One of the many benefits of taking a daily selfie is that I can look back and see what did and did not work for me. This week I took seven outfits that I wore two years ago at the beginning of my selfie journey. They were misses, and I made them into hits. Some outfits had big changes, and some outfits had little changes. Some of the changes are universal improvements, like pants that are the right length or a properly fitting shirt, and some are changes that made the outfit more my style. This is what I wore when I wore it better.
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I have 12,000 pins on my Pinterest board, and this outfit from two years ago is by far my most popular, most pinned pin out of all the pins I’ve ever pinned. It was all wrong for me. The shirt is ill fitting, the crew neck cardigan is too bulky on the sides and too soft for my style. The boyfriend jeans aren’t flattering, the round-toe polka dot flats are too sweet, and the round balls on the necklace are too sweet and too much. There is a lot going on in this outfit. To wear it better I traded the poorly fitting shirt for a better one (though a little too long for me), a knit moto jacket instead of the cardigan. I have jeans that fit me great but are still a straight leg cut and pointy flats with angular patterns on them that match my edgier style and energy. I traded the black round ball necklace for some silver stabby jewelry. Outfit #2 fits me both in style and tailoring. Loose and baggy isn’t me, and it never will be.
Sometimes it’s the little details that matter. I didn’t make huge changes to this outfit. I’m wearing the same tee, jacket and jeans. The differences are I unrolled my jeans so they come all the way to my ankles, I traded the dusty blue, oval necklace for a stabby silver necklace, and swapped out the round-toe flats for some patent red sneakers. These small changes fine tune an outfit to make them fit my bolder, edgier energy. My personality doesn’t have soft, round edges, and the changes reflect that.
Before I get into the outfit deconstruction, let’s talk about my makeup. This is proof positive that brown eye makeup does not flatter everyone. Yes my eyes look bluer but the rest of my face looks muddy, and I look like I got punched. I went in to ULTA and the girl offered to show me some eye makeup tricks. I didn’t realize she had busted out a nude eyeshadow palette. I went home and washed it off. In happier news: I love purple and red together. Moving on.
This outfit is an improvement over four outfits I found from two years ago. I had that Jackie cardigan from J. Crew in every color of the rainbow, and it finally dawned on that I don’t like crewneck cardigans. The neckline often interferes with the neckline of the layer underneath, it is very bulky on the sides, and the overall effect is too sweet for me. Polka dots are also a huge no no for me. There is nothing light or bubbly about me, and they make me look like an angry clown. I insisted on wearing both the crewneck cardigans and polka dots for a long time because they are classic, and I love classic. However they are sweet classic, and I am edgy classic. Stripes are far better for me than polka dots. This lightweight crewneck sweater is also a better fit for me. Both stripes and the cut of this sweater are strictly classic without leaning one direction or the other. I could swap out the turquoise necklace and flats for the red and get the same effect. I love turquoise and purple together just as much as I love red and purple. Both work, and both are great for fall. The destroyed jeans, the stabby jewelry and the pointed toe flats with angular patterns make this outfit lean edgy, which is what I need.
Sweater here (same sweater, this year’s version of purple). Jeans here. Shirt similar here. Shoes similar here, here, here, here, here, here. Necklace similar here. Earrings similar here. Lipsense 1x Blackberry 3x Purple Reign, glossy gloss.
That night we had a cocktail dress even to go to. I washed the muddy brown makeup off and put on a smokey eye. I bought this skirt for New Year’s Eve last year, and I love it. The tuxedo stripe down the side is a great detail. The sequins are a little dull and are flecked with black. It’s shiny but not blinding (though I would be ok with blinding too!) For New Year’s I wore it with a fitted turtleneck sweater, and I loved that look. I wore it with a stabbier necklace that wasn’t as dressy as the jewelry I chose this time, but New Year’s wasn’t a cocktail event for us last year. I wore black strappy heels that were so tall I could barely walk (I hadn’t really tried them on until that night. I didn’t realize they were 5 INCH HEELS!!). That doesn’t make for a fun night. This time I chose a silver sandal with a low heel to let the shirt be the focal point and not have to cling to my husband for dear life with every step. I wore a boat neck sweater with a 3/4 sleeve because the weather was still nice. I wore fancier jewelry to take it up a level. For New Year’s I wore a smokey eye and bold red lipstick, and this time I found an icy pink that is more neutral.
Skirt similar here, and black here. Sweater similar here and here. Heels similar here, here, here, here, here. Necklace similar here, here, here, here, here. Lipsense 1x Icicle, 2x Kiss For a Cause, Glossy gloss.
To be honest this is more of a when I wore it differently. I would wear the first two outfits again. I taught a gardening class this morning, and for the event everyone was supposed to wear their pajamas. I. Can’t. Do. That. So I decided to dress down instead. I still got a lot of “Wow” and “Look at you!” in my t-shirt, jeans and sneakers. This is just me. I don’t wear pajamas in public. After the class I came home and changed into my gardening clothes to do some fall cleanup in my yard and gardens. I wore this for all of 3 hours. The difference between this cardigan and the ones above are that this one has a v-neck and a slimmer cut.
Sorry for the poor photography. I can’t retake the picture from two years ago because I don’t own any of those items anymore (thankfully). I’ll never know what I was thinking here. It’s a textured cable knit sweater on top of a tee with a rounded Peter Pan collar with pearl beading on the collar, a black pencil skirt, swirly twirly patterned hose, a super cropped, way too small moto jacket and round toed heels. So many poorly combined elements. This time I layered a classic button up under a black sheath dress that has a leather yoke. I chose pointed toe reptile pumps in a practical low heel because I help in the nurseries at church and spend 2 hours on my feet. I skipped the necklace because I didn’t want to distract from the leather accent and chose a larger black earring instead. I still feel like something is missing. Maybe a bracelet? And maybe black hose. It was chilly that day.
I only changed two things about this outfit: the jeans and the jewelry. The first jeans are ankle jeans, and I tried to wear them, but my legs are too long for ankle jeans to come to my ankles. They were final sale, so I tried to make them work, and they don’t. It looks like they shrank. I ended up cutting them off for shorts. The necklace is one of my favorites, but it doesn’t get along with the neckline of my tee. It gets lost, so I chose some layered delicate necklaces that sit above the neckline.
This outfit is also replacing two I wore two years ago. The first one is hands down the ugliest outfit I have ever put on my body. What was I thinking? I was thinking I was trying to be Pinterest worthy. Clearly I missed the mark. By a lot. For one, I. Don’t. Polka dot. Ever. For two, there is a whole lot going on in that outfit. Polka dots, studded jeans, a statement necklace (that is too round and soft for me), colorful patent shoes, and if I’m not mistaken a very wild hair style that is mercifully missing from the photo. The second outfit is just as bad. That bulky necklace looks like a lei or a neck brace. I’m wearing a studded belt AND studded jeans, pink necklace, pink belt and pink bracelet, plus a cuff. That striped top is also too big for me, and for some reason I cuffed my jeans in both pictures. #unsolvedmysteries
Now for the new and improved outfit. My top fits me correctly. It skims my curves without squeezing them and is the right length. The jeans are unadorned. My necklace is a statement without being vacation-y, and the silver cuff ties in to the silver on the necklace and my earrings. I have on bold pink shoes that tie into the necklace. I added the moto jacket to wear for my errands because it’s really chilly today. These are actually the same jeans, but I covered the studs and uncuffed them so they sit at my ankle. I think we can all agree this is much better.
Jacket similar here, here. Tee similar here, here, here. Jeans here. Necklace is a design your own here. Flats similar here, here, here, here, here. Lipsense 1x Icicle, 1x Kiss For a Cause, 1x Icicle, Glossy gloss.
Have you been taking selfies to document your style? It is so eye opening. You will learn a lot even if you never show anyone.
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