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

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

My Christmas Wish List

My list this year is a bit shorter than years past. Maybe it’s a new-found maturity, maybe it’s the tiny NYC apartment that will need to house everything, who knows, but this year I’m not asking for nearly as much and I’m happy about that. HINT TO ALL RELATIVES: See below :)
2013 Christmas Wishlist

1. Sephora gift cards
With a very scant post-grad-internship income, gift cards are gold. Especially when it comes to pricey things like French cosmetics brands :)

2. Hot water bottle
This one in particular is über luxe with faux fur on one side and a cashmere merino blend on the other—from Club Monaco, of course. Why am I asking for this? If you’re asking this question you must have a penis, or you’re just seriously blessed when it comes to your monthly cramping. For that, I envy you. Otherwise, I’d like to indulge a bit and ease my intense monthly pains with something as soft as a bunny. Hell, if you can find one with real rabbit fur I’ll take it!

3. John Masters Organics Cacao and Cupuacu Body Butter
Try saying that three times fast! But seriously, this is by far one of the most nourishing body balms I’ve come across. With a decadent lingering smell of cocoa on your skin, there is no better way to banish dry patches and eczema this winter.

4. Heattech Basics from UNIQLO
The Japanese powerhouse, UNIQLO, not only has amazing price points, but also great products. I’ve been wanting to try one of their lines in particular because people across all industries have raved about it—HEATTECH. From the name you know it’s supposed to keep you warm, and with leggings at under $20? I’m SO game. I’d love to grab a few tanks, leggings, and socks…in black and grey of course. (Psst…I take an xs in tops in Uniqlo, small in bottoms/size 25, and I rock a size 9 shoe ;) )

5. Carine Roitfeld’s Irreverent
Always on the hunt for another fashion coffee table book to add to my collection, Irreverent provides great insights into the mind of Roitfeld. It’s no secret that her name is synonymous with cutting edge style, and it’s no surprise that I have her written inner workings as part of my reading list.

6. Frye Abigail Riding Boots
Though they may seem a bit simple, Abigail is one tough broad. Crafted in Spain, these babies are my ideal every day boots to wear to work. There are no unnecessary adornments or embellishments to detract from the beauty of the hide; in fact, the leather is vegetable tanned to keep the natural grain and markings of the skin.

7. A J.O.B.
Really, isn’t this just what everyone wants? A stable salary, health benefits, paid overtime (ha! I’m getting too greedy here), the feeling of FINANCIAL SECURITY. Yeah, that would be nice, but maybe this should be a New Year’s Resolution instead…

Island Dreamin’

This time last year my boyfriend and I were starting to plan our Spring Break. Now that I’ve graduated, my mind hasn’t caught up with the fact that there is no designated week off in March. Ahh, Sint Maartin, how I would love to still be digging my toes in your sands… Anywho, the New York chill has me longing for island temps, but with no vacation time in sight I thought I’d be nice to all you chillins who do still have the pleasure of Spring Break.

To minimize packing you need to think strategically: how can you make one outfit look like 3 different ones? Below I’ve taken a cute long sleeve maxi dress to show how to take it from a beach coverup in the day to a rockin boho goddess by night.
POST Island Dreamin
Daytime
While spending time at the beach, keep things simple with a wide brim floppy hat to protect your face, neck, and upper chest from the sun. Throw on a string bikini, simple wrap sandals, and a cute tribal fringe tote and you’re ready to go!

Nighttime
To take your look from day to night, strip off the day’s wears and prep for your evening out by gussying up a bit. Slather on a bronze shimmer oil, like the NARS one shown above. Since you’ll be in a tropical setting (hopefully) keep you makeup to the bare-min essentials: bronzer, waterproof mascara, and coral lip gloss. Transfer your evening-necessities to a cute embellished clutch, slip on a gold cocktail ring, long medallion necklace, tassel earrings for jewelry. Strap on your tall gladiator sandals and you’re ready for the night :)