Fashion (My Style) · Simply Wardrobing

[Simply Wardrobing] Building my Fall 2016 Wardrobe Part 1

So, remember all those lessons I talked about in my last post?  Specifically #3, when I said the following:

[T]he most logical “line of demarcation” date [for Fall] here in the Midwest is Labor Day (which conveniently coincides with some great sales/deals). So that became my deadline, and I have stuck to it. I am done shopping for clothing for my Fall 2016 wardrobe, and will not start browsing again until my Winter 2017 wardrobe planning, which will start on December 11th.

Yeah. That. Well, I should really have known better than to make such lofty claims, having lived in Michigan for the past 5+ years. Just two-and-a-half weeks after I posted that sham of a statement, Michigan send me a rude reminder of just why I cannot count on specific dates to delineate when my wardrobe revision occurs…namely in the form of temperatures dropping from highs in the upper 70s/lower 80s to the 60s. So last week was a mad flurry of jacket/sweater/sweatshirt retrieval from storage.

Signs of Fall approaching…the Canadian Geese Apocalypse…

How could I have forgotten what real Michigan fall weather is like? I guess the abnormally HOT Michigan summer REALLY threw me off course. #whattheheckMichigan

So, yes…we are revisiting/revising my wardrobe once again.
It’s a good thing I enjoy this process so much.

Step #1: Sorting, Sorting, Sorting…

Being that this isn’t my first “simply wardrobing” rodeo, I completely skipped over the “systematic purgeology” portion of my closet revamping process. But there was still some amount of de-cluttering and sorting that needed to be done. Since I had already started preparing my Fall wardrobe, I didn’t feel it necessary to empty out my closet this time. I simply pulled out the items I already had planned on putting into storage once the chillier weather arrived. They are…

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“Factory Stripe V Back Tee” Shirt in dark blue (Banana Republic) & “AEO Stripe Oversized T-shirt” in True Black (American Eagle Outfitters) – These two tops are fairly similar to me…oversized, baggy, but really flows off of my body like cascading waterfalls. The problem? The material is too thin and the cut too wide for them to be good layering pieces for Michigan fall. But I will be putting them away and  revisiting these two next summer. Love, love, LOVE them!

“Vanessa Virginia Ladder Lace Tunic” (Anthropologie) – This one is pretty self-explanatory. Sleeveless and sheer, it’s just not a practical choice…even for layering. But this is one I am most definitely keeping, as it will probably be one of those spring/summer pieces that I can even wear in the early days of pregnancy and as I start losing baby weight.

“AEO Plaid Boyfriend Shirt” in White (American Eagle Outfitters) – I loved this button up shirt during the summer months, as it allowed me to layer over tanks and even t-shirts and still allow the slightest of summer breezes to flow through and keep me cool. However, it is that very detail of this shirt that has forced me to tuck it away for the cooler months.

“The Cotton Tank” in White & “The Cotton Heather Tank” in Gray (Everlane) – When I purchased these, the plan was to use them as layering pieces with my button down shirts. But once temperatures dropped to the 60s, I realized that this was not a realistic plan. I needed sleeves on my layering pieces. But I do love the feel and cut of these tank tops, and they will be a wonderful addition to next summer’s wardrobe.

“Audio Tee” 3/4 Sleeve Shirt in Belridge Stripe (Madewell) – With the 3/4 sleeves, you would think this to be a great layering piece for Fall. The problem with this shirt is that it is slightly cropped around the waist with these slits up the sides. I just can’t wear this shirt without the chiller Fall winds hitting my bare skin around my waist. But I do love it for warmer temperatures, and so will be putting it away for the next 6 months (because Michigan winters like to hang around for about that long, it seems).

“Whisper Cotton V-Neck Pocket Tee” T-shirts in Heather Gray, Dark Plum, and Halden Stripe (Madewell) – These are possibly the BEST t-shirts I have EVER owned for summer months. They are the perfect cut, are thin but not sheer, and goes with practically any of my bottoms! In fact, I decided that I wanted to prolong the life of these t-shirts by putting them away for the colder months (the deep v-neck really doesn’t appeal to me for icy Michigan winter winds anyway).

“Pocket Jean Vest” (Madewell) & Utility Vest (J.Crew Factory) – Great in concept for layering, but just like I mentioned with the Everyone tank tops, I am faced with the reality that a sleeveless vest is not something that works well for me (who gets cold really easily…sometimes I really believe that I’m part amphibian) in these next colder months. I love ya guys, (especially you, denim vest)…but see you in Spring 2017!

“Tencel® Utility Joggers” in Black Moss (GAP) – These were a late summer purchase that seriously saved me in the blistering abnormally hot August heat. They are possibly the most comfortable, cooling pair of pants I could have asked for. However, they are definitely a seasonal piece (for summer), and will be packed away to save me from summer heat again next year.

Mini-Stripe T-Shirt Dress (GAP) – I don’t know why, but I never included this dress in my Summer 2016 Wardrobe blog posts. I simply could not find one post that mentions this dress, which is funny because it was seriously a majorly AWESOME dress. It was lightweight, fit so well, was beyond comfortable, and was a serious contender for THE favorite piece of the summer. This is a dress that I don’t want to over wear, so I am putting it away until next spring/summer.


Shoes: “Aldo Precenico Flat Sandal” in Cognac (DSW), “Andre Assous ‘Anie’ Espadrille Wedge” in Black (Nordstrom Rack), “Reebok Skyscape Harmony Slip-On Walking Shoe” in Black (DSW) – These are the shoes that cannot be worn with socks, and therefore will be heading to the storage bin to ride out the cold and wait for warmer weather to arrive when I can start wearing shoes without socks again.

[Not Pictured] “AEO Denim X Hi-Rise Jegging” in Bright Star (American Eagle Outfitters) – I actually sent these to Madewell last week for their “Do Well: Denim Recycling” program. They were a great pair of jeans, but simply too big by the time I sent them. I could have saved these in my long-term storage as an “in-between weight” piece (more on that in a minute), but getting $20 off on a pair of Madewell Jeans in December/January was too good a deal to pass up.

The following items are ones I am putting into long-term storage, as they became too big for me (continuing the baby weight loss saga). If I were to stick to the true spirit of capsule wardrobes/simple wardrobing, I would be giving these away. But since I’m not quite done dreaming of having baby #2 (God willing), I wanted to hold onto both my maternity clothes as well as my “in-between” postpartum clothes.

1)  “Anthem Scoop Tank Top” in True Black (Madewell)
2)  “Factory Linen-Blend Tank” in Light Grey (GAP Factory)
3)  “Factory Malibu V-Neck Tee” T-shirt in dark red (Banana Republic)
4) “Girlfriend twill stripe chino”in Mission Tan (GAP)
5)  about 4 other v-neck t-shirts that I will not attempt to differentiate

Step #2: Reintroduction of Seasonal Items

So once I had put away the Spring/Summer items, it was time to delve deep into the treasure trove of Fall/Winter items I had stored away. As I began to go through these items one-by-one, my love of Fall weather outfitting started sparking and rekindling into a blazing fire of excitement and joy.

Seriously…how had I forgotten just how much I loved layering pieces?
This is why I love Fall fashion so much!!

So here are the pieces I pulled out of storage…

Chambray Shirt from J. Crew Factory – I was definitely tempted to give this piece away and get a more updated version. But I decided to give it a go for at least a couple of weeks in my rotation…and fell in love with it ALL. OVER. AGAIN!! There’s a reason that during my “age of chambray,” this was the one I tended to wear more than the others. Welcome back, my micro dotted chambray shirt! I have missed you.


Chambray Shirt Dress from Banana Republic Factory – So since I loved my micro dotted chambray shirt so much, when I laid eyes on this shirt dress a little while after (still 3 years ago), I knew I had to have it. The best thing about this shirt dress is that it can be worn as a long tunic shirt over leggings or skinny jeans or simply as a dress. I’ve worn it and love it both ways.


Buffalo Plaid Flannel Button Down Shirt from Old Navy – This is quite possibly the ONLY purchase from Old Navy that has and will make it back into my closet from storage. While prices are phenomenal, the quality of Old Navy pieces are less than stellar. The only reason this one remains is because I have not yet found a flannel buffalo plaid shirt to replace it. It was fairly new when I put it away into storage, so I didn’t see a need to rush my purchase of another one. But once I find another one that I LOVE and is of better quality, this one will be laid to rest.

Polka Dotted Popover Shirt from J. Crew Factory & White Tunic Popover Shirt from Madewell – These shirts have been in a trial phase longer than any other item in my closet. I’ve been noticing that my affinity for white in my wardrobe is dwindling. No, it has nothing to do with that old adage that we should never wear white after Labor Day. It’s more of the “I have a really messy toddler that loves to give big hugs” line of thinking. But the fit and versatility of the “white shirt” (in two different forms) has definitely caught my fancy, and they have both survived my last purge. Besides, if either ever become unwearable due to toddler staining, I can remove them from my collection then.


Striped Boyfriend Fit Button Down Shirt from GAP – This is by far my favorite shirt in my closet right now. The fit, the stripes, and the length simply goes with practically anything else in my closet at the moment. It has that “it looks like I actually tried to style this outfit but I really just threw it on” vibe every time I wear it. And wouldn’t you know that my favorite shirt in my closet was actually picked out by my husband years ago (back when I wasn’t really into button down shirts, but reluctantly gave into his suggestion). He’s a real catch, that one is…and so is this shirt he picked out.

Denim Jacket from American Eagle – When I purchased this about 4 years ago and (at FULL PRICE!!), I promised myself it would be a piece I would probably wear for many years to come (as long as they lasted). I have definitely kept true to my word with my AE denim jacket (classic style that continues to thrill me to wear it). I mean…seriously! Look at it! Couldn’t ask for a better fit and wash.


Utility Jacket from J. Crew  – My J.Crew utility jacket (purchased 2 years ago) on the other hand may not stand the test of time QUITE as long (namely due to the bulky collar with a foldable hood inside that really strains my neck sometimes), but will at least remain for this year without fear of being replaced.


BDG Long Chunky Cotton Cardigan from Urban Outfitters – This is definitely a guilt keep for my wardrobe. I purchased this one three years back (again at full price) at Urban Outfitters because I was looking for an oversized chunky knit cardigan…and this one seemed to fit the bill. Since it is functional and versatile, it remains in my closet. I like it, but I don’t love it. Cotton isn’t the best material for keeping one insulated and warm in Michigan. And this one is fairly heavy. If I were to find an oversized wool cardigan that is similar in size and fit, but a tad lighter in feel and weight, this will probably be leaving my closet. But, I’m satisfied for the time being with how this cardigan works for me.


Cropped Chunky Cotton Sweater (gifted from S. Korea) – This was a gift from my sister that she brought back with her from her stint in the motherland. She found it in a Korean thrift store, and it is seriously one of my favorite sweaters I’ve ever owned. It is a boxier cut and can be worn with jeans with a button-down or layering tee underneath or even over a dress. The versatility is a HUGE plus! Unfortunately, I can definitely tell that this sweater isn’t going to last me much longer. I’m hoping to get one last fall and winter out of it before having to replace it. We shall see what happens.

Quilted Leather-Look Jacket from Forever21, Striped Blazer from South Korea, & White Trech Coat from South Korea – These are my three jackets I have included in my wardrobe. I have other coats in our front closet that I don’t necesarily include in my Fall 2016 Wardrobe (outerwear usually doesn’t count towards capsule wardrobes), but these three are ones I decided to include as layering pieces to add further interest and options for possible outfits. Eventually, I would like to purchase better quality versions (i.e. a real leather jacket, a longer blazer, and a more fitted trench coat) to replace these. But knowing what that would cost, those purchases are probably going to happen way way WAY in the future (and one quality piece at a time). Until then, I am pretty happy with these pieces.

Hunter Rain Boots – The only saving grace for this suddenly chilly and WET weather (5 days straight of rain) is the fact that my Hunter boots are wearable again…both due to my weight loss and the fact it is pouring rain outside. The soles are already starting to show signs of some definite wear, but that just means that these are a favorite piece and extremely functional.

[Not Pictured] Black Leather Tall Boots by Sole Society – These are another pair of boots that I had to put in storage soon after I purchased it, all thanks to pregnancy weight. But now that I’m almost back to my size/weight when I purchased them, they fit almost just right (maybe a LIIIIIITTLE tight on me…but not uncomfortable at all). I’m so glad I don’t have to purchase new tall black boots this year.

[Not Pictured] Walking Sneakers by New Balance – These shoes were worn CONSTANTLY last Fall through Spring when I needed a break from my regular boots regimen. I put them away for the summer because they were honestly just too heavy and hot to wear. But I knew I would want to pull them out again for the Fall. I gave them a good wash, and they will probably last me at least one more year.

Honestly, the closet I ended up with even before starting to consider what new items I wanted to add was pretty much sufficient. While I do need a few warmer pieces, between the staple pieces I’m keeping from my Summer Wardrobe and the seasonal ones I pulled out, I have a pretty workable closet.

But, of course, a few more key pieces would definitely increase the versatility…
as long as I chose them wisely.

So next week, I will give you run down of those few new pieces I have added to increase the warming element as well versatility of my wardrobe, along with a final look at my Fall 2016 collection. Eventually, I will be posting some of my favorite outfits with the general “formula” I follow in putting them together.

Until then, keep on living to learn and love!  ❤


2 thoughts on “[Simply Wardrobing] Building my Fall 2016 Wardrobe Part 1

  1. Great job, Lydia! Your posts are always so well done and inspirational. Great timing, too, since I have had “closet” on my “to do” list for about a month now. I’m taking today off and now I can’t wait to get to it!

    Also, wanted to let you know I dropped off the Cajon in your office (sp?) for AnnaMaria yesterday;)

    Have a great Wed!!


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