From time to time, people ask me what I think are some essentials that a female should have in her closet. I thought about it, then I realized not everyone dresses the way I dress. However, I decided to pick out some items that could be happy in your closet, no matter what.
Oxford Cloth Button Downs (“OCBDs”) take up about 1/5 of my closet, and yes, they are white and blue. I used to wear J.Crew’s Perfect Fit shirts, but realized they wrinkle quite easily, and I was not planning on ironing my shirts every single morning. OCBDs are thin enough to keep you cool, but thick enough to keep you warm and see-through free. Almost all of my OCBDs come from Rugby - their OCBDs fit like they are tailored, and the arms are tapered nicely. My favorite is their Skinny Chapman - don’t forget to use your student discount, both online and offline.
I have no hips, and bodycons/pencil skirts are not that flattering on me. A-line skirts save me on a daily basis, and if you are in the petite division, these will save you as well. I tend to go for high-waisted A-lines to accentuate the waist, and to give a little bit of “oomph” to my hips (or lack there of). You can make these skirts edgy with a simple button up and a pair of heels, or flirty with a chiffon blouse and a pair of flats. Check out Anthropologie and Mod Cloth for some fun A-lines.
Black/white skinny pants
Because of my weird proportions, I do not look good in flares and straight leg jeans. I am not a huge fan of blue jeans, so I stick to black and white trousers. I personally prefer ankle crops for some “ankle cleavage” when worn with loafers and oxfords, but I think it is more fun to purchase a regular pair and roll them up. One thing to watch out for, in my opinion, is to check the size of back pockets before you purchase a pair of black/white pants. As I have mentioned above, I have no hips and my “behind” is almost nonexistent (oh girl, you really know how to make yourself sound attractive on the Internet). The pockets have to be high up and small for me. This might not be the case for you, but make sure the pockets are not sitting below your bottom. Now, the reason why I chose black and white is because they both are very versatile. Black pants can go with basically anything, everything - you can dress them up and down. White is the same way, except it is more feminine when worn on hot days. Tussle your hair, put it in a high/messy ponytail, wear a chambray button up (unbutton the top three, maybe?), and put on your lipstick of choice. Done and done. I have taught you well, my dear.
For black/white skinnies, check out Madewell, Ksubi, and Rag and Bone.
Tan trench coat
I remember wearing my first trench coat and thinking, ‘damn, I look niiiiiiiiice’. Why tan? Again, it is versatile. It took me a good month or two to find one that I really like (picture) - is it worth the search? Absolutely. Most trenches can be found between $100 and $300, but if you think about it in the long run, it would not hurt to invest in a nice, well-constructed trench coat. Try Club Monaco’s Micah, and Banana Republic’s classic trench. Again, dress it up with your hair in a bun, ankle crop pants and heels. Dress it down with a pair of jeans and flats. Maybe with a fun colored clutch as well. Raining and a little chilly in April? Grab your trench and enjoy your day.
I do not know about you, but this bipolar Chicago weather makes it hard for me to dress in the morning. It could be warm in the morning, but super cold in the afternoon. This is why I think lightweight sweaters deserve to be on this five essentials list. J.Crew’s Betsy sweater never leaves my bag - not only is it super soft, but it keeps my chilly days warm and cozy. I can wear it on my way to work in the morning, and take it off when I am on my lunch break (or vice versa). If you cannot find a lightweight sweater the next time you are out and about, raid your guy friend’s closet - trust me, almost all the guys have that one sweater that you would like to have and wear. Just don’t tell them you took it!
The list is very simple, but it is also composed of some things that people ask me about on a regular basis (ex. Where do you get your shirts/skirts?). If you have any questions, feel free to ask me! Hope this helps : )
As a female who is an intern at a men’s style/substance shop, I see all kinds of positives and negatives of men’s style on a regular basis. I often look at new shipments and go, “now THAT is something every man should have and wear”. At other times, I cringe at certain things. I thought I would take some time to write about five things that would be beneficial for guys to have.
Nothing gets me more than a guy in a chambray shirt with sleeves rolled up. Chambray shirts are easy to wear, yet are tricky at times. Wear them with your favorite pair of khaki chinos, roll the bottom, and show some skin… um, ankle. I have seen many people doing denim-on-denim with chambray shirts (darker on the bottom), and they still looked amazing and well put-together. Feeling dressy? Wear a tie with a grey sports coat - I might even do a double take on the street for ya. My absolute favorite look? Chambray shirt with white denim.
I am a sucker for tartan/plaid/gingham/blackwatch shirts. Pair them with your dark wash selvage denim, roll the bottom, and wear a pair of wine colored leather loafers. Such shirts are great for the hot days that are coming up - try the said outfit mentioned above for lunch with your friends, and rooftop parties at night. Feeling brave? Let’s try Jeff’s “put a bird on it” shirt (link), or some floral printed shirts.
Saddle shoes cannot go wrong - they look great with shorts, chinos, jeans… oh my. While they can stay on the dressier side when worn with a blazer/sport coat and a tie (picture), they can be casual as well. Late for class? Put on your favorite trousers, a button down, throw a pair of saddles on, and hop on your bike. Although I am a big fan of “no socks party”, you can have some fun with patterned socks (similar to this).
I have to admit chinos do not look good on me, but that does not mean I do not like them. With my previous experience in retail, I have noticed that quite a lot of male clients are afraid of wearing something other than dress pants and jeans. If this sounds like you, don’t be afraid! I find them to be very versatile and easy to wear. To keep them business casual, wear them with a fitted shirt (gingham, maybe?) with a tie (I almost want to say wear the shirt under a sports coat but I am having a hard time picturing this in my head). Finish the look with leather loafers. For something more casual, pair them with a chambray shirt or a striped long-sleeve tee, and with your favorite pair of casual sneakers or desert boots.
Simple pocket tee
I do not know what it is about pocket tees, but I prefer them over plain T’s. Sounds like something every guy might have in his closet, but you will be surprised. I have a number of guy friends who only own button downs and it is kind of depressing (well, v-necks show up in their laundry basket from time to time). Pocket tees are very simple and classic. Wear them with chinos or dark denim (rolled up, of course), and a pair of broken-in lace-up sneakers. Grab your sunglasses and a book to read, and I might even secretly take a picture of you if I spot you at my favorite cafe. You can create a number of timeless and effortless looks with these tees.
Something to remember - it is better to be overdressed than to be underdressed.
& if you missed it, » five essentials for girls «
Hope this helps!