Comfy fall travel outfits for fall 2014

Some TJ Maxx shopping / Cynthia Rowley Haul {May 10, 2014}

Navy and white striped linen blend Ellen Tracy sweater with 3/4 length sleeves. Great for layering over tanks.
Navy and white striped linen blend Ellen Tracy sweater with 3/4 length sleeves. Great for layering over tanks.

So I went shopping at TJ Maxx Saturday looking for some simple business casual pieces that would work well in the hot summer heat and with my existing wardrobe. I was mostly looking for light layering pieces like short sleeved breezy cardigans and super light light sweaters that would work well over tank tops.

Let’s start with the items I passed on:
(and then we’ll get to the good stuff)

NOW on to the good stuff:
(I went in thinking I might find one good piece but instead found a bit more!)

I ALMOST passed on the silk tank top because of the price. It’s been awhile since I spent $30 on a single shirt. But it’s a good business meeting piece and comfortable so it came home with me. Really cute button top in the back that I didn’t take a better photo of too.

As for buying TWO short sleeve linen blend cardigans – I already own some long sleeve linen blend cardigans [seen here and here] and LOVE them which is part of the reason I just bought both short sleeve linen blend cardigans. I also have the same long sleeve jacket in black as well as the neutral shade.

I probably could wear the long sleeve cardigans in the summer they are so light but they look warmer than they are. They are also warm enough though to cut the chill on a cool evening.

A surprising amount of what I bought was Cynthia Rowley. I did not plan it this way as I tend to shop by look and feel of the fabric quality when shopping in a store like TJ Maxx (I also do this when thrift shopping.) I’m clearly attracted to rayon, linen and silk though….

Anyway – WAY more items than I expected to find shopping on Saturday but they were all such good wardrobe building basic that I didn’t want to pass any up!

Consignment Store Clothing Haul – $20 Bag Sale

Stephen Lawrence, a local consignment store that typically carries gently worn medium – high end items, is having their bag sale March 16th & 17th 2012. $20 gets you a bag and full of end of season clothes. Whatever you could stuff into the bag was yours. I thought it was too good to pass up and I just found out that the proceeds are going our KY neighbors who lost everything in some recent tornados.

I got there promptly at 11am and was done by noon. There were no dressing rooms so you had to be able to really eyeball your size and style across a wide range of brands.

Here’s the breakdown of my bag:

  • 21 articles of clothing total
  • 3 pieces that flat out don’t fit
  • 3 pieces don’t look good on me
  • 2 pieces that are what I call pajama worthy (fit, comfy, but are not flattering)
  • 13 pieces that look good, 3 of which were pants / bottoms!

Not bad for $20!

The 3 that didn’t fit (picture below): “Banana Republic” maroon 100% silk top, “INC” maroon patterned top 100% silk, “For Joseph” lightweight darkwash 100% cotton jean trousers. The lightweight jeans were my biggest disappointment because they look bigger than the other pants I picked up that seem to have magical shrinking powers and seem 3 sizes too small when I try them on. Brand new with tags and a dark wash.  I tired them on twice because I really thought I was having a pants trying on failure moment but nope, they just plain didn’t fit.

The 3 that weren’t flattering on me (below): “Nurture” 100% Merino hunter green tank, “Koret” Black and white striped T (with some little yellow stripes), “Sigrid Olsen Sport” red thin-stripped capris.

The Coats / Jackets (below): “Gap” red / rust colored stretch corduroy jacket in a jean jacket style, “The F.L. Collection” brown / auburn colored corduroy fitted jacket with elbow patches, “Harvé Bernard by Senard Roltzman” vibrantblue (UK blue) 70% wool, 20% nylon pea coat (I need to sew the buttons tighter) but is one of my favorites that I picked up.

The Grays (below): “Lauren by Ralph Laren” cotton shawl collar sweater which is another favorite, “Chelsea & Violet” 53% wool, 25% acrylic lightweight snap front cardigan, “Calvin Klein” 100% silk wrap front sleeveless blouse which needs a cami under it.

The Pants / Bottoms: “Talbots” cotton khakis new with tags they have a horse riding inspired look to them and are a nice thickness, “J.H. Collectibles” aqua capris, “Studio Y” brown dress shorts / capris they hit below the knee … which sounds bad but they look better on than you would think.

More layers: “Allison Daley” navy, cream and metallic gold large houndstooth jacket,  “Max Studio” black and gold (non-metallic) lightweight hoodie, “Coldwater Creek” navy lace button up shirt with three quarter length sleeves.

The Sleepers & Tank: “Ann Taylor” long sleeve scoop neck t-shirt in a deep pink or pinky plum, “Evie” 55% silk, 20% viscos, 20% nylon, tank in a green apple / light lime color which will be great under things but not by itself, “Olo” periwinkle zip up fuzzy jacket (I knew when I bought this that it would be a sleep item.)

 

Did I have a process? Yes, but I didn’t have any idea what that would be before I was inside:

  • 1st I glanced at the shoes and decided not to bother with them because they took up so much space in the bag (and I wasn’t seeing any that immediately screamed my name.)
  • then onto the pants because they didn’t seem to have as much in my size range as other sizes. I wanted to pick over them before other people.
    1. I picked out anything I thought I might like and held it
    2. reviewed them on the hangers
    3. put anything back I thought would flat out not fit or really wasn’t quite what I had thought it was at first glance
    4. removed the tags to put in the pink plastic bags on the walls per the employees instructions
    5. removed the garment from the hanger and neatly folded it and placed in the bag.
  • then onto the tops and repeat steps 1-5 for both large and medium tops (they had a variety of brands so I look through both because some brands run small and some brands don’t.)
  • then I still had some space left in the bag so I glanced at the shoes again, not seeing anything in my size, and headed off to the room with the jackets and coats. Since jackets and coats take up a lot of space and because they can be tried on over things I went ahead and tried on quite a few but there were still no mirrors so I held onto those I wasn’t sure of until I was done and repeated steps 1-5 again. The blue coat had gone immediately into my bag after being tried on.
  • Bag is full, pay my $20 cash and leave happy. I know I at least have a new coat. 🙂

My favorites of the bunch are a vibrant UK blue coat, a Ralph Lauren grey shawl collar sweater, and the fact I actually have three new pairs of bottoms.

Have you ever participated in a bag sale? What did you think and is it common for them to not have dressing rooms? Do you have a plan of action going in in order to get the best deals?

Some recent business outfits

I recently snagged some new Chico’s pants (3 pair) when they went on sale for a day so I’ve been dressing up a bit more than usual. I know it sounds odd but I’m a jeans fan.
 
Let’s start with the pink (I’m surprised pink worked on me),  khaki and gold sort of look:

Chico’s Cavalry Twill Palazzo Pant | Chico’s Silky Top
J Crew sweater (similar | similar) | Nine West shoes (similar)

A close up of the shoes:

And then last Tuesday I ended up wearing purple, black and grey. Photos aren’t as good as those above because I was taking them really quick and only snapped three:
Chico’s Sweater | top from TJMaxx | Ralph Lauren necklace from TJ Maxx | Chico’s Magique Flare Leg Trouser Pant | Cap Toe Ballet Flats are Payless Claire Scrunch Flat dexflex by Dexter
By the evening I was calling the ruffles on this shirt “tentacles.” I also didn’t realize until recently when I grouped them in the closet that I have no less than 5 shiny, silky, satiny shirts. I really don’t know how that happened.
 
Anyway – hopefully it will give you some ideas on pants based business attire that doesn’t involve a suit or dress. 🙂
 
So tell me, on the things I tried to find similar matches, did I do ok?