Dressed for: Alternate Reds

Already Pretty outfit featuring CAbi moto, gray wool sheath dress, red tights, Coclico boots, Desigual scarf

Scarf – Desigual (no longer available) – some on eBay
Jacket – CAbi – similar
Dress – Banana Republic (no longer available) – similar
Tights – Express
Boots – Coclico via eBaymore Coclico
Earrings – White Sands Glass

This outfit was meant to include my red boots, which haven’t been worn in ages but have survived many a merciless closet purge because RED BOOTS. They looked utterly weird with these pieces because they’re very tall and loose-fitting at the top, and just didn’t gel with the other decidedly fitted elements. It was like they became strangely disproportionate, heeled red galoshes. So I kept the scarf with its pop of red, swapped in some red tights with my black Coclicos, and a considerably less weird outfit was born.

I will get those red boots back into rotation if it kills me, though. And it would be so sad to die by Failure to Wear Red Boots. A rare way to meet one’s end, but ever so tragic.

Got anything in your closet that is challenging you these days? Are you hanging onto any garments or accessories that you’re convinced will work again someday, even if they haven’t been worn in months or years? Or do you have a strict donation timeline for unworn items?


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28 Responses to “Dressed for: Alternate Reds”

  1. San

    Yes, I have a few grey dresses that I never wear. Your post (and actually some past posts) help me believe I take them out again one day.

  2. asiancajuns (Cath)

    Love this look! That scarf is beautiful.

    I’ve been trying to cull through all of my clothes, but there are still a handful of pieces that are like your red boots that I rarely wear but can’t part with: pink silk harem pants, a flowy vintage cover-up, and rose-pink dress.

  3. AnaJan Stepalica

    I have a pair of flat red boots I almost never wear. They are comfortable, nice looking leather boots, but their color just makes me feel like I am a fireman whenever I wear those. The color also tends to change the shade when switching from natural to artificial light, and when looked at from the artificial light, they almost have salmon pinkish undertone, which makes them even harder to combine.
    I was thinking of dyeing them to brown or black, but I am afraid this might ruin them…. So I am stuck with red unworn boots.

    • Shawna

      AnaJan, I think you should dye those boots. I have dyed shoes in the past and it worked out just fine. I don’t think you have much to lose anyhow since you aren’t wearing them. You might even be able to dye them a shade of red you are more comfortable with though I admit I too would lean towards black or brown.

  4. Patti @ NotDeadYet Style

    Great look, Sally – I love the sleek gray dress and black jacket to set it off. I am a big donator and rarely hang on to things (except the velvet coat I am wearing today : > ). xox

  5. Sue

    I’m really good at purging things I’m no longer wearing, with few exceptions. One is a red leather moto jacket. Because RED LEATHER JACKET. Just like your boots.

  6. Gisele

    I have a tiered maxi skirt that my dad gave me 20 years ago that I’ve worn… twice. It is so beautiful, and sentimental, but a long full swath of very busy autumnal colors that are not my typical palette (black/white/gray) at all… I would go buy something JUST to wear with it if I could think of what, but the silhouette really stymies me.

    • Jen

      Maybe put it in a shadow box, hang it on the wall, and call it art? I know when my dad passed a couple of years ago, I hung onto some of his funny or well-remembered t-shirts. I’m thinking about doing this with them.

      • Theresa

        Or you could turn the garments into a quilt. I’ve made them out of t-shirts for friends. You just need to stabilize the fabric with the lightest weight fusible interfacing you can find. If the skirt is knit, I’d do that as well.

  7. LinB

    Since I make many of my own garments, far too many of them are kept in the closet, sigh. I have a whole section of “10 pounds lighter” garments that I made and have never worn. Some of them have been in there for more than 10 years. It’s time to let them go — they’ve been in there long enough that they have come back into style. There are also some thrifted garments that I keep because they were just such a great buy, even though I would never have made or bought them originally, since they are in weird colors that make me look ill when I wear them. I am an incipient hoarder, I do fear.

  8. dana

    Sally, that look is fabulous on you. Really sets off your haircut. You should wear this particular combination often!

  9. jb

    how about a photo series of your closet orphans, starting with boots? I’d love to see the red boots!

  10. Lynn

    So glad to see you back personally. The other posts were great, but I have been wondering what people wear in a polar vortex! I do have a pair of green shoes that I Iove, but the style and color don’t go with much. I won’t part with them though.

  11. Shawna

    I think it is definitely colour that stymies me just as it seems to with other people here. I was always told I was a “winter” and should wear bright colours but never felt good in them. I have a pretty cobalt blue blouse that I am just not sure of. I think that if I put a charcoal grey cardigan over it I will feel more comfortable. Also, today I am wearing a top it took me ages to wear after buying it. It is a very soft camel colour, and I wasn’t sure if I could wear this colour. I think I am actually successfully wearing it today. I have paired it with charcoal grey boyfriend sweater and skinny jeans and when I go out, there will be some slouchy camel boots with it.

  12. Heidi B

    The scarves you’ve been featuring lately are absolutely to die for! You come up with the best ways of tying them too. But I have a question about this outfit, as a style consultant, can you please explain for your clueless readers like me 🙂 why did you choose that jacket? It seems like it would be impossible to zip or snap it because of where the zipper parts appear. I remember reading years ago that jackets should be able to button to wear, but like I said that was years ago and you seem to have a better grasp of current fashion than old-timey rules.

  13. Jill

    I have a pretty pair of dark blue suede boots that I have a hard time wearing. They tend to make me look bottom heavy or something. I wear black boots with no problem, but these blue ones just… I don’t know… pull your eye down maybe?

  14. T.

    I have a couple of out-of-style wool sweaters that I hang onto. I eyed them during the polar vortex but didn’t wear them. I thought to myself that if even the polar vortex can’t convince me to wear them, I should purge them, but then I thought: what if the polar vortex comes to stay? I might need them!! I think I’ll hang on to them for awhile yet.

  15. Anne

    I agree, re. Because red boots, mine are not seeing as much wear because of the heel style right now but I would never part with them because… Red boots!

  16. Ruth

    I have a Jean Muir dress bought in a charity shop. It is a rather voluminous – it is a UK size 12 and I am a UK size 16 but it is definitely too big. And rather long. But it is by JEAN MUIR. Actually, I think it may be coming back in style …
    I also have a couple of rather nice sleeveless sweaters – one is Yves St Laurent, also bought for almost nothing. But I can’t wear them, because if I am cold, the first thing I want to cover are my arms – not actually true, first I want to make my ears, hands and feet warm, but then my arms. I don’t think I would really worry (apart from aesthetics and shock value) if my trunk was bare. So sleeveless sweaters are a challenge.

  17. Frances

    Fabulous outfit! I think red boots would have unbalanced the look.

  18. Lynne

    I spent all last winter trying to find a pair of red boots, and finally tracked a pair down through the tv shopping network channel! Somehow they haven’t been worn as much as I thought I would as every time I wear them everyone, and I mean everyone, comments on them. Have to be feeling very chatty to put them on.

  19. Cel

    I love this, that scarf makes a great focal point and the rest of the outfit is so clean and crisp, tying in perfectly and making it shine. It all looks wonderful on you.

  20. Ann

    I think it is the tights that bring it all together, very inspiring to me. I’m feeling timid to add the brights in tights because I’m over 50. You do this so beautifully. I love bright tights, feeling a bit boxed in with this since blogging. The scarf is lovely in pattern and the whole outfit works. Adding color to winter basics just makes them more fun!

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