Thursday, August 9, 2012

Wrapping it All Up: The Fall List

Having made it this far, I am now ready to make "the list" - what I am missing in my wardrobe that is

a) either an obvious gap or
b) would take my wardrobe to the next level as per my style vision

Making the list was was not so easy!!!!!

What I had to guard against:

Looking cute. 

Don't laugh!  When you are a tiny, happy woman with more whimsical tastes, you run the constant danger of looking cute!  I no longer want to look cute.  I want to look elegant.  This will require constant ongoing editing......I also have to remember that I am short - Fred reminded me of this today.  Sometimes, I forget, because I have long legs compared to my height.  If I lost 25 pounds and was 20 years younger and they created a new category, I could be a petite super model!

Loving shopping and shopping too much.

I realize that I shop way too much.  I spend too much money. I get caught in the excitement of SALES and NEW RELEASES!

I have a great job and am nowhere near the poor house, but I need to dial it down, if for no other reason to TRULY enjoy the clothes that I have! 

So with these two issues firmly in my mind, I am ready to keep going....

According to Fabulous Florida Mommy, Step 4: Make a 'Fall Shopping List'  She says:

This is going to be the list that has all the items you need to complete your outfits from Step 3, as well as any other items you may need, or even simply just want. For example, I like to write down everything I need/want to add to my wardrobe, and then pare it down as the season moves on and more merchandise is introduced by retailers.  (As you will see in Step 5, I do put the most needed/wanted at the top of the list to get them crossed off first, then move on down the line as my budget permits.)

In Frock Philosophy, Dani recommends that we identify our daily uniform. 

My daily uniform has to be for the office and would include suits, lovely skirts, very nice sweaters, pumps or boots and nice accessories.  The underpinnings - blouses or very nice quality tshirts - must go with it all, but ideally can stand on their own merit and be used again for dinner parties or the weekend.

For weekends, my daily uniform consists of more casual skirts and tops, jeans and pairing some of my lovely shirts or sweaters (as well as the odd sequin top!) with a saucy capri (pompon capri - I love you!) or bright trouser.

Dani also has some great suggestions for dressing for your decade:

Why not approach a new decade in celebration, with a wardrobe overhaul?  Perhaps you want to minimize what you own as you near 50, or maybe you want to finally indulge your weakness for pretty shoes.  

She also cautions us that once we have our basics in place, to get off the cycle of buying the "new" constantly:

If left to my own devices I could spend each season culling the old and bringing in the new, all new, all fresh pieces for my wardrobe.  Resist the urge. Part of the satisfaction in building something is to create a solid base for your life and your finances. You've solved your "what to wear" problem and the pieces you have chosen should last many years.  Allow yourself to drop out of the cycle of retail.

And once we have our basics, she suggests we choose 3 pieces for each season.  I am almost done with respect to basics (But loving clothes like I do, and knowing my personality, I am thinking 5 items!)

Soo...what do I think I am missing?

1. A spectacular white blouse for dressy events and even for the office.  I have two really nice white button down blouses that are in perfect shape, but I need a truly beautiful white blouse:
I see a few options:

  • The Brooks Brothers Luxury Fitted Pique Dress Shirt - $148 US, for sale here.
  • The Brooks Brothers Non-Iron fitted stretch dress shirt - $98 US, for sale here
  • The Brooklyn Blouse by Judith and Charles - see it on their website here
  • I was also looking at the J Crew Thomas Mason boy blouse - anyone see these IRL?
2. Another very dressy blouse that I can wear to work with skirts or suits, but also pair with jeans, dressy capris or some of my party frocks:

Two items in consideration at this point:

Heavyweight silk bow top
heavyweight silk bow blouse, ivory, buy it here.

collection silk crepe tshirt:

Collection silk crepe tee
buy it here

3.  Another fall/winter dress coat.  The red Cinzia Rocca I described in yesterday's post is divine.  I love, love, love it.  I had another Tahari coat, but it was past its "best before" and was released to the universe.  I think I need two coats in order to switch it up from time to time and the red coat hits me mid thigh - a longer dress coat might be nice...

Options I am considering:

The icon trench in wool-cashmere in navy:

Icon trench in wool-cashmere

or something very colourful:

The pink coat above, which is apparently an alpaca-nylon blend and in the $600 CDN ballpark (gulp!).  see where it hits the model?  At 5'2", that would hit me below the knees for sure! 

My dilemma - is having a red coat and a pink coat too much????  Navy would be elegant.  The pink would be special...

I am also contemplating a new pea coat since as you know I gave away my red one..

in the running:

The Majesty peacoat:

Petite majesty peacoat

for sale here.

or the LL Bean Peacoat, which is significantly cheaper and for sale here:

Women's Classic Lambswool Peacoat

Any experience with either of these?

3. Day dress for work that can go into the evening

Sometimes, I just don't want to wear a suit.  Sometimes I need a day dress to wear to weekend events that are not overly formal....

I originally contemplated the Jule Dress in the retro jade, which is so pretty.  It may be my #2 dress later in the season if it goes on sale.  But it wasn't quite what I was looking for...

I actually found my fall/into winter dress today - it is an amazing Judith and Charles black shift with an amazing hem that has that rich blue that is in my fall/winter colour story.  The size 6 fit like it was meant to and I so I bought it.  I will take a picture of it and post this weekend.  I LOVE it and it is elegant!  I believe I can wear it as a little black dress, make it more formal with a black crepe wool blazer, casual it up with my little byzantine cardigan.  I am very excited and worth every penny!

4. Party Frock - Long Sleeve

  Collection organza sheath dress

organza sheath dress.  buy it here.  I think this is beautiful and lovely.  I love the champagne colour, but the blue is also lovely! 

I am also contemplating the suggestion of a lovely party wrap, and will keep my eye out for one.

5. A colourful shoe and bag

I tried on the shoe below in poppy, but my heart was with the dusty jade and I think it would my accent shoe for the fall - so elegant!  All of my winter shoes are black or brown or navy.  For someone who loves colour, I could use some on my feet!
Valentina patent pumps

Valentina pumps, dusty jade.  Buy it here.

However, it is prohibitive, price-wise - $278 CDN and I have to agree with StrayCat, for the quality, I will wait for a good sale.  In the interim, I picked these up at the mall today and they are so comfortable and will be that fun pop of colour for the fall at a significantly lower price!

You can gets yours here

Likewise, I love the brompton mini-hobo in rainforest green:

Brompton mini-hobo

I am not 100% sold on this and may try and find a cheaper version.  I doubt this will go on sale soon...

6. Dressy Boots.  You saw the riding boots.  However, I also need a pair of lovely dressy leather boots.  I threw out my old dressy boots I would wear in the office - they were worn out.

perhaps something similar to this?

7. Other - this is my junk drawer category - room for one or two dressy skirts or blazers as they get released over the fall/winter,  a new winter sweater, a dressy holiday blouse, etc.
Okay, am ready to go on to the last step: Priortize.  FFM says:

Step 5: Prioritize. Now that your 'Fall Shopping List' has been made, the next step is to PRIORITIZE it! As lovely as it would be to purchase everything on the list, for most of us this just isn't realistic, and that is why it is so important to prioritize. Not only does this help to keep you focused on the items you really need/want, but it will also help to keep your budget in check (more to come on that later) as the season actually arrives.

I am pretty sure she was talking to ME here!  I have never met her in person, but I am pretty sure I can hear her say: "WMM!!!!! NO!  It can't ALL be priority #1!!!"  And you can hear my whiny response... "Can't it all be #1?"

But it can't be!  This was as hard a part of the exercise as the other steps, perhaps harder, as this is where the rubber hit the road!

It is like wrestling with your worse, more gluttonous, self.  It took me several days to do this in an honest and thoughtful way!

Cue trumpets:

and Dancing bears:

This, dear and patient readers, is my fall/winter shopping list, priortized:

  1. A dressy white button down blouse  - LOOKING!
  2. Another, non-white, dressy blouse - LOOKING!
  3. A Day Dress - DONE!
  4. An extra dress coat - LOOKING!
  5. A navy pea coat - LOOKING!
  6. Black Dressy Boots - LOOKING!
  7. Coloured shoe and bag (must wait for a sale of some sort as these are fun but not a necessity!)
  8. Dressy dress or party coat/wrap (same as #7 - I can survive the winter without this but if a lovely one goes on promo it will be mine!)
  9. My version of the junk drawer - I am allowing myself one item per month, no more, but not until I have acquired what is on the list above. Must fit in colour story.  I know myself and this will actually serve as a nice pressure valve!  In some months, this could simply be a tshirt or chinos.  If I am really good, there will be some months with NO purchases!
So there you go!  4 days to make a fall/winter shopping list!  All items are lovely and thought out and moving me towards my goal of dressing elegantly in my 50s!

I skipped ahead to #7 when I saw the suede blue shoes!  BAD WMM!!  but they were a great price, so I am rationalizing them in my head!!

Thanks for taking this journey with me and an especially loud shout-out to Miss Fabulous Florida Mommy and Miss Dani BP - I OWE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  You are real inspirations to us all!!!  Much love!


PS - I promise we will skip all steps in spring and go right to the list!  I know this was probably a bit tedious for you all, but was really great for me to actually live the experience of methodically going through the steps!!


  1. Great post! You did a great job with detail and explanation -- and I liked many of your picks! I relate most with your second point about always shopping, especially sales, and not enjoying the clothing I already have.

    I also keep playing FFM's post on having a "fall shopping list" each time I find myself in a store lately.

    1. Thanks TC!

      It is funny about what resonates with us isn't it? Gotta love FFM!

  2. I agree with TC, this is a great series!! I love the navy Icon trench in wool-cashmere. Okay, so I don't think that it's too much to have both a red and a pink coat. I can't wait to see what you decide to grab from your list!

    1. That's why I love you Rynetta - you love colour as much as I do!

      I am thinking I will go with the icon wool trench, which is $300 cheaper and then spend the difference on some really colourful pants at some point in the winter! Oh wait - not sure that is managing my wardrobe any better, heehee!

  3. I love the trumpets and the dancing bears! You are really cracking me up but you did a terrific job with your list and you added humour, thanks so much for sharing it with us.
    Thanks for the lovely words I so appreciate it. I wish I could follow my own advice and stick to 3 things but I think FFM's method is better, make the list, prioritize, and never mind the actual number of items, sometimes it will be bigger, sometimes smaller.
    I think you are making a very good point re the pink coat: it may overwhelm your small frame completely. It is a gorgeous color but if the cut is wrong you'll be sending it right back, and it's expensive too.
    I look forward to seeing your day dress! Judith and Charles is a great label that I would love to check out some day.
    This has been so much fun.

    1. Thanks Dani! I will try and get the outfit together this weekend and post online. It was EXACTLY what I should buy, I think! YOu know I had vowed not to shop much local, but was en route to the dry cleaners, dress was in shop window and it was so completely "right" that I decided to go in and try it!

      Judith and Charles is a wonderful line, albeit pricey. WHat few of their clothes I have survived the great purge - in other words, they are classic and classy!

  4. In the petite world, 5'2 is considered to be tall. So WE can be petite super models together!

    Your list sounds doable and practical. I think if you buy the red coat it would stand out and be a classic each season. The pink would be a trend. I agree with Dani, the pink may overwhelm your frame. When you are petite, you want to wear things a little fitted so it looks proportional. You want to wear the clothes; not have the clothes wear you. I ordered the Majesty Peacoat last season and returned it due to the material being a bit thin for me. Perhaps, the quality of the material will be better this year? (Fingers crossed)

    I only have one thing I really want and those are the Erin Frye boots. The shaft height is just about right for me at 15 inches. Anything over and the top of the boot would be hitting my knees every time I would sit down. I think this one item is all I really "need". When I did look through all my clothes, my gut told me that there is not one item I really 'need'; just lots of WANTS! But this is where self control comes in.

    It is cleansing to go through the steps. I may have to do that soon before summer vacation is over.

    1. Hi Wendy!

      Wow two super model Wendys! Is the world ready? I am sure it is!

      I am thinking that if you found the quality of the majesty lacking last year it might actually be worse this year, so I may steer clear and try the LL Bean first!

      I think folks' advice about the pink coat is sound. I think I will just keep an eye out for a special pink piece along the way, since it is one of my accent colours, but not break the bank on it!

      I am not familiar with the Erin Frye's but am going to take a look at them!

      I hear you about the wants and the needs! When I was trying on the day dress yesterday, the sales clerks kept running over with all kinds of beautiful items and I held firm. None were on the list and none were a necessity! It is hard though!!

      As for it being cleansing, it really has been and it has been fun for me, as you all have been so helpful and inspiring! THANKS!

  5. This has been quite a journey. There are so many shades of white, and so many weaves that reflect differently on the face, that I find a white shirt the most challenging thing of all to purchase.

    I'm really looking forward to seeing the day dress. It sounds like it will be a great restaurant dress aw well, a little drama when you walk in, pretty from the waist up when seated.

    So I guess the next charm I get will be a bear. Or two.

    1. Thanks Fred - I hear you on the white shirt - I see a LOT of try-ons in the future to get that one right, since it is to be my especial dressy white shirt.

      I actually have an amazing antique clown and dancing bear pin - they are joined together by a short gold chain. One of the pin backings has fallen off and this has inspired me to take it to the jewellry repair shop today and finally get it fixed! Can't wait to see the charm! I am going to look for a special one in Paris!

  6. I love the majesty peacoat but close up it does look a bit cheap to be honest but nevertheless it's my favourite jacket for autumn. I too loved the trumpets and bears.

    1. DId you read my response to you yesterday re: the Paris pilgrimage over at Dani's? I think you will like it!!

      I like dancing bears myself. I know - it shows a propensity for the carnivale!

    2. p.s. - may check out the LL BEan version first. They ship for free and I wonder if a pea coat isn't exactly the kind of thing LL Bean would do well?

  7. Great editing Job! Gorsuch has amazing white shirts, but the prices run the gamut from the sublime to the ridiculous. In my experience, the lovely blouses and coats won't be in stores before October's holiday roll out. I love the long sleeve dress;it is very elegant. A pea coat is a wonderful idea. Brooks Brothers has a few nice options for both the pea coat and the dressy coat(and great white blouses too!) every season, and they always seem to have promotional percent off full price sales, so it is worth being on their mailing list. If you wore out your last pair of dressy boots- that is your first priority, because you will need and use them. Most stores by me have very meager boot selections now. I'm sure in a few weeks they will be every where. I would wait for the best selection, because the best is yet to come!

    1. I just peeked at Gorsuch, as I hadn't looked for some time. The prices are actually ridiculous, although they do have after -Christmas sales.

    2. Thanks knit yarns - I just took a look - there are some nice pieces

      I think the very dressy white will likely be an October purchase for the pre-holiday season, unless I see something in france

  8. i agree with you - I think the white blouse may wait till I see more options! I am not familiar with Gorsuch - will have to look them up! I will also check out the Brooks Brothers pea coats. I will get myself on their mailing. I agree with the boots, especially now that I have the new black dress. thanks for the advice!

  9. I love your picks! I think you may have strayed a bit with the Aldo shoes. They are the right color, but do they go with your outfits? (they might, I am not sure!). But I admit I favor that jade green of the Valentinas, I am biased :) I love all your coat options, I don't know how you're going to choose. I bought a Lands End Canvas wool pea coat a year or two ago on a deep sale. I am not sure I love it, to be honest (it needs an intervention like your red peacoat intervention), but I wanted to let you know that that is another source for a peacoat if you are looking. I know the quality isn't always there with J. Crew, but they usually get the cut right, which I think is something you might not get with LL Bean or Lands End. I think the cut of my peacoat is what I am not wild about. Anyway thank you for sharing and have fun shopping, I think you made a great plan!!

    1. Cate- you are partially right on the shoes - it does go awesome with my Byzantine blue pieces, so I am good, but I still plan to get the valentines - I love them!

      Thanks for the heads up re: LE

      I am eying one on sale at Brooks brothers I
      - if it is not final sale, I will grab it and see what I think!

      Thanks so much for your great advice!

  10. Congratulations on completing your wardrobe edit WMM! You have really done such a fantastic job! I applaud you for having the courage to let some things go, as I know how difficult that can be at times. You just have to remember that you are building a wardrobe that fits your style vision, is filled with items that fit your body well, that you love, and look forward to wearing. :)

    Your list is really shaping up well. As for the white blouse, have you heard of Anne Fontaine? She is known especially for her white shirts and the innovative 'spin' that she puts on many of them. I had the chance to visit her store in Tampa to see some of them in person. They can be quite pricey but the quality is excellent. She also has several stores in Paris, so if you happen to have a bit of free time perhaps you might visit to take a look.

    Thank you again for the lovely mention! I do so very much appreciate it! :)

    1. Thanks FFM!

      I will take a look! I really want a really great quality one, so am not shy to pay a little more, since I have a few others of okay quality!

      Thank you for all the support - you are such a great friend to us all!

  11. Love all the fall wardrobe posts ( and the circus one ?) Your bears and horns are so cute! You have made good choices I think. The cashmere-wool coat is a favorite of mine. I purchased one last year and love it! I think I like the j crew pumps in green better than the blue. I'm questioning if the blue have a look of quality you are going for. Have a great weekend ! Can wait to see your dress :)

    1. Oops, can't wait to see your dress ...

    2. Thanks mini!

      I think the valentines will definitely be mine, but I do love the blue suede as a nice fun kick for fall!

  12. You are braver than I - the thought of pulling everything out of my overstuffed closet and confronting my magpie ways fills me with anxiety... I would need several days to deal with it effectively, and possibly an assistant *sigh*
    (On a related note, do you still have that Nicole Miller dress? It looks like something I should be wearing. I hate to think of it at Goodwill! ;)

    1. I do have the Nicole miller - if you want it - let me know - just havent' gotten around to it!

    2. Very tempting - what size is it? *crosses fingers* Oh, and I am in Toronto, so hopefully that would help. :)

    3. It is size S - I assume that would be around a 6, which is what I am typically in designer duds!

    4. Ah - sadly I would need a Medium for my serious hippage... ;) Oh well. Perhaps you should look into consignment for some of your lovely pieces - so many places only take designer things now, and at least you could recoup some $. (Which reminds me I have to go up to collect my results from my local place today.) I have often thought it would be great to organize a fashion swap for friends/acquaintances, see things go to a good home.

      Honestly, you have inspired me to start going through the closet/ storage and begin weeding things out!

    5. Oh too bad! I have no hips! My hips have been pushed to my belly I think!!!! That may go to consignment - my consignment person recently moved away - I have not tried the new person, but this is a small market and people would not be willing to pay more than $40 for ANYTHING on consignment around here (they don't really know their designers) and so if my take is only to be $20, I tend to just give them to charity or to friends! I do have a friend who might be able to rock this dress, so will check with her!


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