Fashion Goals

2022 Goal Series: Wardrobe Refresh

January 4, 2022

It’s true – I sort of already did this in 2020 with my work wardrobe, working with Lani of Real Life Style!

And actually, many of her recommendations have stood the test of time. Which is awesome!

BUT – I still feel like I need an update, in part because I really have decided against wearing skirts/dresses to work unless I have an event. This is because I generally like to take a 30-40 minute walk around lunchtime if possible, and I feel more comfortable doing this in pants + comfortable shoes. And so – I need/want more pants. It also means I want my tops to be light and machine washable if possible.

I also really want a work bag that zips at the top AND is large enough to fit my laptop. I am rather brand loyal to Lotuff and am eying the No 12 Tote (it is expensive but seems like a long term workhorse). Currently this is my all purpose work AND nonwork bag (and I love it + it is holding up perfectly), but I want something that zips for work.

I also just feel like I’d like to elevate my casual outfits a bit. Currently my ‘uniform’ is jeans (Madewell Perfect Vintage or AG dark slim jeans) + t-shirt (mostly Uniqlo v-necks) which is fine for some things but there are times when I’d like to try a little bit harder. And finally – JEWELRY! I have almost none. I want some not-too-pricey but pretty necklaces and earrings (my ears are extremely sensitive so have to be careful here). Recs are welcome!

Lastly, my work shoe situation is dire. I am wearing a pair of like 4 year old Camper platform slingback daily and while they are miraculously still functioning . . . the pair is really aging. So, shoes are actually what I want to work on first. I may actually end up trying some (somewhat elevated) Danskos at Lani’s recommendation.

So – there you go!

Speaking of wardrobe . . . G wore her Dr In Training outfit to her 4 year old checkup and charmed the whole office.

29 Comments

  • Reply Emily January 4, 2022 at 7:09 am

    You may want to look at Cuyana for work bag options! They have beautiful bags and I’m pretty sure more than one option that zips.

    • Reply Erika January 4, 2022 at 8:37 am

      I was just about to suggest the exact same thing! Classic Leather Zipper Tote (I sort of want the structured tote w/ out zipper and to get one of their great organizers for inside myself)

      • Reply Emily January 4, 2022 at 9:05 am

        Erika, I got their laptop sleeve as a Christmas gift and it’s absolutely perfect! And I don’t even have one of the bags, ha. I’ve also been eyeing the organizer…

  • Reply Rebecca January 4, 2022 at 7:57 am

    Jennifer Miller @ jennifermillerjewelery.com has nice, contemporary jewelry, with a store, I believe, in south Florida. I just got a pair of earrings and love them.

  • Reply Susan January 4, 2022 at 8:02 am

    Second the Cuyana recommendation! They are not cheap but I’ve found the two work bags I own of theirs (one large tote that zips, one more structured work bag that has a zipper as well but the laptop compartment is non-zip) have held up beautifully.

    That picture of Genevieve is adorable!

  • Reply A. January 4, 2022 at 8:17 am

    You can fin gold earrings (10 carats), super simple one, that are not expensive and durable and you will not have to worry about infection or oxydation. And for the bag, probably you can find a leather bag with zipper that is less than 1k, maybe Madewell?

  • Reply Laura January 4, 2022 at 9:27 am

    Also rec Cuyana — I have several bags of theirs of various sizes that I’ve gotten over the past 5 or so years and they all look great still and are lovely. I’ve also had a lot of luck looking for cheaper and/or just previously made styles on Poshmark and Ebay — I don’t do that a lot for clothes but for these bags it’s worked out well. Love these goals posts — I am definitely going to take some inspiration from this one as I need more clothes that fit now that I’m 18 months postpartum, ha!

  • Reply Jennifer h. bouriat January 4, 2022 at 9:38 am

    Recommendation for Lo & Sons. The O.G. zips, has lots of pockets, and fits tons of stuff.

    • Reply Lani Inlander January 4, 2022 at 7:25 pm

      I second your rec for Lo & Sons! I use their black Rowledge backpack for chic but practical work and kid travel. I also recommend Dagne Dover, Leatherology, and Cuyana to clients.

    • Reply Katie January 4, 2022 at 10:51 pm

      Third this recommendation! They hold up well too.

  • Reply Megha January 4, 2022 at 9:51 am

    Splurge on a pair of Gucci loafers! Comfortable, stylish and you can wear em for the rest of your life 🙂

  • Reply Heather January 4, 2022 at 9:53 am

    I am interested to see how this one goes for you. I have been WFH full-time for six years and my wardrobe, it has suffered.

    For jewelry I have a nice collection thanks to my mother in law. A lot of the things she has given me are from https://www.sarahbellestyle.com/. I’m not really into the woo, but the pieces are pretty and do a lot to snazz up my leggings and tshirts. Full disclosure, my mil tells me this is a distant relation of ours, so I guess I’m plugging for family? I’ve never met her. But there is a lot of hype about the metals and stones she uses being pure, so at least may be helpful to be able to identify the materials.

  • Reply Christine January 4, 2022 at 10:01 am

    I am also in desperate need of work shoes, so eager to see how your search goes, especially with the walking at lunch factor. I end up walking about 5 miles a day (to teach in various parts of campus) three times a week, and I’m delighted by this development (built-in exercise!) but stymied by what to wear so that I can look professional enough to stand in front of a class but also not have aching feet. So far I ordered a pair of Vionic ankle boots (cute, but don’t fit very well; going back) and bought a piair of Clarks (meh). The search continues. Will definitely investigate danksos!

  • Reply Lani Inlander January 4, 2022 at 10:12 am

    First of all, that picture of G in her doctor outfit is too much! Second of all, I’ve been meaning to send you the Betsy and Iya website for jewelry. They have both fine and costume jewelry, their own brand and others. I discovered their store in person on my trip to Portland last summer. They are real people who treat their employees well and make their jewelry in an ethical fashion! Here is a link to their necklace section, all brands. https://betsyandiya.com/collections/necklaces .

  • Reply Katherine January 4, 2022 at 10:19 am

    Check out Love Poppy Jewels. It’s a family run business with everything made in Mississippi. The pieces are not fine jewelry but very pretty.

  • Reply Katherine Robeson January 4, 2022 at 10:31 am

    I recommend Noonday for jewelry. They are a B corp and help women all over the world have sustainable jobs and income.

  • Reply Mary Alice January 4, 2022 at 11:39 am

    For work pants I love Vince Camuto ponte pants. I buy them from Nordstrom. They come in a few different styles but they have enough weight to make them drape correctly and look professional (not like leggings) but they are super comfortable with some give in the waistband/machine washable. I found them during a serious black pant treasure hunt during which I ordered hundreds of dollars of black pants from Nordstrom and then tried them all on to find my faves. This won the gold medal!

    • Reply Lani Inlander January 4, 2022 at 7:35 pm

      Mary Alice, those are crazy amazing pants. You are totally right. Sarah, is ponte too heavy for you in Florida? I worried about that. Have you tried the Alison pant from Marine Layer? It might be too casual but it is a nice, light fabric.

  • Reply KGC January 4, 2022 at 12:11 pm

    Maybe this is just a non-southern thing, but it is VERY NORMAL where I live to wear one pair of shoes at work and another (sneaker) pair to walk to/from and for mid-day exercise. My boss always laughs at the shoe collection in my office, but I just rarely find a pair of professional-looking shoes that can stand up to a mile or more of walking – especially since I like to wear heels. (even comfy heels aren’t usually comfy enough for the walking that I want to do!)

    So I keep my work shoes at work and wear flats or sneakers (or winter boots, depending on season) to walk between my parking garage and my office. In my old job, when I would go for walks mid-day, I would change into athletic shoes that lived at work. Is this not a thing that is done by you? (or perhaps I am just committing the worst fashion faux pas of all time?!?! but I don’t care…?)

    I also had to laugh at the skirt thing – I would much rather go for a walk in a skirt or dress than pants (but would wear sneakers with either). I’m a fast walker and I get sweaty! But to each her own =)

    • Reply Coree January 5, 2022 at 5:11 am

      I commute in Converse (which I think look OK with tights and dresses) and would put those on for my midday walks. Or a pair of Toms or something, but I have wanton disregard for my arches.

    • Reply Gillian January 5, 2022 at 7:22 am

      I do this! I have 3-4 pairs of shoes in my office and wear my Suprega sneakers or weather appropriate boots to and from (think rain or snow boots).

  • Reply Erin R January 4, 2022 at 1:44 pm

    maybe this is impossible but have you looked into having a zipper added to the bag you do have already?? If that’s all that needs to be changed, maybe it’s worth it…

    For jewelry I LOVE Larissa Loden – https://larissaloden.com/ she is local to MN but ships everywhere. I have tons of her pieces and they are well made and many of them are fairly neutral so go with everything. Also not very expensive. Also have several Erin McDremott pieces and they are holding up well! https://www.erinmcdermott.com/

    For shoes, I don’t need to be that dressy at work (higher ed) so I can get away with allbirds and rothy’s – both of which work well for walking too.

    • Reply Lani Inlander January 4, 2022 at 7:31 pm

      Great call on recommending Larissa Loden for Sarah! I discovered her at the American Swedish Institute shop (great museum and shop if you are ever in Minneapolis!) years ago. I bought a few items for myself and then started recommending them to clients. They are super reasonably priced but well-made and interesting.
      Love all the great jewelry recs in this post!

  • Reply Anne January 4, 2022 at 2:12 pm

    Dagne Dover makes beautiful, functional tote bags. Also a Dansko fan!

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns January 4, 2022 at 3:05 pm

    I am hoping to do a wardrobe refresh in the next calendar year or so? I need to wait until I’m done breastfeeding, though. I plan to hire a wardrobe consultant. I went on the shopping trip with my friend who worked with a wardrobe consultant and it was such a productive use of time. We were probably at the mall for 2 hours and went from store to store super fast. I would stay behind and pay for the clothes with cash while they went onto the next store. The consultant pulled clothes ahead of time. I know there are virtual consultants like the person you worked with, but it will be nice to do it in person so I don’t have to deal with return of online things, etc. I was supposed to go back to the office starting 1/11, but that has been cancelled indefinitely thanks to Omicron. I am happy about this, though, as I love working from home, so the longer I can swing it, the better! But I will eventually go back into the office and def need a refreshed wardrobe!

    That pic of G in her doctor’s outfit is too cute! Our son got a doctor kit for Christmas and loves it. He especially loves giving shots to the baby. Ha.

  • Reply Kristie January 4, 2022 at 3:33 pm

    For shoes, I highly recommend Rothys! Lots of styles and colors to choose from, and machine-washable. I find them supportive for flats and so comfortable from the first time I tried them on.

  • Reply Katie January 4, 2022 at 10:55 pm

    What kind of jewelry do you like? I like pretty minimal pieces and love Catbird.

  • Reply Michele January 5, 2022 at 7:13 am

    I have very sensitive ears and just tried Blomdahl earrings and love them! Most of their styles are titanium or medical-grade plastic. I tried their small huggie hoops and they’re perfect! Loving that picture of G so much.

  • Reply Danielle January 5, 2022 at 2:26 pm

    For work clothes I highly recommend quick dry clothes that people use for hiking (but the nice looking ones!) because they can easily transition between inside and outside. Columbia, REI, and Royal Robbins all have button down style shirts in a nice variety of colors and patterns. Quick dry pants can also look nice if they are not the cargo or zip off styles. They also pack we’ll for travel!

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