Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Optimize Your Wardrobe

October 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Courtesy www.polyvore.comYou don’t need to go on a spending spree to gain a larger wardrobe. In fact, paring down your clothing choices can yield more style options than you ever thought possible.

There are several multi-functional apparel items that can serve as “foundation” pieces or as building blocks for creating multiple outfits.  These include a fitted jacket or blazer, colored and dark wash denim jeans, a pencil skirt, a basic tee shirt, and a cardigan. When choosing foundation pieces, remember the one rule that transcends all trends: if it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t flatter.

Though often thought of as a piece that completes an outfit, a blazer or jacket helps create an overall structure and shape to an outfit. Useful for both the corporate world and a casual day, blazers offer a variety of wearable options. Coupling a black blazer with a pencil skirt and blouse is a good option for work, while wearing it with a pair of dark-wash skinny jeans and a basic tee shirt gives an otherwise casual outfit some stylish shape.

Color is popping everywhere in the fashion world, and jeans are no exception. Colored jeans breathe life into an otherwise neutral wardrobe; couple any color with a simple tee shirt for a casual look, or unleash your bolder fashionista by pairing purple jeans with a yellow top!

Dark-wash denim is a wardrobe staple. Jeans come in a variety of cuts that range from the super skinny to the wide-leg trouser.  Skinny jeans are great for year-round outfit options, worn with boots and a sweater in the winter or sandals and a tee in the summer. Combine a flattering pair with a fancy top and great pair of heels, and you’re set for a night out on the town.

A classic pencil skirt is flattering for most body shapes. A great alternative to trousers for work, this skirt gives you a wide variety of wardrobe choices. Create different outfits by pairing the same skirt with different tops and accessories that also span different seasons (a pretty blouse and a simple pair of sling-back heels when it’s warmer, a sweater and tights when the weather is chilly).

Another versatile foundation piece is a well-fitting tee shirt made of high-quality cotton. You’ll achieve completely different looks when pairing a tee that sits at the top of your hips (or just above) with jeans and sandals, or wearing it under a blazer with a pair of trousers and heels.  Stocking your wardrobe with a variety of colors gives you lots of versatility, or you can just keep things simple and opt for a few tee shirts in neutral tones.

A cardigan today doesn’t resemble the one worn by our grannies! With multiple cuts and colors to choose from, a cardigan can transform an outfit’s silhouette from so-so to super stylish, adding shape but less structure than wearing a blazer.

Courtesy www.piperlime.com

With the exception of jeans, it is better to have more tops in your wardrobe than bottoms. While you may be limited by the types of bottoms you have, choosing tops in a variety of colors, patterns, textures, and styles will help you create a seemingly-endless variety of outfits.

Don’t forget the accessories — shoes, scarves, jewelry, and handbags can change the entire look of an outfit. I like to compare a wardrobe built around foundation pieces to an ice cream sundae. The skirts, blazers, tees, cardigans, and other versatile basics are the ice cream, and the accessories are the whipped cream and the cherry on top. Think of it that way the next time you transform a casual outfit built around jeans and a tee shirt into a great date-night look.  Start by swapping out flat shoes for a pair of heels, exchange a canvas handbag for a clutch, and then add a funky cocktail ring or a nice pair of earrings. You’ve had a complete style makeover, and you didn’t even have to undress to do it!


By Raven Peterson

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