Daily Outfit: 5/2/11

Red sweater, thrifted – similar
Oxford shirt, thrifted – similar
Skirt, Gap (no longer available) – same skirt on eBaysimilar
Boots, Indigo by Clarks – Proctor
Hoops, Patinasimilar

My back has been acting up again, so I’m going to try to limit my heels-based outfits a bit until it calms down again. Thank goodness I’ve some great pairs of flat boots to tide me over. Those of you with chronic back pain, does it exhaust you? I slept really well last night, but felt spectacularly tired all day today.

This outfit was inspired by the Land’s End Canvas spring catalog, which showed some of the most adorable laid-back preppy looks I’ve ever seen. I seldom gravitate towards prep – a look that dredges up memories of the snobby, cool-girl clique from my middle school – but something about those outfits called to me. And I reserve the right to dabble.

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  • Evelyn

    I have that same skirt in yellow, and I love it! It looks a lot less preppy and more whimsical in yellow. My favorite outfit with it also involves red and blue.

  • Amy Ellinger

    Yes, it is exhausting. Good shoes help! (And the Dr. Scholl’s for back pain inserts, especially in flats with no arch support) Not your usual style today, but I like it! Very cute change of pace. Love the boots- Clark’s rock.

  • I like your outfit ๐Ÿ™‚ Very pretty. And a does of preppy ^^
    I don’t have chronic back pain (phew!) but I earn my living researching it. There’s a lot to it, so I just hope you are in good medical care and get well soon ๐Ÿ™‚

  • OK, I love that preppy look on you, Sal. Field hockey anyone? LOL

  • I’ve had chronic back pain for 15 loooooong years so I wear flats 99% of the time. I appreciate any outfits with funky flat boot, shoes or sandals ๐Ÿ˜‰ Love your blog. Found out about you from Tracey from http://fashionforward40.com/, who also has great style ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • I like the preppy look, so I’ll have to check out the Canvas catalog. I always forget to shop at Land’s End since I tend to think of their brand as not fitting my style, but the Canvas line does have cute clothes.

  • Sorry you are having back problems…but you look awesome. The sweater is so flattering!!

  • Sal, have you tried a foam roller for rolling out tense muscles in your back? Its painful at first, once you do it for a while a couple times a week it can really help. I have scoliosis and notice a difference.
    LG

  • Kate K

    You’re right–it’s absolutely exhausting. I think because you’re always aware of it and just being in pain is tiring. And for me, my back feels better when I stand up which makes for a long day on your feet.

    And I love this look. You look totally chic (and I think the boots add a nice little edge.) The preppy look is my style guilty pleasure (of all the guilty pleasures…) and Lands End does it so well!

  • Amy

    Back problems are completely exhausting! I ended up having back surgery last year when the disc finally herniated after years of back muscle problems that gradually increased over time. I mostly stand at work now since I can’t sit for long, I can’t travel very far, and I sure won’t ever wear heels again. (Giving away all my beautiful shoes was painful!)

    But, you adjust, just like every other challenge in life! I’ve actually changed my wardrobe entirely over the past couple years in order to find new things that I love that don’t require heels. It’s a bit of an eye opener to realize how clothes and shoes really go together. But when life hand you lemons, you should make a gin & tonic and do things to remind yourself that you’re not actually an injury! For me, that’s re-inventing my style!

  • I find you completely adorable in prep – especially since we all know your other modes of dressing so well. Sorry about your back – that is just not fun at all.

  • Eleanorjane

    Hmm… preppy just reads bland to me. We don’t really do preppy in New Zealand. Your boots are cute tho. and I hope you feel better soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Erika A

    I really like this look! The red sweater makes it less pretty somehow than if it had been a pastel color.

    I have a BURNING question, though. I love this look on myself but whenever I wear a sweater over a button-down shirt, the outline of the placket is visible down the front of the sweater (unless it’s a very thick wool sweater). You seem to have avoided this issue – any tricks or tips? I’m large-busted but my button-downs are well-fitted – is the outline just going to be a consequence of having my figure? Thanks!

    • Sal

      Closer up, you CAN see the placket a bit. I think the thick sweater is pretty much the only natural way to make it work, but you could also try layering a close-fitting camisole over the shirt but under the sweater!

      • Erika A

        A camisole, interesting! I’ll try that on a cooler day – I think it would work if I were going to keep the sweater on all day. Thanks!

        Also, up above I *meant* to type “preppy” NOT “pretty”. Oops.

  • I second, third, fifth everyone who says that back pain is exhausting. It is so debilitating that you never feel like you’re getting proper rest–in fact, nothing feels proper! Good for you for adjusting your shoes–I didn’t when I was younger, but I do not, because I can’t risk not being able to walk again. Nice leg line not worth it!

  • Jen

    I’ve had to deal with bunions for the last five years, and I’ve since built up a sizeable collection of mid-heels that don’t bother my feet at all. (through lots of trial and error.) However, 7 weeks ago I decided to start running (c25k) and at week three, after testing out new heels, I stretched out a ligament in my knee. I’m okay now, thankfully, but I had to deal with constant pain for a couple of weeks, which increased every time I wore shoes AT ALL. If I went barefoot, I was fine. Considering how limited I was before by bunions, this was a HUGE shock for me. I just assumed I could run through the knee pain, as it had nothing to do with my feet, but I was totally wrong.

    I hope you find a solution for your back. Because your shoe collection in ten times as awesome as mine. (And mine is pretty awesome!)

  • Sarah

    I no longer have back pain, having given up heels entirely. I try to wear minimalist shoes all the time, although when it’s too cold for sandals or VFFs I wear my awesome Keens boots. I was really proud of myself for staying in all my super-cool heeled shoes all through my pregnancy (no foot swelling! yay me!) but then I paid for it during the birth and after, for a long time. Now if I wear even a 2″ heel for a special dinner out of something I totally feel it the next day, but the rest of the time I am completely pain-free. (The truly crappy part? I’m only 5’0″. I really *needed* those heels.)

    Honestly – back pain is mostly caused by heeled shoes and posture & gait that are out of whack with what your body is supposed to be doing… hate to say it but at some point you’ll probably have to choose between heels & health. Check out Katy Bowman’s site for great info on how to fix stuff (www.katysays.com – and no, I have no affiliation). Pity though, I love LOOKING at all your lovely heeled shoes and boots! They are so so pretty. But so so bad. But so so pretty.

  • Ah! Equestrian-Prep Chic. I absolutely love it. And I’m jealous you can wear a long sleeved shirt. I got to wear mine for about 3 weeks!

  • Susan

    You look great in this outfit! Sorry to hear about the back pain. My husband suffers from that and finds great relief icing it and getting regular massages from a physical therapist.

  • Mara T.

    I had the same experiences in high school it sounds like…the preppy kids were always such snobs. But sometimes preppy chic can be so cute and this outfit is a great example of it. Love it!

  • I love this preppy look! I think once you get out of high school (and possibly college), dabbling is so much easier… Like you live through 18-23 years of fitting in this box just to be able to look like whatever you want somedays.

  • Jen

    I am so glad to see you are with me on the obsession with the spring Land’s End! I got it and fairly ruined the pages with drool:). I think I circled pretty much every item in it, in all the bright colors. It is pretty, bright, and preppy all in one. Perfect for my job, running around with our son, and summer parties. I love a bohemian look, but when it comes to pulling something together for work at 5am, prep is easy-peasy. This outfit is so adorable! What I love most is that it looks springy, yet is warm at the same time:)

  • Me

    I love the preppy look, and yes I have ongoing issues with back pain because I was in a car accident. I find that omega 3 supplements, soothing herbal teas, and a very hard mattress help. I need a lot more sleep these days than ever before too.

  • Anna

    Preppy is really cute on you, though I don’t see you cultivating it as an everyday look. I can’t wear preppy at all (thank goodness I don’t especially wish to) because it makes me look like a dried-up grim no-nonsense Scout leader (apologies to all the chic and youthful Scout leaders out there; I’m just resorting to a tired old stereotype) instead of the well-ripened slightly blowsy artsy experienced woman/lady look I try to cultivate and may possibly achieve in my lifetime.

    Feel better, Sal — and do rethink those heels, as suggested by some commenters above.

  • Hey! I have that same skirt in white! Bought it eons ago and just pulled it out of my closet recently. The fit isn’t very flattering on me, and I’ll probably have to let it go so another lucky lady can give it some love.

  • Gianna

    I just bought that skirt at a thrift store! Thanks for giving me an outfit idea that might be tolerable in the still-chilly weather. ANY pain is exhausting! Swimming (or even just floating in a pool!) can help many types of back pain; the swimming itself strengthens your back and core muscles but just being suspended in the water can do wonders for relieving the stress on your muscles and skeleton. I hope you are pain-free soon.