Closet Overhaul: Part 4, Jackets & Outerwear


It’s hard to believe that it’s New Year’s Eve and another year has come and gone.  Hubby and I are taking it easy tonight and hanging out at home for a quiet evening with our puppy love (she is sitting in my lap as I type this).  For those of you that have plans for tonight, have fun and be safe!

The last category of my overhaul that involves actual clothing is jackets and outerwear.  I’m not jacket kind of girl and, weather depending, I’m perfectly happy wearing a sweater or a hoodie in place of proper outerwear.  What I’ve learned over the past few months as I’ve become more interested in style and fashion, however, is that the right jacket or coat can really pull an outfit together and complete a look.  With that in mind, here is my jackets and outerwear shopping list for 2011:

*classic trenchcoat (khaki or black)
*brightly colored winter coat (I’m thinking red)
*boyfriend blazer
*denim jacket

Not a very long list but pieces that I think will stay with me for a very long time if I take good care of them.  A great trench has been on my list for a long time and this is one piece in particular that I am prepared to spend a little bit of money on.  It can be worn during more than 1 season and is a necessity if I’m trying to achieve a more professional look in 2011.  I also think now is a great time to start searching for a winter coat.  Most stores have already begun previewing resort and spring collections so there’s a good chance I can find something nice on sale.  Since I live in Upstate NY, I still have many more days of winter weather left and will definitely get some use out of it this year.  The blazer and denim jacket will be a nice alternative to always wearing some type of cardigan over tops and dresses.

Hope you all have a wonderful New Year’s Eve celebration!  I’m looking forward to lots more blogging in 2011!  : )

Closet Overhaul: Part 3, Tops (Basics, Blouses, & Sweaters)


I have to admit, tops are my #1 downfall when it comes to my wardrobe.  Yes, I have several hanging in my closet but only a few that I really love and so my first instinct when I’m looking for something to wear is to grab one of my basic cotton v-neck tees.  I have them in just about every color (green and yellow are the only ones I’m missing) but because these are the most common staple in my wardrobe I tend to repeat a slight variation of the same outfit nearly every day that I’m not working.  For work, my default is some kind of Plain Jane sweater/camisole combo and I wear this look often.  Boring!

This is going to be the most difficult part of my shopping list for 2011, I think.  I really need to take the time to try on many different types of tops and sweaters to get a sense for what really works well with my shape.  My goal is not to dress trendy but to find classic tops and sweaters that really make an outfit look pulled together, regardless of whether I’m dressing professionally or casual.

Here’s my shopping list for tops (which will likely be edited several times throughout the year):

*crisp, white, button-up
*inexpensive plain white tees
*neutral layering tanks/camis
*several pretty blouses (print, floral, ruffles, etc…it’s all fair game)
*classic, cashmere sweater
*basic boyfriend cardigan
*chunky cable-knit sweater
*long-sleeved chambray button-up?

If I only find one great top all year, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it will be a lovely white button-up.  I just can’t go wrong with that.  The one thing I dislike about adding some nicer tops to my wardrobe is that many require dry cleaning which can be expensive so I’ll be paying very close attention to the care instructions that come with any top and sweater that I purchase.  I certainly don’t mind owning some dry-clean only items but I’d like to still have several that I can throw in with a regular load of wash.  The chambray top is a question mark for this list.  I like the style and how you can dress it up or dress it down.  I’ve also seen tons of style bloggers wearing chambray button-ups lately (see examples here, here, here, and here) but for whatever reason I’m really not sure if I can rock this look.

Did I forget any essentials??


Closet Overhaul: Part 2, Bottoms (Skirts, Pants, & Denim)


The next category on my list is skirts, pants, and denim.  Right now, I have 3 pairs of dress slacks, 2 pairs of chinos (I get to dress down slightly during the summer, yippee!), 3 pencil skirts, and 3 pairs of jeans.  I get by just fine with what I currently have, but I think adding a handful more pieces this year will help keep the laundry at a minimum and seriously increase the combination of outfits I will be able to put together.

Here’s my shopping list for bottoms in 2011:

*2 more pairs of work slacks
*basic, black pencil skirt
*professional pant/skirt suit
*medium wash bootcut jeans
*dark wash bootcut jeans
*dark wash skinny jeans
*black skinny jeans?

That last one is a question mark for now.  Not sure if I really need a pair of black skinnies if I can find a great pair in a darker wash.  I’d really love to focus on finding a few new pairs of jeans that make me look and feel fantastic.  About a year and a half ago I bought my first pair of designer jeans (Paige Premium Denim) on sale at a boutique in Burlington, VT.  Until that moment, I was never sold on what high quality denim can do for a girl but wow!  Looking in the mirror of that fitting room I was blown away with how well that pair of jeans fit my body.  It is my goal to find a couple of additional pairs this year (for under $100) as those quickly became my go-to jeans and have become pretty worn already.  Also a priority, is a black pant/skirt suit for work.  I’ve been needing this for a very long time but I’m only required to wear a suit probably 6-8 times per year and, to be honest, I just hate them.  I do have a pair of old slacks and a separate jacket that I purchased to wear with them when I first started interviewing for jobs after college but I think it’s time for me to suck it up and spend the money on a really nice, matching set.  Same reasoning as for the sheath dress from yesterday’s post.  I also could use a new black pencil skirt.  Even though I have one, I don’t love the fit anymore and think it’s time to find a replacement.

I always wonder how many pairs of work and casual pants other girls own, on average.  I have a feeling that the number of pairs of each that I own is much smaller than other girls my age.  How many pairs of slacks and jeans do you own and/or recommend??  Leave a comment and let me know!

Closet Overhaul: Part 1, Dresses


I decided the easiest way for me to start this giant re-evaluation of my closet was to break everything down into different categories so today I’m starting with dresses.  (The photo that I took today is truly awful so I in our apartment is terrible.)  I currently own a couple of cotton maxi dresses, a few jersey cotton summer dresses, a handful of work-appropriate dresses, and a couple of party-ish dresses.  Not bad but there’s definitely room for improvement.

I really enjoy wearing dresses.  They’re girly, comfortable, and it’s hard to not look put together while wearing a dress.  The problem that I’ve noticed with the dresses that I have hanging in my closet is that most of them are pretty casual and a couple of the ones I have for work are a little age-inappropriate (i.e. slightly middle-aged looking).  There are also a couple that don’t quite fit at the moment because I’ve gained a few in 2010.  Yuck.  Since health and fitness is another resolution I’ll be tackling this year, I’m not ready to part ways with those dresses.

So, here’s my brief list of what I’d like to add to my dress collection in 2011:

*the perfect little black dress
*2-3 party (wedding appropriate) dresses
*fitted sheath dress

I’ll be focusing more on finding some dressier dresses this year.  Hubby and I were one of the first couples in our circle of friends to marry and several more will be following in our footsteps in the next year or two.  I’ve only been to a couple of weddings in my adult life and I found myself standing in front of my closet each time unsure of what to wear.  I also think having that perfect little black dress that I can always fall back on would help to eliminate that issue.  (I actually tried on this dress today while I was out shopping with a friend and even though I liked it I just wasn’t crazy about it so I left it on the rack.)  Lastly, I think having a beautiful fitted sheath dress is a must for me this year.  Back in September, I was promoted to a management position within my office and will likely have an opportunity for further advancement in 2011 so I think a fitted sheath dress will really help me feel like more of a professional.

Is there anything else I should be adding to my shopping list??  Comment below and share your thoughts!