Sunday, January 25, 2015

Portland Wardrobe Essentials

It's strange for me to think that I am already in my third year of living in Portland, and even though everyday I hear about new places to see and different things to do in the city, I am beginning to feel more and more like Portland is becoming a home. Over these past few years I have tailored my wardrobe to be as Portland appropriate as possible and have the city and it's conditions in mind often while shopping. Now, today the plan was to photograph the very "Portland Appropriate" outfit I was wearing, but in true PNW fashion it was raining and dark and foggy and pictures were just not going to happen. So in leu of that I'm going to talk about my Portland wardrobe essentials.

Wool in all forms

On the day I wanted to take these photos I was wearing this wool skirt from Madewell. I found it on sale just before Christmas and was so glad I snagged it because I think it is going to quickly become my favorite colder weather skirt. Since it's wool and is a heavier material, even though it's above the knee, it is a bit warmer than say something made of chiffon or cotton. Plus, doesn't it just kind of look like Portland? (Anything grey makes me think of Portland) The second kind of wool investment (aside from socks) I would recommend are lightweight sweaters, such as this Merino wool turtleneck from J. Crew. The wet kind of cold that exists in Portland chills me to the bone some days so it's really nice to have a warm wool layer that I can snuggle up in but that isn't going to be too thick underneath my jacket.


Plaid is one of the easiest patterns to wear and is something that I think really works with kind of personal style aesthetic. It's just as easy it make a plaid shirt look preppy as it is to make it look punk or hipster-ish. Two ways that I find myself wearing plaid a lot are either in the form of flannel shirts that I like to tuck into one of my many pleated skirts or as a scarf wrapped around my neck and tucked into my leather jacket. It's an any season, any style, any article of clothing pattern that I think should exist in some capacity in everyone's wardrobe.

Weather Proof Shoes

Okay, let's talk shoes. For me, I like to stick with investing in classic shoes that will go with everything and last through anything. That means either leather or some water resistant material, things that are either flat or have low heels, and are well made. My two suggestions are these chelsea style rainboots from J. Crew (so much easier to wear than full on, knee high, rainboots in my opinion) and some black leather flats from Born. I have so many pairs of flat, black, leather shoes because they just go with everything and Born is one of my favorite brands for shoes that are practical and still stylish.

Black Tights

These are basic, but important! I like to wear dresses and skirts year round but usually it isn't warm enough to always go bare-legged so a good pair of black tights is essential! I like these because they are designed to stay up better than most and these because they're fleece lined and extra cosy. 

Big Hats

Weather in Portland usually lies somewhere in the middle of raining and trying to be sunny, which generally leads to me having a lot of unpleasant, frizzy, and damp hair. Hoods on rain jackets only kind of fix this problem, but they can really only be employed when it is actually raining outside (plus my hot pink north face rain jacket does not go with a very large percent of my wardrobe) so my go-to solution to this problem is hats. Large felt hats in particular. They make any outfit look more chic, they hide unsightly hair issues, and they keep my head/hair/face area mist free! and that is all I can really ask of an accessory. 


Finally we have reached the topic of outerwear. I am not going to talk about rain jackets or light-weight down coats, because those are kind of no-brainers and not really my style (even though they are sometimes necessary). Instead, let's talk leather. Or faux leather at least. My faux leather jacket is probably my most worn, and most complimented, article of clothing. This is especially true when I'm in Portland because it's just the perfect solution to all of my outwear needs. In one piece of clothing I can be warm enough for the mild Portland wear, somewhat water resistant, and still achieve my desired "aesthetic". This quilted one I found from Asos is one I've been coveting as of late.

And that's it! Those are my Portland wardrobe essentials - I hope they were interesting/useful to you all in some capacity. Outfit posts are on the way!

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