New Feature: My Closet At A Glance

Today I'm excited to share a new blog feature called "My Closet At A Glance." This new section will share an overview of the main colors, silhouettes and descriptive characteristics that I strive for in my wardrobe. In the last few years as I've really honed in on my ever evolving personal style, I've found that keeping this focus at the heart of my purchases has been key in ensuring that I make smart purchases that I'll actually wear. By following these points and constantly reevaluating and adjusting them as I get older, I move etc, I've been able to slowly but surely build a closet full of pieces that I truly love. My hope is that seeing these points from my perspective, and then seeing them in action here and on my YouTube channel will help you do the same. At the end of the day, fashion should be fun and we should use it as a way to express ourselves so it should never be taken too seriously, but a little planning never hurt either and I've found that a little work at the beginning makes the entire process a lot more enjoyable. 

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First up let's discuss color palette. As a lover of neutrals with pops of color here and there, I am the happiest when wearing simple shades all year. This streamlined color palette has worked so well for me as a base for brighter accessories and I even wear these 6 shades and a few variations of them all year. Not only are they incredibly easy to mix and match (nearly every color can be worn together with very little thought), but they are eternally classic and feel appropriate all four seasons. 

Now, because I do love color I'm always trying to add a few bolder pops here and there and at the moment I have about 4 that I gravitate towards. Each of these make more of a statement than my base colors but still feel like me when done in small doses. That said, I'm also usually the most comfortable when these colors appear in accessories rather than entire outfits - with a few exceptions of course. If you're having trouble narrowing in on a color palette that works for you, I go into a lot more detail in my eBook and will also be doing an entire color series soon! 

One of the things that really helped me lock in my personal style was picking a few descriptive words that described my aesthetic. 

The first time I sat down to do this I had too many words and as a result, I had a difficult time coming up with a cohesive style message. As I've worked on refining my style over the years, and have really allowed myself to grow into who I'm most comfortable being, I've narrowed it down to 4 words. 

classic, modern, elegant & relaxed

Though similar, each of these words touches on a different part of my personal style and ultimately my wardrobe, that are critical to making me feel like me. To better understand these, let's break them down a bit further. 

CLASSIC: First up is classic. On the surface this word means exactly what it says - something that is simple and elegant and not greatly subject to changes in fashion. For me, this couldn't be more true. From fashion to makeup to home decor, I have always gravitated toward things that stand the test of time. I love the traditional and legacy of time tested pieces and have found that they are some of my favorite items to wear. I love feeling polished but understated and classics help me do that with very little effort.

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MODERN: Next is a piece of the puzzle that's critical to ensuring that I feel updated and never stuffy. As much as I love classics, I've learned over the years that wearing too many of them together can leave me feeling behind the times and slightly old fashioned. For me, this always results in me feeling less like myself and almost as if I'm wearing a costume. In other words, without a few carefully selected modern touches my clothes wear me instead of the other way around. To combat this, I've learned that no outfit of mine is complete without a modern twist and I love pairing timeless classics with trendier items for a balance that feels 100% like me. 

ELEGANT: By definition, elegance is "pleasingly graceful and stylish in appearance or manner" and it's a piece of my fashion pie that I've grown to value over the years. After years of classic vocal lessons and ballet classes, I've learned that anything too trendy, too casual or too "cool" just doesn't work for me. We all know that our experiences shape who we are and for me, years of classical training (beginning when I was 10!) have granted me good posture, careful diction and thoughtful movements that feel out of place when paired with anything too grungy. Even though I love the look on others, it always feels out of place on me and instead, I'm much more comfortable in tailored, understated pieces that compliment my life's experiences rather than combat them.

RELAXED: Last but not least is arguably the most important for me. Relaxed, which I use interchangeably with comfortable, is an absolute must for me. In fact, nothing ruins a day or an outfit for me quicker than being uncomfortable. I despise having to readjust, fidget or suffer when it comes to fashion and feeling relaxed is key to making me feel great in my clothes. I've learned the hard way one too many times that anything too stuffy, formal or complicated just doesn't get worn so now I avoid these pieces at a costs and I'm much happier as a result. 

THE 10 ITEMS ALWAYS IN MY CLOSET

Now that I've shared the colors I gravitate towards, the general feeling I strive for and how these keep me focused on pieces I'll actually wear, let's touch on the 10 items that are always in my closet. For me, these pieces are the cornerstone of great dressing and help me put together countless outfits that always feel like me. For you, these key pieces may look exactly like mine and for others they may be completely different. The key here is to learn what works for you and then wear those pieces with pride - even if it means that you wear the same "uniform" of a t-shirt and jeans almost every day. Also, these 10 pieces have worked beautifully for me and I've found that they are also relatively universal but the nuances between each of our own personal styles lie in the colors, cuts and silhouettes that we chose these pieces in. For example, I love a crisp white, collared button down but you may prefer a collarless pillowy white shirt. What's most important is that you select pieces that can serve as a base or blank canvas for your outfits but always do so with your personal style and preferences in mind. I'll be touching on this in more detail in the coming weeks with tips for different styles, heights and body types but for now, I'll leave you with my 10 key pieces. 

  1. White Shirt
  2. Black T-Shirt (Short Sleeve)
  3. White T-Shirt (Short Sleeve)
  4. Striped T-Shirt (Long Sleeve or 3/4 Sleeve)
  5. Black Pants
  6. Black Skirt
  7. Light Sweater
  8. Classic Jeans (mid or dark wash)
  9. Classic Blazer 
  10. Black Dress (cap or short sleeves and knee length or longer is perfect for year-round wear)
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21 Pieces, 30+ Looks

In today's video and post, I want to demonstrate the power and versatility of a few carefully selected pieces that all share a cohesive color palette. If you've been here before you know how much I love capsule dressing and I credit it with helping me to truly hone in on my personal style in a way that conventional dressing never did. After years of working to minimize my overall wardrobe and get it to a point that feels right for me, I am able to have a little more leeway with my choices and trust myself to not go crazy and let my closet get out of hand.

That said though, I often think back to my first take at a capsule wardrobe and remember the many obstacles that I had to work through in order to come up with an approach that worked for me. For example, I like color in small doses and most capsules tend to utilize only neutrals. Also, I LOVE accessories and have found that the right shoes, accessories and outerwear are critical to keep me from feeling bored with a smaller closet. For this reason I often exclude these pieces from my capsule each season but today I want to walk you through the pieces I would select for a 21 item capsule including all of these items.

In this post and corresponding video I'm going to walk you through the pieces I've selected and why, along with over 30 ways to style them. 

COLOR PALETTE

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Before we get into the nitty gritty, let's go over the color palette I've selected because I've found that is a great place to start.

For this capsule I've selected base colors of black, white and blue. Black and white are always great options because they suit everyone and I've found that most people already have plenty pieces in these colors. Plus, they help create the perfect base for a variety of accent colors.

My third base color is blue and this will be represented in the denim. Again, I chose this color because I'm sure we all have some denim in our closets and for me, jeans and a denim jacket are two things that I wear all year. For my accent color, I've chosen pink because I personally love pink and when chosen in a color that suits you, it's a great color that can be worn all year. 

THE PIECES

Now let's go over the pieces I've selected and why starting from left to right.

For this capsule I've selected 2 pairs of shoes - a dressy option and a casual option. The first, is a pair of cap toe sling backs that I love for dressing up or down. The small heel and slim silhouette with a closed toe make them perfect for work or the weekend and the neutral tan and black go with my color palette perfectly.

My second pair of shoes is a classic pair of black espadrilles. I chose these because I love to have a casual shoe option and I find that espadrilles are great for this time of year. They come in a variety of colors, heel heights and silhouettes to suit your wardrobe and personal taste. 

For tops, I have three white tops because I've found that your base colors should be found in the majority of your pieces and I love white for this time of year. First up is a simple white cotton t-shirt in a classic silhouette. I find that this is an absolute closet staple for me and when chosen in a timeless silhouette like this, you can even wear a white tee to the office. 

My next white top is a white linen tee. I've selected this piece because linen is my favorite fabric for spring and summer and I find that this silhouette is very flattering and easy to layer up or down and works with a variety of different necklaces, earrings and scarves.

Even though it's so similar to the white cotton tee, I find that the linen offers just enough difference to give me versatility. 

Next, I've included a blue and white striped top in a lightweight cotton because it can be dressed up or down and again, features two of my main colors. I love this piece because in my experience, a few printed pieces are essential for adding interest to an otherwise simple wardrobe.

The only thing to keep in mind when choosing prints, is that they can limit your mixing and matching slightly which is why I've chosen to include only solid bottoms here. I find that the printed top and printed blazer are enough for a small capsule like this because they add interest but don't limit my mix and match options too much. 

The last two tops I've chosen are t-shirts - a plain black tee that can be worn scoop or off-the-shoulder, and a striped tee. These are wonderful layering pieces and you really can't go wrong with either. The black tee is a light jersey that's wrinkle-resistant which makes is so easy to just throw on, and the striped tee is a lightweight cotton that I can wear all year (minus a few insanely hot summer days). For bottoms I have a pair of white linen shorts that are "finished" enough to not feel too casual but still breathable and easy to wear for spring and summer. Next, I have a pair of jersey blend black pants that are so comfortable and can be dressed up or down. Depending on your climate you can swap these for a cotton pair, linen pair, wool pair or wool blend pair but I think a pair of black pants are essential. Jeans are a no-brainer and for a dark wash or medium blue are ideal for wearing year-round. Here, I've chosen a medium blue. My last bottom is a classic black pencil skirt. I love a black skirt and find that it's something I wear all year. This pencil style is incredibly flattering, virtually wrinkle-resistant and so easy to dress up or down - as you'll see below. 

Now that all the base pieces are out of the way, let's jump into the fun stuff that will help stretch the longevity of our base and keep things visually interesting. First up in the jacket category is a classic denim jacket. I love a jean jacket and wear it year-round but you can easily swap this for another blazer, a sweater or cardigan or even a field jacket if you prefer. Just make sure that it's in a color that will compliment the majority of your closet. The next jacket I have is a timeless, white linen blazer. You know how much I love blazers and a white linen option is a must for me this time of year. I love it for dressing up or down and when done correctly, I can even wear this into the fall as well. Last but not least is a printed blazer that features my accent color of pink. Just like the printed top, this blazer adds interest and can be worn to work or on the weekend. If you're looking to add a printed blazer to your minimized wardrobe, choose one that features at least one of your accent colors and you'll be good to go. 

For accessories I have two scarves because I love scarves and none of my wardrobes would be complete without a scarf. For this capsule I've chosen solid scarves in my accent color, in lightweight silk and chiffon. The small square one is ideal for wearing around my neck, in my hair, on my bag etc and the larger one is great for adding length and can even be used as a wrap. Last but not least, for jewelry I've included a delicate necklace that I can wear with everything dressy or casual, a statement necklace of pearls that I can wear long, doubled up or tied for a variety of looks and a classic watch. For earrings I've chosen to include hoops because I love hoops but you can swap these for studs or even just skip them entirely. As long as you have interest in the rest of your outfit I find that earrings aren't always necessary and I'm still able to feel dressed and "done" without them. 

THE OUTFITS

Now that we've gone over our color palette, the pieces I've selected and why, let's hop into the looks. Here's I've mixed and matched these for over 30 different looks but when you're doing this on your own have fun! I find that the possibilities are truly endless and you should use a streamlined wardrobe as a way to showcase your creativity and really nail down your personal style. 

From L to R

  • black tee, white shorts, small scarf, cap toe shoes, watch

 

  • black tee, white shorts, small scarf, cap toe shoes, blazer, watch

  • striped tee, white shorts, denim jacket, cap toe shoes, hoops, delicate necklace, watch

 

  • wrap top, white shorts, cap toe shoes, watch, hoops, delicate necklace

  • linen top, white shorts, denim jacket, espadrilles, hoops, watch, delicate necklace

 

  • linen, top, white shorts, cap toe shoes, printed blazer, long scarf

  • striped tee, white shorts, long scarf, espadrilles, watch, hoops, delicate necklace

 

  • striped tee, black pants, espadrilles, watch, hoops, delicate necklace

  • white tee, black pants, denim jacket, small scarf, cap toe shoes, watch

 

  • white tee, long scarf, black pants, espadrilles, watch, hoops

  • white shirt, long scarf, black pants, cap toe shoes, watch, delicate necklace

 

  • white shirt, long pearls, black skirt, cap toe shoes, watch

  • white shirt tied, black skirt, denim jacket, espadrilles, delicate necklace, watch
  • white shirt tied, black skirt, espadrilles, watch 

  • white tee, small scarf, black skirt, watch, espadrilles

 

  • white tee, delicate necklace, denim jacket, black skirt, watch, cap toe shoes

  • white tee, linen blazer, long pearls, black skirt, watch, cap toe shoes

 

  • white tee, jeans, linen blazer, long scarf, delicate necklace, watch, cap toe shoes

  • white tee, printed blazer, long scarf, jeans, cap toe shoes, watch

 

  • white shirt, jeans, small scarf, watch, cap toe shoes

  • white shirt, hoops, printed blazer, jeans, watch, delicate necklace, cap toe shoes
  • black tee, black skirt, printed blazer, small scarf, watch, cap toe shoes

  • black tee, black skirt, long scarf, printed blazer, espadrilles, watch

 

  • wrap top, black skirt, watch, delicate necklace, hoops, espadrilles

  • wrap top, black skirt, denim jacket, delicate necklace, hoops, watch, cap toe shoes
  • striped tee, linen blazer, black skirt, tied pearls, watch, cap toe shoes, watch

 


  • striped tee, linen blazer, black skirt, espadrilles, watch

 

  • striped tee, small scarf, black skirt, espadrilles, watch

 


  • linen tee, denim jacket, long scarf, black skirt, espadrilles, hoops, watch

 

  • linen tee, long scarf, jeans, espadrilles, hoops, watch

  • black tee, long scarf, jeans, espadrilles, hoops, watch

 

  • black tee, linen blazer, jeans, long pearls, watch, cap toe shoes

  • black tee, small scarf, printed blazer, jeans, watch, cap toe shoes

 

  • striped tee, small scarf, jeans, linen blazer, cap toe shoes, watch
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On My Radar No 37

Happy Friday! This week was another great one filled with catching up after my mini staycation last weekend to celebrate my birthday. The weather has been pure heaven and Jason and I have been enjoying early morning walks with Maddie when the city is still half asleep. Our evenings have been filled with a little housework and plenty of relaxing outside.

As we head into the weekend I'm hoping to continue this trend but in the meantime, here are a few of the things that have caught my eye this week.

PINTEREST NOW SEARCHABLE BY SKIN TONE | I am on Pinterest just about everyday searching for imagery to include here on the blog and in my YouTube videos. So often, I want to include a wide array of examples but have such a hard time finding the time to weed through thousands of images so you can imagine how excited I am that Pinterest is now searchable by skin tone.  

ANNA WINTOUR'S GARDEN | One of my life goals is to have a lush garden that's equal parts planned and free and Ana wintour's garden perfectly captures this dream. 

JUDITH LIEBER'S LEGACY | Famed handbag designer Judith Lieber passed away recently and left behind a remarkable legacy. Beyond her creative pursuits, support of the arts and personal designs, she and her husband shared a powerful love and support system that spanned 72 years before they passed away hours apart.

TIFFANY TAKES OVER NYC | One of the things I miss the most about living in the city is the early exposure to nearly every marketing campaign under the sun and the newest Tiffany initiative is one that I would love to see in person.   

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Mother's Day Gift Guide: 7 Timeless Gifts She'll Love

It's May and that means Mother's Day is right around the corner. While actions always speak louder than words, and a handwritten note, framed picture or activity that you can do together is always lovely, sometimes you also want to give mom a little something luxe. Today I've rounded up 7 timeless treasures that the mothers in your life will be thrilled to receive. 

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1 | First up is a luxurious shower gel made in Provence that smells like rose and olive. This exquisite new brand by Shirin & Frederic Fekkai is a "beauty and lifestyle collection that celebrates the extraordinary artisans and terroir of Aix-en-Provence." Since discovering their rose and olive perfume a few months ago I've been completely hooked. I have no doubt that their body wash smells just as lovely and it would make a wonderful gift. 

2 | You know how much I love statement earrings and they're also one of my favorite things to give as gifts as well. These beautiful white ones are reasonably priced, but incredibly chic and luxe looking - I've already ordered a pair for myself! I can't wait to wear them with flowy linen separates and cute dresses this spring and summer and then pair them with luxe knits and crisp button downs in the fall and winter.

3 | If you saw my April Favorites video then you know how much I love this May Lindstrom facial mist and I think it would make the perfect gift this time of year because it can be used as a toner, a makeup setting spray and refresher during the upcoming hot days. Plus, it smells just like the blooming jasmine we have all over Charleston right now and is equal parts luxurious and practical - the perfect balance for a gift in my opinion. 

4 | Speaking of luxurious but practical, this travel set by Cuyana is a dream. It comes in a variety of colors, can be personalized with a monogram (just double-check the turnaround time for Mother's Day) and can be used for makeup, jewelry or toiletries. I have it in the color you see here but I also love the red, black, ecru and olive

5 | I love to receive candles and this beautiful white floral option is beautifully packaged for gift giving.

6 | The older I get, the more I love beautiful self-care products that aren't necessarily essential but do look lovely on my vanity and help to add a bit of glamour to my routines. This ivory comb is the perfect example of such a product and I think it would make a beautiful gift. 

7 | Last but certainly not least is a luxe silk scarf with the perfect feminine but versatile print. Since discovering Sabina Savage, I have had one of her scarves on my wish list and this gorgeous pink, grey and blue option is incredible. This print is available in a variety of sizes and materials to suit your personal budget and it's the perfect gift for the classic, chic mothers in your life. 

Below, I've rounded up a few more bits and pieces that I think would make beautiful gifts, and I hope that whether you're a mother or just celebrating the mother figures in your life that you have a lovely day filled with love. 

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April Favorites

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It's favorites time again! This month I have a mix of everything like always so let's kick things off with one of my favorite recent buys from Machete.

To help update my look a bit and stretch the versatility of my timeless separates, I picked up the Machete Kate Hoops in Ash Blonde and I LOVE them! Not only are they classic but they have a slightly updated silhouette that keeps them feeling fresh. I picked them up in the lighter tortoise and I think they compliment my skintone well and will pair perfectly with every color in my closet from white and black to camel, navy and pink. 

Plus, the tortoise shell acetate used for Machete's pieces is "high quality and non-petroleum based, imported from Italy." This unique product is "a natural and renewable material, providing an eco-friendly alternative to petroleum-based material [and is] made by extracting cellulose fibers from cotton and wood pulp to create a transparent paste [which is then] colored, processed, and molded for a variety of industrial applications." How fantastic is that? 

Next up is a new pair of shoes that I've been eyeing forever and finally decided to pick up. As you know, I love to spend my money on classic pieces that I can wear for years but recently I've been feeling like my footwear needed some updating. I've found that without a few updates here and there and particularly in the shoe department, my looks can start to feel a little stale.

To help remedy this, I picked up these cap toe slingbacks (dupes for the Chanel ones) and I couldn't be happier with them! In an instant they've updated almost my entire wardrobe and have helped make pieces I've had for years feel fresh and new again.  Plus, they're incredibly comfortable straight out of the box, the slingback doesn't slip off my foot and they're very well-made for the price and I'm sure I'll get a ton of wear out of them. 

Next up is the May Lindstrom The Jasmine Garden Botanical Mist. I have been wanting to try this mist for years and I have no idea what took me so long! This lightweight mist distributes the finest spray of jasmine that instantly invigorates my senses and makes getting ready a complete dream. As you know, I live here in Charleston and this time of the year we're lucky enough to have jasmine blooming all around the city and this mist perfectly captures that aroma. It's divine and it will definitely be a staple in my beauty routine moving forward. 

Next up I have a mascara combo that has been giving my lashes incredible volume and length. The L'Oreal Lash Primer and Chanel Inimitable Intense mascara are a match made in makeup heaven and I don't know how I'll ever use anything else. 

This combination makes my lashes curl like crazy, lengthen like nothing I've ever tried before and volumize them enough so that I get major impact without the need for eyeliner - just what I like! 

I've followed and admired Manolo Blahnik's exquisite shoe designs since I first became aware of them as a teen and have hoped to one day own a pair since that same moment.

Since watching the Manolo Blahnik documentary on Netflix that desire has only gotten stronger. I love how this film demonstrates the importance of a million smaller moments in our lives and how they all add up to who we ultimately become.

Often times the more mundane moments can feel boring or tired and this documentary perfectly explores how they should be celebrated as a way to get us to where we want to be as artists and individuals. Plus, Mr. Blahnik is one of the best dressed men in the world and his impeccable taste has inspired me to add the perfect two piece linen suit to my collection because he wears his own so well! 

Last but certainly not least is Chez Nous here in Charleston. 

I have been wanting to go this restaurant since we moved here and we finally had the opportunity this past weekend for my birthday. To say it lived up to my expectations would be an understatement! Not only is the food delicious and so expertly prepared, but the decor is impeccable and the service was even better. 

One of the things I strive for my own home decor, cooking and dressing is a sense of relaxed elegance that feels thoughtful but not stuffy and Chez Nous nails this balance perfectly! 

If you don't already follow them on Instagram I recommend considering it because every day they share their menu (which changes daily) along with a snap of each dish. 

And that's everything! Those are a few of the things I've been loving this month. As we head into May I'm so excited to share traditional outfit photos here on the blog again. If you've followed me from the start, then you know that I started this blog as a traditional fashion blog but with the move, house renovations and more it's been hard to find the time. We're lucky enough to have more of that finally and I'm using it to bring you outfit posts again so be on the lookout for that. In the meantime though, you can watch my favorites video below. Thanks so much for stopping by! 

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May Mood Board

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Happy May! With the first day of a new month here, I've put together my monthly mood board of the colors, feelings and style notes I'd love to highlight for the next 30 days or so.

This month is all about blue, white and pale green - not unlike the rest of year! The only difference now is that I hope everything will take on a lighter and brighter quality with the sun setting later and the temperature rising a little bit every day. 

During this time of year I feel incredibly lucky to call Charleston home and try and take full advantage of the gorgeous weather because soon enough it will be scorching hot. Until then, I'm taking every chance I can to wear my favorite spring blazers and jackets and take in the jasmine that fills the city with the most amazing smell.  As we begin to move into warmer summer like weather, I'm hoping to lighten things up with an airy white dress or two like this one and this one and make skirts, flowy tops and easy dresses my summer wardrobe.

I just love this time of year!

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