January Outfits & Wear Count
It's recap time! This month, we've got polar vortexes, no new clothes, and lots of dark-colored, cozy outfits. So let's go!
January has been an interesting month! I'm in a new role at work, and spending a lot of time trying to sort out how it works, what work looks like now that it isn't mostly programming, and adjusting to being a team of one.
Because I'm a team of one now, I've moved desks to my company's downtown office. I live downtown, so I'm walking for my commute again, rather than driving. Six blocks and some fresh air makes me happy—but I'm already noticing how it's affecting my shoe choices. I wore 17 different pairs of shoes this month, apparently, which is kind of a surprisingly large number. A couple of them were inside only, like my Birkenstocks, which I wear around the house most days. Six of those pairs were sneakers, and all of those got 2+ wears, some as many as 6. The rest, some booties, two pairs of heels, and my mules, got worn... once. And most of those wears were to things like dinner dates, where we drove and I wasn't wearing them a full day. Walking enforces the need for comfy shoes, and when it's cold, my comfort standards are extra high, hence all the sneakers.
My color scheme this month has relied heavily on cozy black and dark items; maybe I just tend to buy or have more black winter items than summer items, but only 5 of my outfits this month had no black in the color scheme, and I wore a surprising 7-8 head-to-toe black outfits. I typically shy away from all-black outfits, even though it's easy and classic. In the summer it feels way too heavy, and it often feels both too formal or severe for me. Something about the chilly weather and gloomy skies—and the fact that some of my favorite pieces right now are black—has tilted my color scheme much darker than normal. This is neither good nor bad, just an observation.
My knee is still bruised from December! Not visibly, but sometimes when I kneel to do something at the gym, if I sit right on my knee bone, it's very tender. Likely bruised the bone, so that's fun. It's definitely made me really hesitant to wear my Mars booties, although it's not really their fault. Considering taking them to get a non-slip outer sole put on.
It's cold. You can laugh all you want at 30-40° temps, and if you're experiencing record snow and polar temps, please, I deserve it, and stay warm! But I moved to warmer climes for a reason, and I'm unacclimated to damp, icy winds these days. Dressing for cold weather really sucks the joy out of outfits, for me. It looks awful cute on Pinterest to throw your coat over your chunky sweater and straight leg jeans, but in real life, walking blocks downtown with cold toes and the wind in my collar, I'm not feeling it. (Frankly, jeans aren't the coziest when it's cold, right?)
There were a handful of outfits I just didn't love. Nothing disastrous, but some minor complaints.
I like these over the knee boots alright, but I wrote back in November that "I'm just not sure I'm into over the knee boots anymore," and that still feels true. They are nice on windy days, but they're not big enough for super cozy socks, so it's a balance.
I just got these wide leg pants back from the tailor, and I like them, but I don't know if I love them. The slant pockets gap some, and they definitely wrinkled. I liked this outfit a lot more in concept than in execution, so we'll see.
Last, this double burgundy sporty look. I just want to love this top so much, but it's... very cropped. I'm all about a crop top but this one feels too cropped for work, and then too fancy for casual weekend days when I could pull it off. So I rarely pick it out of my closet, yet I can't let it go.
I wrote about this on Instagram, too, but between the cold, work, some (minor) health stresses, the never-ending political news, and my grandfather having to go to the hospital, the last two weeks of January were pretty gloomy. The best part about a closet that works for you, instead of you having to work on it, is that you can be NOT thinking about it when there are more important topics on your mind. I've been wearing a lot of leggings and a hoodie kind of outfits, a little cozy hug of clothing, because putting together a "real" outfit has been too much effort. And that's... well, I'm putting this in the "good" column for a reason. Even in my lazy-day outfits, I feel like "me". I felt put-together, and stylish, and even confident. That's making my clothes work for me, I tell you what.
Also, my outfit proportions this month have been extremely consistent. Nary a low waist in sight! It's heartening to see my style become so consistent, even when the specific details of an outfit might be really stylistically varied.
Even though I'm a total extrovert, I respond to high stress primarily by withdrawing. I need time to sort out my thoughts, understand what I'm feeling, and be quiet. I read to escape, and cook a lot when I'm stressed, and I've definitely been doing plenty of both! I've been posting our dinners in my instastories and I have to say I'm pretty surprised how much y'all love seeing them. But food is love, so maybe I shouldn't be surprised.
I did a week-long experiment of styling my high waist ponte pants, after I got them back from the tailor. These pants were my go-to winter pants for two winters, before they no longer fit in the waist. I debated taking them to the tailor for ages: would it even be possible to take in the waist? They aren’t that nice anyway, so is it worth it? Then it was summer and I didn’t bother. Once it turned cold, I found was really missing these pants! So off they went to my lovely seamstress and she worked some magic for me. (She also told me to “be gentle getting in” 😂 there’s some real wiggle I have to do for this elastic waistband now!)
A couple standouts:
crop flares, cashmere mockneck, western booties and hat
This felt like my most fashion~ outfit this month. I wore this out to lunch and a wander around town with my husband last Sunday. It was beautiful—68 and sunny—and we had a rare day where both of us could do nothing but relax. These jeans just came back from the tailor and I'm so pleased. New, they hit me right at the ankle bone: too long to be a crop flare, too short to be a full length flare. I got the hem taken up and now they're the perfect length. These shoes are also an understated closet hero; I forget how comfy they are. They look too cool to be that comfy! Anyway, I loved being in this outfit. It felt of-the-moment but also very me, and that made me happy.
all-black ponte pants, tucked in cardigan, sporty sneakers
Well, I wanted to be cozy, and this was shockingly dressed up for how comfy it was. This cozy super-soft merino wool is already a favorite, and I knew as soon as I saw it styled on AYR's website that I wanted to wear it tucked in. I did variations on this with jeans, with these cozy ponte pants, with heels... obsessed.
classic high rise jeans, white tee, block pumps
I loved this outfit. These jeans are dreamy; they're comfy, the right rise, and have the perfect loose hem. Styling it in a totally classic way, with a white tee and a leather jacket, felt too right to ignore. But you know, with a super-me burgundy jacket, and these devastatingly beautiful Coclico heels. (And yes, I can walk to work in these shoes, if I'm feeling up for it. They're so great!!)
This all-cream ensemble was a fun way to lighten up my color palette but stay warm on a pretty chilly day. Now if only I had a cream coat!
2019 Q1 no-buy Update
So far, so good! It's been surprisingly easy not to shop, easier than I expected. Of course occasional things catch my eye, and I tempted myself a few times by going in some stores or looking online. Unsurprisingly, the less you look, the less exciting it is to be looking. Multiple times this month I'd be looking at stuff on some online shop and realize I was bored, like I didn't have the patience for this scrolling.
I don't really need anything, and knowing that means I also have to know that anything on my list is just a want. This makes it a lot easier to talk myself down. Of course I want a black, high-rise bikini to go to the beach; that's been on my wishlist since last summer. It feels a little "urgent" since we're going on a trip, but fun fact, if you wait til you have to pay 2-day shipping, it gets a lot less exciting.
I added a handful of items to my wishlist, but they can just sit there. A cool, elastic, sporty summer sandal would be good for my walk-to-work summer shoe situation; I tried on a gorgeous casual jumpsuit the other day when I was out with my husband, and I definitely want to wear it over that black bikini I'm not buying. And wouldn't a wrap skirt be a great beach coverup, too? I still want a white hat, and my list of gymwear I want isn't exactly short. But it's all just... stuff I want, and certainly none of it necessary.
For the most part, though, I've had other topics on my mind that are far more important. Defining what my new role at work looks like, for example. Working on this blog, and starting to put time and effort into making my dream of a style coaching business real. Much more interesting.
Items and Wear Count
This month, I wore 82 items from my closet—including accessories, like bags, hats, and scarves, and even jewelry, as well as gym clothes and pajamas. I was much more consistent with tracking in January. I tracked every day except for two days, and most days I also tracked what I wore at home or to the gym.
I did some rough math, and 82 items is about 35% of my wardrobe. I feel like this number is a little low; I'd love to be regularly wearing closer to half of what I own. I'm speculating that part of the reason for this lower percentage is the season. I don't own nearly as many winter-weather items as I do summer-weather, given that it's summery and warm here most of the year. So in the winter I'm much more likely to be repeating the same few items. We'll see if this bears out over the rest of the year.
It seems to be the case, because here's what got worn more than three times each:
Topping the list? My coat, my blue jacket, a new cozy merino wool cardigan, and my just-back-from-the-tailor ponte pants, which are my go-to winter pant. A little farther down, in the 2-wear range, both my cashmere sweaters, both my merino turtlenecks, my Kotn turtleneck, and my rust turtleneck. And that's basically my entire cold-weather wardrobe, in one paragraph.
Here's all my wear counts for the month of January! I'm excited to be able to share the whole deal straight from Airtable, so I'm not going to write out the list anymore.
This rust turtleneck was such a great secondhand find. It's incredibly comfy, and it goes with everything.
On Instagram I talked about these pants, and how looking athletic in my sporty clothes feels like me, and I want to go out in the world wearing clothes that feel like me. They're dramatic, for sure, but as easy as leggings.
I picked up quite a few things in December, but happy to say I've stuck to my no-buy for January and haven't added any items!
The Imogene + Willie Catherine jeans I got in December sadly didn't fit and got returned. So did the AYR tanktop, although I kept the jeans and cardigan, which is already high on the wear list. The jeans have 4 wears this month already, and the cardigan a whopping 7, plus I've been reaching for it at home on occasions I know I didn't track. I'm not much of a cardigan person, so this is a bit of a surprise.
Tailoring, Donating, Removing
Took quite a few things to the tailor this month. Got two pairs of jeans hemmed and shortened, and got the waists taken in on the new AYR sample sale sailor pants I got, as well as my older Esby Lucia pants that were now too big. I got an amazing cream linen shortsleeve blazer at the AYR sample sale and it was heavily tailored, as it was a whole size too big, and I got the sleeves and hem fixed up on a crepe duster coat that will be perfect for March temps.
Sold a handful of items that needed a better home, including my red wool Two Fold Krissy tee. I love it, but the wool was really too warm, and I don't layer, so it wasn't getting much love. I also let go of the black Eliz Suzann Elise dress, and kept only the cream one, which I like the fit and color of better on me. I have a handful of things that I couldn't sell that need to go to the local consignment, but I haven't quite made it there yet. They're out of my closet and off the inventory, though. No other movement, really.
I'm so excited that we'll be spending a week in February in Honolulu, HI, for a work conference and a few days of vacation. I'm eager to drag down my summer box extra-early and try not to get sunburnt. If we're really lucky, once we get back to Texas we'll be past the Jan-Feb cold temps and into spring weather, which mostly means rain but mild temps.
I'm itching to wear some of my wide-leg pants, like the Jamie + the Jones raw silk wide legs I got during their Black Friday sale. They're sitting in my closet waiting for warmer temps! Same for some of my dresses, and my lovely silk Bel skirt, which got a single warm day's wear this month.
What's the one summer piece you're missing the most right now?