Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Great Fall Wardrobe Makeover, Part 3 - other sets

Having sorted through all of my clothes and divided them by basic colours and then by my fall accent colours, I revisited my other sets: day dresses and party frocks, jeans and coats.

Let's start with the fun stuff!

Party Frocks

Dani describes these as party basics in frock philosophy and she has some truly lovely pieces!

I realized whilst looking at my party frocks that I have a penchant for sequins and shiny, and there are some nice pieces, but I need to go to the next level:

 The dresses and one jacket: from the right - a lovely black cocktail dress, a nice black sequin tank dress, a gold silk Cynthia Steffe dress I bought to go meet the Governor General 3 years ago, a lovely black wool shift dress, an Alice + Olivia sweet burgundy dress with elbow length sleeves, a JCrew sequin dress and my every-faithful American Eagle tuxedo jacket.  The latter was not expensive, but it is flattering and goes with everything!

What I noticed: only 1 of these dresses has sleeves.  Another thing I have noticed - I am always freezing in winter....  Third thing I have noticed - a lot of black.

The tops and bottoms:

2 Joe Fresh sequin tanks - so cheap but just lovely!  A J crew taffeta polka dot skirt from a couple of seasons ago, a navy and black tafetta skirt from Pink Tartan, J Crew Dolce skirt in bronze sequins, black satin trousers, my J Crew pompon trousers, my J Crew pink floral trousers and my long black silk tiered skirt by Talbots.

In other words, with only a couple of classic additions, I have a good party frock wardrobe!  At least for now!  I was surprised by how much I had, but considering my aspirational dressing gene that imagines myself on yachts in Italy with George Clooney, could this be a surprise?????

The Day Dresses:

Well this is very short category as I have exactly 3 day dresses!

The Nicole Miller dress that I am still on the fence about but is likely moving on.

A Michael Kors Grey/Black faux wrap dress:

The third dress is a Michael Kors ponte knit sleeveless dress in Navy.

Folks, I love dresses and I love colour.  But I have two dresses of the exact same colour story, which I rarely wear!  And I have one navy dress that I like but do not love.  I see a serious gap here.....


A small grouping for me:

  1. a lovely pair of 7 for all mankind indigo wash trouser jeans
  2. a pair of 7 for all mankind skinny jeans for tucking in boots
  3. a pair of Joe Fresh straight leg jeans
  4. a pair of Joe Fresh matchstick cords in burgundy
  5. a pair of J Crew bennet pants in Henna
  6. my new minnie trousers in the boulevard green
  7. A pair of cynthia steffe skinny wool knit pants
  8. Khaki and jade cafe capris for early fall
I could probably use a pair of full length chinos, but for the amount of time in any given week I am able to wear jeans, or casual pants, these are fine for me.


A small group:

  1. My new icon trench
  2. a short black trench coat for fall
  3. a french pink trench for spring
  4. a lovely all wool Cinza Rocca knee-length winter coat - you can visit my coat or one very similar here
  5. waist length brown leather jacket
  6. simon chang plush waist length party coat
  1. Lands End down filled coats - long black for Jan-Feb and short royal blue for same time period
Various Casual for tromping around in the fall

I am a little lacking here for coats, considering I live in Canada and all....


I basically have one purse, a black leather satchel, that I recently purchased, as I felt a black purse should be my starting point for the fall.  It is quite nice and practical. 

I also have some clutches in peacock silk, a lovely raspberry, my banana republic shell clutch, which I love and some new and vintage black clutches.  Again - I have some room here!

These are newly organized after the big purge!


I have a LOT of shoes!  I am pretty good for shoes!  However, I can see the need for a really comfortable pair for a cocktail party!  And there is one I have my eye on at J Crew (Valentinas!).  While away, I picked up a pair of black leather riding boots for fall by Arturo Chiang:

If you like them, you can pick up yours here.  I already have a pair of chocolate brown riding boots by Cole Haan.  They are almost identical to the Air Avalon below and I bought them two years ago and they are so comfortable.  The perfect fall boot:

I would like a lightweight pair of dress boots with a small heel for the office as well.

My fall and winter shoes are still packed away and hard to get at, but thought you might want to see the summer shoe collection, newly purged and organized!

The Holidays:

I was suprised at how little clothing I had that I would typically wear in December.  For me - December is red month and I do love red!!!!

All I have is one black watch tafetta blouse from Talbots, a Talbots red cashmere turtleneck and a red crystal cardigan from J Crew.  Again - I see that I can actually justify buying a couple of cute things in November!!!

To Sum it Up:

That is the fall/winter wardrobe in a nutshell.  I see some gaps now.  Which is what FFM and Dani BP want us to see before we go shopping.  I also see how much I have!  And how much I gave away.  I took 5 bags to charity this a.m.  I thought about consignment, but in the end, thought I could use all the good karma I could get!  I also see that how I want to dress is not necessarily consistent with the clothes I am buying.....  Ahh.....

Fabulous Florida Mommy - I have not gotten to step 4 - make outfits!  I promise I will do that in early Fall!!!!  However, I am going to start making some outfits on polyvore now that I know everything I have!

It is time to move on to Step 4: Make a Fall Shopping List!  And that is tomorrow's post!!!!!

If you are still with me, you are amazing!!!


  1. WMM- are you at all bohemian/eclectic style? I ask this because the Nicole Miller dress fulfills that category and could be worn to a backyard BBQ with chic sandals a la Tory Burch world of style. I hope this makes sense. Best, NJ

    1. NJ - great idea! I don't typically wear bohemian, being short and busty, but I think you may be on to something for me - I could relegate it to my private life, not work and funk it up! THANKS!

  2. Yes, still with you. Looking forward to Part 4. It is hard to break down the wardrobe aspect in your life. I started taking pictures of outfits on my iPhone per FFM so I can't and won't say, 'I don't have anything to wear'.

    Really enjoying your blog. You are really funny and have style to spare! We are the same height too!

    1. Wendy - Wendys should stick together! I am one too, but started using WMM as I did not want people to confuse us and you were there first! :-) Plus, doesn't WMM sound very lawfirm-like??

      Thanks for the kind words - I am going to start a lookbook as per FFM's advice - I often think that on those days when I put something together and feel fantastic and then forget what I wore the next time!

  3. Well done, I bet that was a bit of a chore. I did the same last week, through I have less so it's a bit easier but still what a headache it gave me. Like you, no winter dresses with sleeves and always cold! I'm not using that as an excuse to go look at dresses with sleeves though, I don't need them, I'm focusing on every day clothes this year.

    Wendy: My hubs has said that's what I should do, I alway start the " nothing to wear, can't go whine" I just don't remember things that I've put together that have worked.

    1. Yes, Wendy is on to something, and you will note I have skipped over that part of FFM's plan thus far, as I ran out of time, but I need to do it!

      It has been quite a chore!!! As I age, I find I am spending more time keeping things together! I need a whole post on that! And i am a relatively low maintenance person!

  4. PS. You know how I don't really like patterns and I'm quite minimalist? Well I LURVE those pom pom capris!

    1. Oh Tabitha! Those pants make me so happy!!!! I have only worn them once, only because they are very heavy jacquard and it has been so darn hot here this summer (I think we kept the hot weather for ourselves on this side of the Atlantic this year) - they will get constant rotation this fall!

      I think if you are busty with skinny legs, you can afford to go over the top! I would be thrilled to have men look at my legs and not my chest!!!!

  5. I love your party frocks, always my favorites as you know. And those pom-pom pants, yes they are excellent. It was all I could do not to buy the dress in that fabric this summer.
    5 bags! You've done a great job. I agree it is excellent to put together outfits and take pictures. It will take some time but will be great for those days when you are rushed and feeling overwhelmed.
    This has been so fun! Thanks so much for sharing the process with us!

    1. Thanks Dani!

      As I told you last night, it has been humbling to see what I have, and all the things I stupidly spent money on which weren't me! I am almost off shopping locally here, as many of the things I let go of were things I either got pressured into buying or was told "those look fantastic on you!". Honestly! I think it would be better for my wallet to order in and post online for advice than go this route! We only have 2 "nice" stores here anyway and they are very high end and so mistakes are costly.... There were some things I let go of that I could weep about! For my stupidity!

      Jcrew is opening a store in Portland, Maine this month - only 5 hours away! Even that would be cheaper......

    2. I know what you mean, all of my costly mistakes have been made in shops where I felt pressured into buying... one of the reasons that online shopping works for me is that I can make my own decisions and try on a potential piece with my other items. (Of course that doesn't work with final sale, being able to return is key!)
      Don't feel bad about it, be happy that you won't make those mistakes going forward. :)

  6. I've read all of these posts so far. I am in awe. I didn't know Stacy London was Canadian.

    Some comments. Well, first a little plain speaking. Either tell the NM dress goodbye or straighten your hair, flatten your chest, and grow 5" taller. Too many curly, curvy things going on. I love the Art Nouveau- ish motif on the dress, you might have been channeling Klimt when you bought it. Maybe treat yourself to a pendant or a ring that has the same sinuous curves?

    Holiday - like me, you distinguish this from Party (general). Good. My personal rule for Holiday is Buy good, buy once, and let the outfit become part of the tradition. Examples: Thanksgiving dinner - velvet & chintz patchwork skirt, ivory cotton lace blouse. Our thanksgiving is later than yours and usually marks the start of the Velvet Season. Christmas dinner: while cooking, long-sleeved deep green cotton V-neck tee over jeans, add green velvet vest trimmed with gold braid to come to table and lift glass. Christmas party-giving: ivory satin button-up blouse, long plaid wool skirt. Holiday office parties: Well, the economy put a stop to those. See, everything has a bright side.

    When you describe something as "lovely," I sense the smile behind the keyboard (forgive clumsy poetic reach). Maybe those things should be the models for your "looks" and for your "looking," going forward.

    1. WFF - you kill me! Damn - you can tell I am not 5'9"???? You are right!

      I think you are right on the holiday - Will also have to be careful, as you know I fight urges of excess!!!

      As for Stacey London - she MUST straighten her hair - she seems like a curly top to me! I can straighten my hair but never bother in humid summer weather - it take an hour to do and starts kinking VERY oddly within the hour in the summer! Oh - keen eye on psychological use of "lovely" - I think you are right!!!

      Thanks for the great advice!

  7. You are doing a great job of organizing. I think you are better off investing in a versatile formal party jacket, wrap, or coat, rather than in long sleeve dresses. Long sleeves can become so warm, especially if there is dancing involved! I would apply the same philosophy to day dresses. A sleeveless dress is a perfect layering piece with all of those lovely sweaters and jackets you have. It is always easier to find a flattering and comfortable sleeveless dress. After all, if it is not easy to wear and flattering, it doesn't matter how cute it is!

    1. Good point Knityarns! I love the idea of a wrap or coat/jacket! If you notice anything appropos in your travels - let me know!!

      Okay - after much torture, Nicole Miller will go. If anyone reading is 5'9" with straight hair and no boobs and would like a $300 dress worn once, by all means, drop me a line!

  8. WMM: You are definitely doing a wonderful job of organizing! Isn't it so nice to see just what you have? Have you worn any of the items that you had forgotten about yet?

    I love all of your party frocks, and the boots are lovely, too. I am really looking forward to fall when I can break my boots out again...hopefully the cooler weather will come sooner than later for us this year. :)

    1. Thanks FFM - not yet - it has been so hot!!! 85 again today! I actually think I still have a bit too many clothes and may try to rotate them around more in the fall, my own private version of Slastena's Project 333 and Dani's colour stories! What I find is that when you have too many choices, you tend to go all over the place. I need a little discipline!

      I was thinking of you this a.m. as they were saying the water here in the Maritimes is very warm and does not bode well for Hurricane season - wondered what the water temps are in Florida this year?


Kindness is a virtue...