First off: apologies for a slightly delayed update! Tests and papers are quite killer. Now back to where I was...
Let me just admit this straight off the bat: I am a shopaholic. Gasp! I live in a dorm, and my closet isn't really big... I've taken over two closets and a dresser and I still have clothes spilling out of my laundry hamper, on their way into the wash. Double gasp!
I've been trying really hard to whittle my wardrobe down to the basics, and I've looked at many fashion sites in regards to that topic... and I haven't had much luck. Tim Gunn talks about LBDs and trench coats, while others just go on about crisp button downs and slacks. (College Fashion has a great article on wardrobe essentials though, so check it religiously like I do!)
Wait. I mean, come on. Who really wears those things every day?
Well, maybe not me. I'm still quite young (cough) and I certainly don't have to abide by what Tim Gunn or Nina Garcia or anyone else tells me. I'm packing for a lovely spring vacation, and while going through my own closet, I've come up with the skeleton of my wardrobe:
1. Jeans, jeans, jeans. More jeans.
What's not to love about denim? Dress up, dress down, have it either way, and denim still looks fresh, young, and casual/dressy/edgy, depending on how you decide to pair them. I personally live in my skinny jeans- I have over 5 pairs, I believe- in different styles and washes: distressed, dark indigo wash (my favorite), black, dark gray, ankle cropped... My favorite pair is from Levi's, while I love my Express and Forever 21- I have a pair coming in from Paige Premium Denim, and I'm super excited.
My go-to pair for events, however, is my pair of bootcut jeans from the Gap. Most ladies out there find bootcut jeans to be the most flattering, and I'll agree- but I'll still stick to my skinny jeans for now.
I also recently invested in a pair of super soft, super flattering wide-legged jeans from Paige Premium Denim. I have yet to hem them, but they're gaining favoritism by the day!
2. Plain tees.
Look into my closet and you'll see countless plain tees staring back at you. I of course love the plain white tee (and the band is quite stellar as well), but having them in a variety of colors just spices up your wardrobe. The colors I wear the most often are wine/plum, royal blue, black, berry red, green. A slight V-neck is the most flattering- mine are pretty much all deep V's, actually- but a crew neck or a fun boat neck could work. Remember to dress for your body type, and when you find the perfect tee? Get it in all the colors it comes in! You'll be happy for a very, very long time.
3. Graphic tees.
Maybe it's because I'm still a kid (as much as I hate to admit it), but graphic tees put a smile on my face. I have ones that say "This is how I roll", "Give peas a chance" from David & Goliath, or some that just have really cute patterns or logos. I love my peacock rhinestone tee from Forever 21, and my Vive Le Pop tee from Urban Outfitters!
4. Sweaters and cardigans.
They don't have to be cashmere (although a luxury splurge is recommended for those living in colder climates, like I am!), but sometimes, when you're just feeling a little chilly, a snuggly sweater is the best thing to curl up in. I have way too many sweaters that I've lost track, but I love my V-neck sweaters. I like my sweaters from the Gap- affordable, comfy chic- but for a little splurge, I head to Club Monaco, J. Crew, and Banana Republic. Find one in basic black, and a few more on the side in your favorite colors: they're a fall/winter must have!
As for cardigans- yay for the revival of a great schoolgirl/boy classic! I love the more fitted cuts- my absolute favorite is my splurge on a Burberry cardigan- but the roomier boyfriend cuts are also adorable for a laid-back, nonchalant look. My go-to cardigans are from F21 and Converse for Target; I save my Burberry one for (very) special occasions.
5. Scarves of different shapes, lengths, and sizes.
The girls in my dorm automatically come to my room when they need a scarf, since everyone knows Jacki's the go-to girl for a scarf collection. And I'm proud of it! Scarves can work wonders in punching up the dreary winter outfit (think black peacoat, black sweater, dark jeans... and voila! Red scarf!), doubling as classy shawls for chillier fall or summer nights, or acting as the ultimate accessory. I love my scarves; square, long, knitted, red, leopard print, Burberry check, black, silvery gray, ombre... I tend to check out Aldo Accessories for affordable scarves, but you can find them anywhere at a variety of price tags.
6. A nice, crisp white button-down shirt.
Okay, I had to include this. But I'm a classic prepster at heart, and I like just reaching for my hangers, put on a nice collared shirt, and watch my look just transform. The white button-down shirt is essential if you're going to be working, having interviews, or when you need to dress up those jeans of yours. Find one that fits perfectly, not too boxy or gaping in the front, and snag! Mine are all from Club Monaco- their detailing really elevates the basic shirt- but you can find one pretty much anywhere.
7. Tank tops, camis, cute pieces of that sort.
Layering, layering, layering! Find one to wear under your cute sweater or cardigan when it's colder out for instant chic, or wear them plain in summer. Either way, tank tops/camis are a wardrobe must-have for any girl (wifebeaters can be sexy for guys too; just don't overdo it!). I have my basic tanks in black, white, and a few other colors from J. Crew, American Eagle, and Mango, but I also love my dressy tanks (think drapey, colorful, cute detailing, and/or babydoll cut) from UO, Abercrombie & Fitch, Forever 21, and Express. The prices run all the way from either spectrum (Alexander Wang has a really utilitarian line of tees and tanks, while F21 has some pretty sweet deals- "Fab Finds"- on their basics), but personally I like the tiny splurge; sometimes, the quality and cut of the undergarment makes all the difference.
8. Good lingerie and underwear.
I'm not a big believer in pretty, dainty, or foxy lingerie, but I know most girls enjoy the sexy little secret, and no one can live without good underwear. Make sure your bras fit well, don't give you bulges, and don't dig into your skin. Remember to avoid the dreaded visible panty line (VPL); go for seamless boy shorts or thongs, or just size up on your pants!
9. Dresses, dresses, and dresses!
Another proud collection I boast is my dress collection; give me a formal event, and I'll be able to lend my closet out (I should start charging for this "service"). I have everything from cute LBD's (yes, I have in fact at least 6 of those), sun and/or day dresses, party dresses, sweater dresses, and dressy dresses (I couldn't think of a better word). Pretty much all my dresses are from F21, dELiA*s, Target, and other affordable stores; just dig through patiently! I love the minidress silhouette on myself, but I also love cinching my waist in with belts. Dresses are outfits in themselves; put one on and you're good to go! They're also appropriate for most occasions, so have at least one in different categories; they'll save you a boatload of time when you need it the most!
Cute winter coat? Check (a white peacoat from Mango). Practical puffer coat? Check (one from Aigle, one from Ralph Lauren). Lightweight day coats? Check (babydoll black coat from F21). Trenchcoat for the slushy winter snow? Check (a navy one from Japan). And that's not all of my winter outerwear- I just got a little lazy in counting...
I love my cozy hoodies and such. While I lounge around in my school hoodies, I bundle up in my J. Crew hoodie when I need to head out of the door in a flash.
For cuter daytime looks when the weather is nice, I love my Express and vintage blazers.
I'll write up a post later on about my favorite shoes and jewelry/accessories! I didn't want to burden you all with an entry that's already long enough...
Oh, and I apologize for the lack of pictures. School internet sucks, and bandwidth restrictions suck even more.
What are your wardrobe essentials?
Until next time, ciao bella!
Questions, or just some love to send my way? E-mail me. There's no better way.