Seasonal refresher WIW

I’m sorry I’ve been away so long. I’ve had some health problems this summer and spent way too much of it in my pyjamas. In my defence, they were very nice pyjamas, but not really worth talking about on a fashion forum.

Hence I’ve been caught somewhat on the back foot by the changing weather. I usually enjoy dressing for the transitional season, but there’s always a week or so when I don’t quite know what to reach for, even more so when I haven’t been getting out much. This is when I have to trust my instincts, falling back on some established formulae as well as testing out some new styles.

The budget had a hammering earlier in the year (prescription sunglasses and a new handbag) so not much room to splurge but I did manage to add a few inexpensive essentials and I’m finding new ways with existing items and a slightly different hairstyle.

So here’s a preview of the new direction, which doesn’t stray terribly far from the old one, but it’s feeling sharper in some areas, softer and more refined in others, but still quite unfinished in places.

Old favourites: mannish looks

Random thought: Suz and skylurker both mentioned elsewhere that dressy menswear felt more “feminine” to them. I feel the opposite - these two looks are a case in point. Interesting how that plays out.

1. An old blazer from Jil Sander +J for Uniqlo, still my high water mark for mass market designer collaborations. It’s a great fit but the mossy green is not my best colour. I’m liking this year’s embellishment trends so I added some sequin appliqué. As for the outfit, I loved it on the day, but looking at it now I’m cringing at such an obvious throwback. This is pure 1980’s Camden Town, and I know this because I was there. I’m regressing, clearly.

2. I love this grandpa cardigan from Henrik Vibskov. I’ve had it ages and it’s impossible to style without looking sloppy but I don’t care. It’s reasonably flop-proof over a black and white printed tee, but I don’t think I’ve ever done better than Edvard Munch.


New acquisitions: lady looks.

Random thought: last year’s Style Lab exercises helped me focus more sharply on what my closet really needs, and how to shop for updates. The skirt in particular is a great addition, because it’s got me reaching for my other skirts too. I fully expect to wear skirts more this winter.

3. I went for a skirt and bag from the JW Anderson + Uniqlo collection. Both are pulling their weight, both are great for the price, (as good as +J? Dunno.) Here with last year’s boots and a leather/wool sweatshirt I made ages ago.

4. This black scuba knit tee with pastel shoulder insets from &OtherStories is one of the most useful things I’ve bought this year. Great for my body shape, goes with everything. I wish I’d bought two of them. The skirt, boots and fleece (Uniqlo again, haha! Are you seeing a pattern here?) have been around a while.


Vintage treasures: my boho shadow

Random thought: this is my personal danger zone. The risk of keeping a large wardrobe as a working resource is that it can very easily turn into a museum. I have some outstanding pieces here which I love dearly but are irrelevant as fashion items in any given year. My instinct is always to hold onto them until the moment they’re wearable again, but I can’t always wait for that to arrive.

5. I love this ’80’s vintage Kenzo jacket and I’ve worn it quite a lot. This is a prototype look for the coming season, layered over a lightweight down jacket. I’d like to wear it again this year but probably not like this. I think I can make it work one way or another. Maybe with a full midi skirt?

6. Granny takes a trip indeed, I had a major Westwood moment in my pyjama bottoms (see if you can guess where I bought them) with the pirate boots and Anglomania blouse. Two more pieces I love and enjoyed in the moment but should probably bench for now.

What are your thoughts? Your honest feedback is most appreciated.

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This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.

33 Comments

  • Janet replied 1 month ago

    It's so great to see you! I hope you are fully recovered from your health issues. I have to say you are looking even more fab than ever! I love the Westwood touches, that olive and black, and your new hair. You have such a great knack for combining unique pieces yet never letting them overwhelm you.

  • Toban replied 1 month ago

    These are timeless on you and so very inspiring. I love how you put together colors and shapes.

  • Sara L. replied 1 month ago

    It's good to see you again!  I hope you are feeling better.  I really like your new longer hair.  All your outfits are great but I especially like #4 with the black skirt.  That top looks amazing with the skirt.  

  • Angie replied 1 month ago

    GLAD you're feeling better, Liz. Sending extra happy health vibes to Amsterdam. 

    I love the new bob. SUPER FAB.

    Adore the colour, silhouette and textural variety in your Maximal outfits. Complex, yet harmonious and pulled together. KILLER all round. 

    Hands down #5 is my favourite. Go Team Lady Looks.

  • RobinF replied 1 month ago

    These are such interesting and fun outfits! My favorite is the skirt for sure. The color is great and love it with those gorgeous boots.

  • Sterling replied 1 month ago

    So nice to see you posting.  Sorry you have been ill.  

    Each of your WIWs is amazing.  I have never seen you looking better. 

  • Diana replied 1 month ago

    Great to see you!  

    As usual I love all your looks.  I'm particularly enamored of the two skirt looks.  Funny enough, I've been eying that Uniqlo x Anderson skirt myself and I'm happy to see someone styling it in a non-tucked manner.  (I haven't clicked buy yet because I have a history of buying skirts that don't work with untucked tops, which is what I prefer most of the time.) I'm glad to see you like the quality too.   

  • rachylou replied 1 month ago

    Everything is AMAZING from the hair on down. You've given me so many ideas... don't know where to start!

    ETA: I've been hemming and hawing about the J Anderson. I'm not confident about fit and ordering online and the Uniqlo that's got it is a big trip for me. I was looking at the quilted plaid and the ruffle skirt... I've got a ruffle skirt in tan tho... I had half decided to give it a pass, but now... and the black looks so good in IRL... I don't know if the plaid is that me... except that it is my nemesis: red and blue plaid. I'm such a sucker for that!

  • minimalist replied 1 month ago

    So good to see you!

  • approprio replied 1 month ago

    Thank you all so much for the warm welcome back! It's lovely to see you all again. I've missed you. 

    I've been trying to frame an off-topic post about what's been happening in my life, but the fact is I'm still processing it. I'd like to think I'm coming back stronger, then again I might just be riding a wave. We'll see.

    Angie, RobinF, I think #5 might be my favourite too. Looks quite simple but I had a particular direction in mind so it was the hardest to put together. I think it will get a lot of wear.

    Diane, rachylou, I really like this skirt, not least for the freedom in the waistband. ;) I sized down and moved the button because I felt the proportions worked better that way. I was a bit doubtful about the synthetic fabric to begin with, but it holds the ruffles well and moves beautifully. 

    Yep, definitely wearing skirts more this year.

  • Style Fan replied 1 month ago

    Good to see you post again!  Love your new hair.  I like how you take interesting pieces and mix them together in unexpected ways.  The end result is very unique and fabulous.  I can not pick a favourite but I do like the first black jacket.

  • skylurker replied 1 month ago

    Out of the vintage looks I pick #6, the neon puffer makes the jacket current.
    Lady look : #5, proportions work well and I love the colours on you.
    Mannish look : #1. My favourite look : the classic smart casual formula, worn a very personal way, twisted to look rogue with creepers, wraped trousers, and a splash of sequins.
    I like #3&7 less because they’re less structured. #4 is a bit complicated for my taste, too many layers, I feel stifled.
    Love the new bob.

  • chouette22 replied 1 month ago

    Oh wow, such creativity in action here! I feel like such a boring and predictable dresser compared to you. My favorite is your outfit #3 (picture #4) - I love everything about it. I always enjoy your reflections and fabulous writing style very much and am glad that your health is improving. 

  • lisa p replied 1 month ago

    Can't guess where the pj bottoms came from ( too dark to make out details on my screen) - but I do need to know ;)

    I like all of your pieces here, and how you wear them. Hair looks terrific too. I appreciate your posts and  always look forward to them- I do learn a lot from you and you inspire breaking out of old dressing patterns .....

  • Mochi replied 1 month ago

    The pirate boots! Squeeeeee!!!! :) 

    Amazing looks. 

    Not doing justice to your thoughtful musings and inspired combinations. But you raise the bar very high. 

  • chouette22 replied 1 month ago

    I forgot to guess where the pajama bottoms were from. I am preeetty sure they are from Uniqlo! 

  • Angie replied 1 month ago

    Liz, we are here if and when you need support. Much love to you. 

  • Suz replied 1 month ago

    Your hair!! It looks fantastic. 

    I'm so sorry you've been unwell and hope you're doing better. 

    These are all wonderful, interesting, and highly distinctive outfits. You make urban cool look, well, even cooler! 

    I think #4 is my very favourite as a transitional season outfit -- the layering, the colour, the unusual juxtaposition with the flounced or ruffled skirt and boyish top layer. 

    But #5 layers (Kenzo jacket and down) is just amazing -- I remember that jacket fondly from other WIWs. Never let it go! :) 

  • Sal replied 1 month ago

    You look fantastic, your layering is very creative and interesting, and you wear it well.  The fit is great - there is enough structure to rein it all in.

    I like the first and the second to last (1,2,6) and have only visited Camden a few times in 1993-94.  I have fond memories of the place.

    Sorry to hear you have been under the weather, hope your health is improving.

  • annagybe replied 1 month ago

    Nice round up of outfits.

  • shevia replied 1 month ago

    Now this is a post I can sink my teeth into. Metaphorically of course. I am sorry you have been ill and I hope your health situation is stable and under control. The pulling back and rethinking, as well allowing precious items to age until the right time to revisit, and even feeling skirts again all resonate. I do love the theme of horrified faces running through your outfits. 
    I am so glad you are wearing the JW Anderson skirt. That was the first thing I considered as soon as the look book came out but decided it would just be too much skirt on me in all the wrong places. Look #4 is one of my favorites on you - but confirms my instincts.
    For relative blending in I love #2 and #5. 
    #3 and #7 are more jarring to the eye - not necessarily a bad thing, but I love the blouse in #7 and the juxtaposition of Munch and a grandpa sweater. 
    #6 is a good idea but I think it needs full maximal rather than the responsible black bottom half. 
    Btw, I am wearing the JW Anderson/Uniqlo Henri Gaudier-Brzeska tee as I type.
    What an enjoyable post on every level! Great to "see"you Liz!

  • Joy replied 1 month ago

    Wow! Such a treat! Each look is fab and looks like your style. I can't pick a favorite. I hope you are feeling much better.

  • approprio replied 1 month ago

    Thanks so much for the thoughtful feedback. Angie, I always appreciate the care and support you nurture here. More than you can imagine. 

    lisap, the pants are indeed from Uniqlo. chouette wins the prize!

    shevia, but this is my face! This is my angry thinking face! This is probably me looking at the new camera setup. I tend to scowl a bit when I'm thinking. I'll try to remember to smile next time :P

    Seriously, thanks for the hints on the Kenzo. I think you're right about maximal - this may be a job for the pleather midi and OTK boots. Suz, skylurker, good to know I'm on the right track with the down mid-layer. Roll on winter already.

  • donnat replied 1 month ago

    That certainly is an inspiring round up. Love the new do. I am really happy to see you and sorry you have been ill.

  • kellygirl replied 1 month ago

    Your WIWs are treat for the eyes. I LOVE your style. I am having a hard time picking a fave but 4 is pulling at my heart strings. Great mix of pieces--each so unique yet cohesive. Dunno how you manage it. I guess it's just style genius!

  • Angie replied 1 month ago

    Liz, (first, I fixed my typo). Second, I know how fond you are of the YLF community. It does not go unnoticed how much you compliment me and the site. Thank you. 

    As for Team Lady Looks. I'm SOOOO with you. I have been craving that for a while, as I continue to wrestle with Tomboy. 

  • JuniperGreen replied 1 month ago

    fabulous outfits, and your hair is INCREDIBLE!!

  • JAileen replied 1 month ago

    You look great, so pajamas must have suited you. I really like #4. You really look like the cool girl. Great hair, too.

  • Deborah replied 1 month ago

    It's so lovely to see you and I am glad to hear you are well:)

    I really appreciate each of these outfits and I couldn't pick a favorite!  Your first outfit may well be pure 1980's (LOVED the 80's) but it somehow does not look dated.  Perhaps it in the execution of the outfit, or maybe the attitude, that it looks thoroughly modern to me.

    I always feel what I see in you is someone who wears what they love in ways that the love with little regard to actual trend.  I like that.  And I am always inspired by that.

  • unfrumped replied 1 month ago

    Hope you are feeling better!
    All are fab. 4,5,6 majorly ! The sharp contrasting colors in 6 are outstanding with your coloring.

  • approprio replied 1 month ago

    Oh Angie! You know I'd praise you to the skies, but it would be embarrassing ;)

    The "lady/tomboy" thing is a conundrum all right. I think it's great to channel a bit of tomboy into the ladylike and vice versa, and at this moment in fashion it's quite easy to do that. As Imogen Fox wrote in the Guardian a couple of years ago, there's been plenty of inspiration from menswear, but who knows how long that will last.

    Deborah, it's very kind of you to say so. You're right, I don't like looking overtly trendy but I do tend to be quite tuned in to what's trending, both in my neighbourhood and in the world at large. I always enjoy the show, but rather than just following along, I try to take what I need from fashion and make it relevant to the things I love. 

    I read somewhere recently that urban style is the functional opposite of fashion, because it's all about asserting a very localised, tribal identity. I'm not at all sure I agree with this, but that's certainly how a lot of iconic British style developed in the years after the War and it fed into a lot of the fashion I absorbed growing up. Must be in my DNA ;)

    Anyway, enough rambling. Thanks everyone for your very kind feedback. It's so nice to be properly dressed again. 

  • La Pedestrienne replied 1 month ago

    Wow, that skirt in 5 is perfect with your hair! Fun color.

    The butch/femme thing is interesting here. The trouser looks (esp #1) feel very natural, but I think 4 and 5 (the skirts) are my favorite in terms of eye-catching proportions, "flare", what have you.

    I think I have those very same Uniqlo lounge pants -- they are definitely a step up from the usual not-leaving-the-house clothes! 

  • Bijou replied 1 month ago

    You look incredible. I always love your posts and your style, it is very urban and timeless. Look #1 I love, but then I have always admired the classic 80's London style! 

    Being in PJs is never fun, well not after the first few days. I hope you are feeling well and that everything is going well for you.

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