A season of WIW -- and some lessons learned (pic heavy)

Clearly, I need to figure out how to make collages. Please do not feel obliged to examine these outfits in minute detail (or even at all!)

These are not the only outfits I have worn this season (obviously) but they are quite representative. Some you have seen before, mostly as "practice" outfits (when I was running a K/R thread or asking for help to choose between a couple of outfits for an occasion). Mostly, I just wanted to put them out there as record of what I've actually worn this spring and early summer, to see if I can glean any lessons from this. 

A few notes: 

  • Very glad I did not dye my white jeans in the fall. They have been a blessing in this cooler spring. 
  • Blue and white! Always a favourite summer combination of mine, but I seem to be favouring these more than ever. 
  • The gold metallic Clarks sandals which I do not love and which do not fit perfectly have nonetheless been a workhorse and CPW is almost nil, so if I find the white replacement that I really want, I guess I can feel justified in passing them along. 
  • Angie's and Inge's picks have been fabulous for me. I am wearing them in photos 1,2, 3, 4, 5,  7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21!! Items include: VC tube skirts, Kut white skinnies, BR textured shell, J. Crew linen boy shirt, True Religion Cameron jeans, Gap mesh sleeve sweater, CM cobalt shorts, and Leith pants. I also wore the J. Crew tux shirt a lot but for some reason I don't have a photo of it. 
  • Thanks to Gaylene for suggesting a J. Crew tee. :-) I have been enjoying the quality of many of their items this year. I also really like the Club Monaco pieces I ended up keeping -- which were the shorts and the top in 8 and 24.  The top seemed expensive at the time, but is going to earn its CPW without question. I don't have a lot of pictures of it but I have already worn it a lot. 
  • Thanks also to Rae for putting me onto the Equipment kitty print shirt, to Sveta and Shannon for encouraging my Danier addiction, to Sveta and MNSara and Claudia for helping with specific purchases, to Angie for suggesting wide belts (and print belts), to K for modelling how to wear a peplum top with jeans, and to Angie and the forum for helping me style my kimono! 
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50 Comments

  • Astrid replied 7 years ago

    I'm speechless... Really, you look fantastic in all of them!

  • pil replied 7 years ago

    I'm with Astrid! You really know what works on you. Interesting about a couple of your costlier items working out to be sensible after all. Are your cobalt CM shorts the same as Angie's blog outfit today?

  • Gabrielle replied 7 years ago

    You look fabulous, absolutely fabulous.  And you show consistent fabulousness (which I think if key).  

  • replied 7 years ago

    Ack! You are so fresh and fab I can hardly stand it! All of your blue and stripes and modern florals with the white are just WOW. Your proportions are so flattering too. Are those the Club Monaco shorts that Angie has in 15? 

    I see a huge change in your Spring/Summer mojo compared to last year. You've found plenty of tops that work for your style and climate (thanks to the YLF sisterhood) and now you're putting them hard to work.I'm so glad you kept the kimono jacket in the last photo. I just adore it on you! It's such a treat to see your style in action, thanks for the update. :D

  • Zapotee replied 7 years ago

    Everything looks spectacular!

  • Mona replied 7 years ago

    I feel a fainting spell coming on. What a great spring/ summer you are having with these lovely pieces in your wardrobe! My favourite are #2, 5, 8, 9, 19 and 21. You stylish and gorgeous lady!
    Is the striped button down from J Crew?

  • Parsley replied 7 years ago

    What a cohesive wardrobe you've put together, Suz!
    The pieces you've chosen work so well together, and the blue, white and black color scheme looks terrific on you.
    Well done- Kudos to you! You look fabulous!

  • shedev replied 7 years ago

    Suz, you look fantastic in cobalt. Love #9 most of all.

  • Angie replied 7 years ago

    You have found your style stride! You have KILLER style - end of story :)

  • replied 7 years ago

    Agreed!

  • rae replied 7 years ago

    You have had a stunning season, Suz. #1 and the blue tunic especially have my heart. And are those the same shorts Angie is wearing in today's post? If dressing were a sport, you'd be up for MVP!

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    Thank you all for such kind words. If I have hit my stride, it is all because of YLF. This is such a great place to learn and grow. 

    In answer to questions: Yes, these are the same cobalt shorts that Angie has. I shortened mine by a couple of inches because I felt the proportions didn't work on me originally (Remember, I am a couple of inches shorter than Angie). They are about mid knee on me now, maybe a bit longer. Depends how low they happen to be sitting on my hips. 

    And yes, the striped shirt is the J. Crew linen boyshirt, sweetly suggested by Inge and a real workhorse for me. 

    Pil, you are right that it's interesting to see how a few costlier items are paying off quite well. OTOH, the Clarks sandals were very inexpensive and they have been workhorses even though I don't particularly like them (for their fit or even their style, to a degree). Funny! I guess it shows that I really do need a light or neutral/ nude semi-casual sandal for my style. I also think the scale of these, while a bit clunkier than I would like, does work pretty well with jeans outfits -- another explanation for the wear they've received. Plus even though they are too big, the footbed is comfy. 

  • missvee replied 7 years ago

    These are all such good looks - it's hard to pick a favourite. I'm so impressed with your colour palette and how the pieces work together.

  • MsMary replied 7 years ago

    Wowzers!  These are all fab, fab, fab!!  I can't wait until the weather cools off so I can copy you and wear my leather peplum with the kitty blouse!

  • Beth Ann replied 7 years ago

    Suz:  I love the way you manage to create interest and energy in your outfits without a hint of fussiness!  I'm still working on this.  A couple of things of notice:

    *  Remember how hard Angie had to work to get you to keep the top in #4?  It's working so very well for you!

    *  Sometimes a shoe that is a little generic can end up as a great base for an outfit.  I've noticed this with fabrics, too.  For my living room curtains, I passed over an extraordinary print because it was so very distinctive that it popped off the wall --- like a soprano drowning out the rest of the ensemble!  The neutral background in the print I chose was not my favorite, but it creates a beautiful base and allows the colors in the print to shine more subtly.  These shoes are an example of how "settling" for an 8 doesn't necessarily hold your style back.  Of course, we should both keep looking for our perfect, really modern summer sandals!

  • Sona replied 7 years ago

    Suz: not many may be in agreement but I much prefer the shoes in 21 and 23 to the  open toe sandals/ wedges- not sure what to call them. otherwise I really like 4,6,8,9,12,13,17,21,23-my fav and 24. I think looking for a more different shoes/sandals for summer might not be  a bad investment.

     

    ETA: I see you share my opinion on the clarks.

  • Adelfa replied 7 years ago

    I love how your color palette is so consistent. I am a huge believer in style that makes you look like yourself, and your sticking with your best/favorite colors really helps accomplish that.

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    Sona, I agree absolutely with you about the  shoes -- however, for practicality, a wedge sandal is a must where I live (and for my lifestyle, which involves a ton of walking). I love the look of the more refined pumps and sandals, and I also like the look of a closed toe shoe....BUT in the heat and humidity of my summers, I'd be miserable if those were my only options. Closed toe shoes in summer are really only good as "evening" or dress up wear for me -- not as daily fare. 

    So, the hunt for the perfect sandals is still on and still active. I do like my Sam Edelman Suttons  (I am wearing those in 15 and 23) but they are not the most comfortable shoes in the world, and feel a little bit too refined for jeans, for some reason.  I'd rate them as acceptable, but not good for hours of walking. Though I plan to put them to the test in NYC! 

    Beth Ann, I laughed, too, about that top -- I have learned to listen to Angie when she speaks. That top is an absolute workhorse for me and I am even thinking of buying a similar one in a different colourway. You are right about the footwear, too. 

    Mary, thank you. My peplum is a cotton knit so it is easier to wear in warmer temps, I think. 

    Missvee, Adelfa -- you are right about a limited colour palette being helpful. I have finally narrowed mine down and I feel much more confident when I shop. 

  • TraceyLiz65 replied 7 years ago

    I love seeing collections like this all together as they really show how well you have established a style that you Rock!!!
      I love the jean jackets, kimono, and floral and stripes!  

  • Joy replied 7 years ago

    It was so much fun to stroll through these beautiful outfits. You really have honed your style. I think my favorites from this group are the most simple pairings like 4, 9, 10/11 and 20 plus all those with a kimono or kimono-esque topper :)

  • Peri replied 7 years ago

    Wow!

  • AviaMariah replied 7 years ago

    Suz - you are one of the people I have loved following on this board and I love all your outfits.  I have had no desire for BF jeans until I just looked at these.... now I'm thinking they're a must.  :)

  • MNsara replied 7 years ago

    Wow, what an inspiring collection of outfits!  You have truly honed in on your style and the art of dressing stylishly fab for any occasion whether it's formal, or professional, or casual.

    I also love your color pallet as it's not entirely neutral, but the addition of blues, a bit of bold pink, and the florals keep it fresh and modern.

    Does this pretty much represent your spring/summer closet?  Are there items just languishing in there that aren't in favor right now?

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    What a great question, Sara!! 

    The answer is that there are no items languishing unworn. But there are a few more items than you see here. I have denim shorts, a pair of black and white checked shorts, a couple of white button downs (slightly different styles)  and a few more casual t-shirts and tops, mostly purchased last year. I also have an off-white mesh sleeved sweater from Gap as well as this cobalt one. I do wear these items pretty constantly in my work-at-home capsule. 

    I also have another summer dress, plus a new one I just bought, pictured below. And a new silk shell, courtesy of you! I bought it as a back-up for the fuchsia suit outfit, and I plan to wear it with the cobalt shorts, tucked but draped over the waistband of the shorts for a boxy look similar to what Angie describes in this morning's blog post. 

    And then there are items in my dressy capsule that do not get worn as often, but which are necessary. 

    You can see that even here the colours are similar and the patterns, too. Interesting -- I have not been so conscious of that, but it seems I'm beginning to get a sense of the scale that will work best for me. Last year I had some items that I loved in theory, but I found the prints too overwhelming and strong for me. 

    ETA: Also have my Breton striped cotton sweater -- equally a workhorse, but not on super hot days. 

  • Eliza replied 7 years ago

    Suz- what a delightful wardrobe you have assembled. Your color palettes, sense of proportion and style read fresh, composed and radiant to my eye. Thanks for sharing. A very well curated closet is yours!

  • rachylou replied 7 years ago

    You know what's cool, is to "step back" - i.e. look at all the thumbnails for the overall gestalt. There's a lot of consistency there and it's very tight, even though there are so many outfits. Very nice.

  • unfrumped replied 7 years ago

    What a wonderful display! You are an excellent style student--with lots of innate talent! I see a lot more blue and white and less taupe and fuchsia this season--but those still go with a lot of your new pieces. Lots of variety but with  unity, too.

    I'm hoping to learn some more from what your are doing, too. You mentioned smaller prints, but are you seeking out more solids this year? I didn't used to think of myself as overly-printed, because I do have a lot of solids,  but I'm finding even some quiet prints are either limiting versatility, or somehow not looking as refined as a solid. Hmmm.

    And still being vexed by proportions! My jackets are not only not universal, they are sometimes not "going" even with things I think they ought to. I'll find my  fuchsia jacket's shoulders are not strong enough for certain bottoms, and this other jacket is a bit too short, but this one looks too formal, and on and on. Are you able to find a magic length or fit or are you finding that some jackets only go with a couple of bottoms and that's okay? Or do I have poison eyes and am fretting over things that other people will not notice?

  • Mochi replied 7 years ago

    You have really come into your fashion element. In fact, your sense of style goes beyond knowing what's good for you; you have such a great understanding of the principles that I think you could be a professional at this. Anyway, I love all these looks on you. None are repetitive but they all are quintessentially you.

  • MNsara replied 7 years ago

    Ooh, Suz goes professional!  I like the sound of that ;-)

    Just wanted to say that I love unfrumped's observation:  'lots of variety but with unity too'.

    I just might have to start my own cheat sheet of pointers:
    Suz's 'lots of variety but with unity too'.
    Claire's 'become one with your style'

  • pil replied 7 years ago

    I've often though what Mochi said about you going pro, Suz. Yet another hat to add to your collection :)

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    PRO??

    You guys are joking, right? 

    Everything I know I learned from the real pro. And you know who she is! 

    The brilliance of a real pro is that she can figure out what will work for all kinds of body types and situations. I don't think I have that talent.  I haven't even figured it out completely for myself. But I do enjoy the process of imagining. 

    I also like how we can learn from our mistakes. I've learned plenty from my own over the past few years. Even outfits that seemed great at the time now make me cringe. There wasn't necessarily anything "wrong" with them, by the way. They were very nice. But I am only now BEGINNING to see a way towards an authentic style.

    Sara, it's interesting you mention Claire. I see this happening very clearly (um, no pun intended!)  in her posts. It's really her, you know? Such brilliance. I've seen it more and more in Sona's posts, too. And Rae's too -- even though she has been doubtful about her new style direction. 

    Which is not to say I haven't also seen it in others (I remember when GP - Natalie showed a sudden flowering. I also remember a huge leap in Sveta, who now has YLF iconic status.)

    Anyway -- point is, some of us come here less tutored than others, some have lesser means so take a while to build our wardrobes, some undergo a big change that suddenly discombobulates, or catapults us into style stratosphere. 

  • Nicole D replied 7 years ago

    Gorgeous!  You look so "put together". You have arrived stylewise.  Celebrate it!

  • Caro in Oz replied 7 years ago

    I love how everything has come together in these outfits. The colours are just so right for you (& the season). The fit is great &, as you said to Sarah, the scale is spot on for you :) Fabulous Suz!

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    Unfrumped: You asked, "Are you able to find a magic length or fit or are you finding that some jackets only go with a couple of bottoms and that's okay? Or do I have poison eyes and am fretting over things that other people will not notice?"

    Hmmm. Good question. As you can see, I'm wearing different jacket lengths and cuts here. So there is no magic length and fit, and no, I don't try to wear all jackets with all bottoms. Typically I wear my cropped denim jackets to dress down dresses and skirts (though I can also imagine wearing them with high waisted trousers, if I had any). I wear cropped and reasonably short (i.e. hip length) blazers with just about everything (with some fiddling, perhaps.) So some of these jackets do work with (straight) skirts and jeans and trousers.  I wear other jackets very selectively. The long blazer in the fuchsia silk suit is not a great style for me; it works best in a column of colour, though I might wear it open with denim. 

    In my case, the necklines of tops seem to be key to getting overall proportions right. If I go too wide and low, I won't look right to myself, no matter what (i.e. even with a great topper -- though of course that would help give some needed structure.) So I am paying very strict attention to that right now. What necklines will work for me WITHOUT a jacket? (Because I need to go jacketless a lot in summer). 

  • Lantana replied 7 years ago

    This post, along with Claire's, are powerful demonstrations to me of the lessons that can be learned on the forum. You and she have arrived at a style that is integral with your essence; you both inspire me.

  • Sarah A replied 7 years ago

    Wow wow wow! I have been revisitng your post and pic over and over yet I still dont feel like I have managed to construct a cohesive comment. I really love the tightly edited collection you have put together for the season. I like how you are making the florals fresh and the consistancy you bring to a variety on looks. I am taking lessons :) Your lessons learned are showing top marks in your fab x authentic outfits here :) 

  • Sveta replied 7 years ago

    Suz, you have mastered the most challenging dressing for us - summer! You have such a strong integrity to your outfits now-  both in color and in style - it is really inspiring!
    I hear you on the Clarks sandals: somehow they feel too heavy for you even though the color is right. I think this is because there is such a swing now to more refined footwear, don't you think? Too bad SE sandals are not that comfortable, they look great. I did not buy a similar pair of NW  sandals because I had a suspicion they would not b comfortable enough. Too bad when style does not come with the comfort! :-(
    If I have a wish about your summer wardrobe it is for you to get more fuchsia in it because IT-IS-THAT-GREAT-ON-YOU!!! :-) 

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    Thank you for those compliments, Sveta -- coming from you they are all the more treasured, since you are one of my YLF icons! As for the fuchsia, I think we can probably manage that somehow....hehheheh. Actually, today I bought a nail polish called...wait for it: BACK TO THE FUCHSIA!  

  • Susie replied 7 years ago

    I can't add any more to what has already been said. You really have mastered your style. You have such a great collection of summer looks here. The colors and shapes suit you so well and really work well together. Very well done!

  • pil replied 7 years ago

    Sorry, I didn't intend to embarrass or offend.

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    Oh, Pil, you did not at all! I am sorry that my caps were shouting. I was honoured, of course! Just surprised!  

    And Pil, speaking of people who are coming into their own style-wise. You have made such amazing strides in one short season here! 

  • amiable replied 7 years ago

    I love your set, and the cohesiveness of your style.  I also love your observations about necklines (and it makes me think I should observe mine more closely).

    What a fabulous season!

  • deb replied 7 years ago

    You are truly an inspiration and can hardly wait until I reach your style level.

  • shevia replied 7 years ago

    Well you said we do not have to examine in minute detail but we can if we want to right? You are in your style zone and I lost track of how many outfits I thought I would choose as my favorite as I flipped through. You may not be a fashion pro (I wouldn't want you to give up your writing), but you certainly have reached mentor status in my book!

  • catgirl replied 7 years ago

    I love nail polish puns.

    There is nothing I can say that everyone else hasn't said better.  You are a style icon and inspiration in every way, Suz.  Truly.

  • harmonica replied 7 years ago

    Stunning Suz! You have honed your style and it is beautiful and professional! So inspiring to see your WIW's and read your wise comments. Thanks for your contribution!

  • replied 7 years ago

    Late to this party I'm afraid :) But wow! so glad I joined! How fab to see a lot of your outfits all in one place. You have really got your style groove as I think you look wonderful. There is a real cohesion to everything and the items you have play together so well. I agree with Deb, you are an inspiration and I'm glad I 'met' you.

  • vibgyor004 replied 7 years ago

    YOU LOOK FAB in all the pictures Suz...love all your outfits and combinations! I m going to steal some ideas from here! :)

  • Elizabeth P replied 7 years ago

    Late to this one as well, on weekends I do my best to stay away from the computer.  But what a wonderful start to the week... to see a "pic heavy" post from Suz! 

    It's awesome to see your style laid out like this Suz.  And funnily enough, I went straight to the pics before reading your thoughts, and thought "hmm" about the same shoes you are questioning. I think they are fine, just not at 10.  And wow, do you ever rock the florals!  I hadn't realized you had so many pieces, they really add oomph to your overall look.  Love love love the kimonos. 

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    I hadn't realized that I had so many florals, either, Elizabeth. I guess it makes sense, in a way -- a girly, feminine look is probably my "shadow style" and so they  make an appearance especially in summer when I also wear more dresses. 

    Una, I couldn't resist that nail polish, could I? 

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