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

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