Saturday, March 17, 2012

Wardrobe Building: Where do you start?

Hi Everyone!

I want to begin this post by thanking you for being here!  I really appreciate you!

I wanted to get this post finished Thursday; however, the day from hell got in the way.  Let's just say that I backed our car into another car that was speeding through a parking lot.  I looked in all directions multiple times before I started easing out and the car came out of nowhere.  I am super grateful for a very loving spouse whose smile, laughter, and arsenal of jokes never fail to lift my spirits.  I'm a very blessed girl.

I wanted to stop by the mall yesterday to take a peek at the J. Crew new arrivals, but I decided to heed the don't shop when you're mad or hungry advice.  I stopped by the retail store today, so I will post reviews of a few tops tomorrow.

So, enough of my rambling:  let's talk about Wardrobe Building:

Lately, I've been thinking about how/why I choose specific clothing items.  My style has evolved significantly over the years.  At one point, particularly when I started gaining weight, I'd only shop for jackets.  I was convinced that jackets would "cover up" my problem area, my stomach.  I learned quickly that jackets weren't a cover all when a woman at church  patted my stomach and asked me if I was expecting......while I was wearing a jacket.  This wasn't the first time this happened.  These experiences freed me up to move beyond looking solely for jackets.  I can't tell you how many J. Crew pencil skirts I missed out on from 2007 because I just wasn't looking for them.

Now, I start at the bottom when I'm shopping.  Most often, I start with shoes and then work my way up.  For me, the toughest part of putting an outfit together is deciding which shoes to wear.  And, I think that, in large part, accounts for my recent shoe purchases lately.  Consider, for example, this beautiful J. Crew pencil skirt:

I LOVE this Royal Violet color, but what shoes do I wear with this skirt?  I'm thinking an animal/leopard print like the J. Crew Viv Printed Patent Flats seen below:

What do you think about pairing these shoes with the Royal Violet skirt?  And, where do you start when building your wardrobe?  Do tell!

Thanks for stopping by (and for indulging my rambling!!).



  1. I'm sorry to hear about your accident! I'm glad you are OK and thank goodness for a supportive spouse. Backing out of parking spaces scare me. One time I tried to avoid a speeding car as I was backing out and I ended up backing up into a pole!

    I just purchased the No. 2 skirt in Royal Violet and I think it is just beautiful. I can't wait to get it. I've wanted a purple skirt for a long time! I was also thinking about what shoes to wear with it and I like the idea of an animal print shoe. Since that is not in my budget right now, I'll probably wear nude colored heels that I already have, a white shirt, pearls, and call it good to go!

    Thank you for sharing your stories. You are a beautiful and classy lady. :) Can't wait to see how you style your skirt!

  2. That stinks about your car! Rant start: It irritates me SO much when people fly through parking lots. Kids, buggies, others moving around - it just makes no sense. Rant stop :)

    The violet pencil skirt is a great color especially with your skin tone! I think the leopard Valentinas are a perfect shoe to go with it. I picked up the Basketweave pencil skirt in green today with the promo because I remembered your rave about it here. Thanks so much for your blog! :)

  3. Ooooo cool topic! I've been thinking a lot about my closet in the past few years. When I started grad school 3 years ago I realized my closet needed an improvement beyond jeans and hoodies if I was going to make it in the real world. I say when you're wardrobe building start with basics: ex the perfect pair of jeans (aka most flattering cut on you, and dark wash), a great blazer (navy seems to usually be the most versatile), and a fab pair of heels (I'd rec nude, but I have a pair of black wedges that have seen me through thick and thin. Then start with other pieces that are timeless: trench, white button up, chambray button up, a great pencil skirt etc. After creating a basic waredrobe, then I'd start building on the funky side by adding pieces that are more personal or representative of your own style. This is the basic steps I took when rebuilding mine.

    I think the pencil skirt is fabulous - you could wear it with lots of things: blacks would be soooo sexy, red would be fun, heck even a nice jewel green would be swoon worthy. And regarding the leo Val's, I'd say yes! I have some leo print flats from Old Navy that I adore, leo print is such an unexpected neutral but it goes so well with everything. Def with the skirt :)

    Sorry for the ramble! Hope you keep us all updated on your waredrobe building :)


  4. What a lovely color of the pencil skirt!! I tried to get it yesterday online but the color was sold out. Hope it will pop back before the 30% promo ends.

    So sorry to hear about your car misfortune. Most important is you're ok. I hate people drive like a maniac in the parking lot. They treat as if it's their playground. Good advice not to go shopping when you're angry. I go grocery shopping when I am hungry and I always end up buying stuff that is not healthy and expensive.

  5. I am sorry about the accident - I have experienced the same in my life and it is awful!

    I like this skirt! I bought the pumps version and I hope they fit!

    I never know what shoes to wear - it can be quite torturous, can't it? I also think a lovely yellow shoe would be awesome as well!

  6. Ooh yay! I bought the same pencil skirt with the promo. Seemed like a no-brainer to me...you really can't go wrong with a double-serge pencil skirt from j.crew! Since my school's colors are purple and grey, I'll likely pair the two in many of my outfits, but I'm excited about playing around with some brighter colors, too. I think coral would be so unexpected...even mint/turquoise or yellow! Of course black and neutrals are always safe bets.

    As far as my wardrobe building goes...what a great question. I'm so sporadic when it comes to building outfits. Sadly, my shoes and accessories come last in my chain of thought. I guess I usually start with my "star piece" whether that be a great pencil skirt or a cute dress!

    Thanks for the post, Rynetta! Always a pleasure :)

  7. Oh! and I am so sorry about your accident! Glad you are okay!

  8. I am happy you are okay but that is very distressing. People should be more careful!

    I have the leopard print Valentina in that colorway and I wore them last night with my bright green Madelene dress, I think those shoes are a perfect neutral and they look terrific with bright colors!
    I usually start with the dress or skirt myself... and go from there.

  9. So sorry about your accident. I'm glad you are okay.

    I think the skirt wants a neutral pairing and those shoes are perfect. Shoes are always what I buy when I'm unhappy with how clothes are fitting. Shoes always fit :) I have always had trouble matching shoes to clothes, and I think it is because I'd always buy the same sort of shoes. Now that I've branched out a bit and bought different types of shoes, it is much easier to find something that works with an outfit. I'd probably do better to plan outfits top to bottom when I buy them, but I haven't evolved to that yet!

  10. I am glad that you are OK! Accidents are the worst.

    I like those shoes with the skirt. My favorite color for shoes is black, it goes with everything. I also like nude tones, they go with tons too:) I love shoes in deep red colors and I treat those pretty much as neutrals and wear them with most colors. I love shoes in fun colors, but then I find that I need to wear neutral outfits so they don't clash.

  11. Ty Etta, do you own the light rose version? Ordered it today and was curious as you are the pencil skirt queen!

    1. WMM, I just posted pictures of light rose pencil skirt, it is gorgeous!

    2. Rynetta, I think the leopard Vivs are perfect with violet skirt! I like to build around the shoes. I often keep two pairs of heels in the office and plan my weekly outfits around them.

  12. Whoops! mis-typed - Ty Etta is Ryneta - sorry!

  13. The leopard-print shoes can go with almost anything, I think they will be perfect with the violet skirt. What are you going to wear on top?

    I always start with the skirt/dress/pants and build on that. My size tends to fluctuate so at any given time I am wearing only about 1/2 my skirt/pant wardrobe. Thankfully dresses are more forgiving and I find some of them incredibly flattering, no matter what my size.

  14. Hi Ladies! My apologies for the delayed response to everyone. My 4th year review materials were due today, so I'm finally getting a chance to unwind!

    Apples and Pencil Skirts: Thanks SO much for your kind words! Oh no about backing into a pole. Trust me, I understand.

    I am SO glad that you got the Royal Violet skirt; it's gorgeous, and it will look great on you!! OOOOO, I love your outfit idea about pairing this skirt with a crisp white shirt, pearls, and a leopard shoe. Super cute idea. Thanks for the inspiration!

    em in espana: Thanks SO much!! I really like this Royal Violet color. I firmly believe that J. Crew does color better than any other retailer. I totally agree with you about people speeding through parking lots! I am SO glad that you got the Basketweave Pencil Skirt in Green. You will love it, and it will look GREAT on you!! I can't wait to see how you style the skirt!

    Tasia: Thanks SO much! I totally agree with you about starting with basics when building a wardrobe. You're spot on about buying key pieces such as the perfect pair of jeans (an item missing from my closest), a classic blazer, and nude shoes. I really like your point about moving to timeless pieces after buying the key wardrobe items. Like you, I needed to do a major wardrobe overhaul after graduate school. I worked at Ann Taylor for a bit while I was in grad school, but I didn't have a lot of wearable work pieces if that makes sense.

    I love the Royal Violet color of this skirt. I grabbed the Viv Patent Printed Flats in Leopard too. I can't wait to put these items together!!

    Small Town Gal: Thanks SO much!! You're right, the most important thing is that me and the other driver did not get hurt. I hope that you can score this skirt on a popback because I think that you'd love it!!!

    WMM: Thanks SO much!! Please let me know how the shoes fit when you get them! I wish that I could wear heels. You're right, finding the right shoes to pair with an outfit can be quite difficult. That's why I typically start with the shoes. I figure, let's get the hard part out of the way first!

    LOL about me being the pencil skirt queen!! I love a cute pencil skirt! I do own the Light Rose skirt. I've been meaning to post a review that skirt, so I will try to do it tomorrow morning.

    AppGal: Thanks SO much!! OOOO, I really like your idea of starting wardrobe building with a "star piece." I am SO glad that you got the Royal Violet skirt. You will love it, it will look GREAT on you, and it will fit nicely into your wardrobe. I really like the color options you listed. Turquoise, coral, and yellow will really make the violet color pop.

    DaniBP: Thanks SO much!! I know that your outfit was lovely! I love your idea of starting with a dress or skirt and building the wardrobe from there. And as you point out, the Viv leopard flats are a really nice neutral that will work well with a number of items in my wardrobe.

    cate: Thanks SO much!! I'm really looking forward to pairing this skirt with the leopard flats because they're so neutral. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your point about shoes always fitting!!!!

    A: Thanks SO much!! I'm with you, I love deep red colors in shoes too. And, nude shoes are the best because, as you point out, they're so versatile!!

    ajc: Thanks SO much!! I love your idea planning your weekly outfits around your shoes. I am definitely going to try that approach.

    xoxo: I agree that the leopard print is versatile and that it will go nicely with almost anything. I haven't decided what I'll wear on top, so I'd love suggestions!!!

    I love the idea of starting with the bottoms and then building around those pieces. And, you're right, dresses are super forgiving!!!

    Thanks SO much for being here ladies!!!


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