Hello all! Last summer everyone helped with my dress code experiment, and I've now been doing that for over a year. I was going to write this post when I get back home from vacation...but let's be real, non-vacation life is so busy that it wouldn't happen. So I'm sorry I'm not able to share pictures.

I've thought a lot about what I learned, what worked and didn't work for me over time, and have made some revisions based on my needs & likes for the future.

My daily uniform was a striped top and gray jeans.

The good:

  • I like all my clothes a lot more! I love opening my drawers and seeing rows of stripy tops (Marie Kondo-style!)
  • I've experimented with pattern-mixing more, and with stripe-on-stripe. I've liked a lot of patterns combined with stripes.
  • I spend less time shopping and less time agonizing over my choices when I do shop.
  • I have a better sense of what is in my wardrobe and what holes I need to fill.
  • I've tried some jeans I never had before, including high-waisted, jeggings, distressed jeans, patterned jeans, and skinnies.

The bad:

  • The silhouettes for gray jeans are more limited than for blue or black jeans. Most of the options are skinnies, and there's only so many pairs of those that I need.
  • I've always had delicate skin, and in my 40s it's thinning even more. I've also always worn men's jeans to vary my silhouettes a bit -- but the fabric on men's jeans is much too coarse for me now. This limits my looks even more.
  • Stripe colors tend to be limited, as well. Boden is the best place for non-navy/black/gray striped tops, and Stitch Fix has done right by me in the button-up shirt department, but even so there's a LOT of navy, black, and gray in my wardrobe.
  • Limited options for dressy wardrobe! I ended up ignoring dress code for date night/evening wear entirely, and that part of my wardrobe feels scattershot and poorly planned.

The future:

  • Because I tried pattern-mixing, I ended up with some patterned shirts to wear over stripes, and I love them. I've started wearing some on their own, and I think I'm going to add a bunch of patterned shirts to the dress code. I have a couple from Gender Free World that do a good job of not gaping over my breasts, although the fabric isn't quite the texture I like. I'm going to see what else I can find in the "shirts designed for people with overactive bosoms" category!
  • I'm going to add back in blue jeans. I'm going to make sure I keep a skinny jean in rotation, though, as well as some distressed jeans, and if I find a floral pattern I like, that too!
  • I'm going to review my dressy-clothes wardrobe and make it less hole-filled and better-edited. (I also need to sell my good-condition heels since I can't wear heels anymore!)

Any other suggestions? Would love to hear what people think!