Playing with cropped (flared?) jeans trend

Ever since Angie started to post about the cropped jeans trend I was intrigued. I have already mastered the cropped skinnies in summer but honestly fall / winter version of cropped jeans left me baffled.
I was not sure if I want to buy any as I was not sure I will really wear them so idea of chopping the existing pair sounded good. There was only one problem – to find the existing pair which can be chopped. I do not have that many jeans to start with in the first place. There are 2 pairs of BFs which are the wrong silhouette for this trend. There are 2 pairs of bootcuts and 2 pairs of full length skinnies which I cannot bring myself to chop at all because it was such an ordeal to find them long enough in the first place (tall gals will understand).
The only possible candidate was Gap faded bootcuts which I turned into straight legs last year. Somehow I found that I was not wearing them as much as others in this shape and at full length so I went scissors- happy on them!
Here is where the bafflement began. I am restricted by the footwear I can wear in winter: I have only one pair of  flat Chelsea booties which are winter-worthy. Fortunately they are tall enough in the shaft to possibly work with the cropped trend. Unfortunately they are BLACK which is hard to pair with cropped LIGHT BLUE jeans - and FLAT which makes them more leg shortening for this trend!
However I tried. Here are my attempts from this month. In both cases the tops are ink blue - I wanted to bookend the black booties here so they are not too disconnected with the light jeans. Pics 1-3 are with high-low relaxed fit t-neck and knee-high socks to get some skin showing. I have included back and side shots so you can see how the hems look from all angles.
Pics 4-6 are with black socks (too cold for nylons), shorter sweater and a moto jacket. I have also added a shot with a long coat I wore over the whole thing.
I am just not sure if it looks ridiculous on me or not. When I look down on my feet in these jeans I find the look very funny – like I am wearing too short jeans here – but nobody looks at me at this angle but myself. Is the contrast between the light jeans and black boots too jarring? I am half-tempted to try Angie’s picks from Gap and BR but another part of me holds me back…
What do you think? Any suggestions for improvements? Also – is the length right or should I let the hems down a bit so they cover the tops of the booties completely? Or is this particular pair is a disaster and I should get a real cropped version to try before I decide if this trend is for me or not?

 Please help this cropped jeans challenged lady! 


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Ask Angie et al: what is wrong with these outfits?

Ever since Angie posted this ensemble with the sparkly tank I wanted to try it but did not have the right tank to play with. At last this year I got a subtly sparkly tank at the consignment store to play with.
I tried it twice and both times felt that something was off with the outfits - but for the life of me I cannot put my finger what exactly.
Is the neckline of the tank wrong for me? Is it too short to layer over a shirt? Is it not fluid enough? Is it just the wrong tank for layering - or did I try it in the wrong combinations? 
Any ideas how I can make it work - or should I just chuck it out as an unsuccessful experiment and forget the whole concept?


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Christmas Gala outfit - which accessories?

I got this lace top jumpsuit for my upcoming ballroom dance Christmas Gala - which is this coming Saturday. I think it looks better IRL than in the pictures. I also got this faux fur shrug as a topper for it  - something about its retro vibe really speaks to me.
Shoes are the only ones I can dance in - Fidji pumps dyed from nude to
What I need an advice with is other accessories.
- Pearl necklace or statement earrings?
- black beaded clutch or modern b/w striped clutch?
Also this jumpsuit has a self-tie belt which I tied in a  bow on the back. Should I remove this self-belt altogether and get a belt instead - maybe even an embellished one? Something like this or this or this
Thanks a lot for your help - I cannot make up my mind!

Please excuse my awful look without any makeup - I promise it will be better for Saturday! :-) 


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Help: my regular outfits do not work anymore!

I thought I have my dressing all sorted out and stress free now...until I have added dancing as a new activity to my life! Now I have a dilemma: all my tried and true outfit formulae just do not work for dancing!
First of all shoes: I cannot rely on footwear as a strong outfit building block here. Dancing requires special shoes so nothing trendy works here. I am using my old Fidji pumps now which I dyed from nude color to platinum (and this made them much dressier  IMO).
If shoes are out then clothing itself plays bigger role, right? I really like flared skirts for dancing as they twirl and make it more fun. Right now I have 3 flared skirts.
Now tops. Sweaters are OUT as dancing is a very warm activity. My tops need to be light and sleeveless or with short sleeves. Apparently I am very short on those - especially the ones that play well with flared midi skirts! 
Tucking is mostly out of question. First of all my skirts sit a bit below my waist so tucked in shirts do not stay tucked well. Also dancing involves a lot of arm lifting and movements which makes tucked in tops even more problematic!

This Friday we are going to a musical performance with dancing and I face a dilemma what to wear. I would like to wear one of my flared skirts and want it to be festive but not overly formal.
Below are the options I have. All 3 tops have some sparkle to them - silver lurex thread in ##1 and 3, sparkly beading in ##2,4,5 and sequins in #6. Sequin top is tunic length so I had to tuck it in.
I would add a brown leather blazer on top for when I am not dancing and need more warmth.
I definitely need to work on my dancing capsule but so far was not successful. I tried this lace top from BR but it was too short on me - did not even cover the skirt waistband so it was no go.
So for this Friday - any of these is less failure than the others? Or should I just go with my cranberry dress and forget the whole skirt thing?
I need to do more shopping after all - and I thought I was done until the spring!
Thanks in advance for your help!


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How my closet let me down... (looooong)

This is how it usually happens: when you think your closet is in a great shape something comes along to show you it is not so!

It came to me in a form of unexpected summer business trip....

I was leaving early Monday morning and knowing how reliable my closet is I left all packing for Sunday afternoon. Should be easy, right? Imagine my horror when I began to pull things from my closet  to build outfits for travel and suddenly realized  that I don't have right items for the trip!

Here are the conditions: 
- Location: US South in August (North Carolina). Hot and humid outdoors and of course arctic A/C indoors;
- Venue: IT at the bank so I need to pack business casual;
- Duration: 5 days including plane-to-office and office-to-plane outfits.

My regular work code is smart casual (self-imposed, my office is just casual). However I could not dress the same way for the trip, I need business casual as I was going to the bank.

I have started with bottoms. I will take one skirt and one pair of pants for the variety. For a skirt I selected Halogen grey pencil skirt.
Now for the pants (pic 1). My first thought was micro-window pane tuxedo stripe pants which are a nice weight for summer. However when I began to create outfits with them they just did not feel right for the occasion:
they felt too busy for the customer site so I gave up after a while.

Oh bother - none of my other pants works either:

  • blush khaki - too casual in fabrication;
  • linen grey pants - the same;
  • micro check crops - too big now, don't feel fab in them anymore; also that cropped length was more like shorts - not appropriate for the bank setting;
  • all denim is out;
  • white wide leg pants - they might have worked but I wore them once already and they were in the laundry;

OK, maybe I take 2 skirts. Let's see (pic 2):

  • flared midi with subtle silver stripes - too big now and this style just does not seem business-y enough for the occasion;
  • striped VC tube - too casual and too busy;
  • red Halogen pencil skirt - the color feels too bold;
  • polka dot flared midi - too busy.

Hmmm, no luck with another skirt - how about a dress (pic 3):

  • floral sheath - feels too busy;
  • tropical print sheath - too busy and bright.

Other dresses are either too casual or too warm for summer (like my Tahari ponte sheath).


Hold on, I have Martin black cigarette trousers, should work, right? Put them on - they are too big now! They supposed to be fitted and not fluid so they definitely look wrong (see how the fabric sticks out on the hips?) - pic 4.

Oh no! My flight is in 12 hours, my bed is strewn with clothes and I have nothing to wear!!!

In the end after 3 agonizing hours I did take the black cigarette pants: I paired them with long blouses to cover the ill-fitting hips and bum and they were passable.

So this is what I took in the end for 5 days (pic 5 - 9):

  • 2 jackets (cream and blue Zara jackets: I think they were fine even though not very formal. If I had business meetings it would be a different issue but for working in IT they were fine);
  • one skirt;
  • one pair of pants;
  • 2 long blouses;
  • 1 sleeveless and 1 short sleeve top to wear with a skirt under a blue jacket;
  • one button down to wear with the skirt sans jacket.
  • 2 pairs of shoes: silver pumps and round toe grey low wedges. I don't love these wedges now but they worked and I traveled in them. 

I survived this trip and want to think that I did not look like a hot mess but it uncovered some serious holes in my work wardrobe. Some of them are related to my weight loss (half of my bottoms are too big now) but they also show that I am lacking a proper business casual capsule which can work for me for 2 week trip. That interview jacket / suit hole I discovered some time ago? It also would be a part of this capsule. I also need it to work for summer and for winter - or I need 2 seasonal capsules.
So now I have this work cut out for me: to create this business capsule(s) re-using what I already have (if possible) and adding what I definitely lack.
I think I will be doing another post on this subject as I sure need help with this!

Sorry it was such a long post - if you stayed with me to the end you are my hero :-)


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Red / orange / pink: what I might wear

As usual Angie's Friday ensemble was a delight and I wanted to try it out badly. Alas - I was on a business trip with a very limited wardrobe which did not contain any of these colors! :-(
Well, I returned home today and guess how I spent my afternoon? Recreating Angie's ensemble of course! Too bad it was just for fun as suddenly our weather turned to summer and it is too hot to sport booties and scarf now. So aside from my cats you are the only ones who got to see it :-)
This neon orchid pink linen sweater came to mind right away when I was thinking about this outfit. Easy: this is the only bright (ish) pink item I own. Red Munro booties was another no-brainer: this is my only dark red item aside from one dress. First I paired them with dark wash BF jeans and animal print belt for the orange and liked it. However then I saw these grey linen pants and thought that I may like this color better than navy with this look but I was not happy about the animal print belt with this grey. Then I remembered that I have a silk scarf with some orange in it...voila!

I definitely may wear it in September if weather cools down...what do you think?


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My unstructured summer dress: keep or toss?

I wore this dress with flat ankle strap sandals to Toronto last weekend and decided that I don't feel fab enough it in so I was thinking about demoting it to a summer loungewear.
However Angie's post about the "flag dress" got me thinking that maybe it still has potential at least for this summer?
I decided to give it another go and wore it today to a farmer market with gold slipper flats and platinum crossbody bag (pic 1)  It is pretty breezy and would be nice on a really hot day (which today was not but I was not freezing in it either - YAY for no A/C on the market!)
I am including other pictures to give a better idea how it looks on me from all angles. Originally it had a belt and a strap on the collar but I removed both. I have left all loops intact because they look fine IMO. I also tried to close the collar (pic 2) and wear it open (pic 5).
What do you think? Keep or demote? I am on the fence now...
Thanks for your help!


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Should i purge this jacket - part 2

I have asked your opinion if I should keep or purge my grey denim jacket here. Here is a second chapter.
I have decided to try to style this jacket once more and even browsed Pinterest for inspiration last night. I came away with a grey jacket over a column of white with silver accents.
So this is what I wore today - pic 1. While it was not a disaster but I did not feel overly fab either. By the end of the day (and in a big part thanks to your wise comments) I was leaning towards a purge...but decided to do a little experiment first.
Here I tried 4 other jackets I own with the same outfit and took pictures (pic 2-5) #3 is as casual as the grey one and ##2,4 and 5 are dressier options - but in each of them I felt much better than in the grey. Like by 1000% better!
It is no brainer now - this grey jacket is going...going...gone! It frees space for my new cream Zara jacket (pic 5) which I enjoy wearing much-much more!

I still think this experiment was very useful for me today. Now I have no regrets, no "what ifs", no looking back!
Thank you for all your help - just wanted to share with you my decision which you helped to make!



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Should I purge this jacket?

I need a collective YLF wisdom!

I have this grey denim jacket since 2010 (pic 3). This is a really good grey color for me but for the last couple of summers I did not wear it much. I also have a white denim jacket (pic 1) and faded blue denim biker (pic 2) and it seems that every time I consider wearing a denim jacket I reach for one of those rather than for the grey.
I like the color so is it the style which makes it hard for me to style - or is it the color itself I find hard to style even though I like it? 

I am considering what I can purge to justify my recent purchases and this jacket is one of the candidates. Do you have suggestions to style it so it feels me - or should I let it go?
Thanks for your help!


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Farewell letter to my first boyfriend!

I still remember the day when we met for the first time. In the beginning I had my doubts that I ever can have a relationship with you. Then I saw you online and decided to check you out - just for fun and  not really believing into anything.
And then we met in that dressing room in Nordstrom - and the rest was history. It was love from the first sight - or rather from the first try on. You had a soft touch, forgiving nature and made me look and feel good  - what else a girl can ask for from a boyfriend?! I was not really sure we can make it work in a long run ( can a prince charming from a fitting room turn into an ugly orphaned frog at home?) but I was willing to risk it and give it a try.

Well, you passed the real life test with flying colors. Our first outing together was a resounding success and I have never looked back. You went with me to work, on travels and to run casual errands on the weekends and were always true to your nature - soft, forgiving and flattering. 

We had so much fun together over the last 2 years but unfortunately the day came when we need to part ways with you. This is not your fault at all, you are still the same soft, forgiving and flattering boyfriend a girl can dream of  - but I have changed now. We are not a perfect match anymore and I feel that there is too much of you in all the wrong places and it makes me unhappy when we are together. I cannot do you the justice you deserve anymore because I cannot fill you up as well as I did before. It pains me to say good bye but I have no choice.

Fortunately you found a new loving home with my girlfriend now and it made the parting so much easier than if I had to abandon you to perfect strangers. I hope you will be as happy with her as you were with me and I will never forget you! These images of our happy times together will stay with me forever!

Farewell my boyfriend and please do not be angry with me: you know that I needed to lose that extra weight, which now made our relationship impossible to continue. I hope there will be another boyfriend in my future as soft, forgiving and flattering as you were but who is more suited to a new me.
I will remember you always with love!!!!


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