Building My Ideal Wardrobe

ideal wardrobe

Loafers | Red & White striped tee (on sale!) | Gray sweater | Black dress | Black cardigan | Pencil skirt | Bar necklace | White button-up | Lace-up flats

My style has had quite an evolution over the last year. I used to veer toward punchy prints and bright colors – in the spring and summer, at least – because of what I like to call the “ooh, shiny!” affliction. I’d walk into a store and immediately spot a pair of statement pants, or an undeniably fun blouse, and grab them without second guessing it. I’d try these clothes on and buy the ones that fit, with the misguided notion that they’d blend into my wardrobe seamlessly. But once I brought them home, they lost their appeal after a few wears – and it took me until just recently to pinpoint why. I’m not the type of person who wears day-glo brights, giant polka dots and trendy silhouettes. I admired the look on other people, sure, but I didn’t quite realize that it was important for me to have my own aesthetic.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t still find myself drawn to bold patterns or statement pieces – of course I do – it just means that now, since I’ve had this epiphany, I’m better able to process that initial reaction. Do I really love the piece and see myself wearing it day after day, for seasons to come? Or is it like something shiny you see on the sidewalk – interesting for a moment, only to be soon passed by and forgotten? It’s usually the latter. And passing over the fun clothes that I used to think were for me has been a lot easier than I thought it would be, which only reinforces the fact that these things weren’t my style. 

I’m working on defining an actual vision for my wardrobe right now, based on the things that I’ve been buying lately, and pictures I’ve found online (hello, Pinterest!) that genuinely speak to me. Right now, my summer closet has been curated to a point that I’m comfortable with – it’s not overflowing, yet I never find myself struggling to piece together an outfit, and all of the clothes I have are pieces I truly love and feel comfortable wearing. Sure, it means passing up on some trends, but in the end I’ve found a look that I feel at home in, and that’s all I could really ask for.

Of course, though, that’s just this summer. Naturally, I’ve started looking ahead to the fall and winter – and this year is especially big, since I’m moving. I’m figuring out the colder-weather basics that will serve me well through the colder months, along with some other pieces that can be in heavy rotation year-round. The things above are what I’ve come up with.

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Spring Stock-Up

madewell favorites

Button-up | Bracelet | Blouse | Jumpsuit | Jeans | Romper | Bracelet | Jacket | Shorts | Tee | Bracelet | Peplum Tee | Loafers

In the last few months, my style has changed considerably – it used to be a big mish-mash of stuff that changed from season to season, but I feel myself starting to settle into a new, comfortable rhythm when it comes to clothes. And…I must give a lot of credit to Madewell. I stopped in there on a whim one day when I was looking for winter sweaters and saw some in the store window. Fast forward a half dozen or so sweaters and a few months and I shop there way more than I probably should. I used to think their stuff was too preppy, but now it all feels like the perfect mix of classic and trendy – bold patterns, timeless shapes, not to mention stripes (!). Either I’ve changed or they’ve changed, but regardless, I love it – here’s what I have my eye on for spring. (Can we talk about that pelican shirt?!)

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Best of the Web

best of the web 2

1. Sweater Love // I’ve been looking to stock up on extra-warm sweaters lately, and H&M was my first stop (as always). This one is unbelievably soft, substantial and not itchy, and the pattern works all season long.

2. Pep Talk Generator // This website is just the thing if you’re feeling down, or stressed out, or if you just need a little reassurance. It’s exactly what it says it is: a pep talk generator.

3. French Pop // I saw this music video a while ago – and while the song is catchy (despite the fact that it’s about a cheating girlfriend), it’s the video that I really love. It’s such a creative interpretation of the lyrics, and it’s just beautiful to watch.

4. Sweden Dreaming // Motherhood Around the World is easily my favorite feature on Cup of Jo, and this is the installment I was waiting for: parenting in Sweden. I fully intend to live there one day, and this post reconfirmed my love for the country (like this sentiment: “It’s cold and rainy, so let’s go to IKEA!”)

5. IKEA // Little known fact (haha): I’m sort of obsessed with IKEA. I was just there the other day, and aside from a bunch of magical Christmas decorations, they have new stuffed animals that were designed by children across the world. And naturally, they’re all perfectly quirky – like this neon unicorn.

6. Funny Stuff // I saw this link on Cup of Jo a while back, and I think it’s just too funny – these are the three universal New Yorker cartoon captions.

7. Short Stories // Like the (very weird) stories, love the cover.

8. Must-Read // In case you don’t watch Orange is the New Black, or if you don’t remember Piper’s rant on this subject, please read this article. It’s about everyone’s favorite poem, “The Road Not Taken,” and how everyone completely misinterprets it. 

9. For Food Lovers // I haven’t watched this whole series yet, but it’s very cool – and guaranteed to make you hungry.

10. Cream Scones // I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve made these scones in the last month – they’re quick to make and without a doubt the best scones I’ve ever had. Make them at your own risk.

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Coconut Curry Soup

soup 5

Do you ever have those days when you’re craving hot soup? For me, that’s pretty much my constant state of being. This weekend, I felt a serious need to make something new and deliciously savory, and I was aimlessly browsing Thug Kitchen’s website when I came across this recipe – and I knew what I was having for dinner before I even read the ingredients list.

Luckily, it came together pretty easily. Like most vegan food, there is a lot of chopping and vegetable washing to do, but once you do that, it all cooks up in one pot. And the end product is well worth the knife work – the broth is intensely flavorful with just the right amounts of spiciness and acid, and the vegetables cook just enough. (I served it with some vegetable spring rolls to round it out.) It’s definitely going to be one of my go-to comforting dinners this season.

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Art Love

art love

left to right: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10

I’m pretty much always on the hunt for affordable art. I’ve posted roundups of pretty prints on here before (exhibit A), but my tastes have changed in the last year or so. Just like my preference when it comes to clothes, my aesthetic when it comes to interiors has become more minimalistic and pared down. I still have a soft spot for pops of color, though – I’m especially fond of the digital pineapple above. Here are 10 prints I love, ranging from bright to black and white, abstract to chart-like.

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