In years gone by, fashion was determined by designers and the exclusive set of fashion show viewing editors and socialites. There were seasons, and the latest fashions were presented to society by high end shops, and only after that was the rest of the world able to replicate these designs, if at all. That was when accumulating clothing and accessories was a sign of status and something many people aspired to have, it was indeed a luxury.
Now with the abundance of fast fashion stores like Zara and H&M, we see top designer runway looks immediately available for purchase at incredibly accessible prices. Anyone and everyone can own tons of clothes, and most people do.
So the new luxury is curating the perfect closet. Not a closet that is bursting at the seams, but instead one filled with a carefully selected mix of investment pieces, vintage finds, and a few fast fashion finds for good measure. So how do you do it? Which pieces should you invest in? Read below for all you need to build the perfect closet for 2014.
Step 1: Clean out your closet.
This task can be overwhelming for many, myself included. The idea that you might wear it again someday makes donating your clothes a little bit difficult. So I suggest starting by moving the items that either don’t fit, need repair, or haven’t been worn in over two years to another closet in the house or in a large storage tub. Once you realize you haven’t missed any of the clothes – you will have an easier time disposing of them. Also note if you donate your clothes you can write it off at tax time – just save your donation receipt!
Step 2: Organize.
To be completely honest, this is my least favorite task but the reward of having an organized space is well worth the effort. Once you have purged your closet of all of the extra stuff you don’t absolutely love or need, you should have a lot of new space to work with. I like to hang everything on non-slip hangers, including my sweaters and t-shirts. For me, if something is folded and needs ironing, it probably won’t be worn. Use boot hangers for your tall boots, and if you have space for shoes to be visible on a shelf – display your favorite shoes where you can admire them daily!
Step 3: Build your dream closet. Think about your lifestyle and what you feel most comfortable wearing. Are you a wrap dress kind of girl? Do you live in your flat shoes? The pieces that get the best price per wear, meaning the pieces you wear the most, should be the ones you invest in. Take control of what is in your closet, instead of letting your closet be overrun with impulse purchases that do not work for you.
Here are my suggestions for the 10 must-have investment pieces:
1- Jeans – I prefer a mid-rise skinny jean for my daily wear. Most moms should try this style, as it is much more flattering than the regular or low-rise styles, but it does not look like traditional ‘mom’ jeans. If you do not like the look of a skinny, try a straight leg style. I love Paige denim because it has a little stretch that is great for curvy girls, but another favorite of mine is Zara mid-rise denim.
2- Silk Blouses – A silk blouse will work for almost any occasion and can be dressed up or down. A white blouse is a great staple piece to start with.
3- Black heels – A patent black heel is a classic elegant shoe that will never go out of style. Aim for a pointed pump or slightly rounded – avoid a square toe or an extremely pointy heel, these are trendy styles that will go in and out of fashion.
4- Nude pumps – like the black ones, a nude patent pump is another staple piece that is worth investing in. Find one that fits your skin tone perfectly and you will instantly lengthen your legs whenever you wear them.
5- Cashmere or Merino wool sweaters – I love J.Crew’s Tippi Merino wool sweater and own them in every color. Cashmere is another great option especially for cooler weather.
6- Leather jacket – find a leather jacket with a great fit, and you will wear it forever. I like ones that nip at the waist and aren’t too bulky, as they work well with both a t-shirt jeans combo or even simply thrown over a dress.
7- Special piece of jewelry – cocktail ring, bracelet, earrings, or dainty necklace. Whatever you would wear the most, make it special. If it is a personalized necklace, a hand-me down pair of diamond stud earrings, or a bracelet purchased on an exotic vacation. The key is to make it mean something to you AND be beautiful.
8- Blazer – An outfit is almost always made better with a blazer that fits well. A great black blazer that hits at the hips or just above, with fitted sleeves, is a good style to start with.
9 – Crossbody bag – Everyone needs a great bag that can be worn as a crossbody. A lot of bags can be worn multiple ways, so try one that has a crossbody strap and a smaller handle if you want to change up the look. I’m in love with the new Balenciaga bag design by Alexander Wang.
10 – Wrap Dress – A classic style that flatters every figure, this is my favorite dress to wear year-round. In winter with tights and boots, and in summer with strappy sandals.
More about Zahra:
Zahra is a full-time working mom living in Chicago, IL. She studied history in college, and currently works in business development. She is an American-born of Pakistani descent in a multicultural marriage.
Between work and mommyhood, she missed pursuing her own creative interests, so she started blogging about her personal style at: www.lovezahra.com. She believes that for women, the secret to happiness is two-fold – spending time with positive girlfriends, and carving out time for hobbies you are passionate about.
Even though she considers herself a proud American, Zahra loves her Pakistani culture and wants to stay connected with its rich traditions. Like other desi families, she grew up very connected to her community with social events like house parties (dawaats), weddings, and Sunday school. She wants her son, Adam, to have the same wonderful memories that she has of her childhood.
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