Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wardrobe Essentials : Creating a Capsule Wardrobe


Burgundy pants, chambray top, glittery silver flats.

If you've been researching personal fashion, you've probably asked, "What are the wardrobe essentials?"  And you've probably seen lists on "top 10 closet must haves" or whatever.  And if you're like me the items these fashionistas choose may or may not apply to you.  That's because our lifestyles can be totally different from those making the lists.  Still, we tend to attract people who are like us, so I'm going to assume that most of you who read this blog either share similar fashion taste to mine or are in the same stage of life that I am, raising young children and working in a creative corporate environment.

The thing about "Top 10" types of these lists is that don't give us many options for mixing and matching.  So instead of my "Top 10 Must Haves," I'm going to give you the items in my closet that I find essential to having a mix and match wardrobe.  I call them my Wardrobe Essentials.  I'm not going to include accessories or specific colors because I find them a matter of personal taste.  Instead we are just going to focus on clothes and why I find them important.  Helpful hint: Make sure your clothes are all in the same color family.


Dressy Tee - Make sure your tee is dressier than the typical cotton tee that you buy off the shelf.  It should be able to be dressed up or down.  This one is from Target.

Tunic Top - I find a tunic so much more versatile than a typical white button up.  For one thing they tend not to be as stiff.  Tucked it, half tuck, leave it long, belted up, roll up the sleeves, or don't.  If it's long enough, you can wear it as a dress or throw it on over your swim suit as a cover up.  This also from Target.

Chambray Shirt - I LOVE my chambray shirt!  Wear it by itself, tuck it, tie it, belt it, wear it as a completer piece over top of another shirt.  Three key things to look for are (1) a lightweight fabric for comfort and seasonal versatility, (2) buttons that go all the way down the front, and (3) a medium - light color.  Mine is from Maurices (my fave store along with Target), but they don't have them any more.  Target has this one though that would work too.

Camis - Get at least 2.  One in a color, and one in a nude.  Wear them under those tops that are too low or too see through, or by themselves under a completer piece in the summertime to avoid overheating.  I love the crinkle camis from Maurices.


Jeans - Get a pair that can be dressed up or down in a med. dark - dark wash.  I prefer a skinny jean because they can be worn with heals or flats, but if you prefer a bootcut or flare leg get 2 pairs so you can have them in two different lengths.  Learn more about pant styles here.  My fave skinnies are Jordache.

Slacks - These should be able to take you from the office to a night out without looking too corporate.

Jean Skirt - Get one in a med. dark - dark wash that comes to the knee so it can be dressed up or down.  If you do a lot of moving around (like I do as a mom) get one that has some stretch.  Mine is by Wrangler.

Shorts or Capris - Not everyone is a shorts girl, but I can't spend a summer without at least one pair.  They can be in a fun print or color as long as they color coordinate with the rest of your closet.  Mine are polka dot shorts which add a dash of pattern and fun!


Maxi - Y'all know how I feel about maxi dresses.  It's my go-to in the summer time.  You don't have to pair it with anything, you don't have to shave your legs, and if you're a nursing mom wearing a maxi with a completer piece makes for easy access.  (See this post for reference.)  If you aren't into strapless don't worry because maxis come with straps and sleeves too.

LBD - The Little Black Dress.  Everyone says you should have one, right?  Now, personally I suggest you get one in a color that flatters you.  Try navy, green, brown, grey, or even eggplant if black isn't in your personal color pallet.  Get one that can be dressed up with pumps and statement jewelry, or down with sandals and a jean jacket.


Leather Jacket - I LOVE my faux leather jacket!!  It's my go-to during the cooler months.  Get one that nips in at the waist and can double as a blazer.  I got mine from Maurices which has some great ones for inexpensive (especially if you get them now at the end of the season).

Jean Jacket - You can go with a classic cropped jacket, or (my fave) a blazer style.

Cardigan - Either in a neutral or a fun color, this is timeless.


Sandals - Unless I'm making a trip to the pool with the kids, I am not a flip-flops kind of girl.  (Of course if they have bling and beading I might change my mind!)  Instead I prefer a sandal like the one below.  They stay on my feet much better as I chase after the kids.

Ballet Flat - If you can only get one, get one that can be worn in the warm and cool seasons.  Nothing too warm or too airy.  Love me my metallic flats!

Wedge Pump - If you can only get 1 pump, get it in a wedge.  Again, I move around a lot as a mom and in my job (often carrying heavy bags), so I need the stability.  A nude or neutral color makes them super versatile.

Riding Boot - Boots are essential in the winter time!  Gotta have 2 pairs.  This first one is a casual riding boot.  It's cute and stylish, while still being casual.  Perfect for errands through the snow.

Dressy Boot - The second type of boot is a dressy boot with a heal.  Perfect for church, business meetings, and work days.

That's everything!  Using these items you'll be able to make LOTS of different outfits.  Is there anything else you would add?  I'd love to hear it!

'Til next time, loves.

<3, Mandy

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Easy Revamps

OOTD:  (Ok, so these are actually from our jewelry training last Tuesday. :) )

Some of the bling-tastic fam.

Boot sistas!

A shot for the blog.

And of course gotta feature the boots!

Also wanted to share with you how just a little altering can really change up a clothing item.  So if something is just a *little* off, don't be afraid to get it and have it altered.  For example I got this chambray top at a thrift store for dirt cheap:

However, the white plastic buttons made it look pretty cheap.  So I just took them off and added pewter metal ones (which I got at a local store that sells buttons cheap):

Suddenly the top looks much classier, and all it took was new buttons!  Love it!

See ya Wednesday loves!

<3, Mandy

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

3 Tips for a Mix and Match Wardrobe


Do you struggle with putting things together in your closet?  Are you always wearing the same clothes paired together?  Can't figure out what else to wear that top with?  Well, you're in luck! Today we're gonna talk about my:

TIP #1:  Same Color Pallet

You all know how I feel about finding your seasonal color (more info here).  But even if you don't care about your best colors, keeping your closet within one color pallet will make it so much easier to grab a couple pieces and have them go together.

I'm a Soft Summer.

TIP #2:  One Piece Multiple Ways

Think outside the box with your clothes.  Try pairing each top with every single bottom.  Don't just look at them on the hanger and say "These won't work."  Try them on and see what happens!  You might be surprised with the outfits you come up with.  Not all of them will work, and that's ok!  Just keep trying.
Next try pairing each bottom with every single top.  Oh yeah, you're gonna need more than just 6 pairs of jeans.  By the way, most of us don't need 6 pairs of jeans.  Try mixing up your wardrobe with different bottoms: leggings, slacks, corduroys, capris, shorts, and skirts (all different lengths and styles) are all great options.

More 1 Piece Many Ways outfits to come.

Each piece (especially tops) should be able to be worn in many ways.  This tunic can be tucked, half tucked, and belted.  Tops can also be worn as they are or even tied.  Just keep experimenting.  And remember, "summertime" clothes CAN be worn in fall and winter and vice versa.  It's all in how you style them.

TIP #3:  Completer Pieces and Accessories

Never underestimate the power of accessories.  I've been an accessories addict for as long as I can remember, and accessories combined with completer pieces can totally change the look and feel of an outfit.  Here we're gonna take the same base (dressy tee and jeans) and style it in different ways for different looks and occasions.


Mixing it Up:
 Here we've glammed it up with peep-toe pumps, a shiny belt, long silver necklace, and sparkly bracelet.

This is a more romantic look, with linen peep-toe wedges, and floral jewelry.

Another romantic look with the same wedges and a floral scarf tied in a half bow.

Here we have a more casual look with flats and a denim vest.

We've toughened up with look with a faux leather jacket and ankle boots.

What puts you in the mood for Mixing and Matching your wardrobe?  Once you've tried these tips, post pictures of the outfits that have surprised you!  I'd love to see them!

'Til next time loves!

<3, Mandy



Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Finding Your Style : Get It Organized

3 Tips for Dealing with Small Closets

Organizing Accessories

Shoe Addiction

3 Tips for Dealing with Small Closets


Purple tunic, jeans, riding boots, copper belt.

A lot of us don't have a ton of closet space.  And I feel ya, sistas!  My house is small and very old (100+ years?), and way back then they didn't use closets.  So here is how I've made use of my small space, and 3 TIPS I've learned through my experience:

TIP #1: Utilize What You've Got!

I LOVE my house, however it's made closet space challenging because it wasn't built with closets.  WHAT?!  I know!  They used free standing wardrobes instead.  Nowadays those are pretty hard to come by, and unfortunately I didn't have one.  But the good news is my hubby found a classy second hand entertainment center which now serves as my armoire.

Tah-Dah!  All we did was put a tension rod across the top (find them in the shower aisle).  ALL my clothes are hung up, because if I can't see it, I don't wear it, so I don't like folding clothes in drawers.  My PJ's and intimates are organized on the "floor" of the armoire under my hanging clothes.  (The bottom cabinet gets used for extra pillows & blankets, as well as my "someday" clothes that almost fit.)
You can read how my clothes are organized here.

All of my jackets and coats are kept downstairs in our laundry room closet so they aren't taking up precious space in my tiny closet.  My shoes and accessories are also kept in my laundry room in my "Getting Ready Corner." I know not all of you (especially those who are students) will have an extra room to put things.  That's ok.  The point here is to think outside the box.  Utilize what you DO have!  Hanging closet organizers are GREAT if you've got extra closet space, or utilize the space under your bed or the top of your dresser.  Try going UP.  Utilize all the space between the floor and ceiling.

TIP #2: Purge!

I know it's super hard to get rid of things sometimes, especially when we've formed emotional attachment to them, but when we've got limited space we just can't afford to keep everything.  Sure, we could rent a storage unit, but really we're never going to see that stuff anyway so what's the point?  Plus that's extra money coming out of our budget every month.  In the words of Stacey and Clinton, "Take a picture" and get rid it.

Also, be careful of duplicates.  Somehow I've ended up with 6 white completer pieces.  Gotta narrow it down.  Duplicates simply take up more space.

TIP #3: Be sure your wardrobe can be mixed and matched!

Can that top be worn with ALL the bottoms in your closet?  (Ok, at least 3 of them.)  Can that dress be worn with leggings and a completer piece?  When we have limited closet space it's REALLY important that ALL of our clothes can be used in multiple ways.  More Mix and Match tips coming next week!

I hope these tips give you some ideas on how to work with your tiny space!  Share your tips, tricks, and ideas for tiny spaces and let us all know!

Until next time loves!

<3, Mandy