My closet goal this fall was to wear what I own. To put together outfits with all the pieces in my closet that are old, and still loved, but not worn nearly enough… and to actually wear them. Particularly my fall jackets which I dearly love, but which have such a short season now that I’m not wearing them to work all winter. And I’ve been doing pretty well. That is until the arrival of snow and colder weather threw a monkey wrench into my plans. Snow, and the dearth of light, ‘easy to slide on under a jacket’ tops, sweaters or tees in my closet. It seemed that in order to achieve my closet goal and wear my old stuff, I needed some new stuff.
The hunt for light-weight sweaters, long-sleeve tees, or light turtlenecks is as constant for me as the search for the perfect pair of jeans. Never ending, but not unenjoyable. I like having a project. Ha.
I don’t need bulky sweaters or heavy cashmere turtlenecks. I have those in abundance. No, what I need are lighter tops that will slip easily under a jacket, and thus allow me to be able to wear my jackets again. I need tops that are not flimsy blouses, are warmer than my light summer tees, but are not bulky. Tops that are cut slim enough to fit under a jacket, but loose enough to look good on their own when I inevitably shed the jacket in a too-hot restaurant or coffee shop.
You see that’s the winter weather outfit conundrum here in Canada. Finding outfits that one can wear indoors and out. When it’s -5 °C outside and +22°C inside.
So to that end, a couple of weeks ago, I made yet another foray downtown in search of light-weight, but not flimsy tops. And I found two. One is the baby-blue, long-sleeve tee from Zella that I’m wearing above, and below.
I really like this cool blue colour on me. It looks great under my charcoal heather Vince coat-sweater, under my chocolate brown Akris leather jacket, and particularly under this deep green, tweed Max Mara blazer. This old Max Mara blazer has been a heavy hitter in my wardrobe off and on for decades. I remember wearing it back in the nineties with my faded jeans and a soft blue, long-sleeve tee from Gap or a lilac light-weight cashmere sweater.
Gap long-sleeve tees, once a staple in my wardrobe, no longer suit me. The style I used to wear is now too tight through the body. And the styles that aren’t tight are too slouchy around the neck. So I was pleased to find this Zella tee at Nordstrom a couple of weeks before I headed down to my mum’s. It’s soft, soft, soft against the skin. Has a crew neck that isn’t slouchy. And it’s long enough and generous enough in the cut to hide those middle-age bits that want hiding. The side-split in the hem helps with that last part.
The baby blue tee shirt gave me an opportunity to pull out this vintage brooch from the fifties, and these old chandelier earrings that I bought in the eighties. I guess these earrings can be classified as vintage now too. Sigh. I love this outfit. The green and the blue with my black leather pants and black boots. The tee shirt is light enough to wear under the jacket indoors, and loose enough for me to be able to take off the jacket if I get too hot.
For outdoors, I added my double-sided, blue-green and animal print scarf. And this woollen beret that I bought in Ireland in 2011. It’s still warm enough to wear the blazer as outerwear, as long as I have a warm scarf, gloves, and hat. I feel downright Irish in this outfit, in my tweed jacket and woollen tam.
I am definitely pleased with this “new” outfit. Well… the tee shirt is new. The rest is old, and even older. And because you can’t see the brooch when I have my scarf on, I decided to pin it onto my hat.
I was inspired to do this by a lady I met when I was shopping at Nordstrom last month. A long-time customer of Liz’s arrived at the store while Liz and I were chatting and I was trying on tops. This lady is well up in her eighties and she looked wonderful in an animal print top, camel coat, and a red beret with a brooch pinned on it. When I commented she said airily that she always pins a brooch to her beret. “Now, why don’t I ever do that?” I thought. Because I don’t wear my hats, and I should. So now I will. With a brooch.
You know, it warms my little outfit-obsessed (okay, not really obsessed, more like preoccupied) heart to meet someone who still loves clothes and still dreams up outfits well into their eighties. I hope I’ll still be doing that a couple of decades down the road. Maybe I’ll still be wearing this Max Mara jacket, too.
The same day I bought the Zella tee, I also bought a soft grey, light-weight turtleneck from Vince. I’ve been wearing it with my black Liverpool jeans, black boots, an old grey and black animal print scarf, and my cream ultra-light down jacket from Uniqlo. I’m pleased to report that this combo is warm enough even on snowy days. And not too hot for mall shopping. Nothing takes the edge off Christmas shopping, or makes me cranky any quicker than lugging around a too heavy coat and wearing a too heavy sweater in a hot, crowded mall.
I’ll need to wear my new-old outfit soon, before colder weather makes the jacket too light even with a scarf and hat. So I’ll wear it to finish up my Christmas shopping this week. Since I won’t be shopping for myself, I won’t be trying on clothes, and I won’t have to worry about having to take my hat off. Having to take a hat off being one of the reasons for my not wearing them. My hair does not recover from hat-head easily. Ha.
You can find both of my new purchases below. Plus a couple of tees that I think would fill the bill just as well.
Well, that’s it for me today, my friends. I shopped and shopped. And I finally found some new stuff that makes me feel great in my old stuff. And at a great price. Now you can’t argue with that, I think.
Not that you would argue. Being such an open-minded bunch. So tolerant of someone who blithers on and on about clothes way too much. What would I do without you guys? Oooh. I don’t even want to think about that.
Now it’s your turn. What are you wearing these days, folks? Do you have a particular closet goal that you’re working on? Blither away. We’re all ears.
P.S. The clothing links above are affiliate links. If you buy something after clicking a link I will earn a commission.