What I Wore: Not for Sale

Nothing in this outfit is for sale. Nothing is currently available in stores, and most pieces are over two years old. Not only that, this is the end of summer and stores and full of booties and sweaters, not sundresses and sandals. So finding “similar” pieces is near impossible.  But I'm sharing this outfit because these pieces are several years old. Because they are good buys, and proof that you don't have to spend a lot or purchase new each season to be well dressed and appropriately dressed for any occasion.

This dress is from cabi. It's an awesome stretchy jersey that drapes nicely, doesn't cling, and is thick enough to hide things like VPL. At cabi Scoop they had a warehouse full of previous season clothing for sale at a steep discount. I didn't try it on, but knew the brand well enough to guess at my size. It's been a favorite this summer, I dress it up with wedge sandals and gold jewelry, but also wear it for running errands with some sandals or my shelltops. The quality matters; I've bought similar concept dresses from discount and big box retailers and have to retire them after a season. This one has been in the washer and dryer a dozen times and looks the same; I know it will get just as much wear next summer.

These sandals are from Softspots. I bought a pair at Nordstrom many many years ago and wore the HECK out of them. They went with me to Bonnaroo and Forecastle music festivals they were so comfortable. When my first pair died, I found a second pair of these discontinued sandals on eBay. And this pair is literally falling apart, some of the straps have separated from the sole. But I wear them anyway, and on this day I walked over three miles in them. I haven't been able to find similar in wide width and am afraid next summer will be the absolute last summer these will live.

Dress: cabi | Shoes: Softspots | Necklace: gift | Hat: Banana Republic | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban (okay one item is for sale!)

In 2007, Karl quit his miserable job and went to Mexico for yoga teacher training. When there, he bought me this black coral necklace. It's a good luck charm for me, I've worn it several times on the blog over the years and even more off the blog.

I bought this hat from Banana Republic earlier this summer. It's hard to find a hat that doesn't look stupid on me or is too small (I have a big noggin). This one fits, fits my personal style, and is really comfortable. I've worn it to the pool, the beach, the garden, the farmer's market, sitting out watching my town's Labor Day parade. It's still in great shape, will likely be worn a couple more weeks then hung up in the closet awaiting spring.

This look was for a long day.  As a family we took a walk to the lake in town, walked around the lake, then up to the town farmer's market.  We grabbed snacks and iced coffee and sat on a grassy hill in the shade chatting with friends.  Ran a couple errands and carried all our purchases back home.  Still in this outfit, we walked down to our plot at the community garden to water and pick ripe produce.  Back at the house, still in this dress (but different shoes) I weeded all the gardens and tried to battle the English ivy that wants to creep onto every square inch of my property.  By the end I was sweaty and dirty but the whole time I was comfortable and confident.  Sometimes the best items in your closet aren't the new or flashy ones.

24 Comments

  1. Bridget Wall
    October 6, 2017 / 8:48 am

    This is just…such good summer attire. Comfy and beautiful.

  2. September 28, 2017 / 7:46 am

    One of my favorite fashion/style quotes is “Fashion is what you’re offered four times a year by designers. And style is what you choose.” – Lauren Hutton Choosing to wear what you have and most importantly what you love time and time again is true style! This look is definitely style IRL. 🙂

  3. Gervy
    September 27, 2017 / 8:01 am

    You look ace Allie. And I love that hat! I also have a big head and struggle to find hats that fit that don’t make me feel ridiculous… will use this as my hat inspiration this summer!

  4. Ruth Slavid
    September 26, 2017 / 11:49 am

    I have to say ‘over 2 years old’ doesn’t impress me much. I was distressed this morning to discover that a favourite skirt had shrunk selectively in the wash – so the lining was now longer than the skirt. It was 12-15 years old. And the other day I was with a friend who was wearing a very nice dress. She bought it secondhand in the 1970s! Her daughters are now grown up and when they need work clothes, she gives them the ones she wore when she was their age. So, nice outfit, but obviously far too new!

    • September 26, 2017 / 1:46 pm

      My body has changed so much in the past decade, there’s little that’s over a few years old that still fits. 🙂 I’m so sorry to hear about your skirt, and I love the story about your friend! I do have many clothes that belonged to my mom that got regular wear; a cape she made in the ’60s came in handy when I had my broken arm and couldn’t fit it in a single coat sleeve. I’ve kept many good things hoping I can pass them down to Emerson!

  5. Kathryn Braun Fenner
    September 26, 2017 / 10:33 am

    You mentioned buying the sandals on eBay–there’s a lot of cabi on eBay, too. Also Thred-Up

  6. Jen B
    September 26, 2017 / 10:17 am

    I love the dress, it’s super flattering!!

  7. September 26, 2017 / 10:06 am

    As I edit my closet, it’s all I’ve been wearing lately… those items that are just hanging there waiting to be worn. Crisp look.

  8. Melissa
    September 26, 2017 / 9:29 am

    Great outfit! This post made me wonder, could you do a post on how you care for your clothes? I know you mention tips here and there, but do you have a system/method for managing all the different kinds of clothes you wear? I hesitate to upgrade because I don’t have my own washer and even though I hang-dry at least half of my family’s clothes, the industrial front-loader in my building really don’t offer much control and the laundromat is an even worse option. Also, when you use something like Gwynnie Bee, do you have to clean the clothes before returning them?

    • Melissa
      September 26, 2017 / 9:30 am

      front-loaders

    • September 26, 2017 / 1:48 pm

      For dresses like this I put them in lingerie bags. I have a half dozen of them, but find the bags keep them from getting tangled with other items or twisted around the innards of a machine. Then I hang dry and usually inside so they don’t get crispy. And Gwynnie Bee one of the beauties of it is you can return things without laundering first!

      You’ve provided me with a great topic for a future blog post, I’ll add it to the queue!

  9. Krista Alexander
    September 26, 2017 / 8:51 am

    I love this outfit. Seriously. The dress is flattering, comfy and stylish. Understated and eye catching at the same time. Living in Florida I’ve had to learn to dress all over again. This is a look one could rock all year long, just add a denim jacket if needed. The fact it’s all items you’ve owned a while is even better.

  10. LindaR
    September 26, 2017 / 8:10 am

    Fab casual look for a busy weekend. Like you, Allie, I strive to purchase clothing with staying power. When clothing pills or shrinks in the laundry or shoes wear out after one season, I feel cheated by the manufacturer and disgusted with myself for wasting money. I avoid “fast fashion” and certain stores but price is no indicator of value these days.

  11. Christine
    September 26, 2017 / 7:36 am

    As a long-time reader of your blog, my favorites posts are when you put together outfits from your existing wardrobe, as opposed to sponsored posts or outfits using pieces on loan. Outfits like this seem to best express your true style. As a reader, I find this very inspiring!

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