Suzanne Kalan started her jewelry line in 1988 after her daughter, Patile, was born. Patile joined the industry nearly 25 years later and began designing the KALAN by Suzanne Kalan collection. Set with diamonds and white sapphires, the candy-colored baubles are just as bright and optimistic as Patile herself.
Items from the collection are available at various retailers, including Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue (there’s a 20% Friends & Family discount on jewelry that you can use right now), and Amazon.
I hope you had a relaxing Easter weekend with enough candy to hold you over until next year. And there’s one more holiday surprise to brighten your week: two people will win a Gerard Yosca single bloom necklace!
I’ve been going on and on about how much I adore Gerard’s latest collection, inspired by an A. Quincy Jones home in L.A. Each piece is a large-scale statement, yet remains versatile and easy to wear. I even wore the stonebloom necklace in a trio of looks last week (one, two and three), proving that just one great piece can be enough to get you through the season—and I can’t wait to see how the winners style their necklaces!
Two readers will take home this perfect spring blossom in white or black. (The first person selected will have her choice of the two and the other will go to the second winner.) The giveaway is open to those with a United States mailing address. Good luck!
I hope you’re having a “hoppy” Easter Sunday! If you’re going to wear a rabbit motif, today’s the day to do it. This golden hare ring is an adorable option from Bill Skinner and it even has a trendy pearl accent. (You won’t find me bedecked in gems today. I’m planning to hang out on the couch, eat my weight in candy and finish House of Cards.)
After nearly three years of searching, I finally found my perfect LWD at Banana Republic (ordered before my shopping hiatus, of course). And, what do you know, it looks fab with the Gerard Yosca necklace I’ve been wearing all week (looks one and two). Proof that just one great statement piece is enough to get you through the season.
The best sartorial dollar you can spend is on a statement piece that goes with everything. I’ve been wearing this Gerard Yosca necklace almost exclusively since I received it, so three outfits featuring the bauble this week wasn’t much of a challenge! Today, I strayed away from Monday’s mod attire in favor of something classic and feminine. A full skirt can become saccharine awfully quickly, but the necklace’s graphic flowers and a bright crossbody bag keep the look from being too prim.
Inspired by the organic imperfection of nature and decay, Lacee Norris launched Lacee Alexandra, a jewelry collection that embraces these forms in a sophisticated, wearable way. Lacee’s artistic nature was apparent at a young age when she spent time in her grandmother’s studio painting miniatures. In 2008, she began studying fine art and design at California State University Long Beach and enrolled in her first jewelry making class on a whim, igniting a passion for what would eventually become her career. Lacee still resides in Long Beach, hand crafting her collection with sterling silver, 14k gold, black spinels and black diamonds.
Lacee is offering B&B readers a 30% discount through April 29! Just use code BAUBLES at checkout!
I’m such a proponent of investing in quality accessories that you’ll wear over and over again—and I have no doubt that, in time, the cost per wear of that statement splurge will be lower than a cheaper alternative. Gerard Yosca’s latest collection is full of these versatile statement pieces, so when the team challenged me to style one necklace three ways this week, I jumped at the chance. First up, a mod shift dress that matches the mood of the black and white necklace. I’ve been wearing this to work quite a bit over the last few weeks (sadly, with tights), but it’s just as fun for weekend wear with pointy black flats.
No, as a matter of fact, I’m not done obsessing over pearl jewelry and this pair of earrings from Hortense is my favorite yet. The double pearl bars come in a combination of grey and white or all white and they’re actually a pretty good deal at $184 considering they’re made of solid 14k gold and real pearls.
I have no doubt that you’ve already fallen for Gerard Yosca’s latest collection and, as with most jewelry affairs, it was probably love at first sight. (Really, how could you resist the signature mod blossoms? I’ve been styling this necklace to no end and, as you’ll see next week, it goes with just about everything.) However, I find the passion for a coveted piece intensifies after learning about its inspiration. I can just imagine the person residing in that A. Quincy Jones home reaching for Gerard’s gems before her midday martini. Poolside, of course.*
*I’m not sure if the Sidney F. and Frances Brody House actually had a pool. That’s the great thing about the imagination, isn’t it?
Gerard Yosca’s latest collection is a good one (more on that tomorrow) and the statement necklaces steal the show. Whether you prefer to wear one standout piece or layer with abandon, it takes a healthy dose of panache to pull off a bold bauble. Gerard’s tips will have you effortlessly incorporating a statement necklace into your wardrobe in no time.
Take heed of that final guideline. The piece you select should be one you’ll love for years. I promise it’s worth the investment.
Yet another bouquet of tulips. I can’t help myself.
This trench coat in navy. Before my self-imposed shopping ban went into effect, I placed one more order at Banana Republic. The jacket has a subtle sheen that makes it feel more elevated than your standard-issue beige trench and the striped lining with magenta piping won me over. As some of the reviews mention, it really is tight in the shoulders and bust, so take that into account if you have your eye on it. The white eyelet shift also arrived last week, which was a huge disappointment. I was pining for this since BR’s spring preview last fall and it fell short of expectations. It runs really small and I didn’t love it enough to go up another size or two to get the carefree fit that dress needs. The final item from my order (this dress) is scheduled to arrive today. Fingers crossed for a success!
A batch of lemon bars I made yesterday afternoon. Even though they’re one of my favorite sweets, I rarely make them because I’ll eat the entire pan within the week. Time to cue up a workout with Jillian Michaels to burn off that pound of butter.
A pair of Loeffler Randall sandals for just $62. Will someone please buy all of the size 7s so I’m not tempted anymore?!
I’m thrilled to share that Gerard Yosca and I are partnering this month to introduce you to his latest collection, Bel-Air, inspired by decorative mid-century architecture. Gerard will pass along advice on styling a statement necklace, I’ll show you how I wore the Stonebloom necklace (above) with three different outfits (proof that one great statement piece is better than a handful of cheaper alternatives), and we’ll wrap things up with a giveaway. I hope you’ll stick around for the fun! (And may I suggest adding the Mini Bloom ring to your jewelry box in the meantime?)
Every store email, every blog post and every Instagram is another temptation to buy the next “It” item, which makes a month without shopping for clothes especially difficult for a style blogger. Heck, if you’re like me, you’re not hiding an Internet history littered with tawdry sites, you just don’t want to admit how many dresses you looked at before your first cup of coffee.
Challenging myself to a “No Shop April” was less about saving money and more of an effort to stop accumulating stuff. I like to shop. I like to own pretty things. But lately I’ve felt like I’ve gone off the rails a bit. I just need a month to step back and reevaluate what I want in terms of general financial goals and key items to eventually add to my wardrobe.
Here are my strategies:
Avoid temptation. It goes without saying that the mall is a huge source of temptation for many of us, but your inbox is an even bigger landmine. I receive hundreds of promotional emails each week touting new arrivals and promotional discounts. It’s easy to fall victim to a friends and family sale when it’s a rare chance to save 25%. My advice? Unsubscribe. Or at the very least delete the emails without opening them. If you’re serious about streamlining your inbox, Unroll.me is a startup company that lets you view how many lists you’re subscribed to, gives you the opportunity to unsubscribe, then consolidates the messages into one daily email. (I was on 488 lists.)
Mix and match your existing wardrobe. This is the perfect opportunity to be creative. Pick a piece you haven’t worn in awhile and challenge yourself to wear it three different ways this month. It also makes for blog fodder that’s more interesting than showcasing new purchases.
Clean out your closet. Go through your closet and take out every single item. Look over each with a critical eye. Do you wear it? Is it in good repair? Would your current self buy this piece again? If you can answer yes to those three questions, the item goes back in the closet. If not, it’s off to eBay or Goodwill. I did this in February and, honestly, I was embarrassed by how much I donated and by how much money I spent on things I didn’t wear. It forced me to be more thoughtful about future spending.
Appreciate what you already own. You know that rush you get when you buy a new item? Rekindle that flame with your wardrobe. We all have items we treasure and it’s important to realize that you can’t always have the latest and greatest thing. In fact, what you own now is already pretty great.
Keep your on the prize. Be honest about your reason for doing this. Are you padding your savings account? Putting away money for an expensive item? Looking to break away from unconscious consumerism? Whatever it is, write it down. Remind yourself of your end goal whenever temptation strikes. There will always be another must-have item.
Finally sending off my passport for renewal. I’m not sure if you’re allowed to smile in your photo, but I’m risking it. (The government site isn’t very clear—they require a “neutral expression,” yet some allowable photo examples show people smiling.) Hopefully it gets approved. My non-smiling expression looks pretty angry.
I’ve been a little too fast and loose with the debit card lately, so I’m placing one more order to try a navy trench and a couple of white dresses to try (here and here), then I’m kicking off “No Shop April” (I tried to come up with a catchier name, but that’s the best I’ve got).* Thirty days of resisting clothing and ignoring gemstones sounds like an ideal way to get my savings back on track and continue evaluating the missing links in my wardrobe.
*I’m totally breaking this promise if I earn enough money on the blog and eBay to buy this Tory Burch scarf.
Just five standout pieces per season. (There are two “seasons” for this purpose: spring/summer and fall/winter.)
Quality over quantity.
Basics don’t count.
Accessories don’t count, unless you’re spending a lot more than usual.
NEWJ.Crew fit and flare dress in haven blue: Even though there’s another color option actually labeled navy, haven blue is pretty close to the navy I have in my closet. I was worried that the fabric would be too shiny for day, but it’s very subtle. It looks darling with the Sam Edelman flats I bought a couple of months ago and it has pockets. (I don’t think it’s worth the full price of $200. I paid $150, which still might be high for it. If you can snag it at $100, go for it.) It also attracts pet hair like no other.
NEW Banana Republic “Sloan” pants in turquoise: Okay, so this isn’t an obvious basic (and actually sticks out like a sore thumb on my Pinterest board), but I wear my navy and black pairs to work all of the time. I wanted a bright color to liven up humdrum work days this spring. I also only paid $10 after a discount code and two reward coupons.
NEWTory Burch “Desi” printed pumps: These were a complete impulse purchase and I love everything about the mod, ’60s-style shoe. A low, block heel is practical and navy stripes are versatile in my closet.
J.Crew scallop crepe dress: I tried this on in store and really wanted to love it, but it didn’t flatter my body type. If you have a full bust and slim hips, I urge you to try it on. It really is adorable.
If you’re curious about The French Wardrobe Challenge, I encourage you to peruse the archived posts.
Are you taking part in The French Wardrobe Challenge this season? Let me know by the 15th of the month and I’ll link to your post below.
It’s pretty obvious that I’m anxious for warm weather, considering my Instagram is overrun with flowers and nautical stripes. What can I say? I know what I like. Here are a few of my favorite March moments:
I already purchased a pair of double pearl earrings (buy them on eBay for around $6) and a pearl collar, yet I still don’t see my obsession with pearl jewelry ending anytime soon. It’s hard to resist the trend when incredible pieces like this bold cuff keep popping up. You can see it in action on Rebecca’s Instagram here.
Things have certainly changed over at Yoox! I hadn’t visited their site in years (I found the product selection overwhelming and navigation underwhelming), but they’ve really stepped up their game. The site looks more modern, the homepage is a bit blog-meets-retailer with some editorial pieces and it’s now so much easier to find what you’re looking for. (If you spot something you love, use discount code SHOPSENSE15 for 15% off your full price purchase and free shipping through April 7.)
After browsing the site for well over an hour, I thought I’d put together a little fantasy packing list for a weekend in Venice. You wouldn’t need much for a long weekend. Two dresses, two pairs of shoes and a handful of thoughtful accessories can be mixed for fresh new outfits each day—and it’s a heck of a lot more fun than packing an all-black wardrobe. Here are a few ways I’d wear the pieces above:
Striped Dress + Flats + Tote + Scarf (to tie hair into a ponytail) + Cuff
White Dress + Sandals + Clutch + Ring
Striped Dress + Sandals + Clutch + Cuff
White Dress + Flats + Scarf (tied around your neck) + Tote + Ring
A simple arrangement of daffodils that reminds me how much I Iove yellow. I look terrible in the hue, but perhaps a small dose of lemon by way of this clutch is in order?
March Madness, even if Kansas screwed up my bracket. I have Virginia going all the way, but I’d prefer to see my alma mater make it to the end. Go Badgers!
More spring cleaning. I went through our hall closet last weekend, resulting in three bags for Goodwill and two for the trash. I still can’t get over how much stuff we’ve donated this season, but it’s a huge relief to get rid of unloved items. (It’ll also make moving much easier. We’re past due for a two-bedroom apartment.)
Tory Burch’s botanical print in either the shirt or the scarf. I’m becoming such a Tory Burch fan and I need to own this print in some fashion. I actually had my eye on the dress from the runway presentation, but it’s not available yet. What do you think? Spring for the shirt or wait for the dress? The dress does seem more “me,” but the shirt might be more versatile.
After an opportunity to win a pair of Emma McKinstry double rectangle earrings on Sunday and then seeing her pendant necklace in an outfit post yesterday, you’re getting to know a lot about Emma and her colorful line of jewelry this week! And, as you’ll see in her interview below, Emma’s personality is just as vibrant as the jewelry she designs.
As much as I love the nipped-in silhouettes of the 1950s, the ’60s are by far my favorite fashion decade—and my new shoes only fuel the obsession. It didn’t take me long to pair them with a ’60s-inspired ensemble that I intend to wear repeatedly this season.
As you’d expect, the accessories are my favorite part of the outfit. The block-heeled shoe is the perfect complement to a short hemline and this Emma McKinstry necklace lends a carefree touch to an outfit that otherwise risks being too prim. (The quality of the necklace is great. Make sure to you enter to win a pair of Emma’s best-selling double rectangle earrings here.)
Now that the promise of warm weather is right around the corner, it’s time to break out the bold jewelry, starting with a pair of Emma McKinstry’s double rectangle earrings. Available in an array of colors like bright turquoise and fiery red, the earrings are versatile showstoppers that will get you through the season.
One winner will receive a pair of double rectangle earrings in the color of her choice. Personally, I’d go for the sky blue so I don’t stray too far from my seasonal wardrobe plan. Which would you choose?
Alright, I lied when I said my shoe wardrobe was complete after buying striped pointed toe loafers and palm-print flats with an ankle strap. I was missing a key trend: a pair of quirky retro-inspired, block-heeled pumps. I frickin’ love these things and they arrived just in time to offer a little pick-me-up at the end of a particularly stressful week (#WorkDrama).
It’s times like this that I’m grateful for setting aside a small part of each paycheck (and all blog revenue) for a guilt-free splurge. Expect to see these babies on repeat over the next few months. (For those interested, they do run true to size.)
Chain-store jewelry can be lackluster (especially when everyone owns the same thing) and great costume jewelry can come with a high price tag, which is why Joyce Lam (left) and Niki Allworth sought to create an online destination with affordable, eye-catching statement gems: Rue Gembon. Before launching the site, Joyce had plenty of experience in the fashion arena (3.1 Phillip Lim, Women’s Wear Daily, Elle), then ventured into styling under Kate Lanphear’s wing. Niki left behind the accounting industry to pursue her passion for fashion graphic design and began freelancing.
This beautiful druzy ring c/o Meghna Designs that happens to coordinate perfectly with my Lele Sadoughi necklace. Have you seen Meghna’s Kickstarter campaign to raise money for her fine jewelry collection? By supporting the project, you can own a piece of her collection for a fraction of the retail price. (Learn more about her in the "Behind the Baubles" feature.)
The Veronica Marsmovie. I never did watch the series when it was on TV, but I was hooked a few weeks ago when Dave suggested we try it. After many evenings of binge-watching, the movie was a satisfying way to wrap up my time with Neptune (and took the edge off the crappy series’ finale).
Dave’s new car. We’ve been a one-car household for about a month after his old car bit the dust. As much as I’ve enjoyed our carpooled commutes, I’m going to enjoy his Volkswagen Eos even more. I mean, c’mon, we freaking own a convertible now!
The Tory Burch shoes I ordered. Aren’t they all sorts of nautical-meets-Mod perfection? I can’t wait for their arrival. They’re such a splurge after last month’s shopping binge, but I’ve been tucking away $50 per paycheck for a splurge and I’ve had some blog revenue and eBay cash to spend. Let’s just hope they run truer to size than this pair of Tory Burch shoes did.
If this season’s modern take on pearl jewelry isn’t for you, layering a traditional pearl ring with other gemstones can still update your look. The solitaire rings from Manhattan Pearls are reasonably priced at $95 for the sterling silver version and $125 for 18 karat gold vermeil. (Personally, think the gold one would look stunning layered atop Karen Hsiang’s crevice ring.)
I’ve been to a casino twice. The first time was on my birthday to collect my free $10 in birthday cash (with no obligation to gamble) and the other was on an impromptu day trip with Dave. I played the penny slots, lost money and that was that. The romanticism of the day was pretty much shot after seeing elderly people feebly toting their oxygen tanks to each slot machine. (Thank goodness smoking wasn’t allowed.)
Honestly, I feel like you’d get a better experience gambling at home with sites like http://www.luckynuggetcasino.com/au. Add a stiff drink and a strobe light for ambiance and it sounds like Sin City to me. And it’s a heck of a lot cheaper.
But I get the allure of the Vegas Strip. Flashing lights, beautiful people, a peacock-display of wealth, and warm weather. That last bit might actually be enough to convince me to jet set to Vegas. I’m yearning for 80-degree weather and the ability to lay poolside all day, which is exactly what I’d do. My travel bag would be stuffed to the brim with the brightest pool items I could find: a hot pink swimsuit, big sunglasses (for anonymity, naturally), gold sandals, and show-stopping jewelry.
And, since it is Vegas, a sequin cocktail dress, feather faux lashes and the highest stilettos I can manage are a must. After all, do you really think I could resist flirting with Lady Luck at least one night in the casino?
You know how I’ve been obsessed with this season’s classic-meets-modern pearl jewelry? Designer Liliam Higa has it mastered. And it seems a penchant for jewels runs in her family. Liliam grew up surrounded by gemstones at her father’s wholesale store in São Paulo, Brazil. After studying fashion design at Faculdade Santa Marcelina, Liliam moved to New York City to launch her career. She began by styling for photographers and creating accessories to use at shoots, then worked for Lulu Frost before immersing herself in the jewelry industry to launch Lillot. All of her pieces are made in NYC and they’re actually quite affordable. My favorite item, the Brasilia ring is only $60.
I knew Jennifer of Frippery Vintage would find incredible pieces when she went globetrotting to Italy in search of treasures for her shop, but I didn’t expect her to find the most jaw dropping vintage cocktail ring I’ve ever seen. Two Instagram photos later (here and here), I knew I had to add the gobstopper-size bauble to my collection. It’s everything I love about vintage costume jewelry: brightly colored, oversize, and I won’t see it on someone else. (But if I do spot a lookalike, I’ll know the owner has excellent taste.)
I included these Tory Burch earrings in a recent "Currently Coveting" post and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the bold ’60s vibe since. They’re a carefree way to add a bit of glamour to even your most casual looks next season.
Apparently a seasonal transition was carte blanche to purchase as many spring items as possible. There were so many tempting sales and new releases that I loved too much to risk having sell out, which led to an early dent in my spring/summer wardrobe. Going through a ruthless closet cleanout and then taking the time to work on a comprehensive spring and summer plan has been a huge asset. The pieces I bought so far are exactly what I want; they’re great quality (for the most part—the Gap flats could be better), and they’re very “me.” (Honestly, though, I spent a boatload of money. The next couple of months are going to be sparse.)
A few things to note this time around:
I started a Pinterest board for my spring/summer purchases, which has already proved to be helpful. Before pulling the trigger, I’ve added items to the board to see how it coordinates with the rest of the items. It helps me stay accountable to my plan and it’s reassuring to see that each item coordinates with each other.
I’m pickier when accepting gifted items and you’ll now see each of those listed below. Quite frankly, I don’t want to waste space in our apartment on an item I’m not smitten with.
I’m adding a quick note about the items I ordered and returned.
If you’re eager to give The French Wardrobe Challenge a whirl this time, send over a link to your progress by the 15th of each month (either in the comments or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org). I’ll add the link to this post and share your post on Twitter and Facebook. The challenge isn’t ideal for everyone, but you might want to give it a shot if you’re feeling overwhelmed and dissatisfied with your own wardrobe.
Just five standout pieces per season. (There are two “seasons” for this purpose: spring/summer and fall/winter.)
Quality over quantity.
Basics don’t count.
Accessories don’t count, unless you’re spending a lot more than usual.
Stunning doesn’t even begin to describe Meghna Patel’s East-meets-West jewelry collection. Drawing inspiration from her native India, the vibrant, intricate designs have been featured in the pages of top publications like Vogue and earned a starring role on the small screen on Gossip Girl. Each piece is handcrafted by Indian artisans who bring Meghna’s designs to life. The ornate pieces in the Taj Mahal collection are my personal favorite with the Mawi earrings topping my list.
It’s depressing to go through my photos and realize that we barely left the house in February, but it’s even more of a downer knowing that we were shut-ins in January too. Until it’s warm enough to leave the house, here’s another month of at-home highlights:
Here’s hoping that March is in like a lion and out like a lamb this year because on March 31, I’m packing away the tights for the season and accessorizing with bright, tropical colors. This pair of earrings by Melanie Auld would be perfect for the transition. They’re nearly three inches long, have a hint of sparkle and come in turquoise, coral or mother of pearl.
My brother, Nathan, and I are on completely different career trajectories: I’m an event planner and he’s in the Army working with explosives. I’m guessing that this is his official job description, but all I know for sure is that he has a security clearance and we’ve called him Hurt Locker.
So, you’ll understand why I was feeling awfully savvy when Randolph Engineering reached out to me about their American-made sunglasses. The brand is the “Frame of Choice” for the Department of Defense, giving soldiers like Nathan an alternative to the standard military-issued eyewear. They also supply sunglasses to the U.S. Army and Navy and allied Air Forces worldwide.
I, however, opted to try out the non-military-issued rose gold frames. They’re a glamorous update to the classic aviator style and, as you’d expect from their military partnership, the quality is impeccable. They’re lightweight, sturdy and comfortable.
A few additional highlights:
they’re made in USA
the solder joints have a lifetime warranty
they have adjustable silicon nose pads for customized fit
they’re made with lightweight polycarbonate lenses
they come with a case, microfiber cleaning cloth, and small maintenance kit (as you’ll see below, the cleaning cloth gives a nod to their aviation heritage)
Let’s just start by saying that any brand citing Carmen Miranda as the inspiration for its newest collection earns a place in my heart. It’s just a bonus that the design duo behind Holst + Lee creates irresistible pieces of jewelry and, as you’ll see below, have incredible personalities. Natalie Holst and Rochelle Lee discovered their shared passion for design while working at New York’s upscale restaurants and nightclubs. They began creating pieces to complete their own edgy looks for work and soon realized other women wanted to wear their designs.
D’orsay flats from Anthropologie with a tropical print. I held out on the banana leaf bandwagon last year, but it wasn’t for a lack of interest. I just didn’t stumble across “the one” until now. I’m antsy for warm weather so I can wear them outdoors without fear of salt stains or, you know, frostbite. (They run true to size.)
A pair of striped flats from Gap. There was talk that the canvas was stiff and uncomfortable, but that wasn’t the case with my pair. They were actually pretty comfy for all-day wear—a nice surprise after paying just $26. The only downside is the synthetic insole. They’re not exactly breathable, so you’ll probably want to slip in a pair of these to keep things fresh when the weather warms up. (Ladylike? No. Honest? Yes.)
I’m gearing up for another six months of the French Wardrobe Challenge and after cleaning out my closet, it’s evident that I need a game plan before the new season kicks off. Without having a plan in place, I’m prone to add too many impulsive purchases that don’t do much for my closet. So, I’m approaching the new season like a collector who is curating the perfect wardrobe. I spent a lot of time this weekend thinking about this and came up with four steps that helped me focus on exactly what I’d like to add this year.
Narrowing down your color palette for spring and summer is going to help for two reason: it streamlines purchases and guarantees they’ll work well together. To do this, I evaluated my Pinterest page. The majority of my recent wish list pins were in five colors: mint, navy, blush, black, white and sky blue. These colors work together beautifully and while I may add in a wildcard color every so often (like my red DVF purse), this is a great starting point to begin planning my purchases.
Next up: your list of essentials. This should include the neutral basics necessary to round out your seasonal wardrobe. At this point, don’t worry about finding the perfect item. Just make a quick list of the items that you’re missing or need to replace—and continue to add to this list when you discover holes in your closet. Keep in mind, though, these are your priority purchases for the upcoming season. Mine includes:
Now we’re on to the fun part: putting together your seasonal wish list. Again, don’t worry too much about finding the perfect item right now—you have all season for that—just make a list or a collage of the standout items you’d love to incorporate into your wardrobe while keeping your color palette in mind. Look back at the SS2014 runway collections, scour the new arrivals at your favorite retailers and analyze your Pinterest style board. What shapes and styles are you drawn to? Are there any prints you’d love to own? Ready to try a particular trend? I’m keeping an eye out for:
I think this is going to be the hardest part for me. It’s too easy to get wrapped up in the euphoria of a new purchase, but I need to be ruthless with my evaluation. For example, my wish list includes a full skirt in a pastel color. I picked out a pink one for my collage, but I actually already own a mint one (you can see it here). It already works with my color scheme, it still fits and I enjoy wearing it. So, do I honestly need another? Probably not. This isn’t meant to talk yourself out of new items, but it is a way to make sure those potential purchases are items that really could elevate your wardrobe.
So, what’s on your must-have list for spring and summer? Do you plan your purchases for the new season? I could use any tips you have!
Confession time: I dread getting dressed in the morning. I didn’t always feel that way, though. In fact, for years my favorite part of the day was diving into my closet and choosing who I’d become that day. My clothing was as varied as my moods, which made dressing in my 20s so fun—and makes getting ready at age 30 so frustrating.
After months of bypassing piles of clothing every morning and whining that “I have nothing to wear,” I finally had enough. I spent the better part of Sunday pulling out stacks of sweaters, racks of skirts and boxes of shoes and getting rid of the pieces I hadn’t worn in years. It got the boot if it didn’t meet the following criteria:
It fits and it’s flattering.
I like wearing it.
I’ve worn it in the past year. (This didn’t apply to special occasion items.)
I’d honestly be upset if it wasn’t in my closet.
It meets my current style aesthetic.
It’s in good repair.
My resolve weakened four hours into the project. I started to talk myself into keeping various items for sentimentality’s sake or “maybe someday” I’ll wear it again. That was fine for my mom’s maxi dress from the ’70s, but not okay for a polyester top I received as gift or purchased in college.
I only made it through a third of my wardrobe on Sunday, but I got rid of 30 pounds of clothes. Isn’t that absurd? Here’s what 30 pounds of clothing gets you:
7 pairs of shoes
4 pairs of shorts
2 pairs of pants
2 pairs of jeans
It’s humbling to think of how much money I spent on these items. And even though some were well-loved and threadbare, others simply weren’t worn often enough to have warranted the purchase in the first place. It was an eye-opening experiment that reinforced the principles of the French Wardrobe Challenge:
Quality is paramount. As years pass, the well-made items are those that still look beautiful. Plenty of sweaters from Gap and Old Navy faded substantially after just a few washes.
Those high quality items continue to be the most worn and most loved pieces in my wardrobe. I’d love to have a closet full of pieces I’m truly excited to wear—and that’s precisely what I’m working toward.
Impulse purchases are seldom a smart buy. Many of those “great deals” went off to Goodwill. They’ve only worked in two instances: it’s a basic item that I wear frequently (J.Crew Tippi sweaters, anyone?) or it’s an item I already coveted at full price.
Shopping on a budget doesn’t work for me. I get wrapped up in the idea of quantity over quality. That’s not to say I have the luxury of ignoring the price tag; I just need to be picky about what I’m spending money on.
The amount of waste generated from purchasing—and eventually getting rid of—these low quality items is embarrassing. I know style blogs don’t really talk about that side of consumerism, but it’s something to keep in mind.
I feel happier with less stuff in my closet. If it’s not being worn and enjoyed, it shouldn’t be taking up space.