Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Building a (Modern) Classic Capsule

I've always loved the classic style. I love the tailored pieces and the clean lines that classic staples bring. I sprinkle trends here and there but my core pieces that build my wardrobe are all classics. Last week I shared a few tips on cleaning out your closet (you can read about it here). So now that you've made all of that extra space, let's talk about building it back up with key and durable pieces. By building a capsule of staples, you are able to build many outfits by mixing and matching, many of them are even able to take you from season to season.

I've put together a capsule of must-haves in your wardrobe for the classic style. Whatever your style may be though, try building your own capsule of key, high quality pieces that are durable. This will help you put together more outfits in less amount of time when you are rushing out the door in the mornings. When you shop, think of the pieces that you still need in your wardrobe. As trends come in and out, you can add some of them to your staple or "base" pieces. I find that by having a capsule in mind, I am able to focus on those as I build my wardrobe and it deters me from those impulse buys (well....most of the time). When shopping for these, look for texture, pattern and definition. At a glance, the pieces may look quite basic but by choosing pieces that have some depth, you can create a modern classic look. For example, the white scarf that is shown below may look like a plain white scarf, but when you look at it up close, it actually has a leopard design. And remember, these are just your base pieces so mix that floral skirt you already own with a crisp white blouse, throw a trench coat on and you're ready to go!

Here are 25 of my top picks:

The Capsule:

Wool Coat: If you live anywhere where it gets even remotely cooler in the fall or winter months, this is definitely a must. A wool coat is a great layering piece and will help pull your outfit together, making you look polished.

Beige trench coat: Again, sometimes the last article you put on is what pulls the outfit together. A trench coat has the ability to make your outfit effortlessly chic. Roll up the sleeves for an extra touch.

Blazer: A blazer paired with a pair of dark wash jeans and some cute flats are totally work appropriate while wearing it with a full skirt and heels makes it a perfect party outfit.

A little black dress: Every woman needs a LBD in her closet. A dress that take you from the office to a dinner party.

A little white dress: Just like the LBD, you also need a LWD in your wardrobe. Think of a dress that can either be dressed up with a pair of killer heels and accessories, or down with some flats.

Pencil skirt: Fit is everything when choosing a pencil skirt. Get it in a neutral colour (think navy, black, beige). Wear with a dressier top or a chambray shirt for a more casual look.

Denim jeans in a dark wash: I always suggest beginning with a dark wash. Choose a well fitted pair that you feel comfortable in.

White jeans: White jeans give you that airy, summery feel. I wear my white jeans year round though adding textured cardigans and knits in colder months.

Tailored black pants: Pick one that is your perfect fit or have it tailored.

Striped shirt: Cotton, knits, cashmere...there are so many different striped shirts to choose from - the hard part will be picking your fave!

White dress shirt/blouse: Look for a great white dress shirt that is high quality, wrinkle-free and that fits you perfectly. 

A gingham shirt: Tucked in, tied up at the front, dressed down with a pair of white jeans and flats or dressed for work with a pencil skirt and heels. So many options with this classic!

Cardigan: Always think about layers. Layers are not only functional but they also help give your outfit texture and depth.

Sweater, pull-over: Keep the collar in mind and pick the one that flatters your body shape. Wear it over your button up shirts or under your blazer.

Boots: With so many options now, it will be hard to pick a favourite. Start with a riding boot in a caramel or black colour. Suede or leather will make you wish it was Fall weather year-round!

Classic ballet flats: A cute pair of leopard print flats or a simple black pair.

Classic pumps: Choose a pair that are comfortable and made of good quality leather. Start with a neutral (black, grey).

Bags: Choose a tote in a beautiful camel colour that can be worn with practically any everyday outfit. A great clutch in a neutral shade should also be part of your capsule.

Tortoise shell sunglasses: Because they will always be a classic and so chic!

Silk scarf: Use this silk scarf around your neck, on your bag or your hair. Use it as your pop of colour in your outfit!

Statement necklaces: You may have noticed that most classic looks often use pearl necklaces. I'm not  a huge fan of pearls but a great statement necklaces is a definite must. Because classic looks are quite simple in patterns and colours, a statement necklace brings the entire outfit up a notch.

A couple of extra tips:

Look for patterns such as stripes, gingham and tartan.

While classic colours are grey, black, navy, white and beige, add bright pops of red, yellow, pink, green and blues to your staples.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Spring Cleaning: The Wardrobe Overhaul

This past year, I have been working on purging and living a more minimal life. A lot of the time, people hang on to things simply because they haven't realized they don't even use that item anymore. I remember reading about cleaning out your closet years ago and one line always stuck with me. If you haven't worn it in a year, get rid of it! Take a couple of hours this weekend to look through your closet, get in touch again with what you have in there and really take them time to think about each piece. Is it still useful to you? Have you worn it in the past few months? Is the fit right for you? I know that I've been guilty of keeping pants that are too long for me or shirts that don't quite sit properly, just because I like how they look - just not particularly how they look on me! In the Fall, I did a major overhaul and took everything out of my closet. If this stresses you out, I've put some tips together for you. Not only can it be productive, but it can be also be healthy and (believe it not) fun.

Okay, now that you have no more excuses, read through these and begin setting a weekend this month to give your closet a makeover!

1. PULL (or Dump) Begin with one side of your closet, pull out items, one by one. I do it this way but feel free to dump everything on the bed and start from scratch...this may also help you note how much you really have stuffed in there.

2. TRY IT ON: Unless they are an everyday article that you know fit you perfectly and has become like your second skin, try the items on! Yep, everything! Look in the mirror and think, does it fit well? Do I still wear this? Do I feel good in this? Does it need to be tailored? Does it need to go to the dry cleaners? Will I ever wear this again?

3. BE HONEST: This is the time to be brutally honest with yourself when you try to answer these questions. If you can't decide on an item, get rid of it. Remember, your closet is hot real estate! I remember thinking sometimes while I was doing this, I can't part with this, I never wear this but... And then I decided to let it go, I felt so much better and lighter. Ask me if I can even remember what those items were!! Fight the urge to hoard.

4. FRIENDS:  Pull a Carrie Bradshaw and invite your friends to help you out! Music, snacks and friends make this process so much better - just make sure you still get the job done! When you are debating, trying to convince yourself that you'll eventually wear that dress you bought two years ago even though its still hanging in the closet with the tags on, friends will come through and give you the reality check you need.

Another great thing about inviting your friends is that you can recycle items. Maybe it's hard to part with a particular sweater but knowing your friend can use it, will make you feel glad someone is getting great use of it instead of it just hanging on a hanger! A couple of years ago, my sister-in-law had a bunch of us over and it was a clothes swapping party. We all brought clothing and accessories we no longer used and swapped!

5. PILE: Make three piles: Keep, Toss, Donate. Toss the articles of clothing that are no longer wearable. Do they have rips? Stains? Those you toss. For gently worn articles, make sure to give them a second life by donating them to a worthy cause! There are charities that will even come to your front door to pick your donations up! I mean, come on, how amazing is that?! I always call The Diabetes Association, Clothesline. You just call them and schedule a pick up. If you aren't home, you can just leave the boxes or bags labeled outside and they'll swing by and get it. I have linked the info here. It doesn't get any easier than that!

6. RE-ORGANIZING: Once you have figured out what you are keeping, you can begin putting your closet back together again. This is a great time to re-organize things. See how much room you have now?! I always organize my closet by categories: coats, pants, dresses, shirts, etc. That way, in the morning, it's easier to pull an outfit as I know where everything is. Pick a system that works for you and stick to it.

And you're done! You'll soon realize that you even begin shopping with a different mindset. Because you took the time to really look into your closet and reflect on what you had, you begin to have a better understanding of your actual needs and wants. Here's to a lighter 2017!

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