Totally casual. After a morning spent in the garden, I needed to go out, and pretty much the minute I took off the gardening gloves and came into the house, the rain started. So closed-toe shoes, and something I didn’t mind getting wet were my priorities. Since I’d fully committed to the idea of sneakers, I decided to go ahead and wear another pair of jeans, as part of the intermittent Jeans Reduction Project.
These are really not tremendously flattering jeans; they’re too big, for a start, and without a belt, they literally fall off my ass. (Which is crazy, since these purport to be 29-inch waist jeans. My waist runs about 29 to 31, depending on the time of the month. Sizing is just plain whack here.) However, since they’re boyfriend-style jeans, some bagginess is OK with me. Since they’re insanely comfortable and super soft, I think I’m going to keep them for a while. I can always donate them later on, if I change my mind.
I mean, these are seriously freaking comfortable.
Jewelery: All gifted by spouse, all remixed.
Cardigan: Tags long ago cut out, but this is just your basic cheap cotton grandpa-style cardi.
Tank: Gap, remixed.
Belt: Pulled from another pair of pants it came with, remixed. I think this is from a pair of H&M pants, and it’s just cheapo pleather, but its size and shape is perfect for a lot of my definitely-belt-needing pants.
Again with the jeans. These are my best-fitting skinnies, they are very comfortable, and they’re still in pretty good nick, so they’re definitely staying.
I find myself turning to a variant on this particular look quite a lot lately. I love jeans, and in my mind, they’re clearly the style of pants that best suits me, particularly skinny, straight and so-called boy cuts. I’m beginning to think that, for the most part, because there are exceptions, I need to give up on the idea of wearing more formal pants, and just go ahead and wear skirts and dresses when I feel like jeans are inappropriately casual. Given that right now coloured jeans are pretty easy to find, I’ve been looking to add a few pairs to my collection, to fill the gaps created by sorting through and donating the jeans and other trousers that didn’t make the cut. At the moment, I’m particularly keen to find a purple pair, but so far, I’m only finding cropped ones, or shades of purple I’m not crazy about. I’m pretty flexible on cut, but I do want them to be full-length.
Anyway, it’s late and I’m soon to bed, so here are the details:
Scarf: This is an infinity scarf I cut the tags off long ago, and thus, I am not sure where it’s from. I think it’s either River Island or Gap.
Suede blazer: Thrift score! Oh, I am so happy with this. It’s slightly boxy-looking hanging open — it’s probably about half a size too big — but when I button it, you can see that it’s actually fairly fitted in the waist. The tag said “For Women,” on it, which is not particularly helpful in determining its provenance. It’s a quality piece, though; the suede is very soft and easy to move in. This was really a lucky find, and I’ve worn it a lot since buying it.
Jeans: Super Squin, H&M, remixed. I’m assuming “Squin” is pronounced “Skin,” although what do I know, I don’t know how H&M pronounces it, but just to give you a glimpse into how weird my brain can be, I fondly imagine Super Squin as a super heroine, whose super power is finding perfectly-fitting jeans.
Bag: Fossil, remixed. Loving this one a lot, too. I really don’t like fussy closures on my bags, and love that this one has a secure magnetic closure that’s really quite easy to get into very quickly.
Boots: Frye Harness 8R, remixed. My goodness, bench-crafted boots are awesome. I’m continually blown away by how damn good these things are.
Nothing special today, just another Jeans Reduction Project candidate. It was rainy, it was miserable, I had to go out, and being warm and comfortable whilst slogging through our LOVELY spring weather was a priority.
These jeans were never for a moment a serious candidate for donation. I love these jeans. They’re actually more flattering than they photographed, but more to the point, these are my deeply beloved 501s. Best button-fly on the planet, in my opinion, and I have held forth on my love for button-fly jeans before. I wish all my jeans had button-flies.
No, they did not shrink to fit perfectly — although in the waist and from about the mid-thigh down, the fit is exactly as it should be in a pair of 501s — but they are perfectly relaxed, insanely comfortable, and such total classics that I will forgive them. Plus, I got them for twelve quid at TK Maxx, and in the UK, at least, that is just a crazy steal. I feel fantastic in these jeans. With that said, and even though I’m in the middle of going through all my jeans to get rid of the ones I don’t like, I am actually considering purchasing another pair of brand-new 501s, and doing the whole bathtub thing, except this time, I’d be looking at men’s jeans, instead of women’s, as these are. For all my love of these pants, and determination to keep them, I would really like to give getting a perfect fit on my thighs & hips a go, and men’s pants seem like they’d be better for that, given my personal proportions. 501s are straight-legs, not skinnies, so I am not particularly concerned that they fit perfectly tightly across my thighs; just a little less loose fabric would be fine with me.
I’m gonna wait, however, until we actually get some warmer weather, and I have a chance to get out to the Levi’s shop at our nearest outlet mall, so I can do that as cheaply as possible, and not freeze my arse off during the shrink-to-fit process.
Still, I love these very much, and even if I do get my perfect fit in a new pair, these will remain with me for some time to come.
Necklace: Next, thrifted, remixed.
Belt: Gap, remixed. Around my natural waist, this belt is too big (and sheesh, Gap, worst sizing inconsistency offender I know, THIS IS A SIZE SMALL) but sort of around my hips it fits really well.
And once again, I flee back to the comfort of black top/white bottom. This isn’t actually a repeat; this is another Jeans Reduction Project candidate getting a spin, and no way am I getting rid of these. Proper straight-leg jeans that fit me well in the seat and aren’t ridiculously big in the thighs are always going to find a place in my wardrobe. Also, totally long enough, so definitely made of win. Nothing is perfect, of course, and these are a smidge too big in the waist, but not so much so that belting causes bunching. I was completely comfortable in these all day. Keepers.
Boat-neck tee: Dorothy Perkins, remixed.
Necklace: Mango, remixed.
Belt: Gap, remixed.
Jeans: See by Chloe via TK Maxx. These jeans are the best argument for higher-end denim I’ve ever personally encountered. My high-end denim comes strictly through thrift stores or super-deep clearance discount at TK Maxx. I could not fathom paying full retail for even a diffusion line like See by Chloe, no matter how great they make my butt look.
Shoes: Deichmann, remixed.
Scarf: Tie Rack.
Trench: Tag says “Anastasia,” which amuses me slightly, since that’s my full first name. Purchased at TK Maxx.
This isn’t what I wore today; today I repeated this outfit exactly. This photo is of another jeans reduction project outfit I wore over the weekend. These are staying, mostly because they’re my only pair of really dark wash boot cut jeans, and thus, kind of a necessity. I like them well enough, although I’d prefer a little less — ok, a LOT less — stretchy man-made fibre in the fabric mix. (These are about 12%, I want to say, and usually I operate on a strict 1-2% spandex at most policy.) I think they look fine, I just am not crazy about the feel of them, and if an opportunity to replace them with something much closer to 100% cotton arises, I’ll take it. I won’t go out of my way to look, though, since mostly I wear skinny, boy and straight jeans. I just regard these as useful, if you see what I mean.
This was an outfit worn on a break from the garden to run errands. Not really anything I would normally consider to be my style, such as it is, but it seemed like a good opportunity to make a jeans reduction project decision, and as I’ve already noted, these survived the cut.
Necklace: Monsoon, remixed. My style asserts itself! The rest of the outfit is too bland and plain, so a statement necklace saves me from feeling like a total frump.
Jumper: Deane & White, remixed. Mostly I love the neckline on this.
Jeans: Long and Lean, Gap, remixed. A much-coveted pair of 34-inch inseam jeans — on deep clearance, no less! — in my (usual, subject to the vagaries of sizing inconsistency) size, which is probably what caused me to neglect looking closely enough at the tags to find out about the high poly mix. Staying, but not with much enthusiasm or love.
Another Jeans Reduction Project outfit, and another keeper, primarily because a pair of white bootcut jeans are a wardrobe necessity for me. I don’t think these fit particularly badly, although they are, perhaps, a skosh big, but if I happened to find a pair with a closer-to-perfect fit, I’d probably replace them. I probably wouldn’t put much effort into doing that, though; it’d be a case of finding them while thrifting, or just by chance on the Gap’s clearance rack or something like that.
I’m not sure why I’m currently so crazy about white pants and skirts, especially paired with black tops and minimal accessories, but I really do reach for this sort of thing a lot lately. It’s becoming one of my staple smart casual looks, and it always makes me feel really put-together and chic in a very understated way when I go for a variant on this look.
I like it. I like it so much that I’m strongly considering a black-and-white (plus blue jeans) capsule wardrobe for our next holiday. None of this means I am losing my love of colour, oh no, but it’s kind of nice to settle on something pretty simple that just always works for you, with minimal thought and effort.
Scarf: Marni for H&M. This is probably more properly called a kerchief, since it’s triangular. It’s one of two pieces I purchased from the recent Marni/H&M collaboration. (The other should be coming up pretty soon.) I loved the colours and the print, and the fact that it’s 100% silk didn’t hurt, either.
Cardigan: Jackpot, remixed. Oh, man, speaking of wardrobe staples, this long black cardigan was much-needed and I was very relieved to find it. I’m pretty sure I already moaned about how hard it was to find this thing, but I still can’t believe how much time and effort it took to find something so basic.
Tank top: Gap, remixed.
Belt: Gap, remixed.
Jeans: Marks & Spencer, remixed. One nice thing about M&S is that a lot of their pants and skirts come in short, medium, and long lengths. I appreciate that a lot, and suspect short and medium women do as well. M&S is not exactly cutting edge fashion, but they so this sort of thing very well.
Bag: My thing for Fossil bags isn’t going away. Thank goodness I have a knack for finding them cheap.
Sandals: Born, remixed. Probably the last time you’ll see me in sandals for a little while. The weather is supposed to get quite a bit colder starting tomorrow.
More sunshine, more sandals, and this time, I remembered to paint my toenails. I took the skanky, chipped stuff off before going out yesterday, but didn’t have drying time, so my unadorned toenails were exposed to the world, and I didn’t like it. A quick coat of indigo varnish last night, and I’m ready to fully enjoy sandal weather, I suspect just in time for it to cool back down again for a while.
The ongoing jeans reduction project brought this pair out for a spin today, and even as I was pulling them out of the drawer, I knew they were keepers. So-called “boyfriend” jeans are not necessarily the most curve-enhancing cut in the world, but with my narrow hips, and love of a shorter rise, they tend to fit me very well, they’re completely comfortable to wear, and I love them. I also love the button fly in these jeans. I have no idea why I love button flies so much, I just do.
Blazer: Boden, thrifted, remixed. Another end-of-last-summer find I only got to wear once before it got too cold outside. This is slightly big in the shoulders, of all places, but it was a great buy, and I’m pleased to have found it.
Scarf: Desigual, remixed. I’m starting to dig out the lighter-weight scarves, although I haven’t even seriously considered doing the seasonal changeover yet. It WILL get cold again, for sure.
3/4 sleeve/scoopneck tee: Gap. Duh. I recently replaced my solid black and solid white tees, and rotated the old ones out.
Cross-body satchel: Stuart Weitzman. This was a gobsmackingly good TK Maxx bargain, and I like it very much — the colour matches a few pairs of my shoes just about perfectly — but it’s a little small for everyday use. I tend to prefer big, hobo-style or shopper bags, but it’s nice to have one like this for days when I’m not going to be schlepping much around.
The sorting of the denim continues, and these are going away. They’re supposed to be jeggings, but as you can probably see, they’re way too big. (The shirt is also way too big, but I’m keeping it anyway, and just styling it better next time.) These, I think, will be replaced; I love white denim pants — this is a newish passion of mine — and with summer allegedly coming up, I can see that they’ll get plenty of wear. I have a pair of cropped white trousers, which fit beautifully, and a pair of reasonably well-fitting white bootcut jeans, but skinnies or jeggings need to fit snugly, and these just don’t. I have no idea if I’ve shrunk or they’ve stretched, but out they go.
It’s a shame, because other than the bad fit, I liked this outfit quite a lot. It’s the kind of thing I find myself gravitating towards more and more lately, when I am looking for a pants-based smart casual look. My entire style seems to be rapidly evolving, and I’m finding it easier and easier to just get rid of stuff that doesn’t feel quite right anymore. I’m also getting comfortable enough with my body to resist the urge to size up to hide my so-called flaws. I admire loose and flowy style on other people, but when it comes down to it, I mostly prefer my clothing to be fairly fitted. There are exceptions, of course, but for the most part, fitted is simply more comfortable to me.
I’m also going through a minimalist phase with the accessories. I’m eyeing my vast collection of scarves and concluding that I don’t really need that many of them, since I play favourites, and wear the same dozen or so over and over again. I love love love sunglasses, but probably 80% of the time, I end up wearing my vintage Wayfarers. I’m not getting rid of most of my costume jewelery, since I suspect this is at least partly a matter of it being winter, and finding too much stuff hanging off me troublesome when putting on coats and gloves and the like, but right now, I’m just going with it. The bangles will be there when I’m ready to wear them frequently again.
So my wardrobe is keeping me very busy these days, and I’m hoping to draw some conclusions on the whole personal style thing, as I sort through it all and get all thinky about it.
Silver/moonstone necklace: Gifted from spouse, remixed. I love this thing beyond measure.
Cowl-neck top: Gap. I snapped it up on clearance, because I love the colour, and I love my other two Gap cowl-neck tops, but it’s too big to style like this. Thanks for the sizing inconsistency, Gap, since my other two are this size and fit fine.
Soon-to-be-departed jeggings: I think I got these at Primark, but I cut all the tags out, to avoid show-through, which leads into the observation that I saw a woman wearing a pair of very lightweight leggings as pants the other day, and while that’s not my style, okay, but really, cut the tags off the ass-seam, because not only could you see the tags were there, you could clearly read them. And, yeah, I was looking at her arse because she stood up directly in front of me on the bus.
Oh, and another bus/fashion-related story; I got off the bus the other day, and one leg of my jeans got untucked from my Fryes, and the lady getting off behind me blurted, “Oh god, I’m sorry, I don’t mean to bother you, but your pantleg is sticking out of your boot, and I’d want to know!” I laughed, and thanked her, since I, too, always want to know when stuff like that happens, and I appreciated it. I’d noticed myself, but was just waiting to get out of the way before fixing it.
A bit late, and a bit of a headache, so I’m off to bed, but I leave you with an outfit I actually wore on Sunday, hence the snazzy photography. Today was filled with mostly unpleasant, messy domestic tasks, so very little effort went into my outfit.
Details from a very casual Sunday:
Cardigan: Gap, remixed.
Pendant: Bijou Brigitte, Liverpool, remixed.
Tee: Desigual. I tried this on mostly out of curiosity as to how this much ruching would work on me, and I was surprised to find I liked it. This serves as a reminder for me to try things outside of my comfort zone more often.
Jeans: Premium Skinny, Gap Outlet, so remixed. I’m still working on my plan to severely reduce my ridiculous, and mostly-unworn collection of jeans, and these are staying. I wear them a lot, they’re very comfortable, and I knew they were making the cut even before wearing them. The reason I wore them, in spite of already considering them keepers, is because the two pair I tried on previously that morning instantly got consigned to the Oxfam bag. It was nice to be able to make a snap decision!