Let’s take a moment, shall we, to recall all my pledges to embrace slow fashion. All my pronouncements about slimming down my closet. Buying less. Buying nothing, actually, for the last while, except for winter boots, and a woolly hat. “After all,” I said in my fall closet review video, “I don’t need anything for fall or winter this year.” Especially since we’ll not be going anywhere what with the holiday season being scaled down, and no big gatherings, or gatherings of any kind. Ha. You’d think I’d have learned my lesson about pronouncements, wouldn’t you? Well, apparently not because this week at my house it’s raining winter dresses.
But let me explain. Let me try to vindicate myself, and save my reputation as a mindful, restrained shopper… at least a little.
Back in the summer I bought a new Vince sweater online during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. It’s a chunky cable-knit, somewhat cropped, with a mock turtleneck, and I love it. I wear it all the time. And when it was delivered the first thing I thought was how great it would look with a black midi-skirt and black knee-high boots. I think I mentioned that when I was turning my closet for fall and I showed you the sweater.
So I began to look for skirts, online mostly, and on the very rare occasion when I was in a store. I didn’t hold out much hope. Especially about ordering online. So to cut to the chase, about a month ago, I found a black faux-leather, pleated midi-skirt online here. A fast fashion store, I ashamed to say. The skirt was out of stock and I filled out a form to be alerted if it came back into stock.
Meanwhile I continued my search for winter dresses. Something that’s been on my “want list” since 2018. I’ll admit my search has been half-hearted at best. I don’t really need a dress for my casual, retired lifestyle. But the more I looked, and looked, the more I wanted a dress. Or something a bit smarter in my closet other than my leather pants or my Theory black wool leggings. I know that sounds like I’m trying to justify myself, which of course I am. Ha.
On the Aritzia website, I found this dress. A loose, long-sleeved, turtleneck dress. And then I found another dress I liked, a midi-dress, also loose and long-sleeved, but with a mock turtleneck. I hemmed and hawed, checked and double-checked the sizing, and read all the reviews. So many of the other dresses were form-fitting, very body-con as they say. Body-con was NOT what I wanted. The product reviews finally persuaded me; a couple of young (I assume) shoppers complained that both dresses were too loose. Aha, I might have a chance then, so I ordered them both. I told myself that neither was likely to suit me. But maybe, just maybe, one of them might.
I’m sure you know where this story is going. I soon received an email from H&M that the skirt was back in stock and I ordered it. It arrived within a few days. It fits. The dresses were delayed, and delayed again, and then I arrived home from my walk yesterday to find a package on the back step. Oh lordy, what if they fit? They did. Uh oh. I love them both. Houston, we have a problem. I’d kept the skirt because I’d assumed that neither dress would suit. Now it’s too late to send the skirt back. And it’s raining winter dresses and I have a decision to make.
I can easily justify having a new skirt and a new dress. But two dresses, that’s a bit more difficult. They’re both sweater dresses, they both have turtlenecks, they’re both grey. Who needs two grey turtleneck dresses in their closet? Well, me, it would seem. Because I love them both and can not make up my mind which one I like better.
The longer dress is a softer, heavier, better quality knit. I love how the sleeves are tight up to the elbow and then slightly puffy above. The blue-grey colour really suits my new hair. I love this dress with my brown tights and my brown suede Stuart Weitzman boots. It looked okay when I tried belting it, but belts are not my thing. I prefer it loose. And it would look smashing with black tights and black knee-high boots, I think.
But the short one is so much more my style. I like the shape, the way it hangs away from the body, slightly more narrow at the bottom. Just what I need to hide middle-age middle. It’s also more casual. I like it with tights and my Cole Haan black Chelsea boots (similar), but I think it will look great with knee-high boots too. Or even with my Stuart Weitzman ankle boots and black leggings.
If I return the short one, I know I will regret it. Dresses that suit my shape are few and far between as I’ve found out in the last couple of years. A casual, sporty dress for lunches and dinners out, when we actually go out, will be so handy. Plus I love it. But if I return the dark one I know that I will regret not trying something a bit different. Besides, it’s the better quality dress. I feel elegant in it. And the colour is more flattering on me.
So, yep. Against my own fashion philosophy, and to Hubby’s amazement, I’m going to keep them both. It may be raining winter dresses at my house this week, but let’s just say that we’ve had a long, dry, dress-less drought. I haven’t had a winter dress or skirt since I gave away much of my business-wear after I retired in 2013. One winter skirt and two winter dresses does not exactly make me a shop-a-holic. Does it? Although I have been thinking of that fateful day at the Adrienne Vittadini boutique many years ago when my period of indulgent shopping behaviour began. And instead of choosing one sweater out of the two I was agonizing over, I bought both. I will also say that both dresses together, as far as I can recall, add up to what one of those sweaters cost.
You can find the two dresses I bought here and here. And see below for some other sweater dresses that appealed to me. Especially that long green one from Lafayette 148. And the black Allude dress from Nordstrom.
So that’s my sad story. Or happy story depending on your view. One moment I’m happy to have found three pieces that suit me. The next I feel sadly self-indulgent. I mean, buying two dresses and a skirt in the space of such a short time is quite unlike me. At least the retired version of me.
I’ve always been a pretty careful shopper. Making a list of what I wanted and needed. Resisting impulse buys, especially ones that didn’t go with anything in my closet. When I was still working, I used to shop for most of what I wanted for the entire season all on one day. I’d often go home with a new suit or jacket, pants or a skirt, sometimes boots or shoes, jeans, and a couple of tops. But I haven’t done that since I retired because I quite simply don’t need as many clothes.
And since I retired I have edited my closet down to only the things I love. With fewer clothes, I can more easily see holes in my wardrobe where a new piece or two needs to be added. And when I identify a “need,” I shop for a long time to find just the right jacket, or sweater, or jeans. A skirt or dress has been on my fall/winter want list since 2018. I’d begun to wonder if I would ever find anything to suit me. So, finding a skirt, and not one but two dresses is, well, almost an embarrassment of riches. And as you can see, I’m doing my damndest to justify my windfall.
I have my reputation as a mindful and restrained shopper to consider after all.
Now … I just have to buy some black knee-high boots, which will go with all three new purchases. But I’ll wait until next year for those. I think I’ve done enough shopping for a while.
How about you my friends? Is it raining anything besides rain where you live? Are you being mindful in your shopping lately, or a teensy bit self-indulgent? It’s okay. You can tell us. It will make us feel less guilty about our own self-indulgence.
P.S. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking my link, I will earn a commission. That does not include the links to the Aritzia products. As far as I know Aritzia does not offer commission to bloggers like me.
Joining Catherine over at #IWillWearWhatILike .