My Current Wardrobe

My current work schedule is unpredictable – I am at work when a client needs me which means I sometimes leave the house at 5am. Having a baby who still nurses and a husband I would like to see when not comatose by my side in bed, it doesn’t give me much time to think about creative outfits. My wardrobe has become more and more simple, and has become smaller to make a quick morning getaway all the more simple and with less room for style error.

This is the collection I am currently working with:

Skirts and Pants:

1. Black pencil skirt from Ann Taylor. It is a petite so it hits right at the top of the knee. The fabric looks like suiting but has a bit of Spandex to it so it keeps shape all day and works with my curvy body.

2. Black wide-leg trousers from Semantiks by Nordstrom. Unlined, nice fabric that looks good for work but can also be a weekend look. Crease down the front, wide waistband that lies flat. Reviews online said the petite ran long which was just what I desired – I am not petite but I am not regular so this made the trousers a perfect length for a 2” – 3” heel.

3. Dark Long and Lean jeans from Gap. I have them in petite to wear with my Bern boots and Chucks, and regular length to wear with my black city boots and heels. These are the dark color with a hint of spandex. They stretch out over the day but shrink back up in the dryer and look nicer than regular jeans for work.

4. Stonewash jeans from Seven (don’t know style, got on sale at Filene’s Basement). Slightly vintage details and a little hole in the thigh, bootcut, bit of Spandex. These are my casual jeans. They are a bit long with low boots or sneakers, but it’s not too bad since they are casual weekend jeans and it adds to a vintage/hippie vibe that I like.

5. Ivory tropical-weight wool wide-leg trousers from Talbots. These are petites, which makes them a hair too short with my taller heels, but work with my black city boots. Wide waistband so it lies flat, crease down the front.

6. Black bootcut trousers from New York & Company. I don’t like these. They haven’t worn well, they are a bit lumpy looking and look as cheap as their price tag. They are last resort trousers and are only worn with a cardigan or sweater that can cover the hip area. I plan to donate these once I find a worthy alternative.

7. Charcoal wool/cotton blend trousers from Ann Taylor. These have a fine pinstripe that looks blue when paired with blue, gray when paired with other colors. These stretch out funny if I have a long day where I am sitting a long time. Don’t love, don’t wear a lot. Like best with my black turtleneck or teal shawl collar sweater because those are more fitted and hit on the hips in a place that hides the stretching out.

Tops:

1. Gap crewneck cardigans in dark purple (Purple Martin) and raspberry (Rose). These are currently in the stores – some have contrast ribbon at the placket. The dark purple one has a black and white stripe placket, the raspberry one has a tonal one.

2. Various ribbed tanks. I have three white ones, one black, one gray, one dark purple (same color as the Gap cardigan), one olive.

3. Refined pima cotton tanks from Banana Republic. I have one in white, one in black. These are really nice and could even be paired with a suit as a proper shell. They wash great, and are far more work appropriate than a basic ribbed tank.

4. Navy waffle-knit shawl collar sweater from Ann Taylor LOFT. LOFT fans probably would recognize this sweater from the fall/winter collection. It’s comfy, cozy, but the navy color and flattering neckline make it a pretty choice for weekends. I usually pair it with a white ribbed tank.

5. Black merino crewneck from Banana Republic. I have had this for years. It has Spandex in it which gives it a nice shape.

6. Black merino turtleneck from Ann Taylor. It’s a floppy turtleneck – sort of a blend between a turtle and a cowl neck.

7. Taupe chunky cable-knit sweater jacket from Ann Taylor. Was in the stores this season, it doesn’t have a closure, sort of a dolman style. I usually wear it on weekends with an ivory pashmina around the neck, ribbed tank and jeans.

8. Gray fuzzy Kenzie cardigan. Long-time readers would know this sweater as that I bought it last winter and rocked the heck out of it while pregnant. It is too big for work, but I do wear it on weekends with jeans, a ribbed tank and a bunch of chain necklaces for a boho vibe.

9. Heather gray ruffle-trim cardigan by Caslon for Nordstrom. This had a self-belt but it hit at a weird place so I snipped off the belt loops and wear it sans closure. It’s the same color gray as my gray ribbed tank so it makes a sort of twinset

10. Same cardigan, but petite and in black. The petite hits at the right place and looks sassy with the self belt tied in a bow, cinching the cardigan. This gives it a peplum look at the hips.

11. Ivory jersey tunic with print trim by Language Los Angeles. I have had this for several months and wore it on this blog before. I accidently had it go through the dryer and now it’s not as crisp as it was so it’s now a Casual Friday or weekend top.

12. Teal blue shawl collar merino sweater from Banana Republic. Pretty standard sweater, wear with a black camisole. Great color, was only $27 in the store on New Year's Day and I also had a 15% off coupon.  Nice!

13. Indigo merino cowl neck from Ann Taylor. Has a slight teal/green tint so it contrasts enough to be paired with black.

14. Ivory Henley with taupe stripes from Gap. Not my normal color palette but I was drawn to it. A weekend top.

15. Pale yellow and gray striped v-neck cardigan from Gap. Gray is same color as my gray ribbed tank. Another item that is not my normal color palette but I like it.

16. Black cashmere puff sleeve sweater tee. I have had this for years, still rocking it from time to time.

Dresses:

1. Black matte jersey wrap dress from Old Navy. I have had this for years. Pretty standard.

2. Black jersey wrap dress from Talbots. I have had this for almost a year. A more flippy/feminine shape than the Old Navy dress.

3. Violet merino cowl neck sweater dress from Banana Republic.

4. Black ponte a-line dress from Muse. It has a print of peacock feathers on it. Too short for work, but fabulous for play. Wear to parties, to a rehearsal dinner, Date Night, etc.

5. Black matte jersey sleeveless surplice neck dress from Ann Taylor. Basic cocktail/wedding guest dress

6. Black matte jersey maxi dress from Calvin Klein. This was my Matron of Honor dress for my friend’s wedding in September. I then wore it in November for another wedding with gold sandals and big earrings. I wore the same look this very month for my company’s holiday party.

Footwear:

1. Black city boots from David Tateir?t=whaevewomneei 20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=B001G0NZCI

2. Tan “Bern” boots from DUO

3. Black classic lowrise “Chucks” from Converseir?t=whaevewomneei 20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=B002W7V9EA

4. Black patent round-toe Mary Jane pumps from Mee Too

5. Black leather tall “Maryland” boots from Ros Hommerson

6. Black leather delicate strappy kitten heel slingbacks from Banana Republic

As you see, it’s a pretty simple palette – not a lot of frou frou but nice pieces that work well together. I can wear the black ruffle-trim cardigan with my black skirt and tall boots and have a look that works for a casual client meeting; wear it with a white ribbed tank, dark jeans and black boots with necklaces for a trip to the mall; with a ribbed tank, casual jeans and chucks for hanging out at my friend’s house.

And you know me, tons of accessories. Scarves, necklaces, earrings, belts, tights, a funky printed clutch for evening. Totally transforms basics.

Note:  I still have lots of other clothes that you have seen, but I have packed them up or put them at the back of the closet because right now they don't fit my body or don't fit my wardrobe.  I just don't want them cluttering my space or mind when I am short on time.

What I would love to add to my wardrobe:

1. A pair of more rigid dark jeans with a straight cut

2. A new pair of black city boots with a sleeker heel and more sleek toebox

3. Another pima tank from Banana Republic in another neutral like dove gray

4. A dark denim pencil skirt

5. Another dress or two that has a more casual shape to it. Something to replace my short-sleeved merino dresses from Banana Republic (still have but are a bit tight right now). Optimum would be something of ponte in charcoal or a dark color like hunter or burgundy with an a-line silhouette and elbow-length sleeves.

6. Another sweater in a pretty color like candy pink or purple. Surplice neckline, deep cowl, some interesting neckline. A sweater I can wear with a skirt or trousers to work, or with jeans on weekends

7. Black sequined tank. Rock it alone with jeans, under my ruffled cardigan… something to jazz up what I already own

8. A black silky jersey blouson top – something maybe off the shoulder, drapey, slight shine to the fabric. A top I can wear with jeans and boots and some big silver hoops for a night out on the town, or even dress up with black trousers and pretty heels

9. Black leather platform peeptoe heels. Can wear now for a night out, can wear in spring to work as well as to play.

10. A silky jersey top with interest. Something with puffed sleeves, a wrap style, ruffle trim, pretty neckline or combo of these. In teal or berry or candy pink or jade. Something I could wear to work with a cami or out on the town.

Today is Friday, and I am wearing my black merino turtleneck, my Seven jeans, black city boots and a long necklace made of silver chain and an occasional big pearlized yellow bead (sort of looks like some type of stone but I think it’s just plastic), silver cuff bracelet, subtly smoky eyes, glossy pinky brown lips and hair wavy and casual. Can’t take a picture because all of the upstairs is dark – it is still dark outside and my husband and Emerson (and two of the dogs) are still asleep.

This weekend I have plans to go out with friends – it is my birthday next week, it was my sister’s birthday this week and our good friend’s birthday was on the 10th of this month. Not sure yet what I will wear, as that it’s not really peacock-print dress sort of locations… more like a jeans sort of evening. I may do the black ruffle-trim cardigan, the black pima tank and some fun silver jewelry and a smoky eye. If I get pictures from the night I will be sure to post!

12 Comments

  1. October 23, 2010 / 2:56 am

    Whenever my schedule get really crazy I just resort to the tried and tested essentials, though it’s always nice to carry a scarf around to jazz things up.

  2. January 27, 2010 / 6:19 am

    What a treat to see you posting so much more than I had expected. I’m so glad that you didn’t stop blogging altogether – your blog has been on my reading list for years and I’d greatly miss it.

    One idea for a ponte dress – I’m not sure if this style would work for you, but there is an Adrianna Papell ponte sheath dress that had been at Nordstrom Anniversary Sale currently on super-sale: http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/3068409/0~2376776~2374325~2384900?mediumthumbnail=Y&origin=category&searchtype=&pbo=2384900&P=1#reviewAnchor
    I didn’t love it on me, but I’ve seen other curvy girls wear it and look fantastic. They previously had other colors including purple and burgundy, so you may be able to find some at Nordstrom or at the Rack in other colors or sizes.

    I’m shocked not to see your Sofft shoes on your current rotation!

    That’s neat the you love the ruffled Caslon cardigans so much. I contemplated giving the navy blue one to my mom for Christmas, but could only find it in petite and feared it would be too short on her. I love the picture you posted of you in yours.

  3. Anonymous
    January 26, 2010 / 5:44 pm

    Allie, regarding a ponte dress have you seen this one from Lands End on mega clearance: Women’s Regular 3/4-sleeve Boatneck Ponté Dress Item # 38541-2BN9

    It looks really nice.

  4. LT
    January 25, 2010 / 5:01 pm

    Thanks for the wardrobe update Allie! It really makes me want to like in my own closet, look at what I wear and don’t wear, so that I can make better decisions when I’m shopping. So often what I buy is just a new piece instead of a new piece that builds on what I already own.

  5. FashionAddict
    January 23, 2010 / 3:50 pm

    You have some awesome clothes, lady! Love this post. I hope your birthday week is special, and I think you should wear whatever makes you feel best.

  6. January 23, 2010 / 12:56 am

    Did you notice that Old Navy has those ponte trousers that you used to wear back in? They might be a good alternative to the New York and Co. pants. Word of caution though–they run very big this time around. I ended up keeping the 6 when I wear an 8 most of the time and still some 10’s every once and a while (including in Old Navy weekend jeans).

    Also (and no, I don’t work for Old Navy–he he), their denim pencil skirts are good this season. They fit well and don’t lose their shape during the day. Not on sale right now, but I think it’s just $30. Seems pretty TTS.

    Hope that helps!

  7. January 22, 2010 / 10:51 pm

    Great post! I definitely need new tanks so I will be trying the pima from BR for sure. Love the links and ideas and several of your “wish list” items are on my list too! Glad to have you back!

  8. Marie
    January 22, 2010 / 8:10 pm

    I’m so glad you came back to post! I clicked on all the links of the outfits you have and I love every one of them. The ruffle cardigan and peacock dress are my favorites and I’m online now planning to hunt them down. I’m at the point now where I don’t know what to wear to work anymore and I feel like I wear the same old stuff. Love your choices! Keep them coming, (when you have the time) please!!

  9. January 22, 2010 / 6:35 pm

    I’m so glad to see you posting, and this is such an informative post! I could see why it would be much easier to pare your wardrobe down this much when you’re so busy, especially since you have such great accessories.

    And I really want one of those Caslon ruffle trim cardigans now.

  10. Margot
    January 22, 2010 / 6:14 pm

    Hi Allie,
    Welcome back;-).
    I have recently been ruthless with my wardrobe because of the following things:
    Thyroid weight gain/body change that seems permanent.
    Aging – the colors I wore when younger and still dying my hair don’t do it for me anymore. I am gravitating towards soft, but medium toned colors that make me happy and really look good with the silvers in my hair and my lightening natural color.

    If it doesn’t fit my weird body shape or the color doesn’t flatter it is out. I am also going through my shoes and accessories.

    It makes getting dressed easier, helps me feel better with the new body/coloring and I am loving the increased closet space.

  11. January 22, 2010 / 3:52 pm

    Aww thanks for the idea!

    The dress is longer on me – I actually did wear it to work once with black tights and tall boots but felt a bit clubby. Also the dress is described as ponte but it is a stretchy fabric with sheen. Not sure how it would look with jeans but I bet it would look great with leggings!

  12. January 22, 2010 / 3:48 pm

    Good to see you back!

    I bet it would look cute if you wore your peacock dress with some skinny jeans and pumps! (I am assuming that the peacock dress is as short on you as it is on the model when I say this) You could wear some pretty big statement jewelry with it and it would be so cute!!! I’m not sure how cold it is by you, either… so I could be totally off base with my suggestions- but I think it would be cute with some leggings or skinny jeans and pumps. 🙂

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