Monday, January 20, 2014

Back to Basics in 2014: What to Buy

Happy MLK Day!  I hope that many of you are enjoying a day off like me - I'll be fabric shopping for my new dining chairs, getting a much needed pedicure, and hopefully spending a little time cleaning my house before relaxing with a magazine and the last few episodes of The White Queen (yes, from this summer/fall.  I got way behind.)

As promised last week, since we covered what to toss this year, I'm back with a little guide on what to buy.  One thing I'm trying to be better about this year is not being a sucker for a sale and buying things because they're a good value and I will sometimes wear them.  I know I own way more than I need, and as this roundup of items proves, you don't need a whole lot to be classicly on-trend in 2014.


(sorry, these got out of order)

The best thing about having a collection of staple pieces is that you don't have to overthink anything when you get an invitation.  If you're not happy with your wardrobe and plan to start over, or at least fill some voids this year, these are all pieces that you'll be glad to own.  Here's what I mean:


Versatile, Slimming Jeans:  Do not compromise on fit unless you'll be getting them tailored.  You may have to pay $100, or you could find a magical pair on sale for $45, but keep trying new cuts and brands until you locate a dark wash pair with a slim let (not necessarily skin tight) as it looks good on everyone.  I promise - it's way more versatile than a bootcut.  Then, get a black pair too!  These pieces are the foundation of a casual wardrobe.

Shorts for Adults:  Yes, you can get by without ever wearing shorts, but you don't need to.  The optimal inseam length varies depending on your height and shape, but I've found a 5" cut to be flattering for most people.  Just spray tan your legs and be prepared to go up a size (most ladies do in shorts).

Drapey Tee Shirts:  A slightly dressier tee can serve as a base layer under blazers and cardigans, or stand alone with great jewelry when it's hot outside.  The best part is that you don't need to be suckered into $60+ versions when Target and Gap sell tons of colors for under $15.

Classic Accessories (+1 Showstopper):  I firmly believe that every woman needs a black cross-body bag, a great pair of sunglasses, a gold watch, and a soft scarf.  They'll take you from work, to the airport, to the grocery store, and anywhere else.  Then, add in one amazing necklace that you can wear to dress up a tee or put the finishing touch on a dress. 

Shoes You Can Walk In:  Some people can live their life in heels, but I am not one of them.  In my opinion, a good pair of leopard flats and some black or navy Converse will take you far. (I love the slip-on version that came out this year!)  You should have a great pair of heels too, but most women already own a good pair of black or nude pumps.

A Lightweight Leather Jacket:  I wear my tan leather jacket so much that I can barely remember what I wore before.  You don't have to invest in real leather, of course, but it's a great investment and looks amazing with jeans or adds an edge to your dressier outfits.

Gingham and Denim Shirts:  These are still in style, and so versatile with jeans, colored pants, and shorts.  Find a slimming cut that isn't a box from the boobs down, or have one taken in for a custom fit.

A Wedding Guest Dress:  Unless you go to several events per year with the same people, you can quit worrying about needing something new all the time.  It's more important to have a great dress that fits perfectly, and fits in at a variety of events.  I think jewel tones are the most flattering, and tend not to look seasonal.  I've been rocking my navy sheath since 2007!

A Dress for Funerals and Job Interviews:  Surprisingly, this can be the same dress, and it's not one you wan to select in a hurry.  A black sheath that doesn't cling can look both somber and professional, depending on the accessories.  (Just add a blazer for your interview if the office dress code is business professional.)

A Lace Blouse:  You will wear this more than you think!  It can be dressed down with shorts, paired with your jeans and pants, and even go underneath blazers and sweaters.  It's not a year-round staple, but something you'll be glad you have in the spring and summer.  Plus, you'll be right on trend!

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What are your must-have pieces in 2014?  I'd love to know what you wear more than you ever thought you would!

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