Transitioning Your Wardrobe—Undergrad to Working Gal

One year ago today. I can’t believe I graduated from college one year ago today. Since then A LOT has changed, but my biggest concern back then was how my wardrobe was going to change from going-to-class outfits to interview-ready get-ups that would land me a job. My bit of advice to this year’s graduating class:

Invest in 5 Multi-Use Basics

5 basics to invest in postgrad

 

1. Perfect-fitting white blouse
Opt for one in silk or cotton. Elie Tahari, BOSS by Hugo Boss, even Banana Republic and J.Crew have good options. Have a larger bust, and struggle with gaping? Try The Shirt — this brand was featured on Oprah and I got to meet the founder + try on a blouse or two while interning in DC. It has a patented hidden button placket that ensures no gaping (check it out here).

2. Ankle grazing black skinny pants
These transition well from work to weekend, and you can pair them with a blazer for a more tailored/fashion forward suit at the office. You can never go wrong with black ankle grazing tapered pants.

3. Black shift dress
This one is amazing for interviews and for on-the-job. Can be paired with flats or pumps, jazzed up with a cardigan (embellishment optional), or can be worn out after work with the proper accessory additions. The one I scored was high neck, sleeveless and hit just below the knee, but there are so many varieties, pick one that suits you! Above I chose one with a crew neck and short sleeves or a mock-neck one with a slightly more fitted shape.

4. 1-Button Blazer
The perfect topper for those black pants (item 2) or can be worn over a simple tee to jazz up jeans. The purpose of a 1-button is for it to cinch in at your waist (smallest part), but if you have a fuller figure or not as defined waist as an hourglass shape, I would recommend trying a two-button variety as this will graze your curves more and not compete with a fuller bust. Want more personality than just plain black? Seek out blazers with fun linings—you’ll still look professional, but it will have a bit more personality that only you will get joy out of :)

5. Classic, non-trendy tote
I can’t even tell you how much use you will get out of an understated tote. Knowing your wardrobe, choose a color that will pair easily for many outfits. I nabbed two totes before graduation: one minimalist all-white tote with no metallic hardware and one all black tote with minimal silver hardware—one for S/S and one for F/W. There is no need to drop bills on this item; both of mine were purchased at discount retailers! I scored my Spring/Summer all-white tote at TJ Maxx for under $200 and I scored my black croc Furla at Nordstrom Rack for under $300. Chic, minimalist, and timeless. Choosing a non-trendy tote will allow this investment to last through your 20s.


Though those above mentioned additions to your wardrobe will serve you well, it will be peace of mind to do a closet audit—especially if you’ll be downsizing into a shoebox-size apartment in NYC like I did. Buh-bye walk in closet! What I’ve listed below were things that I deemed as “never wearing again past undergrad” and was happy to give away/sell/donate. Everybody’s tastes are different—audit your closet and see what you can part with :)

Subtracted: boho mini dresses, excessively boho blouses, Minnetonka fringe boots (Halloween stash), anything I thought “I’ll wear this if I ever ______”, excessive amount of jeans and any pairs that were too trend oriented (colored denim, paint splattered, ultra ripped, etc.), 2/3 of my t-shirt drawer (namely graphic tees), shoes that I knew wouldn’t withstand a typical NYC night (aka walking 5+ city blocks), sheer blouses, anything that was very trend focused

Added: tops that could transition from day-to-night, more practical shoes (lower heels, flats that are cute and breezy), multi-use dresses, starting to save up for designer pieces (more European thinking)

Ideal Summer Must: Designer Card Case

Designer Card Cases
Upon first reading the title I’m sure you thought,
“Card case? Why the f%*^ does this chick care so much about a card case?”
Well, b*@$# I’ll tell you why.

1. Super space-saver – Summer’s right around the corner, I will be carrying MUCH smaller handbags, won’t you? To avoid the bulk, I plan to trim down what I carry with me and minimalize my wallet down to one of these bad boys
2. Amazingly gorgeous (well, these are at least) – from exotic skins to funky irridescence, designer card cases add jusstttt enough pizzazz to be “my little secret”. Imagining some of these fabrics in an all-over handbag gives me a headache, but this small of an accessory is unique and an adorably petite way to show personality
3. At less than $250, yes, you can totally go for it…because the handbag versions of these are all $600+

photo 4photo 5 photo 3

As you can see (above) I’ve already scored the metallic 3.1 Phillip Lim version for my summer accessory arsenal, and in case you’re interested, these are the ones listed above starting from upper left corner:
- Brown Croc, Aspinal of London, $59
- Grey / White tonal, Giorgio Armani, $248
- Naked Lady pin-up, Paul Smith, $200
- Blue lizard, Coach, $298
- Metallic Fuschia, Saint Laurent, $275
- Grey + Blue Ostrich, Maison Takuya, $240
- Orange, Valextra, $240
- B&W, Alexander McQueen, $325
- Blue/Green, 3.1 Phillip Lim, $150
- Tiffany blue ostrich, Tiffany, $185
- Embossed Ribcage, Alexander McQueen, $165
- Blue Stars, Jimmy Choo, $245

Spring Wishlist

Spring wishlist 2014Spring is a time for new beginnings, a time to take risks, and a time to lighten up a bit…I just wish it would get here already! The days have seemingly gotten longer thanks to Daylight Savings, but the temperatures are still frosty here in NYC. I’ve already started on my spring wishlist to help lighten my wintry mood, but there’s still quite a few things I’d like to pick up before the next season is officially here. Clockwise from top left:

∞  Linen coat with pockets (Zara)
∞  Nom Yourself Cookbook (out April 6th)
∞  Sunnies (Warby Parker)
∞  Light-er washed denim jacket (wear now, make a DIY project later)
∞  Patchwork-striped shirt
∞  Black leather shorts
∞  Ankle-wrap sandals (Dolce Vita)
∞  Leopard crossbody, Burberry Prorsum Crush (received as Christmas gift, remember this post?)
∞  Floral dress (vintage Givenchy, bought on Etsy)
∞  Orange/Poppy lipstick (NARS)
Think I forgot something? Ah, yes, the asterisked pieces…
* Valentino Rockstud Noir flats and Saint Laurent Jane Studded sandal…what? A girl can dream, right? These badass tootsie toppers scream my name but reality gets in the way of my fantasy.

Show Me Your Tights

Quite a few of my girlfriends have girly-er taste than me…surprise surprise. That being said, they enjoy wearing skirts with cute tights in the cooler months. Their challenge? Staying warm while showing off the cute designs on the tights. In an attempt to help a few girlfriends keep staying cute while out and about town, check my advice to keep those shivers at bay:

1. Layer nude or black tights under patterned ones & wear socks (if wearing with booties/boots), NOTE: nude will obviously work under any tights, but be more strategic with black. For extra warmth, spring for the kind of thicker nude tights worn by figure skaters (yes, I used to figure skate as a child lol it was a glorious realization to have as an adult, years later).

2. Knee socks are your best friends. This will work much prettier with the solid tights (don’t try this with the patterned ones, especially if you’re looking to show off the pattern!). Buy “over-the-knee” socks for optimal warmth & simply layer. Since “over the knee” is pretty popular with higher-cut boots, they now are easy to find in an array of colors! Pick out a few shades that will coordinate well with the solid colored tights. Or if you’re not into the color-blocked look, try n find as similar colors to the tights as possible. This trick even works well with the faux-suspender look on sheer tights, like the pale ones above to the right.

3. Another even WARMER way than knee socks: leg warmers. American Apparel has some amazingly warm ones that are a chunky waffle-knit in an array of colors–the ones I’m thinking of are the “longer length” ones (b/c yes, they also have the dinky ones that only come to mid-calf). The longer length lets you play with it a bit more, especially if you want them to show at the tops of knee-high boots or cover your heel a bit for an ’80s vibe.

I hope this helps a bit ladies!! Rock em loud, rock em proud.

None of these photos are from me—found via 1, 2, 3