Back to where I left off before I interrupted myself with the news bulletin. After my tire got replaced, I was fully mobile again. My sister and I wanted to shop, but the local malls served up the same old fare, so we decided to go somewhere different (and also farther)--the outlet mall. My goal was to expand on my work apparel collection and to pick up a few Christmas gifts if I could (since I'm waaay behind schedule this year). Given the little time I had to spend at the mall, I only got the former finished, but it was a pretty good accomplishment.
Most of my time was spent at the Banana Republic outlet. There was an extra 40% off clearance items, which meant there were great deals. I found a dress shirt for just over $7. It had a few very minor imperfections, but otherwise it's great as a work staple. The fit is great and the patterns are interesting. I wore it as a Casual Friday outfit with my "skinny jeans" and a sweater for a bit of a stylish-bookish look:
With a conservative ensemble up top and a pair of pumps, I guess you can pull off the skinny jeans look in a working environment, but the jeans can't be of the super-tight, skin-tight variety. If they are on the tight side and you insist on wearing them, I'd suggest wearing a long sweater or jacket over it, and keep it on all day like so:
I thought this was an interesting spin on the 3-piece suit concept. The outfit looks way better in person. I'm a big subscriber of the layering philosophy. You've seen me wear the cardigan, the shoes, and jacket before. Each of these pieces are so versatile that I can wear them with lots of other things that I've also worn before, and it never gets old. Boring basics can go a long way when they get mixed around.
Remember those perfect pants that I had to let go because they were $80? That's really the reason why I spent so much time at the BR outlet--now that everything's been marked down, I tried to hunt them down. Alas, I couldn't find them in the sales racks even though I've fought off the throngs of people to reach the racks. I was about to give up when I wandered through the petites section and found a pair of pants that clearly didn't belong--the legs were longer than the petite pants. Sure enough, they were "my" pants, last pair in my size, fits prefectly, and $35 instead of $80. Oh yeah, they're definitely mine now:
I like how they are fully lined so that the tweed won't make me itch, and the fabric has a bit of weight to it so that it drapes well. The cuffs are great as well. The olive green is different from the standard boring colors. Because the pants have all my favorite features, they're definitely worth it. The pockets are sealed, which is kinda silly. I understand this is done in the interest of keeping the sillouette more streamlined, but why go through the trouble of sewing in fully-functional pockets only to seal them up later? If you know the answer, do tell. I'm curious.
It's amazing how fabric weight affects the fit, particularly for the now-popular wide-legged pants. I've tried on the same cut of pants of the same size/fit, yet one pair of pants looks markedly better than the other. So in addition to quality, fit, and construction, fabric weight will be a consideration when I shop for work pants in the future. Of course the fabric shouldn't be so heavy such that they make the pants sag (as we've seen all too many times in men's fashion), but it shouldn't be so light and flimsy that they make your thigh look bigger than they really are.
Even though I couldn't get any Christmas shopping done, it was a great shopping day because I found what had previously been out of reach. I also found some discounted MAC eye shadows at the Saks Fifth Avenue outlet.
Maybe I should head out to that mall again soon for some Christmas shopping. Parking is going to get crazy now, but if I can get most of my shopping done, I'll only have to brave the crowds once.