A little story: I was in my early teen years, and I loved the summer business trips my dad brought us on because they meant days of shopping and pool relaxation. Like all Dads, conventions meant fun for the family, but his energy would be zapped in meetings and his wallet would be hijacked by the ladies of the clan.
“Don’t bring too much on the plane. You know we’re going to shop” he’d grumble, as I worked on shoving my entire closet into my blue suitcase; I assume my dad hated traveling with me. I’d swear I’d only take a few things, but, needless to say, I’d be 5 pounds over the limit on the way down and would inevitably come back with a few new pairs of jeans, polo shirts, and even more over-weight baggage fees;. Oh, if only I had kept all the orange “heavy” tags the luggage attendants girth-hitched onto my suitcase—I could have made a sweet collage on the wall.
Why the anecdote? Because it illustrates a time of excess in my life. I proudly had over 15 pairs of jeans, countless hoodies, and tons of polos (did I forget to mention that I used to double pop? And wear ribbons in my hair? Oi vey! I’ll have to dig up some old photos of my psuedo-“prep” days) I wasn’t attached to anything in my closet, because at that time in my life it really wasn’t cool to be wearing clothes from the prior year. I have no qualms about that period, I was a naive 14 year old girl, but I’m glad I’ve outgrown it.
I’ve learned to simplify my closet and purchase things I really love. I wear rock neutrals because they can transcend jean to legging and go from casual to chic. Accessories and a few closet staples can help transform any piece, ensuring you get the most bang for your buck and also fun out of an outfit.
Case in point, this lovely and light-weight James Perse dress I picked up last week at Goodwill in my favorite color: black. I looked through my purses, accessories, and shoes to come up with three different looks that would illustrate how functional a simple piece can be.
Put together sheer black tights, stilettos, a sophisticated necklace—pearls in this case—and, voila, you have a look you can take to a cocktail, formal family gathering, and possibly a funeral, but hopefully that is a last resort option!
When I think cities I think purses, big scarves, and shoes that let the world know you are style savvy but respect the power of blisters. You can even take this from winter to summer (if you don’t live in a terribly humid or hot state) by trading in the knitted scarf for a lighter version and throwing on some wedges.
This was a struggle for me, as I’m not a huge sneaker girl, but I knew that I could take this black number and make it relaxed. Think: Summer Farmers’ Market, a matinee, or mini golfing while eating ice cream . A jean jacket immediately tones down the look, the silk scarf adds some fun flavor, and the sneakers really set the mood.
Do you have any clothing pieces that are multipurpose?