Last week, I started a new series in which I share some of the entries from my outfit journal. The first installment elicited quite a few comments and seemed to be popular with readers, so I’m going to dive in to another post in the series today. This time, I will be focusing on a theme, pants/jeans outfits with coats. I was basically happy with three out of the four looks I feature below, but there were still things I would change about each outfit.
Keeping my outfit journal is helping me to fine-tune all of my ensembles and I’m happier with more of what I’m wearing as a result. It’s very rare that I rate anything I wear below an “8” on a scale of one to ten these days, but my standards are also increasing. I am no longer willing to settle for ill-fitting or uncomfortable clothing, especially since I now know that I can get by with much less. If I don’t love – or at least strongly like – what I’m wearing, I’m perfectly happy to pass it on to someone else.
All of the photos below are from this year and I show the outfits both with and without my coats. I show my least loved look first and my favorite ensemble last. I also share the ratings I gave to each outfits, what I would change in the future, and the fate of the pieces shown. In future installments, I will feature different types of outfits, but I thought I would be fun to show the types of clothing I’m wearing now during the winter season (such that it is where I live).
Outfit #1 – Featuring Previous Favorites
Rating: 8/10 (look), 6/10 (feel)
Where I Went: Massage and doctor’s appointment
- The top used to be a favorite of mine, but I didn’t like it at all this time. The 3/4 sleeves are more like 2/3 sleeves on me and I had to keep pulling them down over my elbows. I also felt like it was a bit too tight, but I am not heavier than I was when I bought it. Maybe it shrunk over time.
- The jeans also used to be favorites, but now they are too baggy on me (not as obvious in the photo as in real life), as I have lost some weight recently. They are comfortable, but I don’t think they look as good as they used to. I could try to shrink them, but then they would probably be too short to wear with my boots. I may try to either alter them or perhaps buy a size down and also keep the old ones (as my weight tends to fluctuate).
- The coat is also a longtime favorite, but it’s showing signs of wear. I also don’t love the placement of the pockets, as it can create a widening effect. I love the color and hope that I can find another purple coat at some point and then let go of this one (which I bought in late 2007).
- I loved both the jewelry and boots I was wearing. The boots were a “benchwarmer” from 2014, but I’ve been wearing them a lot this year and am finding them comfortable and a good heel height for many of my pants.
What I’d Change:
- Wear one of my other striped tops.
- Wear better fitting jeans.
Follow-On Notes: I decided to let go of the top, as I was fussing with it all day and couldn’t wait to take it off when I returned home. I still have the jeans and have worn them one other time since the occasion outlined above. They are even baggier on me now and need to be tailored, shrunk, or replaced. I haven’t decided what to do about them just yet. I still like the coat and have worn it again since the photo, but it’s on my list to find another purple coat later this year if possible.
Outfit #2 – Black and Blue
Rating: 9/10 (I’d probably give it an “8” today)
Where I Went: Movie with my husband
- I liked the outfit overall and felt both stylish and comfortable. However, I was starting to feel very sick and ended up being quite ill later that night and through the next day. Luckily, I took the photo before I went out instead of after I returned home.
- The top was another “benchwarmer” from last year, but I really liked it when I wore it this time (mid-January). I found myself wondering why I don’t wear it more often. I really need to, as I feel the faux-wrap shape is very flattering to my shape.
- I also really liked the earrings, which I also don’t wear very often. They include lots of inlaid stones and looked nice against the black top and turquoise coat.
- Here’s what I wrote at the bottom of this entry: “I really don’t need many clothes! I’ve been wearing the same two pairs of pants and boots since early December. I don’t need all that much, but I have too much. I need to just keep what I love.” I know that my “Love It, Wear It” Challenge (LIWI) will help with that!
What I’d Change:
- At the time, I couldn’t think of anything I’d change about the outfit. Now, I would probably wear different jeans and perhaps a different bracelet.
Follow-On Notes: I still have all of the pieces included in the outfit. The jeans are the same ones I wrote about in Outfit #1, so I either need to tailor them to fit me or replace them (or gain some weight, which I don’t want to do). I’ve worn the coat a few times since the photo was taken, but I haven’t worn the top again. I believe I will wear it more this year, but I’ve recently been focused more on wearing things I haven’t worn yet this year rather than on re-wearing items. More on this in my LIWI update next week!
Outfit #3 – Stripes and Cobalt
Where I Went: Errands and movies
- I felt attractive, stylish, comfortable and appropriately casual in this outfit. I felt that I was dressed well for what I was doing.
- The top and coat are two of my favorite pieces. I also really liked the watch, bracelet, and earrings I was wearing (hard to see in the photos).
- The jeans are the same ones as in the two photos above. They are no longer a favorite because they are too baggy, but I used to really love them. However, a few other pairs of jeans that were too tight and unflattering before are now being worn again. As long as I have a few pairs of pants that I love and feel good in, I am happy. Again, I don’t need as much as I used to think I did.
What I’d Change:
- I would wear better fitting jeans. Then the outfit would have been a “10.”
- I would also wear underwear that don’t ride up! This has been a big issue for me lately, so I’m planning to buy better-fitting underwear soon. I already tried one new option that didn’t work out, but I’m not going to give up until I find a better option than what I currently have.
Outfit #4 – Date Night Outfit
Rating: 10/10 (look), 7/10 (feel)
Where I Went: Dinner with my husband
- I loved the way the outfit looked, but there were some issues with it. The shoes hurt my feet and I had the same type of underwear issues I wrote about under Outfit #3. I also had some abdominal pain and bloating that got in the way of my comfort.
- The shoes were uncomfortable and need to be replaced. I like wearing peep-toe shoes with a low heel, especially with my black trousers (my only pair of dressier pants, as shown in this post), but this pair is not good for any type of walking beyond walking into and out of a restaurant.
- I love the coat and am glad I kept it (it was another 2014 “benchwarmer”). I don’t think I’ll end up wearing it very often because of its dressy vibe, but I will love wearing it at least a few times per year.
- The top is a definite favorite, as are all of the jewelry pieces (watch, earrings, and bracelet). I love the asymmetrical stripes on the top and feel that they are very flattering on me. I tend to save the top for dressier occasions, but I should really wear it more often in casual looks, too.
What I’d Change:
- Wear more comfortable shoes (replace the black peep-toes with a more comfortable pair).
- Wear better underwear.
- Wear the coat and top more often.
Follow-On Notes: This outfit would have been a “10” if all of the pieces were comfortable. The shoe issue has been going on for a long time, but I keep putting off finding a suitable replacements. I’m now going to make it more of a priority. Also, many of us neglect to consider the importance of undergarments in terms of our outfit happiness. But I now fully realize that if my undergarments are ill-fitting or uncomfortable, my outfits just aren’t going to be “10”s. I need to allocate the time and resources to make sure that this critical piece of the puzzle is up to par.
I hope you enjoyed this second installment of my “Lessons from My Outfit Journal” series. I learned some new things from revisiting a few of my looks and journal entries. I realize that the weak links in my outfits are often in my bottom half, including my pants, underwear, and sometimes my shoes. Here are the changes and new purchases I plan to make based upon what I learned from the journal entries featured above:
- Shrink, tailor, or replace the jeans in the first three outfit photos. Otherwise, wear different jeans with the other pieces.
- Replace the black peep-toe wedges shown in Outfit #4.
- Buy some better-fitting and more comfortable underwear.
- Wear my black faux-wrap top, teal/black striped top, and black velvet coat more often.
- Eventually replace the purple coat (not a high priority but something I’d like to do).
I liked that I had a theme for the outfits I featured in this post, so I will probably do something similar in future installments. While I showed only 2015 ensembles today, I still have lots of outfits from last year to share and my lessons from those journal entries were more profound than what I highlighted today. However, I think that even the smaller lessons can make a big difference in our lives, so I plan to mix up my entries for that reason.
Your Thoughts and Coming Attractions
I’m sharing my process and learnings with you in the hope that they might spark some “aha moments” for you, too. If you have been keeping an outfit journal or using a similar process, I’d love to read your thoughts on how it’s helped you with your wardrobe and style.
- What have you learned from writing about and/or photographing your looks?
- What other methods do you have for improving and evolving your personal style?
I know I asked these same questions the last time, but new people are always finding the blog and others who didn’t comment last time may choose to chime in. Regardless of whether you’re new or have commented many times before, I invite you to share your thoughts with me and your fellow readers! Comments about my outfit journal entries and insights are also welcome (as long as they are respectful, of course). I always learn so much from what you all share, so feel free to join in the discussion.
I’ll be back next week with my February accountability update and my thoughts on month two of my LIWI challenge. Month two has been quite different from the first month of LIWI, so I look forward to recapping my thoughts and what I’m learning along the way. Have a wonderful weekend!