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)

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

How-To: Cutely Masking Your Thanksgiving Food Baby

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching (just one week away!!) what better way to prep than by strategically planning how to mask your food baby while still looking cute and put together. Introducing…the sweatpants’ cuter cousin: boyfriend jeans!! Paired with a fuzzy sweater in a boxy fit and adorable patterned flats, they will be staring at your shoes, not your food bump. Since Thanksgiving is all about family it’s key to keep your look comfortable yet still seeming more put together than sweats. If your holiday is a bit more dressed up…well, I’m sorry, that is unfortunate. Especially with all the food you’re going to stuff your face with and hate that you wore a skirt or fitted dress.

POST Thanksgiving outfit

Want, Lust, Must Have: Stuart Weitzman “Reserve” Boot

Well, its happened again…as if that’s any surprise. This time, it was a pair of fabulous footwear: Stuart Weitzman’s Reserve Boot to be exact. They first stared me down me from the tabloid pages last year, taunting me from A-listers’ tootsies to the DC elites strolling through Georgetown. I knew I needed to have them. Their practicality alone was a green light, but the devil is in the details: Slick black Nappa leather, a short stacked heel, elastic goring at the back, and a sexy over-the-knee style screamed my name from the moment I laid eyes on them. The perfect way to make mini-skirts more Fall appropriate, leggings-and-oversized-sweater more office appropriate, and a “luxury shoe price” more appealing to my bank account.

IMG_9650 IMG_9651 IMG_9662 IMG_9658  IMG_9663  IMG_9664 IMG_9665 IMG_9694By far the most expensive pair of footwear I now own, this purchase purely plays into my opinion that you should splurge on classic pieces. Items that you know will be worn time and time again should be of good quality to withstand the frequent abuse of pounding pavement, rubbing arms on the subway during your morning commute, and transcend trends. Yes, over-the-knee boots may be a trend right now, but I love them for the practicality that “If it covers more skin, it keeps you warmer.” And what’s better than keeping you warmer and looking chic?

One last note: you may be wondering why the heck I chose to shoot this post solely in my Nautica plaid shirt and the featured boots. Well, you know I love you, but…eat your heart out, Kate. IMG_9702  IMG_9720

 

Want, Lust, Need Now: Nixon’s Kensington watch

Ever spot an item that just stuck with you for days and weeks after you left the store? Festering in the back of your mind to the point where you try to reason with yourself about which takes precedent: rent for the month or this particular indulgence.

Yup, it’s happened, and I’m assuming more than once. This time it struck me for an everyday essential: a silver linked watch. Now, not just any silver watch—lord knows that would’ve been too easy. A watch with a simple white face, no larger than 38mm, an uncomplicated link pattern, and quartz movement. Enter Nixon’s Kensington:
Nixon KensingtonNixon Kensington Nixon Kensington

Too simple to wear on its own, paired with a leather bracelet this is my perfect wear-to-work watch.

Nixon Kensington watch with petite Hermés leather braceletNixon Kensington watch with leather wrap braceletNixon Kensington with Burberry leather bracelet

…now Nixon, if only you would re-release the Kensington in an all-black or black/gunmetal design you will have a lifetime customer. Remember these? Yeah, I’m drooling. Please?

Nixon Kensington Matte Black Gunmetal Nixon Kensington

Have you ever been struck with the “want, lust, need now” feeling? What items are you lusting after this fall?