WIW: Culottes (and K/T top)

I've had these culottes for a year, and only worn them once.  I realized that it's because I don't know what top to pair them with.

And this top is in the same boat.  I've had it years, and it doesn't really look like much on the hanger, so I keep forgetting about it.  But when I try it on to purge, I always like it and it stays.  But I don't know what to wear with it.  I keep thinking that it needs something the right beige color on bottom...

Anyway, I decided to pair the two orphans into a smart-casual outfit today, and I think it might work?  

What are your thoughts?  This top, in particular, should it stay or go?  And what else can I wear it with?


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


K/T hot-summer tee

In my recent casual hot-weather wardrobe post, I mentioned that I had a few tops that were so far unworn.  This is one of them.

I love the color - it's why I bought it.  Dark red is one of my very favorite colors on me.

However, this has a very dramatic hi-low hemline, and I wonder if it's too much drama for me.  Also, the sleeves are neither tank-top nor sleeved.  Maybe these are cap sleeves?  I feel like it makes my arms look fat....

I wore it today, and the tissue-weight knit was very cool and comfy - I was pleased.

What do you think? Is this top worth keeping?
(feel free to tell me to take a better pic - this one was in way less than ideal light)


Summer wardrobe naval gazing (June Challenge conclusions, part 1)

June is almost over, which means that I need to start acting on my June Challenge.

My challenge to myself was to photo what I'm wearing, rate the items and outfits (I did this very informally), purge what doesn't work and make capsules from what does.  

I've decided that my analysis and ideas should be focused on summer dressing, since we're just beginning the hot parts of summer and that will be the most useful to me in the next couple of months.

My lifestyle and wardrobe needs
Dressing for summer is especially casual for me.  I'm inside and outside, and need to play with the kids and sometimes climb trees or scaffolding (to pick fruit).  I generally dress for the heat, because we rarely run our air conditioner.  Sometimes I need to dress smart casually (and those situations generally have A/C), and sometimes the weather is milder.  I'll address those needs in separate posts, because it'll get long enough as is.

Here's my hot weather casual outfits and items so far that I think have worked: 

#1: This gingham shirt only works tucked, but sleeves rolled, it's reasonably cool.
#1: These shorts are my go-to summer denim shorts now.

#2: This splotch shirt is easy breezy, and just a bit more interesting than basic.  The culottes in this pic are purged.

#3: This dress is a little short for my comfort level, but it fits well and is also easy breezy.  I have two others about this length that I haven't yet worn because they feel short.  I'm currently thinking that with a pair of cotton shorts for underneath, this can stay, and the others can be judged based on other merits than length.

#4: This print top is a little heavy for summer, but with sleeves rolled, I like it.  Same shorts as in #1.

#5: Lime shorts, black tee shirt.  Basics, but they both work for me.

#6: olive shirt (still trying to decide if this is a good color for me?), black and white striped skirt.  Both work for me and stay, though the skirt may be more "mild" than "hot" weather, and really isn't appropriate for some outdoor summer activities (like climbing trees to pick fruit).

#7: chambray shirt (it's rumpled in the pic) - also cool for summer.  There's the shorts from #1 again.

#8: gray pixel-print tee.  This is out of my normal style a bit with the drapeyness, but I've worn it twice this week, and I like how it works, at least with pants.  I haven't tried it with shorts yet.

I have other outfits and items in the "acceptable" range, and several that are "mild weather" favorites.  

I also still have several (4-5) tops and two dresses that I haven't worn to decide whether to keep or toss for this summer.

My current favorite items then are:

  • 2 shorts (apple green and dark denim)
  • 1 dress 
  • 7 shirts (7 woven, 2 tees)

That's not quite enough to meet my hot weather casual needs.  I want to add:

  • a pair of light denim shorts
  • a casual skirt, 
  • a pair of "under-skirt" shorts  
  • maybe another top or two?

I have a few not-favorite-status shirts that are staying around to potentially get added in to the mix too, and the mentioned unworn items to try out yet.

I'm planning on four capsules for summer:  hot-casual, mild, smart-casual, and wedding guest.  This post covers my hot-casual, and except for the olive top with the apple shorts (which now I want to try just to see), I think that everything can be mixed and matched.

Obviously I have a summer FFBO formula:  breezy buttondown with rolled sleeves over long shorts.  I think I'm happy with that.

What do you see that I'm missing?  Any of these items that really shouldn't be invited to stay?

(Note: pants, cropped pants and mesh sweaters will be covered when I think about a "mild weather" capsule.  There will be lots of overlap, but those items aren't "hot weather casual" to me.)


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


WIW: June Challenge, week 4

No time for outfit commentary at the moment, but here's what I've worn since my last post. :) 

I'm hoping to start work on a "best of" (both outfits and items), and start getting rid of what just needs to go really soon....


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


WIW: June Challenge, week 3

I felt like my outfits for week 1 and week 2 of this challenge were pretty successful, and I was tempted to just repeat those outfits.  But I also wanted some variety, and there's so many options in my closet.....

So this week, I added some variety.  And rather than being fun, most felt frumpy.  Oh well - lots to eliminate!  Here they are:

#1 wearing today - I reverted to my FFBO formula of a buttondown with jean shorts, and like this combo.  This outfit stays.

#2 same top with jeans.  The jeans are rumpled, and maybe too big? What do you think?

#3 tried to do a sporty new formula of a knit skirt and tee.  It felt frumpy.  I think both pieces will either go or get altered (perhaps shorten the skirt into a knee-length?)

#4 If I had steamed or ironed this shirt it might have worked here - it's just a button down with boyfriend jeans, and normally this formula works for me.  I like the boyfriend jeans, I'm not sure about the top.

#5 mesh sweater with jeans that need to either change shape or go.  They'll be added to my alterations basket.

#6 I actually liked this outfit - though I wonder if flares miht have been a better jeans choice.  Both of these pieces stay.

#7 outfit combo suggested to me, and while I like the color combo, it feels to texas-tuxedo to me.  All the pieces stay, but I don't think I'll wear them like this again.

What do you think?  Are my assessments accurate?


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


June Challenge - week 1

I'm checking in at the end of the first week of Sterling's June challenge.  I challenged myself to photo every outfit, and rate both the items and the outfits - eventually purging items that don't work, and coming up with capsules of items that do.

I didn't photo every outfit this week (missed one), but there's extras tossed in here that I didn't post from the end of May.  Here they are reverse-chronologically.

#1 - gingham shirt ensemble (from today's post).  I was scheduled for my kids to play in the park with friends, and didn't want to try to pull off white jeans, so went with dark shorts instead.  In the mirror, this outfit seemed to emphasize my broad shoulders, and I didn't like that, but I like the photo quite well.  

#2 Worn out on business (hotel bathroom photo).  I'm loving this black and gray brocade pattern sweater.  It's a bit cropped, so I'm wearing a cami under it, and blue skinny jeans (it was casual dress code).  This may have been my favorite outfit all week.

#3 Another winner in my book - but a bad hotel-room photo (very little light in there) - it's a teal sheer top over a black tank and black bootcut jeans - topped with my black leather jacket because it was chilly.

#4 - a flying outfit - blue bootcut jeans and a plum lightweight sweater.  The sweater is fine, but the jeans make my butt look big, I think.  

#5 - A summer casual outfit - turquoise mesh sweater with navy stripes and darkwash jean culottes.  I'm not a fan of this outfit, nor of either piece - the shorts in #1 are much better than these, and the sweater is just weird proportions.

#6 Olive and black - black cropped pants with my olive shirt and the black vest I bought this spring.  I don't think this works right, but I can't quite figure out why.

#7 A new favorite-ish summer top (it's blue/white railroad stripe with blue extra thick splotch type lines - I'm not even sure what to call it, but it's more interesting than just a basic stripes shirt....)  With the culottes that need to be purged again :)  New-to-me watermelon bag in use - happiness is high on that!

#8 Trying to downplay the brightness of my floral cropped pants with black - does it work?  Somehow it doesn't seem quite right to me, even though I like all the pieces quite well.

What are your thoughts?  Life is pretty busy for me right now, but I'm working toward finding a better work-life balance, and assuming that I'll be successful, my participation here might be able to pick up again.


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →