WIW 6/20: Red rose swing dress and denim, yee haw!

Continuing my exploration of the hidden recesses of my closet, here is a red rose swing dress that I bought off eBay last December when I was looking for a costume to wear to a Wild West holiday party at work. I was going to wear it with a red crinoline underneath: http://youlookfab.com/welookfa.....iday-party. I ended up going with a saloon girl look instead (http://goldenpig.lookfab.com/p.....aloon-girl) and purging the crinoline, but this dress and another cherry-print dress were non-returnable since they were from eBay. I bought them off eBay because I couldn't find this sort of style online or in stores, but now I know better than to buy stuff off eBay unless I'm absolutely sure I want it.

Anyhow, thought I'd see if this would still be appropriate to wear as a non-costume summer dress (I have the day off from work today so this is a MOTG outfit). I paired it with an AE cropped faded denim jacket and flat nude Naturalizer sandals and a casual turquoise necklace and my JWT straw purse. Does it look OK or do I still look like a cowgirl even without boots on? Is it too low cut in the front with the halter style (I'm wearing a strapless bra)? Keep or toss on the dress? Thanks for looking and commenting!


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WIW 6/19: Angie-inspired soft masculine look and K/T blue stripe shirt

I loved Angie's soft masculine summer outfit on her:
I did not think this would look good on me because my style tends to be very ladylike and I don't do well with tomboy or masculine looks. But I had similar pieces in my closet so I thought I'd give it a try. Plus right now I'm doing forced exploration of my closet to try to assess my older/lesser worn pieces. These blue button down shirts are all old. I don't think light blue is my color so these may have to go. What do you think--purge all of these shirts or is one of them worth saving?

As an apple, I felt rather self-conscious about tucking and belting the shirt, but gave it a try anyways. This outfit does technically meet my rubric criteria (Color--raspberry, Pattern--animal print and striped shirt, Matchy-matchy--animal print belt and shoes and red trimmed shoes matching raspberry blazer, Fitted--shirt tucked and belted, Flair--leopard pumps), but I admit it's a little out of my style comfort zone. What do you think--is this ladylike enough with the heels to fit with my style or should I give up on trying masculine looks?

1. My attempt to copy Angie (in #2):
Old Navy striped shirt
Kut from the Kloth white skinny jeans
Tulle raspberry blazer
Animal print belt
B Makowsky Heist animal print pumps
Jason Wu for Target cream and navy straw bag

And keep or toss on the light blue shirts:
3-4. Old Navy striped button down
I like how it's more fitted than the second blouse, but I think it may be too short. I don't remember buying this but I think this may be my brother's shirt that he left behind at my house many years ago.
5-6. Casual Corner striped button down
DH used to compliment me every time I wore this shirt. He likes seeing me in classic pieces like this shirt, or red turtleneck sweater with jeans, etc. This is also ancient (I mean it's Casual Corner, LOL!) It looks like a better length than the first one. But is it too baggy for my figure?
7-8. Ann Taylor satin button down. It's slightly shiny. This was my interview shirt that I wore under a black Ann Taylor suit for all my residency interviews so it's about 15 years old. I now realize that I don't look good at all in this shade of powder blue.

So the question is, should I try to upgrade to a nicer blue pinstripe button down shirt (like Anne Fontaine!) someday, or should I give up on this style of shirt altogether?


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How often do you have to wear something to justify keeping it?

I know this is going to vary a lot based on people's personalities and size of wardrobe and how much you like to remix vs. wear repeat outfits. But I'm just trying to get a sense of how often you feel you need to wear something in order to justify keeping it in your closet. I'm not counting special occasion wear like evening dresses or ski parkas or things that might only get used once a year or so. Do you purge it if you haven't worn it at least once a month? Once a season? Once a year? What's the longest you've ever kept something without wearing it?

The things I like the most I tend to wear at least twice a month, sometimes even up to once or twice a week (especially shoes and handbags). Some of my closet items have only been worn 2-3 times in the last year but I'm waiting till fall comes around again to see if I still like them. I have been pretty good about purging old stuff, but I do admit I have a few things in my closet that haven't been worn yet or haven't been worn in over a year that I really should re-evaluate.

What about you? How aggressive are you about purging lesser-worn items?


Where are you on the classic vs. trendy scale?

Another fun question--where are you on the classic vs. trendy scale? I'm arbitrarity assigning 1 to classic and 10 to trendy (no value judgement on the numbers). One is if you primarily like classic cuts and items and wait to adopt trends until they become fairly classic pieces that look like they will survive the test of time. Ten is if you are an early adopter and love trying out the latest trends. Five is if you equally love classic and trendy pieces and have them in equal amounts in your wardrobe.

I know there can be some negative associations with both words (ie classic=conservative or boring, trendy=fashion victim) but I think both can be equally stylish and I want to know where you stand. And does your personality fit with where you are on the fashion scale?

I am not sure where I stand, but I am guessing a 8! I am much more of a risk taker (lately) with fashion than I am in real life!


Does the poster's commentary influence your WIW or K/R evaluation?

Fun question--I'm just curious whether your assessment of people's K/R and WIWs are influenced by their commentary about their outfit. Do you look at the pics first and decide first without reading, or do you read what they said first and then decide?

For example, if someone says their outfit is 10 years old, are you more likely to call it dated than if they didn't say anything about its age? Or if someone says that they felt super fab in an outfit, are you more likely to give it a thumbs up even if you don't think it looks the best on them fit or fashion wise? Or if it looks fab to you, but the poster said they don't feel comfortable in it because it's not their usual style, are you more likely to tell them to return it? And are you influenced by the other replies from other commenters?

I'm asking because I am a very poor judge of datedness--I tend to like things in my closet for a lot longer than I perhaps should even when the style world has moved on. I like to think I'm more trendy than classic but maybe I have a classic streak in me. And I do feel like my impression of other peoples' outfits are swayed by how they feel about it--I'm more likely to compliment it if the original poster raves about it or subsequent replies are all positive, even if my initial reaction was negative. Sometimes if I'm not sure, I'll wait to see what the first few replies are--I've had situations where I loved something that everyone else hated or vice versa. I know that shouldn't matter but sometimes I'm sensitive about giving the "wrong" advice on K/R's. I'd like to think I'm objective, but I think fashion is somewhat subjective and I'm highly influenced by the person's feelings about the outfit! Maybe I could be more objective if I had been following fashion for a long time or was a professional like Angie, but I think the feelings of the person wearing it is the most important--it doesn't matter if it looks fab on them if it makes them uncomfortable, and conversely if it makes them feel fab and confident and they're having fun, then that makes me happy even if it's not personally my taste!

So, are you an objective or subjective evaluator?


WIW 6/18: Old favorite red blouse (keep or purge)

I've really enjoyed your responses and advice in my large wardrobe thread:
So I've decided that for the next few weeks I'll make myself wear some of my lesser worn or older items so that I can evaluate how I feel in them and whether they really should stay in my closet. I would love your advice on keep or purging these items so I can make sure my wardrobe is as streamlined as possible (for me, anyways...)

This red and black INC blouse from Macy's was one of my favorites from pre-YLF. I think it's about 7-8 years old. I haven't worn it since joining because I've been busy with new favorites. Now it's time to see if it still works for me. I used to wear it plain (unbelted) with black trousers. It has a shirred long elastic waist and shirred sleeves. This time I wore it with a black pencil skirt, black belt, black pumps, black pendant and black doctor bag. It's a lot of black I know, but all of my other reds don't seem to match well with this blouse.

What say you--keep or purge the blouse?


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How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning and what is your beauty routine? Just curious what the average amount of time spent on getting dressed and personal grooming is, and how complicated your steps are?

For me, picking outfits is the greatest time suck. I spend almost zero time on hair and makeup which is why the hairstylist's suggestion that I start hot rolling my hair seems very impractical for my lifestyle.

I do:
Shower--3 min
Wash face-1 min
Brush teeth-1 min
Brush hair--30 sec
Clean glasses--30 sec
Deodorant--15 sec
Picking outfit and getting dressed--5-10 min including taking outfit pics
Eating breakfast/checking email/YLF--0-10 min (depending on if I'm late)
Swipe of Black honey lipstick--15 sec

That doesn't include taking care of the kids which adds about another 1/2 hour. So it's usually at least an hour to get out the door (sometimes I can do it in 1/2 hr if the nanny takes care of the kids), with minimal beauty routine (no blowdrying or hairstyling or full makeup). How long does it take for you?


How large a wardrobe is too large?

Now that I've shifted from wardrobe building to wardrobe maintenance phase (for the most part--still haven't been able to go fully SYC--I think I'm more of a SYB girl), I've been thinking about the size of my wardrobe and how to tell when a wardrobe is too large? What's the maximum size for a reasonable wardrobe?

I inventoried my wardrobe in December (http://goldenpig.lookfab.com/p.....ation-pics) and counted about 300 pieces of clothing altogether. Since then I've done several further comb-through purges and culled most of my old pre-YLF clothes except for some basics and a few stubbornly sentimental faves (like a couple of my fave 90's skirts). I even have started purging a few post-YLF items that I now realize don't look the best on me. I gave some away to my family, consigned some and donated some. But then I've also added several pieces since December (mainly dresses and handbags) as well, so I'm probably still hovering around 300 items. I did a rough count recently and seems like I have about 30 pieces in each category: 30 dresses, 30 skirts, 30 short sleeve and 30 long sleeve tops, 30 jackets/coats, 30 pants (mostly jeans, only a few trousers but I don't wear trousers much), 30 shoes/boots, 30 purses etc. Is that too many?

Everything fits in my closet (although I need a better system for storing handbags), and one 5-dresser drawer for T shirts and PJs and undies and socks and loungewear, and long coats are stored in the coat closet upstairs. So it's not a question of space--it's all organized and I can see everything. I'm just wondering if that total is too many items--like I could spend a whole month wearing nothing but dresses and another whole month wearing only skirts! I do like everything that is currently in my closet. But should I be paring down further so I can wear things more often? I do sometimes sit and stare at my clothes in the morning wondering what I should wear--maybe I have too many choices? It is nice to have lots of options but sometimes it can be paralyzing when you're trying so hard to be creative and remix and not just reach for old favorites so you get around to wearing everything in your closet. But even with such a large wardrobe I still feel like I have holes...like not enough MOTG wear like casual tops and nicer/interesting tees, very few shorts (still need denim shorts and white shorts or clams), few casual/flat sandals, etc. Crazy!

Just wondering what you consider the maximum reasonable size for a fully purged/organized/curated wardrobe and what the biggest wardrobes are around here--hopefully I'm not the only one with a huge number of clothes!


WIW 6/13: New haircut and date night

I went to get my hair cut at a salon (it's been 8 months since my last cut http://goldenpig.lookfab.com/p.....ure-outfit). Hubby has been moaning all week worrying that I was going to cut it short (he really likes my long hair) so I decided to keep it long to keep him happy. The stylist thought that it would be better long anyways if I didn't have much time to style it in the morning because he said that bobs require a lot of hands-on blowdrying in the morning. He really wants me to try blow drying it with mousse in the evening and doing hot rollers in the morning (he said to put in the rollers and then get dressed/do makeup while they cool). Hmm, I'll have to see if I really have the time to do all that! Also, not sure how I'd look with wavy hair and if that would be too "sexy/glam" for work. I may be game to give it a try though--any recs for hot roller sets?

He spent over an hour cutting (I had to hold really still for a long time while he worked on my "line"), blowdrying and flat ironing it. At first I thought that was silly--I thought my hair is already stick straight!--but after looking at the before/after pics it does look flatter. I know it's not that exciting or radical of a change, but DH was relieved and said he liked the cut. I asked DH if it looked any different than me going to Supercuts--is it really worth the extra cost? He seemed to think I wouldn't get as nice of a cut at Supercuts--what do you think? The hairstylist said I shouldn't wait so long in between cuts and I promised I will try to make more of an effort to come in every 3-4 months instead of every 8-12 months, LOL!

1-5. Before and after haircut pics--what do you think of the cut?

6. What I wore to the hair salon (and dentist)
Anthro Dots Within emerald green pussy-bow blouse
Gap dark blue trouser jeans
Clarks nude wedge sandals
Dooney & Bourke yellow bag

7-11. What I wore on date night (out to dinner with DH)
Tahari magenta and black Asian-print dress
Kate Spade black ruffle trench
Seychelles black sandals (first outing)
Black dangly earrings and silver and black bracelet
Grey bag (I really need to find a better evening bag--this was just a freebie from a makeup kit)


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WIW 6/11-12: Camping gear

We took the kids on their first camping trip! We stayed in a tent the first night and a cabin the second night. It was really pretty there--the tent sites and cabins have a view of the ocean. It was close enough that we could go home for lunch and a nap in between the two nights, which was good because the kids were so excited they barely slept at night! I'm not wearing anything special, just gear (orange hoodie and red REI fleece, jeans and hiking shoes). But I thought I'd share anyways--we all had a lot of fun! (Bonus pic of the kids making s'mores)!


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