Reflections on The Happiness Factor and Letting Go (verbose)

For some time now, my closet has been contracting. It probably seems like I'm shopping a whole heckofalot for someone who 1) just quit her full-time job and 2) isn't even currently working her part-time job. But as much as things have been flowing in, more has been flowing out - sometimes painfully, but more and more easily all-in-all.

It's easy for me to let go of items that came to me for $1, on a snap decision at the swap meet. But when I've invested time in product research, energy in item/outfit/capsule consideration, and a decent chunk of change? Pain! I want to hold onto the items I chose, because I don't want to admit I was wrong, or that I've changed, or that I miscalculated. I hate feeling like I've thrown money into a black hole, and I hate looking back at how pleased I was with an initial purchase and feeling a fool.

But here's where Angie's happiness factor comes in: keeping and using items I no longer feel are right doesn't make me any happier - and in fact, I now see it makes me feel even worse. I keep things to preserve my pride, yet it doesn't make me feel proud. It's punishment, stewing in an uncomfortable shoe, itchy sweater, sweaty jacket, or lifestlye-obsolete constricting pencil skirt. Just what am I trying to prove? And what good will proving it do? As someone who is generally results-focused in her bookkeeping, it's interesting that I hadn't asked myself these questions before.

I've decided to resell these three recently-acquired coats, *plus* two more rain jackets that I don't even have photos of (yes, it's been that long since I've worn them!) and have already resold a pair of Fryes bought just this summer - because, to get right down to it, it's made me UNHAPPY to wear them. I'm just done with that.

Instead of looking at it as losing X% of the original purchase prices, which could be depressing, I'm looking at it as using their trade-in value to upgrade to something better. The one pair of Fryes yielded two pairs of super-comfy Rockports, and I'm never out and about, showing off a fun outfit, thinking that I want to go home because my feet hurt. I want the same for my coats... and jeans and hats and dresses and all.

I'm not sure where this paradigm shift came from. Maybe it was the career change. Maybe it was my recent scare. Maybe the simple fact is that I'm more aware of my clothes and their strengths and weaknesses... now that I feel like I'm actually living in them. And maybe *that* makes letting go feel worth it.


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


K/R: North Face Allena Trench Initial Review (pic heavy)

Zappos never lets me down - I received the North Face "Allena" trench today and popped it on immediately to see how things went.

Color: Somewhere between SSB and caramel. Not the worst beige on me, but not the best color ever. Would be better with a flattering colored top or scarf.

Form/Fit: I followed the North Face sizing chart, and I'd say it is perfectly true to size. It does not look gigantic on me, yet I can layer a thick polar fleece jacket underneath with no pulling or strain. I like that the waist sits lower than my J. Crew trench. Sleeves are nice and long, too. The back is also pretty nicely cut and does not form a huge, baggy bubble as many trenches I tried last year had done. It does however feel big when left open, probably due to the fabric. Drapes like gear, not like fashion.

Function: I believe it is truly breathable. It is 70F here today, and I did some pushups and crunches in it without feeling clammy. I also like the zip pocket placed between the inner zipper and the buttons (pic 4). This would have been *wonderful* for travel, providing for security but also allowing access to quick cash or a Metro pass without opening up the coat all the way. The hood is good and doesn't feel like it will slide off while walking. The real major downside is that the belt is way to short to tie in a slipknot the way I like. Seems like it stays okay with just a quick twist, but not sure if it would after continued movement.

Compared to color of the J. Crew Icon trench shown in pics 6-7.

Overall Impression for Me: I am very torn. It won't pass as a Burberry or anything, but it's so functional and fits well. Part of me wants to keep it, but not so much that I don't want to get the olive one I've bid on. This one would be perfect for Serious Rain, I think, but how often do I encounter that? And is a hood and extra breathability enough to make it my Only Trench, bumping out the J. Crew and my rust Scottevest trench? I just don't know.


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


impulse buys - silver python and more

Tagged along on dh's flea market trip "to get some air." Just to prove I am sometimes full of it I left with two bags! 2 for $20, how could I say no? Fist is a snake leather bag by Nine West, second is a nylon Zella that will be wonderful when I need to give my arms a rest. I will make room bypassing on older bags. Excited to try an outfit with the silver especially!


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


A better WIW for today: Paratrooper Pants

Just something goofy I wore to a reiki/massage session today. I wanted to wear something that wouldn't get ruined by massage oils, so I used these ancient Miss Sixty parachute pants (normally pajamas these days). Tucked into boots with an old fitted utility coat.

Call me crazy - or stumpy... it's not the most leg-lengthening outfit ever - but I'm kind of liking the weird factor.

Puma coat - ebay
Miss Sixty pants - flea market
J. Crew thermal (layered under) - flea market
Rockport Anna Motor boots - ebay
Makowsky bag - ebay


Playing favorites: sapphire and camo

With no job to dress for these days, I find myself wearing my favorite items even more than usual. There's just something so comforting about being in clothes that *feel* good on the bod and are also so freakin' practical.

You can sort of see the baggy/slouchy side of these pants better in this pic. I love that extra ease, same as I love the stretch in this jacket. I feel like I could do anything in this outfit and not have to worry about overheating, feeling restricted, or looking like I just rolled out of bed. A new standard to aspire to in all my outfits, as far as I'm concerned! Zella and Lulu have spoiled me silly.

Side note - wow, my hair is getting heavy again, isn't it? These short cuts sure are high maintenance!

Lululemon Run Bundle Up jacket - LL
Michael stars tank - flea market
Gray sport bra - flea market
Men's belt - flea market
AllSaints camo pants - AllSaints
Makowsky bag - ebay
Report Anna Motor boot - Ebay
Raebot necklace - gift from DH


Hiking and Close Encounter of the Wild Kind

So, this is one reason I should pay more attention to my gear capsule: you never know when you'll be taking pics against a really great backdrop... in mismatched sweats. Oops. At least my vest is a good color for me.

#3 is me with a little sea lion (?) we spotted out on our walk... not sure why he was there all by himself, but we decided to move along, and he went back into the water right before another hiking/fishing group arrived at the same spot. It's kind of a weird hike that goes along the water to an old (and small and pretty boring) shipwreck, through piles of stinky seaweed and lots of rocky shore. There were a good amount of people around with kids, dogs, and surfboards. Hope the little sea dude was just out enjoying some warm-ish weather!


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →



I know I'm super late to the Bond bandwagon - I hardly ever see films in first-run theaters - but I finally saw Skyfall, and I'm so in love with the menswear! Not just old 007, either, but also the groundskeeper's rust sweater vest, the villain's leather military trench... and I'm kind of in love with Q's crazy hair. Naturally I also wish I could find the female equivalent of Bond's rugged olive jacket and pea coat. :)


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


Glass Slipper Hunt Results Are In...

Robert Clergerie rafia sneakers were eliminated quickly (#2). They are the correct size, but my toenails catch on the rafia (gross), and my bare feet stick to the soles and make a yucky smacking sound when I walk. No point in rafia shoes you have to wear socks with.

Dansko sandals (#3-6) are soooooo comfy, but I didn't feel like any of the outfits were as good as or better than their versions with the galaxy shoes (although I do love the look with midis and skinnies). The toe box looks a teeny tiny bit bulbous on my narrow foot, and I don't think the bright color works for me in this style. If a discounted pair happens along my path in black or brown, I may snap it up for sore-footed work days, but it is not my Glass Slipper.

So there you have it! Galaxy oxfords win all the way, baby. (#7) Low contrast to the leg, functions as a neutral by going with so many colors, DH likes them, and they're comfy. YLF Forum approved *and* not a duplication in any way. Unique with a great story and symbolism. Hard to argue with that!

Most importantly, I can't tell you how thankful I am to the Fairy Godmothers who made this slipper hunt possible. Beside the thrill of a new pair of shoes and the warmth of a wonderful gesture, this has been something to keep my mind occupied and focused on the future - new outfits to create, a new chapter in the job story, Spring, Summer, and all. I will get the warm fuzzies and an off-the-charts happiness quotient each and every time they come out to play. <3 <3 <3 XOXOXO


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


Favorite Colors for Favorite Weather + Should I go back for this?

This time, I managed to blend into the fence *and* the asphalt! I am taking the camo theme to a whole new level here.

Just a cozy combo for my yearly physical exam. Threw my long black trench over the top for walk from parking garage to keep my beloved citron cashmere out of the rain.

Afterward, I stopped into Marshall's and came across the Ralph Lauren jacket in the exact same shade of citron as my sweater. It's a packable windbreaker, no hood. I would resell the lemon yellow jacket in 3 if I wanted to go back and get the citron one. EDIT to address some of the comments - pic 2 is kind of distorted by gross store lighting. The color is much more like the sweater in #1.

Pros for lemon are that it is breathable cotton with awesome lobster clasps. Cons are that it is really thick and heavy (negating the breathability a bit, since I can't wear much in summer) and has a brown collar which keeps the flattering yellow color away from my face.

Pros for the citron are that it is citron, light and packable, water-resistant, easier to style, and selling the other one would pay for it and then some. Cons are that it is obviously not cotton as a windbreaker, and it's more of a ubiquitous style.


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


Put Her In Neutrals

DH snapped a pic while we were out enjoying a museum today. It was overcast and rainy, so I originally had my caramel trench over the top of everything, but it was actually too warm for it, much to my dismay. This cashmere sweater dress, left over from the office days, was much more insulating than I thought.

Also fun? I'm pretty sure I ended up in a couple of lady tourists' vacation photos while sitting on the museum tram. People could not stop commenting on my boots today - at the museum, chiropractor's office, and even the 99 Cents store. Geez, talk about a statement piece... I must remember not to wear them when I want to slink into the shadows. o_0

Three Dots hoodie - flea market (50 cents!)
Cashmere sheath - flea market
Bullet necklace - gift from a friend
Gap jeggings - Gap
Chocolat Blu boots -
Ted Baker bag - flea market