Late winter wrap-up and spring/ summer style direction

I've been enjoying LJP's monthly wrap up posts and can see how a monthly or even a quarterly review might be useful. So I'm taking a leaf from her book! Thanks, Lisa! 

I've been tracking wears in Finds since the start of December. It's clunkier than a spreadsheet, I guess -- but since I have most of my clothes in Finds and would have to create a spreadsheet from scratch, I decided to go this route, and it turns out I like seeing it all in a visual form. I have a separate collection for the gear/ loungewear I'm wearing.

At the end of winter, I'll take a closer look at the items in my wardrobe that I didn't wear and ask myself if those need to be edited out. At a quick glance, the winter items I'm not wearing are too dressy for my current lifestyle -- occasion wear, some of my blazers (since I'm working from home this winter) and my dressiest coat, along with a few pairs of dressier booties. 

I made 3 purchases so far this year (in Finds -- Aritzia top and cargoes and Boden shirt). The white shirt hasn't come into rotation yet but the other items have. I'll start wearing the shirt in spring. 

March is likely to be a big shopping month. I'm travelling to the US for a conference for my first time since Covid and aim to shop til I drop! (Yeah, yeah, I'll attend the conference, too.)  

I'm debating what to buy for spring/ summer. Taking a cue from Tanya, I did come up with a seasonal twist on my Laid-back Luminous Garçonne persona in response to the current trends as reported for the spring collections: LBLG does off-kilter utility pretty. 

Off-kilter: responding to the trends of asymmetry, which I love, and pattern mixing. 

Utility: cargos, pockets, denim. This is easy since it fits my lifestyle, especially in spring/ summer. 

Pretty: peplums, drop waist skirts and dresses, mid-axi skirts, bright blue, lace, fuchsia, lavender, florals. 

Silver and other metallics are also a big trend but those are represented  already in the luminous. 

I've ordered a couple of items — a midi coat in blue (a HEWI), which although it is a winter item and won't get worn much this year if I keep it, was on excellent sale and will prove a workhorse if it fits well. This is the coat Angie also owns. It was not available in Canada but I can pick it up in the US. 

Also, this J. Crew garçon shirt which Angie alerted me to and which, well, I pretty much have to have, right? :) 

In addition, I'm considering this light green midi linen cargo skirt, which matches a jacket I bought last year and would give me a casual "suit." My hesitation is, well...linen. How wrinkly is this thing going to get? If it were cotton linen blend I'd have ordered it in a snap. The price is more than reasonable, though, so it might be worth a try. (I already own the jacket -- just showing so you can see.) 

All thoughts and ideas welcome! 

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.


  • Helena replied 9 months ago

    This is awesome Suz - you have such a great handle on your style that every step you take seems to be towards evolving and elevating, which is so delightful and inspiring to watch. I love your (and Tanya's) seasonal twist idea - might have to try this!

    Re: the skirt ... I love it, and wrinkled linen never bothers me ... but that's a very personal thing. I feel this type of skirt is going to be in excellent supply this season based on the trends I'm seeing on my various and sundry feeds, so definitely I don't think you're going to have trouble finding something more suited to your preferences if this one isn't quite feeling right.

  • Angie replied 9 months ago

    I'm loving your direction, Suz! Always good to have a plan. But MUST  keep it flexible and intuitive too. EMOTIONAL organized shopping, FTW. 

    Off-Kilter, Pretty, and Utility are seamless fits for your style - both existent and evolving :)

    More silvery metallics to match your fab hair are a no-brainer!

    As for the navy Bernardo coat - INCREDIBLE workhorse for me. I might wear it well into April! I've stopped wearing my navy peacoats after getting this coat. I feel sooo much better in this length of coat these days. Elegant and warm! (It's longer on me than on the model). I HOPE it works for you too - after sleeve hacking for sure. Fingers crossed! 

    We will need to look a little harder for knee-covering skirts and dresses from now on. Those shorter lengths are popping up everywhere....

    Much looking forward to see what you come up with in March :) 

  • Suz replied 9 months ago

    I love a longer coat, Angie. It's elegant but it's also (if not too long) fabulous for walking. Keeps the thighs and bottom warm. Works well with dresses and pants. So I'm hopeful! 

    I think a shorter wool coat is more useful if you are in and out of a car a lot. When I taught at a rural high school and had a drive I really valued my short wool coats! 

    And yes -- I will definitely remain flexible! It's more fun that way. Who knows what will actually turn up at retail?  

    Helena, thanks. I think the skirt could work, too. The jacket does not wrinkle over much but the jacket does have a linen knit panel in the sleeves and in back. It's kind of a genius design, in fact -- it's extremely wearable, like a sweater, and a very lightweight summer topper. The skirt does not have the knit bits. So it's hard to say. 

    I'd love to hear your own seasonal twist if you come up with one! Thinking a bit of your new Australian pieces. Hmmm.....

  • Tanya replied 9 months ago

    I love "LBLG does off-kilter utility pretty"!  It is great direction and really suits you.  I like how you explained each word, and I think it suits you really well.  Can't wait to see how you out it all together.

    I really like the skirt, and since it a casual style, wrinkling wouldn't bother me.  And of course you have to try the Garcon shirt!

  • Irina replied 9 months ago

    I wear linen in the summer and wrinkles sometimes bother me but not often. I iron linen shirts and don’t care about wrinkles later. I thought that if I get a linen dress (HEWI), I would try to line dry and not iron so it is a bit messy and textured. 

    Anyway, it is a long way to say go for a skirt, Will be a fab summer casual suit. 

  • LJP replied 9 months ago

    Thanks for the nod , but I think credit goes to Style Fan and Jenn for the idea ! I’m already finding it useful and plan to keep it up . It will be my version of tracking , so to speak .

  • LJP replied 9 months ago

    Oops , didn’t finish my reply . I quite like the idea of the linen skirt , but this is a different colour for you , no ? ( I realize it matches the jacket - how are you wearing that piece ?) I love linen but for bottoms I’m personally leery of bagging out and losing structure - especially around the hips and bum . Just a personal foible though . And lucky you for your upcoming US shopping spree ! I’m envious !!

  • Suz replied 9 months ago

    Lisa, you are so right. And I think Suntiger's been doing this too. So thanks to Style Fan, Jenn, Suntiger and anyone else I may have missed. 

    You are also right about the colour of the skirt. It's definitely different for me. They call it "light olive" but it is actually more sagey (to my eye, anyway). A cool olive, at any rate. Not yellow or brown. 

    I have been wearing the jacket mostly with denim bottoms so far. I could definitely use more tops that would work with it. I noticed that I only had a few combinations I liked, yet I did like wearing the jacket. Here are a few of the items I wore with it last year. I also wore it with a grey graphic tee that I don't have in Finds, and a bright blue graphic tee with a green silkscreen rooster print. Any print that has a bit of green in it can potentially work, and so can navy, white, silver. 

  • Bijou replied 9 months ago

    A great read and I love the Garconne shirt. Not all linens crush badly - so I hope the skirt is in a good fabric that gets that nice lightly rumpled look rather than deep creases. Your style direction for Spring and Summer is exciting.

  • Jaime replied 9 months ago

    This is so exciting! In which part of the US will you be (if I may ask!)? I love the off-kilter twist on your persona and also the inherent conflict between utility and pretty. Am very interested to see you style the J Crew shirt because I have something sort of similar in my archives. Am very tempted on your behalf by the cargo skirt too :) !

  • Sal replied 9 months ago

    What a well planned out spring and summer!  Love the coat and the Garcon shirt - just perfect for you!

    I do love a casual skirt - and this looks very adaptable and versatile.  I would be interested to see it with the jacket?  I think it's worth a try.

    And how exciting to be going on an adventure - woop woop!

  • Carol replied 9 months ago

    Love these finds--I'm so curious about all these new "statement" cargos, like the red ones in your first pic. I love them--I think you could throw on any kind of shirt or jacket and those pants would do all the work visually. 

  • Brooklyn replied 9 months ago

    Very exciting to be going to the US!

    I love the new seasonal theme. It seems like a good mix of actual detail and big picture “vibe”.

    Re: the linen skirt. Is it fairly straight? I think you might tend to get horizontal wrinkles across the lower hip when you sit? I think that might bother me. I do have a linen skirt but it has volume so the horizontal (sitting) wrinkles aren’t too bad.

  • jussie replied 9 months ago

    Sounds like a fun season coming up for you, great adjectives. I like the light olive jacket, and can see how it would work for your colouring. It’s nice to have a couple of lighter neutral options for the occasional days when one is not in the mood for navy, am I right?
    Fwiw, I have 2 linen skirts, and a pair of linen pants. I love them! They wrinkle a bit, but not in a bad way… just enough to add a dash of “laid back and off-kilter” if you ask me.
    Good luck with your trip to the USA.

  • Dee replied 9 months ago

    Oh a shopping trip to the US sounds fab, so much more selection there.
    That garçonne striped shirt looks like a fun addition for your wardrobe and I love the draw-string linen skirt, with the slits on the side and pockets, I hope it works out for you. Should be a fun spring/summer style wise.

  • Olive Green replied 9 months ago

    I lemminged you on the cargo pants, except am having them turned into a straight line hem, and the pockets tacked down. It seems late in the day to discover I am an autumn, but the sunrise colours finally dawned and got them in sunstone orange. 
    Your utility pretty is so on point for the spring. 
    The skirt and jacket combo is truly pretty, and the colour seems new to you? Ive been wearing that useful  colour with hot pinks, dark greens, and rusts, and even khaki, for a tonal look. Crisp whites look good with it, also, as I am sure you know. 
    Have a wonderful time in the US, look forward to seeing your travel capsule!

  • Cardiff girl replied 9 months ago

    What a lovely read.l think that you would get wear out of that skirt.l am personally never bothered by linen wrinkles in the summer,l think no one judges us on that and if you can make a suit out of the purchase l feel that’s a win.The long navy coat is beautiful .l have a few navy coats and they are very useful!

  • suntiger replied 9 months ago

    This sounds great for you! Re: linen- yes but not for travel, unless you want to bring a steamer with you (or the hotel has an iron).

  • RobinF replied 9 months ago

    I love the idea of a casual suit with the jacket and skirt. I say go for it! You could also wear it with black I imagine.

    Love your new direction. Off-kilter is so fun!

  • Zaeobi replied 9 months ago

    Some great additions here, @Suz! I *did* see a cargo vest that looked like it would be *perfect* for combining all of the 'off-kilter utility pretty' parts of your style (like a sleeveless long gilet but flatteringly cut away from the waist, to minimise the impact of the length) but it sadly does not come in navy :(

    I hear you on the linen issue - like @Helena said, it's a matter of preference. Personally I can't stand looking that outright rumpled (despite ironically not owning an iron, lol) so I only wear my linen pieces either as loungewear or casually during high summer.

    Have fun at the conference! I guess that's the flipside of the world opening back up again post-COVID; work travel resumes too :P

  • Suz replied 9 months ago

    Thank you for all the thoughts and advice. Putting it all together, I think I'll give the skirt a try. I take Brooklyn's and Zaoebi's point about the wrinkles seriously -- and do worry a bit about those across the hips ones. But I suspect it won't be as bad as it could be because while a fairly straigh skirt it has 3 slits -- one on each side and one in front -- so it will actually have more movement and "give" than a typical straight skirt; in effect, it will be a bit more A-line. And secondly, I think. Also, I'm choosing a slightly larger size (I'm sort of between sizes and am choosing the larger, so it will have some looseness in the hip area.) 

    Weirdly, the wrinkles in linen seem most bothersome, somehow, in precisely the climate (hot hot hot) where it is the most useful fabric! I say this because for me, hot humidity makes me feel wilted so I want a fabric to be a bit "crisp" -- and wrinkles aren't crisp, LOL. I think wrinkles also stay put in linen more when it is humid -- they fall out a bit more readily when it is dryer. We are now getting heat here on the PNW but mostly not humidity. So...

    Suntiger, exactly -- the skirt won't travel so well. But the jacket is a great travel companion due to the knit insets. It's genius, really! 

    Olive Green, so glad you got (and like!) those pants! I hope they work for you. Also, hot pink (or in my case fuschia or magenta or orchid) are great suggestions for wearing with that green. Those are all colours I love and would ideally like more of. A few tops with patterns that include those colours would be brilliant! 

    Jussie, LOL - yes! One wants lighter neutrals than navy in summer for sure! I wear a lot of white in summer, too. This colour is definitely a switch for me but not to a crazy's a cool (ish) green. Silvery sage, I almost want to call it. 

    Jaime, I'll be close to home, PNW. A short ferry trip away. It's just a little jaunt. BIG conference, though, and I am terrified. I will be masking. And staying off site. 

    Thanks, Robin, Cardiff Girl, Dee, Carol, Sal, Bijou. Helpful thoughts, ideas, and enthusiasm! 

  • Jonesy replied 9 months ago

    I say yes to the matching linen skirt! Looks like it could be a workhorse for your spring/summer style, if the fit is right. Fingers crossed on the navy topcoat and striped shirt. Off-kilter utility pretty sounds like fun, fun, fun! And the conference sounds exciting! I do hope you'll post your US shopping successes so we can all ooh and aah :).

  • rachylou replied 9 months ago

    The casual suit is simply brilliant in my mind… !!

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