The Well Dressed Life Wardrobe Challenge 2020: Week 2

4 Weeks to a Better Wardrobe - The Well Dressed Life
We’re jumping into week two of our wardrobe challenge. A big thank you to everyone who has joined our private Facebook group, and took the time to post their Pinterest style boards and lifestyle breakdowns.  
 
Today, at 2pm EST, I’m hosting a Facebook LIVE in the group to answer any questions you might have and get us set up for this weeks challenge!
 
There have already been some big take aways after week one, and they are just what I was hoping they would be!

If you are just joining us, or are running behind, don’t worry.  You can go at your own pace, and still post your thoughts and interact in the comments in our group. 

Be sure you finish each challenge before moving to the next.  This week has two challenges, designed to help refine your style and make editing your wardrobe not so overwhelming.

 

Wardrobe Challenge Week 2: Pinpoint Your Style and Start Your Edit

Challenge #1: Edit Your Pinterest Board

This part of the challenge always creates the most conversation. You might be thinking that you need to pick a style and commit to it. We’re told we are either “classic”, “trendy” or “boho”. Like we have to pick a lane and stay there. 

But the truth is we are all our own unique combination of everything. 

For example, I use to think I was “preppy”. But I’m not, at all. I like elements of preppy style. I never pass up an opportunity to monogram something and a good chunk of my wardrobe is from J.Crew. But, I have a deep aversion to bright colors and prints, I much prefer saturated neutrals, and better fabrics. 

After going through this very process for several years now, it’s clear that my style is classic and modern with a twist. That “twist” is usually an interesting detail, splurge worthy piece, or an unexpected personalized element – like a monogrammed bag, or bold accessory.

So to help you with this, go through you Pinterest Board and only keep the image you LOVE. 

You must LOVE every pin. (I know! It’s hard.)

The Difference Between “Liking” and “Loving”

It’s not just what you like, but what you want to live your life in. 

You can appreciate all different styles, but narrowing down to the ones you want to wear all the time is the point.

Doing so will help ensure your wardrobe mixes and matches and you always look like yourself. 

Find Your Common Threads

Next, review your edited board and look for commonalities and consistencies. It might not be abundantly clear but stick with the challenge, it will start to show itself.

You can keep pictures of outfits not quite right for your body type; we’ll get to that later. Your board is pure inspiration.

Any style can work for any body type with proper adjustments.

What we’re looking for here is a theme.

Some a-ha’s you might have:

  • You pinned lots of jeans and pants but have a ton of skirts collecting dust in your closet.
  • Maybe you pinned a dozen monochromatic looks yet own a ton of patterned tops and skirts.
  • Does your board have scarves and accessory heavy looks, but you never incorporate them into your daily outfits?

These are the kind of revelations you might have when you finish this exercise – and it’s fantastic.

Challenge #2:  A Quick Closet Edit

How to Finally Let Go of Clothes You Don't NeedYou can do this next step all at once or over a few days, it just depends on the volume in your closet. 

Set up a workspace in or close to your closet. Designate three piles:

Keepers: For anything you know you love, use regularly and fit in your style.

Donations: Something in good condition that doesn’t work for you but could help someone else. 

Undecided: Use this as a parking lot for items you’re on the fence about, or not ready to part with. 

Having a rolling rack for this exercise makes it easier to stay organized. I use mine for the “keeper” pile.

Next, take your Pinterest board or other inspiration pictures into your closet.

While you’re in your closet, ask yourself these questions and try to come up with an answer:

Is your current wardrobe reflective of the style you love?

If not, what is your motivation for making purchases? (Sale price, impulse, need, etc.) 

What do you have more of, basics or trends?  

For example, my Pinterest board is mostly neutral and solid colors, yet we I first did this I had at least a dozen printed blouses and tops hanging in my closet. There was nothing wrong with them, except I don’t like a lot of patterns and I wasn’t wearing them.

So why do I keep buying them? In my case, I thought I needed variety. I was also using Stitch Fix at the time, and kept a lot of pieces they sent  because they were okay and fit.

Once I completed the exercise, I permitted myself to let go of what didn’t fit into my style.

You may not have many things in your current wardrobe that reflects your current style. (If you do, you’re way ahead of most of us!)

It’s okay to feel frustrated. Take a deep breath and trust the process.

Going through these steps will allow you to discover what you like, understand why you make certain decisions when shopping and eventually fill your closet with items you can’t wait to wear.

The process of creating a cohesive wardrobe is not immediate. That’s why so many readers do this challenge every time we offer it. It takes time to curate your look, find the pieces that work best for you and, of course, work those purchases into your budget.

But after this challenge, you’ll be off to a great start.

Quickly Edit Your Wardrobe

Now, with your inspiration pictures as your guide, QUICKLY, go through your wardrobe. (For more tips check out our post 6 Steps to Clean out Your Closet in 60 Minutes) 

Hold every piece up and ask yourself, does this get me to where I want to be?

If your answer is “yes,” put the item in your keeper pile or rolling rack.

If your answer is “no,” put it in your donation pile.

If you have no idea or don’t want to deal with it, put it in the undecided pile.

We’ll deal with those items next week. Do this quickly. The undecided pile is there to take away any pressure.

You will likely have to keep a few pieces that are just ok so you can get dressed in the morning. This is fine and expected. Put these in the undecided pile too. The most important part of this exercise is to see if or how much of what you are buying is reflective of your personal style.

Once finished, put the donations in a bag and right into your car. Get them out of the house! Hang and fold everything else.

Put your undecided pieces back in your closet, behind the pieces you love, so your favorite items are the first thing you see.

Don’t focus on organizing anything yet (you can guess where we’re going next week).

Repeat the same editing process with your shoes and accessories.

Just getting started?  Be sure to follow each challenge in order. For week one follow the link below:
The Well Dressed Life Wardrobe Challenge: Week 1

Three Cute Outfits with Black Jeans

How to Wear Black Jeans

We receive so many requests for posts featuring cute outfits with black jeans so today I’m sharing a few that are practical, chic, and can be created with pieces you may already have in your closet.

Black jeans are an obvious wardrobe staple that you can dress up or down.

Below, I list my top picks for black jeans at all price points, share tips on how to best care for them and offer inspiration on how to style them for a day of working from home, a casual weekend, and a date night. 

And please keep in mind, because our readership is far reaching, everyone is experiencing various forms of restrictions differently. My priority here is first to help give practical tips, and also keep things forward thinking and optimistic 🙂 

Let’s start with black jean options: 

Black Jeans: High, Mid, and Low Range

Black Jeans

High: Paige ($179) , Mid Range: KUT From The Kloth ($94), Low: Old Navy ($20). 

Premium denim is expensive for a reason. Long time readers know my focus is always on buying the best you can afford, with the understanding that just because something is the most expensive doesn’t mean it’s the best. 

Brands like Paige (above), AG, Citizens, etc., all focus on quality material and fit, and they last much longer. 

Unfortunately, they don’t offer much in inclusive sizing. 

In the just under $100, or “mid” range, I like KUT from the Kloth. The Diana (above) has a curvy cut and is available in missy, plus, and petite. Consider sizing down in these. When you try them on for the first time, they should feel tight. Tight like you are going to want to get the next size up. 

Don’t, because they stretch out immediately. 

Finally, we love Old Navy around here. They have a completely inclusive size scale (including tall) and are decent quality for the price. These are $20 jeans, so don’t expect them to last longer than a season or two. They will shrink and fade faster than the better brands. 

Related: The Best Jeans for Every Size at Every Price 

Care of Black Jeans

So you get the most out of your purchase, it’s important to care for them properly. Do everything you can to avoid washing them. Of course, if you stain or spill something on them, you have to wash them. But if you’ve only worn them for a few hours, fold or hand them back up neatly until your next wear. 

I know that sounds gross, but once you start to wash them, they will shrink, fade, and generally lose their shape. This goes for all jeans.

It’s helpful to have more than one pair so you can rotate wear. Spot clean when necessary, and when you are ready to wash them, turn them inside out and follow the instructions on the tag. 

Okay, let’s get into outfits … 

Today I created three cute outfits with black jeans, a laid back look, a casual chic outfit, and something simple for weekend date night. 

Three Cute Outfits with Black Jeans

Three Cute Outfits with Black Jeans

 Outfit One: Cardigan, $80  |  Sneaker, $110  |  Tee, $25  |  Bag, $75  |  Outfit Two: Top, $38   |  Vest, $180  |   Booties, on sale $50 |  Bag, $80  |  Outfit Three:  Wrap Top, $30  |  Pump, $118 black  |  Bag, $55 

 

Work from Home Outfit

 

Three Cute Outfits with Black Jeans

For our first look, I was thinking of days working from home, or travel, when you have to head to the airport or train station (eventually). I’m using a skinny black jean, you could also wear a slim straight leg.

Grab a basic white tee; I like these v necks at J.Crew. Then, add a long cozy layer. I’m a big fan of H&M.  This cardigan is a wool blend, and I love the color – it looks extra sophisticated. 

To keep things interesting, we used a leopard printed slip-on sneaker by Keds x Kate Spade. 

I included this Sole Society weekender to round out the look for travel. 

Chic Weekend Outfit

 

Three Cute Outfits with Black Jeans

I wanted to find a Breton top with a long sleeve in black and white. Happily, Boden makes the perfect one for around $40. 

Layers that add interest without bulk are essential to incorporate as the weather cools. So, I went as classic as it gets with a Barbour olive vest. (In my mind, I spend weekends in the English countryside.) 

Add a pair of ankle boots, like our go-to Sam Edelmans in putty, and a crossbody bag (above in champagne), and you’re set for the day. 

Date Night Outfit 

Three Cute Outfits with Black Jeans

Keeping things simple is the key to getting dressed and out of the house on the occasional date or girl’s night out. 

Last year, a friend was wearing a beautiful blouse at a friend’s 40th birthday dinner. When I asked her where she found it, I nearly fell off my seat when she said Express. I know! She said, but some of their things are great and affordable. 

And isn’t that just what we need a night out tops to be? Because I have no room in my budget for a $200 top.

This pleated detailed wrap blouse is gorgeous. It’s fun, a little sassy and about $50. Try on a few sizes as they run small. 

Add your black pumps, like these popular 12-hour heels from Banana Republic, or a heel with an open toe when the weather warms up a little more. Finally, this quilted black envelope clutch is $55 and adds just the right amount of texture and interest to such a simple look. 


Our Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist View Post and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.


 

 

 

Work-from-Home Outfit: Tie Front Top and Jeans

Work From Home Outfit

In this ever-changing world, a routine is something I’m craving, so getting up and getting dressed has been essential for keeping my mood and outlook bright. That’s not to say I don’t have days where I look like the wrath of God. I sure do.

It’s because of those days that I know first hand how much better I feel when I take 20 minutes and pull myself together.

Like many of you my days start early and go late. I’m juggling a career, school obligations, growing kids, and the busiest toddler you’ll ever meet. So clothes need to be easy, comfortable and polished. 

The outfit below is  great example of how simple, affordable pieces, with a little extra detail, can create a wear anywhere outfit that works for long days at your desk, to car line, to sitting on the floor playing with the baby and everything in between.

I’ve worn this outfit twice now, once for drinks outside with some friends, and most recently, yesterday (below) for a busy day of work. It’s quickly become a go-to. 

Work-from-Home Outfit: Tie Front Top and Jeans

Work From Home Outfit

 

Top, $40 |  Earrings, $46 | Jeans, $68 | Sneakers, $45 

Let’s start with the top by Madewell. I bought it at the Nordstrom Sale last month. It’s super soft, like a thermal, with a tie front detail that gives it a little extra something. Available in five colors in sizes XXS – 3XIt runs small, so go up a size; it’s not as long as it looks on the model. I’m almost always a medium top but went with the large, and it fits well.

To care for it, you can throw it in the wash as directed, but then I hung it up until it was almost just slightly damp and then threw it in the drier for 10 minutes. This way, it stayed soft and didn’t shrink.

Then, I picked up two new pairs of jeans from Wit & Wisdom, also at the Nordstrom Sale. The ones featured above are classic, dark denim in a skinny cut. Below, you’ll see me in the distressed version. Both are comfortable, have fantastic stretch, and are well under $100. 

You want to size down in these. I ordered (and am wearing) the 10, but I should have bought the 8. When you put them on the first time, you want them to feel almost too snug; I promise you that they will quickly stretch out and conform to your shape. 

What’s important to note here is that the top will hit right at your waist, so having a jean with a mid –  high rise will keep you “in” and prevent you from looking like you are wearing a crop top. 

Then, I reused these sneakers that I featured in the summer. I still love them, and they add some much-needed interest. 

Finally, you can’t go wrong with classic CZ studs (also from the Nordstrom sale). Easy peasy. 

Real Life

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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🍂It’s officially fall! . It feels like we jumped right from the lazy days of summer head first into all the busyness of fall. . Here on the east coast we’ve been blessed with some truly gorgeous weather and sunshine. . Perfect jeans and cozy top weather. . For these long days juggling a million and one things I NEED to get up and get dressed. . Otherwise, I’m a hot mess all day. . Today’s outfit is affordable, easy and comfy and a great example of how simple details pulls a look together. . ☝🏼For all the details follow the link in my profile and click “New on the Blog” . 📸photo credit goes to my 10 year old. Everyone in my family tired to take a decent picture of me, this is as good as we could get 😂😭

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Our Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist View Postand wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

Basic Building: Perfect White Sneakers for Fall

Cole Haan Margo Leather Sneaker

Now and then, I stumble on an item so good I have to share it with everyone. 

If you need a classic, white, wear-with-everything sneaker for the fall, I found the perfect pair, by Cole Haan, and they are on sale, in all sizes.

As life continues to lean toward casual comfort, a stylish sneaker is a must-have. You can pair them with absolutely everything, from leggings and jeans to skirts and shorts. The challenge is sometimes, the sneakers in our closets might be too bulky or sporty. 

You don’t want to wear the same sneaker you wear on walks or to the gym. Instead, you want something with a level of polish and sophistication. 

 

Cole Haan Margo Leather Sneaker 

 

Cole Haan Margo Leather Sneaker

Cole Haan Margo Leather Sneaker, Sale: $89.97

Cole Haan, of course, is known for their incredible level of comfort mixed with style. There are a few elements to this particular pair that I am absolutely crazy about.

The slim profile makes this the ideal pair to wear with outfits. The leather is soft and smooth, giving it a high-end look (on sale right now for under $90).

But my favorite detail is the luggage color logo on the tongue, which creates a cohesive look when paired with other elements like this reader favorite crossbody bag by Madewell

I bought these for myself, so you’ll see me in them on Instagram, and I’m going to feature them throughout the season in outfit posts. They run true to size and get an A+ for comfort. 


Our Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist View Postand wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

The Best Jeans for Women in Every Style and Shape

The Best Jeans for Women in Every Style and Shape

Let’s talk about finding the perfect pair of jeans.

I promise you, they exist, but finding your best pair can be frustrating and a little discouraging. I’ve been there, literally breathless in a dressing room, or my closet, trying to get a pair of jeans over various parts of my body. 

Happily, over the years, I’ve discovered truly great pairs for myself, clients and my readers. 

So, today, I’m hoping to make your search a little easier by rounding up my picks for the very best jeans for women in every style and size. 

I’m including regular or missy, petite and plus sizes for skinny, straight and bootcut styles. 

The Best Jeans for Women in Every Style and Shape

Jeans: Joe’s Curvy Skinny (on sale) | Tee: $9.50 | Boots: $100

The Three Most Popular Style of Jeans

For today’s post, I’m focusing on a classic five pocket design, in a dark or medium wash in skinny, straight and bootcut styles

I picked two or three of my favorites at different price points, so within each category you’ll have a high, medium and low price (or what I call splurge, spend and save). 

Currently, my favorite pair of jeans are these Joe’s Curvy Skinny jeans I scored on sale at Off 5th (above). When I was a stylist, Joes Jeans were a client favorite. Their Curvy Bootcut make your legs look a mile long and their Petite Provocateur Bootcut jeans have a cult like following. 

We feature a lot of skinny jeans in our posts. Mostly because they are the abundantly available. They are also more flattering than you may think, if you find the right pair.

Universally speaking, a straight leg works well on most body types. You still want them to be narrow, but this cut will give you the current silhouette of a slim cut bottom without having to deal with fabric clinging to your legs.

The bootcut style has come and gone over the years. Recently, bootcuts have gone back to their original glory, as a better version of their late 90s predecessors. The flare on most current styles is just enough to cover your shoe. Its slim cut helps bring some much-needed balance if you have wider hips and broad shoulders.

The Fit of Jeans

Jeans are the kind of garment you just have to try on and see what happens. There are no blanketed rules telling us what style works for what body type. It all comes down to how the jean fits you as an individual and how you feel in them.

I’ve had a plus sized client fall in love with a skin-tight pair of skinnies and look phenomenal in them; and a petite client, who swore up and down that a bootcut would overwhelm her, walk out with two pairs that helped show off her curves. There is no science to it.

Generally speaking, the more stretch in a jean, the more they will stretch out, so consider sizing down when ordering. You want a new pair of jeans to almost feel too small, because after wearing them for just a few hours, they’ll start to conform to your body. 

Also, if you run into the very common issue of your the waistband either feeling too loose or gapping, have them fitted by a tailor at the waist. It’s an easy fix so you can get them over your hips and sit comfortably at your waist. I did it all the time for clients. 

Scroll down to find your size and preferred cut. 

The Best Straight Leg Jeans for Women

The Best Straight Leg Jeans

One, $178 | Two, $89 | Three, $27

One – DL 1961 Jeans are my favorite.  They are expensive, but the quality and fit are out of this world. There is just enough stretch, great for travel, perfect for the office, and easy to wear on the weekend. Available in sizes up to a 34 which is about a 16.

Two – KUT from Kloth is a well priced, quality brand with nice fit and style. Available in sizes 0 – 16.

Three – Old Navy won’t last you more than a season or two, but are a fantastic price and fit well. Available in regular, petite and tall, in up to a size 20 with short, regular and long lengths.

The Best Skinny Jeans for Women

The Best Skinny Jeans for Women

One, $179 | Two, $37 | Three, $32

One – Paige Denim are like the gold standard of skinny jeans.  They have classic style, awesome fit and last for a good long time. These have a mid-rise available in up to a 34 or a size 16.

Two – Article of Society are a great deal at their regular price, but on sale they’re a no brainer.  I’m a big fan of their fit and styling.  They will stretch out faster then premium denim so you may consider sizing down. Limited sizes include 22 – 34. 

Three – Old Navy’s Mid-Rise Rockstar one of my all time favorites. They look like designer denim for a fraction of the price.  Again, these will stretch out quickly so you’ll get one season at the most out of them. Available in regular, petite and tall, in up to a size 20 with short, regular and long lengths.

The Best Bootcut Jeans for Women The Best Bootcut Jeans for Women 

One, $110 | Two, $90 | Three, $68

One – Joe’s boot cut jeans are my favorite. They have impeccable fit and a classic dark wash. Also, note the length in the picture above, this where you want them to hit, just slightly puddling on top of your shoe. These have a high rise and go up to size 34, which, for Joe’s is a 14/16.

Two – KUT from Koth has nice stretch in a dark, go with everything wash. These run large so size down, available up to a size 14.

Three– Wit & Wisdom is another well priced option at under $70. They are more casual, ideal for the weekend and run big so size down when ordering. Available in regular and petite sizes, up to a 18 or 14W.

The Best Petite Straight Leg Jeans for Women

The Best Petite Straight Leg Jeans for Women

One, $109 | Two, $84 | Three, $68

One– NYDJ makes fantastic jeans in all sizes.  Their petite straight leg was a go-to for clients. Available in three colors up to a size 18P.

Two– We don’t see a lot of Jag Jeans anymore but they also make a sold jean for under $100. There pull on style (above) give you the slim look of a skinny jean with more comfort and room. Available in regular and petite up to a size 12. 

Three–  Wit & Wisdom have what they call an “Ab-solution” which is basically mesh panels that hold you in (yes, please). These run big so size down. Available in regular and petite sizes, up to a 18 or 14W.

The Best Petite Skinny Leg Jeans for WomenThe Best Petite Skinny Jeans for Women

One, $238 | Two, $139 | Three, $59

One – Citizen of Humanity are not specifically a petite jean, but I’ve had luck with them for petite clients.  Worth trying if you want a premium denim. Available in sizes up to a 12, runs small. 

Two – Another NDJ in a super dark wash.  Nice for those of you that like a high waistband that sits above your belly button. Available in regular, plus and petite up to a size 24.

Three – Liverpool has comfortable, under $60 jean in a dark designer wash. These are pull on so they will feel like a legging and feel comfortable at your natural waist. Available in up to a size 12P.

The Best Petite Bootcut Jeans for Women 

The Best Petite Bootcut Jeans for Women 

One, $185 | Two, $68 | Three, $35

One – Joes makes by far the BEST pair of petite boot cut jeans, especially if you are a little curvy. Available in up to a size 32, runs small, high waisted. 

Two – Wit & Wisdom has enough stretch and a waistband that sits right at your natural waist.  Also available in regular up to a size 18. 

Three – These Old Navy jeans are just a solid option, in a classic dark wash for under $0. Also available in regular, and tall up to a size 20. 

 

The Best Plus Straight Leg Jeans for Women

The Best Plus Straight Leg Jeans for Women

One, $144 | Two, $44

One – NYDJ makes the best plus size jeans in all styles.  They consistently have great fit and proper pocket placement. Available in sizes 14 – 28W, with a high rise. Order one size down. 

Two –  These Old Navy have an incredibly reasonable price tag and classic fit. Available in sizes 16 – 30, in regular, short or long lengths.

The Best Plus Skinny Leg Jeans for Women

The Best Plus Straight Leg Jeans for Women

One, $144 | Two, $28

One – I say show off your curves.  Wear these James Jeans skinny’s with a killer heel and your favorite going out top. Available in sizes 12 – 28.

Two– If you don’t want to spend, Target has you covered with their brand Ava & Viv.  Just remember they are a one, maybe two season wear, but are under $30. Available in sizes 14 – 30. 

The Best Plus Bootcut Jeans for Women

The Best Plus Bootcut Jeans for Women

One, $109 | Two, $98 | Three

One – From NYDJ these are like a trouser jean, great for the office on a casual day paired with a one or two button blazer. Available in sizes 14 – 28.

Two – These jeans from KUT are the most casual, they could be your go to weekend jean, but are still polished. Available in sizes 14 – 24. 

Three – A slim boot cut is ideal to bring balance to your shape without creating more volume and these Seven7 jeans are just that at a fantastic sale price. 

Tall Sizes 

Let’s talk about tall sizes. Many of the options above include tall sizing and are noted. Old Navy in particular offers all kind of sizes from traditional tall cuts to just longer inseams (depending on what you need). 

Banana Republic and J.Crew also offer a solid tall selection and Talbots has long as an option within their sizes. 

I am 5’10, but don’t wear specifically tall cuts. Instead I’ve had luck with premium denim offering longer inseams – something to consider as well. 


Our Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist View Postand wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

_________________________________________________________

 

The Fall 2020 Wardrobe Challenge: Week 1

Wardrobe Challenge, Week 1
Four Weeks to a Better Wardrobe - Week 1

Ladies, today is the day you start to get your wardrobe in order!

Whether you work in or out of the home, have little kids at your ankles or grown adult children, are getting back in the workforce, or blissfully retired and focusing on your passions, you want to look and feel great during whatever your season of life.

This four-week series is designed to help real-life women, of all shapes and sizes, with any lifestyle, within just about any budget discover her true style, where to find it, and how to wear it

So, who am I?

Wardrobe Challenge, Week 1

If you are new to our site – Welcome! 

I was a wardrobe stylist for the better part of my career. I started my first company Kristel Closets, Inc, in 2007, which, at its peak, had three offices and a team of stylists on the East Coast.

After more than a decade, I moved on to focus on building our online business. But the experience of working with thousands of clients continues to influence my fashion and style posts today.

I take great pride in being a practical voice of fashion reason on the internet. All of the advice I share, especially in this wardrobe challenge, is based on proven tips and techniques I created to help our clients define their personal style, purge and organize their closets, and build a wardrobe that feels like them.

I’m also heavily influenced by real life. I’m a working mom to three amazing little girls. I get how busy and overwhelming life can be, how time is limited, budgets are stretched, and “me time” feels like an indulgence.

I celebrated my 40th birthday in November, so I’m not looking to dress like a kid. Instead, I gravitate toward a sophisticated, classic style that works for my grown-up body and busy life. 

I navigate life happier and more confidently when I look and feel my best. Sometimes just putting on a pretty outfit or painting your nails can make a crummy day a little better.

It’s About You

Women want to look stylish and feel beautiful. But not everyone can clearly define their personal style or understand how to pull a look together.

I encourage you to use the next four weeks to focus on YOU. When this challenge is over, my goal is for you to have a clearer understanding of what you like and what will work for you, so shopping and getting dressed is easier.

Here’s How the Wardrobe Challenge Works:

Every Friday post for the next four weeks (starting today!) I will share a series of challenges to help you build a better wardrobe.

Take your time with each challenge. It’s great to do them in a week, but don’t worry if you can’t.

Just be sure to finish each challenge, in order, before you move to the next.

You can follow along with the group (join our private women-only Facebook group to interact one-on-one), or go at your own pace. You can also see more tips and videos on Instagram

These posts will live on this site for you to reference whenever you like, and each weekly post will be shared on all of our social media.

Just trust the process, commit to the journey, and do this for yourself!

Week 1: Finding Inspiration and Your Personal Style

Challenge #1

In the early years of Kristel Closets, I would arrive at an initial appointment, which took place in our client’s closet. We started by talking about her challenges, likes, and dislikes. Almost every client would have trouble describing her style. 

It didn’t take long for me to realize that we needed a visual to articulate each client’s unique personal style.

So I created a series of pre-work for them to complete before our first appointment, designed to help the process move smoothly and efficiently.

I was always aware of the investment our private clients made when they chose to work with us, so this was a way to make sure we got on the same page as quickly as possible and spoke the same language.

Pull Inspiration Pictures

A big part of this pre-work was to pull inspiration pictures. I can tell you that the clients who took the time to complete this task had the most success.

Many of you are looking to streamline and simplify your wardrobe; others mentioned that they recognize style in others but have difficulty translating for themselves. And an overwhelming majority of participants say they have too much in their closets.

Without a clear understanding of your style, it will be a challenge to edit your wardrobe correctly.

By organizing inspiration pictures, we can create a filter that will help you purge your closet and shop better.

We recommend Pinterest to help organize these images, especially for this challenge. It’s a great place to search for and share ideas. Past participants have set up a board just for outfit inspiration. 

If you’re not on Pinterest, no worries. You can use magazines or catalogs. I like InStyle and Oprah magazine for this exercise. You’ll need them for next week’s challenge. So pour yourself a glass of wine or have a cup of tea and pull as many pictures as you like but have at least 20.

For now, do not think about your body type, budget, or whether it’s appropriate for your life. You are just getting a sense of what you like.

To get you started, take a peek at my Pinterest Boards. I curated thousands of pins that you can reference and use to build your board.

Challenge #2

Our lives are continually evolving, but our wardrobes tend to stay the same.

If you have changed jobs, got married or divorced, had a baby, had another baby, left the workforce, or are just getting back into it, retired, or any number of lifestyle changes, this exercise will help you get clear on your needs.

Define your Lifestyle

To get a visual of how and where you spend your time, create a Lifestyle Diagram. It’s easy; draw a circle on a piece of paper to use as a pie chart. Now, break down your life according to percentages totaling 100%.

Include work, activities, travel, date nights, anything you spend time doing. It’s essential to see how you are spending your time.

You might find you’re buying a lot for work, but have nothing to wear to your kid’s soccer game. When I first did this exercise, it was evident I didn’t have enough options for social outings and date nights.

Tip!: We have had some participants take this very seriously! They went so far as to create an Excel spreadsheet and pie chart to capture their percentages. Do what works for you! Of course, a spreadsheet makes my Type-A heart happy.

Here’s a sample:

Again, post your charts in our Facebook group for everyone to see! It’s always fun to see the categories we forget about.
Complete both of these challenges before you start the next round of challenges.

I’m looking forward to connecting with all of you and walking through this process together!
xx
Meg

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Our Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

 

A Zoom Perfect Piece for Under $40

J.Crew Factory Button-collar pullover sweatshirt in green, pink, and ivory

Here on the East Coast, right outside of Philadelphia, it feels like we skipped over a lingering summer and jumped headfirst into Fall. The leaves are already turning orange, and it’s cold enough in the mornings that my kids voluntarily wear a hoodie to the bus stop. 

Our big girls are back to school (in person!), the baby is turning two and has two speeds: running and asleep, and our calendars are as overscheduled as they were in the pre-COVID good old days.

I’ve never been more grateful for all the things on our plates. Whenever I want to complain about the busyness, I remind myself that the alternative is a disaster. 

Now that we are in full swing with the Fall season, I need to spend some time organizing my closet, and pulling my wardrobe together, so getting dressed for the day is easier. It’s no surprise that after this last six months, my closet needs some TLC. 

To start with, I need a few casual tops, that are cozy and chic, like this button top sweatshirt I found at J.Crew Factory.  I’m always looking for a basic with a twist and this checks all the boxes. 

J Crew Factory Button Top Sweatshirt

J.Crew Factory Button-collar pullover sweatshirt in green, pink, and ivory

 

Sweatshirt: $44.50 (plus 20% with Code: COMFY) NOW $35

I picked it up in white and green (head over to my Instagram to see how I’m wearing it today). You can wear it on it’s own, or layer over a long sleeve tee or collared shirt with your favorite jeans. 

Right now, it’s on sale for $35, in all sizes including a 3X. It’s just the thing if you are looking to add some casual yet polished options to your early fall wardrobe. 

And! Don’t forget! Our Fall 2020 Wardrobe Challenge starts THIS FRIDAY! This is the BEST time of year to participate, whether you are new to The Well Dressed Life, or have participated in the past, you will walk away with insights, clarity and a perfectly organized closet. 


Our Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.