Next month I turn 26 years old. There are a plenty of things that I feel like I’ve mastered thus far: I can read and write, I know how to floss (but choose not to), and I’ve even been known to drive a car… All kidding aside though, there’s something I feel like I’ve never mastered – how to dress.
Sure, I know how to put on my pants one leg at a time and all that. It’s the skill of putting together outfits that in turn cause me to look like I have my $h!* together that I don’t have. I’ve tried. Oh, how I’ve tried. I’ve even documented (some rather cringe-worthy) outfit posts on this blog. I even spent a year living the capsule wardrobe life (helpful posts here, here and here) . But honestly, when it comes right down to it, I don’t feel like I’ve quite mastered how to stylishly dress myself for the long term.
My Wardrobe Struggle
I’ve never been one for fads. Clothes don’t flatter my body, typically (although that probably feels exacerbated due to my recent ridiculous weight gain). I don’t have an eye for design of any shorts. All of these things culminate into one, terrible conclusion: I don’t feel like I know how to properly dress myself.
Now, disclaimer: When I posted something on Instagram about this, many of my buddies chimed in with something like, “Don’t be silly! You know how to dress yourself.” Sure. I’ve come up with a good outfit here and there, but when I look in my closet I can choose 3 maybe 4 outfits I feel really good in and that’s a shame.
But this is all changing this year! I’m making it my goal to learn how to flatter my body and dress with style (read: an attainable, sustainable style). With the help of the internet and a style-guru friend, I’ve come up with a list of items I think every women should have in her wardrobe.
A Timeless Wardrobe
A Cashmere Crew Neck Sweater
A Flattering Blazer
An Alternative to Well-Fitting Jeans
A Silk Blouse
A Relaxed Fit Button Down
A Well-Made Plain White Tee & Black Tee
Obviously, these items won’t complete an entire wardrobe, but I think these are the wardrobe staples that will facilitate a real sense of style for me. Not coincidentally, these are real investment pieces.
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I’ve known for a while that you’ll pay for quality, but I’m just now learning which pieces are worth the investment. If you’re struggling to decide what kind of pieces are best for investment, think about the pieces that have been in your closet for a long time. I would bet that you’ve had jeans for practically your whole life. I’m positive that you’ve always had a plain white tee. I’m sure you’ve worn a button down shirt plenty of times, too. Timeless pieces such as these are worth the investment. Find quality pieces and spend the money on them. You’ll wear these pieces for the rest of your life.
It’s the trendy pieces I don’t see the value in investing in: hip patterns, funky shoes, and “seasonally” stylish pieces (things like fringe in the fall of 2015, off the shoulder blouses in 2016, etc.). That’s not to say that these pieces won’t have a place in a well-rounded wardrobe. Surely they do! However, I’m not going to invest in these pieces. These are the types of items I’ll find on sale if I purchase them.
When I think about women with style, I’m struck with timeless beauty. Women who know how to dress for their body types and who have had a fairly cohesive style their entire lives are so inspiring to me and that’s what I’m striving for. Of course, times change, but classic style is never off-trend.
What are your wardrobe essentials? Do you like to invest in pieces to wear for a lifetime, or do you like to keep your closet filled with on-trend pieces?