Pulling out a piece that’s been in my wardrobe for a long time always feels a little bit like coming home. I’ve actually had this navy, novelty-chiffon kimono since Spring 2014.
It’s truly a one-of-a-kind piece, I’ve never seen anything quite like it in a store. It’s light enough to wear in spring and fall without being heavy or bulky. It packs without wrinkling, and with the hem hitting at the top of the thigh, it’s my perfectly-preferred-kimono-length.
The fabric is a single color, novelty square pattern against a sheer chiffon background, which means that it’s interesting enough to not be boring, but without needing to be a busy print.
I love this kimono not just because of its features – I love how I feel when I wear it, and I love the memories attached to it. I love the memories of getting the fabric, and of making it, and of wearing it. Remembering that it basically acted like my fall jacket for a whole fall one year when I would add it over a sweater and then throw a scarf on, to top it off.
I made this kimono as one of the pieces in a year of wearing only clothes made-by-me. I remember walking through Time Square, realizing that the weather had turned just a little too cold for this single kimono to be enough of a jacket, then realizing that I should probably start thinking about making enough sweaters to get through a New York City winter.
But mostly I love that this kimono has been in my wardrobe for long enough to accumulate these memories in association with it. And how, every time I see it, I remember those memories.
Not having to actually get dressed is the best(!) part of a relaxed vacation. I took these photos before heading out of town for a couple days to spend some time in Maine with family, and basically wore some variation on this look the entire time I was on vacation.
Shorts, pants, and camis swapped in and out (though these were definitely my go-to!), sometimes the plaid over-shirt changed, I generally didn’t bother with jewelry, and more often than not I was barefoot, but this was basically the look I wore the whole time.
The “robe” is technically a button up dress from Uniqlo, and when I saw it, I couldn’t not get it. The fabric is a light weight flannel, so it’s a fantastic transitioning and layering piece. It was kind of chilly in Maine so I’m really glad I had something on the warmer side of summery.
This piece actually comes in two colorways, a black/white print, and a black/red print. I initially picked up the black/white because I liked the very graphic quality of it on the hanger, but when I got it on it didn’t really work, so I went with the black/red instead and I think I made the right choice. The black/red color variation has enough contrast to make the check print clear, but not so much that it’s overwhelming on such a large scale over a large piece of clothing.
And of course(!) the black/red buffalo check is perfectly appropriate to wear in Maine (though I certainly didn’t buy it for the trip, they just so happened to coincide perfectly).
Plus, as someone who doesn’t often wear shorts, the length of this dress (or robe, or whatever you want to call it) balances shorts in a way that makes them feel much easier to wear.
I love how modern-hippy-throw-it-together this look is. This look is literally a dress + shoes + sunglasses + a gigantic crochet granny square cardigan thrown over everything.
The dress is from H&M and is totally a product of the 70s coming back into fashion. It’s a straight to the floor floral maxi dress with a high straight-across neck, a little cut out in the back, a built in slip with a floral print sheer chiffon overlay, and two slits in the skirt.
The cardigan is a super-oversized grey and white striped crochet granny square origamied into a cardigan. I’ve found that it’s one of those pieces that’s tricky to wear except in situations where it’s the only thing that will work.
The sunglasses have a suggestion of a cat-eye, and I think hint of an art-deco in them. While the shoes have a modern “there, but not there vibe.” They have enough detail to not be boring, but are still a basic enough beige bootie to not draw attention away from the rest of the look.
What I particularly love about the print of this dress is that it’s obviously floral, but not obnoxiously so. It’s a (relatively) small scale without looking like a tablecloth, but the red and tan flowers really pop against the deep blue background. On top of that the wide geometric boarder at the bottom hem of the skirt adds a very necessary visual weight, contrasts with the smaller flowers, and grounds the whole dress.
And this cardigan is just one of those huge oversized pieces that is perfect for adding a little bit of intention to semi-sloppy looks. Like I said, it’s one of those pieces that’s near-impossible to wear until it’s absolutely the only thing that will work.
I made this skirt back in 2014, and have always (in my head) thought of it as my Pirate Queen Skirt. There’s something about the white and red, combined with the multi directional striping, plus the way it ripples behind me when I walk, that invokes all the qualities of a Pirate Queen.
For me, the qualities of a Pirate Queen include: Stunningness. Steadiness. Strength. Sovereignty. Clear Seeing. Knowing. Badassery.
Then add on top of a Pirate Queen Skirt, a Labyrinth referencing tee-shirt, heels high enough to keep the skirt hem from dragging to far on the ground, some standard accessories, plus sunnies, and it’s an outfit good to go.
I had an incredible time taking part in this summer’s 10×10 wardrobe challenge hosted by Caroline of Un-Fancy, and Lee of Style Bee. It’s been almost two years since I had done a wardrobe challenge before this one, and this was a super fun, low-pressure way to dive back in.
I included 10 pieces in my mini-capsule wardrobe, but only ended up wearing 9 of them. I included: 4 shirts, 1 skirt, 1 pair of jeans, 2 dresses, and 2 pairs of shoes; and ended up not wearing one of the dresses.
In this review, I’ll wrap up this challenge with a couple of review questions, my own standard review Qs, plus some 10×10 wardrobe challenge specific ones from Caroline’s wrap up post.
Shall we dive in?
What worked – most things in this challenge worked, which is always a fantastic feeling. Most of the wardrobe pieces worked, and they worked well together. Most of the blogging and documenting parts worked as well.
I think the things that worked particularly well were:
1) having a focus for the wardrobe and the challenge. I wanted to experiment with styling tee shirts, which I’ve never worn a ton before.
2) photographing all the possible outfit combinations before hand and then sharing which one I wore that particular day, rather than trying to take a photo, edit it, post it, and write about it each day. This took a ton of pressure off, and I think if I had done it the other way, I’m pretty sure I’d have given up sharing outfits halfway through.
There are a couple things I’d tweak, and keep in mind for next time, but on the whole I think this was a smashing success!
Like I said, most things worked in this challenge, but the main thing that didn’t work was one piece in my wardrobe.
I added a semi-dressy dress to my wardrobe at the last minute. Because my aim for this challenge was focused on tee shirts, this was a kind of as a “just in case” piece – just in case I needed something a little more put together.
But I didn’t actually end up wearing my “just in case” dress, and sort of wished I had swapped it out for some sandals instead.
Did your clothes work for the weather?
Yep! I was a little worried that we might have a chillier morning or evening than I had planned my wardrobe for (no light sweaters, no summer sweatshirts, etc.), but everything ended up working out fine. And if I had run into this problem I could have worn my green plaid button up as an over-shirt (like I did on Day 6).
Did you wear anything that wasn’t included in your 10 pieces?
Other than accessories, undergarments, PJs, and workout wear – nope!
How did laundry work out?
Hand-washing individual pieces, plus spot cleaning took care of everything over the two weeks. Though I am now tossing everything I normally machine-wash into the laundry bag for a more thorough cleaning.