Saturday, March 13, 2010

Wardrobe Basics: I need help

I'll just say it: My wardrobe is kind of dumpy. I'm lame, plain, and have no sense of adventure.

Following a few of my favorite fashion bloggers has got me to thinking about what I might want to change. I love keeping up with Veronika @ Veronika's Blushing, Stephie @ Superficial Obession and Amber @ Amber's Notebook. These girls really know how to dress. They kind of remind me of when I used to be a little more creative, but after taking my job at the dispatch center (3 years ago) it just wasn't a priority anymore. I went from working in a bank, where I dressed nice on a daily basis (uniform style, mind you) to working where I can wear my yoga pants. Who doesn't want to take up that offer every so often?

I want a change. I want to try and rebuild my wardrobe. I want it to be simple and stream lined, I don't want a TON of stuff filling my closet. But I also want enough stuff that I can continue to create different outfits with interchangeable pieces. I'm just not sure where to start though. I've heard about lists of wardrobe basics, but I just don't know how practical they seem.

This one in particular is Tim Gunn's 10 Essential Elements - Must-Have Basic Wardrobe Pieces for Any Woman:

Basic Black Dress - The basic black dress has been around for a long time. It is often called the "Little Black Dress", and it's true that shorter skirts on the basic black dress, when they hit you in the right place, can be more flattering than a long black dress.

Trench Coat - The trench coat is one of the pieces that is both classic and currently a hot fashion item. Most any store sells this piece now. It is great for fall and you can pick it up in a wide range of lengths.

Dress Pants - Although it doesn't say black, this is probably what you want to look for. Black is flattering on all figures and goes with everything.

Classic Shirt - The white shirt is a definite classic. But it can also come in many different styles to make it look trendy and not dated or like a man's piece of clothing. Find one that accentuates your best attributes and minimizes trouble spots. For example, if you have wide shoulders, stay away from large collars.

Jeans - Everyone has a pair of jeans, but does everyone have a pair of jeans that make them look great? The wider leg, low-rise jean style has been popular (and still is) but a narrower leg is coming back along with a higher waist, which eliminates the unflattering "muffin top" look.

Any Occasion Top - Find something you look great in that can look respectable under a jacket but bring on the fun after hours.

Skirt - If you need dress pants then you also need a skirt. A skirt is womanly and can be flirty or businesslike. Nowadays women do not wear many skirts or dresses, which makes a lot of them fall into a rut of dressing sloppily or like men. See number 8.

Day Dress - Women also are not wearing as many dresses anymore. It was certainly liberating to go from the '50s when women wore dresses every day to wearing more practical pants for gardening, exercising, and so forth. But the dress does not have to be abandoned altogether. They can be very flattering, and there is nothing wrong with "dressing up" for daytime.

Jacket - A jacket does not have to be masculine. Find one with a proper, fitted shape. Women's jackets should follow the silhouette of a woman's body and accent the hourglass curve at her waist. It is also a perfect piece to put with the skirt or dress pants, and white shirt. Or make it casual with a pair of jeans.

Sweatsuit Alternative - As mentioned before, women wear fewer skirts and dresses these days. But some women have taken casual to the extreme and spend days on end in sweatsuits. It is possible to be casual and comfortable without looking like a slob. Find a comfortable material (that's why this doesn't say jeans again – denim is not as comfortable as a nice soft cotton) that you would want to wear every day. It could be khakis, cords, a cotton dress, or much more

The only thing I have from this list are jeans, and would they be jeans to Tim's standards? I'm probably thinking not. Does this list seem practical? What exactly am I looking for when it comes to wardrobe basics? Perhaps I should contact one of my favorite bloggers and see if they would be willing to help a poor soul like me and create a post on fashion basics for the beginner.

What kind of style do you have? Do you think these are reasonable basics? I'd love to know!


TheThingAboutDaisies said...

Tim Gunn really did put a good list together. Basics are the starting point for every great wardrobe. I do think a basic black pump should also be on the list, because it goes with everything.
That being said, I don't have a specific style. I wear what I love and what makes me happy (it does have to fit properly). I like being able to take looks and make them my own. I think that is true style.
If you like something that might seem "over the top" ask yourself if you can wear it more than one way, because if you can it might be something you think about.

Amber's Notebook said...

omg thank you for the shout out!! And I totally agree with that list. I am all about getting GOOD classics and then mixing in fun, funky and trendy pieces.

Cassie said...

Thank you so much to both of you ladies for visiting and lending your advice! I really appreciate it. I'm looking forward to revamping my wardrobe and moving on from the jeans and tshirt life.

Kate said...

I cannot help you with your dilemma at all - I have no style at all! I think I used to, but now that I'm at home instead of in the office, I'm totally lost!

Mrs. D said...

I totally feel the same way. I wear khakis and V-neck sweaters to work EVERY DAY. Tim Gunn's list is great! Can't wait to read and see pics of your updated wardrobe!

Cheryl @ a pretty cool life. said...

Tim's so smart! :)

My fashion rule is always to wear jeans/pants that fit really, really well. Jeans that are too short, have a baggy butt, etc. are just so unflattering. The nicest top, shoes, bag, accessories will not save an outfit with ill-fitting pants.

But...have a nice pair of jeans and the $10 Old Navy or Target shirt you've paired it with looks awesome.

I'm a SAHM, so my splurge is designer denim (that I don't pay designer prices for, though!). I might get messy, but I don't have to look a mess :)