Wednesday, 21 March 2012

In a Smart Closet - Brands Aren't Everything

I appreciate well-crafted, well-designed clothes. My closet has been fortunate enough to welcome some beautiful well-constructed items from Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, MaxMara, Cole Haan... (Trust me, I paid far below retail for all of them. The MaxMara was a $20 vintage find.) BUT, brands don't define my closet. Case-in-point, I give you one of my favorite shirts. I reach for it constantly. It's from (drum roll please....) our local St. Thomas Kmart. Yup, that's Kmart's Route 66 brand right there.

Shirt, Kmart
Here's why I love it. It's a work-horse. The pattern isn't trendy meaning I can wear it as long as the shirt lasts without looking dated. It has both neutrals and a variety of different colors, which adds to its versatility because there is a lot of color that you could pull out in other parts of your outfit. It's thin enough to go under a jacket or cardigan but heavy enough to stand on its own. This thing earns its keep. The possibilities of a shirt like this are pretty endless, but here are a few ways I've been able to wear it lately.

For a classy dinner out, skip the predictable black skirt and try a white one. Pull a color (or two) out of the shirt with your accessories. Those shoes were a birthday gift from Seth's parents. I am quite a fortunate lady. They have Nike Air technology, meaning I can walk around in them all day long.
Skirt, BCBG; Shoes, Cole Haan,  Bag, BCBG; Necklace,  R.J. Graziano;
I made the same outfit work appropriate by adding a cropped jacket. (More on jackets later. They're indispensable.) 

Jacket, Kohl's;
I warned you. I'm a pattern-mixing girl. I also have this bizarre belief that basic stripes and animal print can be treated as neutrals. That's my own made-up belief but it works for me. Seriously, give it a whirl one day. I wore this to grab coffee with a friend and then to run some errands around the island. Those boots are also the absolute hands-down most comfortable pair of shoes I own.

Jacket, DKNY Jeans (similar here); Skirt, BCBG; Shoes, 80%20; Bag, BCBG , Watch, Timex;
Because a shirt like this is so versatile, it's completely possible to survive with only 2-4 of them. I've learned I don't need a shirt for every day of the month. I only need a few shirts I can switch up and wear in different ways throughout the month. Not only do I feel like I look more interesting and save money in the long run, but it's way more fun this way too. Nothing is more monotonous than just putting on a different solid color shirt with a solid color pair of pants or jeans every day. (I should know because that's exactly what I used to do.) Be creative. Have fun. Don't be afraid of making a mistake and looking like a total weirdo every now. My theory is if you're not making a few mistakes here and there, you're not trying.

Start looking now for your 2-4 shirts that will give you lots of options. Remember: a pattern that's not too trendy, multiple colors and neutrals within the pattern is best, you can wear it under a jacket/sweater or on it's own. And be sure you love it. Looove it. Wouldn't it be great if you loooved everything in your closet? Don't go shopping thinking you'll find one right away. I'm pretty sure I saw this shirt hanging across the store while I was in Kmart to buy sunscreen or face wash. Just know what you're looking for and be ready to pounce when you see it.

What do you think the best work-horse items are in your closet? What are the ones that have given you the most bang for your buck?

No comments:

Post a Comment