13 Outfits for November 2017

Seasons Greetings, yall!

With November winding to a close today, it's time to reflect on my lastest sampler wardrobe. November has always been one of my favorite months. There's Thanksgiving to look forward to and, naturally, a lead-in to the rest of the holiday season directly after that. My childlike wonder for this time of year never seems to fade, and you can probably guess which member of our household was guilty of cuing up Christmas tunes and vats of homemade hot chocolate before her Halloween decorations even came down... oops, did I give myself away? ;)

For my wardrobe this month, I held onto a few of my favorite transition pieces -- the hi-lo maxi dress featured at the top of the graphic, the chambray shirtdress, and most of my work basics for hosting. I was also excited to welcome some newbies to the closet. Adding to my growing collection of secondhand silk scores, I've been loving this versatile green blouse, pictured below with my drop pearls. (I called it "olive" below, but it's really more of an evergreen hue which has my soul aching for PNW pine trees!) Two new cardigans found their way into my life as well: the elegant little gray one with its adorable ballerina-esque tie front, and this amazing, deliciously-chunky cable knit number. Both items were purloined on their way to the trash, so I've started referring to them like other normal people refer to their dogs and cats: "Oh, thank you - she's a rescue."

Remember that thrift stores are wonderful to both shop and donate to this time of year. One person's cast offs could become your new favorite outfit, and giving quality items which you no longer find useful yourself might make a less fortunate someone's holiday a whole lot brighter.

For my own part, 2017 had me needing the distraction of Christmas about five months early, so I'm breathing sighs of relief that the time has finally come to relax, count my blessings, and look toward action for the year ahead.


16 Outfits for October 2017

Since the start of fall, I've been fretting over how to get back on top of my outfit posts. Life is still very en l'air at the moment, and it's clear things are no where close to settling down. If I've learned anything, though, identity crises and strict budgets are no excuse for neglecting one's personal style -- in fact, they offer a perfect opportunity for refining it!

Instead of returning to my watercolor croquis, I was inspired this month to revisit self-photography, hearkening back to my first-ever capsule wardrobe post. Let me just say: It's shocking how much a brain can forget about DSLRs in the space of a few years. Even after Internet-jogging my memory on aperture settings, remote configuration, and manual focus, I still had the challenge of our dim apartment to contend with. Add that to the slogging process of photo-editing on an overstuffed computer.... This is all to say I may not have saved any time, but stepping back in front of the camera sure was fun!

Let's talk about how this little wardrobe came together.

Continuing with my monthly sampler concept, I started by reserving a selection of items from my September wardrobe -- items I could see myself wearing for at least another month. The remaining September clothes went into storage for next spring, when the weather warms up again. Next, I sorted through my in-storage pieces. I looked for:
  • anything that might be useful for the season ahead (like my oversized cotton turtleneck)
  • anything I was just "itching" to wear (like my oh-so-Halloweeny lace-sleeve silk blouse)
I chose to leave shoes out of the equation, because I don't own many shoes. Between work and city walking, they all get worn fairly equally, and I don't gain much from storing them.

Here's what I ended up with:

Since a large portion of my clothing is secondhand, my wardrobe is regularly in need of maintenance; throughout the month, I make notes on anything requiring mending, cobbling, or replacement. When replacement time rolls around, I must take care to buy mindfully, as most secondhand items cannot be returned. So alongside the maintenance notes, I keep track of general inspirations and obvious gaps in my closet contents, to form a clear list of needs before I so much as window shop. This month, for instance, my list went something like this: 

  • Morticia Addams = October fashion queen
  • ethical tights that don't cost a fortune... is that a thing?
  • shop: work-appropriate sweater or turtleneck (likely black)

Speaking of shopping, I did acquire a few new-to-me clothes this month, thanks to the Housing Works Best of Fall sale. Most of those items will be featured in November, with the exception of the fabulous bell-sleeve silk dress you see above -- because can you get more Morticia than that?

Happy October, everyone! Enjoy your Halloween! 


Fall Playlist 2017

It's always a joy to dive into playlist mode each season. I spend far too much time figuring out how to arrange these tracks on Spotify, but the little quarterly capsules that result are always a pleasing way to mark the time. Sometimes I think I rely more on music than pictures for memories these days.

This may be the first year I've strayed from my old standbys -- especially the ones liable to come out in fall (The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, etc.) There's are lots of new bands here, but as usual I've fallen in love with the songs individually, rather than judging them on an album-by-album basis.

Amongst my standard uplifting pop-rock tracks, I have tunes from The 1975 (not sure I fully like their sound, but I can't resist that background guitar...), Air Traffic Controller (LOVING), MisterWives (best lyrics), and a brilliant Stevie Nicks cover by The Wind & The Wave. Another worthwhile cover I unearthed just a few days before completing this list is Branches' take on The Darkness' hit "I Believe in a Thing Called Love." That banjo, though!

A coffee shop pulled Ra Ra Riot from the archives of my mind, and it was really exciting to discover "Valerie" again. It occurred to me that this was the track I was actually looking for when I settled for Mika's "Emily" for my playlist last fall. It's provoked me to wonder how many pop songs involve men earnestly howling the names of problematic women into the universe.

Will winter finally bring some chiller songs my way? Lately all I've been interested in are these hand-clapping, foot-stomping, folksy romps. The Oh Hellos track is liable to carry me straight through to Christmas in a state of hippie-happy oblivion. I think I'm content with that.

Happy fall, folks.