Dressed for: Last Chances

Already Pretty outfit featuring Fair Isle sweater, orange dress, brown tights, Coclico boots, magenta belt

Fair Isle cardigan, thrifted – similar color/print
Dress – Mountain Hardwear
Tights – Express
Boots – Coclico via eBay – more Coclico boots
Belt, thrifted – similar
Earrings, art fair – similar

I adored this cardigan when I thrifted it a couple of years ago, but I don’t think I wore it last winter. At all. So when I hauled it out this time around, I decided to put it to the test: If I couldn’t make it work in an outfit fairly easily, it should find a new home. Luckily, I had acquired this vibrant orange dress a few months back, and a match was made!

Do you have any garments that are on the chopping block? What are your keep/donate criteria?

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13 Responses to “Dressed for: Last Chances”

  1. Gracey at Fashion for Giants

    I think you styled that cardigan perfectly. I love that you paired it with a bright dress (orange!) and think it will work equally well with a neutral. I’m glad this cardi was saved; it’s wonderful.

    I have a grass green cardigan on the chopping block right now. I like it well enough, but I seriously never wear it. There aren’t any fit or condition issues, I think that green is just harder for me to style than other colors. I need to wear it though or get rid of it soon.

  2. D

    What a fun cardigan! I love the color combination.

    Right now, I do have several garments on the chopping block, but I really need to work on creating some criteria. Right now, I just hem and haw about making the decision and give the garment side eye until I get brave enough to toss it into the donate pile, months later.

  3. Cynthia

    Not only do I have some items on the chopping block right now, I have them on EBay — including a cute ruffled denim skirt that is just too short, and a black and white Target Missoni sweatercoat that’s just too big for me.

  4. Jasmine

    Oh my gosh I love this dress! And I’m happy you found a match for the cardigan it looks so YOU! 🙂

  5. Debby

    So glad you saved the sweater! It looks like it will make winter a lot more warm and cheery.

    Last season I bought a teal sweater dress with a tiny ruffle around the v-neck. It was love at first sight, but I wore it maybe once or twice. This year, when I consider wearing it, I usually choose the other outfit instead. The knit fabric seems to be super-thin and not very warm, and it has short sleeves, so I always need to wear something to cover my arms. I haven’t found the right patterned item, like a scarf, to turn this combo from dull to more visually interesting. So, unless I can come up with something better, the dress will go to consignment.

    Sal, sort of off-topic, do you think that the quality of fabrics is not as good as it was maybe five or ten years ago? It seems like sweaters and wool pants are getting thinner and thinner, and less warm. I used to find some lovely thick wool sweaters at Loft, but now even in winter they are a lighter cotton or cotton mixed with acrylic and a tiny bit of wool. Since I can’t afford cashmere, I’d love to find some medium-weight merino wool cardigans.

    • Sal

      Oh, for sure, Debby. Maybe more on the 10-year end of things, but I’ve definitely seen a deterioration over time of fabric quality and construction, both. Yet another reason to thrift! But frustrating when you can’t thrift what you need. I also feel like no one is LINING anything anymore. Aside from floaty cotton summer skirts, I prefer mine lined.

      I can think of about a billion places to get thin Merino cardigans, but the only vendor I can think of who does thicker weaves is Eileen Fisher. Spendy, but great quality. (And thriftable. 😉

        • Debby


          It’s not crazy! I did look at both of those sites (go-to for New Englanders) but nothing jumped out at me. I have two wool cabled cardigans from the long-closed Casual Corner that are medium weight and hit me at the right spot in the hip (some of the sweaters at L.L. Bean and Eddie Bauer are too-long-for-me tunics) that I would love to replace. I’m beginning to think I’m going to have to knit my own; doable, but will take forever. 🙂

          Sal, you are right about thrifting/consignment. I will keep looking there too. Thanks!

  6. Megan Mae

    Love the sweater, hope it finds a better fit in your closet. Sometimes items on the chopping block are because I can’t remember how they fit. Sometimes it’s because I don’t know how to style it. Sometimes I just know it’s time for something to go.

  7. AB

    I am in love with that sweater. I am now going to deconstruct it from your photos and see if I can knit my own.

  8. Christine

    Sal, I second the Coclico endorsement! I have a pair of their short boots and they are super cute, comfortable, very well made, and timeless-because-unique in style. Another expensive-when-new but similarly styled line is Chie Mihara — if you find them on eBay in your size, go for it!

  9. LaChina

    I love the outfit!!! I’m thinking about getting rid of a few sweaters that just don’t fit well. I had them alternated, but still don’t wear. In addition, I’m learning to accept that I don’t have the butt for trousers, so many of them may go as well.

  10. Amber of Butane Anvil

    Oh, I am such a hanger-on-to-stuff that any new-found styling knowledge has more things on the “keep it” list than ever as I become more able to figure out ways to wear things! I love your mix of brights and neutrals as inspired by this great sweater.