Dressed for: Undone Comfort

Already Pretty outfit featuring military jacket, sweater tunic, leggings, Fiorentini + Baker Eternity boots, Rebecca Minkoff Logan bag

Jacket – thrifted – similar
Tunic – H&Msimilar
Leggings – Huesimilar
Boots – Fiorentini + Baker Eternity via eBay
Bag – Rebecca Minkoff Logan (no longer available) – similar
Earrings – Corset
Necklaces – Etsysimilar look

I tend to like things neat and tidy. Over the years, I’ve had to adjust my expectations because the world is not a neat and tidy place. My hair is not a neat and tidy ecosystem. And these boots – which have been on my wishlist for more than five years and got nabbed six months ago on eBay – are meant to be kinda undone and messy looking. They scrunch and pucker and the straps curl and stick out on everyone. And seeing as they’re comfy and gorgeous, I’m happy to let them do their thing.

How are you with clothes that look naturally undone or messy? I’m sure some of you can tolerate wrinkled linen – it drives me batty, and I just avoid the stuff. Scarf ties? Distressed jeans? Anything that’s kind of sloppy by nature but just works for you?

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Insomniac Sale Picks: Office-appropriate Ankle Pants

*In this late-night feature – which will run on Tuesday and Thursday of each week – I’ll gather up three fun items that are currently on sale online and share them with you! I would LOVE suggestions: Stylish wide-width pumps? Classic v-necked sweaters? Chandelier earrings? Petite dress slacks? What would you like to see featured?*

Jessica requested a few picks for office-appropriate ankle pants, so here we go:

bistro

Boden Bistro Crop Trouser – was $138, now $59.84 – $117.30
with code H4F4

Boden has been doing this crop for several years running, and each season brings a new batch of colors and patterns. This fall, we’ve got a couple of plaids, polka dots, a floral, dark leopard print, five solids, and this subtle metallic jacquard. Fiber content varies by color, so do peek at the “Details” tab. Available in sizes 2 – 18, including some long lengths. Also in petite 2P -10P. JCPenney has a variety of colors and prints in sizes 16W – 24W.

nic zoe

Nic + Zoe Silvia Perfect Pant – was $118, now $29.99 – $36.99

Jessica specifically mentioned that skin-tight ankle pants are right out, and this pair features more of a straight-leg style. They’re a rayon/cotton blend, so hopefully fairly wrinkle-resistant. And I love the clean front, pocketless styling. Available in this red as well as tan, khaki, black, and mint green in sizes 2 – 16. Size availability varies by color. For another straight-leg option, this Charter Club pair comes in ivory and navy. This style is a little slimmer but comes in a similar array of colors in sizes 14W – 26W.

ck ankle pant Calvin Klein Women’s Slim-Fit Suit Pant- was $89, now $59.93

This shape is my favorite: Not too skinny, but a little slimmer than a straight- leg. This is a poly/rayon blend, so not wool suiting, but should have some give to it and a nice hand. And another pocketless front for a smooth fit. Available in sizes 2 – 14. This similar pair is available in 14W – 24W.

Other not-currently-on-sale resources for office-appropriate ankle pants:

  1. J.Crew – The vast majority of styles offered are cropped or ankle length. The cult-favorite Minnie is probably a bit tight for more conservative offices, but the slim styles offer a looser fit.
  2. Loft – Prints and solids in regular, petite, and tall lengths. This plaid pair comes in three cuts so you can pick a style that works with your curves.
  3. Piperlime – Check the “trouser” section for cropped pants in slim, wide, pleated, and flat styles. I’m very tempted by these slouchy stretch wool ankle pants.

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

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The Dangers of Pre-made Outfits

closet

Over the summer, I worked with several clients who chose to organize their closets into complete outfits. They’d hang a cardigan, tank, and skirt together, or a sweater and coordinating pants, or a dress with a blazer and scarf. Since most of us have experienced Morning Wardrobe Panic – you’ve got 10 minutes to get dressed, swing open the closet doors, and experience brain freeze – this tactic may sound incredibly appealing. And if you’re in possession of a smallish wardrobe and aren’t a frequent shopper, it can be very valuable. But in other cases, it can be somewhat counterproductive. And here’s why:

It’s harder to see what you’ve got

If you hang a blazer over a blouse, all you’ll see is the blazer. In a large closet, that blouse may be totally forgotten. And since many outfits are born when we see various garments hanging near each other and creating visual pairings, masking garments can force you to lose out on remixing options. It generally helps to be able to SEE as much of your wardrobe as possible. Hanging completed outfits makes this difficult.

It encourages single-outfit thinking

When we buy complete outfits from the store, it can sometimes be hard to remember that those pieces can be worn separately with other clothes from our closets. Something similar happens when you hang outfits: You group those items together mentally, and it becomes increasingly difficult to imagine them working in other ways.

It may cause you to shop more often and less effectively

This ties into the visibility issue, of course, but deserves its own moment in the spotlight. If you can’t see that black-and-white houndstooth silk shell hanging in your closet because it’s hidden under a cardigan, you may end up buying a different black-and-white printed sleeveless top that essentially fills the same spot. Even a mindful shopper who limits her purchases to holes in her current wardrobe may end up doubling up when she can’t see and easily access what she’s already got.

If you hang pre-made outfits in your closet and love this system, there’s an easy way to avoid these pitfalls: Once the outfit has been worn twice, break it apart. In most cases, completed outfits are born when we wear items in combination and love them together. So, wear them together on discovery, wear again after they’ve been hung grouped, and THEN separate the items so they’re part of the general pool again.

Another option that can help those who don’t want to lose great outfit ideas after two wears? Photograph your outfits and keep the photos printed in your closet or easily accessible on your phone. So after an outfit has gotten its two wears and a couple of months have passed, you can find and revive it again.

Who out there hangs completed outfits? Do you feel like these limitations apply to your own system? Other workarounds to suggest so that hanging grouped outfits is more efficient? Let us know in the comments!

Image courtesy Emily May

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