What I Wore: The Old Reliable

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Wardrobe Oxygen, an over 40 fashion blog featuring a Lands' End cableknit sweater, JAG Jeans, and Clarks ankle booties

sweater | jeans | booties | bag | sunglasses

Wardrobe Oxygen, an over 40 fashion blog featuring a Lands' End cableknit sweater, JAG Jeans, and Clarks ankle booties Wardrobe Oxygen, an over 40 fashion blog featuring a Lands' End cableknit sweater, JAG Jeans, and Clarks ankle booties Banana Republic Sandhurst Hobo Bag - Wardrobe Oxygen Wardrobe Oxygen wearing Clarks Spye Astro ankle booties in sand suede Wardrobe Oxygen, an over 40 fashion blog featuring a Lands' End cableknit sweater, JAG Jeans, and Clarks ankle bootiesSweater: Lands' End (L) (similar) | Jeans: c/o JAG Jeans (12) | Booties: Spye Astro Boot c/o Clarks | Bag: Banana Republic (similar) | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Bracelets: Gorjana (similar), c/o Joseph Nogucci | Watch: Citizen | Necklace: Stella & Dot

This past weekend I spent a lot of time running errands and catching up from spending the previous weekend in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. This sweater I purchased last year on clearance and it's still a favorite. I featured these jeans in this post and they're a weekend fave; the embroidery makes them stand out and more fun than basic boyfriend jeans. Speaking of faves, I bought this bag from Banana Republic almost a decade ago (I mention it in 2010 about how it was such a good buy). I saw it in the store and fell in love hard but couldn't afford it. I went on eBay and found it new for a fraction of the retail price, though it was way more than I would usually spend on a bag. I splurged, and am so glad I did as it's still a favorite bag. It taught me to buy quality, not quantity, and to wait for the right thing instead of making do.  And yes, if you read the post I linked to about it, it has been cleaned!

I can't believe I haven't featured these shoes on the blog until now. Clarks sent me their Spye Astro ankle booties in Sand Suede several weeks ago but I couldn't wear them because of my broken foot. If you follow me on Instagram you know I have worn them several times in the past couple of weeks. I've paired with a striped knit dress, grey skinny jeans, and often with boyfriend jeans. Clarks is known for quality and comfort and these adorable booties do not disappoint.

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. Hey Allie, do you have a more recent post on your best purchases for similar items? Understandably, most of the items are no longer being manufactured.

    1. This is such a tough thing. The longer I blog the faster I see merchandise turnover. Even writing a post a week in advance, often by time it goes live the items mentioned are out of stock and not coming back. For this post, I shared the LE Drifter sweater as the (similar) because I own that one too and the only difference between the two is the neckline. The jeans are still in stock as are the booties, sunglasses, and necklace. The bag is almost a decade old and I spent a good 20 minutes searching the web for a good alternative but it was hard to find color and style. Botkier has lots of hobos a similar shape but they’re glossy black, more modern of a finish. Frye has plenty in this color, but the shapes are drastically different.

      I find this most with my capsule wardrobes. I will make one, it will go viral on Pinterest and I’ll get a ton of emails complaining that every item is not available. Every couple of months I try to go back to the most popular ones and update links but rarely can I find equivalents because trends change so quickly and one season blues are hot, the next it’s all autumnal shades; one season it’s wrap dresses and the next it’s ones with the knot in the fabric to cinch the waist.

      Brands like Lands’ End and Ann Taylor used to be ones I could rely on for keeping at least silhouettes similar more than one season even if the colors changed. But even there it’s no longer the same. I wish I had a better answer, but I do try in every outfit post, to offer what I searched online and found to be a worthy alternative and note it as (similar). Either similar silhouette or else similar color, whichever one I felt made more of an impact for the entire look. 🙂

      1. I think you are in the top three of honest fashion bloggers lady! And only of two that I will recommend via FB to people I know. Thank you. Maybe if I say which items I was most interested in you could blog specifically about how you replaced your ol’ favorites from years gone buy? I have been following your lipstick hunt and I know how difficult even that is ‘my lips but better’.

        The links I followed from your old post that I wonder what your current day replacement would be are:

        The Nordstrom tissue weight pashmina (that doesn’t tangle or unravel)

        Chantelle Senso Bra

        Thank you, woman, for being you! xo

        1. I still use that same pashmina, Nordstrom doesn’t carry that exact same one but this silk and cashmere blend one is a nice alternative and during semi-annual sales they often have colors on discount. http://bit.ly/1XlNzKV

          Chantelle Senso bra has been replaced by a very similar one from Fantasie. I’ve been wearing this one (in various sizes) over the years and LOVE it! http://bit.ly/1SUCwba

          And thank YOU! Comments and feedback is what keeps me blogging and keeps me honest! (and being honest, just letting you know both of these links are affiliate links, if you don’t want to click on the bra link I wrote about it in this post http://www.wardrobeoxygen.com/2016/02/best-lingerie-curvy-women-over-30.html and on Nordstrom’s site search cashmere & silk wrap and it should show up!)

          1. I think that using an affiliate link to pursue or purchase something I’d be interested in BECAUSE of your post in a pretty tiny way of saying thank you. People don’t get charged extra for something that provided a few pennies to the party who found the item. But maybe, that’s just me; hope not!

    2. And after I clicked Send I thought about how THIS is the reason you don’t see style bloggers wearing the same things over and over. We make money through affiliate links, and if our items are not longer manufactured, we can’t make a sale. It’s an awful fact, but especially when blogs become a person’s full time income, things are kept fresh and new so the income keeps coming in. I can tell you with this outfit post I have made SIGNIFICANTLY less money than other recent posts because everything is old and I admit such. And on top of that, posts where clothing has been seen before usually receives less comments and less shares (you readers are an anomaly who like to see old reliables!) which encourages bloggers even more to buy new and show only new. I still share because I think it’s a good example of buying less, buying quality, and knowing your style so posts like this confirm what I am saying in other posts. But my topic is different from a lot of other blogs. Ah, how blogging has changed once money became a factor!

  2. I love my Jag jeans! So far I have 2 of the pull-on pants, but I’m planning on ordering a zip-up pair. Thanks to your blog I now have great-fitting jeans – something I had about given up on finding.

  3. The old reliable looks great on you–comfortable, clean, polished and ready for fun! I remember reading your post on the Banana Republic hobo and falling in love with it too. I looked for it, but couldn’t find it for a reasonable price either. I would definitely wear this outfit with the light suede booties, except I’d swap out the distressed jeans for a dark wash skinny jeans. How were you able to wear this look in the cold spell we’ve been suffering on the East Coast lately? Nonetheless, you’ve inspired another stylish look.

  4. That jumper – as we Aussies call sweaters 😉 – looks so comfy and cosy. Just what I’m looking for now that we’re mid-Autumn, though you’d hardly know it from the weather! Admittedly the temp today is 21C, as opposed to the 31C we had yesterday, but it just doesn’t feel right for the season (here in Canberra by now we’re usually counting the days to ANZAC Day so we can ‘officially’ turn the heaters on – it’s a bit of a local milestone).

    1. This was a great buy; it’s cotton and has been in the washer and dryer several times and looks great. The back has three gold buttons at the neck which really makes it nice, nice enough I’ve worn it to the office with ivory tropical wool trousers!

  5. Cute booties!
    On eBay, I just scored a pair of pancake flat, blue-gray Clarks oxfords in British size 9, which equals my otherwise hard to find size of 11.5. I wonder where I can buy other Clarks shoes in British sizes. The American ones seem to only come in 11 (too small) or 12 (too big)…I loved Indigos by Clarks back when I was an 11

    1. My go-to for unusual sizes is Amazon. I learned that it’s easy to be an Amazon seller and what you can do is buy merch from places selling it on clearance (overstock, going out of business) and sell for a profit on Amazon. I did a quick check of Clarks shoes in 11.5 on Amazon and a few styles popped up, hope this helps! http://amzn.to/1RYfG1x keep checking, since sellers can come up with some randomness and only have to sell one piece, no need for a plethora of sizes, selection can change pretty rapidly!

      1. Genius! I forget about Amazon–they have a huge selection of shoes in weird sizes–not as searchable as eBay, but then, what is?

  6. I love these booties! I’ve been looking for a pair with low heels as I’m 5’9″ barefoot and do a lot of day-to-day walking. Do you find black or a neutral like the stone color you’re wearing to be more versatile, in general? I was thinking about buying these in black, since I already own a pair of light tan Sperry booties, but the stone color seems to look really nice with denim. Ideally, I’d love to get away with just two pairs of booties, but I don’t know if that’s possible.

    1. The black is better if you wish to wear with pants and maybe to the office. The tan is harder to pair with dark colored bottoms. The lighter is good with denim, with cream and light colored pants, and I think more flattering when worn with skirts and dresses since it elongates the leg line. 🙂

      1. Thank you, as always, for your sage advice 🙂 It’s funny – I’m not over-40 and my body type is very different from yours, but almost everything you wear and say about it resonates with me. You’ve been so helpful as I come into my own style in my 30s – Keep up the excellent work!

  7. I’m in such a fashion rut. I live in northern Ontario and it’s just been cold and snowy here. Getting 30 cm of snow over the next two days. I’m tired of my winter wardrobe and ready to start wearing spring clothes. I’m wearing an old reliable today as well, a long tunic sweater, ponte pants and black boots. Can’t wait to get over this hump and start refreshing my wardrobe with some spring items!

  8. “Old reliable” here, too. Michael Kors dress (mini/tunic-length on me because I’m tall) over thrifted denim leggings with an Old Navy dark wash denim jacket from the spring Tall collection. Shoes are tan Aerosoles wedges.

  9. I’m wearing one of my “old reliable” outfits today too. I’ve done one full month using the closet capsule and I’m loving it. I tweaked it a little after thirty days since the weather is improving (and added a little more color for spring, but I’m still rocking under thirty pieces.
    The Clarks booties you’re wearing are adorable. I am on the hunt for stylish comfortable booties as I seem to never wear my knee high boots. I’ll have to rethink them next fall (keep or consign).

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