The classic shirtdress is easily one of the most versatile and timeless pieces you can have your closet. This staple can not only be dressed up or down effortlessly, but it also calls to mind the too oft forgotten dressing of days gone by. Whether worn by Grace Kelly in Monaco or Audrey Hepburn in Manhattan, the shirtdress has not only stood the test of time, but has also managed to get better with age.
Part of this longevity I think is due to the comfort that shirtdresses provide. In fact, despite being a dress I find that they are some of the most comfortable items I own. When constructed of super soft cotton the shirtdress is not only breathable and airy but also the perfect layering piece for all four seasons. During the spring and summer you can easily wear yours alone or with the sleeves rolled up and then with sweaters, tights and blazers as the temperatures cool.
For an early spring day in the city, I couldn't resist pulling out my shirtdress for a casual but put-together look. To bring out the rich navy blue stripes in the dress I paired it with my favorite cognac accessories. In order to prevent the look from feeling too precious I mixed my single strand faux pearl necklace and bold gold bracelets. The final look was classic and comfortable and I felt perfectly dressed for both a lazy afternoon stroll and early outdoor dinner.
Dress: Polo Ralph Lauren / Bellt: Dooney & Bourke / Satchel: Dooney & Bourke / Necklace: Brooks Brothers / Bracelets: J. Crew / Ballet Flats: Chanel
Until next time!
When it comes to working with a minimized wardrobe, starting with a monochromatic base and then changing it up with standout accessories is key. I've mentioned this dressing tactic countless times on this blog before, but I want to discuss it again because I think it truly is the key to success and makes a huge difference when choosing an outfit that doesn't feel redundant. The first point to consider when paring down your wardrobe is to ensure that you begin with a foundation of staples that can mixed and matched across all four seasons. In order to act as the perfect base for outerwear and accessories, this collection of core pieces should be in neutral colors and high quality materials that can stand triumphantly alone, or gracefully under layers of necklaces, bracelets and more.
For this look, I started with a simple navy silk dress with an a-line cut and 3/4 length sleeves. While this dress can easily be worn alone with layers of necklaces and some great flats or heels, it also lays beautifully under sweaters, blazers, jackets and even vests without a ton of extra bulk. To suit the early spring temperatures here in the city, I did the latter and paired this dress with my go-to denim jacket, brown belt and brown ballet flats. I could have easily stopped there and been left with a simple yet classic look but I opted instead for rolling the sleeves slightly, throwing on a long tortoise shell necklace to pull out the brown in the accessories and carrying a statement clutch to set the whole look apart. By adding these last three elements I was able to take a basic look from basic pieces and make it a little more memorable. Whats even better is that I could have easily worn this same dress later in the week and made it look completely different just by swapping out the flats for ankle booties, the jacket for a pullover or cardigan, the belt and necklace for some great statement earrings, and the clutch for a cross body bag.
All in all, this look is one that I will undoubtedly wear again but I am also looking forward to styling this dress is many more ways during the warmer months. Below I have listed the items I'm wearing and have linked some similar pieces so that you can recreate the look yourself at different price points.
Dress: Club Monaco Murilla dress / Jacket: J. Crew / Belt: Vintage Dooney & Bourke (a similar one is available in the shop) / Necklace: J. Crew / Clutch: Louis Vuitton / Ballet Flats: Chanel
As you know, I love silk scarves. Not only do I love to collect these beauties, but I also love styling them in different ways and love to wear them almost every day. Whether tied on my handbag, in my hair or around my neck, I think silk scarves make the perfect addition to just about any look. For these reasons I thought it would be fun to share some of the top ways I style my silk scarves. The first installment in this new series will focus on the square scarf, and I will share 5 easy to recreate ways that I wear mine around my neck. In coming posts I will also share how I wear them on my purses, wrists, in my hair and more but for now, here are my 5 go-to ways of styling square scarves.
The V-Neck Back Tie
The first tie is one that I wear all the time because it's so easy. I've titled this tie the v-neck back tie because it is perfect for jazzing up v-neck t's and other open neck tops and blazers as I've done here. To achieve this....
- Fold the square in half so it's a triangle
- Now, tie the scarf around your neck with the v in front and the points in the back
- Play around with it until it looks right and you're done!
The Petite Side Knot
This scarf tie is perfect for higher necklines and even turtlenecks but like all the ties here, it can also be worn with open or lower necklines. To achieve this tie you will need a small square silk scarf and the following steps.
- Fold the scarf corner to corner so it's a small triangle
- Next, fold the scarf in half again so that the point of the triangle is touching the straight edge
- Now continue to fold the scarf on itself until you have a narrow rectangle
- At this point all you need to do is wrap the rectangle around your neck and tie it off to one side or in front
The Large Side Knot
The next tie is probably the one I wear most often because it compliments just about any outfit and can be worn with larger square scarves. This tie is almost identical to the "Petite Side Knot" except for one small difference outlined below.
- Follow steps 1-3 of the "Petite Side Knot" tie
- Once you have a long rectangle, wrap it around your neck twice until all you're left with is the two points of the rectangle
- Lastly, tie the ends together so that they slightly overlap the two wraps and are either facing the front or off to one side and you're good to go!
The V-Neck Front Tie
As you can probably tell from the name, this tie is almost identical to the "V-Neck Back Tie" and looks amazing with polos and button-downs. To achieve this look, grab your favorite medium or large square silk scarf and follow the steps below.
- Fold the scarf into a triangle and wrap it around your neck so that the points are in the back
- Bring both points around to the front and tie them over the v
- Arrange as you like and you're done
The Long Tie
I debated including this tie because it's almost too easy! That said though, it's also one of the reasons I love it so much. This tie looks amazing with crew neck sweaters and turtlenecks alike but can also be worn over tank tops in the summer because it hangs away from the neck. To achieve this, grab either a medium or large square scarf and follow these steps.
- Follow steps 1-3 of the "Petite Side Knot"
- When you have a long rectangle simply drape it around your neck so that both points are facing front
- Finally, tie the two points together as close to your neck as you like et voilà!
Until next time!
Throughout my journey streamlining my wardrobe, I have found that effortless essentials are absolutely crucial for making the most of less. These carefully selected pieces work together to create a foundation for a wardrobe that can be mixed and matched effortlessly without a ton of time or thought. While I often tout that quality over quantity is the name of the game here, I also pride myself on only purchasing items that are not only fantastic, but also a great value. In other words, when adding pieces to my wardrobe I think it is critical to strike a balance between high and low, and do so without breaking the bank on any one item. So, in the spirit of this mentality and the influx of spring shopping on the horizon, I want to share the 4 essentials that I think are worth the splurge. In addition to these pieces and why I think they are worth the splurge, I have included some similar options that are available now in case you want to check them out in more detail. Also, stay tuned for a save post coming soon!
Splurge 1: Purses
My first splurge is without a doubt purses because I own so few making it super important for each one to go the extra mile. I have found that when I invest in a high-quality handbag it not only lasts longer because of the superior quality, but also because I take better care of it. Also, rather than purchasing countless cheaper equivalents of my ideal purse, I have had much better luck and saved more money long term by saving up for what I really want and know will work with all the outfits in my closet. That said, I do not think you should go out and spend a fortune on your handbag just because it is a splurge. Rather, I encourage you to scour eBay, TheRealReal.com and Etsy for vintage or pre-loved designer handbags at nearly half the price of a new one. Not only are these options cheaper, they also add some personality to your look. My only word of caution for going this route would be to do your research, know how to authenticate any designer item before you buy it and do not hesitate to ask the seller as many questions as necessary.
In total, I have 5 purses and 1 carry-all - a vintage Louis Vuitton crossbody, a Louis Vuitton clutch, a Dooney & Bourke satchel, a vintage Gucci Kelly bag, a J. Crew crossbody satchel hybrid and a Longchamp for travel and those days I need to carry everything and the kitchen sink. Below, I have linked some options that are similar to mine and currently available online in case you want to check them out.
Splurge 2: Forever Jewelry
My next splurge is forever jewelry. While you know I LOVE costume and vintage jewelry, I have chosen to invest carefully over the years in some key forever pieces that I wear every day. For me, this has worked out fantastically and I couldn't be happier with my minimal collection of pieces which include a simple antique gold bangle that I wear every day and found with my initials already engraved inside of an anchor, a collection of three David Yurman classic cable rings that I wear stacked nearly every day, a small pair of pearls and a simple pair of diamond studs. All-in-all, I think forever jewelry is definitely worth the splurge because these pieces are classics that I know I will wear forever. Also, not only have I thoroughly enjoyed carefully collecting these pieces over the years, but because they required extra thought before purchasing I can say with certainty that I truly love and wear each and every piece enough to justify the cost.
Splurge 3: Shoes
Like handbags, I only have a few pairs of shoes so I think they are definitely worth the splurge. Not only can cheaply made shoes hurt your feet, they can also wear out a lot faster than their well made, high-quality counterparts. For this reason, I have chosen to invest wisely in a few pairs of shoes that I wear constantly and care for well so that they last ages. In this category I have splurged on my favorite pair of Gucci loafers (which were so worth the money and are by far the most comfortable pair of shoes I own), a classic pair of vintage Salvatore Ferragamo Vara flats and riding boots, Ralph Lauren Riding boots that retail for more thn double what I got them for at Century 21, Jack Rogers sandals, Madewell ankle booties and Stubbs & Wootton needlepoint loafers. Like handbags, I encourage you to scour eBay, Etsy and the like for vintage or pre-loved versions of the shoes you're coveting if their retail price is a little steep for your pockets. Also, with enough searching you can often find the exact pair you're looking for brand new in the box for a fraction of the price like I did with my beloved Ferragamo boots! I'll be doing a round-up of my top eBay and Etsy tips and tricks soon, but in the meantime I have linked some similar items to my favorite splurge shoes below for you to check out.
Splurge 4: Sunglasses
My last splurge that is totally worth the elevated price tag is sunglasses. I have found that investing in sunglasses ensures that they not only last longer but that I spend less money long term from having to constantly replenish them with cheaper alternatives. In this category I own three pairs that can be worn with every one of my outfits for a different effect and I can honestly say the cost per wear of each has be infinitely justified over the years. My first pair is a pair of RayBan Aviators that I wear constantly. The classic design with dark shades and gold trim is not only timeless and chic but also incredibly durable - I have had them for going on 10 years and they still look brand new. My next pair is from Persol and I love them for their chic tortoise shell rims that instantly add a sophisticated touch to any look. Like my RayBans, these sunglasses are incredibly well made and have lasted for years of constant wear. My final pair is from Dior and they are also my newest (I purchased them in Rome on my honeymoon last year). This pair filled the void in my collection for black sunglasses and I couldn't be happier with them. Like my others, the design of these is timeless and chic and I have already worn them enough to validate the elevated price tag.
Until next time!
Today is March 10th which means that the first day of spring is only 10 days away! While it's difficult to contain my excitement for warmer weather, strategic transitional dressing has saved me from jumping straight out of my snow boots and into sandals. To help you do the same, I have put together one of my favorite transitional looks and rounded up my top tips for transitional dressing that I hope will help you welcome warmer weather effortlessly.
Tip 1: Start With A Classic Foundation & Add Springy Accessories
One of my top tips for transitioning my look from winter to spring is to rely on a foundation of classic pieces in neutral colors that can be layered and accessorized with springy touches. For a warm day in the city I recently paired basic stripes with a classic pair of skinny jeans and topped it off with a bright, fun scarf. The top and jeans created a foundation that can worn across all seasons by changing the shoes and outer layers but when paired with no jacket, classic brogues and a bright scarf it instantly takes on the air of lighter fair.
Tip 2: Carefully Incorporate Floral Prints in Light Colors
Nothing says spring like floral prints which is why they are my favorite way to transition my go-to winter looks into spring. Two of my favorite ways to do this are by wearing floral scarves and floral blazers. By starting with standard knits in neutral colors, a simple silk scarf in a bright floral print can instantly upgrade your look from the fireside to the flower-filled countryside. Likewise for the use of a floral blazer. Simply by trading my boots for flats and throwing on a floral jacket, one of my go-to winter looks instantly feels spring appropriate.
Tip 3: Trade Your Snow Boots For Rain Boots and ankle Boots For Ballet Flats and Loafers
My final tip for transitioning your look from winter to spring is to trade your heavy footwear for lighter options. While I may not be able to jump directly from snow boots into sandals, rain boots, loafers and ballet flats help make knitwear and light outerwear feel less winter and more spring.
To share additional insight on this topic I am collaborating with the beautiful Robin of The Dress Decoded who not only has impeccable style but also phenomenal advice for achieving classic looks. Robin is without question my go-to account and blog for endless outfit inspiration and tips and tricks. You can read Robin's take on this topic here and if you do not already follow her on Instagram you can do so here - I promise you will love it!
Until next time, happy transitioning!