Sunday, October 26, 2014

Repeat Offender: My Top 5 Wardrobe Essentials

Every girl's got 'em: the chosen few items in her wardrobe that she wears over and over and over and - okay, you get it.  We all fall in love with items - sometimes (most times for me) it's unexpected love. You pull on that pair of jeans at the store, they fit, so you buy them, no biggie. It's only 6 months later that you really feel like you found a magical pair of jeans because man, never ever before has a pair of jeans fit you this well. By then, it's been awhile since you bought them and now you're kicking yourself. You wish you knew months ago that these jeans were magical - you would have stocked up! Too late. It's no longer jeans season and they're nowhere in sight (or they changed their styles and even though you bought the SAME style and size, it just wasn't the same! This happened to me with Delias jeans)!

Yep! Those are the kind of essentials I'm talking about.  Here are my top 5 - straight out of my wardrobe!

1. Brown Leather Bow Belt (Target)
I've gone through two bow belts in the past year or so. The first I got at Ann Taylor Loft on sale but it didn't last long - the clasp was just a simple push pin sort of style and it quickly wore out the holes and stopped staying closed. I'd be at work and all it would take was me leaning the right way and POP - off goes the belt. Embarrassing. I found a replacement belt at Target and all is well in my world. I LOVE this belt. It goes with nearly everything and I wear it all the time. The Target belt, by Mossimo, is better quality than my previous one. It has much sturdier holes for the push pin piece behind the belt and I can tell it will last longer. The stitching helps (you can see it in the picture) and it is definitely made to last. Maybe it's the color - brown leather - or maybe it's just the cute bow. Either way, I wear this belt so much. It's one of the best belts I ever spent $15 on!

2. Blue Denim Jacket (Kohls, similar)
I have always loved denim jackets. They go with everything and I certainly wear mine over everything - dresses included! I used to rock one of my mother's denim jackets from when she was young but I was stupid and though it'd be cool to write all over it with Sharpie. Silly silly High School Sara. Sigh. Anyway, my current jacket is by Apt.9 from Kohls. I just love the casual element a denim jacket can bring. I love throwing it over dresses when it gets chilly out, it tones down a fancier frock, or just adds a fun element to a sundress. It's a true summer staple! I also love adding brooches to my jackets. I kept a bronze Minnie Mouse pin on the collar for years. Now I have a big daisy brooch on it, a find from this year's Brimfield Show Antique Fair. You know me - wherever I can add my own detail, I will!

3. Booties/Ankle Boots (Old Navy, similar)
I bought my first pair of ankle boots from Old Navy two years ago. I never had a pair of ankle boots with a wedge heel and thought that they'd be cute for fall. I WAS SO RIGHT! This was one of those instances I explained above. I fell head over heels (no pun intended - or was it?) for the booties and wished I had also bought them in any other color they came in. By the time I looked, they were gone for the year. NOOOO! This time, though, I only had to wait a year. The following year, during boot season, I redeemed myself. They didn't have the exact same pair again (this isn't all too uncommon for stores like Old Navy, who constantly updates and improves on popular styles) but they had very similar ones. I immediately ordered a pair of tan booties. Now, I rotate between the two constantly. Wearing a darker dress? Black pair! Wearing a bright/lighter dress? Tan pair! It's so fun and I love having a little heel every now and then. I mean, I'm five foot two. I could use some height!

4. Cardigans, Cardigans, Cardigans! (Old Navy)
It's really funny that I have more than one Old Navy item featured on this list. I don't usually associate myself with liking Old Navy but, for staple items, I have found some good stuff there. One of my favorites? Their crew neck cardigans. Oh my God, they are amazing. I have a handful of colors already (my favorite is definitely the golden yellow - I wear it with so many things!) and every year I keep an eye out for the moment when it happens - the rainbow appears. Old Navy usually puts out a huge table of cardigans of all colors. It's hard to not buy one in every color but that has become my goal. They are soft, thick enough to brave the cold New England winters, and I wear them over all my dresses and skirts into the winter. I could LIVE in them.  They are slowly releasing more and more colors this year. I will probably go ahead and order that purple, green, and pink one after I finish writing this post! ;)

Image courtesy of Old Navy Website

5. Hell Bunny Petticoat (ModCloth)
This was my first petticoat purchase and I remember ordering it IN FEAR. Okay, that might be an exaggeration. I was definitely unsure and nervous. Venturing into petticoats is intimidating. I STILL don't know sometimes if I know what I am doing. One thing I knew, though, was that if I was going to buy a petticoat, I could trust to get it through ModCloth. So I bought the one below (and linked above), in white and short, since I knew a regular length petticoat would be too long on me. I've loved it ever since! Now, when I put on a dress without the petticoat, I feel like I am missing something. Skirts and dresses look so flat and blah without it! This one by Hell Bunny has been super soft and super fluffy. I keep eying Malco Modes and hope to someday buy some from them (I hear they rock and are super soft as well) but for now, I will stick to ModCloth's reliability. In fact, I literally just ordered my petticoat in red and black. I mean, I had a 20% coupon. I sort of had to, right?

Image courtesy of the ModCloth website


6. Keds Sneakers (Take your pick - they're all so cute!)
I have fond, fond memories of being a little girl in my Keds. My sisters and I all had them. Then, we grew up and you couldn't find them ANYWHERE. I remember because I got a part in Bye Bye Birdie my freshman year (I was the mayor's wife, oh YEAH!) and we struggled to find any little Keds sneaker anywhere! Blasphemy! Then, a miracle happened. Just like leggings, they made a comeback! Suddenly, Keds were back and they rocked it. They have so many colors and patterns, I nearly get overwhelmed as I browsed. Somehow, I managed to pick one pair of purple ones two years back and ever since, I've loved them. They're just so comfy and small and awesome. I wear these more than my Converse All Stars because, frankly, I have large feet for a small gal (size 9!) and the Converse make them look even bigger while my Ked's don't! Hooray! AAAAAANNNNND now I am browsing the site, falling in love with more sneakers…

Okay maybe this blog post wasn't a good idea. I swear I just spent $200 alone just writing it between the Old Navy cardigans and the petticoats and the sneakers - OH MY LORD AND TAYLOR! I can't stop! But that's what you have to do when you have awesome essentials that you just wear into the ground, right? You gotta stock up so they last forever...