Style 101: The BasicsWednesday, February 27, 2013
I was inspired to do this post when a client recently reached out to me with the opposite dilemma of what I'm used to getting - her clo...
I was inspired to do this post when a client recently reached out to me with the opposite dilemma of what I'm used to getting - her closet is filled with bright colors and fun prints, and she doesn't have enough of the basics to complement it. So I got the idea to start a mini-series, Style 101, with all the style basics and essentials to building a functional wardrobe. Today we're going to start with the basics - the pieces I consider will go with everything and anything!
- A black blazer: This can be thrown on over pretty much anything to pull a look together. For this reason, I have two go-to black blazers (one is more drapey than structured) that I can throw on over any outfit to look more polished and pulled-together.
- Skinny, or straight legged jeans: (Depending on your body type) One pair of darker washed jeans is the perfect complement to any tops. Whether, like my client, you own a ton of bright and/or fun, patterned tops, or you like to keep it simpler, these jeans are a staple for day or night situation.
- A (faux) leather jacket: This is sometimes much more versatile than people think - it functions as a blazer, but is thicker, adds "the cool factor" into an outfit, and is perfect for nighttime or cooler temps. The classic style is a motorcycle jacket, but a more polished cut is great too!
- V-neck and/or crewneck white tees: I love a basic white tee to offset a girly skirt. Look casual but pulled together with a white tee, leather jacket or blazer, skinny or straight jeans, and cute shoes - see, with these 4 items so far you've already got an outfit!
- One pair each of black heels, black flats, nude heels, and nude flats: These go with everything: nude shoes are perfect if you're wearing a patterned outfit with lots of colors, or if you want to elongate your legs, or if you want to keep the focus on your outfit. Black shoes are great in pretty much every other situation. (Tip for buying nude shoes: The perfect "nude" color is different for everyone, so try them on and buy the pair that most closely matches the skintone of your legs.)
- A white button down: Just slightly more polished than your basic white tee, but it'll work in pretty much all the same situations.
- A denim jacket: Perfect thrown over dresses and as a light jacket in warmer temps. I practically live in mine in the spring and fall!
- Chambray shirt: This is great with dark jeans, white jeans, worn open over a bikini as a cover up, or dressed up with a dressy pant or skirt. (Come back for tomorrow's outfit post for an example of how to dress it up!)
- A black v-neck cardigan: I would recommend having two - one in cotton, and one in cashmere. I use both of mine to layer under jackets or blazers (which is why I recommend v-neck - it'll stay hidden under a jacket!) when it's chilly out, and they perfectly add that extra layer of warmth. They're also useful on their own, over tank tops or dresses.
- A basic work/on-the-go bag (also available in black): There are three things that make a bag a "go-to" bag - 1. the size (it must be able to fit all your day to day essentials); 2. the color - stick with a neutral color or print (such as leopard); and 3. multiple ways to carry it. Although I love top handle bags, sometimes while commuting on the subway my arm gets tired, and I need to switch to a shoulder strap. So if this also resonates with you, make sure your bag allows you to do this, like this bag does!