Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Essentials: a.k.a. the 11 things I would die without having in my closet

Hello Darlings,
         Happy almost New Years Eve, I hope you have found the perfect outfit for tomorrow's festivities and will be ringing in the New Year in style. While packing for my own NYE adventure and realizing I could not pack the entire contents of my closet into my suitcase, it dawned on me that there actually are items of clothing that I would not die if I parted with (I will completely deny ever having said this, especially if someone is trying to get me to throw something away, gasp!).
          This brings me to the much more important part of this post: the things I can not live without, the bare essentials of my wardrobe. I realized that no matter how many new things I buy I find myself constantly searching for, re-wearing and re-packing these very few items. So, in the hopes that this helps with your own packing and maybe even building your own wardrobe, here it is: the 11.

1. Dark Denim Skinny Jeans: 
Why? because they go with basically everything and can be dressed up and down in an instant.
I love these by Ann Taylor because the stitching is done in the same wash as the denim so the look is sleek and nothing distracts the eye.

2. Jeweled J. Crew Bangles
Diamonds are a girls best friend (even if these are fake) and should be worn often and in large quantities. I stack this J. Crew bracelet with a few more of its kind and mix it with pearls, my charm bracelet or other bangles. Do not be afraid of the price- simply go to the sale section, the Factory outlet store or the Factory J.Crew online. Mine were only $9.99!

3. Neutral Colored, Pointed, Ballet Flats
Nothing is more chic! They can be paired with your skinny jeans, pencil skirts for work or black leggings for a night out. While they may be a color this blue still works as a neutral, I own the same pair but in Dove Grey (hmm these are also from J. Crew, I see a trend starting)

4. Cardigan Sweater
Wear it over a dress to make it casual or leave it open and belt it to dress it up. Great for cooler weather and my philosophy is you can never have enough.

5. Black Camisole
I refuse to buy these from anywhere BUT Express, they are the only ones who have seem to mastered the right length and the right stretchiness and it is great. These look great under cardigans, can save you if your shirt is a little too sheer and are the perfect trick for layering under an itchy cashmere turtleneck.

6. Over-Sized Clutch
Because absolutely nothing fits in those tiny little things that stores like to call "clutches" and I need a lot of things when I go out. Love this one from Ann Taylor Loft, it was given to me as a gift years ago by a dear friend and I have never looked at a tiny clutch again. It was love at first sight.

7. Skinny Belt
He may be tiny but this little guy can do a lot for your wardrobe. Wear it with skinny jeans and a top tucked in or throw it over the waistband of your high waisted skirt and do the same with the top there. Also great for layering over a cardigan and dress. Love the nude, it goes with everything. 

8. Black Pumps
This is a no brainer. Do not be afraid to wear these with brown. These from Franco Sarto are great because they are a classic style (notice the heel comes straight off the back of the shoe, making it parallel with the back of the heel, instead of curving in or being placed in the middle of the heel). I got these from T.J. Maxx which is a great place to search for shoes, they always have great brand names!

9. LBD (and lots of them)
People like to tell you that you only need one LBD (little black dress) and that once you find the perfect one you are set for life. They are lying. There are a million LBD occasions and lets be real- you cannot wear the same LBD to a funeral as you can to a bar. You also will have days that you really just do not feel like squeezing into that body conscious, maybe a little inappropriately tight but great for PHH (potential husband hunting) garment and you really just need something that flows. So my advice: if you find a great black dress, buy it, even if you already have one. 
ps. this is my newest LBD purchase and my absolutely new favorite article of clothing, its by Motel and has an awesome back. 

10. Down Vest
Just bought this vest from NY & Company and I cannot stop raving about it. It is love at only $20. 

11.  Men's Hanes White V-Necks
No, not the guy, just his shirt. However, if you find him I promise I won't be mad if you send him my way! These shirts come in 3 packs from Wal-Mart and are literally dollars- they go great with a Summer a-line skirt (tuck them in to high waisted ones), are good for working out, run around town in these with your skinnies, flats and bangles and you have an effortless look that is super chic. 

Packing Tip: My best advice I can give to anyone who has to pack is to create outfits ahead of time. Do not sift through your closet it will get overwhelming. Instead sit down, close your eyes and imagine yourself each day and the activities you will be doing. Ideally what are you wearing? What is going to make you feel great and be functional. Make more than one outfit for each day if you tend to change your mind. I like to take pictures of the outfits I have created in my mind, including shoes, jewelry and purses. I know this sounds like a completely crazy thing to do but in a pinch it has saved me!

Have a great NYE see you back after the holiday -Cheers!