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.
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.
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.
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!