Getting Dressed According to 'THE RULES'

Jeans: J Crew // Jacket: Nordstrom // Tank: J Crew // Shoes: Steve Madden // Tote: J Crew (Similar) // Suede Necklace: Forever 21 // Brass Necklace: J Crew (Similar) // Rings: Banana Republic // Aviators: Ray-Ban

Here's the real-real: I struggle with getting dressed as much as anyone. Occasionally (usually during my cycle) I'll have a full-blown melt-down in my closet. They're not crying/screaming tantrums, but an absolutely inability to put an outfit together and get out the door. I'm literally frozen, uninspired by my (many) options, and suffering from what feels like 'writer's block'. I'm steadfastly ontime, but these melt-downs have been known to make me an hour (or more) late to events and gatherings. I'm not being hyperbolic: this has been a real problem for me. But its occurance is lessening and I think I know why. I STRICTLY follow some shopping rules and as a result I'm building a working wardrobe full of pieces I love and wear. These are my parameters:::

  • BUY FOR NOW, NOT FOR LATER  I had to untrain myself to 'bargain shop' clearance items. Stocking up on closeouts for next year might have worked when I was eight, but at thirty-eight it's a sure-fire way to end up with a closet full of lackluster clothing with price-tags still attached. I never ever want to wear those bargains when they're back in season! Spending my money on a single item I'm excited to wear right now is more helpful to me than stock-piling clearance items to wear in six months.
  • BUY WHAT YOU LOVE, BUT...  Loving a piece of clothing (like a person) has more to do with compatibility than that first flush of infatuation. For me to 'love' something it has to pass a series of tests. Am I excited by it? Does it fit and flatter? Does it feel good on my skin? Can I walk/sit/stand in it? A fail on any one of these questions means I don't take it home.
  • BUY NEUTRAL CLOTHING, FUN ACCESSORIES I focus on building a collection of neutral colored tops and bottoms in varying sillhouettes and textures. Clash-less clothing means endless combinations and wardrobe longevity. Accessories are the best way to change a look and experiment with new trends and color.
  • BUY FOR YOUR LIFESTYLE As much as I admire gorgeous frocks and pumps, I have little use for them. My life is casual, my people are casual, therefore my wardrobe is casual. I'll admit, this rule hurts because I have to say 'no' to some beautiful things, but it prevents my closet meltdowns by replacing unusable 'fantasy' clothing with daily drivers.

Ok, done preaching. But the proof is in the pudding! Today's outfit is a living example of the rules. The white linen tank is a casual staple I can't live without. The wide-leg cropped jeans are a sillhouette variation done in lasting standard white denim. The jacket is brand new because it feels perfect right now. The shoes and bag are staples, as are my aviators, but the suede choker is my way to experiement with a trend and modernize my classics. This feels like the real me and took less than five minutes to put together. I can wear this to a meeting, to dinner, or out with my girls. Downward spirals in the closet BEGONE!