Fashion Basics


Creating a Winning Wardrobe that Works:  Let’s Start at the beginning!

 Fashion Basics

 Fashion Basics Fashion Basics

I’ll be the first to admit that I have had problems with getting a wardrobe together that not only suits my style, but my needs, adequately.  I have this habit of buying things on impulse:  It’s so cute; it’s on sale; I can make this work; yada yada yada.  You get the idea.

However, a good wardrobe doesn’t start from a hodge podge of picks from the sale bin at Macy’s (usually).  You need to start with the basics and build from there.

There are a few items that every woman’s wardrobe shouldn’t be without:

  • A black tank top or simple black t-shirt.  Why black?  It goes with everything and can be dressed up or down in a pinch with accessorizing.  Even Sharon Stone found a way to use a basic black t-shirt and turn it into something glamorous the night she won an Academy Award for her performance in the movie Casino.
  • A long-sleeve white t-shirt that is fairly form-fitting, but doesn’t cling.  A three-quarter-length sleeve will work, as well.
  • A flattering pair (or two) of jeans.  A good pair of jeans that fit well and are flattering are a very good investment, and this is one area that, if you can, I would try not to skimp.  Well-fitting jeans that are made well will last you for a long time and you will get far more out of them than you put into them and the investment will pay off in the long run.  My personal favorite are a blend of denim with no more than 2% lycra spandex, which allows a bit of flexibility in the fitting without losing the shape of the pant.
  • A pair of black or gray slacks (and please, no pleats or crease – they just don’t do any favors in the style department)
  • A pair of FLAT FRONT khakis (again, no pleats of creases, please!)
  • And you should probably throw in a cute jacket/blazer in there.  It’s a nice outfit topper and can finish off a basic outfit quite nicely, while giving you something to put on when it gets chilly without losing the integrity of your carefully planned outfit.  I prefer a dark, slim-fitting denim jacket.
  • A dark-colored pencil skirt, preferably knee length (right at mid-knee)
  • A white, button-downed Oxford-style shirt, thin and form-fitting preferrably.  These look great buttoned up or left open over a cute cami, or that black tank I mentioned above.

If worse comes to worse, you can make a decent outfit out of those items alone, but realistically, they make a great foundation for a terrific outfit.

I will share with you some of my favorite brands to start with and ways to save and shop for the best deals on good designers.

One of my favorite places to shop is The Rack (it’s Nordstrom’s outlet store).  You can probably find all of the above items there, in big-name, designer brands, for a fraction of the cost of retail (it’s also my go-to place for Juicy Couture, but that’s another story).  Without fail, every time I go, I am able to get a pair of my favorite jeans – Not Your Daughter’s Jeans (link:  NYDJ Fashion Basics)

Incidentally, NYDJ also makes a great little pencil skirt:  The Emma Pencil Skirt Fashion Basics

As for tops, find what looks good on you and fits well.  These are easy to find – anywhere from Target to Kohl’s to The Gap, or even Neiman’s; it’s really a matter of preference and budget.

Just remember, in most cases, you never need to pay full price.  You can buy nice brands, but why pay full-price retail when stores have sales all the time, you can always ask if they are offering a promotion or will give you a price break (what’s the worst they will say, “No?”), or you can shop at places like The Rack, Ross, TJMaxx, etc.  The goal should always be:  Live better and shop smarter!

Happy Shopping!


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