I can't believe how long it has been since I've written a post! I've continued to follow the blog and forum, but time has slipped away from me. Last time I posted, I was adjusting to my new job in Arizona. In the spring of 2016 my partner had to take some time off of work for some training (he moved cross country to attend in 2017) and I went on a shopping diet. He is finally back to working full time, permanently and after two years of very little addition to my wardrobe it is time to get back into the swing of things.

In addition to all that, I've lost about 15 pounds over the course of the last year. Unfortunately, I've realized that this has sized me out of many of my go to brands, especially for jeans/pants. I'm 5'9" with a long/tall inseam, and was previously between a 4 and an 8 depending on the fit. I was a huge Gap/BR/Kut fan because of the talls. Since losing weight, I now wear a 25/2 in most pants and Gap now stops their talls and long inseams at a size 4. I wore a couple of pairs of decently fitting bootcuts during the winter and a pair of straight legs that were less than ideal. Now that Arizona summer is upon us, I need to upgrade my pants/jeans capsule since my laundry needs will increase with the heat. I wear jeans or pants almost every weekday because of the AC in my building. Typically, I'm on team "buy the full length" and then roll as needed for an ankle pant look. However, currently I can only purchase a regular (which is a full 4" shorter than I typically wear my bootcuts) in my go to brands. Do I go for the cropped look, or are there other brands I should try? I'm also in need of some alternatives to blue jeans to add a bit of variety to my look.

I'm also on the lookout for suggestions for the following pieces:

Jean jacket-- my current denim jacket is from CO and is the perfect length to wear with pants and to layer underneath. However, it doesn't look great with skirts or dresses . . . I need suggestions for a great slimmer or more cropped piece.

Denim shirt-- I'm also looking for a lightweight denim/chambray shirt to wear as a layering piece open over pants and tied over skirts and dresses. I have a heavier, boxy one, but want something softer or otherwise more appropriate to wear as a layering piece over a dress, etc.

Black "travel" sweatshirt/jacket-- My go to layering piece for work trips bit the dust this year. It was a simple zip up "track jacket" made out of a almost flocked-feeling nylon with a mock neck collar that I could layer over any top while on the road, but was still slim enough to layer under another jacket. I frequently travel with a personal item or carry on for work and need something durable and versatile that doesn't look too much like gear.

Since my weight loss and probably partially because of the femininity and detail that has become more popular again with fashion I've noticed that I'm skewing a little more feminine than I used to . . . I think I fit the "girly tomboy" moniker much more than I used to. I still want to look and feel like me, but with the slimmer figure I feel like I don't have to fight my curves as much and am less concerned about a bit of feminine detail. That said, I'm considering trying a pair of Danskos as a summer sandal alternative for work, where closed-toe shoes are preffered and am considering the pair below. With the cut out edge, are they too feminine for my style?

Thanks for listening! It is good to see you all again and I appreciate any feedback and recs you ladies can provide.

Below are some finds for items I've purchased in the past year or so and the Danskos in question.