10 item wardrobe star wars murder she wrote

10-Item Winter 2017 Wardrobe: Murder!

Hey guys! I’ve finally put together my 10-item wardrobe for this winter, yay! It took me a little longer than I planned to put this post together because one, I was waiting on a black cardigan from ThredUp, and two, I had to make sure my clothes were clean before I took pictures. Ha.

So if you’ve read my blog in the past, you know I have a big thing for capsule wardrobes–I learned about the 10-item wardrobe from writer Jennifer L. Scott‘s Madame Chic books. Basically, you want to put together 10 “core” pieces that go well together: pants, dresses, blouses, sweaters, etc. Then you round it out with extras like t-shirts (I admit I have a lot of t-shirts right now, but when you see them you’ll understand why). The 10-item wardrobe does not include underwear, outerwear, or evening wear.

I’ve always wanted the perfect, packable wardrobe–something I could throw in a small suitcase and travel the world in, looking good (or at least acceptable) everywhere I go. This is seriously it. I take my 10-item wardrobe with me to Massachusetts every spring break to visit my husband’s family. It takes less than five minutes to pack and I’m good to go. And in my everyday life, it takes me like three minutes to get dressed. It’s awesome and I love it. So let’s look at the clothes!

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Plaid blouse by Rail.

This is a new purchase this year–I found it while shopping with my Mom. I love this shirt–it’s so soft and cozy, but it’s nice enough to go out to dinner.

10-Item Wardrobe

J. Crew Factory chambray shirt.

This shirt has been part of almost every one of my 10-item wardrobes from the very start (I did take it out of rotation to give it a rest). It’s still holding up well!

10-item wardrobe jeans

Citizens of Humanity “Sculpt – Rocket” high rise skinny jeans in Waverly.

I admit–my jeans are the most expensive part of my wardrobe. However, I wear them multiple times per week, so I really need high-quality jeans that will hold up. My last pair of Citizens of Humanity jeans lasted almost three years, so I’m doing my best to make sure these follow suit. They’re never going in the dryer! Anyway, it took me a moment to deal with the fact that these jeans go up to my waist–I’ve been wearing low-rise jeans for the past 15 years and I was a little worried this meant that I was Giving. Up. But they are insanely flattering, and it’s kind of nice to be able to sit without worrying that I’m flashing anyone. Bah, I have given up, noooooo!

10 item wardrobe jeans

Citizens of Humanity “Rocket – Sculpt” high rise skinny jeans in black.

Hey, when I find something that works I buy it in a second color. Citizens of Humanity jeans are also super comfy, which is a major plus, since I’m often sitting/squatting on the floor with my toddler.

10 item wardrobe Kenneth Cole black leggings

Kenneth Cole black leggings.

These are actually some leggings my Mom gave me for Christmas six or seven years ago that I rarely wore, but couldn’t bear to part with. I grew up in the ’80s, so I wore leggings the first time around, plus I kind of hate the leggings as pants trend. However. These are some good-looking leggings, plus I’ve started going to the gym on a regular basis. Paired with a t-shirt (see below) and my ancient sports bra from college (also rarely worn), I’ve got a workout outfit.

10 item wardrobe

Spider-Man sweatshirt, Forever 21.

This Spider-Man sweatshirt is also a long-time member of my various 10-item wardrobes, and it’s also part of my workout ensemble. I look really athletic and serious about fitness in it. Ha. I love this sweatshirt and will never part with it, neveeerrrrrr!

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Fisherman’s sweater, vintage.

I love this sweater, but I was thisclose to dropping it from my 10-item wardrobe. It’s so heavy and thick, but . . . it’s so heavy and thick! I don’t actually need a big wool sweater most of the time (I run hot), plus it’s a little uncomfortable under my trench coat. However! It is so pretty, and this winter has been a little colder than usual. I’ve been using it as a coat when it’s not raining.

10 item wardrobe black sweater H&M

H&M black cardigan with lace detail.

Because my fisherman’s sweater is so heavy, I felt like I needed a lighter cardigan to throw over my (many) t-shirts. But since I had already spent my Christmas and birthday money on things like jeans (see above), I didn’t want to spend a lot. I found this sweater on ThredUp, a site that sells used clothing online, for about $11. It arrived in like-new condition, and it works well with the rest of my wardrobe! I actually couldn’t tell it had lace on it when I bought it (black is hard to photograph), but I’m glad it does–it’s something I wouldn’t usually choose, and it adds a little extra interest to my wardrobe.

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Blue “chambray” dress, Twill.

I picked up this dress from Twill, a local boutique that sells cute, reasonably priced clothes. It fits really nicely and is comfortable–a big plus for me. I don’t generally wear a lot of dresses during the day in the winter, so I’ll pair this with tights or leggings.

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Topshop Star Plissé wrap dress.

This dress is awesome and insanely flattering. I wore it out for the first time this past weekend to the Image Comics welcome/anniversary party and I got a lot of compliments.

And now, the extras–aka I got a lot of cool t-shirts for my birthday and Christmas this year!

10 item wardrobe Madewell

Madewell t-shirts, white and gray.

These are great, basic t-shirts.

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Splendid ringer t-shirt.

Geez! All my t-shirts look wrinkly but I am not ironing them, not even for you, dear reader. The fabric of this ringer tee is soft and thick–I love it.

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J. Crew Factory long-sleeved striped boatneck t-shirts.

Again, these are long-time loves of mine–they are the best! The navy-striped one is at least four years old and it looks great (I’m wearing it right now). I hang these to dry as well. You can buy them here!

10 item wardrobe star wars murder she wrote

Star Wars and Murder, She Wrote t-shirts.

My friends are the best, they buy me rad t-shirts that make me happy.

Phew! So here it is! I think this is my best 10-item wardrobe yet–I like how I can literally do anything from work out at the gym to go out at night in it, yet pretty much all the pieces go together nicely. It helps that I pretty much stick to neutrals, stripes, and nerd.

Have any of you tried out the capsule wardrobe? What do you think? Post below!

10 item wardrobe

10 Item Wardrobe Prep: Winter 2017

Sometimes I hate the 10-item wardrobe. Don’t get me wrong: having 10 core pieces (pants, sweaters, dresses, etc.) and extras (t-shirts) that look great together and fit my personal style is amazing! I can get dressed in three minutes, I always at least look presentable, and it’s really easy to pack for trips. However. When you are in the habit of saving your Christmas and birthday money and doing your major shopping in January, and three of your 10 items (two pairs of three-year-old jeans and one pair of red pants) go kaput in October, you start to look pretty shabby.

I was able to still wear my old black jeans and sub in my light-blue summer jeans from J Crew Factory, but then I realized that my t-shirts were looking pretty worn out. Then one day, I took out my APC sweater dress–purchased just two years ago–and realized that despite my special care, it had become shapeless and unflattering. What was happening?!? I basically wore my striped J Crew Factory shirts and my worn-thin black jeans for two months straight. When I wasn’t dressed as Mrs. Santa Claus.

The good new is: I went shopping today with my Mom! And, just like in Pretty Woman, I had money to spend, thanks to my weekly savings plan (I sock away a little money every week to buy the whole family clothes) and gift money. Thank you parents and in-laws!

I’m waiting on one pair of jeans to be delivered, so in the meantime, I’m going to go through last winter’s 10-item wardrobe and talk about what worked, what didn’t, and what should die in a fire. Then next week, I’ll have a shiny new post unveiling my new duds! I’m sure you’re all very excited.

10 item wardrobe

J. Crew Factory long-sleeved striped boatneck t-shirts.

If you’re a regular reader of these 10-item wardrobe posts, you recognize these shirts–they just keep going and going! Seriously, I’ve had the navy-striped one for at least three years and it shows no sign of wearing out (pro tip: I always hang these to dry). I may actually get sick of these! Definitely staying (but I really count these as extras).

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Thread & Supply blue “menswear” shirt.

I feel a little guilty looking at this one. I got it last year from my parents for my birthday while shopping with my Mom (thanks again!) but while I wore it a fair amount this summer, I totally forgot about it. Gonna have to try it on and see if it’s worthy to be one of the 10, or I may just keep it for when I need to look business-y. It’s a maybe.

10 item wardrobe

Spider-Man sweatshirt, Forever 21.

This is another item that’s still going strong! I bought it in San Diego during Comic-Con 2013, the final one I worked as an employee of Things From Another World–but not at Comic-Con, weirdly enough. Not only does this sweatshirt feature Spider-Man (its initial selling point), but it’s the perfect size and weight. Also, a great conversation starter. It’s staying!

10 item wardrobe

Halogen grey wool-blend sweater with embroidery.

I like this a lot–the look, the weight, the fit–but it isn’t wearing as nicely as I would like. I’ve laid it flat to dry but it’s still pilling. It’s staying this year, but we’ll see for next.

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Red and gray J Crew Factory sweater with gold polka dots

Ditto for this one–I still like it, but it’s pilling. Maybe it’s me? Likely will stay for 2017.

10 item wardrobe

J Crew Factory jeans.

These jeans are great, but it’s weird that I had them in my “winter” 10-item wardrobe last year. I’ve been wearing them this winter until I got new jeans, but I’ll put them away until this summer.

10 item wardrobe

J. Crew Factory red tailored stretch Lexie pant.

These . . . did not stretch the way I needed them to. They’ve either shrunk a bit or I’ve put on five pounds. I’m not going to say which. They also faded (typical for red fabric), so they’re gone!

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Vince black ponte pants.

I still like these pants, but they’re a maybe. They tend to stretch out and get baggy as I wear them. If I wash them and put them in the dryer they shrink up again, but I feel like they’ll wear out faster that way.

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APC sweater dress.

Ack–no! I have been very disappointed by this dress, which I bought on sale a couple years ago. You can kind of see it here–despite my keeping it folded in a drawer and dry-cleaning it (a rarity for me), it has . . . relaxed? It’s baggy and shapeless, and I give up. I give up!

10 item wardrobe

Fisherman’s sweater, vintage.

Oh man. I still love this, but it had a couple of moth holes when I bought it. I repaired them, but either more keep happening or I’m discovering more! Also, it’s very thick and heavy, so it’s bulky under my coat, and I run hot and tend to not need a sweater as warm as this one. A maybe.

Final verdict: three maybes, and three no’s–leaving a possible six slots open in my highly competitive, breathlessly anticipated 10-item winter wardrobe! Do you feel the excitement? Gee, I hope people don’t bet their entire fortunes on the outcome.

As always, I must credit Jennifer L. Scott, author of the Madame Chic books, for her 10-item wardrobe inspiration! See you next week!

My Summer 2016 10-Item Wardrobe

Yes! I am so excited to write this post. I love everything about the 10-item wardrobe idea, which I first read about in Jennifer L. Scott’s Madame Chic books. Having a simplified capsule wardrobe makes my life much easier: I can close all my drawers, and getting dressed takes no time. But also, I feel like it’s made me more stylish. Having to pare down my wardrobe makes me focus on what I actually wear every day, which are usually the items I feel best in.

So when the weather started getting warmer, I started by bringing out and evaluating my summer 2015 10-item wardrobe. While I kept a lot of it, some pieces that were a few years old needed to be retired and replaced.

I love this year’s wardrobe! The color scheme is red, white, and blue. I didn’t mean to be so patriotic: red is one of my favorite colors, and blue goes with everything. So let’s start with pieces that made the cut from last year:

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Fisherman’s sweater, vintage. This is from my fall/winter wardrobe. It’s warm but still looks great with summery clothes.

10-Item Wardrobe

Gap cropped white jeans.

10-Item Wardrobe

J. Crew Factory striped dress. I still love this piece, I’ve had it for four years!

10-Item Wardrobe

Floral dress, made by me about six years ago. Pattern by Amy Butler. This is a great any-occasion summer dress. The colors are so bright!

10-Item Wardrobe

J. Crew Factory chambray shirt. Another one I’ve had for four years!

And now (drumroll please): the four new additions for this year!

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What’s this? My goodness, it’s the summery, short-sleeved cousin of my very favorite J. Crew shirt! I especially love the peacock blue and dark red together, it looks vintage.

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Navy blue J. Crew Factory 5″ chino shorts. These are actually a late addition to last summer’s 10-item wardrobe. They’ve held up well!

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J. Crew Factory striped chevron dress. This is the dress I blogged about (the one I was eyeing as an alternative to a $500 dress). I love this dress. It fits beautifully, it’s made beautifully (it’s lined, and they’ve matched the stripes really well), and it was only about $50.

Here’s the dress on (a little wrinkly–I was sitting in it)!

So those are my 10 core pieces. Here are some T-shirts (my extras) to round things out:

Summer just isn’t summer without Archie. I got this shirt from Archie Comics’ official Threadless store! The (wow, wrinkled) navy T-shirt, white and gray tees, and floral tank are all from (of course) J. Crew Factory. The floral, white, and gray tops are from last year.

So what do you think? I’m pairing everything with my brown Josef Seibel sandals and brown Ahnu sneakers, both of which are about two years old. I also have some five-year-old Sam Edelman silver flats that have held up really well (see picture above).

Have you done a 10-item or capsule wardrobe? Post about it below!

Enchanted Forest

Happy Monday! April 25th Is the Perfect Date

Enchanted Forest

This witch straight-up terrified me as a child. The Enchanted Forest! Photo from PDXFamilyAdventures.com.

Happy Monday! Sarah took an early nap and I’m caught up/between freelance tasks, so I can actually blog today. I know, it’s so exciting! It’s frustrating, because I have so many things I’d like to be writing about, but my free time is shrinking more and more. But enough whining. Did you know that April 25th is the perfect date?

Links!

Prince

Prince gets his own section, because Prince. The legendary musician died last Thursday at age 57, and the world lost a truly talented, amazing individual. Again. There are a lot of lovely tributes online, but I prefer to post the video of Prince kicking Kim Kardashian off the stage. Not because I have anything in particular against her, but come on–if Prince asks you to dance? You dance.

But seriously–check out the video of Prince covering Radiohead’s “Creep” at Coachella eight years ago for a good ugly cry. It’s beautiful. Also, I went to karaoke with friends at the Ambassador this weekend and the songs were 85% Prince, and we have some very enthusiastic–and talented–local singers.

Whoa. Did you click the Ambassador link above? I had no idea their website was so . . . something. Wow.

Comics, Entertainment, General Nerdery

The official full cast list of the new Twin Peaks is here! Quick thoughts: I’m intrigued by Alicia Witt returning (as Donna Hayward’s little sister, a bit part in the original), and thrilled that David Duchovny’s Denise will appear! Also . . . Eddie Vedder? Uh, okay.

Also, the shortlist for the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Kids’ Comics is up on The Beat.

In local Portland nerdery, now’s your chance to suggest a panel for the 2016 Rose City Comic ConYou have the power!

Also, my crafty geeks: make sure turn in your application for GeekCraft Expo PDX by 4/30: this Saturday! Dooooo it.

In “How did I not already know this?” news, J. Rachel Edidin opened my eyes to the fact that Oregon’s weird/cool/creepy/amazeballs theme park, the Enchanted Forest, is open on weekends this month. I will be writing more on this subject soon!

While speaking of J. Rachel Edidin, I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you that the latest episode of Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men is live, and it covers the debut of Inferno and the X-Terminators, and I must listen right now.

But first, one more video! If I had enough hair, I would try this braided chignon tutorial by Jennifer L. Scott:

So I bid you a fond farewell–for now! How did you honor Prince this past weekend, dear readers? Do you have any comics to recommend? Post below!

Happy Tuesday! International Women’s Day

International Women's Day

It’s International Women’s Day! Image from International Women’s Day!

Happy Tuesday everyone! I was unable to blog yesterday because Sarah has been 1) sick and 2) teething, and the combination left her inconsolable unless I was physically holding her. Sigh. I invited a friend over for lunch and she ended up making the sandwiches. But hey! Sarah might have eight whole teeth by the time she turns 18 months (she’s been a real slow teether).

On to links!

International Women’s Day

It’s International Women’s Day, a day celebrating the achievements of women and calling for increased gender equality and an end to discrimination and violence towards women. As a woman and a mother, I approve.

Check out UN Women’s interactive timeline about notable women in history–it’s really interesting, and visually stimulating for kids, too.

Speaking of notable women, Kelly Sue DeConnick is a fantastic comic book writer (Bitch Planet, Ms. Marvel), force of nature, and inspirational kick-ass woman. She used her fame and social media prowess for good yesterday, retweeting the names and portfolio links of hundreds of female comic book creators yesterday using the #VisibleWomen hashtag. Go check ’em out!

Another woman I love is Jennifer L. Scott, author of the Madame Chic books. She posts weekly video blogs over at the Daily Connoisseur, and just posted one that especially speaks to me about dealing with exhaustion. Plus she gave my latest 10-item wardrobe post a shout out, and I want to return the favor!

Of course, my favorite fictional woman is Jessica Fletcher of Murder, She Wrote. One day I will write in length why, but in the meantime, Bitch Media’s Jessica Fletcher of “Murder, She Wrote” Is My Anti-Ageism Heroine is well worth the read!

Cooking

As part of this month’s meal planning, I brought out my Mom’s 1970s copy of Make-A-Mix-Cookery. It’s all about creating your own mixes–for baking, casseroles, soups, etc.–to save time and money. And I’m all about creating my own entertainment by trying out retro recipes. So far I’ve made two of the mixes, so keep an eye out for reviews!

Speaking of Kelly Sue, she posted this recipe for a Buckeye Bundt Cake and I want. To. Make. It. And I will.

Okay, I’ve got to give Sarah a bath now (I will spare you the details why). Post your favorite women below!

10 item wardrobe

Winter 10-Item Wardobe–FINALLY

Look at this–two blog posts in one day? How do I do it all? Mostly it involves keeping my daughter busy with books and/or literally holding her while I took the photos. She had a lot of fun dancing on my clothes, too. But finally, yes, my awesome ivory wool fisherman’s sweater arrived, and it was the perfect piece to complete my 10-item wardrobe for the rest of the winter (especially with us visiting Massachusetts this month–brr!).

Well. I kinda cheated. This is actually an 11-item wardrobe. But since this also represents what I’m taking on our trip, I had to add a dress–even if I don’t wear it weekly–and I grouped my two favorite striped shirts as one.

If you haven’t heard of the concept before, the 10-item wardrobe is something I heard about when I first read Jennifer L. Scott’s Madame Chic books, and it hit a chord. I’ve always wanted the perfect, compact, packable wardrobe where all the pieces go together and I never have to think when I get dressed. Plus, being able to close my dresser drawers is always a bonus. The 10 (or 11) items are your core items. This doesn’t include extras like t-shirts and scarves, underwear, outwear, shoes, or evening wear.

I’ve done a couple 10-item wardrobes before, and what’s really struck me is I have a much better sense of my “style,” or what I really like and wear. Look at the pics below and it’s clear that I like red and navy. And stripes. And gray. And Spider-Man. I’ve got to add some comics somewhere!

So, without further ado, here is my 11-item wardrobe:

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J. Crew Factory long-sleeved striped boatneck t-shirts.

I love these shirts. I love these shirts so much. I’ve had the navy stripe for more than a year. The red, I bought two months ago. While the navy stripe is a little softer, they are otherwise indistinguishable, age-wise. This is partly because I hang them to dry, but partly because they are thick, well-made, awesome, and well-nigh indestructible. There are two additional colors available at J. Crew Factory and I am seriously considering buying them. Plus, they look great, fit well, and my black nursing bras don’t show through.

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Thread & Supply “menswear” blue shirt.

This is a new purchase, a birthday gift from my Mom and Dad (thank you!). It looks a little rumpled in the picture but it’s the perfect “menswear” type shirt, crisp and tailored, but it fits a lady. I mean me.

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Spider-Man sweatshirt, Forever 21.

I bought this sweatshirt two-and-a-half years ago and it’s still one of my favorites! I had to mend the waistband once, but otherwise, it’s stellar–and a good conversation piece.

10 item wardrobe

Halogen gray wool-blend sweater with embroidery.

Another new purchase (actually, I think most everything is). This Halogen sweater is cozy, but the embroidery makes it a little more polished.

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Red and gray J Crew Factory sweater with gold polka dots.

This would have been perfect for Christmas! The v-neck adds a little sex appeal.

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J Crew Factory jeans.

I admit–I literally took these off to take a picture of them. There’s a little enchilada sauce on the hip if you look closely. I was wary of buying light blue jeans (I was scarred by the ’80s and ’90s) but my Mom made me try them on and they’re awesome. Lesson: Moms are always right.

10 item wardrobe

J. Crew Factory red tailored stretch Lexie pant.

Fortunately, there’s enough red in my wardrobe that I had no qualms about including deep-red pants! I think everything except the red sweater goes with this. Wow, these pants are wrinkly. Sorry!

Another item my Mom encouraged me to try on, and bought me for my birthday. I was always suspicious about “ponte” pants. Do you mean tailored sweatpants? But while these are as stretchy and as comfy as pajamas, they look like nice tailored pants. My Mom was right again!

10 item wardrobe

APC sweater dress.

As I said, since we’ll be visiting family in Massachusetts, I needed to include a dress. I love this dress–bought on super clearance, because APC is pricey. It looks very . . . squat in this photo, but it’s actually cute on. The yarn is kind of a gray and navy marl.

10 item wardrobe

Fisherman’s sweater, vintage.

I saved the best for last! I love this sweater so much. It’s so big and cozy–it weighs two pounds. I found it on Etsy from a vintage seller. It’s wool and was clearly handmade. The quality is incredible. And I love, love all the cables and patterns. I bought all kinds of cedar inserts for my bureau to help protect it.

So what do you think? I think this is pretty much the perfect wardrobe. With a pair of tights, some t-shirts, and shoes and accessories, this will fit nicely in a suitcase (not the sweater, I’ll wear it), and I’ll feel well dressed at the in-laws’.

What are your go-to items? Post below!