WIW: happy factors

This week has left me feeling very unstylish. I went to our local VonMaur to try on Frye boots (learned a lot about my feet - I've been wearing the wrong size for quite a while, and I don't think Frye's are going to fit me - I need a wide toe box). I wore my woodsy fair-isle outfit http://youlookfab.com/welookfa.....-fair-isle, and felt very unstylishly out of place amongst the ladies shopping. Talk about a stylish bunch. Wow. I'm fighting the urge to no longer like that outfit - the happiness factor was high on it before I wore it among the so stylish and posh group. It may be a while before I get up the nerve to visit a department store again.....

In addition to that, I had a big outfit fail a few days ago. I picked up this striped top (#1) because it reminded me of sveta, and she's stylish. I should have semi-tucked it, but didn't think of that. I tried it with my jean jacket (#2), but it was dirty, so I wore it with my green jacket (#3), and looked frumpy all day. Out goes the green jacket.

I'm also wondering if the striped top is too big and/or too short? I think I've decided that black/white combo is too stark for me, so if I keep it, I'll probably dye it red, or something similar.

Yesterday, I decided to channel ceit and go for RATE. I liked this outfit a lot (#4, #5). Does it work? How could it be better? I'm thinking that my "inspired by..." outfits have high happiness factor due to my admiration of the inspirer. These boots there actually fit me correctly. Too bad they're falling apart. This would have worked better with black boots, but I don't have any. Someday I'll find some.

Today, I decided that plaid would be happy, and I'm feeling comfy and cheery #6. (Though I realize that the outfit is even more "country bumpkin" than what I wore to Von Maur, so I'm definitely not feeling stylish).

Bonus shot of my nearly 7 yo dd, who requested a pink stripe in her hair for her birthday next week. She's my stylish one, and my normal photographer. She often has good style advice for me too. She asks you to pardon her pajamas in the picture - she'd just rinsed out the pink kool-aid that we used to dye her stripe.

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • amiable replied 7 years ago

    Whoa. Long post. Sorry!

  • unfrumped replied 7 years ago

    I like #4 and 5. Don't think that's your only style option, but it is spunky.The striped and plaid tops don't seem to fit you as well though I love the colors in the plaid, and the stripes in general.

  • Sara L. replied 7 years ago

    I really like the striped top in #1-3. I really love stripes lately and like how your stripes change width. I agree it looks better with the jean jacket but the green one looks nice too. I really like outfit #4-5. That top is interesting on it's own but also looks good with the jacket over it. I'm not sure about the plaid shirt in #6. It looks like it might be a little big on you - the arms look too long and the width too boxy.

    Love the pink stripe in DD's hair!

  • amiable replied 7 years ago

    Oh yeah, the orange plaid is definitely too big and boxy - no question there :) I just like the colors.

    When does something stop looking "too big" and start looking intentionally oversized? is maybe just the body oversized, but the arms still fit correctly? (I'm thinking of making one, or resizing huge shirts to oversized - but wondering how that category actually works)

  • Adelfa replied 7 years ago

    I like #2 a lot. I like #4 quite a bit better than #5 because the blazer makes some really nice lines.

    We all have weeks like that! Hope the weekend is restorative!

  • JulieJohn replied 7 years ago

    Amiable, I'm really enjoying your style journey, although I'm sorry it has been a little bumpy for you lately.

    I was *going* to say I love the green jacket, but if you don't, then out it goes. Just especially enjoyed the fresh color on you, so think of green in a friendly way for your coloring.

    I also really like your Ceit outfit, that top looks dynamite on you, great silhouette.

    The colors on the plaid outfit (jeans included) are fab. I think the problem is there is no obvious shoulder line, and so it lacks structure. I don't really know what I'm talking about tho, so please take this with many grains of salt.

    Thanks for sharing! Love the pink kool-aid angle, very fun!

  • amiable replied 7 years ago

    Thanks JulieJohn! I love the green of the jacket too, but no matter how I wore it (open or closed), it just looked frumpy. It's not structured enough, I don't think. And/or maybe too big...

  • texstyle replied 7 years ago

    I really like #4 and 5! And since I see Ceit's posts often enough I see exactly how she has inspired you. The sriped top #1 is a little bit boxy but I think a semi tuck with a nice belt showing would be a great way to style it. You look to me like you're swimming a bit in all that plaid in #6 - lol - it's really more a fit thing, not so much the color or pattern, And DD is beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

  • Adelfa replied 7 years ago

    And just to clarify I mean we all have weeks where we don't *feel* stylish!

  • bj1111 replied 7 years ago

    I love 1,2,4,5. The green jacket is too big...look at where the shoulder hit on you, but also not big enough for the oversized trend.

    You look really smashing in stripes and those black boots.

    I want you to think about the "stylish women" and try to identify a couple of things. Do you want to dress like them--if so, you can work on breaking down the outfits and see if you can replicate the elemenys to fit your style, body and budget. Or is it that you felt a bit insecure because your style is different--i think confidence is something that we all work on in different ways.

    I really like the direction your style is taking. I have been negligent in letting you know. I see lots more cohesion and i see it in your smile when you post wiws. So go out there and be fabulous!

  • Lyn D. replied 7 years ago

    Such a thoughtful post! I can see that you are great at figuring-out ways to tweak your outfits to super-Fab.
    I agree that the stripe top will be lovely semi-tucked to ramp it up a notch.
    LOVE the black pants and boots in pics 1 & 2.

  • amiable replied 7 years ago

    bj1111 - you totally hit the nail on the head. I DON'T want to dress like the women that I saw. They were beautiful and polished (with perfectly fixed hair), and very much things that aren't me. I just felt insecure and out of my element among them. Thank you for pointing that out to me! It honestly wasn't a style issue but a confidence issue.

    Oh, and the black boots are the MizMooz that I tried out - they didn't fit properly and hurt my feet, so went back :(

  • Raisin replied 7 years ago

    Woah! 4 and 5 are BAM! You should go for the Ceit inspired RATE look more often. Killer!

  • Caro in Oz replied 7 years ago

    I love how you are working through your personal style journey, & always enjoy reading your posts. I think you the others are right Ceit is a great role model for you.

    This is just my opinion so grain of salt:) I think you need to start looking at fit & fabric quality. You seem to know when something doesn't fit well. Now you need to make sure everything (ideally) you wear fits you well & feel like quality fabric - you can do this on a budget. I think the ease & slouch you are aiming for only works if the fit is great & the fabric moves really well.

  • amiable replied 7 years ago

    Yes Caro, you're right. My closet is over-full, and I have just enough understanding now of fit that I need to cull more ruthlessly. I think I'll do that this coming week - thanks for the motivation!

  • Isis replied 7 years ago

    Loving 1, 2 and 4, 5!!! I like the denim jacket so much more, and agree that the green jacket needs to go.

    You need black boots too; they are fantastic!

    It's fun to watch your style journey; you are a quick study!

  • Sarah A replied 7 years ago

    The semi tuck will do wonders for the stripe top... i have "saved" many a too short and boxy top this way :) Also, if you decide the fit doesnt totally jive but want the stripes and dont want to shop, Claire used hers as a scarf last summer and it was brilliant. Doing Angie's button up under a stripe top also works with a slightly shorter top. Love your Ceit look, she is super fab and I am planning to do some looks inspired by her as well. IMHO oversized items need to drape back against the body some in movement to look their best. DD is too cute :)

  • Beth Ann replied 7 years ago

    You've had great feedback already. Wanted to chime in with two things:

    1. I second Caro --- focus on fit and fabric quality (which can be done without going over the top with money)

    2. Embrace your own style journey. You are making lots of discoveries, and it will take a while to figure out how to get from your head and into your closet!

    Oh. I and feel you and the wide toe box issue! At least we won't be tempted to buy expensive pointy-toed stilettos!

  • CocoLion replied 7 years ago

    I think 1 and 4 work best. I can clearly see your style progressing. Note 1 and 4 don't have toppers. I think you might be getting the wrong size/fit of jackets. What CAro said about fit and fabric made a lot of sense to me, especially as it pertains to jackets.

    Your children look so sweet! And it's a wonderful bonding experience for your daughter to help you decide on styles. Every time I read that one of your children has taken your pictures, it warms my heart.

  • jayne replied 7 years ago

    I second CocoL, I think the striped top looks best on its own. The jacket hid the whiteness which freshened you. And 4-5 were both good but I preferred without the jacket. Maybe you should do a little experiment on jackets at a store, just try on a bunch and photo them to figure out which is your cut and style....color comes second once you figure out the first issue. Then you know what to look for, both in your closet and when you shop!

  • Zapotee replied 7 years ago

    I think Caro hit the nail in the head. It takes a while but you will get there. I think once you train your eye to the perfect fit for you, especially on jackets and tops, you will feel much happier about this process.
    About the WIWs: I love the pairing on #1, I think the blouse is a little short and boxy for you, but it is not bad at all.
    #2, I think the blazer is a tad big on the shoulder and perhaps needs a bit of ironing or pressing. I can appreciate the RATE element thought.
    #3 is great, especially with the jacket
    #4 I think the top is too big but it could work over skinnies and boots, just wear a cami underneath, roll up the sleeves, unbutton a few buttons, untuck and push towards the back. so the collar hands a bit over your back. That will make it purposely oversized and FAB!
    Check this Ralph Lauren Styling:

  • amiable replied 7 years ago

    Thank you Zap, Jayne, Denise and Caro and everyone. You're exactly right, and so encouraging. I feel again like I can learn this, and like it's worth the effort!

    Thanks for the tip on styling the huge plaid flannel too Zap - I was figuring it would go on the mending pile to get made into something smaller, but maybe I can keep wearing it until I get there! :)

  • Caro in Oz replied 7 years ago

    Love Zap's link - I can so see you in that outfit:)

    More inspiration from your heroine.

    Have fun.

  • Jenava replied 7 years ago

    I think you are developing good instincts. I think the striped top is too stretched out (to big) and also too short...and I also agree that black is too harsh for your coloring (as it is mine, yet I wear it a lot...although I am trying to get to the point of not wearing it so much near my face).

    I love the ceit inspired outfit and I think that looks very current and stylish, although also casual. Nothing wrong with casual, though.

    IMO, the plaid is too large, but we all have items that make us feel comfy and cozy that wouldn't necessarily pass the YLF test. (-:

    r.e. the Dept Store experience. Don't be afraid to go into a dept store...if you aren't comfortable with yourself it's just a sign that you are learning and developing your sense of self. You will get there; be patient and enjoy the experience of developing your style.

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    I can do no better than to echo Bj and Caro. Both have given you some excellent thoughts. It is such a pleasure to watch your style as it develops. You are gaining great insights into what works for you and why, and with a lot of purging and a few increasingly judicious purchases, you are going to be feeling confident (almost) every day and will be able to sashay into that department store knowing YOU look fab!!

  • amiable replied 7 years ago

    Thank you all! Caro the pics are terrific! Now I need to translate those into clothes that I own :) I was given an Amelia Earhart book for Christmas, full of pics of her - Did you know she actually designed her own line of clothing for a little while?!?

    You all are such a terrific group!

  • catgirl replied 7 years ago

    It can be a bumpy road, girl! I like your RATE outfits a lot and this you should keep those as examples as you build more confidence. You don't have to look like every other posh stylista out there! As for oversized, I think the key is to wear it with something fitted and for me, to have narrow sleeves. Some of my sweaters are BIG but the shoulders and arms fit.

    Like this:


  • vipbrj replied 7 years ago

    I love the way the shirt in #5 looks on you! I too prefer it without the jacket. Maybe with tighter fitting jeans, but on second thought I kind of like the way those jeans sit on you. It could go either way and still look good!

  • replied 7 years ago

    I have decided to embrace my RATEness as I just can't seem to get polished to sit right on me! So I don't think having a more casual repertoire is a bad thing.

    Hope the kiddos are feeling better soon!

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