WIW - trying to redeem my orphans!

Following on my wardrobe post last week I have decided to gime my wardrobe almost-orphans a second chance so this week dressing was all about  that.
I also tried to figure out WHY they are orphans for me. Let's see...
#1 Orphans - Donna Morgan midi flare dress, cognac boots, zebra belt
I like this Donna Morgan red dress but I don't wear it very often. I think i know why - it is a neckline which does not work well for me. The V is too deep for my smallish chest, I prefer much higher necklines. Because of this I prefer to wear this dress with a layer on top but it is tricky to layer over a flare dress.
My new white Danier jacket comes to the rescue <waving to Suz and Inge!>. I think I really dig how the ladylike midi dress looks with the moto jacket - much better than I like it with traditional blazers.
I also tried to use more orphans in this outfit. Those BP boots are from NAS 2011 and I was not thrilled with their quality. As a result I seldom wear them even though I like the color and style - it is just hard for me to feel fab if quality is not up to my liking.
This thrifted zebra belt is another orphan because it is too short to wear with pants. It also feels a bit too loud for my late minimal style. However I think it works well here because of the white jacket.
Verdict: dress and belt have potential; as for the boots I will try to wear them for one more season and see how it goes.

#2 Orphan  - teal lace skirt
My mom made this lace skirt for me last year but I just don't reach for it very often. While I was wearing this outfit I was thinking why is that ans I think I know: it is not very comfortable. the lining is cotton blend and although it is breathable it does bunch because it is missing the silkiness of the regular lining.
This grey BR sweater is a new one (yes, another striped sweater) in a lighter weight than my other BR sweaters - cotton  / silk blend. I think I should be able to wear it well into summer. I surprised myself that I preferred this soft grey color to fuchsia one and also that I decided not to go with the oversized look.
I am also adding my outerwear shot as a bonus - love how cobalt, teal and burgundy play together.
Verdict: I will give this skirt a try a couple of more times and see if the bunching bothers me.  

#3 Orphan - black wool blazer
I have really hard time to wear this blazer. It is a nice quality and style but I alwasy have a feeling it is too short on me. Here I am trying it out again. This was my inspiration for this outfit (sans the scarf and purse).
I was feeling OK in this outfit because I think it works better with a column of color rather than differently colored top and bottoms.
Verdict: need to experiment more if I can find other formulas how I can wear this jacket.

#4 Orphan - polka dot shell
This is not really an orphan but I bought this shell in January and this is its frst outing in April. One reason maybe because it is more of a warm season item.
Verdict:  I quite like it and hope it will come out to play more often as weather warms up.

#5 Orphan  - dark wash BF jeans, animal print shirt, cardigan
Again technically these jeans are not orphans yet as I have just bought them
recently. However I find I don't feel as fab in them as in my light wash Kut BF jeans. The reason - they are bigger so they slouch more and I don't like it to this extreme. Honestly I was feeling quite frumpy in them today. Maybe I can ask my mom to take them in in the waist a bit to remove that extra inch which bothers me?
I got this shirt in Chicago last spring but I don't wear it as often as I thought I would. It is polyester and has some static so that maybe the reason why. I like the style though.
Cardigan - I just don't wear cardigans very often but I like long cardigans with BF jeans. I was really craving a comfort dressing today so I thought this cardigan will fit the bill.
Verdict: Try to style the shirt more. Try to alter jeans to the slouchness level I can live with. Cardigan is useful for those comfort craving days.

#6 Bonus - my outfit for tonight when we had friends over. I am cheating a bit here - I did not use the clutch at home but thought it would be fun to get it in the shot.

That was my orphan taming week. I have started to keep a spreadsheet where I mark how many times I wore what. I am going to be ruthless to orphans I cannot beat into submission!

Thanks for looking and have a great weekend!

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This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.

30 Comments

  • Adelfa replied 7 years ago
    Wow, that is a group of fantastic outfits whether or not I consider that they're based on orphans! I'll be interested to see what happens with these items. Sometimes you can restyle a piece of clothing and rediscover it. Other times it just has to go no matter how good you can make it look.
  • Ingunn replied 7 years ago
    #1: Check. You nailed it, and look absolutely beautiful. Please repeat this! 
    #2: Is it possible to change the lining in the skirt? it is very pretty, but I agree that bouncing skirts are not good. I like the outfit, particularly with the coat.
    #3: Nice blazer! It looks good to me. Maybe this is a great jacket with flared skirts and dresses?
    #4: Perfect! I think you are right, it is a warm weather piece. I love it.
    #5: You have all the solutions you need, obviously. I like the pattern of the blouse, but if the fabric is bugging you, then this might be it. I have a very difficult relationship with polyester, but it work sometimes.
    6#: This is stunning. I love everything about this outfit. 


  • rae replied 7 years ago
    I think you have tamed the dress and the black jacket for sure! I see what you mean about the neckline of the dress, but it looks fab with the high neck of the moto! And a column of color or dress is pretty much the only way I can get cropped jackets to work for me, too. 
  • jayne replied 7 years ago
    Great effort on those orphans.  I find I develop a unhappy feeling about some items and it doesn't really matter if I find a way to style them, they are still orphans.  But happily that is rare and finding an outfit that just works can make an orphan into a favorite.  Did you find that any of these made you hit a high in happiness?  As to my thoughts, I loved the fuschia dress with white jacket and wild zebra belt and the last one with the leopard top.  I might try those myself.
  • Lyn D. replied 7 years ago
    Absolutely love the red dress in #1, and  the white jacket and belt are perfect with it! A scarf might also help with the neckline problem too.
    At first I agreed re. the blazer length, but I think Ingunn has a great suggestion with trying  dresses/skirts.
    Now, I must do this exercise with my orphans too!!
  • Kiwichik replied 7 years ago
    I have enjoyed reading this post and your analysis of how to reclaim all those orphans. My personal favourite is the red dress it is pectacular with the white moto & zebra belt.
  • missvee replied 7 years ago
    These are all great outfits. I think 3 is my favourite though. By choosing the black and white striped top you have visually lengthened the blazer and the whole effect is so flattering. Number 1 is a close second - the white jacket and patterned belt are very good with the dress.  I'm not sure about the tall cognac boots with it, but maybe I'm just sick of boots right now. :-)

  • krishnidoux replied 7 years ago
    Great analysis. Love your verdicts. I think we should all do the same with our orphans. It is eye opening, and I enjoy reading your thoughts on the pieces.  And I adore your last outfit!
  • Karie replied 7 years ago
    Ok, so Suz, Inge, and now you, Sveta, are tempting me with this Danier leather jacket! It's so beautiful! I have the same issues with necklines and I think you did a great job fixing that with the jacket. I hope you decide to keep the skirt in #2 - since your mom made it, maybe she can fix the bunching problem with the lining. While she's doing that, have her take in the waistband on the BF jeans - I liked mine much better after I took in the waist and I suspect you will too. My fav outfits are #1, #4, and #5.

    And now to see if Danier has a store in Kingston, ON - I just might have to take a hop over the Thousand Islands Bridge this summer and go visit that store!
  • Vildy replied 7 years ago
    I thought I hated the very idea of loose over full but in your #6 outfit you've forced me to change my mind. At least when you're wearing it, looks amazing.

    The print placement on the lace print straight skirt looks odd to me.
    If your mother hadn't made it, I would have wondered if it was cut off
    the straight of grain. That would make it want to twist in itself and perhaps
    against the lining.
  • marianna replied 7 years ago
    This was a fun read and a great little challenge! Well done.
  • Suz replied 7 years ago
    Sveta, what a great week -- and what an inspiration. I should challenge myself to wear some of my closet orphans, too. 

    You nailed it with #1, and I definitely think you should hold onto the belt because it may come in handy especially with the jacket for good company. 

    #2, I really like your new sweater -- the silk/cotton blend can be so comfortable. You are tempting me to go for yet another striped sweater, too! I agree that maybe you could find out if the lining could be changed on the skirt. 

    #4 I just love the way the belt's texture echoes the dots of the top. Glad it could come out to play. 

    #5 I understand what you mean; it seems we each have our out bagginess threshold and too much does not feel right. These look really good but they have to feel good, too. 

    #6 so much retro, yet so 2013 fun!! 
  • replied 7 years ago
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post Sveta! I think you have made some fabulous outfits with the orphans as they certainly don't look like orphans now.
    I think #1 is my favorite, the jacket and belt with the column of colour is lovely.
    Your evening out outfit in #6 is fab, I hope you had a good time.
  • Colette replied 7 years ago
    Orphans.  Really?  You look fantastic in all.  Thank you for the inspiration. 
  • Peri replied 7 years ago
    In my shopping post one suggestion was to review my orphans and analyze why they were wrong. So, it was really helpful to see this...thanks!  I love the outfits on you, especially the white jacket, but the helpful thing was the way you sorted out what was keeping you from enjoying the outfit.

    also, I just bought a similar polka dot shell. Please post lots of outfits with it so I can get ideas! :)
  • replied 7 years ago
    You do great work Sveta! I think you successfully de-orphaned all of these, at least for style purposes. I love the red dress with the white jacket. Can you wear a scarf with the dress, Ornella-style? What about the cropped black jacket with it like Ingunn suggested? That dress is too pretty to languish in the back of your closet, and you look fantastic in red. I hope your mum can help you with the BF jeans and lace skirt, because they are stellar. I love the leopard shirt too, but I get you on the polyester. Not my fave either. The jacket in #4 is so cool, and I'm sure your dotted top will get a ton of wear this summer. 
  • Angie replied 7 years ago
    You styled your orphans beautifully, Sveta! I LOVE #1!!!! It's hard to believe these items are orphans.

    I wouldn't worry about your orphans too much - and that's a big thing for me to say because we try to eliminate orphans. But you OF ALL PEOPLE have a very tight and fully functional wardrobe. We all prefer to wear certain looks for a while, while others run out of favour. And that's okay! I have been on an absolute trouser kick for 2 years. But this year I started to miss my skirts and dresses. It took new ways to wear these orphans to make me enjoy wearing them again (bombers, relaxed tops, neon, clutches and sneakers). I think this may be what is happening to you too. So, high five! 
  • Nicole D replied 7 years ago
    All those outfits are great.  You look stunning in that red dress - try the orphan blazer with it.  But I think my faves are 4 and 5, they just look so chic.  
  • Transcona Shannon replied 7 years ago
    Wow Sveta - outfit #1 is taking my breath away. What a gorgeous combination! I like all of these outfits and I like Ingunn and Suz's suggestions for tweaking.

    I also like what Angie has to say - I'm realizing we go through different phases with our style and we just need to roll with them. If you're not feeling something, tuck it away - you'll want to wear it again one day.

    And in the meantime - YLF!
  • Jonesy replied 7 years ago
    These look great! I especially love the red dress with the zebra belt. I think that dress is wonderful on you in terms of color, fit, and silhouette. Don't let it be an orphan!
  • Sheila replied 7 years ago
    Well done, makes me wonder why these items were orphans. I love every one but the only thing that popped out to me was the cognac boots with the pinkish-red dress in #1. I would prefer a different color -- grey, wine, black, tan -- maybe I am too old-fashioned, or maybe it looks nicer IRL, but as I said, everything else looks fantastic. Thanks for taking the time to document your thought process. It was inspirational, as I need to do this same exercise.
  • Sveta replied 7 years ago
    Thank you all for taking time to read my novel!
    Adelfa, you nailed it: this is exactly why I am doing this exercise!
    Ingunn, thanks for the detailed comments on each outfit! :-)
    Rae, I am going to explore the concept of "column of color" for this jacket in depth.
    Jayne, this is a good question about a happiness factor! I think #1,3 and 5 were pretty high on that scale.
    Lyn, wearing scarf with this red dress was a trick I employed a lot last year but this year I don't feel like wearing scarves too much.
    Kiwichick, Marianna, Diane, Colette  - thanks!
    missvee, it was below zero that day so boots worked better for me but I will repeat this outfit with booties I think.
    Krish and Peri, I am happy you find my experiment useful!
    Karie, of course Kingston has Danier - this is where Suz and Mona live. I hope you can find a great jacket there this summer!
    Vildy, this is an interesting comment about the skirt, I have never noticed that - maybe this is because of how I stand?
    Suz, I am OK with these BF in the front - but in the back they bunch under the belt and it drives me nuts. I was wearing cardigan yesterday so nobody could see this but I knew and it bothered me to the point of feeling frumpy. I had another look comparing them with my Kut jeans and I think I know what the problem is. True, Gap jeans are about 1" wider in the waist but I think the main problem is that they have 1" longer rise in the back. I think this extra inch in the length adds that bunching. I will definitely try to alter them using Kuts as a template for fit I prefer.
    Claire, for some reason I don't like this jacket with the red dress - it does not feel modern and "me" to me.
    Angie, I hear you and thank you for the endorsement of my closet. The issue is it really bugs me when I have items hanging there and not being used much: I feel they don't earn place in my closet. This exercise was to understand why does it happen. For example I leaned my closet from all shorter than just above the knee dresses. I liked to wear them so much for the first 2 years  - something I thought I can never do because of my body. However now I feel they don't suit me anymore and I don't feel fab and comfortable wearing them. Another goal is to get your "one in - one out" rule ingrained into my life so by doing this exercise I am going to determine what can go out when I want to get something in!:-)


  • Mia replied 7 years ago
    What a stellar job on analyzing what does and does not work for you.  I agree that is can be very frustrating to have items hanging unworn but I agree with Angie that sometimes it is just waiting for them to come into their own again.

    I did notice quite a few comments from you re physical comfort in these items and I think that is trickier isn't it as there is often little or nothing one can do to change the situation.  Sometimes I find these are the clothing items I have to pass on. Someone else might like being warm in polyester :)
  • Runcarla replied 7 years ago
    #1 is my fav, with # 2 ( cobalt) right behind.  Loving the leapord print top as well.  Great analysis on your part, and winners all when it comes to looks...but, physical comfort can be a deal breaker.


  • CocoLion replied 7 years ago
    Love #6, the subtle pattern mixing is very chic!

    I also like your bf jeans outfit -- go ahead and alter them so you will love them more, I say.  It's good to have outfits on hand like this (including cardi) as you say for comfort-craving days.  This is the kind of outfit I live in.

    And the red dress in #1 is something you must keep.  You look like a model in it, it is very flattering to your face and not too low-cut for your bust line at all.

    If you're not happy with the boots, I would plan to wear them once more come next fall then purge them.  Or do it now.

    I think you can wear the black jacket with dresses, it might be the perfect length for those.

    The animal print shirt looks fab on you, I would keep it for looks.  But if the fabric drives you crazy, purge it and find another animal print shirt with different fabric.
  • Vicki replied 7 years ago
    First off, Sveta, you are now designated the "Orphan Whisperer" and what an amazing job you've done.  I do not see any of these as orphans, especially with the way you look and the way you've styled them.  btw, you look radiant and I really like how you've styled your hair in all these beautifully-posed photos.

    That red dress in #1 with your Danier (yes, I love it more and more, as I see it on you, Inge and Suz) is gorgeous.  The blazer, and both tops look so workable here and I'm sure in countless ways you'll think of, although I know what you mean about polyester and how that can tend to leave an orphan in the closet.  #6 is magnificent and you make me want to step up my game with friends more, seeing you like this!  Yep.  I've cheated sometimes with a clutch here and there for a good shot!  :)
  • Kyle replied 7 years ago
    I wish I had your keen powers of analysis. Even though I've done a pretty big purge and edit, I still have things I never reach for and just don't know why. You inspire me in this regard. I don't think there is ever an outfit of yours that I do not like, but that red dress and white jacket is one of many that I love. The berry color is beautiful on you, Sveta. Try it with another belt if that feels better to you, though this one creates a nice effect under the jacket. I think 2 and 5 are my least favorites of the group because they are slightly more hectic than the others. I think I am in my "less is more" phase, so I'm drawn to the simpler ensembles. You have really honed in on some fantastic trouser looks, and 4 is one of the best. I love the polka dots under that particular jacket. Very neutral, but interesting. And the high necklines are so pretty and flattering on you. Orphan whisperer, indeed!
  • Sveta replied 7 years ago
    Mia and Runcarla, you are right about a comfort factor and this is one of my goals for this exercise.
     Denise, BF jeans were taken for alterations yesterday! I was right, the culprit was an extra inch of length in the back. We will see how they turn out.
    Vicki, I like it - "Orphan Whisperer'!
    Kyle, actually I really liked this belt with the white jacket, I think "echoing" effect here helps to tame this "wild" belt.
  • Joy replied 7 years ago
    All these orphans look amazing on you in these photos.  I need you to take a look at my closet and whisper to the orphans.

  • Lisa replied 7 years ago
    Very clever to take a week and create outfits out of orphans.  I find when I purge my closet I try to ask myself why an item did not work for me.  Then when I grab a similar item in the store (which I often do as I am always attracted to the same items) I remind myself why the old item did not work out and I refocus my shopping to finding a new item that's a better fit for my needs and style preferences.

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