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This is the third post on building a Capsule Wardrobe for the 2014 Clutter Cleanse. You can read part one here and see my basics list here. Looking for more about capsule wardrobes from a stylist and mom? I love the e-book The No Brainer Wardrobe by Hayley Morgan ($7.99 which I have saved many times over with fewer shopping mistakes).
If my neutral basics freaked you out don’t despair. Today: accessories.
Long ago I had an obsession with Coach hand bags.
I pined over wristlets and suede hobo bags. When I caved and bought myself an overpriced handbag (on credit of course) I did so in the name of treating myself. Handbags were bought as consolation for not making the 2004 Olympic team and as gifts to myself after breaking up with a boyfriend.
When I drastically reduced our stuff I also drastically reduced my handbag collection. The ones that got the boot first? The expensive but not practical Coach handbags. I donated them all to a second hand store that supports women in need.
Now I own just three hand bags. None of them are designer brands.
Because my basic wardrobe is full of neutrals in black, navy and grey, I can have brightly colored hand bags and still use them daily. They give a nice pop of color and, along with a few other accessories, make my wardrobe appear larger than it is.
My two daily handbags are a large red tote (vegan leather from Canadian company Matt and Nat that is still in great shape with frequent use over six years) and a medium sized mustard yellow cross body satchel with an adjustable strap. For nights out and special occasions I have a grey clutch. That’s it. If I need some extra carrying capacity I use reusable shopping bags and when I travel on long haul flights with my kids I usually wear a backpack.
I gave up on diaper bags long ago.
Jewelry seemed too fussy back in my 20s.
I was an athlete, showered three times a day and didn’t like the feel of a necklace on me or earrings in when I trained. And now that I have young kids there are limits to what I can wear. Limits and yet some days putting a pair of earrings in is the difference between feeling like I have the “just rolled out of bed” look to having a “put some care into her appearance” look.
Yes, sometimes a pair of earrings masks fuzzy hair, lack of sleep and the stain on your top you didn’t notice until you were a long way from home.
I’ve collected and been gifted a small collection of precious and costume jewelry that I will detail below. Some of it I wear daily, some it I will wear daily once I don’t have a young baby that wants to hang off of or chew on my necklace and some of it is just for nights out.
Again, this is just what works for me, my life and budget. When you look at your own jewelery collection start with an empty box and slowly add in your pieces that you love. If you have nice things that you never wear ask yourself what you’re saving them for. Beautiful things are meant to be seen and enjoyed.
- diamond studs and pearl studs: these are my daily wear earrings. They take five seconds to put on yet instantly dress up whatever I am wearing – even if it’s the second day for an outfit and unbeknownst to me there is a small yogurt hand print on the back of my jeans.
- bird necklace, diamond solitaire necklace, long strand of pearls: the pearls were a recent gift and I love how they look casually as a long single strand but become more formal when they are doubled.
- statement earrings and two statement necklaces: sparkly bold costume jewelry to dress up a casual evening outfit or compliment a cocktail dress.
- wedding band, engagement ring and set of four stacking rings: I wear my band and engagement ring daily. The stacking rings are mixed and matched and worn a few times a week.
I’d like to add:
- another pair of daily earrings: something like this or this.
- a teething necklace: perhaps one of these statement necklaces that are baby teething safe
A scarf let’s me experiment with color and, again, gives some variety and ‘flare’ to my basics.
I also need a scarf because it’s really cold and windy here most of the year. It’s a wonderful thing when function and fashion meet.
My collection of scarves is at eight right now. Again, finding unique patterns and colors for scarves expands my wardrobe while leaving my closet trim. While I would never wear a neon t-shirt (at least not in the last two decades…) I have one scarf with neon striping. So I get the fun of neon without committing an every day piece like jeans or a sweater to it. Again, I can wear bold colors because my foundation layer of clothing is in neutrals.
So tell me, how is your closet declutter going? Are you happy with your basics? Are you keeping a list? Resist the urge to get it ‘perfect’ right now. Perfect is the enemy of good. I still have items that I am saving for and my wardrobe, while I’m happy with it right now, will probably always have a few spots that I am working on.
Next up: shoes, shoes, shoes. I used to have thirty pairs. Thirty and I wore just a third of them more than once a year.