Fall Wardrobe Manifesto

This oddly personal post makes me a bit uncomfortable for a number of reasons. I’m revealing a bit more than usual about some of my “issues.” I’m also showing how frivolous I am, knowing full well that some of my readers don’t have incomes and can’t even ponder these things. And I’m making a personal vow,which makes me feel…weird. But here it is.

As much as I’d like to own some of the beautiful designer pieces I’ve been drooling over and writing about for weeks, my real life clothing budget would likely not buy even one Elie Saab suit. This year I’ve decided to plan my fall wardrobe in the hope of saving money over time, being more coordinated, and not impulse shopping. Here, then, is my plan. I’m putting it in writing to motivate myself, and to promise my husband I will not be shopping just for the adrenaline fix or boring lunch hour. I’m also taking part in our firm’s Green Initiative, and part of what I want to do is be mindful of my purchases.

My Wardrobe Manifesto
-I’ve learned that I don’t have the social life for wearing lovely vintage dresses, so I won’t buy any more until 2012.
-I have more jewelry than any woman actually “needs” so I’m going to make an effort to wear what I have.
-My shoe collection isn’t gigantic (really!) but if I get my black boots resoled, and my brown boots cat-tongued, I’ll have no good reason to buy new shoes UNLESS I find kitten heels with a leopard print. PROMISE TO SELF!
-I have no excuse for buying a Halloween outfit – I have an amazing dress I can do something fun with.
-I have a pair of jeans that fit well and are flattering, so no need for new jeans.
-My t shirt collection consists of a variety of colors – I don’t need any more.
-I have scarves in varying weights and colors, so I need no more scarves.
-Lipsticks? Enough already!

Here is what I consider my perfect fall/winter work wardrobe. I work at a law firm, so too casual won’t work. And I AM a librarian…!

Perfect pencil skirt
I’ve found the perfect pencil skirt at Talbot’s! It falls just below my knee, is slim but I can actually walk in it, and it’s well made, with a wool lining.

Perfect black pencil skirt - Talbots

Cheetah or leopard print accessory
The leopard print belts at J. Crew and Talbots were nice but more than I wanted to pay. The ones at Forever 21 were cheap and hideous, and those at H&M weren’t much better. I hit pay dirt at Macy’s – $19.98 for an attractive, calf-skin belt that looks classy.

Cheetah print belt - Macy's

Dressy Loafer or Cheetah Print Pumps
Apparently no stores in Portland carry narrow shoes with a cheetah or leopard print. No kidding. I got tired of looking. I had visions of kitten heels with a pretty leopard print but it’s not to be. While I was at my last stop sulking, I noticed some attractive faux crocodile brown loafers. Hmmm. I tried them on, they fit, and they are now mine. They’re AK Anne Klein, not narrow but narrow enough to work. I walked around Bridgeport Village for hours and only had mildly tired feet.

AK Anne Klein faux croc loafers

V Necked Pullover Sweater (cashmere or merino wool)My 6 year old black cashmere sweater is looking frayed and sad, and I keep having to sew up the seams on the edges of the sleeves. I also have a grey cabled cashmere sweater that I’ll wear often. Last year I bought a camel colored merino sweater from the Gap but it has pilled terribly and isn’t aging well. I’m relegating it to weekend wear. I did find a pretty v-neck camel cashmere at Nordstrom for well less than $100. I also bought a cotton lipstick red cardigan to wear with my black skirt, tweed brown skirts, and black pants.

camel cashmere sweater

red merino cardigon

Deep red tights or thigh highs
No luck at all in this department. I’ve tried online and in stores all over PDX. What I really want is a deep red thin merino pair, but I’d settle for plain tights in the right scarlet color. I’m not interesting in paying more than $12 for nylon tights. I keep hoping Hue will come out with the right color. Not bright tomato red, not rust, not burgundy, but this color:

Red pull ups!

Brown pencil skirt
How I got this far in life without a nice brown work skirt is a mystery. I have a couple of nice tweed brown skirts, but not a plain brown one. I like brown and red together, and already have a pretty red sweater and lipstick colored cardigan to go with it. Perhaps a duplicate of the Talbot’s one in black? Or perhaps I need to make do with the tweed skirts. I’ll pull them out of the winter box and see if they still fit and don’t have moth holes.

I have a standard issue black trench coat that works just fine for rainy days, and a shorter cotton version from H&M when it’s chilly but not rainy. I don’t wear jackets very often, though I do have a wool black one, and a lovely merino wrap sweater/jacket that I bought in Brussels. I also have a cream leather one that I wear when I know there will be no rain or red wine in the vicinity.

So, fellow fashionistas, budgeters, or planners, what would you like to purchase this year? Do you try to incorporate your old wardrobe into your new? Do you try to make sure everything matches? Do you budget for the year, or shop as a hobby? I’d love to hear your feedback.


3 thoughts on “Fall Wardrobe Manifesto

  1. First of all, your unemployed readers live vicariously through you so it’s your duty to shop!

    Secondly, I want those Anne Klein loafers- where did you get them?

    Not planning purchases until I havea reason to wear them but I could use a lightweight jacket for this weather. Not rain gear but not my wool peacoat either.

    I also need a new pair of driving moccasions as mine are falling part but I’m not up for spending over $100 on them. I’ll keep looking!

    p.s. LOVE the new header

  2. Yes, I do try to incorporate new things into my old wardrobe. I love scarves – passionately. I love shoes, but do tend to buy expensive ones that I reheel and resole. And good knitwear, classic shapes, quality fibres – they last too. But I always buy some things that are ‘of the moment’ & it works well for me.

    • Scarves are great ways to add color to an outfit. I buy a scarf as a souvenir whenever I travel. I agree that expensive shoes are worth it – a lot of women’s shoes are so poorly made they can’t be resoled.

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