Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Outfit Triage Resuscitated: Bows upon Bulk

First, I want to take a minute to thank all of you for your wonderful show of warmth and support for my Jewish Nose musings at Effortless Anthro and here on my blog.  I felt like a kid in a candy shop every time my phone buzzed with a new blog comment, knowing there would be profound and touching words to behold.  I feel truly privileged that you shared your reactions with me.  The dialogue is still ongoing, but I still want to thank you again for joining in the discussion in whatever way you saw fit.

Now it's time for a breather!  All of your fantastic suggestions for my "meh" khaki outfit on Monday encouraged me to finally tackle the second part of my Outfit Triage feature from last month December.  If I want to attempt to fix those khakis, I'm going to need to finish fixing my bulky bows.

In case you forgot, here's the injured outfit for which I requested triage way back when:

Shirt + Belt: Beverly Crepe Striped Shirt (Target) (M)
Cardigan: Tied Trail Cardi (Anthro) (S)
Skirt: Finishing School Skirt (Anthro) (4)
Tights: Dotty Downpour Tights (Anthro) (M/L)
Shoes: Allegra Exotic Flat (Christian Syriano for Payless) (9)

This outfit not only felt bulky, but I got the colors wrong!  I thought my shirt was blue stripes, so I paired it with blue tights/shoes.  Only when I blogged about it later (and checked the Target website) did I realize the shirt was black.  Gah,what a n00b.

I've gotta say, your suggestions for how to fix this outfit exceeded my wildest expectations!  After trying your combinations, I'm sort of bewildered that I ever had trouble with these pieces.  You ladies made the components seem so easy to style.

See your fixes for this disaster behind the jump.

First, Missy suggested wearing a shirt that used colors from either/both the skirt or the cardigan, and then choosing neutral tights.  I love the unified feel this created; I haven't worn this top in ages, but it went so well with the skirt.  I must remember to pull this top out more often.

(In this outfit: Anthro top (name? Sleeveless v-neck by Deletta with sort of a pom flower on the shoulder and ruffles along the neck?) (XS), Anthro Looping Lanes Belt, Anthro Neutral Paisley Tights, Seychelles Password Pumps)
(The second look is my favorite of the three!)

Stef liked the ketchup + mustard combo,* but proposed textured black tights and no belt (except maybe a skinny one to cinch the waist).  She also saved the day by pointing out that the skirt should be turned sideways.  According to reviews you can wear it with the buttons in front, too, but I prefer it Stef's way.

 (In this outfit: Anthro textured black tights, J.Crew skinny black belt, Nine West patent pumps in wine, although they seem to be photographing as black)

Mandy was wonderfully encouraging as always.  She liked the elements of the outfit and suggested a few "tweaks."  I channelled Mandy's awesome sense of fun and style in choosing my "unique" belt.  She also suggested I wear my Bryce Canyon shoes, which I love with this.  It does a great job of "carrying the color down further" as Mandy mentions.  In "real life," I'd definitely add a necklace to this outfit since I'm showing off a fair amount of chest real estate.

 (In this outfit: Basic black tanktop, Anthro Animal Crossing Belt, Anthro Bryce Canyon Lace-Ups by Messeca (9))

Next, Ady proposed to fix the bulkiness by untucking and unbuttoning the cardi, and then pairing the combo with a brown belt, brown or ivory tights and brown boots.  I really like the way the boots worked with this outfit.  I haven't worn these boots in ages (I've become somewhat snobbish about fake leather...eep sorry Emily!), but since I just paid to have these boots reheeled I might as well take advantage.

  (In this outfit: Anthro looping lanes belt in chocolate (L); Anthro sweater leggings (M/L), Payless boots (9))

Sara added to the mix by recommending the top + cardi be worn with skinny jeans and a skinny belt to show off my "lovely, hard-won shape."  Totally her words, I swear.  I loved the sleek but casual nature of this look; I especially enjoyed getting some use out of my jeggings as pants (instead of jeggings as tights underneath dresses and skirts, i.e., final outfit here).  Finding a silly pose to show off my "shape," was pretty fun, too :-)  I wasn't sure this top+cardigan would work with skinny jeans, but it definitely did work, don't you think?  (I'm talking about the jeggings...not my posing)

(In this outfit: J.Crew skinny belt; J.C. Penny jeggings, Aldo pumps (39))

Finally, Jen rounded things out with some lovely words of reassurance:  personal style can't be "wrong."  So true.  It's easy to let your mind run away with all the things that look strange about your outfit, especially in pictures, but ultimately style is style.  It's all subjective and individual.  Still, I loved Jen's suggestion to just change out the top and let the rest of the outfit speak for itself.  This was another top that's gotten lost in my closet (still NWT) but I'll need to bring it out to play again soon.

(In this outfit: Zara Collection tanktop (M))

Thank you again for all your help, ladies!  My first foray into this outfit had me begging for the jaws of life, but you showed me that a few small tweaks here and there were enough to breathe new life into a previously feeble outfit.  Contrary to my initial opinion, the cardi actually looks pretty good untucked and belted.

* Note: This entry was originally written on Monday afternoon.  While it was waiting in a queue to post, Dea at Dea Diaries posted a similarly-themed "Mustard & Ketchup" outfit!  Great minds really must think alike.  Read Dea's entry here.

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