One of my goals for this month is to finish up my project to revitalize my wardrobes. If you’ve been following this series over the past month or two you’ve read my philosophies about style, functionality, getting rid of excess and saying no to sales. This month I’m working hard to find the last few pieces I’ve been searching for, and meanwhile I’ve asked a few friends who I know to be stylish and who are going through the same paring-down exercises to share their philosophies about how a solid closet is built.
Today’s wisdom comes from my college friend Mille. We went to the same school and were both in the journalism department, although Mille was a year ahead of me. Nonetheless, it wasn’t until we went on a trip to South Africa that we officially met and became friends. We still laugh about how we had to travel halfway across the world to get to know each other!
Since the beginning of our friendship, Mille has always been a style guru and someone who I’ve looked up to for her put-togetherness and her all-around good attitude. Mille is the type of girl who is loyal, honest, classy, but really knows how to have a good time and look her best doing it. Read on as she shares her essentials for a wardrobe that can do it all.
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I try my hardest to only purchase things that I LOVE. Not things I like, not things I think would look good on me, not things that are currently fashionable. Things I LOVE. This is the filter through which all clothes, shoes, accessories must pass. When you really filter this way, it cuts out a lot of excess quickly.
Husband and I have been going through a book, 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker. It is a challenge to cut down areas of excess in life: food. clothes. spending. media. possessions. waste. stress. So far we’ve only gone through possessions and waste, but I’ve already learned so much. It all goes back to this Bible verse:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:19-21
When trying to not store up for yourself treasures on earth, it’s important to know your style and have key essentials in your closet to rely on. My favorite thing about all 5 of my essentials is that they are all versatile.
When I asked my husband the thing he thinks I wear the most he immediately said my white blazer. This is one of my favorite pieces in my closet. I wear it in the winter. I wear it in the summer. I wear it to work. I wear it on the weekends. If you’re currently blazer-less, most people would recommend a black one. I recommend white. As you can see in the examples above, it’s smart and polished with jeans, it’s edgy over black or it’s sexy with sequins.
Football player Chad Ochocinco and I agree – funky flats are a must! I am currently loving my leopard ones from Target for $19! You’ve probably seen these everywhere, including the department stores for close to $100. (Who knows how much Chad’s cost …) Before I got these, I literally wore out my giraffe print flats from high school. They’re comfortable and add a pop to any outfit. Whether you’re an animal print person, chevron, polka dots, etc. invest in a pair of fun flats.
Oh, colored jeans. Everyone can look good in them, I promise! You just need to find the right color for you. How much more fun are these for the weekends rather than regular jeans? My favorite is to pair my tangerine skinnies with a chambray shirt or an oversized sweater. Effortless and chic.
Most people know me for my outrageous necklaces. I have one in just about every color. Let me tell you – if you have no clue what to wear or think your outfit is too boring, put on a bold necklace! I’ve found great necklaces from Forever 21, local boutiques or even thrift stores. Mix it up a bit and go bold.
“One is never over- or underdressed with a little black dress.” —Karl Lagerfeld
Amen. I know this is cliche, but it’s truly one of the staples in my closet. I currently have three LBDs similar to the above: a short sleeved peplum for a quick night out, a Banana Republic wrap dress for work, and a nicer one for events such as weddings or galas. I’ve worn all three to death. You will not be remiss if you invest in a good LBD (or three.)
While these styles might not work for you, find what does and stick to it. Your budget will thank you. Your closet will thank you. And you will thank you. When you’re not rifling through a closet of things you sort of like, but instead have several things you LOVE you can totally work it every day of the week.
“Fashion fades, only style remains the same.” – Coco Chanel
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Mille blogs about fashion, food, pop culture, and her sweet puppy Ollie over at m. davis.