 

5. Floral jacket. (Pic 4)  Only a few weeks old, and already worn 7 times. Good purchase! 

6. White jeans. (Pic 5) When it's cool but you want spring, what could be better than washable, easy denim in white? Our usual springs would make these impossible to wear, but this year, they've felt necessary!

7. Gap mesh sleeved sweaters. (Pics 4 & 5) (Waving to all my many twins on these!)  These are not great quality and the do annoy me by stretching out, but at the same time, they are easy to wear and give a nice unstructured element of slouch. In an ordinary spring, these would have been far too warm to wear often. 

8. Equipment silk shirt (Pic 6). Rae pick!! LOVE this silky shirt; it's fun, easy to wear, a bit dressy, a bit casual. And makes me think of Max. (Waving to shirt twins Rae and Mary K!) 

It seems the main reason I'm surprised by these workhorses is that our typical spring weather would not have called for items like this as often. I'd already be sporting sleeveless and shorts and wouldn't need a raincoat on many days. 

It does make it a bit tricky to plan; last year, our temperatures were sizzling! 

The one constant I think I can point to is that Angie or YLF recommended items tend to get a lot of wear in my rotation!! 

How about you? Have you had surprising workhorses? And if so, why? 


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Tale of a missing epaulette

So...remember when Rae got a trench coat with a missing epaulette? 

I have this fantastic Theory trench coat (courtesy an incredibly generous YLF friend who was no longer wearing it, I may add.) I adore this coat. It has been an absolute workhorse for me this cool and damp spring. 

The other day I noticed that one of the epaulettes has fallen off and disappeared. It probably happened on the weekend while I was travelling and carrying my bags over my shoulder. I was rushing around quite a lot. 

The way I see it, I have 2 choices: 

1. Take off the other epaulette and the belt-like loops that were supposed to keep them in place. This would not be difficult and would not leave any marks, and the coat would still look fine (IMO). There are other design details such as wrist bands, decorative pockets, and the classic belt. And these particular epaulettes are on the small side anyway.

2. Do what Rae did and take the existing epaulette apart to make a new one (using new fabric to supplement). I think my seamstress would probably be up to this task. 

What are your thoughts? 

YAY: Take the other one off and forget they were ever there. 

NAY: Make a new version to maintain the coat's integrity as far as possible. 


WTW: Weekend options

Apologies for being a forum hog. I need to pack pretty soon, and still feel a bit concerned that I haven't really nailed outfits for my presentation and more casual evening. 

Constraints: Weather is going to be cool and cloudy, possibly rainy. 
Situation: casual, with most people probably wearing gear or denim, especially in the daytime. I will be part of a panel.

On Saturday, I can't go back to change so have to bring a "quick change" option with me and tote it around and then go out for a relatively casual supper. 

Here are a few possibilities, none of which I am feeling wonderful about. 

#1: possible for presentation day -- jeans could be switched out for VC skirt for evening supper. But I fear the jacket reads too feminine. 

2/3/4/5  possibles for presentation day

all of which easily transition into: #6/#7 for nighttime relatively casual dinner. 

#8-10 possibles for second day when it may be sunny, I am not presenting, but I will be interviewing clients. My goal is to seem approachable and reassuring that day. If the weather's fine we may go outdoors for these interviews. 

Would love your thoughts. 

In general, I think for Saturday daytime (presentation) I want something relatively casual but with a structured element (sleeves, a jacket, something tailored, I guess -- for when I am sitting at the table on a podium). I also need to be able to change reasonably easily into something that will work for night. 


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Gala & Dinner: WTW

For the gala, it's decided: the Nicole Miller sheath with the kimono in case of air conditioning. But please tell me there won't be air conditioning. It is going to be relatively chilly tomorrow. And rainy. So I'm going to have to wear my trench in transit and pray the cheap gold shoes don't lose their shine! 

For the dinner with colleagues in the relatively dressy location on Sunday: the fuchsia suit. 

Question: which top? 

3-5 Ann Taylor silk shell. A bit sheer, maybe? I don't really want to wear a cami, but I could. 

6-7  Club Monaco jacquard shell (t shirt like material). 

Would love your thoughts. Am still figuring out the presentation and other events but will have to post separately about those. 


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Clarifying weekend plans: WTW

I owe you all an apology. I was not very clear in my earlier post.

This weekend, I have 3 nighttime outfits to arrange and 4 daytime outfits to arrange. 

SO, for clarification, here are my events. 

1. Friday:

DAYTIME: travel to city plus some shopping. 

NIGHT: Gala: Wearing either Nicole Miller sheath or fuchsia suit. So yes, Angie, that event is (more or less) set -- I'll do a "which one" post tomorrow. 

2. Saturday:

DAYTIME: Attending conference events. Afternoon presentation as part of a panel.  The audience and other panelists will be dressed CASUALLY. But I want to look professional as well as approachable. So "sporty smart casual" might be something I'd want to aim for. 

NIGHTTIME:  Dinner with colleagues and clients at a relatively casual restaurant. 

3.  Sunday:

DAYTIME: Interviewing clients, more conference events. (Dress casual but professional.)

NIGHT: Dinner with colleagues at fairly upscale restaurant. 

4. Monday: 

DAYTIME: More client interviews. 

The weather is predicted to be cool and rainy some of the time. And there will be walking to and from restaurants and transit. EEEK!! 

I am still feeling pretty unsettled about everything except Friday night. I will take some pics and show you tomorrow for feedback. 

Again - apologies for my lack of clarity. 


WIW and WTW?: Busy weekend ahead

I wrote this post last night and then it disappeared into the ether. Trying again and crossing fingers. 

In Montreal I wore my slouchy distressed skinnies and my new Zara jacket for a reading in a 60s inspired café. Got some compliments on the jacket and it was easy to wear. 

But now I have a busy weekend ahead, and some new sartorial challenges. 


AM: Travel (train) and some brief shopping (returns)
PM: Gala for National Magazine Awards. Outfit here to be decided tomorrow (either the fuchsia pant suit or the Nicole Miller sheath.) 


All day conference for paid job, including listening to others present, and giving a presentation as part of a panel. I'll probably be seated on a dais. 

PM: Dinner with clients and colleagues in a fairly informal venue.


Daytime presentations at conference. 
Interviewing four clients. (Video interviews, but I won't be on camera.) 

PM: Dinner with colleagues at somewhat dressy venue. 


Daytime: More client interviews. 

My main concerns:

What to wear for Saturday's presentation and dinner. I won't really be able to change because I am staying at some distance from the conference venue and won't have time to go back. (I can bring a tote for small switch-ups, however.) 

Note: I work for a fitness/ nutrition company. My colleagues are young, many are sporty, and some will wear gear for much of the conference, while others will be quite casual. Clients will be in gear or casually dressed. They will dress up for dinner, however. 

What to wear for Sunday's dinner. I could, perhaps, wear whichever outfit I do not wear to the gala, but I think that might be a bit formal for the situation. 

Also, the weather is not really cooperating with me. It is going to be somewhat cooler than I might reasonably expect, and rainy some of the days. 

Pic 1: Montreal reading WIW

Pic 2: Possible for presentation, with a topper of some kind. I could bring my tube skirt and maybe kimono to switch into for the evening supper? 

Pics 3-6: Possibles for Sunday dinner? Are any of these okay? NOTE: I didn't own the gold shoes when these photos were taken; I could switch to those and switch up all accessories, of course. 

Open to all suggestions. 


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Update on Zara haul and quality rant

Thanks everyone for your perceptive comments about the items I had ordered from Zara. I have almost decided to return everything except the little floral blazer. 

My reasoning: 

The high-low Japanese print top: I feel what Marley felt about it on herself -- the coral in the print feels wrong for my complexion and while I like the shape of the top, in theory, the fabric and perhaps print of this particular one makes it a bit too boxy, as several of you said.  

The cream lace top shell: too boho and too young. And too wrinkle-prone. 

The dark blue kimono: while i love it in theory, IRL it feels too bathrobe-like on the arms. (I think Nancylee is going to rock this one!) Also, I am not sure that I'd wear it often enough to justify the cost, especially since I already have the black kimono jacket in my closet and that one seemed to pair pretty well with quite a lot of my tops and bottoms and dresses. 

The light kimono: this is the one I am most torn about. I am ambivalent about the print (for me). And it's polyester. Yet I really love the cut, and no question, I can see myself wearing it. So I'm still slightly on the fence with this. Anyone want to persuade me in either direction? (Pics again below). 

Thing is, if this trend has any legs, I'll bet Zara will come out with another that I like even better quite soon, know what I mean?

The quality rant, surprisingly, does not have to do with Zara. It concerns my striped drapey tshirt from Loft. Worn today for the first time (barring try-ons) and it has a small hole in it already!! There is no way I caused that hole; it has not been washed, and I did nothing except drive in a car while I was wearing it. I'm not sure I have the receipt any more, either. I figured I was keeping it, so why bother keeping? Ugh. 


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