Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Work Outfit: Purple Spiral Spring

Sure, you've seen my post-sewing photo shoots--but I thought it might be fun to share the occasional real-life outfit!

Purple Spring Spiral Work Remix (30 Weeks Pregnant)
  • Turquoise necklace: handmade birthday gift by my friend M├írta Fodor. Cost: free
  • Lavender cotton tie-waist cardigan w/ dark purple trim: thrifted. Cost: $4. Cost per wear: $4.
  • Gray lacy camisole: Ann Taylor Loft. Cost: $14. Cost per wear: 40 cents.
  • Purple ruched maternity top: from second-hand maternity shop. Cost: $16. Cost per wear: $1.60.
  • Spiral-print knit skirt: Made it myself (details here). Cost (fabric and pattern): $10.50. Cost per wear: $2.62
  • Purple nubuck flats: Privo by Clarks. Cost: $80. Cost per wear: $10.
  • Eggplant leather tote bag: from DSW. Cost: $70. Cost per wear: 40 cents... or less (I've worn this to work about 50% of the time for 4 years.)

Total Cost: $178.50.

Total Cost Per Wear (so far): $19.02.

This is a plum-colored variation on my core work-wear uniform: colorful beaded necklace + knit top + cami (for modesty) + colorful/patterned cardigan or blazer + pencil or A-line skirt + cute comfy flats or boots.

Somewhat less often I wear a dress + cardi/blazer, and in the winter I often wear wool or corduroy trousers + top + cardigan.

My office (I work in the newspaper industry) is business casual, and we're allowed to wear denim on Fridays (my version is a pair of dark-colored lightweight denim stretch trousers). When I first started my job I wore a lot of cute retro-styled wool and cotton skirt suits, but I started feeling over-dressed and have mainly stuck to sweaters since.

Sadly, I don't own a single woven top--RTW woven tops just don't fit me in the bust, though I'm working on sewing some, of course. And pullover sweaters rarely make an appearance--I just can't play with layering or styling the way I do with cardigans.

Cost per wear is of course "cost per wear so far"--I've only just bought those shoes, and this was the first time I wore the cardigan. I like to keep a tightly edited closet (rough rule: if I don't feel fabulous in it--why do I own it?) and wear favorite pieces into the ground, especially shoes and bags.

I'm a bargain-loving gal (you may recall I bought my wedding dress for $100 on eBay), so the cheaper the cost per wear of an outfit, and the more of it that's thrifted--or better yet, hand-sewn!--the more thrilling when I get compliments on it! I'm slowly building up my arsenal of home-sewn pieces, and about 50% of my favorite RTW clothes were thrift-store finds.

So tell me: what's your spring work uniform? And how much of it is home-sewn (or thrifted, even)?


  1. I like the "cost-per-wear" analysis! I cringe every year when I spend a lot of money on work shoes (I'm a teacher), but thinking about how much I'm going to wear them makes it hurt less to spend that much $$$!!!
    PS - very cute outfit!

  2. I'm loving seeing all of your maternity sewing! I'm in my first trimester and dreaming of stylish layering and creative thrifting :) - tops are easy though, I need to figure out if I can handle all skirts or what the pants situation will be.


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