One of the things I'm passionate about in dressing myself is playing with trends in a way that works with my life. Generally, this means office-appropriate, budget-friendly, easy-care, and pairs well with pieces I already own. I want trendy items to be of good enough quality that they don't look cheap or out of place in my wardrobe, but because they're trends, I don't expect them to last for the next decade. Keeping this in mind, I've been on a quest for a black & white striped blazer - I've seen them all over the place, wanted to try out the look myself, but I didn't want to spend a lot. Target came through for me, with a ponte knit poly/rayon/spandex blend with -- wait for it -- REAL POCKETS. That was just a a bonus, but YAY.
Jacket: Target (Matching skirt here)
Trousers: NYDJ, Chaplin style, via Boutique Larrieux (Similar here)
Tee: Eloquii (Sadly, they are shutting down, but you can score this same tee for $6.49 right now if you're a 14/16!)
Scarf (which I have wrapped around my neck, not worn as a shawl): I purchased mine at the China pavilion at EPCOT, but the same design is available from this eBay seller (no endorsement of this seller implied - I've never purchased from them)
Now, about those investments. These black trousers are, in my opinion, pretty much the best black trousers I've ever owned. The fit, the style, I love everything about them. But they will take a chunk out of your budget, especially if you're normally a deep-sale and discount shopper accustomed to spending a quarter of the price on your trousers. I still maintain one should invest in classic basics like this AND one should patronize local boutiques, but if you can't swing it, I strongly suggest using eBay and sales at high-end department stores or outlet stores to add pieces like this to your wardrobe without resorting to ramen for months.
You'll note that I did not mention shoes in my collage. Well, I have some news on that front:
Yep, those are my feet, both in shoes! I'm officially 10 weeks post-op today, and seem to have transitioned fully to a shoe! Not my top choice of shoes, but this is what I can wear right now on Day 2 of Full Time Shoe Wearing. Those, by the way, are Wolky Moira lace-up shoes, which are discontinued. So I'm hobbling around in actual shoes, though I still need a crutch to get going when I first get out of a chair because of stiffness and soreness in my ankle and foot, and to get up and down stairs. I've been doing various foot exercises -- the same things I did in physical therapy last summer -- to improve my strength and range of motion, so I hope to be wearing something other than lace-up shoes in the not-too-distant future.