My new office does casual Fridays just like my old one, but since the dress code is more casual to begin with, I`ve been using Fridays as opportunities to experiment. Instead of the usual jeans+dressy top combo I would usual pull out, I`ve been trying pieces that are a bit more, um, adventurous. Like this Maeve cropped blouse. The print is whimsical, the sleeves are whimsical, the length is … well, if not whimsical then definitely not the same old, same old. To be honest, in my mind I call this my `circus shirt`; not sure why that association is there, but it is. It`s probably the colours and the volume.
To balance all that whimsicality (and level it up, style-wise), I paired the shirt with slim, wool pants that are fairly classic — perhaps borderline staid. The shoes were a compromise; a classic pump, but in bright, happy red. I liked how everything came together. I only had one last-minute switcheroo; I ended up choosing a black layering tank instead of the nude I had originally planned. The nude looked better under the shirt, but the cropped length meant that some of the tank `peeked` out above my pants waistband every now and then. The impression was one of `naked midriff` at first glance. No bueno. The black looked more intentional (and less scandalous) so I went with it. I`ll save the nude tank for a day when I`m wearing higher waisted pants. The day will come sooner rather than later, I`m sure.
Honestly, this is an outfit you have seen before — or, at least, 99% of one. I’m shamelessly posting it again because (a) everyone seems to love it; and (b) I think it’s an example of a Peak Outfit. Allow me to explain.
Years and years ago, I started doing a thing where I constantly remixed my outfits. I never wore the same thing twice … for weeks and weeks on end. And years. I could do that because (a) I own a lot of clothes; (b) buy new things all the time; and (c) I enjoy doing it. It’s like painting — why do the same one over and over when there are so many pretty things out there to paint?
Anyway, I did this for a long time, and I had a lot of fun with it, but lately I’ve been finding my enthusiasm flagging a bit. I still like “playing” with my clothes — and I love how easy the Stylebook app makes that — but sometimes I just want to re-wear outfits that I’ve tried before and enjoyed. Sometimes the tried and true beats the excitement of the new. And there are a few outfits in particular that come to mind. And, again, Stylebook makes it easy for me to keep track of my most successful combinations; I have a specific folder dedicated to Favourite outfits and whenever I feel stuck for inspiration (or need an extra boost of confidence on a given day), I just dip into it for my OOTD.
Long story short, this is one of those outfit that just works. It’s the best combination I’ve hit upon for both the skirt and the blazer. Let’s start with the skirt. Here are all the ways I’ve worn this to work in the last year:
As you can see, 5 and 6 are almost identical except for the blouse. I think the latest version has a slight edge. It’s Peak Outfit.
Same thing when you consider the outfit trajectory of the blazer:
All this is not to say that I will never again wear these pieces separately, because I will — and I may even hit upon another Peak Outfit while I’m at it — but this is a combination I am sure you will see again (and again) on my IG, if perhaps not on the blog. Again.
I wore this outfit on a Saturday when, among other things, I went thrifting, and it was one of those situations where the most exciting clothes to be spotted were the ones I was wearing. On one hand, that makes for a ho-hum thrifting trip; on the other hand, it makes me feel great about my wardrobe curation (ahem) efforts. I liked this outfit a lot, is what I’m saying. It looks nicely cohesive, even though it’s basically the result of me grabbing a bunch of things at random from my closet.
Let’s talk about the shoes for a minute because they are the only things I didn’t thrift. I went to Winners recently for … something I can’t remember at this point. Maybe shoes for my kid? That seems plausible, because I somehow ended up in the adult women’s shoe aisle. (On the other hand, I could have gone in to look for a pillow, or micellar water, or a notebook, and the result would have been the same, so. Who knows?) There, I spotted these Jones NY loafers on sale for $33. I was immediately drawn to the simple but sleek style. They look like a slightly daintier version of my beloved Kelsi Dagger loafers. I have been looking for a back-up pair of those for months now; I have come to adore loafers, and my KDs in particular, and I feel like I need to hoard back-ups now before the loafer trend falls off the fashion map. Anyway, I have had no luck tracking down my existing pair on eBay or elsewhere, so it struck me that this pair might be a good alternative.
Since you can still find this style online at various discounts (the style is called “Sasha”), here’s a mini review. I ended up getting an 8.5, which is the size I usually take in Nine West shoes but 1/2 to 1 size smaller than my usual size in most shoe brands. It is only a smiiiidge tight in the toe box. Generally, they are fairly comfortable; I experienced a bit of rub on the back of my heel after wearing them for a couple of hours the first time, but they’ve been fine ever since. The upper is leather, but it looks like the kind of leather than might not age well. Fair warning when you’re considering how much you want to spend; I bought these for aesthetics, intending to wear them “into the ground”. In other words, not an “investment” pair of shoes. But, still, cute and functional.