I knew it was time to break out of my latest fashion rut of a big sweater, rolled up skinny jeans and ankle booties when a friend told me she was meeting me for lunch dressed like “the rich life” and showed up wearing that very outfit.
While the jeans-sweater-bootie combination will stay on my style rotation, I decided I was ready to stretch beyond the predictable and try something new and something feminine that didn’t involve jeans.
To me, new sometimes means complicated and I am not a fan of complicated. So I came up with a way to create several outfits – that don’t include jeans – using what I call a Basic Foundation, then adding other clothes, footwear and accessories to create new looks. This has been my go-to method for creating a variety of outfits ranging from dressy to casual these last few weeks.
I started with my Basic Foundation outfit – a black scoop-neck tee by J. Crew, a black pull-on knit skirt by Stella Carakasi and black tights – then added jackets, coats, sweaters, scarves, jewelry and a variety of footwear to come up with 10 Easy Looks with 1 Basic Foundation.
#1 Add a Poncho
Casey of Mason Street Designs named these sweaters Luxe Pullover Wraps, but they are also ponchos – very luxurious, versatile and comfortable ponchos. I have two and I love them – one in Light Heather Gray and one in Taupe. I like to accessorize my ponchos with a long necklace and sometimes, if it’s cold out, I will wrap a black pashmina a couple times around my neck. My gorgeous leather tote is by Adora.
#2 Dress it Up
Put on a dressy jacket, your fanciest shoes, and some blingy jewelry and grab an evening bag on the way out the door and you’ve got an evening look that starts with a Basic Foundation. This brocade coat was one of my luckier consignment finds. Shoes from Sole Society, necklace from a boutique in Sonoma and bag from Goodwill.
#3 Wear a Short Jacket
Adding a short jacket is a simple way to add color, texture, pattern or all three to a Basic Foundation. I grabbed this great kimono style jacket, bought a couple of years ago on consignment, and accessorized with my black Adora bag and Evil Eye necklace from Michal Golan.
#4 Wear a Cape
I cozied up with my camel colored Royal Alpaca cape from Montecristi Panama Hat Company of Napa Valley and added the medallion necklace I wore in #2 and my very old Louis Vuitton Alma bag. This outfit says easy luxury to me.
#5 Layer with a Sweater
I layered my Basic Foundation with one of my favorite Stella Carakasi sweaters, the Sublime Sweater. I love that I can create a totally different fall or winter look just by pulling a sweater over my head!
#6 Tie on a Large Scarf
This vibrant plaid, extra large tissue-weight scarf is one of my favorites. I bought on a whim at a boutique in Sonoma a few years ago. For this look, I folded the scarf in half into a triangle shape and tied it around my shoulders. I think it took all of 90 seconds! I brought out the cobalt blue in the scarf with my blue Adora bag.
#7 Wear a Long Sweater Vest
This Stella Carakasi Go-Getter Vest really gets a work out. I wore it all summer long, and now I am wearing it frequently with my Basic Foundation. I styled this look with my new Kate Spade Cedar Street Elissa tote, an early Valentine’s Day gift from my husband, a tassel necklace by Vince Camuto (similar) and Boden booties.
#8 Edge it Up
Nothing says edgy better than leather clothing and accessories. I wore my very favorite leather jacket that I bought in San Gimignano, Italy with La Canadienne combat boots and a Kenneth Cole bag (very old). My necklace was a gift from Tamera Beardsley. I feel very powerful in this outfit.
#9 Dress it Down
Throw on a jean jacket, cozy scarf (this one’s by Madewell) and some oxfords for a casual, comfortable look, ideal for running errands or heading to a coffee shop to read or meet a friend.
#10 Go for Boho
I love boho style, it’s so casual and laid back. I added a long sweater coat by Free People (similar) to my Basic Foundation and topped it off with a boho hat from Montecristi Panama Hat Company of Napa Valley. I carried my black Adora bag and accessorized with long beaded necklace from La Brocante in Sonoma.
Can you believe how easy that was?
I created 10 completely different outfits using just 1 basic foundation and minimal effort!
A reminder that How I Wear My: Long Necklace is coming up fast. Submit a photo of you in your long necklace look (600 pix wide for best resolution) along with a brief description of your outfit to email@example.com by February 2nd. Visit the How I Wear My page for more information.
You may remember that I attended the inaugural G3 Women’s Conference last fall. I loved it so much, I am attending the next one coming up in March. Starting Monday, January 26th, the founders are conducting a contest to win a general admission ticket, valued at $699! Visit the G3 Win a Ticket page for details on how to enter (they’ll be up first thing Monday morning) and like their Facebook page to stay up to date with all things G3. Hope to see you there!
I’m linking up with Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style.
Make it a rich day!