October 20, 2010


I realized  today that my outfit contains a number of foundational elements of my style that have been consistent over the last 3-4 years. It's an outfit of plain basics that I wear all the time.

I've had the coat since 2005. I got it on my first trip to Chicago on my first visit ever to an H&M, imagine that... There were no H&M stores in San Diego back in those years of the ancient past! It was the only "real coat" I owned, and it spent most of the year in the closet. Actually, it hung from a decorative hook on the wall inside a giant black wooden empty frame next to Mike's vintage fur collar coat in a similar decorative set-up, because we decorate our home with clothing and accessories.

It truly never got that cold in my past life. The coat was with me when I first visited Minneapolis to check out the school I now attend, and it's still holding up quite well for something of it's provenance. It's sturdy and durable. I believe H&M used to be better quality in earlier years. I got it out today thinking, "shouldn't this be dated and unwearable by now?" which is a thought that is also kind of disgusting for what it reflects about fashion culture.

I still love the shape and style. Puff shoulders, high neck, A-line shape. My only thought on it's eventual departure from my life is that one day I might like to replace it with something made of a nicer wool. Namely any of these Jil Sander coats from 2008, which are among my favorites of all time.
 Until I can afford/actually find one of the above (this may never happen), though, I've got a trusty standby for days that start chilly and warm up to the 50s/60s.

The rest of this outfit is just how I like things: basic and unadorned. I am also into this mixture of a cream/offwhite with stark white. Black, taupe, and charcoal gray will never be wrong. I like to be match-y, as I've mentioned before.

The new things from this year are the shoes. I decided to let myself buy a black and a white pair of sandal wedges this summer, planning to wear both through the fall with tights. Until this year I had mostly thrifted summer shoes, and wanted to have a little more polish when it comes to footwear. For fall, I allowed myself these black leather oxfords, which are what I wore to walk around campus today.

I realized how strongly this outfit represents my style when I noticed that I could wear almost any of the shoes I own with it, and that, depending on the choice, the shoes could take it in a slightly different direction.

The cardigan is my only cashmere item, and it's (I guess quite old) Alexander Wang that I found secondhand at Buffalo Exchange in MN. It's a pretty basic cardigan, but I fell for these big metal buttons on white grosgrain ribbon and decided I could part with $30 for it.

The scarf above is unbranded from a small boutique in San Diego which used to be Kate Ross Shoes, but I hear is now the furniture/design store Pigment. I don't know if they still carry these, but when I shopped there they always had an amazing collection of scarves.

I quite like that this outfit contains elements from some memorable adventures. I try not to store too many memories in my clothes, though. It seems a precarious place. I guess since I'm writing about such shit here, if I ever have to part with my things at least there is an archive.


Charlotte said...

Your white shoes are beautiful and that cashmere cardigan - amazing, so jealous! Love that your nail varnish matches it perfectly - details, details!

I'm sure you are right about h&m dropping in quality... so often now I love a design but I'm not going to walk around in acrylic or viscose all day! It is a shame.

Charlotte xx

The Style Rail

Ginta said...

I agree about H&M quality. I had an amazing coat from them some 7 years ago - perfect cut & material but now I can bet I couldn't get there anything so good!
I love your cardigan - it perfect! :)