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There’s no doubt that I’m a perpetual purveyor of what’s traditionally defined as “classic;” it’s largely in part to my personal philosophy where I believe in the woman and not the clothes or products she uses (hence the emphasis on skincare and au naturel beauty philosophy). That said, however, those 10-100 (or whatever arbitrary — read: marketable — number) items gurus say everyone must own does not work for everyone. It shouldn’t, else it wouldn’t be style. What’s basic to me isn’t basic to another woman.
Here’s what’s prevalent in my wardrobe:
- The cheeky graphic tee. I love words. I love cheeky. Bam. Does that make me tacky? Probably, but semantics, babes. It’s all in how you wear it.
- High-waisted pants. Skinny jeans, fit and flare denim, or wide leg trousers. Low-rise things neither fit my body type nor my lifestyle well, plus, they’re the bane of a relatively curvy and petite girl’s existence.
- Ankle boots. I live in them all year long, and have since high school. This won’t be changing any time soon.
- Over-the-knee black leather boots. Actually, in an ideal world, thigh-high boots would be a wardrobe stable, but alas I have yet to find one that’s within my price range and fairly practical with my lifestyle (why buy things you can’t wear regularly? Unless it’s a party dress, I don’t believe in special occasions). Maybe when I’m in my mid-twenties, notably chicer, and not running around from place to place the thigh-high suede boot will fall in my favor.
- Leather jackets. The day I inherited my mother’s fitted, cropped leather number it was love at first sight. I’ve yet to find another that fits and looks the way it does (within my budget, that is), but I think it’s about time I bite the bullet and just invest in another. Or a few more, for good measure, since I’m rarely seen sans leather.
- Matching lingerie sets. Unmentionables my derriere! I could launch into a whole diatribe about lingerie’s negative connotation in the public sphere, but I’ll resist. Lingerie isn’t for everyone, and I understand that it’s not something (nor a subject) that people readily accept. It’s important to me, it’s a part of my regimen, my dress, who I am. (I also like pretty, lacy things.)
- Body-con dresses. Again, someting I’ve been wearing for years. They’re a classic staple in my evening wardrobe. Save for a well-tailored dress, bodycon and bandage dresses are what’s most flattering on my shape, and not to mention, comfortable too.
- Jumpsuits. The right one can be so flattering. I found one particular design and fell in love — and promptly hoarded it in a few more shades for evening rotations. I also not-so-secretly love that it’s something men don’t get, it satisfies the feminist in me.
- Crop tops. They go with everything high-waisted. And by transitive theory (or was it the communatative property? It’s been a while since I touched basic mathematics), that means cropped tops go with everything in my wardrobe.
- Semi sheer blouses. You just can’t live without them. And by you, I mean I.
- Off-the-shoulder tops & sweaters. I am a shameless Flashdance babe at heart, that’s all.
- 3/4 sleeve sweaters. The idea of the sixties sweater girl was forever ingrained in my 15-year-old brain after some film I watched with my mother, and now I seek to be the millenial version of the classic sweetheart.
- Fitted pencil skirts and dresses. If I’m not in a high-waisted-trouser-and-blouse combo, then you’ll find me swapping out my wide-leg bottoms for a fitted, more femme option. I love a super feminine, classic look; can you tell?
- Black leather handbag. I used to be a bag whore. It’s not to say that I’m a bag kinda girl — I always will be — it’s just that I’m not nearly as flighty as I once was. I’m faithful to one bag per season.
- Asymmetrical skirt. Another evening staple of mine. The Helmut Lang helix skirts I originally lusted after disappeared before I could hoard one of each color for my wardrobe, so I, being the resourceful little Nancy Drew I am, hunted down approximates. They’re not Helmut (one day; I’m still lamenting), but they’re pretty darn close, and therefore, pretty much perfect.
- Strappy sandals. I have yet to find the perfect pump, so in the mean time, those strappy heels are filling the void all too well. I love how delicate and elongating they are on the legs.
- Nude, red, dark purple or burgundy nails. Confession: nail art has always driven me crazy. I like having a “signature” for everything — signature drink, Starbucks order, meal, outfit, etc. — so sticking to a color palette makes me happy.
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What are your style staples?