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  • Writer's picturesallyinstpaul

OOTD: Ivory & Pearls

This week, Liz at Closet Play Image posted a "copycat style" outfit using her winter capsule inspired by looks involving a white sweater, faded denim jeans, and a blush purse. It was a great look, and my favorite part was the white pearls against the white sweater...the contrasting textures of the every-so-slightly-fuzzy sweater knit and the sheen of the pearls in a monochromatic combination is the kind of sophisticated juxtaposition that I admire but don't usually wear myself.

As to what I wear myself: I have mentioned in passing that I do a lot of advanced outfit planning...and I mean, A LOT. When clothing enters my wardrobe, I make a point of creating and documenting an abundance of possible outfits based on the new pieces. In advance of each of my 8 sartorial seasons, which last from four to nine weeks, I organize outfits for each week. I make sure to leave enough time between re-wears to avoid laundry bottlenecks (tops need an off week for laundry, so can be worn in Week 1 of Season X and Week 3 of Season X, but not Week 2; other clothes can be worn weekly) and align to general weather patterns (e.g., it's colder in Week 5-6 of Winter, the beginning of February, than any other time of the cold season).

Then the weekend before, I check the weather forecast and my calendar and assign specific days to the 7 outfits organized for that week. I also might switch outfits, or entire weeks of outfits, if the weather is going to be unusual (or, you know, there's a pandemic), and I might need/want to tweak outfits. Once my week's outfits are decided, I prep the items so I have the hanging items in order on my staging rack and the non-hanging items put into individual shoe/boot boxes stacked in day order. This way, every morning I can grab the next set of hanging clothes + box and get dressed. Once all the physical prep work is done, I update my spreadsheet to record what I'm wearing each day so all my data on number of wears, cost per wear, etc. are tracked.

Of course, this takes planning and work, but it's worth it to me to avoid having to make those decisions in the morning when my brain is not firing on all cylinders! I do the advanced planning with new clothes/accessories at a time when the pieces are fresh and exciting. (If I am not eager to put together a bunch of outfits with a piece, or I find it hard to do, then I know that I should return that item pronto.) And I do the seasonal and weekly prep on the weekend at a time that I have carved out specifically for the purpose, so I don't feel rushed or stressed. My outfits are probably 5 times more interesting and satisfying when I put them together in advance at my leisure when the creativity is flowing than under time pressure in the morning when I'm focused on getting ready for work.

As for the spreadsheet piece...well, I'm a data nerd by inclination, training, and profession, and I've been known to say, in all seriousness, that I don't understand hobbies that don't have a spreadsheet component. This is also how I avoid running into ruts wearing the same things over and over again and ensure that I am getting good value from what I buy. It's also probably the #2 strongest persuader for me that I don't need to shop for new clothes. (The #1 persuader is really, really not wanting my closet rack to collapse under the weight of my clothing so that the maintenance guy has to fix it a second time!)

My method is not only not everyone's may not be anyone else's method. At least I've never heard anyone who does their outfit planning quite like I do. But this is what works for me. Unlike many people, I have a well-established routine, and though I like variety in my outfits, I am not a mood dresser. This means that I almost never look at my planned outfit and reject it as not right for my mood or activities for the day. I can almost always just put it on and go. (I do the same with my meals, actually...though I am much less interested in meal prep/cooking so I have a pretty small repertoire of dishes that I rotate through...more like a capsule kitchen, I suppose!)

One of the funny things about this is that after I do my weekly prep, typically on Saturday morning, I often forget what outfits I have planned, so each day, pulling out my items for the outfit is a bit of a surprise. Sometimes it's like "oh yeah, this one," while other times, I really don't remember it at all somehow.

This past Wednesday was the second kind of day.

I was getting around to an outfit that I had planned in the summer of 2020 with a new pair of jeans and sweater that I'd recently purchased, and months ago allocated it to this week - Week 5 of Fall/Winter 2021. And what do you know, a year and a half ago, I'd also had the idea of pairing a white (well, ivory) pullover sweater with pearls! Specifically, this new-at-the-time cotton/rayon blend sweater with a thrifted bulky (faux) pearl, glass, and chain necklace.

Otherwise, my outfit was quite different from Liz's. I wore trouser style dark forest jeans, my go-to cheetah Oxfords, small gold stud earrings, and a dark teal oval print silky scarf as a headband. Unlike Liz, I actually did partially tuck my sweater into the front of my jeans to shorten it into a more blouson style because I thought the sweater at full length was a bit long for the cut of the pants. But I was inspired by Liz to put on red lipstick! I only have 6 lipsticks, but one of them is the exact same Maybelline Superstay 24 Hour Eternal Cherry that Liz wore, so of course I had to straight up copycat her.

OOTD 12/15/21

I stacked on some DIY bead bracelets in shades of gold/camel, cream, and dark green...including the cream oblong wooden bead bracelet and malachite bead bracelet that I had just made a few days earlier. I also added the long gold tassel necklace at the last minute for some additional verticality. But I was very satisfied to see that my outfit had the same pleasing sweater knit + shiny pearl look that I had admired on Liz.

Other than with the red lipstick, this was more a "Great Minds Think Alike" moment than a true copycat, but the coincidence of the timing cracks me up. Did a butterfly somewhere flap its wings and influence both me and Liz to wear a white/ivory sweater with pearls?

Have you ever inadvertently copycatted someone else with your outfit or experienced a GMTA moment you dressed similarly to someone else?

Blogs I link up with are listed here.

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