WIW 09.02 [old and new + wardrobe mullings]

For a day that started out as pleasantly warm but overcast then turned into heavily stormy/windy/rainy (oh yes, fall is definitely coming), I pulled out an older 3-season pencil skirt that hadn't gotten much wear this season. To make it feel up-to-date I paired with some  items from this S/S season (a loose sweater and flat pointy boots) along with some older items (the black clutch and doorknocker earrings). Along with the dark accessories, I chose a plum lip gloss to further skew the outfit to fall. The mix of items, the color palette, and the silhouette all read current despite being composed of primarily older pieces. Very happy with how this outfit came out!

Feel free to skip the wardrobe mullings below and go straight to the photos :)

Mullings: With a much more limited clothing budget than in previous years, this season I am especially interested in 1) finding ways to freshen up pieces that I already have with selective and minimal input, and 2) identifying pieces that aren't currently 10s in fit that would become so with alteration (of which there are plenty, since much of my wardrobe was built when I was a size larger; thank goodness oversized is in!). Then by extension, 3) actually getting those alterations done. I very much want to keep with the trendy aspect of my style, so the trick will be finding ways to keep feeling fashion-forward enough with limited new items (definitely going to have to select wisely) versus the higher turnover I usually have. 

I'm also keen on finding ways to extend the wear for some of my favorite warmer weather pieces for the milder fall days ahead; many of my summer pieces are newer, and would help make some of my older fall pieces feel more current. I've been a couple years with virtually no layering and minimizing the number of pieces in an outfit, and now I'm feeling ready to return to a more heavily layered outfit here and there which should also help to extend some of those more summery pieces.

After wearing primarily new pieces this spring/summer season, it felt nice to pull out a couple of old favorites (and I have plenty of those in my fall wardrobe). As many of you know, I tend not to repeat outfits. But this coming F/W season I've decided to purposefully wear particularly favorite pairings more often and just change up the supporting act; my hunch is that some of my older pieces are going to need specific newer pieces to look forward enough for me. Still have a bit to sort out, but honestly so far this all makes me feel a bit trepidatious as I haven't taken this approach in years (like.. 5+). We'll see how it goes! If you stuck this all out, thanks for reading and I'd be very interested to hear any and all thoughts on this ^^

Available items collected below. Comments, critiques, thoughts and questions welcome.

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.


  • Louise replied 6 years ago

    Works for me x

  • Firecracker replied 6 years ago

    The skirt is gorgeous, and I love it with those booties and sweater. The clutch is a fab piece, too. I think 2014 style promises to be great for your purposes--the year of anything goes and bold juxtapositions. One way of interpreting that overall trend can certainly be to pull out favorite pieces and pair them in new and unexpected ways.
    I look forward to following your style as you tackle this challenge and come up with your uniquely Aida creations!

  • kellygirl replied 6 years ago

    This is a gorgeous outfit on you, Aida. Love the light booties. Those are divine on you. I hear you on adding a few select things to freshen up the old. That's mostly my approach since my fall/winter uniform really hasn't changed much over the last few years. I think it's harder when you are more fashion forward--for me, adding a new pair of boots or a couple of sweaters is usually just fine. 

  • rabbit replied 6 years ago

    Great look!  I really like the soft tones and pattern of skirt and it goes so well with the top and booties, I'm keeping an eye out myself for booties in that color.

    On your musings, that sounds like a good plan, layering more, and find small ways to refresh older items.   I've gone on a shopping spree since finding YLF, which is now near the end, but I've also found more current and flattering ways to wear old favorites that rarely got worn in previous years, and that can give me just as high happiness (if not higher) than wearing something new.  

    Also it seems like the supporting act can be easier to buy at lower price points depending. Flats and pumps, scarves and clutches, are all available at affordable prices, toppers, bags and booties are harder for me because in my experience there is a bit more of a design/material gap reflected in prices -- but still doable with searching.

  • texstyle replied 6 years ago

    This is a new favorite Aida outfit to me  - love the skirt and the pairing with the semi-tucked sweater and booties. It is a lovely, soft palette that really highlights your hair. 

  • Alassë replied 6 years ago

    The wardrobe mullings are my favourite part. :)

  • bj1111 replied 6 years ago

    i don't think i've seen you look less than a 10, though i understand if you feel it. the hard part would be managing not adding as much trend driven stuff. I think Anna had a similar issue a while back, though it seems like she is on the other side with austerity august.

  • Alana in Canada replied 6 years ago

    Lovely outfit, as always. Lovely shade of lipstick on you and those earrings are gasp-worthy.

    Sounds like an interesting challenge you have set yourself--but quite worthwhile and likely highly instructive for the rest of us. It will take some creativity and ingenuity--I know you are up to the task.

  • Laurie replied 6 years ago

    One of my favs lately.  Colors, contrast of pencil with loose sweater. Nice silhouette . Love it.

     As for your mullings, I am so totally not an organized and analytic fashion person that I love to read your thoughts about deliberate dressing and style.  (Are you an engineer, Aida?  I'm a scattered salesperson, going with my gut, always!)

  • Caro in Oz replied 6 years ago

    I love your outfit. So simple & chic. It is one of my favourites.
    Very interested to see the execution of your plan as this is my preferred way to shop.

  • Mo replied 6 years ago

    I'm also interested to see your plan, as I'm feeling a lot the same.  I'm in distillation mode you could say.  Donning a 3 yr old dress in a flurry today reminded me that having things you can depend on without having to work at them is a fabulous thing.

  • carter replied 6 years ago

    Budget or no budget, your "mullings" are what I would like to accomplish every season. Hope you'll expand on your thoughts and processes throughout. Love the outfit...as always!

  • Aida replied 6 years ago

    Thank you all for the great comments and insights, I appreciate and enjoyed reading them! I don't mean to sound like I was replacing my full wardrobe each season, far from it -- for many years I've just had a rather high turnover rate. It's been a while since I've had to limit what I bring in, so it will certanly be a bit of an adjustment. On the whole I expect that it ends up being a good thing, helping me to be even more focused and picky.

    Rabbit, thanks for the insights into which types of things tend to skew more or less affordable. They make sense, and the pieces that cost more, those are the ones I tend to hold onto for many years. So at least I'm doing that part right ;)

    BJ, good point. Although Anna's wardrobe is all around full of beautiful trendy pieces, whereas mine is half classic half sort-of-trendy. I think that in my case I will need to purchase (fewer) trendier pieces to compliment the core classics that I'll continue wearing. That way those pieces pack more trendy punch, rather than, say, coupling several sort-of-trendy items together.

    Laurie, I'm both an artist and an engineer (computer programmer actually). I tend to have a very particular artistic vision for where I want my style to go, then use my more analytical side to figure out how to accomplish that vision. The pieces themselves though, that fully goes back to my arty side.

    Mo, distillation mode is a great way of putting it. I'm feeling similar, partially due to my eclectic leanings getting a little too spread out, and partially due to sizing being off in my wardrobe (which is part of why I'm making alterations a priority this season, I just need to stick to it). I would be very happy to have more pieces like your 3 year old dress!

  • Transcona Shannon replied 6 years ago

    You have completely modernized the skirt with your stylings Aida - the outfit is gorgeous!

    I also really appreciated your musings. I also have significantly less funds available for clothes this fall/winter which is why I chose my "new" pieces to be the eileen fisher dark tulip items all found on eBay. But I will also be incorporating older pieces from my wardrobe and will be figuring out ways to make these seem fresh when mixed with my newer pieces. I'll be looking to you for all sorts of wonderful inspiration :)

  • replied 6 years ago

    I think this outfit is a new favourite for me  - the skirt is so different and the colours are not really season-specific.....excellent for the next month really.

    Reading your musings on how you will work through this coming f/w season, my first thought was that this coming season seems to have lots of footwear options that are fashion forward enough at lower prices - which is good news for everyone.  Layering seems to be a huge look still - which you are good at - and I think there looks to be a lot out there to work with. I'm typing this and it's not making sense :)  Regarding the whole alterations thing - I lost a bunch of weight a few years ago - down at least 2-3 sizes - and went nuts having my good things altered. Funny (sad) thing was - I never really wore any of them afterward.  Something about the change in them just didn't enthuse me enough  to keep them in rotation.  

    You may be satisfied enough with now much roomier we are wearing things now - and your older pieces will have a new look, albeit a little bigger on you.  

    Anyways - look forward to your posts as always...

  • Sal replied 6 years ago

    Great outfit!!

    Here are some alteration ideas....I may be off base - but this is what comes to mind.

    I wonder if you have older longer tunics or tops that could be cropped- they may be great for layering over other items.  A couple of seasons ago there wre lots of tunics around to wear with skinny jeans or leggings, cropped or reshaped they may work with skirts or cullottes or boyfriend style jeans.

    Or even older larger jackets that could be altered into waistcoats/vests- which seem to be a current look.

    Shoes to me make the biggest difference to a look, if these are fashion forward the whole outfit looks trendy.  In saying that I have plenty of classic shoe options that are not "trendy" now that I still wear and enjoy.  

  • jackiec replied 6 years ago

    OMG Aida I really really love this outfit. The side tuck is so current, and the booties are outstanding. But my fav is the overall colour scheme. I agree that you could really do no wrong with your outfits. Perhaps this little restriction will put your amazing creativity into overdrive and I expect we'll probably see some great stuff from you. I don't have any suggestions but look forward to what you pull out and the combinations that you make. This one is awesome.

  • Karie replied 6 years ago

    Fantastic outfit - I love those booties (wish they still had them in my size) and I really like the side semi tuck.
    I am also imposing a limited clothing budget on myself this fall, and am looking for ways to freshen up what I already have. I will add new things - it would be silly to tell myself that I'm not going to do that, because there's no way I'm buying nothing - but I need to be creative with the closet full of things I already own.

  • Aida replied 6 years ago

    Thank you ladies, more great insights!

    Lisa, the rub with the oversized clothing is that I bought them oversized when I was the size up, so they are now Truly Large. For some things this is just fine and I can work the Fashionably Oversized thing, but for others not so much (many of my jeans for example). I've been slow about replacing my quality essentials in my new size, but I do think there are a handful that I would continue to wear if I got the alterations they needed.

    Kiwigal, thanks for the more specific suggestions. I agree with you about shoes being key, and I do update my footwear seasonally. I hadn't thought about converting jackets to vests, that's an interesting option; many of the jackets that I'm not wearing are that cropped shrunken fit from a couple years back and I prefer longer vests, so I'll have to take a closer look to see if any would work.

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    I absolutely love this outfit. Gorgeous! 

    Does this skirt work with your blush jacket, or is that just pastel overkill? 

    I love your idea of trying to infuse your older pieces with a feeling of currency. I'll be following along with interest. 

    I have to admit that what Lisa said was true for me, too, when I lost weight. In my case some of the clothes that I had altered were older (really old) -- so that might explain things...but I just never loved them again the same way, even though they technically "fit" with the alterations. 

  • Aida replied 6 years ago

    Suz, I would definitely be happy to pair my blush jacket with this skirt! Great idea, I will give that a go. Regarding the alterations, the pieces I'm thinking of altering are those that I keep trying, feeling off in the fit, and putting back wishing that they were a size smaller; most of them are 3-4 years old, so rather recent. I've been good and purged most of the large items that I don't think I could make work, which was tough to do since I still liked a lot of them, and I could probably stand to do a bit more there. Interesting that both you and Lisa weren't feeling those items after alterations though. So I think I'll take one or two pieces only to start, see how I feel, and go from there.

  • shevia replied 6 years ago

    Well I jumped to the pictures and then headed straight back to the musings - no way was I going to skip that! I think that by limiting your choices you will actually find the whole thing very creatively stimulating and I have no doubt you will look as gorgeous and up to date as ever. Please do include your description of how you updated your old pieces when you post. I know I am not the only one that would love that.
    And, oh yeah, you look stunning in your outfit. 

  • Sveta replied 6 years ago

    I always love your musings Aida - on your oufits or on others'  - so bring them on!
    Lovely outfit in "moody" colors to match the gloomy day. I second Suz about blush moto with this skirt, should work quite well I think.
    I am in a similar boat to you now: more limited budget and a lot of older pieces which do not fit well anymore. This is really an unfortunate combination: such a justification to shop for a new clothing and no budget for it! :-(
    And I SOOO hear you on the oversized trend! Somehow it works into my falour with the tops - they are all stylishly fluid-bordering-on-oversiaed now - but completely agaist me for the bottoms. Almost all my trousers and jeans were on the "fluid" side to start with (and some were admittedly baggy) and now they are too oversized for my comfort zone. I am going into a cold season with no trousers which fit! I will see if alterations are possible - at least to tide me over until I save money for new things...

  • Aida replied 6 years ago

    Thanks Jaime and Sveta!

    Jaime, I'll start noting which items are old and new in my outfit posts :)

    Sveta, YES the pants are the real killer! Especially after I realized  that I don't really like slouchy skinnies any more; I like 'em properly skinny, and I have very few-to-none left. It's wonderful that your mom can help you alter those larger trousers for you, perhaps I should look into that for myself.

  • Emily replied 6 years ago

    Aida, you look fab and totally trendy as always.  I'm really looking forward to seeing how you remix your older pieces to look new.

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