Woman to Women
Wardrobe Basics to Last a Lifetime
By: Amanda Frazier
Visit the average mall today and behold: a sea of logo t-shirts, oversized college sweatshirts, dirty tennis shoes & ill-fitting jeans. Since when did this become the acceptable uniform? Of course we don’t have to be dressed to the nines everyday; I completely understand the feeling of just wanting to be comfortable. But ditch your schlump-wear and reach for capris, a cardigan and some nice flats! Throw on a shift dress and a pair of strappy sandals. There are a dozen alternatives to looking and feeling schleppy that are easy, comfortable and stylish.
Three staples to spiff up your everyday wardrobe: Denim, shift dresses, and cardigans.
First of all, ill-fitting jeans should be donated to your local Goodwill immediately. Right this minute!
The key components for your denim wardrobe are: A basic boot cut, a trouser cut, and a pencil skirt. Unless you’re 15, ignore the sequins, studs, rhinestones, embroidery or other embellishments. Be sure to find jeans with some stretch, one of the key ingredients in nice fitting denim. Your trouser cut jeans should be in a dark wash and tailored to go with heels. These are the pair you throw on for cocktails with the girls, casual Fridays, and date nights (whether with your hubby or that cutie you met at the gym!). Your boot cut jeans should be a lighter wash and tailored to pair with those adorable flats you wear on the weekends. These everyday jeans can be worn to the mall, to the kid’s soccer games (pair with 5-inch spike heels if you’re Victoria Beckham), or errands about town. Finally, the denim pencil skirt is another one of those perfectly versatile pieces. Pair it with heels for the office, or with flats or sandals for the park. Here’s a great one from Newport News for only $29.99.
Every woman should have at least one of these versatile little numbers in her wardrobe. Probably the easiest style to wear, the shift dress should fit straight from the shoulders to the hem, just grazing the hips. A short sleeve shift dress that hits just to the knee is perfect for any age; go a little shorter if you’re feeling flirty. To change up the look, add a belt or a long chunky necklace. A sleeveless shift dress is perfect for spring; warm it up for cool days with a tee underneath or a light cardigan. We love this summery style from Ann Taylor (pictured) and this ballet neck version from New York and Co.
And speaking of cardigans…
The ability to layer creates versatility, plus it takes your wardrobe across seasons. A cardigan is an easy, chic way to make a summer dress wearable in early spring. A simple outfit of black slacks and a white blouse gains personality when topped off with a green button down cardigan. Jeans plus a gray t-shirt looks sharp paired with a navy cardigan for Friday night movie. Gap has the quintessential cardigan in a variety of great colors, or try Isaac Mizrahi for Target’s super cute tie-waist style with chunky buttons (pictured above).