I had an email from Club Monaco this morning with the subject line: “Need a good browse?” “Yes, I do,” I thought. “I do need a good browse. But not through the offerings on the Club Monaco website. Through my own closet. Now that I’ve organized my wardrobe, put away most of my summer clothes, and brought out my lighter fall jackets and sweaters, skirts and pants, I do need a good browse. But the word “browse” implies running my hand lightly over the neatly arrayed jackets in my closet, gazing with satisfaction at my sweaters and tee shirts, newly folded and tucked into drawers. To describe what I’m itching to do, I need a word with more commitment, more energy. Like rummage.
I need a good closet rummage. In fact, I need to browse and then rummage. I will look first, and have a good think. Maybe consult a couple of my Pinterest boards. Get a feel for how I feel, so to speak. What do I want to wear these days? What excites me? And feels fresh? Then I will push hangers aside, pull skirts and pants out of the closet and lay them on the bed. Open drawers, grab sweaters and tee shirts. Unwind belts and pull bags out of hiding. To see what I might wear over the next while. To turn into reality those outfits I’ve been dreaming about these past few weeks. Or consign them to the rubbish heap because, well, reality does not always live up to fantasy. As we all know. Ha.
I started my rummage with this faux-leather skirt from H&M, above. I know, I know, H&M is the very height of fast fashion… but we discussed this at the time. And despite my guilt over my fast fashion lapse, I forgave myself. Because I wore my skirt so little over the winter, I’d intended to try to style it for spring and early summer. Well, that didn’t work as planned. And so I owed it to the skirt to be first up on this closet rummage.
Below are some of the inspiration shots I saved to my Pinterest board when I bought my skirt. That’s Karen from KarenBritChick on the left. I follow Karen on YouTube. You can find her channel here. She does a great series called “What Everyone is Wearing in New York” where she stops passers-by on the street and chats with them about what they are wearing. It’s fun to watch, and Karen’s lovely personality and obvious love of clothes shines through every episode. I am always charmed by how friendly people are and how much they enjoy chatting to her about their outfits.
So, anyhoo. Yesterday, I pulled my faux leather skirt out of my closet along with an array of tops, sandals, my sneakers, and a couple of bags. This look, below, was my favourite. My black, Everlane cashmere crew, half tucked in. New silver hoops and a gorgeous silver chain that I bought earlier in the week at Magpie Jewellry in the Glebe. My new belt from Nordstrom, and the grey cross-body bag from All Saints that I bought last year. I lightened the look a bit with my Stan Smith sneakers.
Now, let’s discuss this outfit, shall we?
The black on black doesn’t look as dour as it might because of the shine from the skirt. I deliberately didn’t want a lot of colour, or even a pop of colour as they say. So I wore only silver jewellry to match the hardware on the bag and belt. I didn’t carry my black, cross-body bag from Mackage because even though it’s small, it’s quite a chunky bag and looked dreadful with the outfit. If I had on boots and a heavy sweater, which I will later in the season, I’d carry the Mackage bag. In theory my white sneakers should look terrible, but they just work.
Now… about the socks. Somehow they just work too, in my opinion. I love that cheeky little bit of black; my no-show socks making an appearance. Ha. Really, lady-like on the top and non-lady-like on the bottom should jar. But it doesn’t.
Next up was a throw-on outfit to wear picking up a few groceries, returning books to the library, or meeting my walking buddies for a coffee here in the village. My very old, black and white striped tee from A.L.C. is heavy enough to have the feel of a light sweater this early in the season. And it’s also substantial enough to be able to fold the hem under to the length I want and have it stay put. I do this a lot, fold under sweaters and tee shirts to alter the hem length. Sometimes I do this with pants too. It’s a good trick.
More shots from my Pinterest board. Including the one in the middle which made me think of wearing my striped tee instead of a sweater. Once it gets a bit cooler I might try adding a denim jacket over the tee and changing to my ankle boots.
I’d prefer a black, light-weight shopper or tote with this outfit, but I don’t own such a thing. I’ve been looking on-line and nothing has appealed. So I substituted my grey tote bag from All Saints. I like this bag, but it somehow doesn’t totally work here. Too big and heavy maybe? Too wintery? Perhaps if I wear this outfit, I’ll dig my straw tote out of storage again. You know, now that I think of it, I might wear my small, black “Pack Safe” travel pack with this. It’s designed to be worn around the waist, but I could wear it as a cross-body bag with this outfit. It would be more casual than the All Saints, and a better weight. Darn. I wish I had thought of that earlier.
You see? This is why a closet rummage is necessary every once in a while. At the very least when the seasons change. Dreams, inspiration photos, advice on what to wear from friends, or ideas that pop into one’s head in the middle of the night are only that… ideas. Merely ephemeral visions that last until you see if they can be translated into reality. Or not. Until you try the skirt on with the tee shirt and the sneakers and the bag… you won’t know for sure whether the outfit is a keeper or not.
Shopping for and styling outfits must be a bit like on-line dating. All the profiles and the email chats in the world are no substitute for reality. Until you see the guy or girl sitting in a coffee shop waiting to meet you in person, you’ll never know if he or she is a keeper. Ha.
Please don’t get me wrong. I am not making fun of on-line dating. It’s a life-line to many singles who want to meet a partner. I have friends who have met real keepers this way. And other friends who have tried it and given up in frustration, despairing of ever meeting anyone who suits them. Still… love is always a gamble isn’t it?
Even outfit love. 🙂
I love a long pleated skirt. They work on so many levels. With ankle boots or knee boots, with sneakers or chunky sandals, with tee shirts or sweaters. Here are a few skirts that I like.
Well, that’s it for me today, my friends. I tried on lots of other outfits during my closet rummage. Afterward the bed in the spare room was piled with clothes, and you couldn’t cross the floor without tripping over shoes and boots. And I was well and truly sick of trying on clothes. That is until the next rummage. Ha. Now it’s your turn. Are you up for a good closet rummage some days? What are you wearing during these not quite summer but not quite fall days?