Trip Report: WIW (and what I didn't)

Here's the full collection of what I brought.

I'll report on some other fashion moments from the trip and what I saw others wearing in a separate post. But let me start with my own outfits.

First, I took a lot -- a medium-large suitcase which I checked. In the event, I wore almost all the clothes. Things I did not wear, I did not wear because the weather wasn't suitable. But it might have turned out differently, i.e. we might have had more days of heat and sun and fewer days of drizzle (or downpour) and/or cool sun. Had the weather flipped that way, I'd have worn all the things I didn't wear this time. :)

On repeat:

  • The raincoat. (Worn 8 of the 10 days.)
  • The Wit and Wisdom wide legs. (Best travelling pants ever. And I also wore them several times during the trip.)
  • The Everlane Curve jean. Wore them multiple times. 
  • The Paul Smith blazer.
  • The oxfords and sneakers.
  • The scarves.
  • All the bags. (Brought 3! and used them all.)

What I didn't end up wearing:

  • The red Mary Janes. The weather was too wet and cool most days.
  • The skirt. Ditto to above. I had planned to wear my skirt and brocade top for Mr. Suz's birthday dinner -- but in the event it was cool and pouring, so I ended up switching to the cool weather alternative of wide legs, silver top, military jacket. 
  • The brocade top.
  • The floral cotton top. 
  • The denim shirt. 

I wore everything else at least once, and most things more than once, because I often changed during the day. I could have done with fewer items, yes. But I was not sorry to have the options. I didn't get many outfit pics but did try for a few. 

Thanks, all, for your thoughts on packing ahead of time. I felt perfectly prepared for any weather eventuality and was happy in everything I wore. 

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Cole Haan platform oxford: A favourite thing

I am a huge fan of the Cole Haan oxfords, both the regular and platform versions. In my experience, the platform version is a bit stiffer and requires a few wears to fully break in, but once it does, it's spectacular. I have the knit version and it is lightweight and extremely easy to wear. Like a dressed up sneaker. It was my shoe of choice in London. I sprayed it with waterproofing and despite being knit, it kept me dry enough in a complete downpour. I say "dry enough" because I would not have trusted it for longer than the 15 or 20 minutes that I was out -- the tips of my socks felt slightly damp when I took them off that night. But the shoe dried out immediately with no damage. 

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WIW: New Favourite Thing, LOLE packable raincoat

Hi, all -- quick post and run since I'm still travelling, but I did want to cheer loudly for my Lole packable raincoat -- best last-minute pre-travel purchase ever! 

The weather has been all over the map, from sun and heat to pouring driving rain and chilly winds. I've worn the raincoat on all but 2 days so far, and it has been a godsend. It has kept me thoroughly dry in some serious downpours (including a 2 hour rainy walk). It is light weight and wind protective. It is a bit like a paper bag and feels weirdly 80s in its oversized style  -- but it will layer over just about anything, and the shape is so distinctive that it feels very intentional. The way it packs into its own pouch is brilliant. And, as Angie predicted, I have been sooooo grateful to have a hood! 

And funniest thing ever. Yesterday I was walking along Park Lane to get the tube at Marble Arch in, yes, a downpour --  and lo...who did I run into but another woman wearing the same coat!! 

I walked up to her and said, "I love your coat." 

"Thank you," she said -- not catching on. 

"You have great taste," I said. 

Luckily, her friend figured it out and the three of us laughed and laughed. 

I took a quick selfie before she hopped on her bus. Don't you love her chic rain hat? I should have asked her where she got it. 

P.S. Wearing almost all the clothes. Will report on that, later. 

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Neutral WIW (and Blue on blue what I didn't wear)

Just a quick WIW with new red shoes -- breaking them in at home. I was supposed to be working for a client today but they have not submitted their project for review, so instead I am doing at-home errands like changing the litter box and packaging stuff to mail. (Fun, right?) New Everlane shirt, older BR sweater and last year's Everlane utility barrel jeans. So soft and comfy in this summer weight fabric! 

What I didn't wear to a book launch last week. Well, in truth I wore the column of blue but I had to switch out my blue leather jacket for a puffer coat because it was SO COLD!!! 

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Summer in Winter

Mine is nothing like the examples, and much less unexpected, but I still think it's a cute colour combo. :) 

Out for pub lunch with girlfriends and it is sunny and chilly so wore my red velvet pants, a mauve shirt, blue and white tee layered over, a colourful scarf including red and purple and lilac, and my lilac coat and red bag. Waving at Sal, because hey -- I got to make a bag part of my outfit for all of 10 minutes, walking through the parking lot and into the restaurant before sitting down (and hitching it to my chair.) 

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January Finale and Reflections

Ta-Da! I did it! A month of no outfit repeats, following on SarahDB's challenge. My additional wrinkle was to wear something new and something older every day. By "new" I meant -- mostly new in 2023 or late 2022. By "old" I meant anything older. And for one week, I also tried to keep my palette to blues. Many of you generously commented on those Weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, so I won't go into any more detail than that!

Here are my last 3 days with some reflections to follow. 

Monday: 1-2. I thought I would wear my red pants but it was way too warm for velvet. Got my colour in up top instead. Max wanted to get into the act and photo 2 shows the pattern of the top more clearly. This is a sentimental thing -- a gift of mine to my mother that I took from her closet after she died. 

Tuesday: 3.  Keeping it real. This was a gear day. What can I say. Morning hike and lots of work around the house afterwards. But bonus shots of where I hiked. 

Wednesday. 8 Winter white out. 

Some thoughts

My wardrobe is plenty large enough. I had no trouble coming up with outfits I wanted to wear that were not repeats. I thought I might feel some pressure (because in a typical month, I actually would repeat outfits.) But no. It wasn't a strain at all. On the other hand, there wasn't much I thought I could do without. 

I rarely wore a button front shirt and I wore all my knits, many on repeat. It's January, folks! Around this time of year I always catch myself giving my button-fronts the side-eye and wondering why I even own them. Then, the temperature changes and I remember, so best not to edit too vigorously there. 

I wore all my bottoms except my silver jeans. I did not wear my skirts. No occasion to, really, in a mostly work-from-home month with only one real evening engagement on a day when I had to go there straight from a class. On the bus. So. 

I did not wear much jewellery at all and did not miss it. Unlike SarahDB, I don't seem to want it for at home days, beyond my watch and small stud earrings. 

I did crave more colour. Although I love my blues and my greys/ whites, my closet is still predominantly neutral and in winter, especially, I long for something bright. I would like more patterned knits, maybe, and maybe another pair of bright pants. I do wear scarves a lot in deep winter, but I sometimes tire of them. 

All in all, I'm feeling very comfortable with the closet I have and am enjoying all my fab clothes! I didn't track wears (though I didn't repeat outfits, I did repeat items -- a lot!). But I end the month feeling like I still enjoy everything I did wear and don't need to edit it out. 

Thanks for reading and any thoughts of your own! 

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Winter Blues: January no-repeat challenge, week 4

This week, I added an additional wrinkle -- I decided on an all-blue week. In all honesty, a week of unrepeated blue outfits is easy for me in every season. If I were to try it in any other colour or neutral, I would fail miserably. 

Monday:  1. The Anthro sweater, J. Crew Kate straight leg (an Angie pick), Ecco boots. This one bends my own rules a bit because the only older item was outerwear, which I didn't photograph. 

Tuesday: 2. Old J. Crew merino royal blue zip sweater "hacked" and worn backwards as a cardigan. Wit and Wisdom wide legs. Worn for oral surgery. (OUCH!!!) But the dental assistant was very taken with my fashion hack. 

Wednesday: 3. To meet a client. Ancient stretch silk shirt from Ann Taylor (love this shirt so much!), Madewell vest, blue wide legs. Bonus 4 -- rainbow I saw on my walk later. 

Thursday: 5-6 --  To meet a colleague. J. Crew rollneck, BR straight ankle length pants, Eileen Fisher sock booties, old J. Crew coat and new Pom Pom London bag with a beautiful gifted strap. 

Friday: 7. At home working. Thrifted silk & cotton cardigan, Diane von Furstenbrg. Paige jeans. 

Saturday: 8. I actually wore gear most of the day. ( I didn't photograph it, but it was also mostly blue!). Later, I polished up for at-home supper with Mr. Suz. J. Crew lace shirt, Wit & Wisdom wide legs. (3 wears in a week....luckily this challenge does not forbid repeated items. 

Sunday: 10-11. Cooking supper for a friend in need. Boden striped top, Everlane jeans, Aritzia puffer for the walk. (It, and my raincoat, were my two most worn coats on this very wet, grey, week.) 

I have blue pants/ jeans in multiple cuts and lengths and had fun playing with that. Though full length wide legs obviously won out. I do not have a wide leg crop dress pant in blue and -- believe it or not -- that might be slight wardrobe hole! 

Thanks for looking! Comments welcome. January is a long month! We are not done yet! 

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January Challenge Week 3: Shoutout to Ms. Mary

My challenge is following on SarahDB's "no repeat outfits." In my case, the added twists are: try to wear something old with something new each outfit, and incorporate as many of Angie's outfit formulas as I can. 

1. Monday's outfit is "playful plaid.":    (1-3) This is my version of "Electric windowpane."In my version, grey subs in for earth tones in the cropped windowpane wide legs, and pattern plays a more dominant role than texture -- although textures are also mixed. I'm wearing double plaid (with red plaid boots) and soft stripes (cashmere sweater) with a slightly shiny puffer in blue (which does not otherwise appear in the outfit) and a very shiny bag. Later, I added more texture with the cabled toque, and more plaid with the fringed wool scarf. I loved this outfit and very "me" in it. 

2. Tuesday (4) was an at-home day with cranberry cashmere hoodie, plaid flannel shirt, cranberry cargos and -- at home -- clogs. Not especially flattering in the photo, but warm and comfy. 

3. Wednesday, (5-6) the weather was cold and snowy. I felt I needed to wear sliim pants to avoid the snow piles on my long walk. These are my last skinnies -- I don't feel current in them but they are exceptionally useful in some weather and/or activity situations (e.g. on bike). These are old Kit&Ace and the quality is so fab -- a wool stretch blend. 

4. Thursday. (7-8) Birthday Blues. We had more snow and cold and had to cancel a trip to the mainland and  a special birthday celebration. So we stayed at home and tried to stay warm. BF jeans don't drag in the snow. Shoutout to Ms. Mary for the fab blue infinity scarf. This was a "secret Santa" gift from her, many moons ago and I still adore it for its interesting textures! Thanks, Mary! 

5. Friday: (9-10) Snow, sleet & rain. I can't say how glad I am for waterproof footwear. I was in an evening class that night -- the start of a weekend course. 

6. Saturday. Long blues. (11) Love this very old J. Crew sweater in cobalt. It has a zipper detail down the back. In class all day. I really enjoyed this outfit. 

7. Sunday: Class followed by birthday dinner, belated. (12-14) Easy velvet pants, my way.  The first outfit looks very similar to one a few weeks back, but the underlayer top and the footwear differ. that was for class. Then I switched it up for my dinner out to a silver foil sweater. Loved this outfit, too. 
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I successfully blended older and new in every outfit, easily avoided a repeat outfit (though of course I have repeated multiple items) and incorporated several of Angie's formulas. 

Thanks for looking and for any observations you might have!

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No Repeat Challenge Week 2

 I've joined in with SarahDB on this challenge, and fully agree that it's making depth-of-winter dressing both more fun and more enlightening. My extra wrinkle is that I am supposed to pair something new with something older. So far, I have succeeded in this. 

1-2 Monday -- Lilac and grey, with layered outerwear as per Chris  On the floodplain near my house I saw this still-decorated tree. 

3. Tuesday.  Wide legs and Fair Isle. This was the week when cashmere really did feel like a near-necessity in our neck of the woods. It wasn't brutally cold yet on Tuesday, but it wasn't exactly warm, either. 

4-5. Wednesday was a Heat-tech and cashmere kind of day. We hadn't reached our true lows, but I had to meet someone and sit outside with her for more than an hour. Brrrr! 

7 Thursday.  Now we are starting to get serious....more cashmere. Repeating the pants from #1. I can't remember which coat I wore that day -- forgot to get a photo. But it was likely the big parka, because the temps. were dropping. 

8-10 Friday. Minimally and neutrally coated. Definitely wearing the Heattech! And the big parka for my actual outing. 

11-13 Saturday. Another brutally cold one! This outfit is based on an Angie formula from last year. Winter White Denim. 

14-17 Sunday. After all those neutrals, I was ready for some colour! I played with the coats, and liked all versions, but the reality was, this was a very casual day of outdoor ice skating on the floodplain (!!) and so I actually wore my lightweight navy puffer and my grey toque because it is cashmere and therefore, warmer than my other hats.  

My discovery: When it came to the neutral outfits, I felt more "myself" in the white crops with grey sweater outfit than in the navy and white outfit from the previous day. Is it the belt? Is it the crops vs. full length pants? Is it the lower contrast? I honestly don't know. I don't think one necessarily looks objectively better; this is a matter of feeling. 

Thank you for looking and sharing this adventure! 

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Minimally & Neutrally Coated

Here are two versions of today's forumla. 

I'm wearing a J. Crew rollneck sweater (because I believe those first became a thing in the 90s, if I am not mistaken? and this is a 90s throwback style). Because the sweater is cotton and it is very cold here, I'm also wearing Heattech base layers! 

Wit & Wisdom pants, Sam Edelman boots, Bernardo coat. You can see here, a little bit, how the stance is a bit low for me -- my arms are almost not long enough for the pockets. But they do make it. 

This was interesting for me. I like the version with the coat. But without the coat, I feel too minimalist. I kept wondering how to make it an "outfit" without pattern. (There is some textural interest, but...). Meanwhile, the version with the bag felt like "too much going on" for me. In these little discoveries we find our own style, no? 

My last picture is the real-life version. It is way too cold here today to go out in a wool coat, even with multiple layers beneath. I am wearing my distinctly non-90s (but still neutral and minimal) parka when I venture forth! ;)  

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