putting together a fabulous wardrobe, part 2

by crumpetsandt

so on to accessories and shoes detox today!

in my opinion, shoes and accessories are just as important as clothing and actually, if i look back to my purchase history, the trend has been that i’m more willing to spend money on good pair of cute but comfortable shoes than on clothing.  typically, my cutoff of basics (tops, bottoms) is no more than $30-50 dollars (depending on the brand) and for formal items no more than $100, 150 depending on how fancy the item is.  but for shoes, i would spend more comfortably around $50-150 on a pair especially if it pays off in comfort (i’m looking at you, cole haan + nike air and stuart weitzman).  these prices of course are the sale prices and not the retail price.  with accessories, my main weaknesses are belts and scarves and since i don’t carry around handbags anymore and can’t really wear costume jewelry (sometimes i get a rash and my taste in jewelry is of the motto “the simpler, the better”), i only have three gold necklaces that i rotate around in addition to my belt and scarves collection.

so now, we tackle (2):

a) paring down one’s accessories:

think back to the style that you have now defined.  find all your accessories and place them on your working surface, be it bed, desk, or whatever.  which accessories that you currently have would go great with the outfits that you have now prepared with the clothes that survived the purge?  do you have scarves, belts, hats, etc. that would fit the color palette(s) you previously established?  do you have the appropriate jewelry that expresses the style that you would like to embody?  any accessories that you can’t answer “yes” for need to be left behind (gifted, donated, dumped, etc.).  don’t hold on to any items that would propel your style forward!

more concretely, for me this means that i only have five different colored spring/summer/fall scarves that enhance my outfits/keep my neck warm, that i’ve learned to wear/drape/tie appropriately with each outfit (i have two heavy duty cashmere scarves that is no longer in use for cali).  i like to wear contrasting colors together like a red dress with a vibrant purple scarf or a white tee with jeans and a grey cardigan with a light pink scarf.  play around with your options and figure out now which colors go well together so you’ll be able to grab-n-go later on.  with jewelry, i don’t wear bracelets because they’re a lab hazard (can be caught on things) and so wear only necklaces. i like really delicate pieces and usually don’t switch my necklaces around.  my current favorite piece is a look-alike of the tiffany’s elsa peretti diamonds by the yard piece (gah look at that pricetag!) which looks something like this:

from google

from google

i also have several belts (stretchy cinched waist belts, traditional thread-into-hole types, in vibrant colors, black, camel, etc.) that i’ve already identified for certain outfits.  do the same for your belts if applicable.  i especially like the patent belts at jcrew in fun colors which go on sale after the season and can be bought for around $8 to $15.  these are perfect for brightening up a dress, for example with color combos like neon poppy red with navy blue, or fuchsia with white, etc.

of course for summertime, sunglasses are a must so figure out what shape flatters your face the best (for me, only aviators) and purge your collection accordingly.

i have a collection of handbags that i don’t use since i’ve switched to wristlets (i have 3 i alternate)…i’m waiting to decide what to do with them.  if you are a handbags gal, be sure to include them in your assessment!

also take the time to identify what accessories may be missing for your collection.  write these things down so that later on when sale season comes, you can tailor your search just for those pieces and be focused (instead of buying indiscriminately).

b) shoes re-vamp:

be honest with your shoe collection.  which ones don’t you wear at all?  which ones are your favorites?  identify the attributes and jot them down for future reference.  any shoes that are falling apart but you love need to go to a cobbler to be fixed.  can’t be fixed?  trash them and write down the type as a “future sale” purchase and actively look for a replacement pair.  identify which gaps you may have in your shoe collection.

i’ve whittled down my collection to 20 pairs (including winter shoes):

spring/summer/fall shoe collection:

  1. black leather flats from jcrew with small gold studds
  2. black leather flats with bows by coach
  3. black patent coach heels for formal business attire
  4. black leather wedges by cole haan (with nike air!!!!) for business attire
  5. black and gold flat coach slingbacks
  6. rose gold leather flip flop-style wrap around sandals (weird i know but prevents accidental loss of shoe when stepped on)
  7. nude bcbg sandals
  8. peach suede flats from jcrew (new unworn recent purchase =D)
  9. magenta criss-cross, peep toe flats from cole haan
  10. gold stuart weitzman flats (sporty look)
  11. two pairs of random brand prada-look-alike baby wedges in coral/blue/nude and also in blue/nude (bought when on vacation in taiwan)
  12. formal gold and crystal strappy stuart weitzman heels (my baby!)
  13. brown leather minnetonka mocassins (a gift from a. e. s.)
  14. running shoes

winter shoes (in storage):

  1. heavy duty cole haan waterproof/snow dark brown suede lace up (hidden zip) boots (bday gift from mom)
  2. brown leather cole haan riding boots
  3. dark brown leather cole haan low wedge heel, knee high boots
  4. black coach leather knee high boots
  5. black celine leather round toe, knee high, wooden stacked heel boots (so very sexy, my special splurge for my 25th birthday)

man i’ve accumulated many pairs of shoes over these past five years!!!!  the last five i don’t even really get to wear in california except for the brief november through january period…it’s definitely not cold enough to warrant wearing.  additionally, i have a pair of stuart weitzman formal crystal and black strappy heels and a pair of valentino pink satin heels that i’m trying to decided what to do with; i most likely will sell them at a consignment store.  as you can see from the list above, i should not buy any more black shoes (or shoes for that matter)!  usually for the more expensive pairs, i get soles put on the bottom to extend their wear.  so worth it!

alrighties, it’s time for me to head off to bed!  have a great night peeps and until tomorrow for part 3!