2019 Winter Wardrobe Haul: What I Found + What I Learned


As promised, today I'm sharing my "winter wardrobe haul". These are the new pieces I've added to my wardrobe per my most recent shopping trip with Mama C, as my high school friends liked to call my mother (C for Conley—my maiden name, in case you were wondering), along with a few pieces I picked up from a local resale shop a little earlier this season.

I was especially excited about this particular shopping trip: I already had a lot of the staples, and I'd made up a good list of things I was looking for. Specifically, I wanted a few warm sweater/duster type tops I could wear over many of my existing staples. I already have a handful of regular sweaters, but not that could be easily layered, so that was my main goal this time around. I also needed black jeans, which had been on my list for a while.

You'll see I haven't veered too far from my typical color palette (if it ain't broke, right?). For the most part, I stuck with yummy neutral tones and plenty of texture, aside from one little outlier—leopard print! Can't wait to show you how I styled that below!!

Before I get to the outfits, here's the list of new pieces I picked up, along with what I utilized from my existing wardrobe.

CLOTHING FINDS:

Long Dark Brown Duster

Hooded Leopard Print Over-Sweater

Striped White Wool Blazer

Chunky Gold Turtleneck Sweater

Black Mid-Rise Skinny Jeans

Cream Blouse with Lace Detail (resale find)

ACCESSOIRES / SHOE FINDS:

Thin Gold Watch (vintage)

Chunky Gold Vintage Necklace (vintage)

Plaid Wool Scarf (resale)

Brown Mid-Rise Boots (resale)

EXISTING PIECES USED IN OUTFITS:

Striped V-Neck Tee

Chambray Button Up (resale find)

Black Fashion Boots

Gold/Brown Earrings

ACCESSOIRES

I'm super excited about my jewelry finds, mainly because they are vintage pieces that used to be my Grandma's! The necklace (you'll see a better photo below) is super comfortable and simple while making a big statement. It's also SUPER easy to put on because the clasp is essentially a magnetic snap—genius!

The watch, however, is what I'm most excited about! I've never ever ever liked wearing watches or bracelets. I have abnormally large wrist bones (I know, it's weird), which makes wearing anything on my wrists super uncomfortable, but this watch is perfect!! It's comfortable and loose fitting but holds it's shape, so it wears more like a thin bangle, and it feels super classy for both dress up and casual.

I was very pleased to find out that the watch worked since the battery was dead when I found it. I took it over to my friends at Bauble Patch Jewelers to replace the battery and repair the safety chain, which had snapped in two places, and now it looks brand spanking new!

It's so fun to have a couple staple pieces that were my grandma's. Her name was Bev, and she was super sassy and extremely fashionable. It's a great little way to feel connected to my past and remember my rocking grandma!

The other fun accessory find was this chunky plaid wool scarf. It was a last minute add at Style Encore to get me to a discount (one of those spend $50 and get $10 back type deals), but it turned out to be the perfect final addition to most of my winter outfits. Plus, even if it doesn't match a given outfit, I can still wear it with my black puffer coat to keep me toasty warm.

OUTFIT #1: LAYERED BOMBER JACKET

The first outfit is super simple and comfortable, but still feels stylish. I tucked an existing striped v-neck tee into high-waist jeans layered under the faux suede bomber jacket, and finished off the look with the plaid wool scarf and fashion sunnies from summer. You can't see my feet in these photos, but I had on the low rise black boots.








WHY IT WORKS:

Four different textures—wool, faux sued, denim, and cotton. It's always great to mix up your textures when you're layering (similar to when decorating a room!). I used two solids (jacket and jeans) and two patterns, stripes + plaid, but you'll notice the scale of the plaid is much bigger than the stripes, which is key when it comes to mixing patterns—vary the scale of the pattern, and you'll be just fine.

OUTFIT #2: THE JEDI

This sweater had me stumped when I first brought it home. It had a tie around the waist that was also made of sweater material, and when I had it tied, I honestly looked like Obi Wan Kanobi. I quickly realized I needed to lose the tie and let the duster hang open, and since the fabric is quite thick, it made for a straight somewhat tailored silhouette.

I paired it with a chambray button up tucked into the skinny mid-rise black jeans and my black boots from last season.

For this one, I felt like the gold jewelry added the extra pop this outfit needed. Each of these clothing pieces is a solid color and all in mid to darker tones, so it can feel a little blocky. The gold adds some brightness and makes it feel a little dressier.

I love how the wool scarf works with this outfit as well. It brings in some pattern and color, and makes this outfit feel extra cozy for winter. You'll notice also that a theme of these outfits is POCKETS. Winter means gloves—or if you're me, forgetting your gloves—and it's nice to have a place to put your gloves OR a place to put your hands when you forget the gloves!!

WHY IT WORKS

Who says brown and black don't work? Well. It's true, some browns and some blacks don't work, but not the case with these two! This is more of a rusty brown and has a good amount of contrast with the black pants, and I brought in some lighter tones with the scarf, which gives the outfit more depth.

Layers are also a fun way to add interest to an outfit. You'll notice I was intentional to let the cuffs of the chambray shirt peak out the cuffs of the sweater, adding a little color around my wrists. Then, the flowy lapel of the sweater layered with the tassels of the scarf make this combo feel extra whimsical and classy.

Lastly, long sweaters like this, especially when paired with skinnies and a tucked in shirt, make you look taller: they allow for the longest lines, both from your waist to your feet, and from your arms to the bottom of the sweater—getting rid of the "jedi robe tie" definitely helped with that!

OUTFIT #3: LEOPARD PRINT HOODIE

This outfit was my wild card! When I saw the leopard print sweater on the rack, my heart got SO happy!! I own one other leopard print piece—a polyester button up knee length dress—but the scale of the pattern is much smaller, and it's all in a monochromatic grey palette. This one is perfect because it has all the tones! Black, brown, cream, and grey (the inside and cuffs are a grayish tone), which makes it suuuuuper versatile.

For this look, I paired it again with the chambray button up (you'll notice this shirt pops up a lot this season...it's definitely going to be a staple this year!), black skinny jeans, and black boots. I also loved the way my grandma's jewelry worked with this outfit as well. The jewelry pieces are SO simple that they pretty much go with anything! And I'm loving the way the chunky necklace works with collard shirts, when just a tiny bit peaks out.

Like for real!! Aren't these pieces from Grandma Bec just the cuuuuutest?!?! I can't get over them...

WHY IT WORKS

Same deal as above! I'm again mixing solids, patterns, and textures. We also have a three fairly different tones happening here: super dark bottoms, mid tone button up, light sweater. The contrast in this outfit is especially nice!

OUTFIT #4: WOOL BLAZER

Same dealo here! Paired my trusty chambray with this adorable chunky blazer—with HUGE pockets—black jeans, black boots, and gold jewelry. I haven't found myself reaching for this outfit quite as often as the previous three, but I'm determined to make this a staple this winter! It's warm, classy, and super comfortable. My gut tells me that I'm just a little more drawn to warmer tones right now, and maybe to cozy flowy pieces rather than tailored pieces like this, but it's nice to have a little variety, and this one can be totally dressed up or down depending on what you pair it with.

OUTFIT #5: CHUNKY TURTLE NECK

This one has already been worn a BUNCH this fall, and I have no doubt it will continue to be a staple this season! It's super cozy, and looks great tucked or untucked. I love that it has just a little extra detail on the sides (see below), and that the sleeves are super baggy and look cute with large cuffs. Again, super versatile. I can wear it with dress pants, jeans, or even yoga pants and still feel super stylish!

- TUCKED -

- UNTUCKED -

- FRENCH TUCKED -

OUTFIT #6 - LACY BLOUSE

This top and boots were resale finds, and super adorable. I've loved flowy blouses for the last 5 years or so, and I've always worn them straight through winter layered with other pieces. The problem with those tops has always been that I find myself FREEZING. This one, however, is super thick and warm, so I can wear it and feel comfortable even without a cami underneath. You can't tell in the photos, but it also has a great almost fuzzy texture to it that gives it just a little more interest than a typical solid blouse.

It's snazzy enough that I can pair it with black dress paints and heals or tuck it into my black pencil skirt for something fancier or business dress, but it also looks cute and casual with jeans and boots.

- TUCKED -

- UNTUCKED -

The boots, on the other hand, were a bit of a fail. I like the way the look, although I've been more drawn to pointy toes recently (that said, I did just buy some AWESOME round toe black heel boots that haven't arrived yet...can't wait to show you those..).

The issue is that they turned out to be incredibly uncomfortable...they are just a tad too high for comfort, and since they have the wide opening, they pretty much offer no support. I could probably wear them for a quick meeting here or here, but if I needed to do much walking or standing, these would be a no-go.

Oh well!! They were second hand and not expensive, so no harm done!

- THIS OUTFIT IN ACTION -

WHAT I LEARNED FROM

MY WINTER WARDROBE HAUL

  • As much as I'm not usually a pattern gal, I did end up with a few pieces that are more bold than my usual go-tos, and I'm happy about that!

  • I went with more saturated brown/neutral tones this time around. I noticed that I used to go for lighter brown tones in my over sweaters, but they were so close to my skin tone that I often looked washed out. I find these more saturated brown tones are a better compliment to my complexion.

  • A chambray + black jeans is an excellent base for a LOT of outfits. This will definitely be a go-to all season.

  • This round reinforced that I'm all about simplicity. I find myself super excited to reach for my same pieces of jewelry and my same scarf every day and to have just a few go-to outfits to cycle through each week. It's all about that uniform, baby!

SO—WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Just like in interior design, I believe personal style is as much about function as it is about design. Just as the way a space needs to function can be completely different from one client to the next, the same is true for our wardrobes. My capsule-like simple strategy for clothing works really well for my work and life routines, but I'm curious about yours! Do you have a strategy for clothing? For you, is less more or is more more? Do you hang on to pieces for a long time or cycle through them quickly? Do you resonate with any of these outfits, or is your style completely different?

Tell me about your own wardrobe or personal style in the comments!

Ruby was so adorable while shooting these outfits—I just had to include one of her sweet little pupper face!