Tulle, I have worn loungewear almost every single day indoors and it sounds like yours! You're SOOO right.

And JAileen -- argh!!!!!!! No FAIR!!

Yes: there are SO MANY clothes out there that are just not practical! But so gorgeous looking. Who can blame us for getting tempted by them all?

Sigh, thank you for posting this. It really does help to see what worked and what didn’t work in other people’s closets. It is nice to “keep it real” and makes me feel less guilty about my own issues with buying statements

And I’m laughing at your comment about creating a navy version of greyscale’s style because I often think about this too. I know I feel more daring with cuts and embellishments when the item is in navy.

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I think I'll join in on the Greyscale -lite group, if I may.

Suz, great post! I’m on my phone so will respond in detail once Home and on my laptop.

In the meantime, maybe you need my sequinned top for your sequinned culottes!!

Just quickly, have you tried wearing the sequinned culottes with that gorgeous gilet? I have been quite inspired by Trinny’s use of sequins for day wear xxx

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Hi Suz --

Couple of thoughts with my FWIW "Rx"...

-- bright red pants do not equal patterned pants or white pants (which are everywhere in warm weather). Rx: donate and stop buying bright pants

-- bright red military jacket carries a marching band reference -- picture it in navy or white or grey or even your particular bright pink and ask yourself if you'd wear it regardless of the weather etc. Rx: if you secretly want it in another color, donate

-- bell sleeves top is a great color for you. Would you wear it at 3/4 sleeve length? Rx: If yes, tailor sleeves and make it a boring workhorse.

-- sequin culottes: Rx: wear out the door as soon as possible. make your pals or husband dress up and just be the festive ones at a casual restaurant / event

-- floaty dress: Rx: forget about it being a "dress up dress" given it hasn't served that role in years. dress down with one of your knit tube skirts when it warms up a bit. add boots and more substantial jewelry to balance, and then when warm enough for sandals you can do something delicate. ALT: chop off sleeves and use it as a 3rd layer -- you can probably fit sweaters underneath this way. ALT2: donate

Also, I know monitors vary but a lot of your "colored pieces I'm not wearing" appear much brighter and warmer than your usual shades. [bell sleeves look "Suz"]

Get honest about that -- pull out what you have in similar shades, look at all the reds [then blues, then pinks] and see if anything jumps out as an outlier. When you've been wearing your most flattering colors for a while -- which you have -- it's really hard to settle for less.

ps you have a lot of pants -- I'd say 5 wears of leopard skinny pants since November is a pretty good showing!

This was a really interesting read. I made a few of those kinds of purchases this year, too. For example, a black and white chevron stripe dress with a short skater skirt and fly away sleeve, and purple and black striped leggings. I am definitely letting go of those purchases.

Suz, it’s not as great as you think. We appear to be entering into another drought.

I DO see your points, Suz. Like you and others, I have been "guilty" in sometimes buying great statement pieces which seldom get worn. I try to learn from my mistakes, so when shopping for clothes and footwear, I now focus on items that will be usable in an ordinary week in my life.

Of course, I also allow myself to buy items for special occasions, but I try to imagine if they can be styled in several ways and be used at at least two different kinds of occasions--and if not, well then I know that they probably won't be worth the money.

Besides, as spring and autumn are rather short seasons where I live, I try to avoid buying items that will be usable in one of these seasons only.

Aww, I'm flattered! My outfits have been sort of blah the past few months. I chased a few trends that were not the best for me - like high waist vintage jeans that just don't flatter me - and I feel like I lost my way a bit. So it was interesting to re-read my essentials post from a year ago when I was much happier with my day-to-day clothes, and everyone's contributions this month.

Suz, I don’t have much to add here. But one thought: can you remove the epaulettes from the military jacket? It might be that the combo of red, epaulettes, military collar and buttons etc is just a bit too much. That would be the easiest way to take it back a notch. (I am thinking about doing the same with one of my jackets.)

Very interesting thread Suz. I have learned a lot from your post and the responses.

It does seem like weather is a huge issue for you.

You said that the gilet is your aspirational style and that you feel great when you can wear it. Perhaps it would help to try to identify exactly what your happiness factor is in the gilet vs how you feel wearing the other items you posted. You can tell I am still into focusing on my feeling in my clothes:)

It also might be worthwhile to think about whether repurposing some of these items would make them more wearable for you such as Brooklyn's suggestions for the red jacket and Vix's suggestion to adapt the blouse to a 3/4 sleeve. Re: the Vince dress- would you wear it more if it was shortened to be a tunic length top?

I definitely see the weather commonality here. Almost all of these items seem intended for the shoulder seasons that are fleetingly short in your climate.

It's funny, because I'm having the opposite problem. We're in the midst of the warmest winter in Colorado history, and I'm so TIRED of my transitional pieces. I'd love to find some seldom-worn statements in my closet.

Hi Suz, Really interesting looking at what you are not wearing.

No real suggestions, just my thoughts:)

It sounds like you generally feel more comfortable or more you in neutrals? I love the look of the red crop flares and I know they would be too bold for me too. But I wonder if you have tried styling them with nice solid neutrals? I know you are not so into black at the moment but what about navy? However if you know you are not going to wear them, find them a new home

The sequinned culottes are gorgeous. Clearly they re not an everyday piece but it would be fun to play and see how you might style them for day time? I think the gilet could work beautifully with them with may be a crisp white button down and a black ankle boot.

I loved the Vince dress when I first saw it here and as a result purchased something similar from an Aussie retailer. I passed it on ages ago. Mine was navy and for some reason it just never felt or looked right to me. Tried it on it's own as a dress, layered it as a tunic but nothing made me want to wear it. Can you trying dressing it down so you don't view it as just special occasion wear?

I love the Pink Jacket and I would imagine that would look amazing on you. I think you need to find the right buttons and maybe just accept that this is something you will infrequently. The style looks quite classic so I cannot imagine it dating quickly. The colour makes quite a statement and it may be a bit of mood piece in that you have to feel like wearing the strong pink. I think that's ok.

The stand collar jacket does have a hint of 'costume' about it but it's really stunning. A great jacket as you say for speaking engagements/public appearances etc. I would keep it with those events in mind, as long as you think you will wear it.

With your Moto do you think you are just having a break? I find some seasons mine doesn't get a look in then the following one I am wearing it all the time.

The sweater is lovely but hard to comment as I don't wear this type of sweater and it's a look I don't quite relate to.

Bell sleeve tops have been so popular but so over rated lol. I agree the sleeves are so annoying and certainly not a practical design. Love the look of them but I have resisted to far for that very reason.

J Crew Culottes... I would love to see them with the Gilet!!

The Gilet, I love this. Do you need to purchase a coat just for the Gilet? lol I would.

Leopard pants are really cute but like you I don't reach for these sorts of patterned items so I just don't buy them anymore. I also have such a love tolerance now of clothing that isn't comfortable.

Hope you get to wear your beautiful boots when the snow clears.

These days I am very quick to move things on that are not working for me. I have struggled with the guilt of money spent on some things but the guilt only exists while the item is still hanging in my wardrobe. Once I have donated or passed it on to a new home, its lifts and I am ready for the next mistake lol.

I have not read the responses, because I want to do so when I am a bit more awake as I find this thread extremely interesting. I will offer two reactions to your initial post that jumped out at me - sorry if they are repeats of comments above.
1. I also have the Vince dress. It had its day at my son's Bar Mitvah (2.5 years ago), and I did wear it a bit but I am about to sell it. Why? I believe it is about our angularity descriptor (well yours that I stole). I am realizing as my face gets contrarily gets rounder I really don't like round collars.
2. Red kick flares. Only with red boots. I think my eyes are over the novelty of the proportion daring cropped trouser with contrast and maybe yours are too?

Ok. You ‘need’ an ankle length puffy for the gilet, because the gilet is so stunning. It needs to come out to play

Anyhoo, you know, I don’t feel I have many statements in my closet and I don’t feel I wear statements often. Which may be why, altho I have some loud Kooky clothes, and stuff with interesting details, I feel pretty normcore and boring most of the time. And I can’t say I want to be all Wow more than a few times a year. It’s not part of my strategy to rule the world, lol, because I like doing that in secret. I mean, when was the last time the Queen even saw her crown? I think it must have been when they did the special on the Crown Jewels and she gave it a thump.

Anyways, I’m feeling a need to take a long think about the role of statements. I’m not sure of their place in the scheme of things. ‘Merely interesting’ non-essentials seem like they may have a greater place for me... And all that about me to wonder, Suz, if you might feel somewhat the same?

Haha Rachylou. And the crown is heavy!

Interesting thread. I loved the Rag and Bone gilet and tried to get one, but couldn’t. In the end I think it would have been an orphan for me for the coat issue. I also have the white bootees, which I like but wear them only very occasionally when I’m feeling very brave / confident!

Wow, pretty snow but I can imagine that is limiting.

I think your comments regarding ‘costumey’ apply to me too.

Gah, this is such a great topic! You've gotten so much great advice already. I'm nodding along with those who have pointed out that many of these items present seasonal/weather-related challenges, and come the (ever so fleeting) spring, you might feel differently. I'm always looking at items that won't really work in deep winter or high summer, and asking myself if it's worth having an item I'll only bring out a few weeks each year.

It also strikes me that several of these items fall into your "event" capsule -- and I know you're a strong proponent of not sweating too much over cost-per-wear on special event clothing. But maybe even if wear-tracking in a traditional sense doesn't work for a dressy capsule, perhaps there needs to be some system for joy-tracking? It sounds like the Vince dress has served its purpose and doesn't make you happy when you wear it anymore. It actually stands out, among this group of items, as a piece from an earlier style era of yours. It feels out of sync with your more recent additions. The newer "event" items (the gilet, the sequined culottes) -- I would keep them and play with them. Perhaps try wearing them dressed down for casual days, even, just to break their spell. Agree that perhaps the gilet needs its own coat if you want to wear it properly, because that seems like a prime winter topper to me. I don't have any, but if I find the right wool vest or gilet, I will add it in a heartbeat, as it could solve some of my dislike for toppers/third pieces this time of year. Of course, this could just be a case of theory vs practice on my part. This winter layering business -- who knew it was so complicated?

I can commiserate with you on red pants. I've just had to accept that I'm happier not drawing attention to my legs. I've found that prints are totally okay (Im up to four, FOUR! pairs of patterned pants), as long as they are dark, neutral, and fairly low contrast. And a great fit, of course. But *bright* pants? Ugh. The last time I had red pants, they felt by turns like PJs or a Santa Claus costume. It was completely psychological, because they were sturdy woven pants with pockets and a fly, but I just couldn't get over how weird I felt in them. Red Pants Syndrome, I guess.

And the boots -- I feel you on this one, because I do the exact opposite. I look at all the pretty boots, then patiently talk myself out of buying them, because the winter will destroy them -- and when the weather is nice enough, will I really want to wear boots? Probably not. And then when a winter event rolls around I have nothing to wear. I know you have a good collection of more refined boots that *are* weather-worthy, so it's hard to judge how much utility these more delicate options will have for you. I'd say there's nothing wrong with having some indoor-only options, as long as you feel the styles have some longevity so you can bring them out once or twice a year for several more years to come.

I do like the idea of chopping the sleeves on the bell sleeve top. The bell sleeves were an experiment, they failed, why not turn the top into a new experiment on the effectiveness of modifying sleeves? Or... make a point of wearing the bell sleeves with the gilet once or twice this spring, when it's warm enough for the gilet to be your outer layer. And if you like the combo, maybe you give both pieces a new lease on life.

I do hope you find some good silver buttons for the pink blazer -- I was so, so tempted by that piece last year, but the gold was off-putting, and I have enough chores without adding "change out buttons on brand new jacket" to the list. So I'd like to live vicariously through you on that one, please.

I would rock the heck out of that stand collar jacket if it were in the pink blazer color

First if all can I say I hope that we are the same size because if you ever want to get rid of any of these pieces I ll have them!I haven’t read all the comments above yet but I do agree about not being too hasty in getting rid of stuff that you haven’t worn because the weather is a huge factor.living in a country that can never decide what season its in on a day to day basis I know that some times stuff goes unworn because the weather hasn’t been right for it.
The wine coloured dress lovely but very short,is this the problem.
Moto jackets-Ha! I have one ,I’ve never worn it either.Why?I wish some one could answer this question.
Bell sleeves -could have warned you about them.Lovely to look at,great at dangling in your dinner,washing up etc.Bicycle clips on your arms or shorten the sleeves is the only reasonable thing to do.
Everything else is totally fabulous and I would wear it in a heartbeat.Courage ,dear lady ,courage.You have fantastic style don’t be afraid to wear the lovely things that you have picked ,you will look fantastic .

So many great observations here. As I was reading through your initial post Suz I also noticed the constraints posed by weather. Maybe going forward, a good strategy would be to look for statement pieces that can be worn in different ways across multiple seasons? Or perhaps having another go at thinking up ways to do this with your existing pieces.

Could the gilet be shortened enough to fit under one of your existing coats without totally losing its drama? (Maybe slightly toning down its drama would even be a plus?)

The Vince dress sticks out to me as not your color — too brown and muted a red. I vote pass it on.

Reading your post was comforting to me in realizing that others also struggle to wear items that they like in theory. I was thinking about that lavender crochet vest I have been trying to work into my wardrobe. It’s a really cool piece but it’s just not warm enough for my climate and my physiology. I keep trying to make it work but I’m also thinking: I just want to own things that are easy to wear!

I like Brooklyn’s suggestion for the red jacket — I feel like it has a lot going on with the color, the bold buttons, and the epaulettes. I wonder if switching out the buttons for something more subtle and/or removing the epaulettes would make this piece more versatile and wearable. In the spirit of bossing our clothes around!

Ditto to Rachylou about needing a good long puffer over the gilet. I cannot overemphasize how great of a purchase my long black puffer has been! It’s light enough but warm enough that it helps any outfit with a long topper work for pretty much any winter day.

I remember trying on that Vince dress because I loved how it looked on so many of you. It’s really not quite right for me, but I’m surprised at how it turned out not to be the best purchase for others too. I suspect that these pieces that don’t fall neatly into “casual” or “dressy” categories tend to become orphans for a lot of us.

hmmmmm.....i've been thinking about this a while, as i also have a couple of statement pieces that i havent worn.....
weather? maybe or but i think its really just a small part of the puzzle...if you really wanted to wear them, you'd find a way...
i think its really 2 things...
1st..the statement pieces you aren't wearing are really STATEMENTS....red sweaters stand out, but as statements go, they aren't really out there...RED PANTS on the other hand are scream...so does the R&B Gilet...the vince dress etc..maybe you just aren't wanting to scream....
2nd...i think its a ratio thing...if you have limited times that you are dressing for the outside world, you need less statements, unless you wish to make a different statement each time...
anyway, that's my take...YMMV

Wow, thank you all so much for these thoughtful comments! So much wisdom here! I really value your input and think I am coming away with some possible solutions.

Kkards -- you are onto something for sure re ratios. I need a special occasion capsule but maybe I allowed myself to overbuy for it. And maybe too many of my statement items are of the special occasion variety. So that I lack statements workable for my real life (apart from a few sweaters.) Interesting thought. The next step would be to work out, what statements work in my regular days?

(Ditto for the weather issue. I need a few statement items for temperate weather, but I also need some that work for winter and high summer). Can I work out the proportion of statement-to-essential that would be optimal?

Janet and Rachylou, I think you are onto something about that puffer! Next year, or even now, if I can find one on sale -- a lightweight long puffer. I'd have worn that gilet a lot more if I had it and it wouldn't be a bad purchase for me anyway -- making its own statement on shortish me! I'm on the hunt!

Brooklyn, you are spot on about the epaulettes!! Face-palm!! I almost always want to remove them from everything, so why not this? I am going to investigate. The style is really excellent on me (I have a navy version that's a workhorse -- no epaulets on that one, ha!). And I actually wanted the colour. So...

Vince dress -- I think SarahDB, you are dead right -- that burgundy is too brown and that is a huge part of why I don't wear it. It's "okay" on me...not bad...but not my best. And it is also a bit short (not as short as on the model but it shows my knees...and, well...time to pass it along. Next!

Sarah, I could also consider shortening the gilet by a few inches -- it would be a bit more wearable thus. And why not, right? I'd want to keep it midi but it is a very long midi length on me currently.

Cardiff Girl, you are so right about weather. Some years just don't present us with the opportunities for specific items and other years do...I will hang onto some. Re the moto- I can't answer. I did wear it a lot when I first purchased it, so....it may come back into favour.

Cindy, you'd look great in the pink! I love both colours, actually...


LaPed, your thoughts on the red pants are really helpful. I also love patterned bottoms but I think you have hit on the issue -- they have to be low-key patterns. The leopard would be fine, sort of, if the fit were better...I will hang onto them for a while and see if I like them better next winter. And solid red is just a different animal, so to speak. Now I know. Fortunately, these were very inexpensive. I might keep them into spring and see if I can make them work then.

Jane, it is funny how white footwear can feel conspicuous! But it does! Much more so than silver, for me...

Shevia, I think you also have hit on something -- for me, with my angular face, the round collar fights with it a bit, making my jaw seem harder and I then feel less feminine or something. I'm all for androgyny but there is something a bit off. On the other hand, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the slit in that neckline. So...

Yes to the red boots. In spring, maybe. I'll give it a whirl.

Deborah, thank you so much for weighing in with such great suggestions and thoughts! I do feel more comfortable and "me" in navy, ink, white, and grey/ silver (with bits of black) but I also adore colour and all-neutrals makes me sad. So I'm always fighting myself a bit. I do know that coats and toppers are a good place for colour (along with scarves, footwear, and bags).

The gilet does work with the sequinned culottes and I have worn it that way once, last year.

I might try the Vince dress more casually as you and Vix suggest before passing on. Worth a shot. Maybe with ponte pants and tall boots -- maybe even for work tomorrow!

You're dead right about the classic style of the J. Crew jacket. I'll search for the buttons. It won't date much, if at all, and can come out occasionally to play. It's a nice quality fabric.

Love what you say here and need to apply this thinking carefully:

"These days I am very quick to move things on that are not working for me. I have struggled with the guilt of money spent on some things but the guilt only exists while the item is still hanging in my wardrobe. Once I have donated or passed it on to a new home, its lifts and I am ready for the next mistake lol."

Jenn-- I have definitely overbought for shoulder seasons. And, in my defence, the shoulder was really unusually short this year, and I have been dealing with some serious family problems so have not had as many special occasions.

Lynn, I love what you suggest here: "Perhaps it would help to try to identify exactly what your happiness factor is in the gilet vs how you feel wearing the other items you posted. You can tell I am still into focusing on my feeling in my clothes:)".

So...the gilet feels (and makes me feel) dramatic, structured, strong. My style persona used to be "urban prince" and after some waffling about I have more or less come back to this as a descriptor. The gilet (and the sequinned culottes) make me feel "urban prince" and some of the other items feel more "princeling." If that makes sense.

Greyscale, I thought you looked good in the high waists? Or is it just some of them you don't like? I still envy your closet. And will be examining your Finds for clues.... (hoping that does not sound weird!)

The Cat, you are a wiser woman than I and clearly I can stand to learn from you! I do so much better on this stuff than I used to do, and do have a decent wardrobe for my typical days -- what I lack, it seems, are wearable statements for those days (beyond scarves) while I have (apparently) too many special occasion statements! Lesson learned, I hope.

Vix, thank you so much for stopping in and giving your RX!! I think you're right about those pants -- I'll try them a few ways and let them go without angst if they don't work -- they were not expensive.

The bell sleeve top is a good colour but without the sleeves is boring. Also inexpensive and I don't like the feel of the fabric -- so, onwards.

Re colour more generally -- with silver hair, I'm actually wearing brighter, clearer versions of my former "best" colours. I'm still a "cool" or "true" summer, I think, but I need more intensity than I used to wear, or I'm washed out. For example, I used to look good in a light chambray blue. Now? Forget it. I need a darker denim hue. The royal blue that used only to look good in summer (with white) now looks good on me all year. Cranberry red is still good, but fire engine red is even better. That pink of the J. Crew is perhaps just slightly on the warm side for ideal, but it is cooler in person than on the monitor and totally lights me up IRL.

Example -- remember our leopard stretch silk shirt from AT? It used to be rather "strong" for me, despite being in my general palette. Not now. Now it's perfect.


Hi again Suz --

I do remember our blue leopard -- in fact I just dropped mine at the tailor to crop it below the bust so I can layer it under dresses and sweaters.

TBH I think your old hair color did throw things off a lot. Your skin looked gorgeous in that top but the hair was tonally off. Then the reverse for the chambray -- looked great with your hair but as you've noted, not strong enough to make you glow.

So it will be fun to watch you continue to explore shades/palettes as well as contrast. Just beware your love of balanced warm/cool fire engine red tops doesn't morph to include tomato.

Smittie, yes! Maybe I need to invest in more neutral statement items...and keep my bright colours for supporting non-essentials like knit tops/ shirts/ blouses...

Vix, that's it. The jacket is true red...vs. fire engine (both sweaters that I *do* wear are fire engine!). So the jacket is on the borderline. I go no further toward the orange side!