All About Sweaters

I keep seeing sweaters. I keep thinking I need sweaters. But what about all the sweaters I already have?

It’s very hard to change the way we think about clothing, about buying new things. All the new stuff is, well, new. And they’re all just slightly different from what I have.

I already have a ton of sweaters — not to mention sweatshirts and other fall/winter tops. Why? Because I have been buying new ones! (Actually, some of my sweaters were gifts.) So, I am not short on knitwear!

In an effort to convince myself, again, that I don’t need to add to my wardrobe, I’ve tried on all my sweaters. How many are there? Let me count…23!?

I find that trying on what I already have, and taking photos, reconnects me to those items in a way that is different from just looking at them in my closet. I keep most of my sweaters folded and stacked on a shelf in my closet but a few are on hangers.

Most of my sweaters are warm and cosy but included in here are some that are light and cottony, more for warm weather. After going through everything I have, I decided that: I really love a crewneck sweater, open cardigans are my least favorite and I don’t need any more sweaters.

Take a look at the slideshow, and if you want, scroll all the way through to see each sweater with its details. 

One cool thing I recently learned: wool sweaters are antimicrobial/antibacterial. Did you know that? The waxy substance that coats the wool fibers makes it water repellent and inhibits mold and mildew growth. It also means that wool sweaters rarely need washing and only need airing out to smell fresh and clean. Learn more here. And, If your sweater has lost its lanolin coating, you can buy it in a spray like this one.

When I went through all of my sweaters, I took note of what brands I go to again and again, what material they’re made of, how I’m supposed to wash and dry them and how well they’ve held up. My goal in the future is to buy from more sustainable brands and buy clothing with natural fibers like wool and cotton.

Enjoy!

 

 

Brand: J.Crew Factory

Material: no tag (cotton?)

Care: no tag (machine wash, tumble dry?)

I love this thin, navy blue crewneck. I’ve had it for a while and the tag fell off at some point, so I’m not sure about materials and care but it was a good pick and has held up pretty well.

Brand: J.Crew

Material: 100% merino

Care: dry clean

One of my favorite sweaters. It’s thin but warm. I don’t always feel comfortable in three quarter length sleeves but it’s very flattering. It has to be dry cleaned so that adds up.

Brand: J.Crew

Material: 100% merino

Care: dry clean

This is a very nice sweater that doesn’t get a lot of wear. Like the previous grey one, it’s merino wool which is soft, thin, and non-itchy. I like the unexpected neon pink and the zippers on the shoulders.

Brand: Old Navy

Material: 55% cotton 25% viscose 20% nylon

Care: hand wash cold, lay flat to dry

This was an inexpensive, impulse buy. I needed a summer sweater and just grabbed this. I can tell you: I do not hand wash it. I’m usually good about reading tags. I guess I got it in my head that if it’s not wool it’s machine wash and tumble dry, but that’s not always true.

Brand: Everlane

Material: 100% cashmere

Care: dry clean

This is the perfect sweater: soft, warm, breathable. It is dry clean but because it’s cashmere it doesn’t need to be washed very often.

Brand: Banana Republic Factory

Material: no tag (cotton?)

Care: no tag (machine wash, tumble dry?)

My husband got this as a gift (from him mom) and I stole it. I don’t mean “borrow,” I mean took permanently. I love its slouchy ‘boyfriend’ style. The tag fell off, but I remember it being tumble dry. And because my MIL always seems to avoid wool sweaters, it’s most likely cotton.

Brand: GAP

Material: 55% cotton 40% nylon 5% acrylic

Care: machine wash cold, tumble dry low

My MIL gave me this sweater and I like it because of its Fair Isle style and low maintenance care. It has a cotton-y feel to it but looks like it should be worn in the winter.

Brand: Lucky Brand Jeans

Material: 60% cotton 40% acrylic

Care: hand wash cold, lay flat to dry

My only graphic sweater. I like that it’s black and a crewneck.

Brand: Banana Republic

Material: no tag

Care: no tag (I cut off tags if the item is machine wash, tumble dry)

This is a slightly long tunic style sweater with zippers on the shoulders (this was the thing back in 2014). I’ve loved it and gotten a ton of wear out of it but I think it might be time to retire it.

Brand: J.Crew Factory

Material: 51% acrylic 35% polyamide 7% wool 7% spandex

Care: machine wash cold, tumble dry low

I got this sweater as a birthday gift (from my MIL). It’s very soft! and easy to care for. It has a high spandex content which makes it very stretchy.

Brand: Lands’ End

Material: 54% cotton 28% nylon 13% acrylic 5% wool

Care: hand wash cold, lay flat to dry

I love a cable knit fisherman’s sweater but I’m not sure about the tunic style. 

Brand: H&M

Material: 60% cotton 40% acrylic

Care: machine wash warm, line dry

My only cropped sweater which I bought as a summer layering piece. The neck is very boatneck-y.

Brand: Banana Republic

Material: 45% merino wool 25% rayon 20% nylon 5% cashmere

Care: hand wash cold, lay flat to dry

Very pleased with this one. Love navy and a navy v-neck is a great wardrobe staple.

Brand: Banana Republic

Material: 82% merino 16% nylon 2% spandex

Care: hand wash cold, lay flat to dry

I’ve had this cardigan for years. It is good quality and has a pretty velvet detail along the buttons. I wear it buttoned, unbuttoned, and sometimes backwards.

Brand: GAP

Material: no tag (cotton?)

Care: no tag

Gift from my MIL! Again, I think I removed the tag because this was machine wash, tumble dry. Love the color and classic style.

Brand: ESPRIT

Material: 87% acrylic 11% polyamide 2% spandex

Care: hand wash cold, lay flat to dry

This sweater is so good. I bought it in Paris, so I know I’ve had it since 2007. It looks brand new. 

Brand: Banana Republic

Material: 48% silk 31% cotton 18% nylon 3% spandex

Care: hand wash cold, lay flat to dry

Similar to the previous black turtleneck, but thinner. Feels like a thick t-shirt. I love fitted black turtleneck.

Brand: GAP

Material: 100% merino wool

Care: machine wash cold, lay flat to dry

Current favorite. It’s dark green, it’s comfy, and it’s flattering. This merino wool is a little bit itchy.

Brand: Banana Republic

Material: 45% acrylic 35% merino wool 20% alpaca

Care: hand wash cold, lay flat to dry

A very thick, warm sweater. It has this cute zipper detail that turns the turtleneck into a sort of lapel collar.

Brand: GAP

Material: 52% cotton 22% acrylic 24% polyester

Care: machine wash cold, lay flat to dry

I just got this, and it gets high points for soft, warm, work-from-home lounge-y-ness although it’s not very stylish.

Brand: Madewell

Material: 100% merino wool

Care: dry clean 

This was a gift from my husband many years ago and is a favorite. Definitely overdue for a cleaning. 

Brand: Madewell

Material: 100% cotton

Care: machine wash cold, tumble dry low

I bought this by accident back in April in a Nordstrom haul that turned out to be final sale. It was supposed to be the perfect summer cardi but the lack of buttons makes me crazy.

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Brand: GAP

Material: 55% cotton 45% ramie

Care: machine wash cold, lay flat to dry

A short sleeve, open cardigan, I often wonder “what was I thinking” with this one. I guess I was thinking casual summer kimono to throw over a sundress or a tank top and shorts. 

Low Buy Challenge: End of the Year Wrap-Up

The year is drawing to a close. Well, not exactly, but I’d like to think 2020 is almost over! When I started the Low Buy Challenge in January I didn’t know what we were all in for. Buying as little as possible, and trying to buy second hand has been really good for me. Good for my soul, good for my budget, and I think good for the planet.

Following the rules set forth by Signe of UseLess, I tried hard to only buy things that I really needed. Basics like t-shirts, socks and underwear were okay, as were worn-out items. I bought things that I had planned ahead of time, often letting them sit on my wish list for month before purchasing. I asked myself if they were something I didn’t currently have and were truly my style (as in, I would wear a lot.) One area I could use improvement: buying from sustainable brands. I relied on stores I know work for me such as the Gap and Nike. Not so eco-friendly.

Here are the last few purchases I made this year:

Dr. Scholl’s Snakeskin boots  |  Leather version

This boot purchase was a result of my entire shoe inventory. I had so many black boots (and few brown) and wanted something fun. I wasn’t sold on the snakeskin trend but these really convinced me.

GAP true skinny jeans

These jeans were a result of my denim inventory. I ended up getting rid of one very worn out pair of jeans and realized I only had one pair of skinny jeans which were actually too big.

GAP Turtleneck T-shirt  A much needed basic.

GAP Belted Cardigan  An addition to my “loungewear capsule” that is so soft and cozy it made me feel slightly better about winter weather.

Asics running shoes  That time again: new sneaks.

Athleta top  Been looking for this kind of workout top for a while.

Fossil Wallet (poshmark)  My previous wallet was also from Fossil and was really falling apart. I found this replacement used on Poshmark.

 

Total clothing additions for the year: 3 pairs of shoes, 4 pairs of pants, 2 pairs of shorts, 3 sweaters, 1 dress, 6 tees, 3 pj pants, 5 workout items, 5 underwear items, and 1 accessory.

 

Entire Shoe Inventory

Entire Shoe Inventory

Lucky Brand boots

Before we start, you might see a small white dog in a couple shots. This is Gabriel, our new puppy. He is a 9 month old, half Australian Shepherd/half Dachshund rescue.

I recently tried on ALL my shoes. I think it’s so helpful to try on everything at once. It really shows you how much you like what you have and don’t need new things just because they’re new.

When I was done documenting everything and tidying it all up, I decided to donate 4 pairs (open toe booties that just aren’t me, two ballet flats that I never wear and really don’t flatter me, and those vintage Dr. Scholl’s I thought I wanted but really don’t work for me), bringing the grand total down to 28 pairs. (Not included are: a pair of tall Hunter boots, a pair of Sorel snow boots and my Asics running shoes, which all reside in the hall closet.)

I pretty happy with this collection. I feel like I have everything I need. Some of my shoes are really worn which I’m okay with. It means they are well-loved. I’m getting my money’s worth and being more eco-friendly. And can I say, through this process I really came to appreciate that all my shoes are broken in and feel so good when I slip them on! I decided to give my brown Lucky boots a bit of shoe polish (remember shoe polish?) and they look so much better. Still very distressed but a darker brown than they were and I think they have a lot of character!

I will be swapping out my Asics for a new pair and maybe adding a pair of boots that are not black or brown. And those $4 rubber flip flops will most likely be replaced by these Rainbows.

I hope you enjoyed this inventory. I highly recommend doing one!

I Love Fall, and Jeans — An Inventory

I Love Fall, and Jeans — An Inventory

I thought I was immune. I thought, “I won’t get sucked into the Fall mania, shopping for jeans and sweaters and boots.” But I did. Yesterday, I was at Nordstrom Rack, looking at all of them. But, I did not buy any! I tried on 2 pairs of denim from Madewell but they didn’t look right. And the few sweaters I tried, including a super soft black cardigan, were also no-go. Lastly, I looked at all the boots. Craving some clog boots, or possibly some Doc Marten or Blundstone boots.

Honestly, I have yet to really embrace Fall, I mean style-wise. I’m not putting much effort into getting dressed. Maybe that’s a good thing. I keep meaning to spend some time putting together outfits and getting inspired but I’ve been busy working, doing home reno and running middle schoolers around. Today, with those jean-craving feelings still lingering, I decided to try on all my denim. And non-denim. Are you excited? Well, here they are: my 17 pairs of pants.

JEANS

I’m really happy with all my jeans especially the Lucky black ones. All the GAP jeans are faves as well as the Citizen of Humanity and Madewell pairs. The H&Ms don’t get chosen often but I think they look good. The one pair I might retire are the J. Crew ones, mostly because they’re so thin and rip more every time I wear them. Also they’re a little too low rise. I’ve gotten a ton of wear out of them in the 4 years I’ve owned them. The AG jeans are also starting to show wear and are a little too big (Skinny jeans aren’t supposed to be baggy, right?) I documented all my pants with the same white GAP t-shirt and my Lotta from Stockholm clogs, but many of these would look better with boots since they’re fairly cropped. I think the only addition I could make would be a pair of medium wash skinny jeans that really fit.

NOT JEANS (AKA CHINOS & TROUSERS)

Now the “slacks”. Don’t you love that word. Or trousers. The first pair is from a great brand Scotch and Soda or Maison Scotch for the women’s line. They look good but are tight. They are a beautiful thin chino fabric. The Old Navy chinos are a lot more comfy. And then the Top Shop trousers are really too big and never get worn, but they seem so ideal. IDK. I’m torn about the Old Navy ochre-colored chinos. They feel good and are a nice change from all the blue and black. Definitely look better with different styling. The army green chinos are an old favorite, too big now, but can’t give them up. I’m warming up to the camo pants but don’t wear them with a tuck because they do a weird are-you-pregnant thing. And those plaid pants! Can’t wait for the holidays! Some of these won’t get worn much in Fall and Winter. Not sure what’s missing here.

What do you think? Should I add a new pair of jeans or stick with my Low Buy Challenge and wear what I have?

#jeans #tshirts #clogs #cloglife #useless_lowbuy #2020wehaveplenty

How to Shop Smart in Fall

How to Shop Smart in Fall

Keeping in mind the Low Buy Challenge, I have not been shopping very much. I avoided shopping ‘because it’s Fall’ and reminded myself that I don’t need any more clothes. I don’t need the new styles. I know what’s “me” and I have so many items in my closet that are tried and true. I pulled out my fall/winter clothes and integrated them back into my closet. Hello sweaters and boots. Definitely don’t need any more of those. Jean? I’ve got plenty. It feels really good to realize that. If I do add something, it’s been on my wish list for a while and I only purchase what I truly need. Here’s what I’ve gotten over the last few months:

J Crew black watch Crimson plaid tuxedo pants (thrifted)

I bought this pair of plaid pants at a consignment shop I recently found. It’s a great place to sell clothes as well! I love extending the life of old items.

Gap pull on shorts in black

Then I found a perfect pair of black shorts on sale at the Gap. I probably won’t wear them much until next year, but they were exactly what I had been looking for all summer.

Gap vintage wash crewneck

I also got a soft tee in a forrest-y green that I will probably wear as a pajama top.

Vans Old Skool skate shoes

The best addition was these Old Skool Vans. I finally caved into Pinterest influence and got them! They look so cool with so many outfits, I’m so excited to wear them. Also very happy I found them for a great price because they are kids’ (I’m a youth 7/Womens’ 8.5) and they were on sale.

Gap softspun joggers

Gap truesleep modal joggers

Aerie weekend jogger

Finally, I picked up two pair of PJ pants at Gap and one pair of sweats from Aerie. It was not easy finding loungewear these days and I really needed to upgrade my pajamas.

I think this will wrap up my fall shopping!

New Wardrobe Additions and Things I Want For Fall

New Wardrobe Additions and Things I Want For Fall

As you may know, I’m working on a low-buy challenge this year. Since I last wrote about it at the end of June, I have bought only a few items.

Madewell Camp Shorts

I LOVE these shorts. They are decadently HIGH-WAISTED and that is everything to me right now. I want them in white but they’re sold out now. I sized down a size. My original inspiration was these by The Great.

Nike Icon Clash Shorts

I’m such a minimalist. I go for solid black… or white. So explain to me why I chose these crazy patterned shorts? Other than they had them in my size and they were flattering. Uh, also, they match the weird sports bra I bought back in June.

Nike Swim Top

Ha ha. I bought this to go with the above shorts. Only it’s not a sports bra. It’s a swim top. I actually found the matching bottoms but they were a no-go. So, I figured, this was a two-fer. I can wear it to workout in or to swim. (I had not yet realized I had already bought the matching Icon Clash Bra.)

 

That’s it! One pair of shorts and one workout outfit. And workout clothes don’t even really count when we’re talking wardrobe additions, right? Right?

I keep looking through my closet and browsing online and I keep coming back to the thought that: I DON’T NEED ANY MORE CLOTHES. Sorry for shouting. I could have just bolded or italicized that. Maybe I’ve just been too busy to shop. Cleaning out the basement, going to the beach, kids starting back to school, training a puppy. I’m just living my life, you know?

But, here are a couple very carefully selected items I might buy this Fall.

RE/DONE Jeans

I’ve been wanting these for a while. It would be a splurge. I’ve heard you can give them your measurements and they will work with you to find the perfect fit. Did I hear that from another blogger? Or did I dream that?

Babaa Cardigan

Oh, the elusive perfect white cardigan! I think I should just go ahead and get this really nice one.

Everlane Grey Cashmere Turtleneck

I may finally pull the trigger on this sweater. Haven’t found another I like better.

 

And probably a pair of clog boots. 😉