15 Outfits for May 2018

Remember back in grade school when you defined yourself and all your friends by your favorite colors? Akin to inquiring “What’s your sign?” this served as a perfectly adequate way to pigeonhole one another — distinguishing the pinks personalities from the purples. My own best friend at that time loved blue — particularly the lightest, softest shades — and I, in my typical over-enthusiasm, declared a devotion to yellow. This preference lasted until I painted my bedroom walls lime green, and then a new obsession was born. In recent years, I’ve shied away from the pale yellows of my youth, figuring they make me look babyish (or worse: sickly!)

But there’s nothing so delicate about bright yellow! In fact, I noticed that wearing this shade really boosts my confidence. Pairing it with shades of denim lent the essence of a sun-filled sky to even the chilliest, dreariest storm day. I adore how these colors pop in this month's photo spread — especially alongside my more sober-toned work outfits. Between all the navy and black, I included some lighter blouses and dresses, but I do intend to find at least one warm-toned professional trouser or skirt before summer's end.

While storing pieces at the end of my April sampler, I decided to take a full closet inventory categorized by season. As it turns out, I have an ideal number of warm-weather pieces, some room for expansion in my cold-weather category, and waaaaaaaay too many transition pieces for the brief spring and fall periods which characterize New York. As mentioned in March, this is likely due to holdover from Seattle, the climate of which necessitated such pieces about 80% of the year.

Spring and fall are difficult seasons to resist shopping, as this is when stores roll our their new inventory, but I did my best to redirect my attention away from the abundance and instead toward anticipating key summer items in need of replacement. I'm glad to have taken this approach, because surely the $50 required to resole my singular pair of sandals would have quickly been spent on a novelty dress with an irresistible print — or three. Ergo, my main takeaway tip for you this month: Understand your city's unique division of seasons, and stock your wardrobe accordingly.

Another obstacle I ran into this month: redundancy. In addition to the pieces listed above, I had also included an additional tunic-style tank blouse and another pair of skinny jeans. They worked well together, but when their rotation came up I found myself reaching for something else, and my error was realized. Three pairs of jeans was, of course, overkill for the casual section of my wardrobe — especially while trying to get the most wear out of my favorite transitional dresses. The featured white floral maxi and peach babydoll are two of my most favorite pieces, but their fabrics call for ideal weather conditions to make them truly wearable. So, second tip for sampler wardrobe-ing: Identify your seasonal favorites and make room to wear them as much as possible.

Style-wise, I would happily wear this wardrobe another month if I could. Transitional seasons are my favorite because they provide the opportunity to play with layering and quirky pairings without winter coats or summer sweat obscuring the fun. Unfortunately for me, we've already soared into the 80s a few times here, and a portion of my casual wear will need to be swapped out to accommodate the rising heat. That said, my work basics are here to stay; continual air-conditioning means longer sleeves and pants are not only possible, but essential. It also means increasing my casual wear options, as I'll soon have commuting outfits to consider alongside my regular off days'. If that seems excessive, I invite you to try boarding a crowded subway car with broken A/C in an outfit selected for several hours of standing below a chilly vent... NYC humidity DGAF about your best silk work blouse.

But let's hope we still have a few weeks of spring left to celebrate before all that.

See you in June!

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