Solution to Churn?

In El Cee's wardrobe challenge, Sterling identified wardrobe churn as a current concern and I know a number of others of us also wish to think about that, especially in light of continued scandals in the garment industry and environmental impacts of manufacturing. It can be hard to reconcile a love of fashion with the aspiration to do less harm. 

Shedev, in her "5 piece" wardrobe may offer a kind of solution, at least for some. 

As I understand it, you break your wardrobe into two main categories: what they call "basics" or Angie would call "essentials" and others might call "core" items.  And "statement" or "impact" or "trend" items. 

Core essentials -- you replace or upgrade these as needed -- throughout the year, whenever your budget allows. 

For each main season you choose up to FIVE new "statement" items or trend items to add to the closet.

How you define "core essentials" or "season" or "statement" is probably up to you -- Shedev outlined how the originators of this technique conceived of them but she has made small adjustments to suit her own lifestyle and needs and I would probably do the same.

For example -- for most people in my climate some kind of bootie would be an essential -- but is only one "essential"? Or do I say that one light coloured neutral, one dark coloured neutral, and one bright are "essential." Do I say one casual and one dressy? Or 3 casual and one dressy? That is up to me, I think. This allows us some flexibility with wardrobe size and permits a certain amount of variety in the closet, which could otherwise become quite boring. 

I think it's pretty clear for me also that sweaters of some kind are "essentials" -- but how many would I call "essential"? 

I don't think there are any right or wrong answers here -- but I do think that perhaps thinking in these terms could help some of us establish baseline numbers for a wardrobe (which we could then test out as practical or impractical over a year or two by tracking wears and happiness factor.) 

Tracking wears shows us if an item is truly getting worn. And tracking "happiness factor" may show us that even if worn infrequently, the item has deep value in our closet. I own several items like this and they are not all statement or trend items. Some of my dresses fall into this category. I don't get to wear them often because of my casual lifestyle, yet they are still core essentials because I could not get dressed for certain occasions without them -- and they offer high happiness factor, which also contributes to their worth in my closet. 

Some people might need to add 10 statement items per season. Others, only 2. There might be years where statement items themselves had all worn out and you would need to replace more. But again, it gives one pathway. 

Does anyone else have thoughts on this? As Shedev pointed out, this system can only work for those who already have a working closet with all the essentials (or most of them) covered -- and can probably only work for those whose style is fairly well defined. 


Think Pink? J. Crew jacket

Check the second thread -- sorry -- found a way to get the pics bigger. 


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Aquatalias come through!

I bought the Aquatalia Taylor bootie at the NAS and after an incident the other night, I am doubly, triply, quadruply glad I did. I don't know if these are still available anywhere, but if they are and you live in a rainy climate and do a fair bit of walking, I would HIGHLY recommend them. 

I was en route home from a rural New Brunswick retreat with a writing friend. I flew into Montreal and trained from Montreal to Kingston. The weather in Montreal was glorious -- warm and sunny. By the time we got to Kingston I noticed a bit of rain, and thought I was very clever to switch out my leather jacket for my rain slicker before disembarking. :) 

What I couldn't know what that this was the worst storm I'd ever seen! Lashings of rain (not to mention lightning, thunder, and high winds) and the rain coming down so fast that drainage systems could not handle it and the puddles were at least six inches deep. Even with 2 inch heels, I was walking in water up to my ankle bone and there was simply no way around it. You had to go through. And I did. 

I couldn't sit in the station and wait before going to the car because just as I was getting on the train I'd had a text from my DD and a call from the school -- she was in a bit of an emergency situation -- and I needed to get home to her ASAP. (Things worked out okay; it was not a health related concern but an emotionally draining situation for her.) 

Guess what? I was wearing the Taylors -- and they kept my feet completely dry!!! 

I would not recommend that treatment, of course, but they seemed to recover just fine and were great yesterday in yet another downpour. Here's how they looked even though I was carrying an umbrella. 


PPL on J. Crew Glen Plaid culottes (and bonus new booties)

My J. Crew glen plaid culottes came. Can you tell I plan to keep them? As Angie and others have said, they are beautifully made! Maybe not on the same level as Approprio's bespoke trousers, but so nicely finished and with such lovely drape. I think -- finally -- after three years of waiting -- these might be *my* culottes! 

(I do have two other culottes -- one denim higher waist, and one black sequin mid-rise -- but those have different purposes in the closet.) 

What I'm hoping for, from these -- an alternative to the ubiquitous skinnies and boots look that = winter fashion in my neck of the woods. If these work with tall boots and silk long johns, we are in business! :) 

These come right to my natural waist. They are obviously too long for short me. The question is, how high to hem them? 

And what footwear?  Can I wear booties (which shaft heights?) Tall boots? Any other types of footwear that could work in slightly warmer than deep winter weather? (The only thing that works here in deep winter is tall boots.) 

Please forgive lack of makeup.  

1-2) Full length. 

3-4). One leg pinned about the hem's wide (around 2 inches) and the other pinned about 3 inches higher. Do you think one length is better than another? 

5-6) Trying to get side views of both lengths but it was hard to do. 

7-8) With a tucked shirt and my knee high black boots. 

9-10) Trying different toppers.

11)  With an ancient (pre YLF!!) pair of Franco Sarto stretch square toed boots that I saved because they are waterproof and fit the ankle so well and are so comfy. Are they too dated? They have a slight flare heel but to toe is a slanted square, not the rounded square. 

12-15). New Ecco snakeskin booties! Hard to see here, I know, but super comfy and gorgeous!

I also tried the cropped blue sweater from J. Crew. It's now on sale for even less than I bought it so I might take or send it back and re-order at the new price. It's a very substantial merino that could be good in winter and a great colour with the pants. 


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Zara score: Winter indoor footwear! (and fun tee)

As someone who works from home, lives in a cold climate, and who rarely wears outdoor shoes in the house (particularly in winter) I wear slippers a lot. 

For a few years I've been wearing the Merrell fleecy clogs. They are very supportive, practical, probably good for my feet -- but they don't make me feel fashionable when I'm indoors. Also, in Canada, winter parties at people's homes often involve taking your snowboots off at the door and then....skulking around in socks all night. Which doesn't do wonders for the proportions of one's outfit. 

But look here! Zara had a solution. SOCK booties!! Sparkly silver sock booties, yet, that bookend my hair!!!!  And cost all of $49 CAD. Dear readers, I Could Not Resist. 

Resistance was equally futile for this pretty silver foiled tee. Unfortunately you can't really see the detail here. I'll try to get a better shot of it later on. It's really fab with my new hair. 

I also tried an oversized sweatshirt but I think that is going back; it's a bit too oversized to work well for me. 

Next on the indoor footwear agenda -- a fun pair of mules that I can slip on and off if desired inside. The booties will be great and they are relatively easy on easy off, but sometimes you just want to slide into something. 


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Alternative to NAS Bag

So, I just saw this at J. Crew. Has anyone seen it in person? The price is a bit less than the sale price in CAD for the Minkoff and it might serve my needs better. 



Retail therapy

Feeling sheepish because I just ordered a ton of stuff I don't need. And don't even necessarily want! 

I don't usually do this. And I was supposed to be saving up for NAS. 

I know what I'm up to. It is getting close to the anniversary of my mum's death. 

Anyway, all of it was on sale and all of it is returnable. It could be a while before I receive most of it, with the Canadian postal strike. And by then I'll have had time to get a grip on myself. 

Copying LisaP on the Kenzie tank (though it will not suit me as well).

Got the earrings today and will return; they don't look good on me.

The BR sequin culottes are not returnable -- a $26 wild card. Fortunately they fit and seem like they might add a fun element to my small dressy capsule. 

I couldn't resist trying an Equipment silk shirtdress for $100. CoH jeans on clearance -- if the fabrication is right they will make me happy. And the shirt is a top pick and a good replacement for my old pale chambray shirt which doesn't flatter me any more with my grey hair. 

Sunglasses are the main reason I ordered. I lost mine the other day in the park and I know I love Wayfarers. 


Speaking of too short dresses...

In the icy fluorescent light of Winner's the other day I tried on some dresses, only to confirm the truth of AviaMariah's recent comments about the dearth of dresses of a reasonable length. I am 5'4" on a tall day, and this, this my friends, is what is out there right now! These wouldn't even be tunics on a tall woman! 

The white one was a reasonable length but looked too much like a hospital gown I thought? 

Unflattering photos ahead, you are warned. Oh, and I sized up in all of these...imagine their length otherwise. 

You do get some sense of the colour of my hair here, though... sort of. 


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Spring hits, fails, and near misses

In my search for spring/ summer items to refresh my wardrobe, I've come up with a few hits, many more fails, and a few question marks. I'm sorry I don't have photos of me wearing any of these items but I'll give you mini-reviews. 

I won't discuss footwear (yet). 

The Clear Wins (all from J. Crew) 

Collection Silk A line skirt in nightfall freesia. I read the reviews and sized up (which was good since I needed to). It is silk but it has pockets, which keeps it from feeling precious. And it goes with almost every top in my closet and both my denim toppers. I think it's a win. Nice change of silhouette. Replaces my VC striped skirt which had pilled from constant wear over three years. 

Linen boatneck tees -- these were a no-brainer for me. I already own a navy, a white, and a cobalt one. Despite being delicate they have lasted for three summers with a lot of wear. (I wash them in delicate and lay flat to dry). They're a summer staple offering coverage without sacrificing coolness. They replace several worn out tees. 

Striped crewneck sweater -- more of a spring item but since our weather is still freezing I have already worn it about 5 times since it arrived a week ago. Nice quality. Fluid, slightly boxy fit. 

Slim chino short -- nice fabric, a bit like a BF short, easy to wear. Some show through in the pockets but this is not a deal breaker for me in this not-tight style. I may cut the back pockets out. 

The Fails  (Aritzia and The Bay) 

Wilfred Octave blouse -- way too cropped even for short-waisted me, and snug in the bust. Back they go. (I knew they would be cropped but not to the extent they are.) 

Trompette dress -- in the same size as the blouses, loose rather than snug, with no possibility of wearing a bra and if I went bra-less (which I wouldn't) I would be exposing my entire side-boob. No. Just no. 

Free People tank -- ugh. Wrinkly, too big in the body, too short. 

The Maybes

Theory Wendell top -- I love this style and this is in a trans-seasonal modal fabric. Fits great, looks great, on sale (and gets rave reviews). But it's rather on the short side (do you detect a theme here) so I am not sure whether I'll keep it. I need to experiment in the closet a bit first. 

1 State peplum blouse -- this one is prettier in person than in the photo. I don't usually do V necks but was hoping I might get away with one since I've gained a bit of weight. It is really lovely but rather large for me in the smallest size, not so much at the front (I do fill that out quite well) but at the side body. The armholes manage to be fine in depth, and the pattern helps disguise the extra side fabric, and I have to admit that looseness might be an advantage in high summer. I'll try to get a photo to show you this weekend. 

Sevres blouse -- I might try this one a size up. I think I might be between sizes. The bust feels a bit snug. (Yeah...the bust. On me!!) I also think it is on the long side for me -- there is something about the cut that isn't quite right. I fear that the next size up will be too low under the arms. However, might be worth a try. Pattern and fabric are nice. 

The moral of the story? It appears there is a reason that a good half of my wardrobe is from J. Crew. When you're confined to online shopping for the most part and you find a brand that pretty consistently fits, it's hard not to get a bit dependent. I do sometimes yearn to branch out a bit from the preppy vibe, but again -- when the skirt (or tee, or sweater) fits....


Angie, could this be your cold shoulder top?

Not citron, but one of your other fave colours, and feminine to the max! 

If that one doesn't appeal, I'm sure you saw the pretty lace?