Effortless Essentials: The 52 Piece Checklist

Happy second day of June! If you've been following along for a while now you know that I rely on a selection of "effortless essentials" to stretch my wardrobe across all four seasons. These pieces are not only versatile, but also timeless and allow me to mix and match my clothes for a multitude of outfits. With this ethos in mind and because I'm a sucker for lists, I have compiled what I consider to be the ultimate comprehensive list of these essentials with a printable PDF to boot. Over the next few months I will continue to share detailed overviews of each of these pieces but in the meantime I hope this list helps you narrow in on the essentials that will complete your own wardrobe. 

Until next time!

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Effortless Essential: Polka-Dot Dress

With the suddenly warmer temps in the city I have been daydreaming about the items I am looking forward to wearing this spring and summer. At the top of this list has to be a timeless polka-dot dress that is eternally effortless and classic, and can be worn across all seasons with strategic layering. While so many great options are available, I have my eye on this gorgeous silk georgette polka dot dress from Ralph Lauren. Not only is this dress timeless and high quality, it is also on sale here and here with an additional 10% off with email sign-up and free shipping using the code FREESHIP! 

I have snatched one up before they sell out and can't wait to style it with ballet flats, cardigans, blazers and my jean jacket in the spring and strappy heels, sandals and wide brim hats in the summer. While I wait for mine to arrive in the mail, I have rounded up some of my favorite silk dress inspo below.   

 From Left To Right:  1 , 2 , 3

Until next time! 

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Effortless Essentials: Bean Boots

Preppy Style LL Bean Boots

In light of Winter Storm Jonas, my newest "Effortless Essentials" post is all about my favorite snow boots. Spending most of my childhood in Florida I never needed to worry about snow, or appropriate snow gear so when I moved up to the city I was in for a bit of a shock. Not only did I need to stock up on socks, coats, scarves and hats, but I also desperately needed new footwear. As the temperatures dropped my first winter in New York, and the threat of snow became imminent, I deferred my boot search to my husband and native Mainer, who instantly recommended the cult classic and incredibly popular L.L. Bean Boots.

Before I go any further, let me say that these are SO WORTH THE HYPE! These wonder boots are made in Maine, completely waterproof, warm and oh-so versatile as you can see below, and on my fall/winter pinterest board. To suit a myriad of tastes, heights and weather conditions L.L. Bean offers an array of styles to choose from, but I have found that the classic 8 inch with thinsulate are the best. They are the perfect height to keep snow and slush from slipping into my socks and can be worn with pants, leggings, jeans and even skirts and dresses in the fall. If you're a first time bean buyer it is also important to note that these boots run very large to accommodate thick socks so I would size down a whole size - I am typically a size 7 in boots and ordered a 6 and they fit perfectly. 

Image 1 / Image 2 / Image 3 / Image 4 / Image 5 / Image 6

Until next time, happy Beaning! 

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Effortless Essentials: Brooches

Vintage Brooch Ladybug Brooch Vintage Brooches

Accessories are critical when it comes to stretching a classic, minimized wardrobe. From hats to belts to jewelry, these add-ons have the power to completely transform standard pieces and add that extra pizzazz that keeps things from being boring. Brooches are the perfect example of this concept and are one accessory I can't get enough of. Whether I'm wearing a simple t-shirt or classic shift, brooches add that perfect lady-like polish that makes the outfit memorable.  

The best places to find vintage brooches are local thrift and antique shops, flea markets and of course eBay and Etsy. If you dedicate some time to searching through the offerings, you can find some one-of-a-kind, gorgeous pieces to add to your collection. Below, I have included some of the ways I've styled my brooches in the past that I hope will inspire you to give it a go. 

Look 1 / Look 2 / Look 3 / Look 4

Until next time!

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Effortless Essentials: The Navy Blazer

Navy Blazer Brooks Brothers Blazer Classic Blazer Ralph Lauren Blazer Nautical Nautical Blazer Preppy Fashion Preppy Blazer final.jpeg

For the next installment in my "Effortless Essentials" series, I want to wax poetic about the classic navy blazer. Eternally chic and always appropriate, the navy blazer is the epitome of understated elegance, and is one of the most versatile items you can own. When cut from a light-weight, structured wool and adorned with gold buttons this blazer can be worn with nearly everything year-round. In fact, this staple is so flexible that I wear mine at least once a week. Below, I have broken out how I style mine during each season in the hopes that I can help you decide if the navy blazer is right for you. 

Winter

Throughout the winter I pair my navy blazer with all of my cold weather wardrobe essentials. While it pairs perfectly with nearly every color under the sun, my favorite way to wear it is over a cream or blue button-down top and coordinating cashmere or cotton sweater and jeans for the perfect extra layer to keep out the cold. If I need a little extra warmth, I will throw my blazer on over a chunky turtleneck, super soft button-down and slim pants before slipping into a great pair of riding boots or snow boots. 

Spring

When the snow starts to thaw and the first spring buds appear, I love to wear my navy blazer with skirts, light sweaters (with or without a polo or oxford underneath) and ballet flats or loafers. I also love wearing the blazer over polos and t-shirts worn without sweaters, and with jeans or light pants for a fresh take on my winter rotation.  

Summer

During the summer, the navy blazer is the perfect topper for striped t's, shorts and sandals. When also worn with a colorful silk scarf tied loosely around the neck, this look is the epitome of summer-time chic and can take you from work to dinner to the boat house effortlessly. I also love to throw my navy blazer over lightweight dresses and skirts for the perfect polish to an otherwise relaxed look. 

Fall

Undeniably, fall is synonymous with back-to-school, and to me nothing screams cool collegiate more than a wool plaid skirt, cableknit sweater, crisp button-down and riding boots. For this very reason, my navy blazer gets the most use during this all too brief season. Whether I'm wearing a chunky sweater and skirt, oxford and jeans or woolen dress, the navy blazer is perfect for topping off any look when it's still warm enough to forgo a heavy jacket. To complete any of these looks I will add either riding boots, ballet flats or loafers and I am good to go. 

Countless retailers offer navy blazers but my favorite is from Brooks Brothers, so if a high-quality, classic is what you're after then look no further.

Until next time!

 

Effortless Essentials: Button Down Shirts

Ralph Lauren Shirt Ralph Lauren Oxford Everlane Silk Shirt

The next installment in my "Effortless Essentials" series is dedicated to button down shirts. These versatile tops are crucial cornerstones to my wardrobe, and I wear them multiple times a week. In addition to being perfect for layering or wearing alone, they can be worn across all four seasons with jeans, pants, skirts and shorts. Below, I have outlined my top picks that I hope will help you pick the styles that work for you. 

Silk Button Downs

Far Left: Black silk shirt under a camel blazer / Middle: White silk shirt under a classic sweater / Far Right: White silk shirt under a leather jacket

Silk button downs hit the perfect intersection of formal and casual. They can be worn under jackets, sweaters and blazers alike without adding extra bulk. While you can find these tops anywhere from Theory to Joe Fresh, my favorites are from Everlane. I have both the round collar style in white and the point collar style in black and I think the quality is incredible for the price. 

Cotton Button Downs

Far Left: White Brooks Brothers shirt under a vest / Middle: White Ralph Lauren shirt under a sweater / Far Right: Brooks Brothers striped shirt

If you're looking for your first button down shirt, I highly recommend starting with a white wrinkle resistant cotton one. Like silk shirts, these can be layered effortlessly but also have enough substance to be worn alone without much thought. More structured than their silk counterparts, these tops can be worn completely buttoned up for a formal look or dressed down by rolling the sleeves and unbuttoning the top button or two. To ensure I have endless outfit possibilities, I have two white versions, 1 from Ralph Lauren and 1 from Brooks Brothers (the BEST wrinkle resistant shirts on the market), 1 blue and white striped one from Ralph Lauren, and 1 green and white one from Brooks Brothers. 

Plaid, Flannel and Chambray Button Downs

Far Left: Ralph Lauren option under a black blazer / Middle: Ralph Lauren plaid shirt under a festive shawl / Far Right: J Crew chambray option under a Ralph Lauren turtleneck

While my plaid, chambray and flannel shirts are all cotton, I categorize them separately than the others because they are trickier to style. In my wardrobe I have a classic chambray shirt from J. Crew, 2 basic plaid Ralph Lauren options and 1 flannel style from Ralph Lauren. I like to pair my chambray shirt with white jeans, skirts and shorts in the spring and summer and with skirts and sweaters in the fall and winter. The plaid options only come out in the fall and winter but I wear them so frequently during the cooler months (with skirts, jeans and leggings) that they are undeniable essentials. 

Until next time! 

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