Black All Over With a Pop of Color
Outfit details: quilted jacket (similar here), Loft pants (currently $20 off!), top with laser cut detail (old), Ivanka Trump flats (currently on sale!), vintage bag, scarf (similar here), cubic zirconia stud earrings (similar here), faux-fur poof keychain (similar here), Express sunglasses
I tend to wear a lot of black. Which makes accessorizing a lot of fun! I'm a firm believer in the style rule "before leaving the house, remove one thing" - whether that be a piece of jewelry or any other accessory - because too much is too much. Most of my shoes are black, so I often add colorful accessories to my black outfits in the way of necklaces. And, in the winter, I often wear black coats, so I find adding a colorful winter scarf is THE best accessory. I once went on a 2-week trip to Europe where all I took were a couple of basic oufits, but a massive amount of different colored pashmina scarves - I knew the weather would be chilly so I'd spend most of my time wrapped up in a coat, and if I didn't want to look exactly the same in every photo during the 2 weeks, I knew the simplest remedy would be packing colorful scarves (which obviously are like the lighest thing ever to pack!). This has resulted in quite a scarf collection. I got rid of a lot of scarves (by donating them to friends and charity) before moving to New York City, but I still kept a large quantity, since really they last forever and never go out of style (this green one I've had for 16 years!), and of course have added even more since moving here! I used to hang them in my closet, but in my apartment in New York, I have a tall dresser in my walk-in closet, and decided to dedicate an entire drawer to my scarves - the best way to care for winter scarves and keep them in good shape no matter their material is to roll them up, like a tootsie-roll. If you look back on my Instagram, you'll see a pic I took a couple of months ago of my scarves all snug in their drawer. :) I make a point, though, to never spend much on scarves - usually no more than $30 a scarf (find them on sale around the holidays!), because I've lost enough over the years to know not to invest too much money in them. Anything that can get put down during the day is likely to go eventually wander off...
In addition to colorful scarves, I have also tried adding some colorful shoes to my wardrobe - which actually makes shoe shopping a lot more fun! These colorful and embellished d'orsay flats from Ivanka Trump are probably the piece de resistance in my shoe collection right now. Not only are they absolutely GORGEOUS (I literally keep getting stopped on the street by people commenting on what beautiful shoes they are!), they are also super practical - because they're FLATS! I walk almost everywhere in New York City, and thus my footwear is of utmost importance. Flast are absolutely essential, and thus gorgeous flats are worth the investment when living in New York City. No doubt about it! Trust me - you don't want to always be schleping around an extra bag with a change of shoes. I saw a similar pair of these flats from Ivanka Trump last year, and really wanted to get them - but couldn't warrant it because whenever there was a beautiful day where I used to live up north, I usually opted for heels for dressing up. But, now that I'm living in New York City, I was so happy to see that Ivanka Trump came out with a similar beautiful shoe this year! And, I happened to wander into Lord & Taylor while they were having a shoe promotion, and got these plus another pair in a beige color (with clear crystal embellishment) both for 30% off! I'm telling you - it was meant to be!! They also come in black and blue - I would highly recommend getting yourself at least one pair while they're still available.
With a colorful scarf and colorful shoes, there's really no reason for a colorful bag. So, for this outfit, I went with one of my many black bags, and just added a beige poof keychain to the bag for a bit of a stylish twist. My top (which you can't see under my coat, but I will try to get it in a future post picture) has laser cut detail at the hem and cuffs, so between that detail and the colorful shoes, I decided that a necklace would be too much. Remember - always take off one thing before leaving the house. This time I opted to remove a necklace I had originally put on). Instead, I just wore my big cubic zirconia studs (a jewlery box essential!). I often lose earrings (the backs are always falling off!), so rarely spend more than $10 per pair. A great place to find inexpensive stud earrings are big box stores or drug stores.
The lesson learned from all of this is that having a collection of mostly black clothes can actually be a lot of fun. It also means less complicated laundry, since with black clothes you can just throw everything in together in the wash. I usually try as much as possible to stick to machine washable clothing. These pants from Loft are not just machine washable, but also hold up very well in the dryer. I usually hang dry all of my pants (except for jeans), but one day I needed a clean pair of pants and these ones (my current fave!) hadn't dried completely, so I threw them in the dryer, hoping they wouldn't shrink... and to my pleasant surprise, they came out basically as perfect as when I first bought them! The pants have a tiny bit of stretch in them, which is always flattering, but what's great about this particular pair is that they actually keep their shape. I find that pants with a bit of stretch can sometimes stretch out too much during the day, especially in the knees and toosh, but not these ones! I would HIGHLY recommend them, and plan on getting a few more pairs - Loft always has great sales, and in fact these pants are currently $20 off!
My top (an amazing find at a TJMaxx when I was on a road trip through California last year) is also machine washable. It's made from this amazing fabric that I had never worn before. The laser cut detail is nice, but really it's the fit that I love - extremely flattering! And it's held up really well after probably going through the wash almost once a week since I got it a year ago! It's definitely one of my favorite tops, and just wish that I had been able to find it in multiple colors.
Another great thing about black clothes is that if you just switch out your accessories, people who you see often wont realize you're wearing often times the same thing. I wear these pants several times a week, and this top probably once a week. Clothes will eventually wear out, go out of style, and can put a bigger dent than planned in your bank account if they aren't machine washable. So, I opt for basic affordable black clothes most of the time, and then put my investment more into accessories. Besides, who doesn't love a closet full of fun shoes, bags, jewelry, and scarves?!
As for the sunglasses... well, I've never been able to spend more than $10 on sunglasses. I just can't fathom spending upwards of $200 on something that will get scratched up in my bag, and probably lost before I know it. I find it's pretty easy to find cheap sunglasses that look chic. I found this pair at Express, which tends to have pretty on-trend style clothes, so I popped into the store near Herald Square one day figuring they would probably have some pretty trendy accessories as well - and to my delight they did, including these sunglasses, so I snatched them up... I think for about $5! And because they were so cheap, I've yet to lose them! :)
You'll notice that my quilted jacket is longer than most - I find that longer jackets are more flattering - really for any shape body or height. Short outerwear jackets just aren't flattering. I found this one at Lord & Taylor - this longer length is a bit hard to find, but I've linked to one here from Lands' End. What's also great about the longer length (besides being most flattering) is that it does a better job of keeping out the chill than shorter jackets, so I've worn this jacket a lot even during the winter here in New York City, where we've had an unseasonably warm winter without many days warranting a wool coat. A quilted jacket is a great closet essential for fall, winter, and spring. Be sure to find one that's machine washable, and it's a great coat that can be dressed up or down!
How do YOU accessorize, while simultaneously simplifying your wardrobe? Leave a comment and share your thoughts! And, if you aren't yet following me on Instagram, be sure to take a moment to do so, @preppyfarmergirl!
Thanks for stopping by!
By the way, in case you're wondering, these pics were taken on my iPhone 6S Plus.