Practice makes perfect… good things come to those who wait… patience is a virtue… we hear the same thing being spouted as wisdom in multiple different ways. It is a simple fact that I sometimes struggle with (don’t we all?)- instant gratification is such a prevalent notion in our culture that it can be hard to remember. Good things take time.
I like instant gratification. Honestly? Its hard not too.
But the best gratification comes from effort and patience and time well spent.
But I’ll get into that in a later post- for now I wanted to break down my absolute wardrobe essentials for winter (a specifically for a winter here in Denver). The awesome thing about not shopping for clothing at all for a month is that I started focusing on what I did have in my closet- instead of what I didn’t have.
Patterns started to stand out to me from the items that I favored and wore a lot versus the items that I obviously liked enough to purchase but never wore. I gathered up everything I’ve noticed to lay it out for you and also show you what generally what the entirety of my wardrobe looks like.
my wardrobe essentials for winter
(honestly they’re really more like guidelines…)
Layers are this girl’s best friend in the winter here in Denver. For example, last Saturday my handsome hubby and I were walking around open houses without jackets in t-shirts and jeans (sunny and 61˚), but then the very next day required our full winter gear (snowing and not even above freezing). My wardrobe MUST consist layers- tank tops, t-shirts, cardigans, jackets, the works.
My work environment is pretty chill in the attire department- so slacks are completely unnecessary for me. Jeans in multiples shades are a must. Dark rinse, light rinse, black, gray… you name it. Variety is all I need and want. So far I have yet to get into white jeans- but I think I’ll start looking for an amazing pair of olive green jeans once my cleanse is over.
Vary up outer layer basics with different silhouettes and styles especially if you wear them constantly. I have a ton of cardigans and sweaters (and I wear them all the time)- but all of them are in different cuts and styles. I have long cardigans, thick ones, thin ones; textured sweaters, loose ones, fancy ones… etc etc. As I’ve mentioned before- I really like the variety.
In contrast, rarely venture away from favorite silhouettes for staple items worn less often– like dresses. For me an a-line or swing silhouette for a dress is the most flattering and comfortable- so I tend to stay from anything else. I just don’t wear dresses enough through out the year to have a several dresses in different styles. When I feel the semi-rare urge to wear a dress I will almost always stick with my comfort zone (so the other silhouettes always get passed over).
My collection clothes above is a smidge deceiving- you may think ‘you don’t have a ton of items there- you could totally do a capsule wardrobe.’ Did I mention I like variety? I have a multitude of different colors in my favorite basics (all subdued, earthy tones though). My basic v-neck shirt, scoop neck shirt, and long sleeve shirt all come in multiples of at least three- some of them I have six colors.
For ultimate flexibility and options- I try to make sure a single piece in my wardrobe matches at least 85% of my wardrobe. It sounds limiting I know… making sure you pick out things within a certain color and style range, but trust me, once I removed random outliers from my closet that I never wore cause they didn’t match very much, my wardrobe felt a whole lot easier to work with and less cluttered (even though I only removed a couple items).
Looser fit items that drape nicely are essential in my closet (except for my skinnies I suppose)… I need to stay away from fitted things in general. Try them on in the store? Sure. But I need to think long and hard before purchasing.
Tight is not to be confused with structured items that fit perfectly. My looser fitting style mainly applies to base layers, cardigans, and sweaters. Jackets that fit perfectly all around pull outfits together.
I love scarves and they are a must for me in the winter. I don’t count my thick wool ones in the mix with my wardrobe as I only wear them while I’m out in the snow and cold (they’re cute and warm- but super bulky). My scarves that serve as accessories are usually light-weight infinity scarves.
Add a few patterns to the mix. Most of my patterns are fairly subtle- leopard print, subdued florals, and stripes are my range of patterns for the most part. Most of the time they show up in my scarves, but I also have a couple t-shirts and a dress with patterns. They add interest and again… variety.
I didn’t picture every kind of accessory that I wear consistently- I just have a huge variety of earrings and necklaces that its hard to lay them all out. I don’t wear bracelets apart from my AppleWatch, and I wear only my wedding ring on my fingers. Basically, I have to be honest with myself about those pieces. I’ve purchased rings and bracelets in the past- and have never worn them. Necklaces and earrings on the other hand- I wear a lot and don’t mind holding onto a large collection of those pieces.
Shoes. Booties, riding boots, ballet flats, d’orsay flats, pointed toe flats… you name it. I do have some essentials I like to stick too.
In the winter, riding boots and booties are a must. Since I like to make sure I’m somewhat coordinating throughout my outfit- I like to make sure I have black and brown pairs of each style. Simpler styles suit me best since quality is quite a bit more important with shoes (which, of course, makes them pricer)- I need them to last me a couple years.
A pair of leopard print flats are surprisingly versatile. I wear them constantly since they work with with both brown and black ensembles.
I also like to always have a nude pair of flats and a black pair of flats. I’m currently really into d’orsay flats and classy pointed toes (on a side note- I never know what to call this type of shoe. I’ve heard them called tuxedo flats, moccasins, loafers… I don’t know exactly what to call them- lol).
I don’t have shopping links up yet (haven’t been shopping remember?). The majority of my closet are ‘older’ items- but I can collect links to similar items. If you check back next week- I’ll try to post the links if you feel like shopping my closet. Comment below if you would like that. :)
Helllooooo February! I have a free February 2016 calendar for your computer desktop or iPhone (just like last month)! Still working on this new style- I’m having a lot of fun with it.
My cleanse is almost over- and I’m really very ready for it to be over. (I think I mention that already… sorry) I feel pretty good though- there is something about working through something difficult and nearing the end of it with the realization you can totally overcome and handle it. :)
On a less serious note- did you realize that its a leap year this year? I hadn’t realized that until I was creating this calendar. I always thought leap year was odd- how a full day just suddenly appears on your calendar- you could be born or get married or pass away on a day that only exists every four years. Just seems odd. lol.
I have just a little over a week left of my cleanse. It has been a bit rough- work has been really busy which makes me want a glass of wine and some chocolate (or some brie and crackers) when I get home… but I feel pretty awesome with the fact that I have made it this far. Semi-even trade off- how good I feel versus how much I want cheese and wine. lol.
How about some fun links that are worth checking out?
one | a wonderful instagrammer worth following // via thiswildidea
two | lemon olive oil bread that I’m going to make as soon as I can // via a pinch of yum
three | beautiful, expressive baby’s breath font // via behance