This fall is a big one for me. I turn 26, make CPT, and start the next phase of my career, so the wardrobe I’ve been building since age 18 just isn’t reflective of the woman I’m becoming. While I was pregnant, my younger sister stole a majority of my clothes, so in addition, I just don’t have anything to wear anyway! Most stylists agree that the key to building a great wardrobe is having a few staple pieces that will take you from year to year. Things like a good coat, even if you live in a warm climate, a few pairs of jeans in classic styles (skinny, bootcut, wide-leg, etc.), a little black dress, some great pumps, a leather or canvas bag in black and brown, some nice jewelry (think diamond or pearl studs), and an accessory that never goes out of style are good items to spend a little extra $$$ on because you can build around them and they’ll last longer.
The Coat: I’m partial to the peacoat myself. I’ve decided on this Michael Kors number here:
It retails for around $225, but its a classic style and fits really well. If they run out this particular coat, however, I don’t need to worry, everyone makes a peacoat!
The Jean: Skinny jeans are here to stay, I think, but I wanted to capitalize on the 70s trend that’s swinging into fall without going all bleached and hippie. This 7 for all Mankind trouser pant can be worn with a blazer for a more conservative look, or you could throw on a poncho (not that I ever would, I ABHOR ponchos!) and look like something straight out of Burning Man or whatever it is hippies and hipsters do for fun!
The LBD (Little Black Dress): The ASOS LBD comes in other colors, and I was actually thinking I wanted to create a look like “Val” from “Single Ladies” with this. She wore a white Giambattista Valli structured tutu dress with black tights and black YSL Tribtoo pumps. I wanted to pair this ASOS dress, which is cut similarly, with a pair of black or lace tights (or PATTERNED, now that would be something!) and wear it with a pair of black pumps I adore and never wear.
The Pump: The pump I’m currently obsessed with is the “Faran” from Jessica Simpson Collection. It comes in three colors, and has just the right amount of height and detail to make it stand out without being garish.
The Bag: I have something to admit: while I’m not a label-whore by any means, I am, let’s say, finicky, about my bags. I started off with a classic Dooney&Bourke bag in the 8th grade, graduated to Coach throughout my teens and early 20s, and recently acquired a Louis Vuitton Speedy, which, in the bag world, is like entry-level management. I’m currently vying for a “promotion” of sorts to a classic Chanel 2.55 bag in cream, but that’s gonna take about six months of belt-tightening. Even once I have it, you can’t take Chanel to the playground (unless you’re Victoria Beckham, and I’m not), so these Ralph Lauren bags are to be my day to day staples. Not a lot of muss and fuss, good fabric, and go with pretty much anything.
The Jewelry: When I was pregnant, I just KNEW I was gonna have a daughter, and so made plans to start buying “real” jewelry, like diamonds and emeralds, so that I could pass them on to her. Once I found out I was having a son, my enthusiasm for tres expensive jewelry dropped like, 10,000 points. But boys pay attention too. A friend of mine recently proposed to his girlfriend of two years. What set her apart from the rest? The jewelry she wore, and the fragrance, reminded him of his mother, who he sees as the classiest woman ever, and the standard for any woman he would ever date. I want my son to marry a well read, well traveled, well heeled lady with an adventurous side, like moi, who can scale a fence, curse like a sailor, and quote Shakespeare, at the same time if necessary. So I want to invest in both funky, statement making jewelry like these earrings made from the firing pins of actual handguns by Ken+Dana Designs (www.shop.kenanddanadesign.com) as well as timeless pieces like these Mikimoto cultured pearl studs.
The Accessory: Did you ever go into a store and try on something you knew you couldn’t afford? I don’t suggest you do, or else you’ll spend the next 11 years obsessing over that item like I’ve been obsessing over this Burberry snood. When I was 15, I went with a friend to Tyson’s Galleria Mall in VA, walked into Bloomingdales, and tried on this snood. I felt like Ivanka Trump. However, I worked part-time at my church’s preschool for $6.75 p/hr, so it would have taken my entire paycheck to afford it. I had several opportunities to purchase the $375 scarf in college (can we say “net check?”) but I went to school in Florida, so it didn’t seem necessary. Now I make a healthy salary and live in North Carolina, which is SUPPOSED to be in the South, but you wouldn’t know that if you looked at a picture of my front yard in January and my cousin’s front yard in Brooklyn! So now that I have the disposable income and the weather to do so, one of the first things I’m gonna do once the temps hit the 50s, besides buy my son his Ralph Lauren winter coat, is BUY MY SNOOD!