It’s only appropriate that loungewear/athleisure is the topic of discussion as I sit in joggers and a t-shirt surrounded by a mountain of packing boxes.
Our house packing bonanza is officially in full swing. In between our regular weekend activities and plans, I tried to pack as many boxes as I humanly could before 1) getting an overwhelming number of paper cuts 2) getting tired of my Amazon Music George Michael station (The combination of AMAZON PRIME + ALEXA is a game changer!) 3) getting frustrated that I keep packing and packing, yet the house still looks the same.
Which brings me back to my original topic: loungewear + athleisure.
I had the idea to write this post while standing in the room that perhaps sparks my best creativity: a client’s walk-in closet.
Surrounded by clothes, bags and shoes galore, I realized that as I stylist I preach a lot about what constitutes a functional wardrobe. You know, all those classic and timeless goodies we should all own? However, one aspect of a well-balanced wardrobe that’s often not given its due credit is the handbag.
A friend calls (who am I kidding — no one calls anyone anymore!) texts you on Thursday morning asking if you want to meet up with the girls for Friday night dinner and drinks. You happily oblige. It’s been ages since you’ve had a girls night out!
Then you panic.
“Sh*t! What do I wear?! I Have NOTHING in my closet. I hate my clothes!”
Then you proceed directly to the nearest clothing store as soon as you can and begin the mad hunt for the “perfect” going out shirt.
Since founding The Heart’s Delight almost 4 years ago, I’ve been around the closet block.
I’ve seen closets and wardrobes of every size, shape and iteration. I’ve spent hours purging and sorting and styling and shopping. All of this time and effort was not for naught — I’d like to think that my clients have been left with functional, stylish wardrobes they love.
More importantly, all this time in the closet has helped me to figure out a crucial fashion hack to ensure you have a well-rounded wardrobe of essential pieces that can pretty much get you through life — however crazy it may be.
It all comes down to this: 4 looks every woman needs in her closet.
Before we all freeze over, I wanted to talk about CAPSULE WARDROBES a bit again… this time with a twist. Or… er, a crunch? Yes, this time the capsule wardrobe is taking a slightly more active approach!
Over the past 4 years exercise has truly become a part of my life. I can’t imagine NOT doing it — which is something I never thought I’d say. Surprisingly, I crave it — even when feeling under the weather (tired, sick, hungover…yes, hungover). It clears my mind and sets up the day ahead. Occasionally (OK, more often than not!), it also dictates what I’ll be wearing.
ATHLEISURE is the new fashion word on the street and clothes that were once relegated for the gym only, have become the go-to for many women (AND men) on the go. With improved fabrication and cutting edge materials, gym clothes are not your ratty, old, grey college t-shirt anymore and have the stylish ability to take you from the gym to anywhere else you need to go.
A tight collection of 12 workout pieces is really all you need to feel put together regardless what your activity level… AND let’s be real here: great-looking, new workout wear is also a fabulous incentive to get you moving and motivated to work out!
I’ve been shopping a bit more at ATHLETA lately and have found that for my money, the quality of their product can’t be beat. Through countless washings and general sweat and abuse, all of my ATHLETA purchases have held up really well. It also helps that a new ATHLETA just opened down the road from my home. (#dangerous)
So what’s included in this 12 piece capsule? Well, for someone like me who tends to exercise indoors and has higher impact cardio involved, I recommend the following:
• 2 sports bras • 3 base layer tanks • 2 capri length leggings • 1 full length legging • 1 jogger pant • 1 long sleeve top • 2 sweatshirts
Obviously, depending on what YOUR form of exercise is, this list may need to be adjusted. For example, if you’re an outdoor runner, make sure to select breathable and warm layers that will protect you from the elements. Yogis, you’re ok with less spandex and a little more cotton and natural fibers. You get the idea…
Here are a few more Athleta looks that have caught my eye —
Don’t hate me, but I’m already kind of thinking about fall. I mean, seriously… It’s hard NOT to.
Between the Bummer Of A Summer 2015 — my very technical term for this summer of cloud cover, continuous rain and un-summer-like temperatures — and the flood of back-to-school displays and commercials, it’s easy to forget that we have a ways to go before it all officially begins.
Hey, this fall lover is not complaining! Fall is probably my favorite season of all — especially in the style department. Now is a great time to take inventory of your closet and see which summer staples can be integrated with cooler weather layers, revive your favorite fall pieces and think about which strategic additions to make in order to round out your wardrobe.
Also, if you’re thinking of taking on a minimalist challenge, I cannot recommend PROJECT 333 enough — you can read about my experience with a capsule wardrobe HERE.
Even if you’re not into the minimalist thing, the capsule experience teaches you a crucial lesson in seasonal style: working with a predetermined color palette is key. This fall, I’m feeling lots of warm greys, taupes, browns, khakis, creams and denim (#obviously), all with a general muted feel.
As you may recall, I dipped my toe into the MINIMALIST CAPSULE WARDROBE approach to fashion last fall. While I’m by no means a die hard advocate of limiting your closet to a set number of items and associated hard and fast rules, I do find value in a well-edited, tight seasonal collection that really gets some action in your day-to-day life. There is nothing worse than a new purchase that sits unworn with tags still attached, hanging sadly in your closet.
For those of you who haven’t tried this approach, I cannot express how easy it is to get dressed and recognize all of the available options in your wardrobe when your closet is filled with only items you love. I still struggle with parting with some beautiful clothes and accessories that just don’t “do it” for me, but with time and practice I find that I’m buying less, closet purging less and shopping my own closet more. It’s a long term win-win scenario.
With spring approaching, I took to evaluating my own wardrobe and creating a capsule that can work perfectly in this in-between type of weather as well as into the warmer spring months. Here’s what made it into my seasonal capsule (items that need to be purchased are notated with a *)!
You might recognize most of these pieces as items I’ve written about or worn in the past. Which is kind of the point I guess?! You don’t want to go and run out and spend a fortune buying an entire seasonal wardrobe every few months. Rather, what you’d like to happen is to easily combine pieces you already own and fill in the occasional gap with a new, on-trend item that works with the rest of the collection.
Over time, I’ve realized that I’m definitely not too much of a skirt girl, but I still want a feminine touch to what is a pretty androgynous assortment of clothes. I selected 2 dresses in easy silhouettes to give me a few more lady-like dressier options. How amazing is that sheer COS CRINKLE DRESS? I can see it layered over a nude slip and worn on it’s own with a heeled sandal, or even worn open over a tank/tee and a pair of jeans. The long, emerald colored TOPSHOP TUNIC DRESS can easily be dressed up or down as well. The HELMUT LANG MINI SKIRT is a comfy jersey blend that just seems to work with my lifestyle. In my hectic day, a bit of stretch is always a good thing!
Now, onto accessories!
As you know, accessories can be a game changer for any outfit. I really tried to account for any scenario that could come up in the next few months using items that were already in my closet. Unfortunately that means some of these items have sold out. For example, that grey ALEXANDER WANG TOTE? Gone, gone, gone. In case you’re interested, HERE is a good alternative. Also, that CHANEL CROSSBODY BAG? It was something I borrowed from my mother circa-2001 and ‘forgot‘ to return. Love you, mom!
Those STUART WEITZMAN LOWLAND boots are probably my favorite purchase of the year. A bold statement, I know. I’ve literally worn them with everything. Don’t believe me? Here’s DOCUMENTED PROOF. I’m hoping to get a good number of wears in before I trade them in for the GLADIATOR SANDALS. This specific pair is splurge worthy, but check out THIS POST for some true steals!
So, have I made any capsule wardrobe converts out of you yet?
I’d love to hear how you go about curating your own seasonal wardrobe! Are you a fly by the seat of your pants kind of gal, or do you have a solid strategy in place? Please share any tips or thoughts in the comment section below.
How was your weekend, guys? Mine was a flurry of packing, prepping and getting excited for our SF/Napa trip ahead. As I mentioned last week, I was a little concerned about packing for 6 days using just my capsule and fitting it all in a carry-on bag, no less. I am happy to report it was actually not bad at all! The outfits came together so easily and because everything is essentially interchangeable, I could get a lot more wear out of each individual item that made it into my bag. You’ll be seeing more of those outfits shortly!
As I get deeper into this experiment I’m also starting to recognize things I would want for future capsules that were not included in this one. Priority A#1: more BOTTOMS! I could definitely use another non-denim option like ARMY GREEN TWILL PANTS, or a COLORED CORDUROY. I think it would be nice to have another casual option to work with that was not black and/or denim.
OK, my last observation of the day and then I’m done. Promise! Because my closet options have been cut down immensely, I’ve tried to be much more “respectful” and conscientious about keeping everything in pristine shape. It’s actually pretty funny that for the first time ever, when I’m done with appointments for the day I actually make a point to change out of my nicer clothes and into sweats. Sweaters get folded immediately after removing them. Pants get hung and ironed when necessary. I never realized how “rough” I was on my clothes until I was committed to wearing them exclusively for a set period of time. With this movement to minimalism, not only have I cut my shopping bill, but I think I may have also cut my dry-cleaning bill as well… and obviously, that’s a good thing!
Now, without further adieu, I present Week #2 of #Project333 stylings:
Now that #Project333 is well underway, I’m going to start posting Monday recaps of the outfits worn the previous week. I like that it gives you a fresh perspective on how you can successfully mix & match assorted pieces to create outfits appropriate for any sort of occasion. This past week is an abridged version, as the exercise only began on Thursday. Generally, I’ll have Monday-Sunday laid out for you! For those of you who prefer seeing a real person vs. just a layout, follow me on INSTAGRAMand TWITTER to keep up with daily outfit (#OOTD) posts. I’m getting pretty good at that whole “selfie” thing- although, I’m not sure that’s something I should be bragging about?!
Truthfully, this first week of #Project333 has been fantastic! It’s been ridiculously easy to get dressed and I haven’t missed a single thing that’s been out of reach and stored away. My only concern thus far is packing for an upcoming San Francisco/Napa vacation. With temperatures that fluctuate between 80 degrees and mid-40’s, it will be a challenge to pack only a carry-on (#IDontDoCheckedBags) that will give me enough flexibility to make it through all of the weather and occasion related scenarios. My expert packing game will definitely need to be on point!
So, have I convinced you to go minimal with me? If so, I’d love to hear about YOUR #Project333 collections and experiences in the comment section below!