Staple: Jeans

Jeans Staple

 

In August, I wrote about my top 10 wardrobe staples every woman needs in her closet. And every month I am highlighting on of those staples, and telling you WHY you need it. This month’s staple is a good pair of jeans.

 

I’m starting this post with a story about why investing in a good pair of jeans is important. Neither my mom nor my aunt had ever really invested in a good pair of jeans. And at different times I convinced them to invest in a pair and what a difference it makes. A few weeks ago, we got on the subject of jeans, and they both were talking about what a difference it made when they made that investment, how much better those good jeans fit them, and how they have lasted. The moral of the story is good jeans are worth the money.

 

You can just tell when someone is wearing a cheap pair of jeans. They don’t fit right, especially if you have any sort of curves. They stretch out really fast, and then they just sag for most of the day.

 

It is more important to invest in ONE pair of good jeans that really fit you than to have many pairs of jeans. Quality over quantity, just like all staple pieces. Sure, go buy a few cheap, trendy pairs. But for a nice pair, invest in a good fitting pair that look good on you.

 

As for the cut, it really depends on your body and what you feel best in. Whether you feel best in skinny jeans, boot cut, high rise, it is all really up to you. But if you are putting the money in to them, make sure you are really happy with them. For the wash, I would go with what you like, but I would stay in the medium wash area. Don’t go super light (because then they don’t translate to dressy as well), and I wouldn’t go super dark either. And don’t go with super distressed ones either. I don’t think those work well for the office on casual Fridays. You want a pair that will work for a lot of different occasions.

 

The good news is you can do a whole lot with one pair of jeans – dress them up, wear them for casual Friday, hang out in them on the weekend, wear them for a date night.

 

Staple Jeans

 

The jeans I chose are the 9″ toothpick jeans from J. Crew. I have a pair of J. Crew jeans and I like the way they fit. You can shop more jean picks at the bottom of the post.

Work:

Staple Jeans

Blazer / Shirt / JeansBooties

Jeans and a blazer is a great look in general, but especially for the office. The combo is super classic and tailored. You could easily throw on a pair of heels to make the look a little dressier.

 

Date:

Staple Jeans

Shirt / Jeans / Shoes / Necklace

Jeans + fancy top + fancy shoes = perfect date night look. The lace top makes it a little sexier, and those shoes are amazing. Top the look off with a sparkly necklace and you are ready to go.

 

Casual:

Staple Jeans

Sweater / Jeans / Scarf / Shoes

 

Running errands never looked so good. Pair your jeans with a cozy sweater, scarf and sneakers and you are good to go for a day of errands, a movie with friends or a lunch with mom.

 

So now that I have told you all the wonderful things about jeans, I have a confession – I am not a jeans girl. I have several pairs, but I couldn’t tell you the last time I wore jeans. I am just not comfortable in pants in general (besides leggings). So, if you are like me and not into jeans, I suggest a jean skirt. This one is super cute and versatile.

 

And you can shop the top look here.

 

 

Want more on my top 10 staples? Check out my previous posts on the chambray shirt and the little black dress.

Lessons in Layering

Layering Lessons

 

I love to layer. I said this in last week’s t-shirt dress styling post, but layering is your best friend. That may sound odd but hear me out – the best way to make the most of your closet it through layering, especially this time of year.

 

Here are just a few reasons why:

 

More looks for less.

Layering is an easy way to have more looks for less money. Layering allows you to create new looks by pairing different pieces together, and therefore making those pieces work double (and triple) time for you. Adding a blazer over a sleeveless shirt makes a new look with two items you might not wear together. Plus you can extend the life of some of those summer items by layering.

 

It adds depth and interest.

Layering is a great way to add interest to an outfit. Pair a striped dress with a leopard cardigan with a blouse underneath. Layer a silk slip dress with a t-shirt underneath and top it off with a blazer. Mix prints and textures to give more depth to a look.

 

It gets you out of fashion ruts. 

You know sometimes when you look in your closet and think, “I have nothing to wear”? Use that as an opportunity to challenge yourself. Think creatively and layer! You might be surprised with the fun combinations you come up with.

 

There are some things I like to keep in mind when it comes to layering. These are a few of my layering lessons:

 

Layering Lessons

 

It doesn’t have to be elaborate.

I’m sure you have seen elaborate layering on Pinterest where someone has like 7 layers (which would be me in the winter for warmth), but it doesn’t have to be elaborate! Don’t be intimidated by layering because you think it needs to be elaborate.

 

Layering Lessons

 

Layer under AND over.

You have two option – you can layer OVER something, or you can layer UNDER (or of course, do both). Adding a turtleneck under a sleeveless dress is a great way to make a dress not only work for the office but so make it more wearable through fall. Top off that same sleeveless dress with a blazer. Or you can do both.

 

Layering Lessons

 

It isn’t just for clothing. 

You may just be thinking about layering in terms of clothing, but think beyond that! My feet are aways cold, so I layer a pair of cute printed socks OVER my tights with ankle boots. Or try layering one necklace over another for a new look.

 

So are you big into layering like me?

 

Shop below for a few of my favorite layering pieces:

Hunter Boot Styling For Fall

Hunter Boot Styling for Fall

 

I love my Hunter boots. I have two pairs- a tall red pair and a short pink pair. If I could, I would have 10 pair in all different colors. Earlier this year, I wrote a post all about Hunter Boots when it comes to how they fit and purchasing them. Today I am talking all about styling them for fall.

 

I mainly stick to my red pair in the fall for 2 reasons – I feel like the red is a little more fall-ish (but I wear pink all year anyways), also, the taller ones keep my legs warmer + work with the cute boot socks. We don’t get much snow here, so not only do I wear my Hunters in the rain, they also double as snow boots for me (you know, for the 0.25″ we get). But to be honest, they look cute rain or shine, snow or warm weather.

 

This is not an exaggeration – Hunter Boots make every outfit cuter. When I was deciding which styling to show today, I had a really hard time because they look super cute with everything! You can’t go wrong with them. But these are just a few of my favorite looks for fall.

 

Hunter Boot Styling for Fall

Dress: J. Crew (similar) / Shirt: J. Crew (similar) / Boots

 

You can’t go wrong with Hunter boots and a dress. You just can’t. They instantly take even the simplest look to a whole new level.

 

Hunter Boot Styling For Fall

Shirt: J. Crew (similar) / Skirt: J. Crew (similar) / Boots

 

Hunter Boots and plaid go together like cookies and milk. They just work. No matter what the plaid piece is, go for it. Try to pick a plaid piece that has the same color in your boots so it really pops.

 

Hunter Boot Styling For Fall

Sweatshirt: J. Crew / Skirt: Gap (similar) / Boots

 

Pair your Hunters with just about any skirt and you have a winning look. I prefer a shorter skirt (knee length or above) to show them off. When it gets colder, just add a pair of tights.

 

Hunter Boot Styling For Fall

Top: Target / Leggings: Super old (similar) / Boots

 

Hunters work great with pants too! Pair them with leggings or jeans to kick that look up a notch. When my mom saw this picture, she said it was the cutest outfit. I am literally wearing a pair of leggings and a tshirt (the most amazing tshirt though, super soft and cozy). But the Hunter boots + the scarf (with the red in it… see what I mean?) make the look!

 

You can shop below for some of my favorite Hunter Boots. And I know it is a little early, but a pair of Hunter boots makes a great gift! I gave my mom a pair several years ago and she went crazy for them. And then we gave my cousin a pair last year, and she loved them too! It is a really exciting gift to receive! Sometimes you can get them on sale around Black Friday, so be on the look out!

Staple: Little Black Dress

In August, I wrote about my top 10 wardrobe staples every woman needs in her closet. And every month I am highlighting on of those staples, and telling you WHY you need it. This month’s staple is all about the Little Black Dress, which is probably my #1 every woman must have this in her closet staple piece.

 

A little black dress (LBD) can be worn for just about any occasion (except maybe the gym). If you pick a classic cut, nothing to trendy or sexy for your staple dress, it can take you from the office, to a date night, to drinks to a party. It is all about styling it.

 

A little black dress is something you definitely want to spend some money on. It doesn’t have to cost you a fortune, but something of good quality will take you from season to season for years. The cut is up to you- pick a style that is super flattering for your body type and that you feel really good in. I suggest considering something sleeveless because then you can wear it in any season, layer under and over it. Of course that is a personal preference, but being able to layer definitely gives you more options.

 

Now, let’s take a look at 3 very different ways you can style the exact same dress.

Little Black Dress Styling

 

I chose this little black dress from Nordstroms for several reasons. It is a classic cut and would look good on most body types. It has enough interest with the ruffles without being super trendy. It is sleeveless, which makes it good for layering. Plus, it is $148, which isn’t crazy expensive but it should be good quality to last several years (remember we are going for classic, wardrobe staples that will last).

 

Little Black Dress Styling

Dress / Blazer / Shoes

 

Add a blazer (or cardigan) to your little black dress and pair it with a pair of pumps for a perfect office look. If pumps aren’t your thing, you can always go with a pair of flats.

 

Little Black Dress Styling

Dress / Shirt / Booties

 

Layering under is a great way to dress down an LBD, like with this plaid shirt, and finish the look with a pair of casual booties. You could also do a chambray shirt or layer over with a jean jacket.

Little Black Dress Styling

Dress / Shoes / Necklace

For a date night or a party, the only thing you need to do is throw on a great pair of shoes and a statement necklace, and you will be ready to go!

 

Shop some favorite LBDs below:

 

So I am hoping everyone has at least 1 LBD in their closet (if not more!) but if you don’t, then hopefully I have convinced you that it is a must have.

 

Want more on my top 10 staples? Check out last month’s staple piece – the chambray shirt.

Staple: Chambray Shirt

Chambray Shirt Styling

 

A few weeks ago, I posts about my top 10 Closet Staples. For the next 10 months, I am going to be tackling one each month.

 

A chambray shirt is one of my absolute wardrobe must haves. It works in just about any season, in most situations, and with just about anything else in your closet. Plus, it never goes out of style. Don’t believe me? I have had mine for at least 5 years. To be honest, mine could stand to be replaced because I wear it SO much. During the fall, winter and spring, I wear it it several times a month. (My wear average does go down during the summer). It is the perfect piece to layer under, layer over or wear on its own! You just can’t beat a chambray shirt.

 

Chambray Shirt Staple Styling

 

On its own

A simple chambray shirt + skirt combo is always a winner. And it really doesn’t matter what skirt you are wearing – casual, dressy, pencil, full, mini. A chambray shirt works with ALL of these! I love pairing the casual chambray shirt with a dressier skirt to mix it up.

Shirt / Skirt / Booties

 

Chambray Shirt Styling

Layer under

A chambray shirt is a great layering piece. When it starts getting cooler, add it under your summer dresses. Or throw a cardigan on top of it. When the temps really start to drop, it works well under a blazer or under a pull over sweater.

Shirt / Blazer / Pants / Shoes

 

Chambray Shirt Styling

Layer over

Treat a chambray shirt kind of like a denim jacket or a cardigan. Throw it on top of a t-shirt dress, over a graphic tee, tie it around your shoulders or around your waist.

Shirt / Dress / Shoes

 

I wasn’t kidding when I said a chambray shirt works in just about any situation and can add so much life to other pieces in your wardrobe! Chambray shirts can extend the life of your summer dresses by either layering under them or over them. Thinking about one for work? Throw a blazer on and pair it with a pencil skirt. Date night? Dress it up with a sequin skirt. Or try a leather (or pleather) skirt for a sassier look. Super cold out? Layer it under a sweater for extra warmth! Seriously, the possibilities are endless.

 

As far as the color goes (light or dark), I tend to go for the lighter options. But if you prefer a little bit darker, then go for it! I would opt for a classic cut one to start, but there are so many cute ones now with ruffles too. However, a classic button up is going to give you the most styling options.

 

So if you don’t have a chambray shirt in your arsenal yet, I hope I have convinced you that you need one. And if you do, I hope I have given you some styling ideas to help you really maximize it.