Closet 101 Style

Pieces That I Love…That Just Don’t Work (For Me)

I think my title is pretty self explanatory, right?

I wanted to write about those items which I’ve always been drawn to…that for one reason or another, I can’t make work on me. I was inspired to write this post after a recent airport shopping expedition, which I’ll explain immediately, below!

Hermes Silver CDC

1. Hermes Silver Collier de Chien bracelet. Ah, I love this bracelet so much. I adore seeing it on others. I just tried it on at the CDG airport, after spying it in the window. My SA wears it often and she’s inspired me to try it on at least 3 times because she insists it is comfortable. But on me..it is decidedly not. It hits my wristbone. And I have never been able to either put it on, or take it off, by myself. I’m lucky that I couldn’t even get through ten minutes wearing this bracelet..because I think it looks so cool! It would make me look cooler…right? But alas, I’ll leave it for others.

2. Heeled ankle boots. I have always admired these types of boots and they look so, so good on girls with long legs. For the life of me though, I just can’t make them work for myself….maybe with plain black tights and a short black skirt, but I am in pants/jeans for most of winter. It’s a shame because I love the look and have tried on these Tod’s boots at least twice (even worse, they’re actually comfortable)…but I have to accept that my gams just don’t work with them.

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3. Leather leggings. I try so hard. SO hard! I try real leather. Fake leather. Thousand plus dollar pairs. Hundred dollar or less pairs. I love the Helmut Lang pair above…doesn’t it look so good? But I just can’t make them work on me. Maybe because one of my all time favorite Friends episodes is the one where Ross buys his leather pants and then can’t get them off? Who knows?

What are some items that you love…that just don’t work for you?

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  • Dana W
    February 2, 2015 at 7:35 am

    Ugh I feel like I have tried on ALL the booties at variously comfortable heel heights for the past two years and none of them ever look good to me. Suddenly my legs are one long tree trunk and it’s not attractive.

    All that to say I feel your pain, lol.

  • Jill
    February 2, 2015 at 9:25 am

    The heeled ankle boots are definitely a go-to for me but I am so with you re the CDC. I have tried it on and think it looks ridiculous on me. My SA at Wall St. told me it was too expensive not to wear all the time and advised me against it (God I love her). I do love a Rivale and might get one some day. I feel like it’s a mini CDC. I also love my Behapi 3mm, it’s great for small wrists. That baby does not move once it’s on and is so comfortable to wear. I’m also with you re leather leggings. I keep thinking of ordering a pair but I just know it will end in disappointment. Great post on an interesting topic.

  • Sarah
    February 2, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Ha ha! I have never seen anyone (in real life) looking good in leather leggings. Never

  • Groupthink7
    February 2, 2015 at 9:45 am

    Rick Owens leather jackets, Christian Louboutin shoes, and Chanel bags. I purchased every style and size of Rick Owens jacket last year; and just say this, the sales associate at Barneys wasn’t thrilled when I returned all 5 jackets to the store after purchasing them online. I have tried about six different types of Christi
    Christian Louboutins (i.e. boots, flats, and heels) and they hurt my feet. I like looking at the Chanel bags however they will not fit all of my stuff. So I don’t like to carry bags where I have to leave things out that I need. Also, I don’t like the flaking of the metal work. I just find it quite difficult to spend $$$$ on a bag that will look like you spent $ after the wear and tear.

    • Katherine
      February 3, 2015 at 10:15 am

      By avoiding Louboutin and Chanel you are saving lots of money. I love the RO jackets but haven’t purchased one either. We are both saving there 🙂

  • Natalie Gonzalez
    February 2, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Booties. Of any style. I’ve tried them all. I want to play with them so badly. Just…no.

  • ella
    February 2, 2015 at 10:54 am

    Great idea for a post! Mine are: slip dresses (or any dress with no structure); striped shirts (those adorable French sailor tees – I have a whole stack of them in my closet that I never wear); wool jackets (they look so professional but I find them confining and itchy); the blazer-and-jean combo (preppy and adorable on others, yet I look androgynous in it). This is why your spreadsheet idea works so well for me – it enabled me to see all these patterns where I buy things over and over because they look great on other people, yet I never wear them. PS: I find the Kelly Dog to be much more comfortable than the CDC even in leather – the hardware sits on top of your wrist so there is no clanking on the desk.

    • Katherine
      February 3, 2015 at 10:14 am

      I’m so glad the spreadsheet is working out for you! I haven’t tried the Kelly Dog in leather but I love the sterling version!!

  • Elizabeth
    February 2, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    Hi Kat! Such a great post! I have to say, though, that sometimes it just takes the right version of a piece and you’ll be converted. I like you tried every leather legging out there….I think there was a Shopbop order where I ordered eight pairs. Shopbop must despise me 🙂
    Then I got the cheap fakey Blank Denim ones and everyone loves them on me…now I’ve found a pair of Rag & Bones in real leather on major sale. Suddenly the leather legging is a staple for me and that’s brand new.
    I also as I think you know have the silver CDC and wear it daily (although I agree the Kelly Dog is much easier at a desk). I may just have gotten more comfortable with my inner rock chick 😉

    What just doesn’t work for me….peasant blouses. Of any kind. Because I am petite and busty I look like a matryushka doll instead of boho chic. And Converse/most flat sneakers with jeans make me look like a ten year old boy instead of a French blogger (also a petite problem). Also for the most part the Hermès silk scarves…they are just too formal for me and because I fiddle with my scarves all the time I ruin whatever clever knot the SA has taught me!

    • Katherine
      February 3, 2015 at 10:14 am

      I have a hard time with the silks too…sadly it hasn’t stopped me from buying them yet!

  • Whitney Farris
    February 2, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    My daughter is super skinny and a great height. Leather leggings look great on her. I have the more relaxed leather sweatpants and I can work them. However, tulle skirts just do not work for me! I have one and try as I might, I just can’t bring myself to wear it. I feel like it a meringue!

    • Katherine
      February 3, 2015 at 10:14 am

      Your daughter sounds like the body type where everything would look amazing on her!! Tulle skirts for me too…I always feel like I look very juvenile, love the frothy look though.

      • Whitney Farris
        February 3, 2015 at 3:52 pm

        Katherine,
        We are on the same page! Juvenile, is exactly the right term! My daughter can wear all the current fashions, rail thin and can eat like a farm hand! She was in Paris recently and brought home some of the latest trends! Where I would look ridiculous, she looks Au currant!

  • Falnangel
    February 2, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    Have you tried Rag & Bone boots? They somehow mastered to make the perfect ankle boots in every style. I have several pairs and live in them all winter.
    Agree on the CDC. To me, it’s CDC in general, leather and silver. I tried on the leather CDC a few times, it just seems too bulky or too much metal for my taste even though I adore it on others. I opted for the Kelly Dog instead and even that still seems a bit too wide for me.

    • Katherine
      February 3, 2015 at 10:13 am

      Yes I have. You must be one of those cool girls that they just look fantastic on!

  • DSK Steph
    February 2, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    I love the look of the silver CDC too! But when I tried it on I couldn’t believe how heavy it was and it does but my wrist bone as well making it kind of awkwardly uncomfortable. CDC in general don’t look good on me but I absolutely admire it on those who can rock it! 🙂

    • DSK Steph
      February 2, 2015 at 4:01 pm

      By but I meant hit* haha

  • Wish I Was in CA
    February 2, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    OMG – I was dying laughing, reading this! My best girlfriend and I have a phrase, “Fantasy Me” which we use when we contemplate purchases. As in, would I look good in these leather pants, or is it Fantasy Me that would look good in them??? ‘Fantasy Me’ wears leather pants and ankle boots, but alas the real 5’2″ me doesn’t have the stems for them either. Maybe if I whittled off another 15 lbs. And I’m not heavy! You’ve just gotta know what works on you.

    Other things that don’t really cut it on me: short skirts; capris, unless they’re the PERFECT length; anything too voluminous/boxy (which cuts out many designers, such as Chloe, which I love in theory); deep v-necks; chunky jewelry, especially big statement necklaces… I could go on. Also, unfortunately, really any large handbags. Which means lots of editing!

    • Katherine
      February 3, 2015 at 10:13 am

      Ooh yes! Add capris to my list too!

  • Vivian
    February 2, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    Lindy bags in any size, I just look hideous

    • Katherine
      February 3, 2015 at 10:13 am

      I agree, I have a hard time…I feel like they stick out too much on my body. Love them still though.

  • Ava Lon
    February 2, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    My Dearest Katherine,

    This is probably the first post in which I completely DISAGREE with you – I have never met anyone whom the Silver CDC does not agree with…please (and we both know you have them) post the photos as proof that it does not work with you— of all the people I know the Silver CDC is a no-brainer (if you will) for you! Really!

    Yes, is it heavy the first few times you wear it? Absolutely, but I promise it is no heavier than your (you-know-which-bracelet-I’m-referring-to-here) other gorgeous wrist-gems (“gems” term-used-loosely). That said, I cannot even begin to tell you that you will REGRET not getting this before their next idiotic (yet necessary) price hike…it’s GORGEOUS and a CLASSIC. Please, for the love of all that is H and C for that matter and V, too while we’re at it, just post an image of it on your wrist on your IG and see what everyone says. I am confident that it looks AMAZING on you and think (nay, BELIEVE you need this piece in your life!) – 😉

    REally!

    In any case, as for your (2) and (3), well, if you were still in High School then, yes, I would push you to embrace, however, even then, it’s very iffy and you still have a high schoolers physique but I think you far more tasteful to indulge in those two passing fashion trends. However, if you did choose to indulge, you could totally get away with them– though I would much rather you get the Silver CDC instead. Mine hits my wrist bone but I push it as far up as I can and I won’t lie – I NEVER go to the gym (I really should) but I got used to the heft within 20 minutes – no lie. H is H and the piece is GORGEOUSlll I can’t imagine your not enjoying it – honestly, I think once you get it you will think, “WHY HAVEN’T I GOTTEN THIS SOONER?!”

    Well, I hope you at least reconsider and hopefully you are close enough to your SA that she would lend you hers for a few days so you can see if you want it for yourself (yes, I am THAT close to my SA’s) but really I do BELIEVE this is a piece you need in your wardrobe.

    It is by far one of my favorite H pieces to date.

    Hope you have a great week! Sorry for the beastly-long-post-but-I-believe-in-this-paritcular-item 😉

    Ava 😉

    • Katherine
      February 3, 2015 at 10:11 am

      OMG you are the biggest enabler! I was all set to pass this piece and now your impassioned plea has me considering it all over again! I wonder if I’ve just been a wimp…seriously, it feels so heavy though. Of course I adore how it looks, just amazing but I’ve always felt it is too heavy. OK I’m going to give it another try…all because of you!

      • Ava Lon
        February 3, 2015 at 3:58 pm

        Dear Katherine,
        I PROMISE you will thank me later. 😉
        If it makes you feel any better, within the first 10 minutes, I guarantee you will completely forget the weight of it and your eyes will glaze over in sheer admiration of the stunning gorgeousness. (Hurry! Before they hike their price, again!)
        🙂
        x
        Ava

        ps-I completely kick myself for not having gotten it sooner (before a few of their inevitable price hikes)

        pps-I find I can wear it for casual and formal events and it is just pure joy, PURE JOY to wear. And you will get used to the clasp quickly so don’t worry about that. 🙂 I hope you get it!

  • M
    February 3, 2015 at 1:34 am

    I actually have the exact same three items on my list! BUT, I did end eventually make the sterling CDC work by going up from the short to the standard size. The short fit “better” but was sitting painfully right in my wrist bone. However, the standard can slide over it more like a tight bangle and does not hurt at all. Once that problem was resolved, the weight was no longer an issue and I love mine!! The clasp just takes some alone time to get used to…I always have problems in store with all clasps since I’m worried about damaging the item.

    • Katherine
      February 3, 2015 at 10:12 am

      That’s a great tip about the standard size…I had to do the same thing. I also have a wider wrist bone. Glad to hear that is working for you now!

      • Elizabeth
        February 5, 2015 at 9:56 am

        I think this is a good point – my CDC is still a bit big on me even thought it’s the short size, and that means it moves up and down my arm a bit. If it fit like a leather CDC I’d be uncomfortable, I think. Unlike a leather H bracelet, the weight keeps the piece from spinning around on your wrist even when it’s a bit big.

  • Maria
    February 3, 2015 at 9:06 am

    Riding boots. Unless they are the Stuart Weitzman with the elastic back, nothing gets over my calves. I have slim ankles and decent knees, so I like my curvy calves but…….. I would kill to get them into a pair of Hermes Jumping boots. So gorgeous and chic. I desperately bought a pair once with the intention of having the best leather professionals put in an elastic back, but I chickened out and returned them.

    Why don’t you like the leather leggings on you? I think you have the legs to pull them off. Is it just the idea of them? Forget Ross!

    • Katherine
      February 3, 2015 at 10:09 am

      Oh the H Jumping boots don’t work for me too…they were too stiff. I LOVE the look of them though, so sad!

  • Luxuriously Frugal
    February 3, 2015 at 11:07 am

    Sadly, my no-no item is supposed to be a wardrobe staple: pencil skirts! I tried hundreds of pencil skirts and bought at least ten of them. Because I could never accept the fact that a pencil skirt does not work on me. Unfortunately, it indeed does not work on me. I have just donated my final two pencil skirts last December. The problem is that I am pear-shaped with longer torso and shorter legs. In addition, my waist fits in a zero, but my thighs need a size 2 or 4. So I could never get a pencil skirt that fits me everywhere. In addition, my calves are big and pencil skirts just make them look even bigger. So instead of looking like a pencil, I look like a giant highlighter with the cap on.

  • Samantha
    December 5, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    The number one item for me is maxi dresses. I am 5’7 and I have long legs but I can’t find one that I like. I am not a fan of dresses period. Jewelry is a no go for me. Stilettos don’t work for me either.

    • Katherine
      December 6, 2015 at 8:00 am

      Ahh, to be 5’7 with long legs! I’m sure many things do work on you!