Time for another splurge update, my friends. I’ve been shopping, online and in person. And somehow I talked myself into buying stripes for spring. Twice. I did a ton of browsing online, clicking, browsing again. And then, finally, I made up my mind and ordered a striped sweater (similar) and a long-sleeved striped tee shirt from COS. So, stripes for spring for me. Twice over.
I’ve long been eyeing the oversized look that my favourite people on social media like Lydia Tomlinson and Emma Hill wear so well. And I have really come to love that easy, slouchy, over-sized style. Chic, but not too precious. Pulled together, but still looking as if one didn’t have to try too hard to get that way.
But here’s something I’ve learned over the years. All those women we admire for their personal style, women who look as if they have made NO effort? Who look chic, yet not overdone? Just relaxed and happy to be who they are, wearing whatever they’re wearing? All those easy, natural, I was born dressed this way, no-effort looks take, well, effort. At least for me. I have never been able to pull on anything and somehow look cool, or effortlessly chic. When I make no effort, I look exactly as if I’ve made no effort.
When I say effort, I don’t mean in the sense of taking hours to get dressed, wearing tons of make-up, and piling on complicated combinations of scarves and jewellery. I mean taking time to find just the right piece before I purchase, whether pants or top or coat, and then trying various ways of styling said piece with other pieces in my closet. So of a morning, I can throw on a pre-determined combination of these pieces without thinking too much. And be happy with how I look.
Mastering the oversized look is tricky. It’s more than pulling on a great big sweater over a pair of baggy pants. It’s all about balancing proportions between top and bottoms, deciding whether to tuck or not tuck and how much to tuck, choosing the right coat or jacket, and finding the right shoes.
Here are some of the oversized striped sweater looks I saved on my Spring Styling Ideas board on Pinterest. Some of the outfits I pinned because I want to try to interpret them with my own pieces as exactly as I can. Others are just to remind me to try a certain sweater or shirt with a certain pair of pants. And at least one is to remind me of the dangers of oversizing everything.
Here’s how I interpreted my inspiration ideas with my new striped sweater and older pieces in my wardrobe.
First off I tried my oversized COS sweater with the navy trousers that are part of my very old Max Mara spring suit. These pants are the reason I was looking for a navy and white oversized sweater. My idea was that a big sweater might look great with these navy, wide-leg pants and my white sneakers, and give me another styling option for the pants. And I’m happy that the result is exactly what I wanted. The heavier cashmere sweater works well with the flowy, light-wool fabric of the trousers. I love this outfit.
Most of the similar outfits I’ve seen on Instagram pair a long trench with wide-leg trousers and an oversized sweater. But I pulled on my navy Moncler anorak instead. The anorak is more casual. And I’m not sure I would like a long, full coat with the flowy pants and the oversized sweater. But that might just be me. I think I might feel like my mum did when she was going through menopause, and she couldn’t stand wearing what she called “too many clothes.”
I’m happy with this look. The navy of the sweater and pants is pretty much an exact match. And I think the texture of the anorak, with its slight sheen, makes it look lighter in colour and keeps the whole thing from becoming too too navy, if you follow me.
I’ve been reading that navy and black together are a thing. But I wasn’t convinced. So I was pleasantly surprised that I like this look. The cream sweater with the white jeans, the black coat and shoes with the navy stripes, the proportion of big sweater with slim cropped jeans and long full coat… just works. In my opinion. Plus my white hair matches my jeans. Ha.
My last outfit is more in the line of pull on and go. I’ve worn the sweater, sneakers, and jacket with my longer, boot-cut Frame jeans, but I think I like the outfit even better with my high-waisted straight-leg Frame jeans. I rolled the pants and pulled them down on my hips a bit to make them slouchier. Oddly enough, they look almost like boyfriend jeans here, a style which has never worked for me.
This is what I wore yesterday to go with Hubby to our accountant’s office to get the bad news. You know, it being tax time and all. Ha.
So, it’s stripes for spring for me this year. Oversized stripes. My new tee shirt from COS is oversized as well. COS does big very well. But be warned, take into account the sizing recommendations before you make a decision. I bought my suggested size in the sweater, but think I could have sized down one size. I did size down, as suggested, with the tee shirt and am glad I did. Plus if you’re Canadian and order from COS online, be prepared to pay through the nose for duties. I was shocked at the amount when I was contacted by UPS that there were duties owing. Next time I browse COS will have to be in a bricks and mortar store, and the closest are in Montreal or Toronto. Pity.
Then again… it’s a good excuse for an overnight shopping trip.
If you’re thinking of oversized stripes for spring, here are a few other sweaters that I saw and liked. I included a few which are shorter and less wide than mine, for those of you who feel as if you might be overwhelmed in a sweater that is too oversized. We all have to find our own proportional sweet spot. Plus we don’t want you to feel like Mum, that we’re wearing “too many clothes.” Ha.
You know I was in my fifties before I understood how Mum felt about the “too many clothes thing.” How she began to feel swamped when she had to fuss with her clothes. How layers were an anathema. And why, when she and I were out shopping or something, she’d say she couldn’t wait to get home and get out of her clothes.
Get home, get out of our clothes, and make a nice cup of tea. Yep. I totally get that now.
How about you my fashion friends? How do you feel about stripes, or the oversized look, or whatever? Did you find that menopause changed your relationship with your clothes?