Polishing Off Your Serving of Fashion Confections

Hello again! To those who don't know me, I'm Keira. I'm not a girl who always has her nose in a fashion magazine, and often is found in jeans and a pair of comfy shoes. Although I do love fashion and its potential artistic beauty, I love the simplicity found in practical, applicable fashion. And that is what I am writing about today.

Since this series of articles are about fashion for the everyday woman, and the everyday woman is BUSY, each article is a bite-sized treat ("chic morsel") for the fashion-minded, but not necessarily the fashion-savvy, woman. :)

This series of articles contains the knowledge of basic fashion I wish I would have had when I was twelve years old to consult through my teenage years and early adulthood. Although it may be very rudimentary knowledge to some, I hope everyone can benefit from a little bit of wisdom imparted in this last and previous articles.

In case you missed our last installment, here is the link to the first step and the second step in down-to-earth, but elegant, fashion: defining one's self. And now, to pick up from where we left off:

For my last fashion article, I would love to give every woman a basic guideline for her everyday wardrobe. With these pieces (separated for the different seasons), you will be elegantly ready for almost any quotidian [Lu's note: this means daily. I looked it up :)] occurrence. For further reading or reference, I highly recommend this book.

For Winter and Fall
  • One black coat (trench or peacoat, depending on your shape -- peacoat especially recommended for apple and pear shapes)
  • One coat in a bright color (example: red)
  • One dark suit (if you work), pantsuit or a blazer and skirt, in a dark shade
  • One plain sweater in an easy-to-match color (brown, white, beige, black)
  • One black skirt—A line for those who are pear-shaped, a nice pencil skirt for the others
  • One pair of black pumps (pointy toe for those who want to look modern and tall, round toe for everyone else, except if you are over 50 years old)
  • One pair of brown shoes, preferably low-heeled
  • One black handbag to match the shoes
  • One brown handbag to match brown shoes
    Note: Bags don't have to match the EXACT same pattern/material, just similar.
  • An absolute must: One little black dress. Note: Now, take your time and find something you REALLY love. Don’t just buy a LBD just to have one. You need to LOVE that LBD :)

For Spring and Summer
  • One lightweight wool suit, gray or navy, depending on your preference and complexion
  • Two blouses to match, one bright (yellow, pink, bright blue) and one dark.
  • Two skirts of lightweight material that match the blouses (I often gravitate toward khaki skirts, since dressed up they are passable for church. Corduroy is a great choice as well.)
  • A good sturdy pair of jeans that hug you well and that you love
  • One white button up shirt that fits you well
  • A pair of Bermuda shorts (longer is better, short is acceptable for those under 21), navy is a great color, but khaki or plaid work as well. If long shorts make you look short, try capris!
  • A few cotton tops that match your jeans and shorts/capris
  • One light colored handbag to match your “casual clothes”—I have a beige one, and plenty of cheaper cloth printed bags
  • One summer hat (mine is straw), in case you want to go swimming

Now the nitty-gritty with accessories:
The ultimate ideal would be to have matching shoes, coats and bags in black, brown, and a lighter color, such as beige. But if you can only start with one, always start with black. Gloves in black for winter are probably all you need, but if you would like to co-ordinate with gloves, too, you are welcome (no one uses gloves as a real fashion accessory anymore. How sad! :) No one really uses hats much anymore, but it couldn’t hurt to have a matching winter hat, scarf or knitted ear cover that matches your coat.

Sunglasses are fun and always add an extra touch to any outfit. Beware that your glasses say a bit about you—so if you aren’t an “aviator” girl, don’t pick aviators, no matter how popular they are. The bigger the glasses, the bigger the ego, they say. So if you choose big glasses, be prepared to act big! I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that on the opposite end, too small of sunglasses really don’t perform their function very well, therefore choose wisely. :)

One thing a girl simply cannot be without is a pearl necklace. Pearls are timeless, classy, elegant, and go with everything. There is no age limit on the wearing of pearls like there is on other jewelry (one is never too old or young for pearls, the question is size). This doesn’t excuse those who wear a blouse covered in tiny pearls and lace—less is always more. But a strand of pearls with black sweater, or a little black dress? Gorgeous. Simple pearl earrings with a summer dress? Classy. The rule is, the larger the pearl, the older the woman. I would say until you are over fifty, don’t choose pearls larger than 8 mm. I personally love anywhere from 6 mm to 7.5 mm in diameter for my set.

Pearls also come in other shadessilver beaded necklace—these beads are shaped just like pearls, but are silver instead. This is very beautiful paired with a red or black sweater at Christmastime. It’s one of my favorite accessories!

As for other necklaces for daily wear, simple geometric shapes never truly go out of style. A circle of small diamonds, a square inlaid with a stone, etc. are all good choices for your basic accessory needs.

Be careful in choosing your costume jewelry, since these pieces are usually in season for only one year. The heavier the piece, the louder it is. Colors say a bit too, so stay on the conservative side until you have your bases covered, then venture out. A word of warning as well: if you don’t have much of a budget, don’t buy a piece of costume jewelry unless you can pair it with at least two outfits at home, if not more. It’s always a shame to find something you love, and then have no occasion to wear it!

I am so grateful for my opportunity to contribute to the blog of a friend I consider the epitome of simple and natural beauty, Lu. Thank you for reading and all your support! :)

Thanks, Keira! You are far too kind in your compliments. :)

And, dear readers, don't worry, Keira isn't throwing in the towel -- she'll be with us covering different topics in the coming months until she gets sick of me. :) And as you're looking at building your basic wardrobe as Keira suggests, keep an eye on the clearance racks! As long as you stick with classic styles, the pieces you buy this spring from last fall/winter's selections will still be classic next fall/winter without breaking the bank!

For those of you in Utah wondering about getting your own string of pearls, just be patient until Mothers Day. Even if pearls aren't in the budget, Goldsmith Jewelers in Provo gives out free strands of pearls (one per household) each year. That's where I got my pearls and I love them!


Katie Johnson said...

How/when does Goldsmith do this? I'd love to take advantage of it!!!


Nick and Keira said...

ooo! Me too! When is it??? I'd love an extra strand. :)

Gwen @ Gwenny Penny said...

I love the seasonal tips. I need serious help. "The bigger the glasses, the bigger the ego"... love it!

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