Share your summer wildcards and surprising workhorses!

Midsummer approaches!  With that in mind, what surprises have you had? 

Angie always recommends a wildcard. Did you pick one? If so, what is it, and has it worked for you? 

And workhorses. Sure, you know your standards and could probably guess them in advance, but have any items surprised you by how versatile they've become or by how indispensable they seem? 

I have a couple of items to show. 

1. My wildcard was this scenic tee from Banff. V neck (not my usual or best), scenic photo print (really???), bought in a souvenir shop, made of some unknown polyester fabric -- and I pretty much rule out polyesters in summer. Uh...guess what? It is not just my summer wild card. It's a summer workhorse! Wearing at least once a week for work-at-home. And in cooler temps, under a jacket for going out. 

What did I learn? I love the diagonal lines of the print and the colours. The shirt works well with denim, white, grey, olive, and navy bottoms. Some Vs can work (if they are shallow enough or cover enough at the neckpoint.) 

Next workhorse, same photo: the GAP BF shorts I inherited from my daughter's donate pile. She is about my height but has a slightly larger frame; these fit her last year but not this year. Well, guess what? They are perfect for me. I now have two pair -- these grey ones, and an olive pair. Most worn shorts so far apart from my white bottoms. In fact, I bought the blue camo version also because I like these so much. 

2.  Surprising workhorse #2 is this BR silk top. (Waving at Tanya & Vix.) Last year, I wore this top but never loved it. I almost considered donating it this year, but decided that would be wasteful in the extreme because although purchased on sale it was not a throwaway price for me, the silk is a really nice weight and drape, and I like the colours. 

Well, duh, it turns out I just wasn't styling it to my liking last year. I tended to wear it untucked then, for reasons unknown. Had I not yet discovered the semi-tuck? Sheesh? Semi-tuck this baby and I am in heaven in it!! I am wearing at least once a week. :) For work-at-home and going out outfits. 

I'd love to hear about your surprising successes. :)


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WIW: Two versions for two countries! (And more)

Today, in honour of Angie's ensemble, I am wearing blue, white, and a spec (pun intended) of red in the form of my glasses, which are actually fuchsia, but you guys won't complain, right?  (Photo 1)

But let's not kid ourselves. Blue and white is my summer uniform! I even wore it on Canada Day, when we traditionally wear red and white. ;)   (Photo 2) 

I wore it less casually yesterday, to go to the dentist.... (Photo 3) 

And (Photo 4) even more ultra-casual, with gear-as-streetclothes on the way to the gym on July 2. (The top is gear, shorts & shoes are street clothes...shorts are tough to photograph but are black and white microcheck, on their 3rd summer and going strong.) 

I didn't snap a photo of Monday's outfit. But I am pretty confident that it also involved blue and white. 

Happy July 4th! 


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The Numbers Game

In light of my major June buying spree, I have decided to total up the numbers. Late winter I counted 87 items in my 4 (or 6) season wardrobe — not counting true gear, pjs and underwear, coats, shoes, bags, belts or other accessories, or true special occasion wear (i.e. the pieces that I can't easily "dress down" for my ordinary life). 

Since then, I have edited and also (obviously!) bought quite a lot. And my current number comes to 115. With special occasion wear, it reaches 120. Add coats (winter and spring) and it comes to 126.

Footwear (non gear) adds another 20.

This feels like more or less the right size of wardrobe to me.  I have not got as far as tracking wears of specific items, but I know that I do wear everything in the closet — although obviously some items are much more heavily worn than others. In the months to come, I think I will try to keep better accounting of this, so that I can get a clearer picture of my future needs. 

Here's the breakdown, for the number loving souls out there. Skip if you like:  

  • Dresses: 8    (4 F/W; 4 S/S)
  • Skirts:  5     (2 F/W; 3 S/S)
  • Pants: 9       (6 F/W; 3 S/S)
  • Denim: 11     (Note -- jeans are worn F/ W/ and Spring in my climate -- almost never in July/ August). 
  • Shorts: 10        (Note: I have more shorts than I think I need. Especially since I pretty much ONLY wear these in July and August. Two were not purchased but rescued from my daughter's donate bag -- they don't fit her but do fit me and they are Gap BF shorts so I like them. Two of my shorts are dressy shorts so are almost skirt substitutes. But for the rest, they take the place of my denim capsule for July/August.) 
  • Toppers: 9
  • Long sleeved tops: 21  (14 F/W; 7 S/S)
  • Sleeveless or tees: 18      (Note: these are primarily S/S but I do layer some, even the sleeveless) 
  • Knitwear: 24   (18 F/W; 6 S/S) 

There are items currently in my closet that I will probably edit out, come the autumn. In particular, some shirts that have a very tailored cut (but aren’t of the quality of Angie’s Ann Fontaine shirts), a couple of more dated shoe options, probably a few knits, and a dress that isn’t getting a lot of love. I may refresh my denim capsule with a few different options. 

But …but…but….my NAS this year is going to be a lot trickier than last year’s! Because if I am serious about the one-in-one out principle, I’m going to have some hard bargaining to do! 

Now, much of what I am hoping to find at NAS is underwear/ lounge/ gear related. I also want a pair of boots and I will not worry if that puts me into a higher number — these boots will fill a needed function. And if I can find a way to add to my winter coat capsule, I will. You can never have too many coats in my climate. 

So. This is the size of wardrobe I THINK I want. And SAY I want. But here's the dirty truth:  I know without a doubt that come February, despite having a full closet, I'm going to feel bored! Bored! Bored!  I will have worn every single one of those knit tops somewhere around 7 times by then. Some much more -- because I do layer them. (BRRRRR)

I know that I don't get bored during the summer. I wear everything I have and thoroughly enjoy it. I just don't wear it as often. 

Does this mean I really could use even more stuff? Or does this just mean I'm greedy? Hmmm. 

Thank you for reading this far, if you have, and I'd love to hear any thoughts!