Talking fashion, with a group of women at a recent cocktail party, the statement I heard time and time again was, “I want to look stylish, but I don’t have the time or vision, to make it all come together”. And,”When I do shop, I get overwhelmed, confused and frustrated…I just see stuff, not one outfit, that represents me.”
I hear you. Most stores provide “stuff”, that we often purchase, add to our closets, and quite possibly never wear, because we cannot figure out how to pull it all together. One of the reasons I created AskSuzanneBell, was to provide a space to share outfits ideas, explain trends, offer affordable fashion, stylist tips and tricks – to show that fashion can be fun, especially for us 40, 50, 60, 70+ women! With magazines and retailers marketing mostly to 20 and 30 somethings, fashionistas and young working gals – shopping can be a daunting, un-fun task for the rest of us.
Over the past 2+ years, writing posts for AskSuzanneBell, I’ve only been able to touch the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding, how to develop your own personal style. And I hear your frustrations, when you say you have a closet full of clothes, and nothing to wear!
First things first. In order to curate your closet, you need to clean it out. Seriously, this is where it all begins. Do not shop, until you clean out your closet, purge items that no longer make you happy, and are left with pieces that love you back. Need some help getting started? Read more on the AskSuzanneBell Closet Cleanout, Make Some Room (HERE).
At this point, I would tell you to make a list. A list which includes what items need replacing. For example, did you toss all your white tees? Did your favorite sweaters come out of storage with moth holes? Are you favorite boots beyond repair, and now time to replace? Are your jeans outdated, skirts now too short or tight, time for a new dress? You get the idea. But instead, I am sharing 15 easy outfits – a place to start before you make a list. These outfits are the base of my closet, which include must have pieces, that I wear time and time again. For me the base color is black – it’s my comfort zone. Substitute black, for grey or browns – depending on your lifestyle and skin tone/ eye, hair color.
My Key Pieces
Note: when it comes to investment knits, I think its a good idea to buy the best quality, our budget can afford. I like cashmere, or a cashmere blend. When you own knits of a similar texture – they work best together, and are easy to interchange – like a set. That said, feel free to switch out cashmere for any knit of your liking.
Top Row, Left to Right: sweater dress in black or grey (I prefer a midi length) | neutral cashmere sweater in black, grey or oatmeal | statement sweater |silk tunic in white, blush, off white | cashmere tee, in black or grey | throw on, out-the-door hoodie | long sleeve layer tee (I prefer a longer tunic length for versatility) | fur or quilted vest | black skirt (I love my leather pencil skirt) | thin packable puffer in black, grey or a pop of color
Second Row, Left to Right: a favorite pair of jeans | a pair of black skinny jeans | vegan leather or ponte leggings for dress up or down (my pick is Lysse) | casual leggings that are not see thru (I love this new high waist pair from Zella) | socks that stay up and work with your boots. (love these from Hue). I also love socks made of bamboo | black or white sneakers | a black bootie | pair of flip flops | a fabulous bag you love | long pendant necklace in silver, gunmetal, gold, or rose gold. Invest in a pair of earrings, and bangle you love, to wear with it.
Third Row, Left to Right: a cashmere wrap (one of my best investments ever). I prefer no sleeves so I can also wear it as a big soft scarf. These are great for airplane travel as well! | A pair of leather gloves (you can get a little fun here) | A sleek baseball hat you can wear day or night, or a beanie – for all those bad hair days.
Things to Keep in Mind
Use the collection above as a guide. These are pieces that work for ME, and my lifestyle/comfort level. Your color picks may be different, the shapes may be different. Your idea of a black knit dress may be a fit and flair, or a jewel neckline – think about what works for you, and your body type. Let this serve as a place to start. Once you have your basics down, you can add fun stuff back in. That’s the fun part. Add a fun pattern blouse, bright scarf, a tunic sweater in your favorite color, a bomber jacket, a long cardigan, a cape…you get the idea! Now here’s 5 sets, 15 outfits total, created entirely from the pieces above, using 5 core foundation pieces; an LBD, vegan legging, black skirt, a great fitting jean you love and a pair of black skinny jeans. Play with the pieces yourself, like a puzzle. You’ll find you can remix it all, time and time again – for endless outfit possibilities.
Fur vests are popping up all over Instagram! Shop your faves and see how I style mine, over on last weekends post (HERE)
Blogger Pal, Susan Kanoff, without knowing I’d be talking vests, also posted a styling post on her blog, this week. Read more on The MidlifeFashionista (HERE) | and catch her fur vest styled up, along with a great tee find (HERE)
Did you catch my recent post which included my stylist secrets?
If your pants are falling down, you need to take a look at Weekend Mishmash: Style Secrets
Did you catch my most recent TargetStyle and TargetHome Finds?
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Where I Link Up! Not Dressed As a Lamb| Fashion Should Be Fun| My Refined Style| Sheela Writes | Style Stories |Visible Monday|40 Plus Style | Style Me Wednesday | On the Edge | PinkSole | Posh Classy Mom Midweek Inspo Linkup