Hi guys. Sorry it’s been a while. I wrote this post before I flew out to LA this week, but I came home late from my side job and was in a mad rush to get to the airport the next morning, so this post sort of slipped through the cracks. But without further adieu…
February was a mixed bag for getting dressed. I wore work trousers and my HOPP oxfords almost every day but over time that began to feel stale. I wouldn’t change the oxfords part of the equation but I got frustrated with my limited options for trousers. I have plenty of pants (maybe like 9 or 10?), but I couldn’t wear most of them out to work because it’s been cold and many of my pants are not cut out for the cold. I could wear leggings to warm things up, but in reality, I rush through my mornings and default to the same ol’ single layer options most days. This left me with only 3 pairs of trousers to rotate through during the work week (one of which is the tan trousers that most of you guys thought looked funny with socks).
I had the option of layering a skirt or work dress over winter leggings, but I own very few work appropriate dresses and skirts these days (just 1 or 2!). I weeded out most of my work dresses during my closet clean outs over the years for one reason or another. I think mostly because a lot of my dresses were made out of cheap polyester fabrics that felt terrible against the skin (I bought these dresses before I became wiser about fabrics), or I got rid of them because they developed that gross polyester type of pilling – the kind that sound like plastic particles snapping when you try to remove them.
I didn’t shop much in the month of February except to use store credit to replace some old worn out necessities. The frustration I experienced has taught me that I should loosen up on my clothes shopping restriction, but make my money work harder by staying laser focused on building up my work wardrobe. Too often I get enamored with buying casual and loungewear, that I forget I need to get dressed for the office 5 days out of the week. Work wear is not as fun for me, but it’s time to wake up and fix that area in my closet. So what are some office clothing gaps that could use some filling?
I own one crappy cardigan. It’s an EL cashmere BF cardigan that has not held up well. It’s probably my own fault for choosing a cashmere in navy. The fabric attracts way too much dust and pet hair. It’s simply unwearable. A swipe with a heavy duty lint roller does almost nothing to clear the debris. It’s also too warm to layer underneath my puffer during my commute. So, one of my work wardrobe goals is to find a light weight, no nonsense long cardigan in either charcoal gray or black. One that is smooth to touch with little potential for pilling. And something I could easily take with me on an airplane and stuff in my bag if I needed to. Eventually I think I will want a similar one in a tan or oatmeal color as well. I’m looking at this one from PACT clothing.
Second work wardrobe goal, I need to add 2 or 3 high quality, comfortable, but extremely boring/’classic” black full length trousers. I’ve been aware of this huge gap in my wardrobe but have done nothing about it in all these years. It’s hard to get excited about it. Too often I go to a pants section of a shop and get distracted by all the new cuts of jeans and avant garde trousers, ie. Lemaire twist pants, black crane carpenters, jesse kamm. Need to re-focus!
And lastly, I need to replace all the cheap polyester work dresses that I weeded out over the years, with similar dresses that are made of natural higher quality fabrics. Maybe I’ll even experiment with dresses that go past my knees for once. I think maybe if I wear a more flattening bra with longer dresses, my proportions would balance out. I might need to step foot in a brick and mortar store for this one. The idea of doing that pains me, lol. I have my eyes on a few at Amour Vert dresses and this jumper dress from EF that I plan to wear over black or white fitted tees. (I’m going to visit the Eileen Fisher store in real life today to try things on).
I cringe at what the price tag might be for these goals, but I think focusing on this area will bring more balance to my wardrobe. I spend 5 days a week at work, and 2 days a week lounging around, and yet my wardrobe reflects the exact opposite lifestyle: it’s 70% casual/loungewear, and 30% office appropriate. It’s madness!
On a positive note: I’m pretty content in the shoe department. I’ve been wearing my HOPP oxfords everyday to work since I got them around new years. They go with everything and there is nothing more comfortable while the weather is still cold. They are practically giving select sizes away at the HOPP clearance sale, here (just a style PSA; I don’t get any $ or gifts from HOPP). I’m holding out for the boots to come back in my size, but I’m not sure how much I’ll wear boots come spring and come my move to California. Because maybe I’ll want to live the rest of my sunny California life in sandals!
Anyway, I hope you guys stay toasty during this next snowstorm on the east coast. I’m supposed to be on a flight back to NYC tonight but I expect they will cancel my flight.
6 thoughts on “wardrobe re-focus”
I hope the EF dress is a good fit – that will be useful on both coasts!!
thanks. I tried it and it looked too juvenile… I went with a long tencel dress instead which I’m super excited about!
This cardigan is slightly on the long side but the cotton/wool blend is a pretty nice weave and not prone to pilling I think: https://www.grana.com/womens-pima-lindis-wool-wrap-cardigan?color=383
Just another option if you wanted something a bit warmer than cotton/modal!
Ooh thanks. I might need a thick and thin cardigan.
As someone who wears a lot of work dresses, it could be difficult and take a fair amount of time to find non-synthetic fabric ones, at least from most of the brands I used to rely on. (A lot of the mall brands like Loft used to put out an all-cotton dress occasionally, but these days, it’s even gotten kind of rare for them to have more than one or two dresses I like and that are work-appropriate for months at a time, much less something like that that’s also in a non-synthetic fabric.)
I’ll need to make a similar search for better work dresses at some point, though I think I’ll put it off until my current set is no longer presentable (which could take years…).
True. Any dress w structure seems to have synthetic parts. Requires loosening up on rules for these things.