Dressing for Real Life = Elevated Basics

Chunky knit, gold cuffs

If you’ve been following my Instagram or reading the blog, you know that I have been re-evaluating my wardrobe lately and what I am finding is that a) I buy a lot of cheap, trendy pieces in lieu of nicer, classic staples, and b) I don’t have a ton of clothes for the life that I actually live, but am consistently drawn to dresses, heels, and stuff that’s just not practical for doing school drop-off and running around after a toddler all day while working from home. Not to say that I’m in the market for workout pants or anything, but like the girl at Aritzia said the other day, “you need elevated basics.” She got me. (Side note: I love a store where I can talk to the salespeople about my style epiphany and they actually get it). So it got me wondering, if I am frustrated by my lack of flat boots, comfy sweaters, and layering tees, why do I continue to choose lace-up heels, drapey blouses, and the like, when I’m shopping? It’s a tendency I wasn’t aware of until my recent trip to Portugal in November. I was trying to convince my friend to try a number of glamourous pieces she admired–a velvet blazer, a pleated skirt, a beautiful red dress. She kept asking, “but where would I wear it?” My answer? To a Christmas party! I encouraged her to buy so much party wear that she finally asked, “how many Christmas parties do you go to?” Ha ha. The truth is, not many. While I am lucky enough to be invited to some swanky media events over the holidays, most of the other parties and get togethers I do attend are pretty casual–but did that stop me from buying a green, jewel-tone off-the-shoulder top and shoulder-grazing earrings? Or that ankle length black dress? Or what about the green fringe mini dress I bought on sale last year to wear to Christmas parties this year? Of course not! Two things were made glaringly apparent by the experience: I really love Christmas and I need to keep a list of things I actually need and stick to that while I’m shopping. So in an effort to right my wrongs I found myself hashing out the details of my closet to the sweet girl in the changeroom at Aritzia who brought me practically every tee and sweater in the store that I tried over th course of a blissful hour while Gigi slept in her stroller. I walked away with a good quality, heavy wool sweater by Wilfred and a perfectly drapey tna tee. I could have bought so much more but I am trying to buy less–didn’t you know? I guess that part of my wardrobe re-vamp isn’t going the greatest but it’s really about having less of the extraneous stuff that I never wear and more of the right stuff that I’ll wear to death. Case in point: I have worn my new sweater three times in the last week. Hooray for elevated basics.

(This isn’t my new sweater but this sweater dress is a good fit for my lifestyle–I can dress it up for date nights or media events with booties like I did here, or I can wear it over jeans and leather pants for coffee dates, to go to the mall, etc. I’m making progress, people!)

Sweater dress Zara sweater dress Sweater dress, chunky knit Chunky knit, gold cuffs

Roslyn Costanzo
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  1. […] some shots of me in my new sweater, which is emblematic of the elevated basics I am trying to populate my wardrobe with–and my quest to buy with […]

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