For some years now, I’ve been focused on building a wardrobe composed mostly of neutral, solid, go-anywhere basics. It began as a desire to simplify and eliminate that “nothing to wear” scramble. I feel I’ve achieved this, but somewhere along the way I think I got a little too locked in, and mostly quit looking beyond those basic pieces. While accessories can certainly add personality to a simple outfit, there’s something to be said for those “added value” clothing items that bring the zhush, energy and visual interest.
But I’m also wary; in the past I’ve pushed myself to add color and pattern, only to find those items going unworn, perhaps because they were too singular, and too far outside of my style formula. I flip through rack after rack, or webpage after webpage thinking, “not me, not me, not me.” There’s a lot of great fashion out there, really beautiful things, but so few that I feel I can connect with, that fit my body and fit in with my life. Pieces that are both special AND easily wearable seem to be fashion’s unicorns.
Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes is needed.
Le Monsieur actually spotted this Raquel Allegra top when we were making a quick pass through Barney’s at The Grove after an early dinner. (Blog Reseach™ bien sur. 😉 ) He suggested I try it on. “This looks like you.” Though I loved the modern take on tie-dye, the garment on the hanger left me dubious. But the moment I put it on…un coup de foudre. “Love it immediately?” Absolutely. Sticker shock? Well, yes. But a piece like this adds so much more to my wardrobe than a dozen plain tops ever would, and satisfied a style craving I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to feed with “more of the same” for some time now. To use a food analogy, it’s as if I were trying to get flavor by heaping more rice and beans on my plate, when what I really needed was dollop of salsa. And like some of the best salsa, this top is handmade in Los Angeles.
I’ve styled here with my favorite white NYDJ jeans (now a couple of years old) but have some ideas for workday outfits too. Do be sure to check out “How I Wear My: White Jeans” at The Rich Life On A Budget and Everything Just So.
1. While I’m glad I’ve spent the time and effort to build a solid wardrobe foundation, more of a good thing isn’t going to make a difference at this point. I need to save my focus and budget now for those few Fabulous™ items that will add the spice and flavor. (Basics can always be replaced as needed.)
2. I always seem to stumble over those Fabulous™ items when I’m not specifically looking for them, and when I keep my eyes and mind open.
3. Sometimes there’s no substitute for shopping in person.
How do you add a bit of “wardrobe salsa”?
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