Wardrobe Planning: November sweater weather!

Wardrobe Planning: November sweater weather!

We went from days of sleevelessness to boots and sweater weather almost simultaneously with setting back the clocks. Sunday was the most perfect early-Fall day imaginable — trees in full color, the ground littered with leaves, and a breezy 78 degrees — and we literally woke up to cold and rainy early winter on Monday morning. The funny part is that on Sunday I was telling myself It’s cool, no need to be in a hurry, and was mapping out an outfit plan in my head that was all about faking sweater weather. (E.g. cowichan vest with tank dress and boots!) Then whoosh, and suddenly I’m standing in front of the closet dumbfounded and planless again.

Here’s the thing I’ve noticed while doing these wardrobe plans over the past year: They’ve slowed down my drive to make or acquire new things and have shown me how to get more mileage (i.e. more outfit combinations) out of the things I own. There’s still that old habit, though, of looking ahead to what’s new or in-progress or on my wish list rather than just concentrating on what I already own. And now there’s this whole new element of having laid out so many outfits over the past year that have never even been worn! So this next little plan is all about going backwards — digging up the unworn outfits, the favorite combos from the past few seasons, and the things that can become new again with just the addition of a cardigan or jacket, a switch from sandals to boots. And this time — for the first time since I began this — I’m not including anything in the plan that’s currently a WIP. Which means I’m also only thinking through the end of November, keeping it a little light still, and yes, looking forward to having my vanilla cardigan and natural wool pants to play with in December.

Wardrobe Planning: November sweater weather!
Wardrobe Planning: November sweater weather!
Wardrobe Planning: November sweater weather!
Wardrobe Planning: November sweater weather!
Wardrobe Planning: November sweater weather!

For details on all of the garments pictured, see my Fall Closet Inventory + camo/denim toddler pants post coming as soon as the natural ones are finished (soon!), but they’re all basically the same as the olive pair, with assorted variations. The black ankle boots are Everlane, and the tan flats are identical to my silver ones, handmade by Solid State Studios. An early holiday treat for myself!

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18 thoughts on “Wardrobe Planning: November sweater weather!

  1. Looks as though you really have your wardrobe act together. I find transitional seasons (spring and fall) more challenging, but also more fun. When it’s really hot or really cold, my wardrobe choices are more limited–it’s all about dealing with the extremes. Transitional wear on the other hand usually involves more layering to deal with daily temperature fluctuations–and more creativity. I’m off to the Wool and Wine Retreat tomorrow with a mostly handmade wardrobe packed for three days of fun. Snow flurries in our weekend forecast here.

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    • Then that’s for sure what you should wear! I like ankles and keep them on display as long as possible, but all of the boot combos in here are for those days when flats and bare ankles just aren’t feasible. It’ll be a little while longer before I have to bundle away my ankles entirely, and even then only briefly or for little spurts here and there.

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  2. To each her own, but I have to agree with the pants length; I think they need to go up an inch or two and own their ankle length, or go down to the foot. Even in Nashville, colder weather will come by the end of the month, and these selections don’t seem to reflect that. I will be curious how you feel about that at the end of the month.

    Since good sweaters never die, I have too many in my closet. My own goal is to see that each gets worn at least once a month. The rest of the outfit tends to take care of itself.

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    • Any shorter and they get into capri territory, which is not for me. I like them about an inch or two above my ankle, as seen above.

      All of the outfits here that include boots are for those colder days! And again, this is for November, not January. Although even the last couple of Januarys have been pretty mild …

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  3. I’m always lost, when the seasons first change. It’s like I forgotten what I wore last year. I also worry that I will be the only one dressed for cold weather, so half the time I freeze. You’re smart to plan ahead.

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    • It’s definitely how truly useful an exercise it is that has me addicted to it. A couple hours doing this have saved me who knows how many hours of staring blankly into my closet in the mornings, and fended off numerous misguided purchases because it’s so clear to me now what I own that the question “what does it go with?” is easily answered.

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  4. So I’ve been wanting to do similar for a while. I just finished a major overhaul – kondo-style – and painted the inside of my closet (!) as an extra boost.

    But my question is : where do you keep your planner? A big poster inside your closet door? Laminated flash cards?

    What are the real time mechanics to make this work?

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    • The first time I did it, I just printed out the little grids and taped them to the wall next to my closet. (Which is in my sewing room, by the way, so having that stuck to the wall feels slightly less weird.) More recently, I’ve been sticking the pages in a clipboard which is on my sewing table right next to the closet. But there are enough of them now that I’m like “Am I keeping these or tossing them? Making a notebook?”

      I also do print out the inventory grid and tape it to the inside of my closet. So if I’m staring at anything, for whatever reason, it’s that grid and not the actual clothes on the rack. Makes it easier to see possible combos or what might be missing. Like: “Do I really own nothing dinner-out worthy?”

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  5. When I see all the black and white in your line-up, I wonder if I should give you some credit for inspiring my recent FO of a black and white Breton sweater. Maybe a little? ;-)

    And I completely agree that when you really focus on what you are making and how you are wearing it, the desire for acquiring more is dramatically lessened.

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  6. So happy to this post! My favorite series!!! I am in the same situation here in NC. I was wearing T-shirts and suddenly woke up to freezing rain…….. I am kind of mad that we just skipped Fall…but I love wearing sweaters too! I think it is easiest for me to dress for extreme weather (Summer/Winter)… I sucked at transitional weather dressing… I guess I grew up in places that had no spring/fall… But looking at your wardrobe really inspired me at playing with layering!
    I love your color palette for clothing, besides…I am kind of wondering what are your thoughts on purple..?
    I really like purple as a color in its own right, don’t get me wrong, but I just struggle to wear purple. I noticed you have couple items in purple, and it doesn’t seem to be easy to pair with the rest of your closet. Just wondering what is your approach there on a pop of color! Love to hear more about it!

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  7. I plan my wardrobe and actually have a hook in my closet where I hang five outfits on Sunday night for the upcoming week…complete with accessories. This makes mornings much easier…even if I have to occasionally regroup because of unexpected changes in the weather.

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  8. Fun! So many great outfits. Also, interesting to see what you do and DON’T do with your chosen garments and think about how it coincides and differs from what I might do with the same items–it’s a great reminder of what subtle adjustments individual style turns on. I also love the idea that thinking methodically about outfits lessens the desire or impulse to buy more. This seems true and like I should test it by planning a bit more. Finally, love the new caramel-brown shoes!

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