I mentioned earlier this month that I’ve been feeling pretty content with my wardrobe as it is. The last few things I purchased from November 2014 to present were these Banana Republic turtlenecks and some Extra Warm Heattech turtleneck tops. I’ve lived in these for the last two months along with my trusty Uniqlo Ultra Stretch denim. It was great for the slow days at work over the holidays, but lately I’ve been feeling a bit unpolished. I’ve been riding the casual line at work for so long that I’ve forgotten what actual slacks are like. I want to go back to more structured work looks, like blazers and pants and flats–not so much because I am required to, but because I feel good when I look good and that affects the way I approach my work and duties.
I decided to challenge myself to spruce up a bit more and put the jeans away for a week. It’s January and I want to enjoy what passes for “cooler” weather in California before it goes away all too soon–and it already has. We’ve had low 80-degree days just this past week with humidity that makes hair go haywire. The challenge was to wear either a dress or a skirt for a week–no jeans.
I’d done a few looks with mini skirts and tights last year that felt comfortable, so I opted to get a second pair of Target Merona opaque tights to help me out this week. I’d purchased a cheap pair from Marshalls but it fit uncomfortably; it had a little too much control in the control top and it was cutting into my stomach. Maybe I bought the wrong size? At any rate, I’ve found a pair of tights that are opaque enough and more importantly comfortable at the waistband with no heavy seams or itchiness.
Prepare to be underwhelmed, because my creativity apparently decided to disappear this month:
Monday: Macy’s INC long open cardigan (similar from ASOS), old babydoll sweater dress (similar cut), Uniqlo Extra Warm Heattech turtleneck top, Ecco Sculptured 45 GTX bootie
Tuesday: Uniqlo Extra Warm Heattech turtleneck top (sold out), Cotton On mini skirt, Clarks Charlie brogues
Wednesday: Banana Republic cropped turtleneck, Gap striped mini skirt, Ecco Sculptured 45 GTX bootie
Thursday: Lands End supima cardigan sweater, Uniqlo Extra Warm Heattech turtleneck top (sold out), Cotton On mini skirt, Clarks Charlie brogues
Friday: Macy’s INC long open cardigan (similar from ASOS), Uniqlo Extra Warm Heattech turtleneck top (sold out), Cotton On mini skirt, Ecco Sculptured 45 GTX bootie
– the long black cardigan and the baby doll sweater dress were “shopped” from my aunt’s donation pile. She’d never worn the black cardigan and was going to get rid of it until I intercepted the stash. I also got a nice gray peacoat out of the pile, which I haven’t worn to work yet.
– Tuesday’s outfit is the base for Thursday and Friday
As far as the challenge goes–I completed it successfully–no jeans during the workweek and I even managed a maxi skirt and Crocs during the weekend because it was warm. As for variety, well, I could do better, but my addled brain couldn’t think up of anything new. It’s a combination of things: I’m bloody comfortable, so I keep reaching for the same few things every morning. I’ve also been preoccupied with running, so most nights I try to go to bed right after dinner so I can run before work. This doesn’t leave much time to hem and haw over outfits, which is good, but also leads to a lot of monotony and repeats.
Despite the lack of variety here, I think it was a good exercise to complete. Comfort doesn’t just mean tee shirts and jeans, it can be a simple skirt and sweater too. It goes with the spirit I’m trying to follow for this year: grow, develop, innovate. I’m not breaking the ground here fashion-wise, but I am challenging my own behavior and tendencies. This also helps me appreciate what I already own/what already exists–who would have thought that Cotton On $5 purchase would turn out to be so versatile? Or that clothes destined for a donation bin would fit my aesthetic so well? I love that long black cardigan and I’ve worn it at least a few times a week since I got it last month.
Do you have any clothes that you feel deserve commendation for being workhorse pieces? What items do you rely on during this time period to feel comfortable and stylish?