Spring is supposed to be a time of renewal, of rebirth, isn’t it? And yet this spring I’ve been feeling that I’m stuck in a rut. Not a big rut. Not a huge car-swallowing pothole that I’ll never climb out of … bit of Canadian springtime imagery there. Just a certain sense of ennui, of style fatigue. And a vague feeling that everything I wear is a bit samey. Repetitive. Unadventurous. I think it’s time to move on… style wise.
So in my spring shopping research I looked for ideas that might change up my style. Maybe move away from the narrow silhouette I’ve been clinging to, away from slim pants with a long slim top or blazer. I mean if my research is correct, this is
the year to go big. And so I thought that wide-legged pants might be in order. Okay, that didn’t work out, as you’ll know from my last fashion post.
Bu-ut a longer skirt might create the same effect. I almost always opt for a knee length skirt or dress. Since I despise maxi skirts… that meant midi length. And when I visited Liz at Nordstrom last week I did indeed come home with a black and white, striped midi-skirt from A.L.C.
So now the problem becomes … what the heck am I going to do with this new longer, fuller skirt? How can I style it so that it doesn’t do exactly what the wide-leg pants did? Namely cover up my assets, and highlight the bits I’d rather hide. How can I make this skirt look modern, not matronly?
And since I don’t have the trim waist that I had way back when, I’ll be aiming for something somewhere in between this, which is too “old me”… too dressy, too work-ey.
And this… which is too funky, and too… just plain weird.
I tried to find inspiration on Pinterest and created a board called Styling Spring 17
. Then I moved on to my old standby Net-a-porter.com. And I found these three outfits. With skirts that were similar in length and shape to mine. I like that they’re paired with casual sweaters, and sneakers. I can do this kind of look. I think.
I found these two outfits on Matches Fashion.com. My skirt is black and white, and has a curved hem like the one on the right. Although the Sportmax skirt is made of a cotton/linen blend while mine is silk, and has softer lines.
So. Nothing ventured… and all that… it was time to dive into my closet. I tried my new skirt with a bunch of different tops. And with at least three pairs of shoes and sandals.
First up was this black, V-neck sweater from Banana Republic. It’s the right length, and a good weight for the skirt. But it looks a bit bunchy around the middle. Bunching fabric adds bulk. And more middle-age middle is not what we’re going for here, people. Trust me. I tried this combination with my flat Michael Kors sandals and didn’t like the result. Much better with a pump or a pair of black flats.
So. Not 100%. But not bad. The best thing is the proportion of top to bottom. I like that.
Then, inspired by all those shots of long jackets with long skirts or wide-leg pants that I found while doing my research, I tried this combination. My black Helmut Lang blazer. Still a heavy hitter in my summer wardrobe, despite two years of repeated wearings. Thanks to Liz for pulling this rabbit out of the hat when I was all set to buy a white Theory jacket instead. I pulled on a long-sleeved black tee shirt under the jacket. And my Stan Smith Adidas to keep the outfit from looking too serious. I’m really warming to this look. A good spring run-around-town outfit. I like the idea of a structured, masculine top with a flow-y, feminine bottom. And again, I like the proportions here. The jacket is soft enough in its lines to not look too, too 80s. And I’d keep the jewellry to a bare minimum.
|This gets a thumbs up.
But what about when the weather gets warmer? This skirt will be cool on hot summer days. Especially since it’s only partially lined. I hauled out my summer staple, my black Rag and Bone layered tank from 2015. Unfortunately the tank is really too long for this skirt, and simply looked bulky. But since it is layered, I had an idea… and tucked the long under layer in, and left the short outer layer…well.. out. This is exactly the length and shape of top I need for this skirt. Short, but not showing any skin, and loose. Unlike the short BR sweater which adds bulk, the looseness of the short tank is slimming. So really what I need for this skirt is a tank or sweater that is the length of the BR sweater or the short layer of my Rag and Bone tank, with the looseness of the R&B tank. Are you still with me? Of course this outfit will probably look better with something other than my sneakers, so try to imagine black flats or black sandals with this.
|A definite maybe, with a footwear change.
Then in the spirit of playing dress-up. And influenced a bit too much by some of the… ah… edgier fashion posts in my Bloglovin’ feed. I tried this. Socks with my loafers. I know I said that I wanted to get out of my rut. Be more adventurous. Step outside my comfort zone. But socks with a skirt? Oh, dear. No, no, no. Nope. I’m laughing and cringing at the same time.
|Ah…. not on your life.
I think I must have been suffering from too many wardrobe changes in too short a time. It made me a bit dizzy. Not able to think straight. And you know, I did feel a bit flushed. It was time to decamp to the sofa with a cup of tea and a good book.
You know, I’m always hesitant to adopt major changes in fashion when they first come down the tubes. I’m wary of trends. I want to know about them, but rarely purchase a new trend right away. Partly because if it is just a trend it will go away as fast as it arrived. And partly because it takes the eye a while to adjust. To see the new length or shape as fresh and chic, instead of just strange.
So what have I achieved here? I tried on a lot of outfits. More than I’m showing you here. And I think I’m really warming to the idea of a longer, fuller skirt. To a different proportion than I’ve been wearing for the past few years. I’m not abandoning my slim pants, or my cropped skinny jeans, just yet. My Veronica Beard suit from last year will factor largely into my wardrobe this year. My short Rag and Bone dress will still be one of my favourite outfits.
But I do think that I’m ready to expand my options. Ready to move on a bit. Style wise.
What about you folks. Any new shapes or styles that you’re trying on for size this year?