WIW: Trousers and fluid knitwear

Here's today's take on Angie's ensemble! 

My pants are wide leg, so a bit different from the original. 

Theory Emery wide legs.
DVF sweater. 
Random cheap belt.
SW booties. Would have worn my Pettys but I have a blister from the Zara booties and these ones felt more comfortable.  :-P
Danier bag. 

Pic 2: BR suit jacket -- tags still on, but tempted to cut as the weather is perfect for this today. 
Pic 3: AT military style jacket. I'll probably bring this when I head out the door. 


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Suits, continued.

Thank you so much for all your thoughts and insights on my suit threads. Just wanted you to know that while I haven't made an absolute decision, I am resting easy in my indecision and still having fun with fashion! :-) 

After all, I still have almost 2 full months for a return. I hope I won't be deliberating that long, but in the meantime,  I can hang onto this and compare it to other options. I do think I will keep the trousers, regardless, because they are very good value and extremely comfortable, and I do not own blue trousers. 

Meanwhile, this morning I ordered this Theory Lanai to try. Given my body type it is unlikely to be a winner, but I love the style so much it's worth a go -- I can always return it if it doesn't work. Besides, it was a YLF order! I'd had it in my shopping cart for weeks but kept hesitating. When Angie told me to try it, that was all the encouragement I needed to take the plunge. (Poor woman, she is so sick of hearing me pine for it; she wants me to put it on my body and get over this obsession once and for all!) :-) 

I also ordered the pants that go with it. Rae assures me they are not this short in real life, and there may be some additional seam allowance to let them down anyway. I ordered two sizes for comparison (and insurance). With Nordstrom notes and the sale price on these items, the total wasn't bad. 

I may end up returning the whole lot, but at least I can get a sense of the fit, the style, and the quality. Another reason I sprung for this Lanai as opposed to others (in addition to the sale price) was that it is made of wool, unlike the newest ones which include a large poly component. Finally, I think there is a good chance that this soft blue-grey might be flattering to me and a nice alternative to true navy. 

There's really only one place to try Theory in Toronto and they don't have all sizes or styles. Still, if this style doesn't work, but the overall fit does, I will go there. SOMEtimes you can get really lucky and find it at the Runway at Winners, but not necessarily the items you are seeking in the sizes you want. That's better for serendipitous discoveries, like the Theory slim moto pants and turtleneck sweater I picked up last year in Vancouver. 

Thanks again for all your assistance and I will keep you updated! 


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Ask Angie and all: More suit deliberations, I.E. Decision not made

Thanks so much for your thoughtful replies and analysis on my BR suit thread yesterday. I have read and cogitated on them all, and also read and cogitated on all responses in Sveta's and Diana's companion threads. 

As Sveta said, this is a tough decision. If only it were a very clear yes or no! 

Luckily, I have a bit of time to mull over this, because I truly think I'm going to need it. 

On the plus side:

  • Great price
  • Great fabric
  • Excellent (if classic) fit for me
  • Gets me two versatile pieces to add to my wardrobe (in addition to wearing together)
  • Good (and sought after) neutral for my closet. 
  • Felt good on, and trouble free to style. 

On the minus side: 

  • Reads as "classic" and (to some)  "corporate/ conservative" rather than "modern classic."  

One minus to lots of pluses -- if we look at math alone, the balance is clear. Yet that single minus weighs more than several of the pluses put together. Like Sveta, I do not "need" a suit. It is a want. And I'd like a modern one. 

But here is another wrinkle: A modern suit might be very tough for me to find. Here is why. The longer, lower stance jackets that we're all liking the looks of, and that will suit tall, slightly long waisted Sveta so beautifully, are (I suspect) "iffy" on my body. 

Sveta is very proportionate (legs to body length) but has a slightly long waist and a slightly short rise. 

Meanwhile, at 5' 4" (barely) I am on the edge of petite. My legs are possibly slightly on the short side (depends how you measure it -- but anyway, my calves are definitely short). I am also slightly short waisted, but I have a long rise. 

What this means is that jackets ending at my low hip literally cut me in half. They work best with heels and as a column of colour. A suit is a column of colour, of course. But if you can't easily break it up, that limits its versatility. 

This is one reason I don't own many longer jackets. My pink silk thrifted jacket is probably the longest, boxiest one. You can see it here in Pics 1/2.  Obviously, this is not a current style -- the stance is high -- at my waist --- and that effects the overall look. (Note -- this jacket is a petite and the waist is at my waist.)  I do understand that. But wouldn't lowering the stance make me look even shorter-legged? 

Last year I tried on a Theory jacket. (Pics 3-6) These photos are not great quality and are taken from an angle that distorts proportions, making my legs look shorter than they are (even) -- but general consensus at that time was that this jacket didn't flatter. It definitely wasn't as comfortable as the BR suit. 

I'm not sure what this Theory jacket style is. It has two buttons. So it's analogous to the BR jacket in that respect. "Classic" vs. "current." 

The latest Gabe 2 jacket only has one button and appears a bit shorter. Maybe it would be better for me? The Lanai is not really an option for me, alas, much as I love it.  

I am also wondering how a lower stance jacket will work on me. I do think it's fine on my Zara floral jacket (which is quite short). And I really enjoyed the modern feel of that jacket. I also like my new Zara jacket (one button, slightly lower stance but fitted). 

Hmm. New thought. Maybe the placeholder suit, if I want modern, is at Zara? I seem to get a reasonably good fit for the price in their jackets. Not sure about their pants. 

One final consideration: 

My "real" suit will be navy or charcoal. If I decide to keep a placeholder suit, maybe I'd be better off with black? The reason I say that is that having purged my black jacket, I don't own one. Whereas in addition to this Zara jacquard blue jacket, I own my Ann Taylor military detailed jacket in ink. Would I really need yet another blue jacket? You see what I am saying. Maybe buying the jacket in black would at least give me a wearable black jacket. 

On the other hand, I own several black pants. I do not own any blue pants. So there is that to weigh into the balance as well. 

In terms of the financial outlay -- I consider the BR suit very reasonably priced at the sale price. I would still be able to justify another suit if it were the right one, but another suit of the same colour? I'm not sure about that. It feels a bit excessive, considering it is a "want" and not "need" item. 

If you have read this far, you deserve a medal. Thank you! It's a benefit just to write all of this out. No closer to a decision, but though process clearer. :-) 


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The BR Suit -- Again K/R

Can you bear another (and pic heavy) Banana Republic suit post? Boy, if that company knew how minutely we examine their products, they might offer us an extra discount. 

Up for consideration, the navy suit from BR that Sveta bought, with the two button jacket. 

I have been in the market for a suit for some time. Some of you have asked me why on earth I would want one. After all, I work from home and in a creative field. I can wear pretty much whatever I want. 

Why would I want a suit? Because Angie said so! And besides, what self-respecting Urban Prince can be without one? 

In all seriousness, I don't doubt the wisdom of this purchase for a single second. A suit is absolutely right for my style -- as long as it is modern, comfortable, and flexible. 

Let's consider this one. 

I have had a lot of problems with the light -- so I've overexposed a bunch of these to allow you to see a bit better. I have tried it in a couple of different ways I might wear it. Also showing it buttoned up  with sleeves down instead of scrunched, for better fit estimations. I would probably never wear it that way. I'm an inveterate and unregenerate sleeve scruncher. 

And then I have broken it up in a variety of ways. These are possibilities only -- not necessarily outfits I'd actually wear. Just testing for versatility. 

What think you? 

  1. Is the fit good? Do these pants qualify as a fluid fit? (Note: I have pinned them up a bit but they are not even, and I'm not sure the length is correct, either.) 
  2. Is it modern enough on me, or does the two button stance kill the modernity? 
  3. Do the pieces work broken up as well as together? 
I'll save my own thoughts until I've heard some of yours. I will say that the comfort factor is high. 


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Another Zara post: Jacket, Sweaters, Sizing, and Booties K/R

Can you stand another Zara post? My order came today. Please help me decide what to keep and what to return. I have my thoughts but am curious about your impressions so will wait to say much more. 

Up for review and discussion: 

 Pics 1-3:  This Zara jacket, and the navy booties. 

(Please try to ignore the sock lines on my legs). :-) 

Pics 5-7: Grey cotton silk dolman sleeved sweater -- with homage to MaryK's Pinterest copy.    :-) 

This sweater is also available in a navy. It is lightweight (more a "top" in my climate than a sweater, proper) but feels quite nice. 

This cotton-y turtleneck in fuchsia. For reference, it is the same size as the grey sweater. Obviously a different cut, but I mean, really...shows you that sizing really is inconsistent even within the brand. 

This cropped sweater. 

I will mention one concern. Are the booties too much exactly the same sameness as my SW Chelsea booties? These are navy, shinier, a bit taller in the shaft, mixed media, pointier toed. But. The overall effect is quite a lot the same. See Pic 10, where I am wearing one of both for comparison. 

I have a huge sugar eye for this general style of bootie, I must confess. 

Thank you for your thoughts! 


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Ask Angie: (and all) Top me up! What to purge, what to buy?

Angie, your wish is my command. You asked for visuals of my current toppers, and at long last here they are. 

The truth is, I do not have much that I am wedded to keeping. Which means we are starting from a pretty clear playing field. :-) 

The only two jackets that I won't consider purging right now are my Danier leather jackets. Pics 1 and 2. 

I can wear these jackets indoors, especially the taupe one -- but more so in winter than in early fall. They are a bit heavy for that, and the white one, especially, tends to feel a bit more comfortable as an outdoor jacket. 

Pic 3 shows an Ann Taylor jacket from about 3.5 years ago, just before I joined YLF. I have brightened the photo so you can see it a bit better. It is navy, with trench type details -- epaulettes, wrist buckles, a flap on one side. It's a comfortable fabric. I wore it like mad the first year I had it and wear it less now, but still like it. 

Now for those I am inclined to purge. 

PIc 4: Fuchsia fast fashion knit. Super useful little shrunken jacket that I literally wore to death last year. But you know...it is fast fashion. And a bit worn. 

Pic 5: Marilyn Anselm for Hobbs vintage black crepe. Nice fabric and fun pleating details on bottom, old-fashioned 3 button stance and shawl collar. It looks faintly equestrian with pants. It's a bit big for me, though. Was bought on consignment. My only black jacket. 

I was preparing to purge the  following three for sure but thought I should show just in case: 

Pics 6/7: Consignment purchase, Italian, 100%  wool houndstooth. Shoulders are quite wide. 

Pics 8/9: Another consignment purchase. Canadian designer. A bit tough to wear due to the collar -- can really only use with turtlenecks or round/ crew necks. 

Pics 10/11: Consignment tweed 9 West. Judged a bit "twee" by Angie when I bought, but I wore to death in its first year because the colours were useful to me. It's a sort of teal. 

Apart from these, the only jackets I own for FW are denim (white and faded blue) -- but in reality I rarely wear these in winter, especially the white one. 

And the dressy jackets -- fuchsia silk and the black kimono. 

So, my friends -- where should I begin in my jacket rejuvenation project? What should I get rid of tomorrow, and what should I buy? Note: I LOVE jackets. I would like to purchase at least two. :-) 


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Yesterday I picked up this David Meister dress. I love its simplicity and quality but was worried that it might read a bit too conservative and staid.

Thanks to your suggestions, I think I've found a few more ways to wear it, so it is staying for sure. 

In fact, I'm officially in love with it!  

I am still sadly short on toppers (a subject for another post) but we will work on that. :-) 

If there are any you especially like, would appreciate your thoughts. 

I would like to find a way other than scarves to change the look. I have enjoyed going scarf-less during the summer. I like the minimalism. But I find myself relying on them so much in winter, often for warmth, but also for interest. 

If I were to get a new necklace, what type would work, do you think? And what kind of toppers should I consider? 

I do have my white leather jacket, but it is being altered right now, so I could not show it. 


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K/R David Meister LBlueD, plus more shopping

This morning, I nipped across the border to make a few returns and pick up my exchanged items. 

First, the Halogen skirt in petite. I decided to try it instead of shortening the regular, and it is a much better fit over all. 

Pic 1: Petite skirt

Pic 2: Regular skirt

Note: they are the same colour IRL. It's just that the light is different today. 

In Pic 1, I am also wearing the Halogen western chambray shirt. Still on the hunt for a replacement for that BR denim shirt. The colour of this one seems better than the last chambray shirt and the details are nice. The price was very good so I am keeping for now; it will be useful to me and drapes a bit better than the BR shirt. 

In Pic 3 I have on the replacement Only Mine sweater (had to replace the one that came with a hole in the sleeve.) 

Pic 4 shows a VC mixed media top. Supposedly mixed media, but actually just a light knit. I wanted to try a different neckline from my usual and felt as if this V might be narrow enough to pass muster. Also, it is a high low, knit. It's a bit more fitted than I might have wished, but again, it will be useful in my work at home capsule. Colour makes me happy. 

My K/R question is about the David Meister dress. I think I got the last one of these at a huge reduction. Once again, I apologize for the light - no matter what I do I can't seem to make it bright enough so I have brightened one photo in the hopes you'll be able to make out some detail. 

Fit is pretty much perfect, I think. Quality is wonderful. But....is it too conservative and corporate and old-lady? 

Obviously, this would be a great dress for a funeral or any solemn sort of winter occasion. And I do not have a dress that fits that purpose -- although in a pinch I do have separates that could be put together in that way. 

But can this dress be worn any other way? Could I style it to look more contemporary? How? 

The price was very reasonable for the quality of the item. But if it's going to be an orphan, I could use that money another way, you know? 

Would love your thoughts. 


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K/R: BR knits

One of my goals this season is to update and upgrade my knitwear. In my work-at-home F/W capsule I love wearing knits and wear them almost every day. (I tend to save my wovens in winter for my outside the home life.) 

The lovely Sveta pointed out this broad striped BR merino sweater in two of my best colours; I had already earmarked it for a try, and when I caught it on a sale day, I jumped. I think this is a keep because it feels very nice on and seems to fit well. So unless you see some glaring issue, I will hang onto it. 

My question is about item 2. This is a houndstooth sequinned sweatshirt.  I thought it might represent my chance to cash in on the dressy sweatshirt trend. 

I apologize for the awful light here. It was dismal again yesterday and even all my brightest lights and the flash plus a bit of wiggling with exposures failed to light this up much. You can see the detail a bit more in the stock photo. 

Anyway...the cotton it is made from is absolutely lovely -- a great transitional weight. But I wonder if it looks a bit like chain mail or a wet suit or something. I also wonder if it is a large enough size. It technically fits, but I am not sure it is as drapey as it ought to be. DH says he thinks the size is correct. He was ambivalent about it, liking it one moment and feeling unsure the next. The colour of navy is a good one for me IRL. 

Thanks for your thoughts!  


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Newsflash: I really DO love a medium sized closet

Inspired by Peri, as well as Beth Ann, who rolled up her sleeves and got to work in response to her post, I decided to do the same and count what I actually wore this summer. 

It was pretty interesting. I counted from June through September. That's four months vs. the 3 of the "333" idea and includes two transitional months for me in my climate.  

During that period I rotated: 

8 pairs of pants
5 pairs of shorts
3 skirts
3 dresses
20 tops
9 toppers (this includes lightweight sweaters) 
4 sandals
4 shoes
3 bags

That's 48 items if you count toppers but don't count footwear, etc. 

Of course this doesn't count PJs, workout wear, or special occasion wear, which I also wore. 

If you take out the rarely worn or annoying/ hard to style items (3 pants, 2 toppers, 2 shorts, 2 or 3 tops) the total is closer to 40, including the toppers, which I don't wear much in high summer. 

Some of the rarely worn items represent shopping mistakes. Others weren't worn much because of different than expected weather or infrequent occasions for wear. Example: a very light silk top that I really only wear on the hottest days. Seersucker short shorts -- ditto. 

With this wardrobe, I pretty much felt prepared for anything that came up. I didn't run into laundry bottlenecks. I did sometimes get a little bit bored by my combinations. So I was happy by the end of the season to be able to inject a bit of energy via a new VC skirt. 

If I had fewer clothes, I would certainly get bored. I also wouldn't feel "covered" for all my activities, if you know what I mean. I hold quite a few different roles and require (or at least enjoy) different kinds of clothing for the different jobs I do. I think this is about the minimum for me to feel prepared for my life. I could perhaps pare back just a little bit by avoiding mistakes...but then I wouldn't be having as much fun because it's only by trying new things that we make mistakes. So all in all, I'm happy with what I've seen here and hope to keep my fall/winter closet to a similar standard and size.

Although -- truth be told, given my summer experience  -- I might plan to inject some energy with a few key purchases at sale time mid-winter, since our winter is so very long. 

If you have read this far, thank you! And what did YOU actually wear this summer? Will your winter wardrobe be smaller or larger?