A winter wardrobe

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I’ve never considered myself an overly fashionable person, nor am I your stereotypical “clothes horse.” If I had extra money, I’d rather be spending it on books, or things for the house, or travel, or an ice cream maker (someday!). That being said, I’ve always paid attention to how I dress, and I do enjoy expressing myself through the way I look, as well as receiving the occasional (very rare) compliment. During my post-college, “adult” years, I’ve worked to build a wardrobe that is balanced, grown-up, fun, and most of all, expressive of who I am: traditional, simple, slightly preppy, a little dressy, with a desire for comfort and warmth (I’m always cold…always).

My wardrobe contains items ranging in price from the inexpensive (Target, Urban Outfitters), and the somewhat pricey (J Crew and Anthropologie). It’s not perfect, and given my current limited monthly “home/beauty” budget, my options for expanding it require a lot of patience. But what I love is that while it has a little bit of everything, I wear all of it, consistently, and I love how it can express all sides of my personality – from the conservative, to the side that watches Cartoon Network (I’ve got a Regular Show t-shirt…be jealous).

Given that  it’s not the biggest wardrobe ever, though, I try to wear all of it – or, as much of it as possible – whenever I can, regardless of the seasons. That means being creative while getting dressed in the morning, not allowing myself to fall into ruts, and lots of experimenting. It also means reinventing what it means to have a “winter” wardrobe. Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean I have to get stuck in grays and neutrals; there’s plenty of room for color and fun even on the grayest days.

Here’s a quick look at what I’ve been wearing this winter.

IMG_0940I’ve been loving this shirt dress I picked up from Target for $6. Since it’s nice and form-fitting, when I pair it with black tights and black booties, I fit in quite nicely at my archives internship, where everyone is super fashionable. Also: I wear these booties, like, everyday. Yay for the bootie trend! Anyway, this dress will look just as cute and seasonal during the spring and summer, so double-win.

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This outfit is just going to represent all the cardigan-combos I wear not just in the winter, but all the time. I’m a librarian, and I’m always cold – cardigans are just my jam. I’ve only recently fell back in love with this slightly scratchy wool cardigan from Banana Republic. I’ve had it a few years, but it wasn’t until this year that loose-fitting cardigans returned to style, plus the tan of this cardigan is a great neutral that pairs well with structured button-ups, as well as tank tops (I wore it today with a summer-y blue-and-white striped tank top). Hey look, there’s those skinny jeans I wear all the time, and the knee-high brown boots that I’m constantly wearing if I’m not in my booties. Winter, man. It really limits your footwear.

Also, as per these pictures, I know I desperately need new boots. But I also need a million dollars and pony … we can’t get everything we want, all at once, OK?

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I know this looks like fall, but this outfit actually works quite well with winter. This outfit is a lesson in:

  • Pairing cardigans you always wear (see, yellow boyfriend cardigan) with something new and slightly unexpected
  • Acknowledging that yes, a 28-year-old can get away with wearing an Urban Outfitters dress to work, even if it is a little too short to be worn without tights
  • This makes me feel adorable and sunny and happy, even when it’s 5 degrees outside

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I typically wear this skirt with the top tucked in, and maybe with a yellow-and-green waist belt if it’s spring or summer, but for the winter, I like the look of it flowing out from underneath this long-ish sweater. Fun fact: this is probably the most disproportionate outfit I wear in terms of quality/years owned. This is a very nice Anthropologie skirt. Why is that sweater from American Eagle, then, you ask? Because I’ve had it since high school. But hey, what can I say. When you find a nice cable knit sweater that fits, why broke what aint’ fixed?

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And finally, what I actually look like in the winter. This is the GREATEST SHIRT OF ALL TIME. It’s from LL Bean, it’s a button-up, it looks like flannel, but it’s actually made out of fleece. Aka, whenever I am home, this is what I live in. In fact, this is me, an hour after getting home from work. I am clearly out of work clothes, and am in my “let’s-keep-warm” mode.

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