The Essential Wardrobe: Denim & Pants

 

In the last few articles I detailed some closet essentials that every girl ought to have as a basic foundation for your wardrobe. I see these pieces not as the ONLY pieces you’re allowed to have, but rather the pieces that form the skeleton, or the bones for the rest of your wardrobe. When you have those wardrobe essentials, you can have the fun crazy things without being concerned that it won’t “go” with anything.

Today I’m discussing denim and pants. There are so many styles of denim out there, with so many different body types that it would almost be wrong of me to tell you exactly what style you need to have. You have to wear what fits your body type the best. In my book The Essential Wardrobe  I write a nice exercise to do with someone you trust, that includes trying on all your jeans and tossing the ones that don’t look amazing on you.

The right denim for your body is out there. You just have to find it! Don’t give up hope, be enthusiastic. Ninety percent of the time, what you think looks horrible on you, probably looks amazing. You just needed a fresh pair of eyes. Get someone you trust to be with you when you try denim on.

I’ve picked out the style that I wear the most, which is skinny jeans. You could substitute these with any other style though. The main focus here is the wash and the distressing.

A List of Denim

  • Pitch Black Denim
  • Faded Black-ish Denim
  • Classic Blue Denim
  • A “Fun” Denim (Choose a color, style, distressing etc that you love and is not like the others)
  • Classic White Denim

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Pants

A good set of pants will never lead you astray. It’s imperative that you have at least one of these styles as part of your essential wardrobe pieces. These are great or the days that you don’t feel like wearing denim; you can toss on a fun tee with the black cigarette pants and some kitten heels and you have a seriously adorable look. Take those some pants and wear them to a business situation. They’re so versatile. Same goes with the white pants.

Pants to have:

  • Black cigarette trousers
  • White long straight leg trousers.

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I hope these helped!

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The Essential Wardrobe: Blouses & Tee’s

Three days ago we chatted about what an Essential Wardrobe is and why every girl needs one in the article that also included your first batch of undergarment needs.

Today we’re detailing the next step. Tee’s and blouses.

You’ll notice throughout this series that the color scheme basically stays the same, apart from a few pops of color. This is because having an orange shirt and purple pants makes it hard to coordinate a effortless look. Neutral colors are easy because everything goes with everything. The oversized light blue linen blouse can go with denim cut-offs or a classy white pencil skirt.

The items I picked out are pieces that I personally love, they’re examples of what you could look for. This essentials list is also high customizable. If you find that you don’t love wearing heels (that article will come in a few weeks) then opt for more flats. Although do give the heels a try! Try everything. Because this essential wardrobe is the foundation, there’s two ways to work it. You can fill it out with the “meat” which might be the stuff you wear on a day to day basis. Gym clothes, farm gear, etc. The second way is that this becomes your “uniform”. The items you always wear. Your “meat” items become the sprinkling of on-trend pieces or those pops of colors. It all depends on your life-style.

 

Blouses

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I love, love, love a good blouse. So effortless. The list of must-haves is as such:

  1. Classic stripes: This is will never not be in style.
  2. Black: I’d go for a chiffon or satin, something that can be dressed up and down. A plain button front blouse would be just that.. plain. Make it splashy. Give your wardrobe some texture and life with different types of materials. Chiffon, linen, satin, etc.
  3. White dress shirt: I love this particular shirts style elements. It’s not your classic  office wear white button front, and it has some fun details. The length means you can rock this with leggings and perhaps cute flats. Win.
  4. Silk Blouse: I love wearing white, ivory and creams because it looks classy and timeless. This particular blouse is great because of the hidden buttons, but also because it only opens half way. This can be both office appropriate and casual.
  5. Casual linen or denim blouse: I love this light blue linen blouse. It’s the perfect blend between chic and casual. If you don’t love denim shirts then this is a good option to give more color and texture variety.

 

Tee’s

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I live in my t-shirts, so they have to be good quality and super comfortable. I love oversized tee’s because they look so effortless, and because I’m curvy, I don’t like to always accentuate absolutely everything. I can breath in this style. For some of you however, this may not be your look. So pick something that you love and can live in!

  1. Something with stripes. I love this tee because it has some great style elements. The collar being a bit tighter and the sleeves being a bit looser make it something unique. If you absolutely hate stripes then pick a lovely neutral color, like a blush pink or nude.
  2. White
  3. Black
  4. Grey

 

Stay tuned this week! We’ll be tackling denim and dress pants!

The Essential Wardrobe: Why Should I Have it? (And A Comprehensive Undergarments List)

My husband and I are in the midst of a season of life that includes lots of moving. Due to this, I’ve developed what I like to call the Essential Wardrobe. It’s the things that I absolutely MUST have in order to have a co-hesive closet that can be moved around easily, and can be appropriate for any situation whether dressy, casual, business appropriate or any other circumstance.

I’ve written loads of articles detailing what the perfect closet looks like. So have many other bloggers.. The difference here is that this collection isn’t just 30 things that go together. They’re the essentials of a wardrobe that any woman ought to have, regardless if you live in Paris or on a farm in Minnesota (that might be too extreme but you get my gist).  These pieces are timeless. They were stylish 20 years ago and they’ll be stylish 20 years from now. Think of them as a frame, a foundation, a skeleton, the scaffolding. These pieces create the infrastructure of an excellent wardrobe.

I love shopping. I can’t have only 3 blouses. With an essential wardrobe you can go out and get the fun blouse that doesn’t go with anything. Why? You have your essential pieces to hold down the fort. Every splurgy piece you buy will “go” with any of your essential wardrobe pieces. That nut-so blouse? It’ll go with your essential black cigarette chinos. You’re having a crazy morning, you’re late for work and literally zero time to get dressed. What do you do? You throw on your essential silk blouse and your essential pencil skirt, and your essential pumps before you lope off to work. If you’re a house-wife it might look something like leggings and a hoodie. (My current situation).

It goes without saying that your essential wardrobe pieces are pieces that you invested time and money in. Don’t grab the first thing off the rack. Try on a bunch of different brands. Find the one that works for you. Make sure it’s from a place that has a reputation of stocking good quality items. When you wash them, take care of them, baby them. These pieces are meant to last you a while.

The essential wardrobe creates space and opportunity for winning. And you are a winner!

This week I’m going to discuss the very first group of items.  Underwear. You may think that this wouldn’t matter but it’s the first line of defense. It must matter. In my late twenties I discovered the magic of spanx. For having a naturally curvy body, this was a little too late.  That is what I’m trying to prevent. I want you to be prepared for anything.

 

A Comprehensive List of Undergarments

This week I’m going to discuss the very first group of items.  Undergarments. You may think that this wouldn’t matter but it’s the first line of defense. It must matter. In my late twenties I discovered the magic of spanx. For having a naturally curvy body, this was 5 years too late.  That is what I’m trying to prevent. I want you to be prepared for anything.

My lists may come across as a bit over the top, and this will either infuriate you or inebriate you with joy, but here goes:

  1. Every-day  bras: in colors nude and black.
  2. Every-day cotton panties: nude and black. (Cotton: so your lady parts can breathe).
  3. Unlined bra/s: For when you need to be comfortable.
  4. Matching sets – pick a number based on your obsession with underwear.
  5. Spanx – in nude and black. (If you don’t need spanx then know that the Spanx Club is jealous but understanding)
  6. Hosiery – sheer black, a few pairs.

It goes without saying that your essential wardrobe pieces are pieces that you invested time and money in. Don’t grab the first thing off the rack. Try on a bunch of different brands. Find the one that works for you. Make sure it’s from a place that has a reputation of stocking good quality items. When you wash them, take care of them, baby them. These pieces are meant to last you a while.

Stay tuned for the next weeks article on essential wardrobe blouses!

 

xx

Mediterranean Vacation 

Do you ever start planning your wardrobe for a holiday thats weeks away? I did. And ended up with this holiday inspired look. I’m loving a style that speaks to that Italian and French tranquil, laid back resort look. Perhaps I should make a mood board… but I imagine lots of linen, silks, embroidery, muted tones with black, leather and suede with pops of bright colors. I’m thinking oversized everything, distressed denim and tousled hair.

Check out the look below!

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Get Ready! Flared Everything Is Here…

We all know that trends work in cycles. One day it’s out, the next day it’s in. We can apply this same logic to the return of flared jeans. What was once a 90’s  girls’ dream jean has become the current go to. (I’m silently gasping).

We can blame the re-awakening of 70’s style for that revival. It’s been flared jeans and boho blouses everywhere for the last 3 years and so we’ve progressed to this. From the 70’s we rushed straight into the 90’s and I’m not sure how we connected the 70’s and 90’s, but as I’m typing this I’m realizing it was the Birkenstocks.

I’m flabbergasted. I never thought I’d see girls willingly donning adidas sneakers, flared jeans, oversized hoodies (literally my uniform in high school) again in my lifetime.  I’m giggling because I know a percentage of women above a certain age group, with salivating mouths and gleaming eyes, have been anxiously awaiting the return of flared jeans. There is literally a whole sub-culture of humans who thought/think that skinny jeans were/are a scourge on humanity. Articles have been written about it in the Washington Post. I kid you not. Look it up.

To wear flared denim you have to have a few things in mind. The fades and washes that are trendy today, are not the ones that were trendy 15 years ago.

The style guidelines when it comes to flares are as such:

  1. Imagine the flared denim of the 70’s. This is the look you’re going for. High-waisted,  platform or wedge sandals, your best off-the-shoulder blouse you can find. Blouses in general. Vintage band shirts. Camp in this area.
  2. Unless you’re trying to make a statement, sneakers are generally a no. It’s just too complicated a look to pull off unless you’re an “off-duty” model. If that were the case,  you could wear burlap and it’d be trending the next day. Forever 21 would have it a week later for $9.99 in their front window. Fast fashion, man.
  3. Stay away from contrasting fades, washes, whiskerings, “you-sat-in-bleach” looks. It’s just not a thing.. yet. Solid washes with some distressing are where everyones partying at.
  4. If you do low-waisted, do it well. Do it because you feel the need to show off 3 inches of tummy. (A la Karlie Kloss in that one picture.. you know the one, it’s all over pinterest.)
  5. Don’t half ass your look, lest you look like a vintage Wetseal window poster. Commit to it, and it will be good to you.

 

Cliff Notes:

70’s everything, 90’s grunge, distressed, texture, “I’m with the band”.

 

Check out these looks below for some luxsperation…

 

  1. What makes this first look work is that you’re running out of the house to do errands. Don’t try to impress people with this look. They won’t be.

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2. What makes this look work is the cropped top. It’s sits nice and snug, giving your look a modern edge while the platforms and earrings hint at seventies glam. With this look, I’d do a low, messy chignon for your hair.

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3. This every-day look is probably the one I’d be living in. A distressed t-shirt, comfy wedges and vintage vibe. Keep it chill.

 

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4. This last one is also amazing. The knot front blouse is structured enough to allow some space for something a bit more grungy, like the suede bag. Pair this look with flats and these double bridge aviators to complete your look.

 

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The Best Spring/Summer Dresses

I’ve decided that it’s imperative that I invest in a few dresses this season. The options are just too dazzling. We’re talking metallics, whimsical whites, florals etc. You name it, it’s on the street and I need it in my closet.

I’ve picked out my top 6 favorite styles and fabrics including a whimsical white, which will always be in style, a truly timeless and classic piece. I’m also loving denim dresses for their laid back, vintage vibe.

Metallics have been a fun addition this season as well; from shoes, bags, and now dresses. This shift dress is the perfect design for a metallic color because it’s simple but the shimmer is eye-catching. Florals are huge this season as well, especially in more structured looks, like these shirt and body-con dresses. Last but not least we have the off-the-shoulder number from Mango. It’s the perfect throw back to 70’s style, and paired with lace up sandals makes it the quintessential summer look.

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Spring Shoes To Feel The Flutters For

We’ve all (mostly) seen fashion week; seen the trends, the shows and what the models were wearing off-duty. We can all readily admit that this season feels like it’s a “anything goes” season. There were over-sized layers, minimal looks, suede everything, 90’s everything, floral everything, super feminine, super masculine etc… and the list goes on.

Fashion has been having a major moment over the last few years because designers are thinking out of the box, and onto the streets, to see what’s actually being worn.(This is not new news..) Colors, patterns, chunky heels, suede, and jeans that have had everything done to them to ensure uniqueness, is the norm these days. Gucci layered their loafers with fur, and if it doesn’t get more impractical than that, then we can for sure assume that amazing, non-practical (but weirdly practical at the same time) fashion will be here for a while

All that to say.. Check out some ideas for your spring/summer shoe closet!

I’m loving metallics, loafers, mules, menswear inspired shoes, bright colors, and ultra feminine styles, wedge espadrilles, and wedge everything. Like I said… Anything goes. Creating unique, special and exciting looks are the beat this season. Dig up some oldies but goodies and see how you can style them!

I’ll readily admit that some styles that are missing are perhaps a fun ankle boot and flat sandals.. but those are practically closet basics.

 

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Let me know what you think! What does your shoe closet look like? What are some things you can see you may need/want?

Two Garments, Five Outfits

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Putting together an outfit is without a doubt one of the most frustrating things about getting ready in the morning. A part of this struggle is recognizing that you may not have a closet that works together, is cohesive. Having lots of clothing is great, but having clothing that works together is even better. The “glue” of your closet are items that work with everything, creating multiple looks with different “feels”; dressy, casual, work appropriate etc.

I chose two items that are interesting, have great design elements and wouldn’t be considered items that you can wear in multiple scenarios. The first is an off the shoulder blouse, the second a zip up jacket. Both can be worn to a work scenario (think Fridays..) and both can be dressed up or down.

Check out these two “glue” items that I use in 5 different looks to show you how having pieces like these can expand the versatility of your closet. I also re-used a few elements like the shoes, handbags and sunglasses to show that you don’t need tons of different accessories. Just the right ones.

 

 

 

 

 

Must-Have Bags For The Perfect Closet

The perfect closet is like an elusive unicorn. It’s the closet that has all the latest on trend pieces mixed in with the classics and basics. The perfect balance between minimal and chic. Getting to this closet takes time, financial investment, and the knowledge that you won’t get away with abusing your clothing, but that you’ll have to take really good care of your things. (No tumble drying!)

The quest to the penultimate closet also includes organizing your bag situation. Slimming down your wardrobe from tons of semi great bags you only use a few times, to the few quality bags you’ll use over and over again will take diligence and self-control. If you’re serious about tackling your bags but the financial investment part scares you, then shop at places like TJMaxx, Zara, Mango, and other department stores that have really great leather products but for a fraction of the cost of high-end names. Same material quality, different price point.

Here’s my list!

The Tote: An Every-Day Bag

A tote bag is a necessary bag not only for style reasons but for functionality. You can use a great tote for work or school to pile in your books, laptop etc or as a great weekend travel bag. Think about traveling and using it as your carry on. When you’re looking for a tote, look for one that’s structured and leather. Always do leather. Make sure it’s not too small (should be tall and wide enough to fit a laptop and some books, in my opinion), and a neutral color with not too many flashy aspects like buckles and zippers. You want to go for timeless. Will this bag be in style next season and 10 seasons from now. Think colors like black, grey, tan. I’d try find one that has a zipper closure so you don’t have sticky fingers rummaging in your bag if you live in a place with pickpockets around.

 

The Weekender

Your weekend bag is something you can toss on your shoulder and go. It’s small, no hassle and carries the essentials. You can run about town and do your thing without lugging something heavy around. Stick to your neutral colors, that way you don’t have to worry that neon pink is clashing with your look. It goes without saying, choose a quality leather item.

 

The Black Tie Event Clutch

We’ve all been caught in situations where we’ve been invited somewhere nice and realize we don’t have a bag to go with the elegance of the evening. That being said, a “black tie event” clutch will go a long ways to ensuring your date, broadway, and fancy soiree nights are fully prepared for. You’re most likely wearing a gorgeous black dress to one of these events, so have fun with a clutch that is both elegant but has some great style elements.

The Wallet/Every-Day Clutch

This little guy is where I live. I despise carrying around my tote (it’s usually full..), and that weekend bag isn’t always appropriate. But what IS appropriate is this wallet that doubles as a clutch. It’s small enough to throw into your tote or weekend bag, but big enough to carry like a clutch. It fits all the necessary things like your phone, a lipstick, a few credit cards, some cash,keys, and your license. So adorable!

 

The Fun Bag

This is sort of a bonus category, but in case you feel like you may get tired of your neutral colored bags, it’s fun to have that “other” bag for the days when you feel like you’re made from sun rays. We all have those days! Try a fun colored bag, or if colors aren’t your thing, go for a neutral color with crazy amounts of texture. Thing tassels, buckles, zippers. Make sure when doing a fun colored bag that your overall look is well balanced. Depending on the outfit, looking like a neon eye-shadow palette might not be so hot.

 

Hope you found this article helpful! Let me know what you think!

How To! Wear Flirty Lacy Tops Like An Adult

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I’m turning the big 3-0 this year and my nerves are almost shattered. Apart from it meaning that I have to admit to being half a real adult now, it means that there’s certain things that I just really can’t wear anymore. (An article about that later…)

During New Years, one of my closest darlings came to visit us in the UK. Whilst out shopping I found the cutest little white lacy number that would’ve looked adorable on her. Her opinion was different because she felt that she would look like a child in such a dear little top. (She’s gorgeous btw). I, however, disagreed, and have since made it an effort to come up with a way to wear a flirty little number without looking like a desperate 16 year old. (If you find that I do, please tell me!)

The first order of business is to find a top that fits you really well in all the right places. This goes without saying.

Secondly, the bottom. Right now destroyed denim is everywhere, especially high and mid waisted, also boyfriend and flared styles. Any of these are a great companion to your little top, but if destroyed denim isn’t your thing, then try a solid dark blue (or black) pair of high-waisted (or mid, depending on your body type) jeans with a nice wide belt that stands out. Then add your shoes. I’d go with a strappy heeled sandal to distance your self, in this case, from the sneaker wearing youths.

Hair and makeup is next, and I currently love doing a low semi-messy bun.  Think Dolce & Gabbana. (I tug at the back of the hair so it’s not super neat looking.) I love this demure look because you can wear anything bold and that low bun tames it right down. For makeup, I did a bold smokey eye with a soft, natural lip and dewy cheeks to lift the overall look and again, and add age to the top. This is the one good time where you want to add age. Doing a neutral, no makeup look is good for the beach in the middle of summer, but any other time and your overall look will appear more juvenile that necessary. (Unless you were to do the other elements of this look, in which case you could probably get away with it.)

Last but not least is statement jewelry. A cuff bracelet and heavy (think huge) earrings add a touch of sophistication and timeless style. (Again, Dolce & Gabbana esq)

Check out my look below!