OOTDs: June 2016, Week 5 (End)

Last week of outfits for the month of June:

Monday: old Cotton On crop tee, Uniqlo ankle boyfriend jeans
Tuesday: Forever 21 floral print button front dress
Wednesday: Taylor Stitch Katherine oxford shirt in washed black, Uniqlo ankle boyfriend jeans
Thursday: old JCrew Factory check camp shirt, Gap real straight pants, Gap belt

I can’t stand how schlubby/disheveled I’ve been on the bike-to-work days (MWF) that I’ve been inspired to try a little harder on my driving days (TuTh). To me, the air feels humid lately–or maybe it’s just the house, but I don’t feel crisp in my clothes. And I don’t like the restlessness that comes with summer dressing–I don’t need new gear, I just need to be happy with what is already there. At least for workwear bottoms and tops.

Thus concludes our June series of OOTDs! I may leave small musings here and there as I see fit, but it’s been fun to write semi-regularly again.

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OOTDs: June 2016, Week 4

Here I go again on my own:

Monday: ?  gifted cotton tank purchased in Hawaii, Everlane culottes
Tuesday (not photographed)
Wednesday: Target Merona black v-neck flowy tank, Everlane culottes
Thursday: old Madewell linen striped pocket v-neck tee, old Zara denim culottes
Friday: old Forever 21 rayon/viscose split neck top, Uniqlo boyfriend fit ankle jeans

It’s been so hot that I’ve been scrambling to identify what to wear to work. I didn’t really succeed this week. I feel like dressy goes out the door when the heat goes up. It also doesn’t help that my footwear choices are limited; my Gentle Souls flats are so beat up, they’re embarrassing to wear out in public. So thus begins the footwear search once more.

My shoe wishlist includes:
– something in the shape of the Sam Edelman Trina sandals. Neutral, low, simple two strap construction. I’d prefer a stacked heel rather than the metallic one.
– red ballet flats. and red sneakers.
– gold or silver flats

But then I just wrote all that and thinking of looking for all of those different shoes frustrates me, so maybe I’ll just go and buy another pair of Nike Flyknit Frees.

OOTDs: June 2016, Week 2 | Everlane SF Showroom Visit

OOTDs: June 2016, Week 2 | Everlane SF Showroom Visit

It’s been a while since I’ve done this but here are some pics of recent outfits worn:
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Monday: Everlane cotton sweater v-neck in heather gray, Banana Republic cropped skinny jean
Tuesday: old Uniqlo 3/4 sleeve dot dress
Wednesday: old Forever 21 jersey sleeveless dress, Heattech long-sleeve shirt under
Thursday: old JCrew boy shirt in polka dot, old Target Mossimo ankle pants
Friday: Everlane cotton sweater v-neck in heather gray, old Gap Real Straight corduroy pants

Visit to Everlane Showroom

2170 Folsom St.
San Francisco, CA 94110

The newest piece is the gray sweater from Everlane, a brand I’ve heard much of and seen for quite a while since I started writing on the blog. I had an opportunity to visit the store’s showroom in San Francisco during my recent trip–it was a great experience and I recommend it to anyone visiting the area; I got a better idea of fit and quality of many key pieces.

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Showroom area. Behind the mirror are the workstations for Everlane employees.

Linen tees and shoe display.

Currently, to view the showroom you must make an appointment at either their SF or NY location. The staff person who attended us was very personable and helpful–I can’t remember her name now but she gave great customer service. Neither of us didn’t expect to buy anything but between my friend and I we ordered:

my cotton sweater v-neck in heather gray
we both got the cotton poplin culotte (both in black)
she got the cotton poplin pleated skirt (in navy, which is actually a richer, more vibrant blue in person than in pictures)

all of which was sent to our respective homes with free two-day shipping. For the culottes, a light press with an iron gets rid of most of the wrinkles, but otherwise the fabric feels very light and crisp–this will be necessary for surviving the upcoming heatwaves and yet still looking somewhat presentable for work.

Unfortunately for my wallet’s future, I also got a look at the following which are now on my “hmm…” list:

the swing trench in sage (I took a S for layering purposes–I wear stuff in US 6-8 Regular or 8-10 Petite. I don’t need another olive jacket, but this falls so nicely and the fabric is a comfortable weight that I go, hmm. Probably better suited for those of you with actual climates; it would be underutilized where I live)
the cashmere cropped sweater in grey (I think I took a M in this one. The cropped fit is what I was going for; liked the slightly longer back hem, but again not going to need this with the climate I live in. Would buy a cotton cropped version though, ASAP)

Anyhow, my post got away from me–this was only supposed to be a quick “what I wore last week” but it rambled on. It’s really been a long while since I’ve written anything and it feels good to want to write again. I tried on other Everlane favorites during my visit so if you have any questions, drop me a line!

Wardrobe update – 4Q 2015

Wardrobe update – 4Q 2015

Hello. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I had a whole late fall blog post planned out (featuring these outfits), but life and the weather got in my way. This is now quite behind, but I hope you can still enjoy this late 2015 sampler micro-wardrobe:

Such fance. -heh-

Tops: Black Gap V-neck sweater, gray tee, cream Zara open cardigan, JCrew embroidered indigo dot shirt, JCrew Factory polka dot popover, blue Gap v-neck sweater

Pants: black Gap straight slacks, brown Gap 1969 corduroy straight pants, Uniqlo slim fit boyfriend jeans, Zara wide-leg denim trousers

Shoes: Gentle Souls Gabby flats, New Balance Fresh Foam Zantes, Clarks oxford/brogues, Camper Nina Right flats

Jacket: olive H&M military jacket

Work wardrobe must:
– be warm enough for the workplace AC, but not be so much so as to be miserably sweaty while being outside
– comfortable and allow for crawling, crouching, lifting and cleaning
– have real pockets

In general I’ve stuck to blacks, blues, and that trusty olive topper. Mix and match ad nauseam. The corduroy pants and the cream open sweater are clothes I rediscovered after my weight and proportions changed yet again. Over the years I’ve gotten rid of items but I’m still holding onto a few pairs because of this exact situation–finding that I fit them again and I still like them. In this particular case, I’m glad these escaped the donation cut.

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Mini-purchase update:

September

Zara denim culottes (but I’m short so they’re wide-leg pants on me.)

October

Birkenstock Milano in black Amalfi leather
– wasn’t going to keep these but a quick few hole punches to the straps solved my small-volume foot problem. I think I’ll be keeping these–they’re supportive and the heel strap means I’m not sliding around everywhere.

November

COS dropped shoulder top (UK link, couldn’t find it on US site.)
– I saw a gray cropped sweater on Stephanie a few years ago and subsequently bought its black sibling from Zara. I haven’t been able to shake the idea of skinny sleeves and a wide-cut body, so when COS finally opened in Orange County, I was really happy to find this top. Not that I need any more black clothing…but then again, it IS what I wear without fail, so onto the work/play pile it goes. The fabric is a mix of rayon, spandex and polyester–it drapes well and has a nice solid weight to it. I think it feels like a fluid ponte.

One last month and a half to go in 2015! Hoping to dig deep–the season of extravagant holiday sales is nigh, and treats are so very tempting around this time of year. -eek-

Menswear redux

Menswear redux

Workplace dress will always fascinate me. There’s no shortage of wonders in what people deem work-appropriate, and I like to see what others come up with. My employment does not have a dress code, but my job has a significant front-facing, public dimension. This whole blog has been about me trying different ways to improve my outer image, to learn how to build a good foundation of a wardrobe that will serve me well in my daily activities.

Last month I was hemming and hawing over adding a new silhouette to my repertoire, but this month I’m back in my menswear corner, opting for a far more masculine vibe:

Blazer: old JCrew maritime blazer (see 2013 me)
Shirt: old Lands End No Iron Supima dress shirt
Pants: Gap tailored crop pants 
Boots: Ecco Structured 45 Gore-Tex booties
Belt: black leather, silver buckle. borrowed from my grandmother.

I got some new pants from Gap and they’ve revitalized my workwear pieces. I’m back to slacks, socks and shoes! I’m enjoying them. I have been searching for new pants for a while and I hope these ones stand the test of time (and the washing machine.)

Eventually maybe I’ll learn to look less rumpled and be even slicker but for now, I’m happy with what I’ve got. My pants have functional pockets and don’t drag on the floor (thank you “ankle length” option). Next on my vague list is a black jacket that ends at the waist–maybe a light bomber style jacket. Something to throw over myself at work that can be casual or dressier depending on what I’m wearing.

That’s where I am sartorially as of late. I suppose because there’s not much change in what I’ve been doing, it’s affected my blog posting schedule here. These days I’m far more likely to update via Instagram–it’s admittedly a lot easier to write a short sentence than a whole post, not to mention I’m quite visually oriented. Please join me there should you feel so inclined 🙂

Skirting issues

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:

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#allblackeverything club

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

Fun facts:

– 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?

Workweek 12/15 – 12/19

I’m bloody exhausted but here is mid-December’s installment of “Workweek.”

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Monday: Lands End 2013 Luxe Wool Walker Coat, old Uniqlo polka dot poly dress, Target tights, Nike Lunarglide 5
Tuesday: Banana Republic Textured Cropped Turtleneck, Uniqlo Ultra Light Down Vest, Uniqlo Ultra Stretch jeans, Ecco Sculptured GTX booties
Wednesday: JCrew Factory plaid flannel shirt, Zara cropped cotton sweater, Uniqlo Ultra Stretch jeans, Born Valentina riding boots
Thursday: see Tuesday.
Friday: Muji cable-knit open cardigan, Uniqlo Ultra Stretch jeans, Nike Lunarglide 4.

Being sick really throws everything into perspective. When one is healthy, it is easy to take many things for granted, like exercise. I am annoyed at not being able to run or not having energy to do anything after work. As far as getting dressed, you can see my creativity took a hit this week. I repeated Tuesday with no shame. That darn sweater is just so comfortable; I’ve purchased another in the light gray color which is due to arrive today. I may just wear turtlenecks for the next three months and call it a day.

I hope I’ll be better by next week–Christmas is nigh! I hope you all are staying healthy.