Sears recently asked me to create an ensemble using one or two items from their range. Although we are big Sears shoppers (almost every major appliance in our house was bought at Sears because we love their after sales service), I have never shopped at Sears for clothing. But in the spirit of not leaving a retail stone unturned I decided to give it a bash. 15 minutes after arriving at the Sears in Seattle I had two great finds: the Covington metallic turtleneck and the Canyon River Blues skinny jeans.
Prices at Sears are very reasonable. The Covington turtleneck is $19.99, and for that you get a garment with interesting stitch detail, sufficient sleeve length for my extra-long arms and a neat collar that fits snugly around my neck. And, most important of all, no itch. Regular YLF readers will know that I value premium items that I can use for many seasons, but once you have a good foundation of wardrobe essentials there is also a place for taking a chance on some fun, inexpensive items. And I’m very happy mixing a very wide range of price points in a single outfit.
Low prices also mean that you can afford to experiment with new looks, with less to lose if they don’t end up working. I’ve been inspired to create a slouchy skinny jeans silhouette after seeing what I call the “baggy-fitted-look” that was so popular at Fashion Week. I sized up TWO sizes on Canyon River Blue’s Curvy Skinny jeans to create a roomy skinny jeans silhouette that was similar to the one I saw on the runways.
The results of sizing up? The crotch point has dropped a few inches, which has also given the jeans a lower rise. The waistband is huge, the seat poufs out when you sit down, and there is room all over the legs with ample hem scrunch. The sized up effect is very different to the body con skinnies that have ruled retail stores and my wardrobe for years. These are a more boyish fit, which works with my tomboy style tendencies.
Now, baggy skinnies are not everyone’s cup of tea because of the droopy crotch point and less than riveting rear fit. But to my eye, the silhouette looks fresh. I actually prefer wearing low rise jeans and trousers, and my goodness I find the fit so comfortable. I’ve already road tested these skinnies and their 1% spandex content means that they do not bag out at all.
I’ve put together two outfits using the jeans, one of which also uses the turtleneck. They combine old and new items from my wardrobe at varying price points, thereby creating a real mixture of high and low. The ensemble collage shows some of the exact pieces that I’m wearing, as well as good substitutes for the items that are no longer available.
Leather garments and footwear in all shades of white were all over fashion week runways and are set to be huge trends for Spring 2013, as are sheer fabrications in both brights and pastels. Inspired by those trends I matched the new slouchy skinnies (number 7 in the ensemble collage) with an old, sheer citron blouse (2 is similar), which I bought in a Soho boutique, and my favourite leather jacket (1 is similar), which happens to be white. I finished off the outfit with an off-white, polka dot Marc Jacobs belt (3), new snakeskin booties (9) that are already wardrobe workhorses, and a Chanel clutch (8 is similar) that I’ve had for 18 years. I’m into using my clutches as daytime handbags at the moment because the vibe feels extra modern and less fussy. Hence the decision to leave the satchel at home.
I have to wear a belt with these jeans so that they don’t fall down. That means tucking in my blouse for a more streamlined and polished effect. The waistband bunches a little at the back, but it’s not bad because the waist was quite fitted to start off with.
Metallic clothing is on trend now and probably will be for a while. That, and my magpie gene, drew me to the turtleneck (5). For the second, warmer outfit, I tucked in the turtleneck and threw on a brown studded belt (6 is similar) to create a low colour contrast between the top and the bottom. Visually, this creates a longer line than the high contrast jeans-belt-blouse combination in the first outfit. I added my old Rag & Bone wool military blazer (4 is similar) as an extra layer. I used the same snakeskin booties and clutch handbag. My jewelry-free style means the remaining accessories are wedding ring, watch and specs. That’s it.
This was a successful jeans experiment. I love my slouchy skinnies because they change up the mood of all the outfits that I previously based on body con skinny jeans. Tapered legs are so practical in Seattle climate, so this inexpensive addition to my wardrobe has given me many new outfit options for Fall and Winter.