Fashions fade, style is eternal.Yves Saint Laurent
Fashion is fleeting, STYLE is forever … I believe that our style should reflect who we are as a person, it is all about taste, lifestyle and choices. Look beyond brands and trends to look for a personal style, colors and things that make your heart sing. Things that tell a story of WHO YOU ARE. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can or cannot wear! I’m constantly told (by family members) that I’m too short for those culotte pants or to carry a certain dress! I really don’t care, I wear what feels good to me than what looks good on me!
I STRONGLY believe women of any age, shape, color can wear anything as long as they wear it with confidence and a smile! Own it and make it YOUR style!
Keep it Simple
Get outfits that fit your lifestyle. If you work from home spend the money on good loungewear and athleisure instead of the dresses that get worn once a month on date night. If you have a customer-facing job then obviously dress for that. I guess what I’m trying to say is… Keep outfits simple and easy!
Buy Clothes that make an Impact
Once I have some of the basic wardrobe staples( more about it in the bottom), I make an effort to add responsibly and ethically made pieces to my wardrobe instead of just buying trendy fast-fashion pieces. Dresses and outfits that have a story, make a statement and more importantly, make a social impact. Investing in fewer but better clothes has become my goal. I hope Slow and Sustainable fashion becomes the NEW TREND.
Luxury and Sustainability are not mutually exclusive
Did you know fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world after oil? Take a minute to let that sink. The source of the issue is fast-fashion. Buying inexpensive garments made in sweatshops is one of the major causes of damage to our planet. Buying Luxury brands have an advantage over fast-fashion companies. While you pay a little more, the products last longer. They are not temporary and disposable like their inexpensive counterparts.
Luxury and Sustainability don’t have to be mutually exclusive, these days you can find brands between Fast Fashion and High-End Luxury. There are brands that make well-made, lux to the touch garments sustainably at affordable prices. Clothing brands like & Stories by H&M, Amour Vert to mention a few.
Like everything in life, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. We can’t just purge our closets and start over. But we can reduce the fast fashion purchases, invest in the long lasting luxury garments and mix the two when we need a little trendy outfit! Buying less and buying well-made garments is better for your bank account and the planet!
It is ok to REPEAT
Say it with me with — IT IS OK TO REPEAT OUTFITS! Social media has us believing otherwise and makes us want to buy whatever is trendy so that we avoid repeating outfits! Oh, the horror of two squares in your feed featuring the same outfit! IF you are socially conscious and buy clothes that made an impact, you would want to wear it on the repeat, PROUDLY!
My mantra has been keeping the outfits simple and add in accessories as needed. Be it bags, shoes or jewelry! Invest in the ones that will outlive you, ones that you can pass over to your kids and grandkids.
Buying luxury handbags can actually SAVE you money
Instead of buying 3 trendy bags every year, save up and buy one that lasts for years. To be clear, I’m not suggesting you spend your mortgage or grocery money or your car payment on a purse. I don’t believe in renting things either. Buy things you can afford. You don’t have to always buy from designer boutiques. Buy them from consignment stores BUT buy them when you CAN afford them and CHERISH them!
I bought my first designer bag — a Prada when we were visiting Rome, some 15 years ago. I still have and LOVE that bag. On that note, buying that designer bag when traveling can save you some money as well.
Did you know you can mend the bags(the good ones) if it breaks? The boutiques will fix it for you or you can take it to a cobbler. The same goes for shoes.
6 Luxury Wardrobe Essentials for Women
White Tees or Shirt
A true classic! And works with everything from vibrant skirts, tucked into jeans or with a pair of trousers and a blazer. However, the choice is personal — get one a fit that you feel comfortable in and in a fabric that you love. I gravitate towards a looser fit and find more use for tees than a white shirt. Tees made from organic cotton by Industry Standard, Pact, Madewell and Everlane are great options. Whatever your preference, once you find IT.. buy a few.
Good Jeans that fit
Denim trends are always revolving: boyfriend cuts, mom jeans, ripped, ruffled, and rolled. Buy a pair of straight-leg blue jeans. It will never go out of style. Frame and NYJD are some of my current favorite brands.
A pair of black pumps
Suede, patent, or soft matte leather, a pair of plain black pumps will take you everywhere. Look for a snug fit in the toes and heels that you can actually walk in — comfort is key. I like my kitten heels and anything less than 3″. If you don’t wear pumps, get a pair of black boots or black ‘dress’ sandals.
You will wear these classics over and over. Make sure it’s a good one and look at it as an investment. Buy one in black and one in nude. You can wear them with anything from jeans to dresses to ethnic outfits. Depending on your taste and budget choose a designer bag style and brand that you like. From the iconic quilted Chanel bags to Sam Bag by Kate Spade, the choice is endless!
My first designer bag was a Prada that we bought during a trip to Rome(you can save some $ on VAT when you shop for designer bags when you travel internationally). I got the most coveted true red Chanel at the Rue Cambon store during a trip to Paris. I’m saving and hoping to add a Hermés Birkin after I hit a few milestones that I’m working towards.
The LBD aka the Little Black Dress
A timeless wardrobe essential invented in 1926 by Coco Chanel. The LBD is universal because by adding various accessories, you can look different each time. It will be your go-to dress for special occasions. You can of course buy it in a different color like red or navy blue but get a classic one that emphasizes your shape. Add those pumps, some pearls, and the designer bag to make a statement, or wear the little black dress with fun earrings and necklaces for a casual look.
Cuyana is a great brand that carries some of these women’s wardrobe staples. While a little expensive, the concept behind the brand is fewer, better things – if you buy good stuff that lasts and don’t go out of style, you won’t need to buy as much! Now isn’t that something we can get behind!
Hermés Silk Scarf(s)
A Hermés silk scarf is another great investment to add to the collection. It is a Women Luxury Wardrobe Essentials! Be it the iconic orange color or have a playful print, it will make you look polished. You can wrap it around the neck, tie it to the handle of the bag, thread it through the loops of the jeans like a belt or even wear it like a blouse. IMO, this is the best accessory to jazz up a simple outfit.
Once you have these 6 key Women Luxury Wardrobe Essentials, add in a few outfits and dresses depending on your lifestyle. Minimal is key! Make a capsule wardrobe every season with these wardrobe staples and add in a season appropriate dress or two. If made well these will last you a while.
Ethnic Outfits and Dresses
Every stylish women’s wardrobe should have a few playful dresses. A midi or tea dress is one of the classic fashion staples. You can wear them to a party, for lunch/brunch, or meetings and look fashionable, stylish, and feminine. You can buy these midi dresses from Ann Taylor, Old Navy Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, and Christian Dior depending on your budget.
My wardrobe has a few Indian outfits, tunics and dresses that I wear on repeat. While not exactly your traditional tea dresses, these are the traditional dresses that I believe reflect MY STYLE. The colors, fabrics prints, and motifs remind me of places and things that I grew up with.
Some of my favorite dresses are printed by hand using carved wooden blocks by artisans who for generations have passed on these techniques to their families. Some are hand-embroidered labors of love, worked on by women artisans in remote villages of India. They come in soft cotton and silks in colors from naturally dyed pastels to jewel-tone and vibrant. Sometimes I get lucky and manage to find these dresses in Anthropologie(like the dress in the leading photo – a Pankaj & Nidhi from Anthro).
A few places I like to shop from are:
The Burnt Soul – makes the best cotton dresses and kurtas at affordable prices
Anokhi – has block-printed kaftans, dresses and tops
Abraham and Thakore – create fashion in Indian textiles rooted but with a contemporary and international take.
Anita Dongre – features dresses made by women in rural India. A revivalist of local craft yet the clothes have a modern aesthetic
Ritu Kumar – a long time favorite for tunics, kurtas, and ethnic wear
Sabyasachi – a designer who has made saris vogue again and has revived the artisans and Indian textile industry
Pero – a brand where the textiles for each garment is handwoven. I have just 3 pants and hoping to get more when I make it to India next time
I hope, next time when you are in a shopping mood, you will consider slow and sustainable fashion and try to find outfits that make a positive impact on people and the planet.
See MyPria, my directory Sustainable and Socially Responsible brands for other great finds and deals.
See my Shoppable Summer Wardrobe Essentials
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