Fab items, unfab combo: details are everything!

I didn't snap a photo, but yesterday I wore a combo that made me feel UNfab. 

Yet I love every single item I wore. 

So what was the problem? 

Well, for one it was pouring rain. But the main issue, it turned out, was that I didn't like these sneakers with the BF style jeans. I felt too "boyish" and almost galumphing in them. Not sharp. Not feminine enough. And too casual. WAY too casual.  A pointed toe bootie would have solved the "problem." 

I love the sneakers with my wide leg crops. The hint of ankle (even if covered) makes me feel less galumphing and more feminine and a tiny bit less casual. 

Maybe if my hair were long and soft I wouldn't feel this way. 

Details are everything! 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Elizabeth P replied 1 year ago

    Thanks for posting this Suz, it's just as useful to know why something doesn't work as why it does.

    I'll be keeping this combo (or not) in mind myself!

  • ophelia replied 1 year ago

    That's a great analysis and very helpful.
    Galumphing is the feeling I couldn't name when wearing certain boots with dresses. Now I know exactly what to ask myself. :)

  • Sara L. replied 1 year ago

    It's amazing how a bit of ankle can really change an outfit's vibe.

  • kkards replied 1 year ago

    i get it...this happens to me a lot...one little tweak and alot can change....

  • ChristelJ replied 1 year ago

    It's possible you actually looked fine, but what matters is that you didn't feel fine. In this era of everything goes, it's even more important to feel fab, and the factors going into feeling fab are so personal and varied. Thanks for the post, I can really relate to this!

  • Kari replied 1 year ago

    Totally understand that. Sometimes simply swapping out the footwear makes or breaks whether I like what I’m wearing, or feel like “hmmm, this isn’t working for me.”
    They are really fabulous pieces.

  • Barbara Diane replied 1 year ago

    You’ve figured out what to change. For me, when I feel that way I add jewelry, or, occasionally a scarf. Or both.

  • Angie replied 1 year ago

    TOTALLY get that! I have felt very similarly in this outfit: slouchy BF jeans, blazer, shirt, flat oxfords AND very short hair.

    Good job identifying the problem. Onward :)

  • bonnie replied 1 year ago

    Exactly. My new chunky sneakers only work with my wide leg pants. 

  • Dreika replied 1 year ago

    This is how I feel when pairing chunkier boots with baggier jeans or too long pants. In fact, if the pants are not cropped (showing my ankles) I’m feeling sloppy in them even in warm weather when I wear them with sandals. More and more I understand that the small detail of highlighting the ankle either by cropped bottoms or by fitted footwear can totally change the whole look. Or rather the way I’m feeling about it.

  • FashIntern replied 1 year ago

    Hm, funny. I've been doing just the opposite--wearing lowcut shoes instead of ankle boots with my crop jeans (because my feet wanted a break from boots). Too much ankle also doesn't feel fab!

  • lisa p replied 1 year ago

    Oh I *get* that feeling too, believe me. Funny timing too, as I was in a rush to leave the house this morning (taking Jill shopping and of course we are on her time now - lol) and I hated, hated what I had on.  I felt hot and yucky and weird in my very long tight flares , a sweater , boots and a long jacket. I'm not used to wearing flares and still don't have styling down pat. UGH!

  • Cardiff girl replied 1 year ago

    I think that we can all empathize with this feeling,it's good that you were able to analyse your feelings about this outfit rather than just right everything off as a disaster

  • lisa p replied 1 year ago

    That aside, my reorder of the mustard Cons arrived - and downsizing made all the difference in the world. I'm headed out to do some running around and changed into distressed skinnies with a raw hem (nothing trendy here folks, move along now) a mustard/white sweatshirt and the new boots. Really a different look for me, and I hope I like it!

  • Katerina replied 1 year ago

    I understand this and recognize the feeling. Funnily, I often feel galumphing in dainty footwear. The “wrong” shoes with an outfit can really kill all the joy.
    You have made such a great analysis and described the “problem” perfectly, it’s very helpful for me. I am struggling with styling my red high tops sneakers and I think the problem is the shape of the pants.... You gave me something to consider.

  • rachylou replied 1 year ago

    Good insight!

  • anchie replied 1 year ago

    I completely understand. First half of this year I had some feet issues and could only wear sneakers. Well, it didn’t work equally good with everything. But my worst UNfab combination was sneakers with full length pants, I just felt so frumpy in it for some reason.

  • Suz replied 1 year ago

    Interesting how many of us have had similar feelings and sometimes related to a similar outfit, although Fashintern, you seem to feel the opposite in a way! But then, you have long wavy hair. Maybe that makes a difference. 

    I think I lost the sense of "pretty" in that outfit. Too "masculine" for me (wouldn't be for another, and I don't really like the terms masculine and feminine but whatever.)

    Also—-uncharacteristically—I wasn't too happy with my new haircut with bits of colour (no pics yet -- trying to get decent ones but it's hard in the light!). So it all went together with awful weather to feel yuck!

    Lisa, glad the size changed helped with those Cons! Hope you enjoy them!

    Thanks for commiserating everyone. I do feel better for having identified the issue. It's so funny when an item you adore ends up displeasing you on another day and it's great to have the tools to figure out why. 

  • La Pedestrienne replied 1 year ago

    Ah, this is very interesting! I think one of the reasons I haven't embraced the longer blazers that are trending is because so many of my pants tend toward men's styling, and are just easier to wear with a shorter more tailored topper, even if it isn't the trendiest look. Agree with all of the above re: shoe choice as well. I rely on my beloved lace-up boots to solve proportion problems. They're magic. 

    I think I wouldn't be able to wear that particular outfit because it would feel too colourful. Red, yellow and blue, oh my! I'd feel both galumphing *and* loud. :)

  • torontogirl replied 1 year ago

    I love everything Christie said. I'm sure you LOOKED amazing but if you don't FEEL good then frankly, who cares? Great analysis!

  • lisa p replied 1 year ago

    I LOVE the new Cons. Every single person I interacted with today commented on them.  Super comfy, and they make me taller = bonus :)  

  • Angie replied 1 year ago

    Welcome to Team Mustard Gor-Tex Chucks!

    La Ped, you are sooooo right about why you don’t want to wear long blazers with your choice of bottoms.

  • Sal replied 1 year ago

    I know the feeling too Suz and I think you have isolated the reason why too.  I prefer a more "dressy" shoe with a casual or loose jean.  It balances it out somehow.

    Great pieces though!!

  • Laura replied 1 year ago

    "Galumphing" - you've made my day by evoking "Jabberwocky"! (And I can completely get why you might feel that way. Well done assessing it!).

  • nemosmom replied 1 year ago

    Ditto what Sal said! I've been there, too. I like the balance of a dressy shoe if the rest of the look is super causal.  Good on you for figuring it out what was 'off'!

  • Staysfit replied 1 year ago

    Thanks for the helpful assessment Suz!  After reading it I thought about how I like to add something more casual to my dressier outfits, (ie. sneakers) so they look less frilly or maybe less stereotypically feminine.  I do the opposite with casual items (ie. jeans) and like to add something dressy, to increase the femininity of the outfit.  I’m not sure how to describe the balance between the two, but there is definitely a discordant feeling when it’s wrong and I love your use of “galumphing”!  Bravo!  

    Now that my hair is getting longer, I do not find much differs in my style preferences, although my accessory preferences are starting to change.  

  • Joy replied 1 year ago

    I agree with what SAl and Nemosmom said. I love a snazzy flat shoe with long pants for balance. Gold or silver metallic (even in a loafers style) and sequins are. my favorites. Great job analyzing.

  • shevia replied 1 year ago

    I totally relate. For me, shoes set the tone for the outfit and make or break it most of the time.

  • Jenna replied 1 year ago

    I get it. Shoes need to feel right to us.

    I get a similarly ‘bleh’ feeling wearing my combat boots or docs with skinny silhouettes. I somehow feel too clompy. I feel more balanced & comfortable wearing boyfriends or cuffed straights with chunky shoes/boots with the exception of some chunky sneakers I wore with cropped skinnies last Autumn. Somehow I liked that pairing.

  • RainB replied 1 year ago

    "Galumphing"  is what I feel I'm doing when I wear sneakers with anything :) 

  • FashIntern replied 1 year ago

    The opposite extreme, yes, but all related to how much ankle is showing.

  • Sisi replied 1 year ago

    Smart Suz! Time ago I realized that the combination shoe/pant can be tricky, but then sometimes I forget the learned lessons. Thank you for the reminder!

  • RobinF replied 1 year ago

    Very interesting! I have always said shoes can make or break an outfit, and I really believe it (not just an excuse to buy shoes :) )  I also think a bit of ankle showing makes a huge difference.

  • Bijou replied 1 year ago

    I love how you have analysed this. This is one of the real gifts of YLF - the way that now when something 'feels off' I try to solve the puzzle, so that I don't repeat the same mistake.

    All fab items and yes, a change in shoe is all that is needed. It would be interesting to see if your red plaid Paul Greens work (or not) in this outfit. They are still a bit stompy, but just less so and more tonally in keeping with the rest of the outfit, they may be OK.

  • Style Fan replied 1 year ago

    I completely understand this.  Thanks for sharing your analysis.  

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