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stories from my closet: outfits. why not?

A certain restlessness always seeps in every new year after the emotional business of the holidays is over.

When it’s cold and rainy outside, I’m anxious for the weather to warm up and/or the pandemic to wane so I can go back outside. It’s a combination of this restlessness, sheer boredom and longing for the outside world that recently led me to a challenge of putting on REAL clothes for 5 days. It wasn’t practical. I’m still not going anywhere. But it was fun – no actually, let’s be honest, it wasn’t fun, but at least a change in routine (because who is really having fun these days).

Sigh…I miss seeing people.

Anyways, how about some photos and anecdotes so we can pretend we’re sitting around my bedroom and I am pulling out things from my closet to show you?

I think I wore this first outfit because I missed using this purse. I never owned a designer bag until I was nearly 40, but then I really just made up for lost time after that. I like the contrast of the pink and coral print against the traditional style of this Louis Vuitton Speedy bag. And while no designer purse is really practical, this is a durable, lightweight bag that can hold the entire contents of a high school girl’s locker.

The camel coat was bought on Fillmore in SF at the Sandro store, while shopping with my two long time besties Anne and Aloisia. Two things happened in that shop: I loved it as soon as I tried it on, and then I saw it was marked down. Like a f*-ing double rainbow.

The graphic t-shirt and black joggers are from Mate the Label, a sustainable clothing line. The t-shirt is unbelievably soft, and the joggers great for lounging or wearing out and about.

I like these Converse sneakers because the platform gives me some height. But the soles are quite stiff so it’s like walking on two giant erasers. 🙁

This is another outfit based on a purse. It’s from Longchamp’s first production of the Le Pliage Heritage line in 2014. I like the black and white features with sharp structured edges. I have always admired Longchamp for the quality of the bags and relative affordability.

The gray sweatshirt with a cut-out back is from a recent season of Bourie (one of my favorite Korean designers I have carried at FUTURE LYNN). I layered a magenta cashmere shell from Helmut Lang underneath. The pants are some roomy joggers from my favorite purveyor of comfy pants, Eileen Fisher.

And the shoes… one of my many pairs of Nike Airs. I just love any sneaker with some height, I guess. Oh btw, the art in the background is by Lara B. Horoupian. The color coordination of the art and the outfit was a bit of serendipity.

This next outfit is really all about the trench. Last year at this time, I was in Copenhagen for Fashion Week working with a Korean/Danish brand named Birrot. During that week, I happened upon a small boutique that carried the brand and found this trench from a prior Birrot season. It is a size too big (I had it altered), but it was marked down tremendously, and I could not resist. I do love the coat itself, but I think I also love it because of that time in CPH.

Underneath the trench, I am wearing a Lemon Twist navy blue blouse, and dark gray jeans from Eileen Fisher. The block heel shoes are from a brand called Vagabond Shoemakers. These inexpensive shoes deserve a prize for the lowest cost per wear – they have been incredibly comfortable and durable for years.

For this outfit above, I wore the same Eileen Fisher gray jeans and a cozy sweatshirt from Madewell. The jacket is from a previous season of Wnderkammer, another Korean designer I’ve carried in FUTURE LYNN’s showroom. It’s a faux leather belted jacket with nice big pockets. Not too heavy, not too thin, kind of the perfect weight for the Bay Area.

The bright blue flats are from one of Raf Simon’s Christian Dior collections in 2014. They are really impractical, no arch support, the toe box is too pointy, blah blah blah. But I do love wearing them. Cost per wear is sadly high on this one, but I want to keep them forever.

The last outfit is me pretending that I am going to wear heels again in my lifetime.

These are great kitten heels from M.Gemi. When I used to work in corporate, I always had several pairs of M.Gemi’s stored in my filing cabinet. And bottles of whisky. What else are filing cabinets for? The coat is an old pea coat from Diane von Furstenberg that I think I snagged on sale at Nordstrom. The navy cotton shirt with the big cuffs is from Wnderkammer FUTURE LYNN SS19, and the silky wool pants are from Korean designer Rowe, from FUTURE LYNN SS20.

And I am so fond of this purse. It was my first ever Céline bag that I bought on a trip to Vegas with my friend Nina, who always enables me in the best way. (She was present for my second Céline bag purchase too, now that I think about it).

So that’s 5 full outfits. And with bras too, believe it or not. A nice change of pace, but admittedly it was exhausting getting dressed so often. Maybe wearing real clothes is like a muscle that atrophies. Is there some type of index that measures the endurance level of women getting dressed, as an indicator of the global economy? If Level 1 is PJs, and Level 5 is like full-hilt dry clean only clothing, I’m probably at a solid 2.5. Okay, maybe 2.

This past year of introspection and sweatpants has definitely changed me. Do I still love fashion? Yes, but in a muted sort of way. Without real life, fashion is something I love through a screen now, via online news articles, blog posts, or IG photos. And even though my closet is a treasured collection of things, they are still just things that aren’t even the most important things (air purifiers and N95 masks would definitely rank higher). Maybe when we are past this pandemic, we’ll all go back to shopping and dressing up with joy. But I feel something has shifted quite permanently.

Would love to know how you are feeling. Send a comment or question to if you are inspired. 🖤

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london calling

My name is Jenna Mutya and I am a fourth year business management student at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. This past summer,

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