Winter silhouette 3: Everything over narrow

Winter silhouette 3: Everything over narrow

In the interest of keeping it realistic, this third and last “silhouette” for this winter is also pants-based — I’ll save learning how to wear skirts and dresses (and finding time to make them) for spring. So there were the skinny pants and the wide-cropped pants, and here we have the pants in between: a narrower shape that’s still a bit cropped but straight in the lower leg. This includes the made-in-L.A. Point Sur/J.Crew jeans I mentioned in the last post as well as a pair of awesome tobacco-colored men’s chinos from the unworn pile in my closet, which I’m having altered. I often buy men’s pants because they fit me better in the rise and lower leg than narrow-cut women’s pants, which seem to be made for people with no calves. However, men’s pants are generally too wide in the thigh. In high school, I was in the habit of reshaping the legs myself, as well as hemming them, but the fact is I hate hemming and would way rather pay someone to do it. If it costs me fifteen or twenty bucks to take these pants from never-worn to always-worn, so be it! (But before this year is out, I’m vowing to attempt to sew a pair of pants for myself.)

Here’s the amazing thing I’ve discovered: this whole wardrobe planning thing works! Thinking it through like this, I zeroed in on a few very high-impact pants decisions — buying a new pair of jeans (the right pair!) to replace the two failing pair, buying the wide-cropped pants I’ve been yearning for that give a whole different look to things, and altering the unworn chinos, which are another welcome alternative to jeans. And by thinking through the tops and narrowing it down to things that really work in combination with each other, I landed on these three pieces that really are amazing building blocks. You can take any of the top combos from all three of these winter silhouette posts and put them with any of the pants — the only exception being the boxy pullovers on their own, which isn’t an option with the skinny pants. But basically now the pieces I own and the few pieces I’m making add up to an incredible number of possible outfits, whereas before it was all missed connections.

I finished the first version of the woven pullover over the weekend and will post details on that soon, and have gotten Bob’s sweater to the point where I can imagine reaching the end of it, at which point I’ll cast on my quick little black sweater. And in the meantime, there will be tunics. But already, it’s way easier to get dressed in the morning.

It occurs to me I also apparently mean to only wear one pair of boots this winter: I drew every one of these outfits with the same combat boots. But for a lot of these looks, all that’s needed when transitional season comes is a change of footwear.

So almost two years after tearing it all up (gawd, I just reread that post — wow) I finally feel like I’m getting the upper hand over my closet again.


PREVIOUSLY in Wardrobe Planning: Winter silhouette 2: Boxy over wide-cropped

12 thoughts on “Winter silhouette 3: Everything over narrow

  1. I can’t tell you how much these posts have helped me see what I need too. Do the boxy tops not work on their own because they are cropped? I didn’t understand that part. Your new top looks great!

    • Oh, they definitely work on their own — just not with the skinny pants from silhouette 1. In that case, they need something long under them to cover my bum.

  2. All your silhouette thinking has got me thinking about silhouettes and proportion and balance. Very fun to look at my clothes with a new eye.

  3. I also need to follow the CYA club. I am on the lookout for a long white silky blouse as worn in the BT 2016 collection. Lightweight to fit under a bulky sweater and not get too crinkly as in cotton. Thanks for inspiring!

  4. I made a plaid Archer without a collar. I just finished it with the collar stand and it’s top button. I also added length so it’s more on the tunic side. I am loving the way it looks under my sweaters. Just a peek of shirt at the top instead of a whole collar really makes it work. I’m going to try it again with another fabric.

    Those jeans are great looking. Do you wear socks that show above the boots or keep it bare skin?

    • A band-collar Archer is on my goals list! And I’m trying to learn to wear socks, but after decades of avoiding them, it’s really hard. They just look so dowdy to me. So I mostly stick with bare ankles. (Below freezing all day here today, and there they are.)

  5. I agree with others that watching you work through this has been very instructive and inspiring for me. Do you own the turtleneck bulky – looking pullover you’ve sketched above? I am just finishing the second sleeve on Isabel Kraemer ‘ s Mailin which has a similar vibe and look forward to wearing it endlessly–is a terrific pattern. Finally, I too would love to know what shirt is under many of those new BT sweaters! Do you have an “in” with Jared by any chance?? Said it before–will say it again–you are my “maker” hero! Thanks…

    • I do own that turtleneck — bought it in the men’s department at H&M when they opened the first store in NY in 2002. It’s a gem, and when it reaches its demise, I’ll knit its twin.

  6. Yes, it’s fascinating and educational to watch you wardrobe-plan! Now I’m enormously curious to see how these outfits look “for real”. Some sketches I get immediately, but for others I feel like I need more of the specific details of color, texture and drape to understand how the whole ensemble works. I get the impression that OotD posts might be outside your comfort zone/blog vision, but any chance of a roundup of a few (favorite?) realized outfits at the end of the season?

  7. Pingback: Summer silhouette 1: Dresses with sweaters | Fringe Association

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