This “How To Build A Wardrobe” infographic from Mane and Chic–which has been popping up all over my Pinterest feed for the past few days–really got me thinking about how I’ve curated my closet. Every girl has her favorite pieces, of course, but we also all have staples: the items that we wear over and over again without question. These are the backbones of our wardrobes. Our essentials!
As we’ve discussed pretty extensively here at Mieux & Mieux, Different tastes and aesthetics require different essentials. I, at around 5’9″ for example, wouldn’t have more than two or three pairs of heels on my “basics” list. My shorter friends find this ridiculous! Similarly, a girl with classic sensibilities probably wouldn’t consider a tray of House of Harlow jewelry essential, but a trend-conscious fauxhemian couldn’t imagine her wardrobe without it. For fashion lovers, building a wardrobe is akin to building an art collection. Though this collection changes throughout the years based on life experience, the discovery of new muses, and social influence, it always embodies who you are and what appeals to and inspires you. Personal style is just that: Personal. So, this post isn’t about teaching you how to build your wardrobe. You already know how to do that. This is simply meant to provide you with an additional source of inspiration to enhance the collection you already have.
My personal style arsenal has gone through many, many changes in the last five years or so. Though I’ve always been interested in fashion and style, I didn’t actually start dressing the part until after I graduated from high school. For background, I went to a school that required uniforms 1st through 8th grades, and in high school, most of us created our own uniform of crystal-embellished designer jeans, colored North Face fleece jackets, and Birkenstock clogs. These were dark times. Thankfully, my other style chapters have been more individual. I can break things down into three distinctive stories: Madrid Hangover (I spent a summer in Spain and came back enamored with clogs, crop tops, and gladiator sandals), Sratty Conservative (I joined a sorority and wanted and needed more conservative, adult pieces), Rachel Zoe/Accessory Fiend (I was part of an on-campus fashion organization and magazine and watched way too many RZP episodes), and finally, The Changeling (what I am now.)
Breaking It Down
It can be difficult to identify and categorize style segments when you’re actually in them–at least for me. Right now though, my preferences are all about being versatile and adaptable while embracing the trends that speak most to me. I shop a lot, but I’m also constantly purging my closet. I have an ever-growing list of “trendy” clothing, shoes, and accessories that I find interesting, because I like to mull the trends over and make sure that they’re really “me” before I invest in them. Finally, I like for my outfits to include at least one statement, super-current , or weird piece to keep things interesting and different. Thus, Changeling! If I had to put a label on my personal style as it currently stands, I’m not sure if I would be able to do so! Maybe you can?! Check out a peek of my closet below–these are MY style essentials.
- Boots. Being a Minnesota girl, I’m all about boots. Any time the weather is less than ideal (which is often) I’ll go for a boot. I have Black/brown, flat/heeled, short tall…Oh, and an ankle boot or two, too. I’m addicted! Boots are the cornerstone for the majority of my outfits in the winter and fall seasons.
- Relaxed tees. If you follow the blog, you already know all about my penchant for relaxed tees. Since I live for skinny bottoms, these are the tops I tend to gravitate towards.
- Jeans. I’m a slave for J Brand. I like my jeans super skinny, stretchy, and dark. I’ve been known to wear my favorite pair of jeans to the point where they are literally falling apart. What can I say?! When I’m in, I’m in.
- Pants. These are the majority of my “not jeans” except 75% of my “pants” are jeans. I have some oxblood coated skinnies and dark khaki skinnies by Citizens of Humanity, some leather leggings that were a random Marshall’s find, a pair of black Vince skinnies with an overall herringbone print, and my new favorites–Bobeau relaxed trousers. I love wearing a baggy pant when everyone else seems to be in yogas! My statement makers of the pants pack though, are definitely a pair of floral print leggings…Only $10 at H&M!
- Flats. In non-slushy months, I’m all about flats. Flat shoes, flat sandals, flat moccasin boots. They’re comfortable, cute, and practical. I’m not much of a shoe girl, so I’m good with the basics here. RIP lace flats that my puppy chewed on!
- Tights. Since I’m exposed to constantly-cold Midwestern temperatures, it’s in my nature to layer year-round. I wear a combo of socks + tights + leg warmers under skirts and dresses throughout the winter and shed articles as the temperature permits, and when I’m not wearing them I stuff them in their very own drawer. I also love the look of shorts and tights! My most-worn pair of tights is probably a transparent black pair, but my favorites are my garter tights from Henry Holland. Yes, they were $25, but they are the best tights I have ever owned. These are SO sexy and unexpected with a short skirt! Plus, the Henry Holland tights are wonderfully thick, stretchy, and durable and make your legs look amazing. I truly believe that all girls should have a pair of suspender tights.
- Essential jewelry. I have a lot of jewelry, but there are only a few pieces that I really keep on rotation for day-to-day action. I’m very all or nothing when it comes to jewelry. I either want things over-the-top and blinged out, or extremely dainty and simple. These days, however, I lean more towards a classic aesthetic. My key pieces? My wedding and engagement rings, my watch, my grandma’s vintage ring, a charm necklace from my sister, a pendant from my mom, and a bracelet I got for my sweet 16. I totally rely on other people to buy me nice jewelry…When I buy it for myself, it’s always the cheap and trendy variety from Etsy or Forever 21, and I get sick of it very quickly.
What do you think, Mieuxs? What are your wardrobe essentials? How do you see yourself in terms of personal style? Let us know what you think–and how you dress–with a comment!
Liza, Editorial Director