The Colors of Fail

Today was going to be an exciting day because I was going to show off the great sweater I knit for the Colors of Fall KAL. It was going to be a really pretty Hey Girl cardigan in Wollmeise DK, colorway Bussi. I was going to style it with skinny jeans and (gasp) flat loafers. Everything was going to be terrific!

Except that sweater has been sitting in the WIP pile for over a month. It's not that I don't want to knit it, and it's not that I don't want to participate in the Colors of Fall KAL, it's that I may have ever so slightly over-committed myself these days. You see, in addition to the pipe dream of finishing (well starting and finishing in the case of the first) a Grandpa Cardigan and a Grace for Rhinebeck, I also committed to designing and knitting 5 separate items, one of which was a sweater for a grownup, in the same time frame. Obviously from a prioritization standpoint, the stuff I'm getting paid for wins. I have finished about 2/3 of those things, and don't even bother asking me about Grandpa and Grace. They are about the same amount of not done (I've made it past the underarm join on both and, were I actively knitting them, would be making progress on the bodies).

I am going to attempt not to beat myself up about this. However, it gave me great fodder to discuss some other recent fails in the wardrobe department. I have had more merchandise come into my house and then immediately leave it in shame over the past month than in all prior months of this year (and likely all the other years). There's something in the air that is making things appear lovely online and terrible, or at least not right, in person. And it's not just that I am a trifle ampler this autumn than last.

Let's start by saying, unequivocally, that the Joseph Altuzarra collection for Target is an embarrassment. I purchased extensively from the Jason Wu collection for Target and that merchandise not only was pretty decent at the start, but has held up over two full seasons of wear. I ordered a handful of things from the Altuzarra collection and was floored by how crappy the stuff was in person. Yes, it's Target and yes it's "cheap," but I'll say it again: if Forever 21 is going to sell cheap dresses for $20, any "cheap" dress that costs more than that should be better than that. This stuff was not AND it was more than $20. The material just felt like crap, the sizing was really weird (how could one dress sized in letters easily fit in a small where a dress sized in numbers barely wrapped around my hips in an 8?), and they did some trick with lighting because the photographs of the clothing were deceptively vibrant. I was so mad, I turned right around and ventured into White Plains (THE WORST "CITY" I have ever had to drive in and that includes Rome) to return the stuff to the Target in person. Huffily.

I almost left the house in another fail this morning because it was such a good deal. A pair of Casadei black suede pumps for 60% off retail. They were beautiful, they were totally filling a hole in my wardrobe...they were demonstrably too small. I realize I make fun of my feet a lot, but it's kind of disheartening when you try on the largest size a company makes and they are still too small - what makes it even more alarming is that, apparently, my feet aren't as big as I think. When I was buying my black leather pumps, the shoe guy measured my foot and on the little measure-y metal thing, it only read as a 10. In fact, to prove it to me, the shoe guy had me try on a pair of Gucci boots and Celine boots (boots notoriously require larger sizes than pumps or sandals) each in size 40 (aka 10); and come to think of it, all my Gucci shoes are a 40, but all my ALL THE OTHER SHOES are 41s, as was this pair of Casadei pumps. And they didn't fit. I really attempted to rationalize that suede is easier to stretch than leather and that it was a good deal for a high quality pair of shoes and, and, and then I put on my new black leather pumps which fit wonderfully and realized that no sale is worth that amount of discomfort. So back they go.

What else has ridden the fail train?

Leather jacket from J Brand, on massive sale at Hautelook for a reason: it was unlined, originally retailed for an unbelievable $1200 though it looked like it was sewn by chimpanzees on LSD
Absolutely stunning peacock silk blouse from Madewell which, for reasons passing understanding, is slit up to above your first rib on the sides - neither work nor play appropriate
The Cambridge Satchel Batchel which is adorable and utterly unsuitable for my lifestyle. I'll be looking to sell it
Everything I bought at the yoox end of season sale: Zanotti t-straps (almost good, but not great), Aperlai mules (completely different color in real life), Cesare Paciotti sandals (made me look like a prostitute)
The Boden dress which is legit see-through and which I am waiting to return until the other Boden dress arrives in case both need to go back (I don't want to get dinged on shipping twice)

I know there are others, but just writing that down depressed me. What doesn't depress me is the successes like my Reformation skirt and my new black pumps and the fact that I'm designing things which is a lot of fun (ok, the accessories aren't a lot of fun, but they're good practice). So while there have been a spate of knitting and fashion failures of late, I'm going to attempt to be a half-full kind of gal and focus on the successes. And the fact that with or without a new sweater, Rhinebeck is coming up quickly!


  1. I also epically failed at the KAL. I actually finished both things I'd planned to knit, but then I got sick this weekend and couldn't photograph anything. Sad tuba.

    Can your Madewell blouse be fixed with a trip to the tailor? (Or to my sewing machine?)

    1. The Madewell blouse has been returned to its owner, the store, and when I was chatting with the salespeople, it appears I am not the first return for this very issue. I took a look at seaming it, but it would always look a little wonky if untucked, and I'd just as soon not have a wonky shirt. But thank you for the offer...

  2. We all have fails, Yelena. I suspect that you have many, many more successes. And thanks to you, I've had many successes lately. New additions to my wardrobe that make me feel fabulous and fashionable. Today I'm wearing my scube flare skirt with my Corazon sweater. Thank you for being my inspiration. Although 4" pumps are never gonna happen. :) I can't wait to see the commissioned knits!

    1. I am so excited that you have fallen in love with the pencil skirt! I am sad that I didn't get to finish my cardi for the KAL, but I have been a mite bit busy. I'll work on you and those pumps...