Ladies-- I've been out of touch. After making great plans for WIWs, etc. I've been away from the forum. Work has been a pretty negative influence on my life over the past few months. My boss returned from her unexpected medical leave and isn't handling situations well at all, which has made her very hard to work for. Both my closest co-worker and I deal with chronic illness, and the stress levels have sent us both home ill more than once. This supervisor is retiring at the end of April, but the employees are concerned about the temporary supervisor the organization is hiring for the last 5 months of the project. Here is to hoping, though!

Winter was very odd for us here. We got snow several times throughout
the winter, including an epic storm in February, but the weather was NOT
what we were used to. It was bitterly cold, rainy, socked in, and
overly warm with less consistent snow than normal ---- all things
Colorado is usually not. That said, we have very little snow left in our
forecasts for the coming months an what we have left in the low country
is quickly melting, with only snow remaining on slopes and up high.
With daytime temps moving into the 50s and 60s we are likely to have
several months of frozen nights left. BIZARRE! It kinda makes me wonder
how to plan for the future.

Anyway, I have a bit of extra time today and I thought I would recap the season as well as I can, since I invested a lot of energy into planning and shopping for AW2014 (and many forum members graciously helped me).

I bought:
2 pairs of jeans (GAP)
1 dress (
1 denim jacket (
Vince Camuto)
1 sweater (
3 pair of boots (
eric michael, Docs, la canadienne)
3 belts (
GAP, hipsi)
2 flannel shirts (
JCrew, Eddie Bauer)
1 tencel button-up (
1 long-sleeve tee (
1 knit jacket (
2 polyester chiffon blouses (
Nordies, Sanctuary)
1 cardi (
2 sweatshirts (
GAP, Unliquo)
6 heatgear underlayers, tights, slip, socks, undies, PJs, cashmere beanie, fleece gloves, clutch, etc.
1 backpack (
1 bag (
Sam Eldeman)

I used or wore every item multiple times except for the Eric Michael boots. Those were a late-ish purchase and didn't get worn before the snow came because they aren't weather proof. They were bought thinking that I could give the pair of red leather boots a break, as I was wearing them constantly this fall. I do need to figure out how to deal with the slouchy, mid-calf style in regards to pants, though.

Most Worn:
GAP straight leg jeans sized up for slouch, Doc Marten Serenas, Hipsi belt

These were my favorite new pants-- a new shillouette that fit my personal preferences and fit regardless of long-undies or weight fluctuations. The Docs are totally my style, comfortable, warm, and wore very well. The Hipsi was great because it is invisible under shirts or cute when visible and works with every pant rise.

Surprise MVPs/lifesavers:
black chiffon drape-front blouse, la canadian boots, tencel shirt, Sam Eldman Bag, Nike bag

I wore the drape-front blouse to several gallery events and the SOs X-mas party (sexy but covered, artsy). The boots are on this list for the same reason--- much more comfortable and practical way to dress up in the winter or just polish a look. The tencel shirt was a wild-card because of the color, but doesn't get dirty and wears well and looks good. The two bags are on the list because the handbag seriously up'ed my style quotient. The NIKE backpack became necessary since I was transporting a laptop and camera to work in freezing temps where they couldn't be left in a vehicle. It works perfect for this and will serve as a great "personal item" bag once I no longer do this.

Most complimented item:
Nordies knit jacket

An olively-taupe color with a drape-front, this is probably my most "fun" top purchase and a surprise color for me.

Quality issues-- Despite shopping near the top of my price range for tops (in the $50-80 range) I was altogether dissapointed in the quality of some pieces, or rather how they wore. Early in the season I send a sweatshirt back to Nordstroms because the cuffs were pilling (they were a different material), and a pair of jeans back to GAP because of seam problems. I had a pair of expensive pants unexpectedly change color in reaction to my body chemistry, and a pair of 1-year-old boots fail at a seam.

I wash loads of like items together and never mix denim with shirts or zippers with tops on cold on the most delicate cycle I can and hang dry. Still, both the flannel shirts, the heatgear, the knit jacket, the denim jacket's lining, and one sweatshirt all show significant wear in the form of fabric looking rough or pilling on the chest, hip and cuffs where they come in contact with jackets and surfaces as I work. Very frustrating since GAP tees, the cheaper Unliquo sweatshirt, and my men's flannels all look great. The Nordies sweater and tee stretch pretty horribly and have to be washed often because of it. The Sanctuary chiffon blouse has had to have multiple buttons re-stitched because they weren't put on well. My Unliquo socks and undies have both pilled oddly.

I'm not terribly sure about how to overcome this. Next Fall I should be working somewhere new, so I guess I will wait and see what the working environment and dress codes are like. That said, I'm terribly dissapointed in how many of my items are finishing out the season.

I learned:

  1. That I DO like woven tops, but I also need some knits! -- This was the first year I wore many woven tops, especially in winter. They were workhorses and upped my professionalism quotient. However, they require layering in cold weather which makes the fit trickier (and I have a hard time with pairing jacket collars with some button ups). They also don't pack as well, and sometimes I need the ease and/or cosy warmth of a knit. For this reason, I wore the sweatshirts and tees from last year fairly frequently.
  2. Life is better with at least 4 bottoms in regular rotation! -- 3 bottoms in regular rotation isn't quite enough for me. Four or more is much nicer. Better yet if all 4 work with a variety of shoes and tops. Bottoms that only work with a few pieces need to work into 2 or 3 outfits (with different tops and shoes) to count toward the big "4". I will keep this in mind for buying for summer although I tend to wash summer bottoms (esp. pants and jeans) more often.
  3. I need another pair of non-slip, weatherproof, chunky supportive boots! -- When we get weeks of snow or muddy weather, one pair of Docs does not suffice. If I was willing to wear my gear boots and change indoors, that would be a different story, but the situation at the current job in NOT conducive to this. Really, I need to think about having at least 2 pairs of shoes for situations where I can only wear those shoes. (2 sandals, 2 breathable sneakers, 2 comfy non-sneaker flats, etc.)
  4. Having 3 different formal outfits spanning temperature and vibes for winter ROCKS! -- Having a l/s dress and appropriate shoes, wool slacks with the option of a crisp button down or warm turtleneck, and rayon slacks with the option of a chiffon top + various leather jackets meant that I could easily get dressed for gallery events, funerals, work situations, and parties this winter. The clutch also falls in here.
  5. I still love my bootcuts! -- Wore them lots this winter despite having options. They are still flattering, professional, easy to pair, and comfortable.

I will continue wearing the jeans with a mix of sneakers, boots, button ups and chiffon blouses without underlayers paired with jackets and tops from last summer. However, I do need to start planning for the transition point where I will need lighter weight pants, cropped pants, skirts, and tops that are short sleeved with no topper (probably may).

Besides better understanding my needs, I also have realized I preffer clothing to have a masculine/artsy/urban touch and enjoy the juxtaposition between classic and funky and masculine and feminine when it comes to my overall look. I'm trying to figure out how my hair, makeup, and accessories (including eyeglasses) maintain that balance.