Thursday, January 30, 2014

t3 - classic wardrobe: layerful

It’s been quite a while since I did an update on my progress for building a classic wardrobe. I decided back in August that I never wanted to say, “I have nothing to wear” ever again. Since then, I’ve been slowly filling my closet with classic, versatile pieces.

On my phone, I carry a wish list of classic items. If I go shopping {in a store or online}, I only look for items on my list or I follow these guidelines from Putting Me Together.

You can see here where classic items like my striped boat-neck shirt and my white button-down can be worn so many different ways.

Lately, I’ve been on a layering kick. It could have everything to do with polar vortexes #1 and #2 ruining the promises of mild winter weather here in my Southern home, but I’m obsessed with pieces that can be worn over and under others. Because let’s face it, the more ways you have to wear something, the more you get to wear it!

So here are some of my favorite layering pieces this winter:

#1 Patterned Button-Ups

Red Plaid Shirt - Old Navy ($10), Gray Sweater - Target ($14), Jeans - Gap (similar), Necklace - Target ($10),
Shoes - Payless (similar), Watch - Michael Kors (gift)
You saw how I loved layering my white button-up shirt, but I found that most of my outfits consisted of blocks of color. I wanted to add some prints and textures to liven things up. Thanks to some awesome deals at New York & Company and Old Navy, I added four patterned, collared shirts to my work wardrobe, all for less than $10 apiece. {Who says you can’t find staple pieces on the discount rack?}

I paired this red plaid shirt with a gray sweater for a pop of color on a dreary winter day. I think every girl needs a strand of pearls, but I prefer mine with a little glitz. I was going to wear my gray boots, but thought the preppy-ness of this ensemble cried out for these bow flats.

#2 Chambray Shirt

Chambray Shirt - Old Navy ($15), Green Cardigan - H&M (similar), Black & White Skirt - RiffRaff (similar),
Loafers - Target ($15), Necklace - Target ($10), Watch - gift

I’ve been looking everywhere for the perfect chambray shirt. I currently have a light wash denim shirt, but it fits a little big on me and doesn’t create a very finished look. I wanted a shade of chambray that wasn’t too light but could go with my dark washed skinny jeans. And, I didn’t want to pay a pretty penny for it. I got this shirt for $15 at Old Navy and it couldn’t be more perfect.

I’m wearing the shirt with my all-time favorite black and white striped skirt. If I ever need a pick-me-up, I wear this skirt out. I’ve had total strangers come up to me and tell me how much they love it. I added a little color with this green cardigan – another benefit of layering is that it sometimes eliminates the need for a jacket – and I finished off the look with black loafers {also on my classic wardrobe list} and green and gold necklace.

#3 White Tee

Cardigan - H&M (similar), White Tee - Target ($7), Scarf - Gift, Black Booties - DWS

Do you have a favorite white tee? You know the one that’s silky soft and fits you perfectly? I found mine on the discount rack at Target and want to wear it every day. The white tee is the perfect foundation for layering – just add a cardigan, button-up shirt, blazer, scarf, statement necklace or sweater on top and you’re ready to go.

Lately, I’ve been experimenting with mixing patterns and textures. I’m not sure if I like this combination, but it was worth a try. The black and white knit cardigan is perfect for the weekend and the patterned scarf makes it even cozier. I’ve finished this look off with my very favorite black suede booties {these babies go with everything}. Just kick those off, and I’m ready for a Sunday afternoon nap.

What are your favorite layering pieces? Do you have any tips or tricks you’d like to add?

P.S. Special thanks to my husband, Daniel, for being such a great {and patient} photographer.


  1. i love all of these outfits but that first one is my fave!!! i love the color pop & those bow flats are too adorable!!

  2. I liiiiive for layers. I pretty much wear only black so you can't always tell, haha

  3. I always get my plain tees from the Kohl's junior's section, you can find them on sale for $3 or $4 very frequently. And I love button-up shirts but I have the hardest time finding ones that fit well!

  4. I am so jelly of your wonderful wardrobe! One day I will have the forethought to work on my own closet.

  5. Thank you! It's my favorite, too. Those shoes were actually my bridesmaid shoes for my best friend's wedding. They turned out to be incredibly practical!

  6. They have certainly got me through this horrible, cold winter. I have a TON of black, too.... which is why I had to branch out with some of these colors. I'm pretty sure I could wear a black dress every day of the week.

  7. I've never looked in the Kohl's junior's section for white tees before... But I haven't been to Kohl's in a long time. That's an awesome deal, though! Button up shirts don't fit my shoulders very well, so I have to be picky. The NY&Co ones fit PERFECT - so I always snatch as many as I can when they are on sale. Why do you have a hard time finding them?

  8. Thank you, Steff! Once upon a time {a year ago} I was in college and wore jeans and sundresses every day. My closet had over 20 sundresses {no lie} because I loved them so much and wore them all the time. Then, all of a sudden, I became a big girl in a big girl job and I had nothing to wear... thankfully, my mom is awesome and my graduation gift was "big girl" clothes. That provided me an awesome base.

  9. Thanks, Susannah! I've definitely been enjoying your post! My goal has definitely been pieces that are more versatile and can be worn many ways. What has your goal been for building your wardrobe?

  10. My problem with fit is that button-ups often end up being too short--they're usually not long enough to tuck in unless I'm wearing something with a really high waist...and I really don't know why because I'm not that tall!

  11. Lovely!!! I've been trying to dress more "grown-up" & you've given me some great ideas.

    I also have those exact same shoes there in your last photo - thanks for a new idea on how to wear them!

  12. I'm glad you like them, Beka! Getting my first "big girl" job forced me to get a lot of "grown-up" clothes... I'm trying my hardest to be more professional without being boring!

    And aren't those the best booties ever? Even Daniel knows they're my favorite shoes because I wear them so much. And, they're surprisingly comfortable for a heel.

  13. That's so strange! Well, in my search for cute button-ups, I'll make note of any that are particularly long. {I have a short torso, so that should be easy}.

  14. Really cute outfits!

  15. Thank you, Amanda! I'm really trying!

  16. Thank you, Holly! I'm definitely getting better at this!