outfit: better in 2020

>>> outfit: vince textured plaid crossover blouse | apc augusta pants | madewell belt | vince sandals <<<

It’s 2020, my hair is long, and I’m back! (I missed you!)

Initially I thought I was only taking a month or two off from posting because of board exams on top of work, but then “winter” in LA rolled around and the overcast skies and early sunsets made taking outfit photos in my apartment impossible.

This week it occurred to me that I should use our outdoor space for this. We recently changed up our patio by replacing our unnecessarily large table that seats 8 with a small bistro table for two. The space is now much more spacious and conducive to lounging (and outfit photos).

Yes, I was away, but you didn’t miss anything guys, because September through December were bad months for my outfits. I had acquired several knit sweaters that I had on heavy rotation throughout the work week. I’m usually not a fan of layering my knit tops over a protective base layer. As a result, these knits needed laundering on a weekly basis. Unfortunately I ended up ruining much of my new knitwear by failing to properly care for them.

I find dry cleaning unsustainable and time consuming. So I generally opt for a cold wash on the delicate cycle and air drying, but inevitably my sweaters sneak into a regular load, snag, or worse, find their way into the dryer, where it’s game over. So after ruining several sweaters, my options were limited and my outfits were nearly the same each week in the past few months. So again, you did not miss anything while I was away.

In 2020, I’m doing better with my clothes. I started using Woolite’s at home dry cleaning fragrance-free sheets. They do a decent job freshening up mild odors from delicate knitwear without leaving lingering perfume smells like many other brands. It’s just 20 minutes in the dryer and voila – a fresh sweater! It probably wouldn’t work against strong odors or stains however.

I also bought a bottle of the Laundress cashmere and wool soap and a delicate wash bag from the same brand. Haven’t given it a test run yet so can’t speak to the effectiveness but the online consensus seems to be positive.

I’ve also set up a sort of landing pad for undressing when I get home from work. I’m using a ladder-like clothing rack and a separate delicates laundry basket in my bedroom to encourage me to properly hang up my re-wearable clothes and separate out my dirty delicates when I change into my home clothes at the end of the day. Old me used to lazily toss my office clothes on top of a giant pile by the bed which promoted accidental mix ins with the regular wash.

So far this system has improved my daily workflow of getting dressed and undressed.

As for reducing transfer of body odor onto my clothes, I’ve had some success adding benzoyl peroxide body wash for the underarm area to my shower routine and applying salt crystal deodorant post shower.

Maybe more consequential, is my decision to try out Vince’s new monthly subscription service: Vince Unfold. Long time readers here know that I am a big fan of their California-cool, relaxed business casual aesthetic. Especially in the past year or two, I found their collection to be cohesive and consistent. The monthly fee is $160 for a rotation of 4 items at a time, which, when you factor in shipping and time spent wearing the clothes, might allow you to wear 10-12 new pieces per month. Because I wear sweaters almost daily to work and their collection offers a lot in this category, the subscription seemed like a good way to enrich my professional wardrobe without big commitments and a ton of money.

Looking back on my shopping habits last year, I probably spent that same amount (or more) buying a single item from Vince or a similar retailer each month. So for me, it seemed like a good deal and would allow me to have a little more variety in my work wear and experiment with different styles that I would not normally dare take if I were to buy to own.

I’m one week in, and received one 4-item package so far. I loved 3 out of the 4 items I received. The plaid top I’m wearing here is from Vince Unfold and although I really enjoyed it for going out on two occasions, I will happily let it go back in exchange for something new in a few days.

The clothes come laundered and in good condition. There is a slight dry cleaning scent on them that’s not bothersome at all. When I’m done, I just load them into a prepaid mailer and leave it in our apartment’s mail room for a USPS scheduled pick up (I don’t even have to make a trip to the post office). If you decide to try it yourself, please use my referral link for $30 off.

There’s a lot I want to post about in coming weeks. I’ve started slowly collecting simple pieces of jewelry — a category I’ve historically ignored. I’m cooking a lot more lately and have some recipes to share. I’ve gotten more creative with vegetarian and dairy free cooking.

As for life updates: At work, I’m taking on a larger leadership role in the hospital, and with that comes new stressors and responsibilities that I’m continually adjusting to. For fun, I’ve been enjoying interior design related content. I especially like the show Restored on the DIY channel and Studio McGee videos on YouTube. My brother bought a new house and hired my free labor to decorate and furnish the entire place, which has been fun. We just got done with painting, window treatments, and have purchased most of the furniture already. It should be finished in the next few weeks.

As for this blog: I’m aiming for one post per week in the coming months, with occasional upticks and slowdowns depending on what life throws at me. For those curious, I’m taking outfit selfies with my Pixel phone propped up against a potted plant, and a $5 camera remote. The photos automatically upload to my Google drive and can be easily cropped, dragged, and dropped into my WordPress posts. The process is quicker and easier than its ever been.

Anyway, hope you all are off to a good start this year. Please don’t be shy with comments. It’s always nice to hear from you!

14 thoughts on “outfit: better in 2020

  1. I’m glad you’ll be posting more. I like reading your entries.
    Vince Unfold sounds interesting, but I’m actually really trying to stay away from buying much this year and that would be way to much temptation for me. I’m curious to see other outfits you make with the items you get through that.
    I totally hear you on being lazy and ruining sweaters due to not paying attention to the washing needs. I wore a sweater only once this past year because of that. I got lazy and it shrunk in the regular wash cycle so much I knew I couldn’t wear it again. Dry cleaning is’t an option for me either because – laziness – so I tend to stay away from certain sweater fabrics if I know I’ll be more likely to ruin them “accidentally” (aka due to being in a rush/lazy).

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    1. I think they are banking on people buying many of the rental items but for me, I need more clothes for work that I’d be unwilling to buy to own so this is a way for me to actually buy less, or at least that’s the hope. I’m not on the cashmere bandwagon like everyone else although I do own maybe two cashmere items. Where I get burned are blends that contain wool. For some reason I have the hardest time preventing wool from shrinking. I wished there were more knit cotton offerings out there.

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  2. Can you share the choices you made for your brother? Would like to see more of your taste. That’s neat about the Vince service too… and congrats on the leadership role!

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  3. Glad to see you back! I’ve been using Laundress cashmere and wool shampoo for a long time, though usually only to handwash. It’s good stuff. To date, I’ve never been able to figure out a good system for worn, but still clean and re-wearable clothes. (Everything, from both K and I, sort of sits in a messy pile on a chair we keep in the bedroom for that purpose…)

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  4. Hi! I love the outfit in this photo. Everything about it — the brown belt and the sandals. The sandals paired with biz casual. The plaid at an angle is fresh. *chef’s kiss*

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  5. Glad to see you’re back! I like the Vince aesthetic as well. It’s interesting that so many brands are doing rental services now. (I work from home, so it doesn’t fill a need for me.) For clothes re-wearing, there are some hooks in my closet where I’ll hang items up to air. After they’ve been sufficiently aired, I keep them in one area of the closet, separated from my clean clothes by a bunch of hangers. I know that everything on the right of the hangers are items I’ve already worn, and that stuff on the left is clean.

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