Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Outfit Triage: Bows upon Bolk

Almost everything in this outfit, except for the tights, is new. As in, just-tore-the-tags-off new. So perhaps that explains a bit of my indifference to this outfit. See, I often experience some small degree of regret when I tear tags off; the tag represents the last chance to act on my buyer's remorse, and removing it means that I am stuck with something for good (or until I sell it). Removing so many tags at once for this outfit may have been too overwhelming to allow me to appreciate it.

Shirt: Beverly Crepe Striped Shirt (Merona for Target, $23 here) (the sleeves are very cute, but are covered up in my outfit)
Cardigan: Tied Trail Cardi (Anthro, $50 here)
Skirt: Finishing School Skirt (Anthro)
Belt: Came with shirt
Tights: Dotty Downpour Tights (Anthro)
Shoes: Allegra Exotic Flat (Christian Syriano for Payless, $25 here)
Earrings: via Ideeli
Ring: Coach
Watch: Appetime

What I love about this outfit: The colors. I LOVE the way the burnt orange of the skirt works with the mustard cardigan and the striped shirt. I also think the stripes add a nice bit of visual interest.

Still, I do think something's wrong here, and I'd love your input. My feeling is that the whole thing is just a bit too bulky. The cardigan is lovely, but it's long and oversized, so tucking it into the skirt (which is a half size too big as it is) may have been overly optimistic. The undershirt is also quite loose and flowy, adding to the bulk factor. Also, I didn't realize that it was black and not blue until the moment I looked it up on the Target website to write this post. Seriously. I can clearly see now that it's black, but that realization was a total How-I-Met-Your-Mother-glass-shattering moment.

Witness: The Bulk Factor

What could I have done to save this? It occurred to me that a more substantial belt may have helped. Perhaps the cardigan and shirt simply cannot coexist. What are your thoughts? For what it's worth, it didn't work out much better untucked:

Not better.

Depending on the response, I may attempt to put this together again following your suggestions. This could be a fun new blog feature!

(Note: While this post was in my publishing queue, it seems a few other bloggers had meh-outfit issues! Check them out here and here.)


missy said...

The sweater and skirt together is a bold color combination, but it works. These are complimentary colors. The tights, shoes, and blouse are too much. I am never a fan of using a sash that comes with a blouse/dress as a belt. This rarely works, even with the original blouse alone. A think a more neutral pair of tights and shoes would have been better and a blouse that pulled in the colors of the sweater and skirt.

stef said...

i like the colors together very much! i mix gold and red shades often--a little bit ronald mcdonald when i do it, but your toned down hues go together they mustard and ketchup! :) very pretty pairing!

so, i think the shirt, cardi and skirt work together, but i would drop the belt entirely--there's enough visual interest on the sweater--i find the belt to be slightly superfluous (if you find you need something to cinch the waist, maybe just a plain skinny belt ala jcrew or the like).

i also would switch out the tights for something more subtle. maybe a textured black tight (to compliment the now realized black stripes in your top!), but no patterns/colors.

also, i may be crazy and not looking at the photo correctly, but is it possible your wearing your skirt sideways?! that one pocket is throwing me off--should the buttons go up the side?!!

Jewish Girl said...

Missy: I think you're right about the tights/shoes/blouse. When I initially wore this, I thought those three things were the same color (blue), but of course that was later proven incorrect. Would you suggest a blouse in the same color spectrum as the skirt/cardigan, or something neutral like the (recommended) tights?

Stef: Teehee @ mustard and ketchup. I love that comparison. Interesting about the belt. It hadn't occurred to me to try this unbelted, but that could work. I went back to look at the skirt, and it looks like the buttons should be slightly more to the side, although not completely; the design is somewhat asymmetrical, even though the manufacturer label is directly behind the row of buttons. I'm relieved you observed this, because I felt like the skirt was bunching weirdly during the day; hopefully it fits better when it's rotated a bit!

Mandy said...

I LOVE the those two bold colors together!! I also love those shoes (awesome!!). In fact, I love the elements of your outfit! You just need a few tweaks. I do think that a different top and belt are needed - you're right, this one is a little bulky! I'd try a smooth black or white one that hugs you and see if you like it and then if you do, play with the colors on smooth tops! That sweater begs to be the star anyway, and a simpler top would let it be!

I'm also with missy on belts that come with a dress/blouse - they don't add as much depth as adding a different one, in my opinion! I say jazz it up a little by adding a unique one!

As for the shoes/tights, I'm actually a big big big fan. That's a combo that I'd wear with those bright colors up top! In fact, I'm lusting over them both!! KEEP! However, here's a suggestion - if you wanted to carry the color down further, try a brighter pair of shoes! I know you own or did own the Bryce Canyon Oxfords at one point! Those might be cute!

Since I jabbered: I am a total fan of the second picture over the first. Much much better! Totally wear a belt, but choose one that, as they say "goes but isn't matchy matchy" (I hate that saying, but it has truth! and ya know, it's fun to play with stuff like that!). Keep cardigan, sweater, tights. Try a lighter pair of shoes! :) Totally try a smoother, more body hugging top in black or white first with it ... if you like the effect, play with some color! Can't wait to see what you do with this! And of course your accessories are FAB as always, gah I'm jealous of them! You have the best ones ever!

Mandy said...

cardigan = skirt in that bottom paragraph. Proof reading fails me in the A.M.!

Jewish Girl said...

Mandy: Thank you for your thoughts on this! I actually like the tights, too; I'm glad you agree, because it means I get to try them again when I follow reader suggestions :-) You're right that the cardigan is really the star here, and I shouldn't have too many other elements that fight with it. I like the idea of lighter shoes - will have to give that a go! (and thanks re: the accessories. The ring is a new purchase, but it is fast becoming a favorite.)

Ady said...

I would try the cardigan untucked and unbottoned with a brown belt and some tall brown boots. I think that might fix the silhouette problem.

I also agree that the tights should be solid and neutral. Brown or ivory. In this instance, the eye does not know where to go. I think you want to draw it up to focus on the bold colors and pattern combination.

missy said...

I think either a neutral/plain blouse/top (doesn't have to be a blouse - could be a pretty tee) that coordinates with the neutral shoes/tights or a blouse/top that pulls the two colors of the skirt & sweater together. The blouse I can't get out of my mind is the blouse from anthro with the orange/reddish, brown, and gold birds would be perfect. But even something with just the sweater or the skirt color would be good too.

missy said...

or you could pull in the colors of the sweater embellishments with your shirt, shoes, and tights too.

chantilly said...

i think that's the finishing school skirt... is it corduroy?

re: the bulky thing- it just looks like the cardigan i a bit too big. still cute though!

Sara said...

After seeing this outfit in action, here are my thoughts: I think you are right about the proportions/bulkiness. The cardi and blouse would work great with skinny jeans and a skinny belt. The skirt and cardi would work great with a more fitted/structured top (probably). Together, it just overwhelms your (lovely, hard-won) shape.

Jewish Girl said...

Ady: I think you may be on to something...I tried the cardigan and shirt unbuttoned later in the day and it seemed to look a bit better. A belt might help the bulk, as you suggest.

Missy: I love the idea of a shirt that uses BOTH colors of the cardigan and skirt. I will definitely look in my wardrobe for something like that when I try again.

Chantilly: You're right, it's the finishing school skirt! Thanks; I will update the post.

Sara: I'm glad you were able to weigh in. I like your idea of balancing the bulk with either skinny jeans or a different skirt. It's on the list.

Everyone - thank you for your input! I will try to utilize these suggestions once I'm back to my full closet in NYC.

vintageglammz said...

Hi Jewish Girl, thank you for your comment on my blog the other day.
Goodness I love those bow tights!
I don't think there's anything neccessary "wrong" with your outfit. It's your personal style, and you can do whatever you like. If i was going to style it my way though, i'd untuck the cardi, and wear a plainer looking (unprinted) top to let the wonderful warm colours speak for themselves.

Jewish Girl said...

Glamz, I think your comment is a great way to integrate all the disparate suggestions here - when it comes to matters of personal style, there's really not a right or wrong answer. I like your suggestion, though. I'm hoping to try out a few of these new outfit combinations once I'm back in NYC next week.

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