I spent a fair amount of time at the mall this weekend, helping a self-proclaimed “style-challenged” friend build up her wardrobe. I couldn’t help but try stuff on as well, and hope to share some more fitting room pics soon. One item I walked out with were these Crewcuts corduroy pants in “crimson maple,” on final sale for $13.99.
After I posted these on FB and Instagram, shrewd readers noted a number of fit concerns like bunchiness, too-long length, pulling by the crotch, and low back pockets. My own standards for pants like these must be relatively low, because I actually think the fit is pretty good on me. I may also be jaded by the fit of other colored pants I’ve tried on to date, including some unspeakably bad Old Navy colored jeggings recently (did they change the quality/fit this year?), and these Gap burgundy corduroys which fit very similarly. My biggest concern was that I was buying them just because it was a good deal for a decent item.
In the end, I bought them because the boyfriend said they looked good, but I certainly could’ve done without. This leads me to a few style goals for the year…
1. Do not buy items because they’re a good deal. This one is so obvious, but it’s also hard to stick to (case in point – already broken). The thrill of a deal makes it easy to justify random items that we never really wanted before.
This also applies to items that aren’t “on sale.” For example, after I started having luck at thrift stores, I ended up buying more than I could wear (or alter at one time) because everything was just a few bucks. Even though the total money wasted was negligible, it’s the acts of adding clutter and unnecessary consumerism that I hope to further cut down on this year.
2. Develop a wardrobe budget for the year, and be okay with spending more on items that are thoroughly researched and within budget.
This and #1 go hand-in-hand, because less frivolous purchases mean more space and funds for items I really want – even if they may be much pricier. I’ve never liked budgeting, but have been approaching this concept loosely by developing an annual wardrobe spending target (and tracking purchases monthly). Last year, I allocated it as an approximate percentage of income, after considering short and long-term financial goals plus spending desires in other categories. As these factors constantly change, I plan on sitting down to evaluate this year with fresh eyes.
3. Expand more outside my comfort zone, while keeping true to my personal style. If I stuck purely to what I’m most comfortable with, this blog would probably be a catalog of tweed pencil skirts and AT perfect pumps. As silly as it may sound, encouragement from readers to be less predictable inspires me to try different styles and silhouettes. I have several on my list to experiment with (i.e. non-skinny cut jeans), and hope to learn how to make them work for my own body type.
4. Continue curating my wardrobe, with an effort to make it more interesting. Over the past few years, I’ve added a number of good, versatile basics to my closet. I’ve also noticed large concentrations of H&M;, Ann Taylor, and J.Crew in my closet. These brands cater to petite women and offer fair price points, thus I’ll probably always shop them. However, as my wardrobe voids are diminishing, I hope to add new brands and designers for some diversity in my collection. I also hope to add pieces that may be less versatile / get less wear, but bring something special to outfits.
5. Fix or get rid of existing items that aren’t great. This goal is inspired by a reader, Janki, who wrote that she resolves to fix ill-fitting garments in her closet before buying new ones. I’ve taken several alteration “shortcuts” throughout the years, to achieve a passable fit for the time being. I hope to revisit those items and either spend the money on professional alterations, or the time on learning how to DIY them properly.
Briefly turning back to these cords – after bringing them home and taking a 360 degree look, my biggest fit issue is the knee bunching. I’m not sure what causes them, but just noticed the same issue on the Gap petite cords. Measurements of a girls sz 12 are: 13.75″ across the waist, 16″ across the hips, 8″ rise, 28″ inseam (which I hemmed to 26.6″), 5.5″ wide leg opening (which I tapered to 4.5″ across). Material is a semi-stretchy 98% cotton, 2% spandex.