With Spring approaching (eventually…February and March are the longest months of the year, I swear), I’ve been taking stock of my current winter wardrobe to get a sense of what works and what doesn’t. As it turns out – not a lot is working for me. Here’s how things breakdown:
- Pants. I have 3 pairs of work slacks – a dark navy with a blue plaid design on them, the standard black pair, and a pair of grey/black houndstooth type design. All were bought at Reitmans and all are the ‘comfort’ pant style – I think that’s what it’s called. There’s nothing special about them. They fit fine, they are comfortable, the quality is only so-so. The thing is, whenever I wear them, I feel schlumpy. There is no real style to them. They’re just…there. In all their boring, straight legged glory. I’d prefer a more skinny style pant so that I have a few more options on what I can do with them (tuck them into boots, wear with a low heel, pair up with a higher heel, etc.) Part of the problem I have is finding slacks for my height (I’m a whopping 5’2″). When I buy a longer pant and have them tailored, the line of the leg never looks right to me (plus it gets expensive–I feel like I’m paying for the pants twice). That usually leaves me shopping at Reitmans or Ricki’s who carry the petite styles. But the pants always look the same and have no interesting detail. Plus the quality is only so-so. They rarely last me more than two seasons before I have to replace them. I need to branch out and see if I can find something new for next Winter season that is better quality, stylistically speaks to me, and that fits into my budget. Buying on line isn’t an option for me when it comes to pants. That’s an item I need to try on and see from all angles. Time to get out there and scour the shops and find ones that fit the bill.
- Footwear. I have one pair of shoes that I keep at the office. Pretty much standard issue black pumps with a thicker heel of medium height with a strap that goes across the front of your foot. They are okay, but nothing spectacular and they are starting to look pretty scuffed up. I think if I funked up the footwear a bit and purchased a couple of pairs of stand out shoes, that might help. When you’re short, shoes can make all the difference in the line of the pant and how you feel in them. It’s hard to feel schlumpy in a kick-ass pair of shoes. Caveat here – they must be comfortable to wear. I won’t waver on this.
- Sweaters. This is an area where my previous penchant for purchasing fast fashion (aka cheaper materials for cheaper bucks) has reared its ugly head. I love sweaters. I spend about 8 months of the year with my sweater collection. Unfortunately, most of my sweaters are starting to pill and lose their shape after only one season. They are at the point where they look a bit too sloppy for work, especially when paired with the aforementioned schlumpy pants and boring shoes. Most of them lack anything interesting or eye catching about them that makes me think, “I really want to wear that today.” Mostly, I look at them and think, “Meh, I guess it’ll do.” This is an area that will require a major overhaul. Pants I usually can get away with 3 solid pair for work, but sweaters get worn for both work and casual wear.
- Shirts and Skirts. Here’s where I’m happy. I have two button-up work shirts that are fitted and in good condition (thin grey/white pinstripe and pale blue/white pinstripe) and three skirts in good condition (black, black plaid and red/black plaid – I clearly have a thing for plaid…). They fit well and look great with a pair of boots or shoes. I’m good keeping these for next season.
So, there you have it. Come end of winter I am going to be sending a large portion of my current winter wardrobe off to the donation bin. Which means I’ll need to start budgeting now for replacement items. I have already picked up 2 new sweaters from Military Hippie – same style but two different colours (grey and cocoa). They were on sale for about half price and I had a 35% off coupon on top of that, so I got them for a steal.
Given the amount of items in my winter work wardrobe that will require replacement, I am going to spend some time working up a list of what (and how much) I need to purchase and a budget to keep my spending in line, while still ensuring I buy quality items that will last for several years to come so that this isn’t an every year kind of expenditure. The other thing I will need to pay attention to, is buying items that work together to make an outfit. I want pieces that will be interchangeable with each other so I have plenty of options. Once I get this figured out I’ll post an update.
But first up, I need to figure out my Spring Wardrobe Capsule. This will take some work because spring in Nova Scotia is an odd duck. At first, it looks just like winter. Then it warms up a little bit, but not enough for full on spring wear. Plus it rains a lot. And sometimes snows. Then it warms up a bit and bandies between semi-warm, cold, and damp. Basically, it’s a sucky, mucky season – not my favourite, that’s for sure. At least with winter, you know what you’re going to get. Spring in Nova Scotia is only consistent in its inconsistency. What you’ll get from day to day is a total crap shoot.
So, yeah – spring wardrobe. This could take some work. Stay tuned…