Posts Tagged ‘tights’

Brown knit Maggie London dress, orange textured tights, brown shoes, gold chain necklace

. . . .in the cold November rain

~Axl Rose

pjd writes:

Hey, Robin. We need some winter posts. Casual cute weekend coats to wear in winter, for one thing. Shoes. Are you still wearing all those high heels or have you switched to boots and tights for winter? Boots. If one doesn’t like all those buckles and things on their boots, what are the options? What about colors for your wardrobe? Have you changed in the winter? Summer’s formula was a pretty top and a nice pair of shoes with dress pants. What is winter’s formula? Thank you.

Thanks for asking, pjd!  I agree with Axl Rose, who I know you hate, but it is so true: It’s hard to hold a candle in the cold November Rain.  This means it is freezing and wet out there, so who really wants to wear anything but their jammies? Much less care about whether we look GOOD?

Well, I care.  I’m on “max conserve” these days, which means spending no money.  So I need to get creative with winterizing the wardrobe I already have.   Lots of mixed dark neutrals, vivid color where I can fit them in.  Not so many light colors, although I like the look of “blush” or nude/pink with charcoal gray.  I’ll start with shoes today:

Long skirt, boots, jacket

Long skirts with boots.  I’m wearing some of the same long dresses I wore in summer, now with knee-high boots.  Underneath, comfy warm tights or even black silk long underwear.  I think I’m going to experiment with silk long underwear tops under short-sleeved dresses. Has anyone done this successfully?

Cute tights.  I’m wearing my knee-length skirts with cute tights and boots (in the rain) or other heels (if it’s dry).  I used to boycott all nylons and tights (what Malcolm calls “Tatching Socks,” because they attach at the top), I hated them so much I never wore skirts in the winter.  Finally one day, I had to find something to wear for a funeral right after I had a baby, and a black skirt was my only somber/postpartum option.  And maternity tights were pretty comfortable!  So hey, maybe I just need tights that FIT BETTER.   Good quality tights are stretchy and come in all sizes.  They should not give you a stomachache.  Or an anywhere-elseache.  They should be snug but not dig in. They should be nice and warm.

Don’t restrict yourself to “black goes with black, brown goes with brown” rules for tights.  There are lots of ways to color-coordinate your tights: Monochrome, color-contrast, or texture.  Mix dark neutrals! Brown tights with a black skirt can work if you also do brown/black mixed on top.  I like to wear dramatic tights for work, but I don’t like to show off a lot of leg when I do that. 

Sofft glossy croc-print, $108

Slacks and sturdy heels.

I park my car a five minute walk in the rain from the front door of my office.  I’ve got a few pairs of sturdy, walkable heels that aren’t too delicate.  Resilient patent leather or vinyl, nothing strappy or suede, solid heels.  Sofft and Circa Joan & David are both good for this. I wear thick taupe or black knee-high nylons, a bit thinner than a full trouser sock.

Open-toe tortoiseshell pump over black socks. I think it is a confident "I love my shoes" look. I also like how it echos the print-over-black of the top. These are Semantiks tweed trousers and an Eddie Bauer jean jacket.

Open-toed shoes with socks.  Yes, I went there.  I love my Cole Haan Air Carmas too much to put them away until spring.  I will admit it looks goofy at first, but it is a Style with its own class and tradition; you can see it in old 1940’s photos of open-toed shoes with seamed stockings.   They key is to look like you’re doing it on purpose: “Yep, see my socks?” not “eek, don’t look at my socks.” No nude hose, and contrast is good. 

Boots and Pants. I haven’t mastered this yet.  I probably need mid-heel ankle boots. I just can’t get over them though, they look so lame in the store, all stumpy like that.  I don’t like the way tall boots bump against the pant leg.  I fear pants with boots will make me look like a bad real estate agent.  But I need to work on this, because the top of my socks are starting to get wet. 

Also, I really don’t like tucked boots into pants (Meg asked about this).  If you’ve got any kind of hips, the bottom of the pant leg needs to somewhat balance out the top to avoid an “ice cream cone” effect.   Like skinny jeans, this look works best on very young or very narrow women. Which is good, because it’s the skinny jeans that tuck in, anyway. So how about “if you already rock skinny jeans, go ahead and tuck them into the boots” for a rule?

As far as boot embellishment.  Try stuff on and post examples, and see what works.  Post ideas if you can and we’ll talk about it.  Some buckles look silly until you walk around in them and get used to the idea.  I used to hate ALL embellishment on shoes, but “plain” isn’t necessary better.  But there are lots of great “plain” options — both boots in my pictures (Brown Cole Haan and Black Aerosole) just have hidden zippers.

Circa Joan & David, wine patent buckle pump, $48 at 6pm.com

Sweater dress, print tights, black boots

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A Hazy Shade of Iroko

abootsDresses, jackets and boots: Here we go! It is October and that is what I’m wearing.  (Edited to add real photos! Whee!)

The dress is long on me (well below-knee, top of boots) which isn’t my favorite.  I was all set to wear my BCBG above-the-knee brown knit, but I looked in the mirror and it was WAY too Go-Go- Dancer for Medicaid Audit Defense which is what I’m doing today.  I needed to tone it down so I went with this Jones New York which coincidentally I bought for Deathmama’s wedding reception.

The jacket is one of my favorites: Nordstrom Point of View Semantiks from 2008. I got it at the November Half-yearly Women and Children’s Sale last year. I desperately wanted the matching pants but they were sold out by then. The jacket is great as a separate, though.  The texture makes it versatile to wear with dresses or other pants.  A nice heavy texture contrast helps, so it looks like “coordinating jacket on over this cute outfit” not “sloppy mismatched suit.”

This I vetoed. The orange fishnet-weave work with other brown dresses, but this length I didn't like.  Plus, the unlined knit skirt clings to the tights and I couldn't find my slip. Easier to just switch dresses since I was running late.

This I vetoed. The orange fishnet-weave work with other brown dresses, but this length I didn't like. Plus, the unlined knit skirt clings to the tights and I couldn't find my slip. Easier to just switch dresses since I was running late.

The boots are F-bombing Fabulous.   They are Cole Haan Air Joanna, yes they are regularly $498 but I paid like half that.  (Really, Honey, I did!)  Does this mean I can wear them forever, Lord?

So everything is brown (Aubergine, Iroko, Sandstone, see below).  My old-school sensibility is to “match browns,” but I took a risk with these mis-matched monochrome and I have to say I’m loving it. It helps to have different textures (jersey, tweed, leather).  The color dynamic seems like a natural emanation of the nature of the materials, not just a tacky lack of coordination.   Works for me!

Jacket: "Splash Pool" Semantiks 2008. Aubergine (burgundy-brown) dress, black camisole, gold daisy diamond necklace.

Jacket: "Splash Pool" Semantiks 2008. Aubergine (burgundy-brown) dress, black camisole, gold daisy diamond necklace.

October 033
Colors: All brown, but definitely not “matching” browns!

Aubergine: RGB 59, 9, 16

Iroko, RGB 67, 49, 32

Iroko, RGB 67, 49, 32

Sandstone, RGB 121, 106, 93

Sandstone, RGB 121, 106, 93

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