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.

 

10 Closet Staples

10 Closet Staple Pieces

 

There are certain pieces every woman should have in her closet. Classic, staple pieces are must haves that you can reach for time after time and always look great. These pieces are the ones that fit you well and are good quality (definitely something you want to consider splurging on). Then you build the rest of your wardrobe around these pieces.

 

There are 10 staple pieces that I think everyone needs.They can be mixed and matched and worn a million different ways. Of course, this list is subject to modification, but these are my personal opinions of staples.

 

Closet Staples - White T Shirt

My absolute #1 wardrobe staple must have no matter what your lifestyle, your profession or anything else is a great white t-shirt. A white tshirt can work in just about any situation. I don’t think you should spend a lot on tshirts, especially white ones, since they get dingy. In my opinion the best tshirts come from Everlane, and they don’t cost a fortune!

 

Closet Staple - Little Black Dress

A little black dress is absolutely a must have. The perfect little black dress will be one that can transition from professional to evening and is made out of a material that would work for any season (so not wool or linen). And since you are picking out the perfect little black dress for you, make sure it fits you well and you feel really good in it!

 

Closet Staple - Blazer

A blazer is a piece that can do so much for you! Pair it with a pencil skirt for a day at the office, throw it on over a dress, dress up a pair of jeans … there are so many possibilities with a well fitting blazer! Although I personally feel that the more blazers the better, if you are just getting one, I would opt for a neutral one in either black or navy.

 

Closet Staple- Chambray Shirt

A chambray shirt may seem like an odd choice, but hear me out. You can layer over or layer under. You can dress it up or down. It works for any season. It never goes out of style. You can’t go wrong with chambray shirt in your closet.

 

Closet Staple- Pencil Skirt

Pencil skirts may seem a little boring, but you can actually do more than you think with them. They are perfect for the office (maybe pair it with a blazer), but you can also make it more playful with a graphic tee or dress it up with a sequinned top for a night out.

 

Closet Staple - Jeans

Good jeans make a difference. I’m not a jeans kind of girl, but I realize most people wear jeans a decent amount (if you are like me, change out jeans with jean skirt). I am not saying you should spend a ton on your jeans, but you do need to get a pair of jeans that fit you well and is super flattering, and for your staple pair, it shouldn’t be something that is super trendy. Your staple jeans are going to be ones that you can wear on a casual Friday or out for a date night. I don’t consider super distressed jeans or super low rise jeans (which are, unfortunately coming back) to be your staple. Whether they are skinny jeans, boot cut, straight cut, higher waist… well that depends on what makes you feel best.

 

Closet Staple- Pumps

A good pair of pumps in a neutral color (black or nude) is an absolute must. Whether it is for the office, an event or an evening out, a neutral pair of pumps can work in just about any situation (except the gym). The heel height doesn’t matter- whatever you are most comfortable in.

 

Closet Staple - Handbag

A nice handbag (or bags) is an essential for any closet. And it is one of the items I highly recommend you splurge on. A neutral color in your favorite style is best, but if you really love a certain color (like pink or red) and you think you’ll wear it all the time, then there is no reason not to go with your favorite color!

 

Closet Staple - Fun Shoes

A pair of fun shoes may not be a typical staple, but you have to have a little fun! Whether they are flats or heels, you can wear them with your LBD, a pair of jeans, a pencil skirt… A fun pair of shoes can really change up an outfit!

 

Closet Staple - Statement Necklace

The last staple is a statement necklace. I love a good statement necklace. It is another one that may not seem like a typical pick for a staple item, but you can make it work with any of the above items. Take a simple LBD and add a statement necklace, and you’ve got an outfit fit for a night out on the town. Pair a statement necklace with a chambray shirt and it dresses up the look.

 

Staples are so important for any closet. So for the next 10 months, I am going to be tackling a staple a month for styling tips, favorites and more!

 

What do you consider your staple pieces in your closet?

Mixing High and Low Fashion

Mixing High and Low Fashion

As Blair Waldorf once said, “Fashion is the most powerful form of art there is. It’s movement, design, and architecture shows the world who we are and who we’d like to be.” And I couldn’t agree more. Personal style is an art form.  Sure, anyone can put on head to toe Chanel and look amazing. But the art really comes in when you start exploring your own personal style, and mixing the higher and lower end fashion pieces.

 

It is my personal belief that really good, unique styling happens when you can effortlessly (or seemingly effortlessly) marry the high end with the lower end. If you can mix Zara, J. Crew and Tory Burch, you are really showing your personal style.

 

Mixing High and Low Fashion

 

With this outfit, I am wearing a super old Loft blouse, a Who What Wear x Target skirt, a Kate Spade bag and Vince sandals, which is definitely a mixture of price points. There are some tips I do like to keep in mind when mixing high and low.

 

Keep quality in mind with the lower end pieces

You don’t want your outfit to look cheap because your dress from Target is pilling all over the place. Quality is key, especially for the less expensive pieces. My favorite places for less expensive pieces are Target and Zara. I find the quality for both are always really good.

 

Mixing High and Low Fashion

 

Nice shoes and a nice handbag will take you places

If you are splurging, splurge on the shoes and the handbags (read more here). If you have a nice handbag and shoes, the rest of your outfit is instantly going to be elevated. So that Target dress is going to look nicer with the Kate Spade shoes than it will the Zara shoes.

 

Pick a focal piece

When you are consciously mixing high and low (as opposed to just grabbing something & going), try picking one piece to be your higher end piece, then work around it. Maybe you want to wear a blazer that you splurged on. Have that be your focal point, then pair it with a t-shirt you bought at Target and a skirt you bought at Zara. Start with your main piece you want to highlight and then work around it.

 

Don’t go label crazy

Luckily, it isn’t in style (right now) to have brand labels EVERYWHERE. Even if it were, don’t have logos all over the place. It is one thing to have a Louis Vuitton bag, or a Tory Burch pair of shoes, but keep the obvious labels to one piece.

 

Mixing High and Low Fashion

 

Experiment and Have fun

Try new things. Don’t over think it. Fashion and personal style should be FUN. The most important thing is being confident in your choice!

 

So tell me, how do you like to mix high and low?

Splurge vs. Save

splurge_save

 

There are times when it makes sense to splurge on an item – one of those investment pieces that you know is absolutely worth the money. And there are other times when it is best to save on something, because why not?

 

But when do you splurge and when do you save? That amazing dress you saw in a fashion magazine … is it really worth spending half of your paycheck on? The answer is probably no. Unless that dress is maybe your wedding dress you are considering.

 

So I’ve got a few tips and tricks to help you decide if you should splurge on an item or look for a cheaper version at some place like Zara.

 

Keep in mind, the “splurge” and “save” are completely subjective here. Maybe splurging to you is $100. Maybe splurging is $300 or $500. On the other hand, maybe saving means you are spending $15 and not $100. But saving may be $100 (instead of $500) to you. That isn’t for me to decide. But I can tell you where you should spend those hard earned dollars and where you should save.

 

splurge v save

 

Splurge items are the ones that you are going to put your money into. They are the purchases that you need to put some thought in to. No one wants to make a split second big purchase and then realize 3 hours you made a HUGE mistake. Consider the math – if you spend a lot on it, but you wear it a ton, your price per wear is much lower, which makes it a great investment! And yes, I use this math reasoning all of the time with my husband!

 

splurge_ handbag

 

splurge_ shoes

 

splurge_ classics

 

splurge_ favorites

 

Most items you should probably save on. Again, the saving is subjective. No you probably shouldn’t spend $15 on a dress for your cousin’s wedding, but you may not want to fork over $400 for the dress you may only wear once. But there are a few that you should DEFINITELY save on.

 

save_ trends

 

save_ tshirts

 

save_ unsures

 

So these are my tips to keep in mind when you are trying to figure out when you should splurge and when you should save. The two things I would keep in mind are – how much are you going to wear it? And how does it make you feel?

 

Are there items you always splurge on? Or things you would never splurge on?

Accessory Assist

DSC_0059

It is amazing how accessories can transform an outfit. You can have the most basic outfit – a simple black dress, jeans and a t-shirt – but add some fun accessories, and it can be a complete game changer.

 

I love wearing a monochromatic look (or maybe a black and white look), and then adding fun, colorful accessories to really kick the outfit up about 3 notches. Plus, you can take that exact same base outfit, change out the accessories and then have a completely different look! Not a bad way to maximize your wardrobe, if you ask me.

 

So obviously if you have limited wardrobe options or a limited budget, accessories can be super important. A pair of shoes and a necklace can really make a difference. And accessories don’t have to be expensive! There are a lot of fun items that won’t break the bank.

 

DSC_0061

 

Here are some of my favorite accessories: