Friday, April 9, 2010

Brushing the Dust Off


navy cotton blazer (Gap Outlet)
navy print shift dress (H&M)
brown woven belt (Forever 21)
brown wedge sandals (Old Navy)

If you are anything like me, you have several items in your closet that hang there and collect dust. You liked the item in the store. You liked the idea of incorporating it into your wardrobe. But now that you own it, you can never quite figure out how to wear it.

Until recently, that was the case for this blue cotton blazer. When I saw it for only $7, I couldn't possibly pass it up. It fit perfectly... except the sleeves were at least a half inch too short. At the time, I thought I'd wear it with button down shirts that had a longer sleeve, and it would mitigate the problem. I haven't executed that plan, though, and I could count on one hand the number of times I've worn this jacket.

Lately, I've been seeing a lot more blazers with cropped sleeves. I've also been noticing that part of the "boyfriend dressing" trend Anne-Marie tried out recently includes wearing a blazer with the sleeves cuffed. I thought I'd give that look a try with this jacket. I was really pleased with the result! In my opinion, it would have looked better if the jacket had a nice lining, but beggars can't be choosers. I'm not sure why I felt like the belt was necessary, but I do think it looks better with the belt. I've been thinking about Katie's recent post about fashion talismans, and I think the belt must be mine. For some reason, I think an outfit looks more "complete" once I've belted it. What will I do when belting goes out of style? What did I do before I belted everything? I'm not sure.
In contrast to the blazer, this dress is one of the major staples in my wardrobe. It's a simple cotton shift with a somewhat crazy pattern: is this geometric? or floral? It looks like both. I can wear this dress to work by itself or with a cardigan, I'm wearing it more like a skirt in this photo, and I wore it to several weddings last summer, too. I wish I'd purchased a cotton shift to serve as one of my first wardrobe staples after graduating from undergrad. I probably would have chosen a solid jewel tone for that purpose, though.

  • Have you ever found ways to re-purpose items you rarely wore before? If so, share your secrets!
  • Should I have forgone the belt with this look? Does anyone share my belt addiction?
  • Do you own a shift dress? Are there any other ways to wear this look that I haven't thought of yet?