As much as I love shopping and thrifting, I’ve really been trying to curb my buying habits recently. This past Black Friday/Cyber Monday, I’ve miraculously managed to stop myself from purchasing any new (or used) clothing – which is a first for me since I started working full-time many years ago. At the same time, I’ve been trying to drastically scale down my wardrobe to near capsule size in order to make it a bit more streamlined.
Of course, the key with a capsule wardrobe is fill it with only the pieces that you actually enjoy wearing and find flattering. And most importantly, they need to be versatile. Although I’m a long way away from a 15 or 30 item wardrobe, I am starting to think about which pieces I’ll be building one on, and it absolutely includes these four…
A LEATHER (OR FAUX LEATHER) JACKET
I’d been on the hunt for a classic black leather jacket for the past couple years now. It wasn’t until this past fall that I finally came across the perfect one, somewhat unexpectedly while browsing ThredUP. At the time, I had a few Zara jackets on my wishlist, but when I saw this one priced at more than half off retail, it went right into my cart. A few days later, the jacket arrived and I was amazed to find that it was in perfect condition (no signs of wear what-so-ever). It also fit me well and aligned exactly with the style I was going for – not too punk rock, nor too biker babe-esque. Best of all, like all black leather/faux leathers jacket, it pairs well with everything – layered over dresses for an edgy twist; thrown over the shoulders, paired with a basic tee and jeans for a relaxed, chic look. If you’re looking to invest in one, I’d recommend checking out Zara and All Saints. ASOS has a pretty wide selection too, featuring a nice range of brands, sizes, and prices. And if you’re not in a hurry, you can always try your luck over on ThredUP!
COMFORTABLE, WELL-FITTING JEANS
Clothing for me has always been about comfort first and foremost. I grew up wearing dresses as a kid because they were loose and easy to throw on. Then somewhere around the 4th grade, I ditched the dresses and made the switch to what I remember to be a combination of leggings and sweatpants, in all different colors. They were comfy, but definitely not the ‘coolest’ looking. Then finally in the 5th grade, I made the leap to jeans and never looked back. My very first pair had a straight leg fit, so they were loose and comfy, and apparently flattering for me at the time. Since this was back in the 90’s, I paired them with a loose button-down plaid shirt, walked into school the next day with my new outfit and surprisingly got tons of compliments. Fast forward to today, and while I’ve moved on to slightly slimmer styles (of course with some added stretch), jeans continue to be an everyday go-to – from the super relaxed days paired with a tee, to dressy dinner dates paired with a silky blouse and heels. Find one or two pairs that fit you well and comfortably, and you have a classic piece to build loads of outfits on across seasons.
If I could only own two pairs of shoes, it would be sneakers, and these pumps. For one, they have a lower heel (just under 3″) which adds enough height to elongate the legs, but also keeps them comfortable and easy to walk around in. Another essential feature? The pointed toes. I find this shape helps my large feet look a tad smaller and more feminine. Plus it also adds an extra level of sophistication over a more rounded toe. Grab a basic black pair and you’ll be set for all seasons and occasions – from summer and winter, to work days and date nights. Even on more casual days, you can pair them with jeans and a tee to elevate the look into something a bit more chic.
AN EVERYDAY BAG
I saw one of my favorite fashion bloggers, HapaTime, carrying this Coach bag in an outfit post and it was one of those moments where I said to myself ‘I have to have it’. I’d been on the hunt for the perfect everyday bag (which for me is something black, a good size, and long and crossbody) and was ready to splurge a bit on something that would last me more than a couple of years. I searched high and low online for this exact bag, but quickly discovered that it was no longer being produced. Then, to my surprise, I found a seller on an auction site who had one for sale from her personal collection – still in its original packaging – so I bought it. Honestly, to this day, I’m not 100% sure that it’s real! But on the plus side, it has stood the test of time and doesn’t have a sign of wear yet, so I’m beginning to think I made a decent investment. Besides the quality, it’s also the perfect size. It’s not too small, and manages to fit my wallet, a little cosmetics case, and even my Kindle, but also isn’t too clunky to the point where it becomes an annoyance to carry around. I can swing it across my body and forget about it. And of course, like any black bag, it goes with everything – from fancy dresses, to a basic tee and jeans. No matter your budget, find a classic, minimally-designed bag that can hold all your daily essentials, and you’ll have one sophisticated accessory to pair with all your looks.
What are some of your most versatile wardrobe pieces?