A summary of wardrobe ins-and-outs for February and March. All items are secondhand except those marked with an asterisk.

I will put thoughts/lessons learned in the first comment below since this post is already quite long.

I hope some of these observations are useful to others! I am finding the process of writing down *specific* reasons for buying/culling things, and trying to draw broader lessons, very helpful. I am grateful for any observations or gentle-tough-love you are inclined to share.


Photo 1: Lavender

For some reason quite a few lavender items have popped up in my secondhand searching so I decided to start building a little capsule. So far I’ve found that these shades work great with black and grays in deep winter, and with navy in spring.

1. scarf with metallic trim

2. cashmere tunic - expanding my capsule of sweater tunics with a non-neutral. I have already worn this a ton.

3. pintuck silk-cotton tunic - LOVE this. Instant outfit completer for several cropped cardis. Also an epiphany: tuxedo pleats are almost right for my style, but pintucks are EXACTLY right. Aha!

Photo 2: Cool-weather skirts capsule

I would like to add skirts back in to my cool-weather closet so I am looking to build a small capsule. I am focusing on knit skirts (I think these will be comfortable even for working from home), and will also need several shorter tops/knitwear items to wear with them.

4. gray fair-isle v-neck

5. black a-line merino skirt

6. charcoal peplum merino skirt

Photo 3: Miscellaneous

7. black silk popover - an easy fitting basic that I think will have staying power

8. ivory fair isle cropped cardi - HIGH happiness factor here. I love the color scheme. I don’t anticipate this being a workhorse (the cropped cut means it needs to be styled with specific completer pieces) but I do anticipate it being in my wardrobe for quite a while.

*9. socks - a pair of sparkly black/silver socks (for date night), and some no-show socks that I found on super sale (for wearing with loafers).

Photo 4: thrifted with Mom when I visited her in February:

10. lavender purse - trying something new for fun

11. boyfriend jeans - excited to try out a new pants silhouette for transitional/warm weather and finally add some non-skinny bottoms!

12. black/gold tank - for my date night capsule, to wear under a cardi or wide-necked pullover

Photo 5: Starting to shop for warm-weather items:

13. short-sleeve ivory cable cardi - basically a summer version of my beloved ivory Aran cardi! Can’t wait to pop this over a Liberty-print sundress and buckle on a pair of clog sandals.

14. 3/4 sleeve embroidered sweatshirt - I have a couple of solid 3/4 sleeve sweatshirts that are a staple for making skirt outfits in mild summer weather. I liked the idea of adding a patterned version. The length of this one should allow it to be worn with pants and also some skirts. I also see it as a warm-weather version of my gray floral sweatshirt that I am still wearing constantly.

15. sunflower-print sundress - will take some pressure off a similar floral dress that is starting to show wear. I will probably not cull the other dress right away bc I love it too much, but I will likely get rid of a less-favorite, solid sundress that is also showing wear.

*16. black knit straight skirt (Gap) - this is fabulous. Incredibly comfortable but the knit does not show lumps & bumps. I think I will be able to wear it casually but also for work meetings (my warm-weather work capsule is a real weakness, as I identified after a conference last year).

Photo 6: Bonus pic of a couple new items in action

Ordered and returned:

1. chambray popover - turned out to be too dark, heavy, and stiff

2. feather-print 3/4 sleeve popover - thought this was going to be coral and white, but it was actually rust —not my colors.

*3. Blue Liberty print skirt (J Crew) - I like the high-low cut, but the material is kind of stiff. Also, I just don’t love the print/color scheme enough to pay the price (it’s kind of…table-cloth-y?)

*4.-5. Colorful 3/4 sleeve Breton x2 sizes (J Crew) - the color scheme is SUPER fun but the material is very thin, I don’t like the way my skin shows through the knit and I am kind of a cranky old lady about this sort of thing.

*6. Ivory/navy Breton (J Crew) - the navy is too dark and the stripes are too wide, so the overall effect is overpowering on me. Also, material is too stiff!

*7. black knit straight skirt (Gap) - see above - ordered 2 sizes, kept 1

*8. gray joggers (Old Navy) - tried to duplicate some black joggers I love, but they’ve changed the cut. Sigh.


1. gray loafer flats (2015) - thrifted maybe 4 years ago and never wore them much. Guess what, they are not comfortable and they do not magically become more comfortable by sitting in my closet!

2.-3. 2 lounge sweaters (2017) - wore holes in elbows

4. black suede tassel ankle boots (2018) - thrifted these last August just for fun. They basically duplicate my La Canadienne black ankle boots, and I prefer those.

5. charcoal peplum skirt (2019) - unflattering cut. I thought this would be mermaid-y but really it’s just wide. Maybe it’s too big? Selling it on. Also, in retrospect, I don’t need two dark, solid, neutral, knee-length skirts, even if different cuts. It would be better to focus on colors or even patterns to expand my skirt capsule.

6. boyfriend jeans (2019) - the first time I wore these it became clear very quickly that these are waaaaay too big. Sad trombone!

7. lavender purse (2019) - I used this for 2-3 weeks and discovered 2 problems. First, the overall purse is about the right size but it’s broken up into multiple compartments which makes it difficult to fit everything I need. I prefer a purse with one large main compartment. Second, I found that I didn’t like wearing this with certain scarves because I felt too matchy-matchy. I am not a daily purse switcher-outer, so it would be better for me to look for a tan/cognac or metallic purse (which might at times match my footwear but I think I’m less bothered by this sort of matchy-ness). Goodbye, thrifted lavender purse, and THANK YOU for your service, you taught me SO MUCH in such a short time!!!

This post has 6 photos. Photos uploaded by this member are only visible to other logged in members.

If you aren't a member, but would like to participate, please consider signing up. It only takes a minute and we'd love to have you.