Work and play

Today I thought I’d show you what I’ve been up to sartorially–not much, it seems. I’ve added a few things here and there to the closet, but for the most part the wardrobe has been pretty stable. I wish I could say the same about the weather. Both outfits were worn over the past two weeks. A strange cold front hit Southern California a few weeks back, so this wool knit cardigan outfit was actually relevant:

Details: MUJI Open cable-knit wool cardigan, old H&M body-con striped dress, Vera Wang Simply Vera black leggings, Born Valentina boots.

I’ve been stuck in a black-pants, v-neck sweater, and ankle boots rut. While comfortable and simple, it did get tedious after 4 weeks of continuous wear–for both work AND play. I’m usually a bit wary of legging-centric outfits but this worked out well in my opinion. Good coverage of the rear with the dress and cardigan, and the boots kept my toes warm. The only thing I’m not entirely sure of is that black belt–I typically stray away from large accessories, but it was simple enough and I needed a way to close the sweater and give shape to my body.

This next outfit is more of a “dry run” closet mixing experiment:

Details: Cotton On Call Me Crop Top, Uniqlo Ultra Stretch denim in black, Ecco Sculptured 75 Shoetie

The crop top is something new that I’m trying out. The rise on the Ultra Stretch is high enough to provide some mild stomach-cinching (not gonna lie, I feel a million times better thusly than spilling over the tops of some low-rise jeans.) I’m OK with a teeny part of my torso showing when I move, but I don’t want the crop to always expose my skin. This feels like a good compromise and it will be good for summer nights out.

A quick note about the Ultra Stretch in black (SKU# 124323-09026033), for those of you interested: this particular iteration of the jean isn’t quite as deep and saturated a black as I would like. I’ve been washing it every other week not so much because of dirt but because it’s been stretching out after a few days’ wear. There is a grayness underneath the dye (maybe in the way the fabric was woven?) that is now showing as I use the pants. When I get the chance to go into a brick-and-mortar Uniqlo I’ll be searching for the other black jean (SKU# 079468-09025033) that’s shown as out of stock online.

I’ve been feeling fairly content with my closet as of late in terms of having what I need, but I would like to improve my remixing. Do you ever feel stuck with the pieces you own–unable to visualize it in other outfits? How do you jump-start your sartorial creativity, and how do you think up new looks with the items you already own?

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11 thoughts on “Work and play

  1. I get in a horrible winter rut as well. By this time of year I’m wearing the same three plain shift dresses with tights and boring ankle boots. I have no energy to accessorize or do anything other than maybe put on red lipstick. I’m hoping the weather change will eventually force me to do something different.

    1. Re: red lipstick–I just bought a lip stain in rouge that I’m somewhat excited/scared to try out. It’s so bright and I’m hardly used to wearing any color at all, but it should be good to force one’s self to do something different every once in a while.

  2. As to your last question, i look up fashion magazines or go online for inspiration. Sometimes i can create a new look by mixing pieces i thought would not go together, with a little updating through an accessory ( jewelry, or purse).

    1. Good ideas. What would help too is if I re-sorted the closet for spring; at the moment my winter sweaters are still out and those aren’t really appropriate for the weather anymore.

  3. Both are very nice outfits, you seem very comfortable in them. I actually like the black belt a lot, even though I am not into big accessories either, it’s a great find!

    To your question, I’ve been right into the same problematic since the beginning of 2014, as one of my resolutions is to make the most of my closet instead of buying new things (mostly). One of the things that work for me is to focus on one piece that I tend to wear less ( this week it’s my chambray shirt for example) and look for ideas around this one piece, it makes the research easier. I look at people with chambray shirts on the street or at work, look for outfits on pinterest etc. and then try to replicate those I like with my wardrobe. Also, there is the “home dressing room” thing – taking one hour to test all sorts of outfit combinations at home 🙂

    1. I’ve been doing the home dressing room thing; maybe I should write down what I’ve synthesized. I also like the idea of focusing on one piece at a time! I look at my buttondowns and get overwhelmed–at least for work. I don’t want to wear them the same way as I did last year. Time to do research.

  4. I like the way you wore the crop top, I reckon that’s the only way I’d wear one!

    Sometimes I do get stuck on wearing one thing with the exact same outfit – occasionally just force myself to grab another of my go-to pieces to wear with it, and it can turn out well!

    1. The crop-thing is growing on me 🙂 I am on the lookout for more black ones, but the Cotton On one seems to be the length I like the most.

      Tomorrow (Saturday) I think I really need to sort out my closet and maybe put some outfits together! Something to look forward to.

  5. ah muji! another brand i love but unavailable in sydney. sigh.

    those black jeans look great. i had a look at them just last week and was very tempted – though i suspected they might fade quickly. i have a pair from topshop that i love (joni black high waisted jeans) but the seams turn grey after just one wash.. same with cheap monday! i don’t know why it seems so impossible to find a pair of black jeans that fit well and retain their colour.

    i tend to wear a lot of older pieces in my wardrobe. one of my favourite things to do is to layer them with items of different length. a good strategy for colder months but not so much in summer.

    1. That is my only gripe about these black jeans–why are you graying prematurely?!

      I’ll try to find the “real” black pair when I go to Uniqlo SF in a few weeks 🙂

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