In my cart: all things autumn

autumn-wish-list.jpg

Every year, when fall comes around, I want to add ALL THE THINGS to my wardrobe. Without fail. I did a lot of shopping last month—some of what I bought was in preparation for my 30th birthday trip and some of what I bought was to welcome in the new season and freshen up my wardrobe (you may recall the striped tee and jeans I wore in this post). I’m trying not to shop too much right now as I let my bank account recover from all the recent spending (my current style sudoku is helping me stay in check for the most part), but I can’t help but swoon at all the new goodies being released by my favorite retailers!

I did recently place an order for the new ReNew fleece raglan sweatshirt by Everlane. I love the oat color, and it sold out so quickly in the oversized sweatshirt style that they released last year that I pounced on this new version. I appreciate that this sweatshirt doesn’t have dropped shoulders, which can sometimes make my already broad shoulders look like I’m wearing football shoulder pads…

I also was intrigued by Nisolo’s Amalia all weather boots that were released a week ago. Stylish boots that I could wear in any weather?! Sign me up! I know, I really don’t need another pair of boots (they’re starting to take over my closet…), but I made an exception for this pair because they’re functional. I ordered them in the beautiful brandy colorway shown above; fingers crossed I love them!

Continuing the weatherproof trend… I’ve had the Aquatalia Tilly weatherproof boots on my to-buy list since they were included in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale at 30% off. I didn’t pounce because I figured they would make it to deeper sale later this fall. The only problem I’m having now is deciding on a color! I was originally set on the grey colorway but now think the chocolate brown would go with more in my closet. Agh! Also, Everlane just released their new ReDown line of coats, and I’m sure tempted by them. I don’t know why but I have a harder time spending $150+ on a coat than I do on boots. Please remind me that I wear my coats just as much as boots if not more often! Plus, most of my existing coats are not warm enough to for any given winter day, and it’d be nice to have truly warm coats.

Other items I have my eyes on: a chunky cropped cardigan (there was a very similar one released in the summer with a crewneck that sold out in one weekend) and dark green flannel shirt (with buttons down the back!) by Madewell. I also love my tortoiseshell Air Heart sunglasses by Le Specs so much that I’m seriously considering buying them in black. I’ve had mine for a couple of years now and never noticed that they had a gold stripe across the top until recently!

A random thought: I think one of the things I’ll add to my next wardrobe plan (here’s my plan for 2019) is to “think weather appropriate”—we do get precipitation, especially in the transitional seasons, so I may as well embrace that and build my wardrobe up with pieces I don’t have to worry about getting wet. I’ve been planning my daily style sudoku outfit around whether or not it’s going to rain because I included shoes that would probably get ruined in the rain! I’d much rather not have to constantly think about what shoes or jackets/coats I can get wet and which I can’t.

October Style Sudoku

October Style Sudoku: 16 items, 14+ outfits — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

It’s my fourth and final style sudoku of the year! I have challenged myself to do a style sudoku in each season this year after taking a break from style challenges. I put together my winter version in January, my spring version in April, my summer version in July, and now I’m back with my fall version! Out of all the wardrobe remixes out there, style sudokus are my favorite. As a huge sudoku nerd, they’re fun for me to put together and just as much fun to wear. The goal is to play around with what’s already in my closet—and it usually helps curb my spending, too, though not always. ;)

A style (or wardrobe) sudoku is exactly what it sounds like if you’re familiar with sudoku the puzzle. Basically, you choose four tops, four bottoms, four pairs of shoes, and four other items (accessories, jewelry, outerwear, etc.) and arrange them in a 4x4 grid so each row, column, and corner makes a complete outfit. (You can also make outfits out of the diagonals and the inner “squares” of the two middle rows if you’re so inclined!) In my past style sudoku challenges, I shared the diagonal outfits, too, even though diagonals aren’t technically included in a real sudoku. This gives me 14 outfits total.

October Style Sudoku clothing picks — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

Back to cool weather means back to a darker color palette. I picked primarily black items—there are six total—and added accents of cream, olive, rusty brown, and denim blue. I only picked one patterned item this time around and only two layering pieces (vest and faux leather jacket). Hopefully I won’t feel too bored of these pieces by the end since they’re all pretty simple.

When it came to selecting items, I focused on how I wanted to feel this fall: comfy and cozy. That meant soft tops (flannel shirt, sweatshirt, sweaters), stretchy jeans, and shoes that feel good on my feet. I wasn’t planning on selecting only denim bottoms for this sudoku. I tried on my black paperbag pants and my brown wide leg pants but they didn’t look quite right with these shoe options (or any others that I was considering). I made sure I had at least one different denim silhouette to mix it up a little bit. As usual, deciding what “accessories” to select was the hardest part. I don’t like to select jewelry because it feels like a cop out, but I felt pretty limited with the layering options considering the tops I wanted to wear.

As I did for my previous sudokus, I’ll be breaking down what I wear into three different blog posts over the next two weeks and detail what I did on each day, how the outfit worked for those activities, and the weather. As of right now, we have multiple days with precipitation in the forecast, but only one day looks to be really rainy. I didn’t want to wear my rain boots again (as much as I love them) so hopefully my shoe picks will work out this time around. We’ll see!

Below the sudoku, you can find the details of all 16 items. I’ll be sharing a daily photo of my outfit over on Instagram stories (check out my “Style Sudoku” highlight) and then posting them here after a few days have passed.

October Style Sudoku: 16 items, 14+ outfits — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

FIRST ROW

Madewell flannel ‘Sunday’ shirt in stripe / no longer available; similar by Madewell

Madewell high-rise skinny jeans / no longer available; similar from Macy’s

Madewell ‘Jess’ oxford / no longer available; similar by Madewell

Gorjana ‘Taner’ bar necklace / exact from Shopbop

SECOND ROW

Phase3 whipstitch wool floppy hat / no longer available; similar from Revolve

Earth ‘Apollo’ boots / no longer available; similar from Amazon

Madewell ‘Cali’ demi-boot jeans in Preston wash / exact

Everlane cashmere cropped crew / no longer available; similar by Reformation

THIRD ROW

Everlane authentic stretch high-rise skinny button fly / exact

& Other Stories cotton blend sweater / exact style (limited sizes) or similar by Target

Uniqlo ultra light down vest / exact or similar by Gap

J.Crew ‘Cece’ ballet flats / no longer available; similar by Lucky Brand

FOURTH ROW

Earth ‘Keren’ boots / no longer available; similar by Earth

BlankNYC ‘Life Changer’ moto jacket / no longer available; similar by BlankNYC

Everlane lightweight French terry shrunken hoodie / exact

Madewell high-rise skinny jeans: tulip hem edition / no longer available; similar by Madewell

Closet inventory, 6th edition + wardrobe planning update

2019 closet inventory + wardrobe planning update — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
2019 closet inventory: jeans, pants, sweaters — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

It’s time for my annual closet inventory! (You can catch all of my past inventories here: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018.) I find it interesting to see how my closet evolves over time/with life with each new inventory. Here's how things are looking this year (last year's numbers are in parentheses for easy comparison). At I did last year, I evaluated the progress with my wardrobe plan for 2019 at the end of the post.

TOPS: 101 (94)
Sleeveless: 12 (9)
Tees (all sleeve lengths): 19 (18)
Blouses: 10 (9)
Collared button-up shirts: 20 (19)
Cardigans: 8 (10)
Sweaters: 26 (25)
Sweatshirts: 6 (4)

BOTTOMS: 41 (38)
Shorts: 8 (7)
Skirts: 12 (13)
Pants: 8 (6)
Jeans: 13 (12)

DRESSES: 10 (13)

OUTERWEAR: 21 (20)
Vests: 2 (3)
Blazers: 6 (5)
Jackets: 6 (6)
Coats: 7 (6)

SHOES: 52 (47)
Sandals: 14 (12)
Sneakers: 5 (4)
Flats: 11 (12)
Heels: 3 (4)
Boots: 19 (15)

That is a total of 225 items—13 more items than in my 2018 inventory. I generally find myself to be content around the 200 mark, so this is definitely more than usual. I think my excessive shopping from this summer is mostly to blame! This count doesn't include utilitarian coats/shoes, lounge/sleepwear, workout clothes, and anything I currently have listed on Poshmark. It’s basically a snapshot of everything in my Stylebook app right now (minus jewelry, bags, and other accessories because I don’t tend to spend too much in those categories, haha). This number also includes a few things that will be listed on Poshmark in the coming weeks so I anticipate it decreasing some.

There were a few changes over this past year. I added seven more tops overall, three of them being sleeveless tops and two being sweatshirts. I parted ways with a couple of cardigans. I also added some new bottoms and a few more pairs of shoes (boots being the big one…I have a weakness for them). My dresses decreased by quite a bit… I still haven’t found my holy grail dresses that can be worn to work as well as on the weekends!

2019 closet inventory: tops, shirts, cardigans, sweatshirts — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
2019 closet inventory: shoe storage — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

My closet organization hasn't changed since I moved in two years ago, but feel free to read my closet inventory from 2017 if you would like to learn more about that. I still haven't fully organized my jewelry but I did find my earring organizer and use that again for the most part. My necklaces are still all over the place and I'm constantly misplacing things…when will I learn?

Anyway: style stats! I love to nerd out over the stats built into the Stylebook app. If you’re new around here, I’ve been using the Stylebook app on my iPhone to track what I wear for about four years now. My entire closet is on my phone (well, the important stuff that I wear every day is). I feel a little bit like Cher from Clueless when I’m picking out my outfit from under the covers every morning. Haha!

The above screenshots show what I've been wearing the most over all time (left) and over the past year (right). Not surprisingly, the items that can be worn in multiple seasons tend to be the items that make these lists. I’ve been wearing a lot of the same jeans and shoes in the past year. This stat is always eye-opening to me because I used to think I wore each item in my closet a lot, but it turns out that’s really not the case. The vast majority of my items are worn for less than a full month out of the year, and that’s less than once a week! I use this stat or the “not logged on calendar” stat the most when trying to decide what items need to be listed on Poshmark.

Here are my items with the best cost per wear (CPW) over all time (above left) and best CPW over the past year (above right). Once an item hits $1 CPW over all time, I remove the price so it no longer appears in this list (and make a note on the item with how much it cost; once I decide to part with an item, I recalculate the CPW and stick it in the notes). I like watching the CPW drop to $1 since that's always my target when I buy a new item, and removing the items with extremely low CPWs makes it easier for me to see at a glance which items are close to hitting that $1 mark.

Consequently, if I remove the price, then the item won’t appear in any CPW stats. There are likely a few items that would have made the list on the right if they were still above $1 CPW. However, I don’t think the CPW stats other than the all-time CPW stat are particularly useful since CPW is—obviously—based on the price of the item. For the same number of days worn, the less expensive items are always going to have a lower CPW. I tend to only use the time range feature with the worn history or not logged on calendar stats because it’s more useful in that regard.


2019 WARDROBE PLANNING UPDATE

I wrote out a wardrobe plan in 2018 and decided to continue the trend this year because it helped me stay on track with my purchases (for the most part). So far, I feel like I haven’t been paying super close attention to the wardrobe plan I wrote out for this year but let’s see how it’s going!

  • Don’t feel the need to shop every sale / I have been good about not shopping every sale that hits my inbox (I actually unsubscribed from a bunch of retailers). I didn’t hit any of the recent Labor Day sales. However, I’ve been bad about placing orders whenever I receive a coupon or “special” discount code. It’s hard for me to pass on “free” money (even though I realize that I am still spending money). I love a good deal so I’m trying to be better about only placing orders when I actually have my eyes on something and not just because I got a coupon.

  • Shop more secondhand / I’ve purchased two things on Poshmark this year. One was a tee I sleep in, and one was a pair of heels that don’t fit and will be re-listed in the coming weeks. I’ve had my eyes on some other things but have yet to pull the trigger. I’m super inspired by Elsie only shopping secondhand this year, though I don’t think I’m ready for that kind of a commitment…

  • Consider tailoring / I don’t recall having anything of mine tailored so far this year. There’s not anything of mine that needs to be fixed as of right now, so I guess that’s good. I do have a top that I haven’t worn in a while because it’s a little bit big, but I love the print so I’m thinking about having it made into a pillow case for a throw pillow. Would that be weird? I’m worried I may regret doing that but I’m not really enjoying it now as it is.

  • Seek out more small makers/ethical retailers / I don’t think I’ve done this as much as I should have, but I did place my first orders at ABLE and Nisolo this year. I plan to keep them on my radar for the future. I haven’t done any local shopping besides stopping in at a boutique (which carried a bunch of higher-end brands). One of my goals is to explore the boutiques we have in town; it’s just a matter of making the time to do that.

  • Focus on machine-washable materials / This one has been number one for me. I’ve passed on so many items that were rayon (the worst) or silk or that required dry-cleaning. (I do make exceptions for cashmere and most outerwear.) I’ve really been trying to buy cotton and linen as much as I can even though they aren’t wrinkle-proof. I don’t keep track of material in Stylebook (though there’s a spot for it) and maybe I should start just to get an idea of what everything is made from!

  • Refine my summer work style / I actually think that overall, my summer outfits were fairly easy to put together this year. I stuck with a simple uniform on most days (cardigan + tee + jeans + sandals). The hard part was coming up with outfits worthy of blogging. I did not have many outfits planned ahead of time so I would spend far too much time trying to come up with new outfits. I think that may be my biggest struggle with summer: creating new blog outfits. It felt like I was wearing the same things all season and the same things from years past in the same ways…


A PRE-FALL WISH LIST

I’ve been eyeing a few things from Everlane and Madewell recently (Madewell’s Insiders Event is happening now if you’re a fan of sales like I am—and you can use the coupon on leather and denim…!). Can you tell I’m looking for some new denim? I’m ready to branch out into more silhouettes than just my standard skinnies, but I don’t know what to try first!