I’m dreading the winter this year to be honest. The past two years have been brutally cold and I am not looking forward to having to don a million layers every time I have to go outside, not to mention not seeing the sun for 4 months. I’m already bemoaning the lack of light and the shortened time I can take well lit photos and it’s only November. It’s not even close to the solstice. There’s a lot of dark evenings left.
But it has been unseasonably warm lately, so I’ve been happy with my ability to get away with lighter jackets and less layers while I still can. I picked up this oversized intarsia cardigan two seasons ago from Urban Outfitters for $10 on sale, mostly for the price, and it turns out it’s quite simply one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. It’s warm, long but not too long, and perfectly oversized to wear over almost anything without completely swallowing it up. It has pockets that are actually functional and did I mention that it’s like wearing a blanket? It’s great for layering when I need all the warmth I can get but also works just as well as a cozy top layer. I don’t have a lot of blue in my closet but the pattern and the addition of charcoal tones makes it more versatile, plus the knit is really soft, and even though it has had a lot of wear the scruffiness suits it just fine.
I’m usually not much a sweater person and I definitely wasn’t when I purchase the cardigan, but I’m slowly coming around. I didn’t like how quickly they piled and turned ratty, but I enjoy feeling like I’m wearing a blanket when it is freezing out and there’s something about this time of year that makes me just want to sit on the couch with some chai in that cardigan. Which somehow looks better with some piling. I also have come to fully appreciate the way knit plays with other fabrics and textures – the coziness just can’t be beat.
I paired it with an oversized tee dress I picked up from H&M earlier this year, along with a faux leather skirt which I also snagged on sale which is finally seasonally appropriate. The skirt should be making an appearance here in a few, but the dress (it’s probably a tunic, but I’m 5’2″) is really comfy and I love that I can pair it with tights in the fall and leggings in the winter – it’s hard to find dresses that pair well with leggings without them turning childish, but I also can’t avoid wearing them when it is subzero so I tend to prefer tee dresses and oversized shirts for winter. I really love H&M’s basics, out of everything I’ve picked up on the cheap, they seem to be made of the nicest fabrics and last the longest. They also have quite a few pieces with nice details or more interesting cuts, and since most of my closet is in fact basics, I love being able to pick up things that are a little less plain.
The boots were a new purchase this season, picked up at Target as soon as they went on clearance. I always love a good hiking boot and I love the details on these – the faux leather is supple and I love the contrasting material at the heel and ankle, along with the laces. I tend avoid brown but I can appreciate accents of taupe when the situation calls for it, and the laces work very well here. I love how hiking boots and other chunky soled types can ground and outfit without erring on the side of too heavy. They’re fantastic for running around in and it didn’t take me any time to break in, which is just another plus.
I actually love this outfit. I haven’t been all that happy with the results of my most recent style forays but this one is a winner. It’s easy, texturally soothing, balanced, and feels like something I’d put on without thinking which is exactly what I think style should be. When I speak about accessibility and authenticity, I’m really just thinking about two things in particular: I want this blog to be about clothes you can actually afford to wear, and I want it be about clothes that don’t distract from the person wearing them. I think this outfit fulfills that criteria very well.