the 10 pieces you need for a classic wardrobe

A8E7B872-433B-456E-AAA3-59BE70562F08.JPG
F95DE7B1-B110-4465-8703-13B69B009F7B.JPG
49B04436-5C2B-4E8F-9A5E-9913D7A1478C.JPG
E4AC177F-0819-4C92-94F8-97D7DAE4207A.JPG

I’m wondering, is there any one piece of clothing more classic than a trench coat? It’s the perfect layering piece for spring and fall when it’s warm enough to forgo your heavy winter coat, but still too chilly to go without any outerwear at all. Even more, a good trench coat is a timeless piece that’s been chic for decades, as proved by classic icons Françoise Hardy, Brigitte Bardot, Jackie Kennedy, and Audrey Hepburn to modern it-girls Keira Knightley, Kate Moss, and the queen, Amal Clooney.

The history of the trench coat was originally worn as a sporting coat in British society before being popularized in the first World War. The traditional regulation wool coats worn by the military weren’t able to withstand the elements in the trenches and thus, the waterproof trench coat came into play, designed first by Burberry and then Aquascutum in the early 1900s.

Since then, the trench has ascended to its status as an iconic garment after being seen in cinema of the 1940s and 50s, used by costume departments on the set of Casablanca and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. In the 90s, we saw modern versions done by Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto. But it still remains that the trench coat exudes a sense of elegance and the functionality that is so common in British upper class fashion.

Recently, I was gifted the Whitstable trench coat from British brand Boden and I’ve been having a lot of fun styling it with my upcoming trips to London and Amsterdam in mind. What’s great about it is that it’s got all of the classic elements of a trench but with modern sleeve stripes and a really fun yet surprisingly discreet Union Jack printed lining.

Along with the trench coat, I’m sharing nine more pieces that I think you need in order to have a classic wardrobe. But, classic doesn’t have to be boring! There are so many iterations of classic that it never has to look bland. You could honestly be anything from classic prep to classic bohemian. What’s so fun about styling is that the possibilities and combinations are endless. Using these ten items as your base, you can infuse your personal style by layering on accessories or statement pieces.

cashmere sweater //
A good cashmere sweater can take you through all four season. Yes, even summer because it’s a thermostatic fabric that reacts to your body temperature. Ideally, I recommend stocking up on cashmere sweaters in black, white, gray, and camel and then adding pops of color to suit your personal taste. Some of my favorite places to buy affordable, high quality cashmere are Boden, Everlane, and J.Crew.

basic t-shirt //
The foundation of any wardrobe, in my eyes, is a collection of really great, basic t-shirts that fit exactly the way you like. When you find that tee, buy it in white, black, gray, and oatmeal, maybe even two of each and KonMari fold them into a little drawer. My all-time favorite t-shirts are from Madewell but some other great brands are T by Alexander Wang, Rag & Bone, Equipment, Everlane, and James Perse.

perfect fitting jeans //
Denim styles really vary based on your body and what you like, so I can’t just say buy a pair of skinny jeans and be done with it. I recommend taking a day to go try on all sorts of different styles to find what suits you best, then invest in a couple colors like black, white, dark blue, and light blue. Also, I know jean shopping can be really annoying and can trigger body issues but keep in mind that brands size and even construct their jeans so differently that you shouldn’t take it personally when you put on a pair that looks terrible. My true size is 26-27 in jeans, yet a pair of 25s were huge at Free People and I once could barely zip up a pair of 32s at H&M. My favorite places to buy jeans are Madewell and Zara, where I find the sizes are true and the fits are comfortable.

little black dress //
What classic wardrobe list would be complete without a little black dress? Remember, this doesn’t have to mean something boring. It’s just nice to have a classic, black dress of any kind on hand that can take you from work to weekend and from brunch to a more formal evening event. This is a place where you can really infuse your personal style!

statement dress //
A statement dress, to me, means buying something interesting that suits your lifestyle very specifically. I live in the South and near the beach, so my statement dresses tend to be bohemian, printed maxi dresses in muted colors. If you live in an area that’s colder more often, maybe your statement dress would be something like this in a heavier fabric or if you’re really into color, maybe something bold like this in a classic silhouette. Or, maybe you like a delicate, vintage vibe and you’d go for something like this.

trench coat //
I’m a huge fan of a camel coat, but if I can only pick one outerwear item for this list of ten, a trench is the piece I have to pick. It’s the perfect outer layer for winter, spring, and fall. It’s waterproof, it’s chic, and it’s timeless. I was graciously gifted this amazing trench from Boden that is super classic but with a couple little twists.

gold pendant //
Jewelry is usually a thing that’s very much up to your personal taste, but I think a gold pendant necklace is suited for anyone’s wardrobe. You can veer into different directions depending on what you like, picking something clean and modern or going for more of a vintage vibe.

ballet flats //
You really can’t go wrong with ballet flats. A classic black or nude pair are super versatile and can be worn with literally everything. When it comes to fabrics, I tend towards leather or suede and I recommend really doing your due diligence and buying from a brand that has a sterling reputation for quality. I say this because I got a pair of $100 flats for Christmas a few years ago from a brand that I thought was a good one, then they were destroyed after just one week. Granted, I wore them at a conference for a week when I was an events coordinator but still, these should have lasted. Anyway! I recommend going with brands like Margaux, Rothys (worn by Meghan Markle), and Repetto (the OG ballet flat company, worn by Audrey Hepburn herself) and even Boden! I just got a pair from them and they’ve been great.

blazer //
I will admit I have a love/hate relationship with blazers, probably tied to my dislike for dress codes and office jobs 😅 But, I have a nice collection that are good to have on hand and can actually be dressed down pretty easily. If you want to dress your blazers up and down, I suggest buying linen blazers because they’re easier to make feel casual. For a full collection, try black, white, tan, and navy. My favorite brands for blazers are J.Crew and Ralph Lauren.

white sneaker //
If there’s one shoe that I own that I wear the most, it’s definitely my white Converse. They go with everything, they are super comfortable, and they add a little cool edge to a look. My favorite brand for white sneakers is Converse but there’s, of course, also Adidas, Nike, and Common Projects.

the weekend list no. 53

9E8C4520-F3F0-4899-AD75-B0556DE52A96.JPG
Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 10.54.48 AM.png

My low this week has simply been the fact that I’ve been having technical difficulties surrounding my work several days this week 😣 I know I’m not alone because I saw a couple posts on Instagram about other people having annoying tech issues that made them less productive. Whenever things like that happen, I think of this post from Sara Blakely’s Instagram which is sooo accurate.

My high this week has probably been getting to take some new photos for a brand collaboration (see: yesterday’s post). Oddly enough, it was my first time going out to take photos in 2019! Although it was really cold and windy while shooting, we got some pictures that I really like and that’s always a fun thing. My other high has just been doing yoga everyday and seeing more progress in my flexibility. I’ve been working out consistently since my senior year of high school, but have always switched things up a lot and have never really stuck to one practice. But, I’ve been committed to solely focusing on yoga lately and I’ve already seen progress in things like getting into crow pose and getting my heels to the ground in downward facing dog.

Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 10.54.52 AM.png

I hope this doesn’t come off the wrong way, but the past few weeks have really been focused a lot on the grind. I’ve definitely done a lot of fun things this month with friends and family, trying new restaurants, and so on but for the most part, January has been about setting up my habits for the year and getting back on track after the holidays with work. I didn’t complete my bucket list for the month, but I’m making an effort to do more in February and to have some more adventures and fun experiences. I’m not saying January wasn’t fun, it’s just that I want to do even more next month.

Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 10.57.31 AM.png

How happy is this bar in Austin?

The greatest style inspiration.

I’m all about yoga skin.

Victoria’s post has a really interesting perspective on the meaning of age.

This post from Brighton about finding your priorities was so thoughtful and well done.

I’m loving Kortney’s series on the South! Here’s ten rules for classic Southern style.

You must read this interview with the Crazy Rich Asians costume designer!

Victoria has a great, in depth guide for creating a vision board.

Here’s a wonderful 20 minute power yoga flow I’ve been loving.

Appropriate for self love month here on the blog!

hello, february!

I know people say this all the time, but I genuinely can’t believe how fast last month went by. It feels like just yesterday was Christmas and now we’re already in the second month of 2019. Like I mentioned last month, every month this year will have a distinct theme on the blog which all of my posts will relate back to. Last month was starting fresh, getting organized, and setting up good habits.

February’s theme is a little bit more relaxed. In my eyes, this month is all about self-love and enjoying little luxuries. From the perfect Chanel lipstick to a homemade cup of your favorite tea, these are the things that don’t cost much but have the ability to make everyday feel really special.

Why this theme? The big holiday this month, of course, is Valentine’s Day which is, truthfully, a holiday I’ve never been quite fond of. Even years when I’ve had “a Valentine” to spend the day with, the concept always rubs me the wrong way because I feel like it’s promoting the commodification of love and the only real purpose for the holiday is to sell this idea that we a) have to buy things to show we love someone and b) that romantic love is the end all be all in life.

The point I’m trying to make is that the theme for this month was born out of wanting to subvert the typical narrative of February and Valentine’s Day, turning it on its head and making it about self-love. After all, as RuPaul says, “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?” Or, if Diane von Furstenberg is more your style: "The most important relationship in your life is the relationship you have with yourself. Because no matter what happens, you will always be with yourself.”

Posts this month will show you ways to treat yourself kindly, how to enjoy the little things, and just generally how to keep cozy and sane this February. As for the visuals, I’m really inspired by the images below of pink and red, champagne bubbles, sweet treats, soft pajama sets, and beautiful textures.

Screen Shot 2018-12-26 at 12.47.01 PM.png
 

book report: january 2019

7060F3E4-07C1-4470-AFE2-7EEE677052BD.JPG

It feels so fun to be starting fresh with my book goals at the beginning of the year. For 2019, I’m upping my goal to read 70 books through the end of December. That’s about six books a month, so I’m right on track having read exactly six this month.

Progress: 6/70

The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny
This was the eighth book in the Chief Inspector Gamache series, which currently consists of fourteen books and counting. Unlike the majority of the books, this one took place outside of the village of Three Pines which isn’t my preference but I really enjoyed this story. A group of monks at a secret monastery in Quebec become famous after a recording of their Gregorian chants goes viral, then the abbey prior is found dead and the Chief Inspector is sequestered in the abbey until he finds the killer. This book has a lot of character development, especially for the Chief Inspector’s right hand main Beauvoir. As always, it’s a beautifully written, intelligent mystery.

Becoming by Michelle Obama
Where do I start? I already loved Michelle Obama, but after reading this, my respect and admiration for her has only grown. I also realized that Barack Obama might be my dream man, but that’s another story! I love that this book tells the story Michelle’s life from growing up on the south side of Chicago to Harvard Law through all of the iterations of her career and, of course, her time as First Lady. Her life story is so interesting and inspiring, but reading this also brought me back to the Obama presidency and all of the milestones that represented. Her warmth and candor really came through in this book and it’s definitely a must-read this year.

Wellth by Jason Wachob
This is a book by the founder of Mindbodygreen, a website I love for articles on everything from nutrition to meditation to fitness. Over the course of thirteen chapters, he discusses the different facets of wellness and what it means to build a life around wellness rather than building a resume or working super hard until you die, basically. While the information was a little bit basic for me, I think this is a great book for someone just getting into wellness or those times when you just need a little refresher in a certain area or two.

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
Like many people, I read a lot of stories set during World War II because the sheer number of different perspectives and experiences are endless and it’s an event that should never be forgotten. If you like WWII books, this is a must read and it’s one of my new favorites. I think I’d compare it in tone to “The Nightingale” which was incredible. However, this is the only Holocaust related story I’ve ever read where all three main characters were not Jewish which was super interesting. It follows three women, a New York socialite, a Polish girl who gets sent to a concentration camp, and a female doctor at one of the camps. I have to say, the female doctor character (who is based on a real person) was extremely scary to me because she seemed like a “normal” human being, yet she adamantly defended all of the heinous things she did to women at the camps. Long review, but I could write so much more! You have to read this.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
I gave this book a solid three out of five on Goodreads and I’ll tell you why. The story is about a woman who is accused of killing her husband and then she suddenly stops speaking and is admitted to a psychiatric hospital where she is monitored by a psychotherapist who has a keen interest in her. First the positives: I breezed through this book because it was quickly paced and definitely held my interest. I also like the way the author tied in a certain Greek myth. However, I saw the ending coming from a mile away and though it was pretty meh. If you’re new to psychological thrillers, you might like this because it is a compelling read but if you’ve read quite a bit in the genre, you’ll probably find it quite predictable.

The Light Over London by Julia Kelly
This was another WWII novel I read this month that was just released earlier this month on January 9th. It was different than most WWII novels I’ve read because the content was a little bit lighter and it was more of a relationship drama than a novel about the atrocities and politics of the war. That’s not to say it wasn’t good, just different! There are two storylines, one in the present and one in the past, that link together. This is a good read for a weekend where you want something historical with vintage vibes but not too heavy.

how to get super shiny + healthy hair

FBA3A3FF-AD82-477C-8A7D-B7D952CC00E0.JPG

I had another post scheduled for today but it was raining all day Sunday so I couldn’t get the photos sorted out. Therefore, I have a quick post today that was supposed to be next month 😅 Long story short, last year when I was living in New York, my hair became super thin and dull because of the weather, pollution, and other environmental stressors. After moving back South, my hair took forever to get back to normal.

It sounds vain, but it was annoying because I’ve always been used to having super low maintenance hair that looks voluminous and healthy and just good without really trying that hard. Over the past few months, I’ve finally gotten my hair back to normal and maybe even a little better than before. Here’s how I did it, aside from generally eating well and drinking lots of water:

olly undeniable beauty vitamins
I started using these in October, I think, took them everyday for the next three months, and saw a very noticeable difference. In fact, I think these were one of the biggest factors in repairing my hair. They have biotin, borage, and vitamins C+E to build strength and shine.

scalp clarifying treatments
Another thing that helped a lot was doing scalp treatments about twice a month. Sometimes I’d use the Kiehl’s Deep Micro-Exfoliating Scalp Treatment and other times, I’d do a DIY treatment. To DIY, I’d mix 2 tbsp baking soda with water to create a paste that I’d scrub into my scalp. Wash out the paste, then follow up with an apple cider vinegar rinse made by combining 16 oz of water with 2-4 tbsp of apple cider vinegar.

brush with soft bristles
One huge factor that changed in my beauty routine is that I now primarily brush with soft, natural bristles. These are so much better for your hair than plastic bristles because they help to release oils in your hair and stimulate the scalp for healthier hair follicles. The best of the best brushes come from Mason Pearson, but there are definitely great options out there for less.

use hair treatments + oil
Finally, I began using hair treatments, primarily oils, more regularly, just running some oil through the ends of my hair before bed to help replenish the ends. My favorite oil to use for the hair right now is the Biossance 100% Squalane Oil because it’s purely one ingredient and it can also be used on your face and body.