Mighty Life List
Nov 26 2012

5 Tips for Building an Organized Wardrobe

*This post is sponsored by the team at Old Navy, who were also with us at Camp Mighty.


Women’s Belted Cap-Sleeve Knit Dress $25, Perfect Crew Neck Tee $8, The Rockstar Super Skinny Jean $19, Faux Leather Ankle Boots $28, Pop-Color Blazer $40, Softest Sweater Scarf $17, Ankle Strap Flat $25

My closet is out of hand. If your home environment reflects your interior life, apparently a librarian and a go-go dancer are at war in the communal dressing room of my brain.

Fortunately my friend Anna Beth has a system for getting dressed that’s helping me edit things down. She touched on it in her Mighty Closet, but did a whole panel at Camp Mighty outlining how to edit your closet and home. The panel was sponsored by Old Navy, so she chose a bunch of their clothes from this season to illustrate her points. So if you need anything to round your wardrobe out, these are a few of the slides from her presentation. My five favorite tips:

1. Get your classics in place.
This is the part I neglect. You know, the “foundation” part? Once you have basic traditional pieces in place, you have a wardrobe. Stop there, or build, but if you’re having trouble getting dressed, it’s probably because you’re missing some classics. Anna Beth’s are pictured in these slides, but Tim Gunn also has a great wardrobe basics list, and I did a piece on wardrobe classics for The Morning News a while back that’s also a good starting point.


Metallic Stripe Sweater Dress $35, Women’s Sequin Ballet Flats $25, Leopard Wool Blend Coat $59, Pin Dot Tights $8

2. “Neutral” isn’t just black.
Classic prints like stripes and polka dots, as well as metallics and animal prints, tend to go with everything and also add a little interest.

3. While you’re building, restrict your palette.
While you’re choosing your basics, decide on a neutral — black, grey, white, navy, beige, brown. This way everything you build on matches everything else. I like navy and slate grey because they go well with each other, gain character as they fade, and make the bright colors I love look more upscale.

4. Enjoy yourself.
This part I have down. I’m an avid thrift store and bargain shopper — so there’s an constant influx of inexpensive, interesting clothes, which I then Gollum until I can’t find the things I actually need. Getting dressed should elevate your mood, but your clothing budget will stretch further if you mostly rely on fun pieces only to punctuate your basics.

5. Embrace the uniform.
Most days, Anna Beth wears some variation on T-shirt, blazer, jeans, scarf, belt, boots, and one piece of accent jewelry. My uniform is usually a dress and some flats with cardigan. Pay attention to the building blocks of the outfit you wear most, and then invest in variations on that theme.

So easy, right? Basics in a neutral color of your choice, add some fun pops as punctuation, and invest in uniform pieces when you get a better feel for your style. Brilliant, Miss Anna Beth.


Photo by JetKat Photo

You’ll find all of Anna Beth’s tips on ABChao.com if you want more info.

And now I have a little piece of nice news. During AB’s Camp Mighty presentation, Old Navy gave each attendee a free pair of jeans and gave us a bunch to donate as well. Go Mighty found out that Larkin Street Youth Services needs both jeans and gift certificates as part of its holiday gift drive for the homeless teens they support. We’re sending certificates for 50 pairs of jeans (thank you Old Navy!), but there’s a whole wish list of simple things they need by December 14.

New clothes are such a confidence booster for everybody. While you’re shopping for yourself, consider throwing a gift certificate or clothes in your cart for the kids and sending them over. And if you do? Please let us know in comments honor-system style, and we’ll enter you to win your own free pair of jeans from Old Navy. Cute stuff for everybody, boom.

Jul 9 2012

Mighty Closet: Susan Wagner

Susan Wagner of The Working Closet always looks like she just showered. It took me years to figure her out, because her exterior is so calm, but her brain is like a hamster on a wheel.

I’ll see her at a conference in some sensible American sport ensemble with a glass of wine resting in her hand. She waves me over, “I haven’t talked to you forever!” And I come-to three hours later with a notebook full of Beautiful Mind scribbles and six new business plans.

Susan likes to get stuff done, son. I’ve never known her to have fewer than four jobs, and I’m pretty sure she’s optimized that way. She is busy, but she is tidy.

Remember last week when Natalie said she always wished she could be a person with a minimalist uniform? Susan is that woman. She’ll come to your house, throw out everything in your closet, and somehow make you feel like you have more to wear afterward:

I’m a style blogger, not a fashion blogger — my preoccupation isn’t with what’s on the runway but what’s in your closet. Or, in this case, in my closet. And honestly, there are fewer things in my closet than you might expect.

Although there are a lot of striped tees.

This is a little ridiculous. (And there are actually more — a couple were in the laundry. I need an intervention.)

Despite my ridiculous collection of striped shirts, I spend a lot of time preaching the gospel of the Carefully Edited Wardrobe, which goes like this:

Less is more, and having fewer things creates more options.

Every successful style makeover starts with a closet clean-out and ends with a small collection of perfect pieces. Repetition is the key to personal style, and accessories are an easy way to upgrade even the most basic outfit.

Amen.

Tee on me: StyleMint
Tees from left: J. Crew, Lands’ End, Forever21, Lands’ End, GAP, Forever21
Shorts: Old Navy
Necklace: J. Crew

This is my uniform.

I work at home, so my everyday look is pretty casual. Among other things, I’m an editor for a pet website, which is hilarious because the only pet my family owns is a Betta Fish, and it’s kind of a miracle that we haven’t killed him. Yet.

Because I work from home, I spend a lot of my day staring at a screen, but I’m also a full-time mom, and a partner in a boutique social media consulting firm (Engage OKC). That means a normal work day can include editing copy, meeting with clients, and hauling kids to karate and baseball. My go-to look is a T-shirt — usually striped, of course — and a skirt, which is appropriate for everything from lunch out to an hour of kickboxing.

Watching kickboxing, of course. No one kickboxes in a skirt. At least not around here.

I wear a lot of belts; I truly believe that a belt can change your life. Or at least your look. A belt creates a waist and gives your shape some definition; it’s also an easy way to change up a look. I wear a belt with just about everything, including cocktail dresses. I buy them a little long so I can wear them either at my waist or around my hips, depending on my outfit and my mood. I just loop the extra length through the belt and voila!

Tee: J. Crew
Skirt: GAP
Bracelets: Stella & Dot
Belt: Target
Watch: Vintage
Sandals: Jack Rogers

I live in Oklahoma, where the average summer temperature is something akin to the surface of the sun. That means that my main style goal from March to October is not to be hot. If you want the truth about my summer wardrobe, it consists largely of running clothes and swimwear, neither of which will be making an appearance here. You’re welcome.

(Ed note: I totally want to know what Susan wears when she’s running. Thanks, Google.)

I spent years not wearing shorts because … well, just because. I had a bit of a mid-life crisis a couple of years ago, where I pined for all the things I would never get to do (like live in Paris or work for Vogue). But that got boring, so I decided to do something constructive instead. I started running (Couch to 5K FTW!) and in the last year I’ve run four half marathons.

I also started thinking about how silly it was to waste time being sweaty and uncomfortable solely because my legs didn’t look like Heidi Klum’s. This summer I’m obsessed with shorts, although fortunately for my wallet the ones I’m really in love with all come from Old Navy and cost less than $25. Score!

I totally believe in dressing shorts up, although I do not believe in “dressy shorts.” I wear my shorts with pretty tops and blingy necklaces and even a blazer. I do not, however, wear shorts with heels. I have my limits, y’all. And you should, too.

Tee: J. Crew
Shorts: Old Navy
Necklace, bracelet: J. Crew
Sandals: Jack Rogers

I’m a big believer in mixing high- and low-end pieces. I do most of my shopping at J. Crew, Old Navy and the GAP, with an occasional stop at Forever21 for cheap t-shirts. The J. Crew catalog — which they’ve just rebranded as their “style guide” — is my bible; I tear out photos and recreate those looks with pieces from other places. If I could, I would shop exclusively at J. Crew, but I have two kids who need things like food and clothes and running water, so that’s not really an option.

My shopping strategy is to choose specific investment pieces — ideally, things I can wear over and over and over — and then pair them with less pricey pieces. This spring, my investment was a denim shirt which I wear aaaaaallll the time, no joke. Totally worth the $98 I paid for it. (Also totally worth the investment, two blazers: one in wool flannel, one in chambray. They go with everything and dress up any outfit.)

Shirt: J. Crew
Dress: Old Navy
Belt: Target
Earrings: Stella & Dot
Sandals: Jack Rogers

Did you think I was kidding about wearing things over and over? Hey look, it’s that same chambray shirt! Back again! I also own this skirt in four different colors — navy, pink, and khaki linen/cotton for summer, and purple wool for winter — and I wear it almost constantly, in one iteration or another. (Ed note: If you recognize the skirt, you might have seen Susan recommend it in Wardrobe Basics for Real Women a while back.) And hey, it’s that same belt from before! And the same shoes. Go figure.

(I have ugly feet, largely from the running, so no closeups of my sandals. Again, you’re welcome.)

I get dressed every single day, and I don’t mean that I change out of the yoga pants I slept in and into a different pair of yoga pants; I mean real clothes — a dress or a skirt and tee or some other not-my-pajamas kind of outfit. I wouldn’t say that I get dressed up, although I hear that from people quite a lot (as in, “Why are you so dressed up???”) but I do wear clothes that are not designed for exercise or sleeping for the parts of my day when I am not exercising or sleeping. It’s a simple thing, and it makes a big difference, both in the way I look and the way I feel.

Try it — #getdressed. It’s easier than you think.

Here I am, pretending that I’m in a J. Crew catalog. And by that I mean leaning over awkwardly, for absolutely no reason:

My biggest closet secret is that I hand-wash and line dry almost everything I own.

Jeans go in the washing machine, inside out, in cold water, but other than that, everything I wear gets a bath in the sink with some extra delicate detergent (or baby shampoo). I don’t really like to shop so I work extra hard to make the things I love last.

Shirt: J. Crew
Skirt: J. Crew
Belt: Target
Shoes: Jack Rogers
Necklace: Stella & Dot
Clutch: Ellington Handbags

Speaking of things I love, is my go-to look for summer cocktails. The dress is cotton, which is nice when it’s 1,000 degrees outside, and it has pockets, so I can skip taking a bag (leaving both hands free for drinks and food and hugging). I wore this same outfit a few years back to interview Tim Gunn and he admired my shoes. Life = complete.

Please note my sash. One of my super powers is the ability to tie the perfect bow. Unfortunately, this means that if I run into you at a party and your sash isn’t tied right, I will be compelled to untie it and start over. Of course it also means that if I live next door to you and you’re trying to wrangle your toddler into her birthday dress and cannot get the bow right, I will come to your rescue.

Dress: J. Crew
Shoes: LOFT
Necklace: White House | Black Market

In general, I would describe my look as fairly classic and conservative. But every once in a while, I like to mix it up a little. And by “mix it up” I mean pile on multiple huge necklaces, shimmy into some skinny jeans, and add a pair of reallyreallytall platform sandals.

It’s good to keep people guessing.

I love this outfit because it’s basically just jeans and a tee, all fancied up. The blouse is silk but it’s washable silk, which is pretty much a gift from God. I wore a version of this outfit to the Versace party at Mom 2.0, but with red shorts instead of the jeans. Love.

Blouse: J. Crew
Jeans: Old Navy
Necklaces: (from top) White House | Black Market, Stella & Dot, Madewell
Bracelet: J. Crew
Sandals: Dr. Scholl’s Shoes
Lips: Butter London Lippy in Snog

So what’s the take-away here? Shop smart, don’t be afraid to repeat outfits, and when in doubt, pile on the necklaces. It’s that easy. I promise.

Thanks so much Susan, for the photos and the wisdom. I miss you and your little pink shoes, my dear. I pinch your ruddy cheeks.

You can see more of what Susan’s been wearing at Working Closet, she just wrapped 30 days of outfit snapshots for her #getdressed project. Next up, accessories.

Aug 23 2011

Wardrobe Basics from Real Women

Right now, my closet looks like the wardrobe rack at an amateur theater company — bright, bedazzled, schizophrenic. As an avid thrift and vintage shopper, my dresser drawers overfloweth. Still, I seem to wear the same ten things again and again.

The clothes I buy on a whim always get the most play, and that got me wondering about other women’s wardrobe standbys. So I asked some stylish girlfriends about their basics.

Susan Wagner from The Working Closet

“My go-to item this summer has been the khaki City Mini from J. Crew.”

“It has an elastic “paperbag” waist that is perfect with a tank or tee and a skinny belt and a great A-line shape that makes my legs look thin (score!). I just bought the winter version, which is wool rather than cotton/linen, in bright dahlia, because it’s the perfect skirt and will go with everything I own and require no thought at all when I get dressed in the morning.”

Joanna Goddard from A Cup of Jo

“I’m obsessed with Emersonmade’s skinny jeans. They’re ridiculously flattering; honestly, they make me feel so sexy and shapely when I wear them.

“They’re super dark because they’re dyed with indigo. I wear them all the time, with T-shirts or blouses or sweaters.”

Katie Spence from Your New Favorite

“It is so very hot in Austin that mostly I wear skirts and dresses to keep things breezy. My favorite skirt this summer has been a chambray skirt that I got at Land’s End, but which is currently sold out.”

“However there is one on sale at Madewell that is almost identical. Lately I’ve been obsessed with natural fabrics, like cotton chambray and linen.”

Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day!

“These Gap slim crop pants in black. I can wear them with ballet flats or heels.”

“People dress up more here in Paris than in the US so these are my version of casual everyday pants.”

Rebecca Woolf from Girls’ Gone Child

Had to think about this because I don’t fit into any of my “usual” go tos (Ed note: Rebecca is currently 32 weeks pregnant with twins!), but last Fall it was this little corduroy half-jacket my friend Dani got for me at a thrift store:

(Ed note: If you want a crop jacket of your own, here are two to consider: 7 For Mankind Leather Crop, and a pattern for a simple cropped blazer.)

“My ‘go-to outfit’ is the dress + cardigan + booty + sock combo:”

Melissa Cotton from Poppy Cotton

“These are the most perfectly iconic ballet flats I have ever come across, and I have bought so many over the years looking for the perfect look and fit.”

“They are truly transformative to both my legs/feet and my outfit, quietly underscoring my entire fashion identity — classic and pulled together with a nod to the mid-century.”

Margaret Stewart from Fountly

“I have a dress I got this summer from Anthropologie that has proven to be the most versatile article of clothing I’ve ever owned. Seriously. I took it on a month long trip and wore it morning, noon, and (literally) night. Was great for sightseeing, casual or fancy meals, and (genius!) also an incredibly comfy nightgown.”

“Normally I shy from things without a waist; it’s my best feature! But in hot weather, it’s too binding to have a fitted anything! This thing was so damned comfy.”

Gabrielle Blair from Design Mom

“A scarf from J.Crew. It’s silk, but feels more like cotton, which I like.”

“It’s a warm pink and it has an almost florescent pink printed pattern. I picked it up on clearance last summer and I’ve worn it way too many days over the last year.”

(You can still find a couple of these babies on eBay, happy bidding.)

Interesting, right? Thanks, ladies!

Ok, team, now you. What’s your favorite item of clothing? If you have a link, all the better.

Aug 19 2011

How to Dress for Outsidelands

I went to Ousidelands with Mai from Fashioni.st, and she’s doing a whole series on festival fashion if you want to check out what people were wearing. (That’s one of her photos above.)

Mai and I were talking about how San Francisco weather requires a very particular style of dress for outdoor events. It’s colder here than people expect, and that’s true year round. Layering is key, especially for women. A few tips for balancing sanity with style:

Plan your outfit around sane shoes. You want flats with a closed toe. If you wear sandals your feet will get filthy, you won’t be able to dance in crowds without getting stomped, and in the evening it will get cold enough that you won’t be able to feel your toes. We’re not even going to discuss the idiocy of wearing heels in the dirt. Your smartest option? Boots.

Layer on top. The crowd shields you from wind, so you’ll be okay in something sleeveless if you’re dancing, but you’ll mostly need long sleeves — sweater, blazer, whatever. If you’re sensitive to cold (I’m looking at you Los Angles), you might want two thin layers on top of your tank.

Accessorize for warmth. You’ll want a hat or scarf after dark. Invest in a cotton, knit or silk scarf, something lightweight to maximize your bag-footprint to warmth ratio.

Keep it convenient. You’ll be using porta-potties all day. Reconsider leotards or body suits, especially in combination with tights. Tights in summer? That brings me to my next point.

Plan to keep your legs covered. Pants are a smart option no matter what time of year, but if you want to wear a skirt or shorts, throw a pair of tights in your bag, even if it’s the middle of summer. You’ll likely want them all day, but even if we have unusually warm weather, you’ll be pretty miserable without them after 4 p.m. or so.

Bring a little bag. It’s nice to be hands-free, but nicer to have a travel sized sunscreen, a place for cash and ID, sunglasses, and somewhere to store your scarf, sweater and tights when you don’t want to wear them.

See you next year.

Jun 8 2011

Mighty Closet: Liz Stanley

This is my extraordinarily efficient friend Liz Stanley of Say Yes to Hoboken. In addition to being a total party animal, Liz is one of those people who can complete a cross stitch sampler, repaint the living room, and start a successful small business before she meets you for brunch.

She also has my favorite smile ever.

See?

Liz and I share a penchant for cruise director chic. Her khakis are American Eagle, and the gold striped tank is J.Crew from eBay. As you can see here, her house is just as well curated as her closet.

Liz’s pink ribbon necklace is also J.Crew and her blue blazer is from a thrift store. She says, “Shrunken blazers look hot with almost any outfit, but check the little boys section of your local thrift store for a cheap/vintage alternative to that $150 one you’ve been eying from J.Crew. I always find some great ones to add to my closet there.”

Her pink/gold heels were consignment, and they’re such a flattering neutral. The shine gives them a little more depth than a straightforward nude, and the pink is warmer too. Plus I love how a T-strap shoe always reduces blisters. I wonder if these were originally tango shoes.

Liz has baby-fine hair, so messy updos are a quick option for her. Everyday Princess Leia.

I told Liz I would crop the firewood out of the shot, but then the photo looked less awesome without it. Sorry, Liz. Now everyone will know you use your fireplace. Probably for something illicit.

Liz says, “Once you slip into a pair of high-waisted stretchy jeans like these, you’ll curse whoever came up with the idea of a low rise. There’s a reason our moms wore them in the ’70s, they’re incredibly comfortable. Plus, thanks to J. Lo’s butt, we can all embrace the full size of our behinds in high-waisted jeans.”

The scarf is from Target. If you always wonder how people make cool headbands from scarves, Liz recently posted a tutorial on her favorite turban ties. Go read it.

Her long-chain necklace is the Color Study Locket by Verabel on Etsy.


Bag by Fabric and Handle, excellent for toting your macrame project. Her sandals are Bernardo.

Here’s Liz with a pillow she probably whipped up in the ten minutes before she had a dozen guests over for dinner. Liz, I will pay you to be my wife. Tights by American Apparel, brown boots are Diesel from a consignment store, and the gray dress is H&M.

Liz and I were talking about what makes someone’s style stand out, and her theory is layering. She says, “With a kind of boring dress like this gray one I like to add unexpected pieces like an oxford shirt underneath and bright tights. I’m a big fan of oxfords as an under layer. Just be sure to roll up the sleeves and unbutton the top to prevent looking too stiff and formal.” Shirt is H&M, belt is from a thrift store

This sweet J Crew headband would get lost in my hair, but I love it paired with a chignon or a casual ponytail. Well played, Stanley.

Liz got this ombre silk skirt from a consignment store. She says, ““Elastic waist skirts aren’t always the most flattering on their own. Add a belt to cinch your waist and hide the extra bulk around the hip they’re giving you with a shrunken blazer.”

I’ve noticed over the years that a lot of Liz’s neutral-colored layering pieces feature an understated print like this tiny polka dot blouse from Urban Outfitters. It adds interest, but the overall effect is still classic. The blazer and brown belt are thrifted.

These boots are made for typin’ (by Zara).

Gah! I so covet this dress. She found it at a thrift store in Utah, and orignially it was sleeveless, backless, and nearly floor length, “I’m not a great sewer but I worked my fingers to the bone to refashion this outdated dress into something more my style.” You can see the whole process right here.

Here she’s styled the dress for day and evening.

Liz throws on a cardigan from Express, a the thin belt is H&M for a creative business look.

Also, there’s a removable back panel so Liz can still wear the dress to church.

For evening, she dresses up her shoes. Liz made these sequin shoe clips herself, but you can buy them readymade from Ban.do.

Here’s what the heels look like naked. (My Google search traffic on this post just skyrocketed.)

Add a vintage clutch, and you’re all set for some serious partying. That donkey tail isn’t gonna pin itself.

May 9 2011

Packing Light, New Orleans

As you know, I’m all about the carry-on luggage. A carry-on and a backpack can get me through almost anything, mostly because carry-ons will hold way more than most people think, especially if you’re going somewhere warm. Here’s what I packed for New Orleans.

The denim skirt is thrifted and the striped top is Urban Outfitters. Anna Beth Chao only weighs like three pounds, so you can fold her right down into the exterior pocket of the carry-on. I take her everywhere. Chao and champagne.

The silk scarf is vintage Vera, and the aviators are from Anthropologie. When I wear them, I like to ask people for their license and registration at regular intervals.

There was a cocktail party that first night, so I wore my vintage fringe happy dress, which requires zero ironing. I take it everywhere.

These are my fallback shoes, which operate on the theory that if you’re a woman over six feet tall in heels, no one notices what you’re wearing anyway. I need a new pair, because I’ve had these for nearly a decade. It’s impossible to find stable, comfortable, unreasonably tall shoes, but it’s time. Help a sister out, Internet.

The next day was my presentation. I like to be totally comfortable on stage, so I went with this simple navy shift from H&M and swapped the belt out for a striped scarf. The orange travel flats are Tieks, and I also wore two square glass orange rings, because I like to be matchy matchy like that. You’ll see those below.

A group of us went to dinner later that night, and I wore a romper I got at Forever 21 for 16 cents. Cheap prices for disposable clothing is why I continue to shop there, even though they purposefully play music to annoy people my age. You’ll have to more than blast Avril Levigne to drive me away from prices like this Forever 21! Actually, I love that “What the Hell” song, so I’m golden. I am bopping in the aisles, Forever21.

I wore the romper with very basic open toe black flats from H&M. I don’t have any full-length shots of this outfit that you haven’t already seen, so I’m cheating by using a shot from New York. There are, however, several shots of me looking naked at dinner:

“Oh, don’t mind me. I put a dinner napkin on the chair before I sat down.”

This is my impression of cruise director Julie McCoy. Can you feel me setting a course for adventure?

The skirt is from Buenos Aires, and the tennies are knockoff Bensimons, which I got on the cheap at the now-defunct Martin and Osa. I need to replace those badly, but can’t bring myself to spend $50 on a pair of slightly more awesome canvas Keds.

Scarf is another vintage Vera tied as an ascot. The button-up shirt is from The Limited, which makes great shirts for business travel because they aren’t 100 percent cotton, which means they have stretch to them and don’t wrinkle nearly so easily. My glasses are Dolce and Gabanna.

That night I wore an American Apparel dress for my reading, with the same heels we talked about earlier.

As you know, I like to take jammies that I can wear as clothes in a pinch. This time, I packed this grey romper, also from Forever21, also 16 cents. The cashmere sweater is from the Alameda Flea Market.

I stayed a couple extra days with Anna Beth, so I revisited the navy shift for lunch at Commanders Palace. Here you can see the aforementioned orange rings, which I got from street vendors in Buenos Aires:

I also wore my stripe top again, this time with a little black mini from Urban Outfitters:

And a scarf from H&M:

Again, I failed to get a photo of what I wore on the plane due to exhaustion. I know this makes you rabid, so I’ll say I wore a short cotton mini-dress over tight jeans with the gray striped sweater, a blazer, and the white sneakers.

And that’s it, team.

One day soon I’ll do a post about what I wear on planes to maximize comfort and go from cold (San Francisco) to warm (everywhere else). Speaking of which, do you have a standard travel outfit? If so, spill. I could use a variation on the dress/leggings/sweater theme.

Also, keep an eye on this space, because I asked Roxanna from Everyday Treats to tell me what she packed for New Orleans. She always looks amazing, and she sent photos. Hooray, Roxanna!

Nov 10 2010

Mighty Closet: Erin Loechner of Design for Mankind

I first met Erin last year at ALT, remember? Then Erin came to the Summit this year sporting a fresh pixie cut, and charmed everyone with her over-the-top sweetness. The girl is such a positive force that all of us agreed that we wanted to keep her in our pockets for on-call ego boosts — Pocket Loechner.

In addition to being a dear, she is a powerhouse. Her site, Design for Mankind, was featured in the London Times as one of the top 50 design blogs in the world, and right now she and her husband are renovating their cabin and documenting the process for HGTV.com. She does not sleep.

I love Erin’s sense of humor when it comes to fashion, so I told her we needed to do a Mighty Closet next time she was in town. She offered to take some photos herself and pass them along instead. Genius. So here she is, Pocket Loechner, coming to you live from Fort Wayne, Indiana. Take it away, my sweet.

(Photos by Casie Towsley.)

Outfit One: Running Errands

This is an example of what I’d wear out and about, either to the grocery store, post office, or a coffee run. I used to reserve these types of activities for yoga pants and a hoodie, but I recently pixied myself and you’re not allowed to wear pixies and sweatpants. Unless, of course, you don’t mind being called ‘Sir’ in the cereal aisle. Hypothetically.

Pinstriped Oxford Shirt (Men’s): Banana Republic, Circa 2001
Navy Grandpa Cardigan: Heritage1981 I love the leather elbow patches!
Boyfriend Jeans: Levi, Circa 2004 The trick with wearing boyfriend jeans is to really buy men’s jeans. I’m totally not kidding here.
Boots: Antique, they were my grandmother’s!
Handbag: Vintage, thrifted
Frog Cocktail Ring: Vintage, thrifted

Outfit Two: Birthday Party

Maggie asked for a cocktail party look, but we don’t have cocktail parties in these parts. So this is an outfit I’d wear if I were throwing myself a party.

Dress: Forever 21
Tights: WeLoveColors.com
Heels: ModCloth
Silver Sputnik Cocktail Ring: Antique, thrifted
Hairpiece: Tieks shoes come with this little ribbon around the box. I got a pair at the Mighty Summit, and thought the ribbon would make a cute headband.

Outfit Three: Working At A Local Cafe

Striped Sweater: F21
Confetti Skirt: Modcloth
Purple Tights: WeLoveColors.com
Navy Patent Wedges: Vera Wang, 2008
Gold Necklace: LemonadeHandmade This was a gift from the Mighty Summit.
Cocktail Ring: Vintage, Alameda Flea Market

Outfit Four: Lunch With Grandma

I don’t have any friends in Fort Wayne yet, so my most frequent lunch companion is my husband’s 90-something-year-old grandmother, who is fantastic and a total treat to hang with. Seriously. Anyway, this is what I’d wear to lunch with her, because she loves quirky boots and mixed patterns, and I enjoy surprising her with my latest combos. (Don’t tell anyone, but she just might be in direct relation with Iris Apfel. Never can tell!)

Striped Navy Boatneck: Land’s End Canvas
Striped Cardigan: F21
Herringbone Skirt: Tucker for Target Collection
Tights: Urban Outfitters, 2005ish
Boots: Anthropologie, Fall 2007
Brooch: Brooklyn Rehab, Gift
Cocktail Ring: Vintage, thrifted

Outfit Five: Out On The Town

This is an outfit I’d wear for an evening dinner with my sweet, sweet husband. You’re allowed to wear fake fur wherever you want in Indiana, so I take full advantage.

Dress: Tucker for Target (sold out online, but check your local store)
Faux Fur Vest: Vintage, thrifted
Belt: ModCloth
Shoes: ModCloth
Tights: ModCloth.com
Cocktail Ring: Vintage, thrifted
Cicada Earrings: Erica Weiner Jewelry

Notes:
1. I always wear a cocktail ring on my right index finger. It’s a staple of mine, and you’ll rarely see me without one.
2. I invest in jewelry, shoes, and little else. If an item has a pattern of any kind, I never pay full price, as patterns (with the exception of Breton stripes) are much easier to date than solids.
3. Colored tights are another staple, and I store these next to my cocktail rings. Snags ensue, but I consider colored tights and cocktail rings to be the President and Vice President of my wardrobe, so they can’t very well sit amongst the minions, can they?

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Oh, Erin. How many times am I going to have to ask you to send me your grandmother’s boots before you bend to my will? Thanks for all your hard work putting this together. If I can’t have you in my pocket, having you in Mighty Closet is the next best thing.