Status update

I haven’t forgotten about the main thrust of Uniformly Dressed, even though my recent blog posts seem to make this place more of a lifestyle blog as of late. Recently I’ve been thinking and sorting out my wardrobe, and here is what’s emerged/what I plan to do. I feel that if I speak about it publicly, I’ll hold myself accountable to accomplishing what I want to do, so here goes:

I don’t fit in the things I bought last year.

The Target Mossimo ankle pantsΒ I used daily for work are too big for me, and I don’t know that I’ll necessarily re-buy them again for work. When used heavily, the black fabric fades to a greenish-mottled black/gray fade that doesn’t look very good. It also stretches out far too much in the seat and thighs but not in the calves by the end of the afternoon. However, it is the cheapest pant option with functional pockets, so we’ll see. I’ve kept one of the tailored pairs (still too big on me in the legs) as backup pants for my away bag, which contains emergency clothes for work/play.

Most if not all of my shirting is oversized in the body. The shoulders are “acceptable” but the fit isn’t tailored anymore–I don’t look professional. I can accept oversized cotton buttondowns, but not for dress shirts. I tried on some shirts at Lands End’s petites section, but the fit seems off somehow. I want to try Brooks Brothers dress options next, or maybe look closer at Uniqlo’s broadcloth offerings.

Wear these (previously neglected) pieces more

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There are things in my closet I bought last year that I’ve not worn enough: this Bridge and Burn Straat jacket (2014 edition here), my Muji bretons, and these Clarks Charlie brogues. I’ve already begun to wear the B&B jacket more–I’ve been bringing it to work as my main outerwear for the last three weeks. It’s good for the light warm weather we’ve been having, but the zipper does tend to get cold when I wear it inside the artificially glacial offices. I’ve also worn the dark blue Breton/mariniere top this week. I need to start remembering to use the items I already have in my closet instead of reaching for the same three sweaters and two shirts every week–it would be nice to get my money’s worth out of the things I already own!

Limit “fun” summer purchases and buy smarter

Buy less: I have enough cotton/light work shirts for the summer. I have a pencil skirt and a maxi skirt, and I have cardigans to deal with the office cold. I also finally have sandals in a neutral gold color that needs to be worn on weekends and after work. I’m already tempted to get another Cotton On crop teeΒ which I already ownΒ in gray. I may just get a second gray one as a uniform for the summer. While this is completely unnecessary in the grand scheme of things, I want to allow myself that one concession in the hopes that I’ll be less tempted to binge on other light knits (I’m side-eyeing you hard, H&M Basics.)

Buy smart: good lord no more cheap, scratchy polyester. Never ever again. When I went through my closet looking to donate clothes, half of the things that went into the pile were synthetic blend clothing or anything that had cheap poly lining. There was one top in particular that was half acrylic, maybe polyester, and some cotton–it was soft, but it pilled badly. I liked the way it draped and it had nice puffy sleeves, but it didn’t breathe well and it also generated much static with my hair and during dry weather. I’m talking about the ubiquitous sheer gauzy poly tops in stores, those are the worst offenders. I own dresses that have poly lining or are poly blends (Zara, H&M) and those are OK–they don’t seem to have the terrible static and itchy texture problems that F21 or Target has in some of their items.

With this I’m really looking forward to sitting down one of these weekends and planning how I’ll incorporate the lesser-used items back into daily wear. What have you noticed lately in your own wardrobe? Are you satisfied with its current state, or is there something you wish you could have at the moment to make it more functional/feel complete?

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17 thoughts on “Status update

  1. That’s interesting to hear about the evolution of your closet and shopping habits. It must be quite difficult to adapt to body changes though, I’ve been confronted to the same issue last year when sports started changing my body, and I had to buy many new pairs of pants as a consequence. It’s positive though, it means you are healthier maybe?

    It seems we all have “neglected” wardrobe items, I wonder why that is. I’d really love to see what outfits you come up with this wonderful jacket and great striped shirts πŸ™‚ I realized lately that I also have a lot of forgotten wardrobe items, which is puzzling, because I like all of my wardrobe now, I got rid of all the inadequate items (in terms of fit, style, colour…) over the years, so the items I’m “forgetting” these days are not at all because I don’t really want to wear them. So why? Maybe when we have too many items we can’t remember them all. Maybe there is a limit to what we naturally bring to a daily rotation. I’m hoping the shopping fast I’m starting now will bring some answers to that too…

    1. I am definitely healthier, and that’s something to celebrate in and of itself. I know this year I’m a lot stronger than I ever was. My workouts have delivered more results (and I haven’t even necessarily paid attention to nutrition, because I’m lazy) and the result is that I’m a bit size-confused at the moment. The usual haunts–JCrew, Madewell, Gap all fit strangely. Uniqlo is winning hard right now with their jeans and pants.

      So! Re: jacket–it’s quite large in the shoulders, so I’m going to try and get it tailored (ach, probably cost over $60.) I’m looking forward to that, because I really like this jacket, but I want a killer fit in the shoulders (I’m ok with a slightly bigger torso, but not the shoulders.) We’ll see if any tailor will take me up on it.

      I am with you in that I’m not entirely sure why we “forget” or neglect certain wardrobe items. I think for me it’s heavily mood-based. For a while in late winter/early spring I was fixated on wearing the same three Gap sweaters (v-neck, loose body, drop sleeved) and staying very black/blue/gray the entire time. I’m still like that even though it’s summer, but I saw some inspiration on Tumblr (more menswear/heritage/Americana) for my olive jacket that made me want to dig it out and try it out again. And frankly, you also inspired me to kind of cut down on buying a little bit, so I want to shift my resources over to tailoring so that I can really love the stuff I already own.

      We’ll see. It will be a busy summer!

  2. Hmmm clothes not fitting right anymore cause of changes in your body is a hard one, especially if they’re old favourites. I assume it wouldn’t be worth it getting everything tailored?

    Lately I’ve realised that my wardrobe is sort of bloated, I love everything in it and I feel like all my pieces work well together but I’ve actually forgotten I own things + still have things with tags on them! So I also need to give my neglected items a bit more love (and stop buying anything else).

    1. Jane,

      Not the particular lot I just got rid of. Most of it was transitional cheap stuff just to be workplace-ready. I am kind of miffed that the previous donation cycle before that, I got rid of a cute twee-ish dress from one of my style phases (and weight phases) past that I definitely would fit in now. Not that my style is necessarily still twee/sweet anymore, so maybe losing that dress is for the best.

      Ooh, things with tags need some looking over. I’m actually kind of excited for you–what a fun opportunity, “shopping” your own closet πŸ™‚ I wanna see what you find!

  3. body changes are the hardest to adapt to and i’m speaking as someone who has a range of jean sizes from 26-30! right now i’m floating around 28. some pieces adapt better than others, ie, wearing size 30 jeans as “baggy” when i’m in the 26-27 zone, but it’s hard to keep a balance AND have a well-edited closet at the same time. but if you’re committed then definitely get favourites altered, otherwise they just tend to get looked over.. I def agree with the buy less ‘cheap’ clothing – they really don’t last!

    1. That’s a way of doing it. I have one pair of size 30 pants that I can do the baggy-transition with. But like you said, not all pieces lend themselves to this technique easily.

      I really want to get the olive jacket taken in at the shoulders and maybe a little in the torso, but the cost and effort may be prohibitive.

  4. I’m definitely with you on the synthetic fabrics. Sometimes I see something so cute and so cheap, but I never end up loving them long-term, and they are the first to get donated.

    Lately, I’ve really noticed myself gravitating to a work uniform. Knee-length, cotton dresses with simple tailoring, in a variety of neutrals. I used to care so much about variety! and style! at work, but lately, I feel too exhausted to care, and just need my clothes to be simple, professional, and not dry clean only.

    1. +1 no dry clean. I find that I wear my dry clean pieces less anyways because I’m worried about frequent cleanings. It’s just a bad cycle of “I need to clean this now that I’ve worn it” and $$$ that never stops.

      I know you’re a Madewell dress gal. I like the idea of dresses, but the leg situation and temperature management (i.e. I get too cold) is a real thing. I have a JCrew white seersucker sundress I want to wear more but it looks silly with tights on!

      1. I remember you said the Madewell dresses hit you just below the knee, which is usually the problem i have with JCrew dresses. I get super cold in the summertime AC, too, but my conservative job requires lots of blazers so that helps.

      2. Both JCrew and Madewell regular sizing is too long, and I guess I could order Petites but I generally don’t want to bother.

        I’m going to hunt for a blazer again; I gave my JCrew maritime blazers from last year to my mom who fits them better now. I’m gonna wait for some cash so I can try Uniqlo’s soft jersey/ponte ones. πŸ™‚

  5. If you try Brooks I highly recommend their outlets. They have the same non iron fabrics for significantly less, and there’s always some promo going on. I second how uncomfortable polyester can be. I like it for pants, but can’t do polyester for tops. Some alternatives are rayon, modal, and viscose. I’m not “missing” anything in my wardrobe, yet I still find ways to add more. Basics like black or white tees/tanks are worthwhile as they’re the core of whatever I wear.

    1. Pardon my late reply! Thank you for the reminder to head on over to the Brooks outlet–I went to a small one near me, but it was still an hour away from home. I’ll have to really zero in on shirting and possibly a blazer when I go (do you recommend the outlet outerwear?)

      1. yes. It’s all good. they carry the classic wool navy blazer w/ gold buttons (single breast) year round. the cut is more “grown up” than say j.crew’s version, but it depends on what you’re looking for.

        sorry for the double comment, i was having trouble with wordpress blogs for some reason.

      2. Single breasted is good. I tried the JCrew schoolboy blazer and the shoulders sit funny on me. Then again I had the 4 Regular, not a Petite version. At least I know the Brooks Brothers full store carries some of their petite line–it’s really nice to try things out first and get a sense of the sizing as opposed to blind online buying.

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