Wardrobe Essentials Part I

I am a firm believer that you should invest in classic wardrobe essentials; this means purchasing quality items that will stand the test of time. For both men and women, I have narrowed down a list of ten staple items that can be mixed and matched to provide dozens of seamless looks that can be dressed up or down. Today’s post will focus on the ladies.

10 Wardrobe Essentials1. I think the base for strong wardrobe is a good, tailored pair of black pants. Unfortunately, trousers don’t normally fit right off the hanger, so you’ll need to find a tailor. If you have never been to a tailor, don’t fret…many dry cleaners employ full-time seamstresses; my personal favorite is the Peerless Cleaners on Virginia Street. (Do keep in mind that many department stores include tailoring with designer purchases.) I can’t stress enough how crucial the correct fit is when it comes to your clothing—it really makes a world of difference.

2. Next, is a good pair of jeans. Again, don’t forget to visit a tailor. Typically with denim you’ll only need to adjust the hem, as more expensive designers tend to sew a longer inseam. A boot cut leg opening tends to be the most universally flattering fit.

3. I am a huge fan of pencil skirts. I think they can work wonders for just about any body type. A good fitting pencil skirt should start at the most narrow part of your waist and hit just below your knee.

4.  Even if you’re not the dress type, every woman’s closet should contain a flattering dress. A wrap dress can be dressed up or down, and if you pick a solid color, the accessorizing options are endless.

5. A classic white button down is an absolute must, but, no matter how hard we try, it is near impossible to keep the white looking crisp. This is one item that is okay to not splurge on. If you find a style you like, buy a few because its unlikely they’ll stay in stock for long.

6. In addition to the white button down, you’ll want to make sure that you also have a fun patterned shirt to mix up the monotony of all the plain colored basics.  Polka dots or stripes are both a safe bet.

7. Every woman needs a black blazer. This is another article of clothing that I would suggest getting tailored. If it is ill-fitting, it will not do you any justice. On a side note, if you pair your black blazer with your trousers or pencil skirt, make sure that they are the same shade of black.

8. Another staple for every woman’s wardrobe is a pair of classic black pumps. Heels do wonders for our legs, and they can help dress up even the most casual outfits. If you are dressing for work in a formal setting, make sure the heel is under 4 inches and that your toes are covered.

9. For the days a heel just won’t work, I recommend a nude flat. The neutral color pairs with just about anything and allows you to walk miles.

10. The final item on my list is a statement necklace–you can pair a fun statement piece with just about anything for a touch of added glam. Brace yourself for compliments because you’ll get a ton.

Below are several different outfit options compiled from my essential wardrobe list. The outfits shown, prove that you can mix and match just about any of the pieces and create an instantly pulled together look.

Wardrobe Essentials Outfit Ideas

I’d love to know which items make your essential list; share your comments below.

Consistent Inconsistency

Reno locals get to dress for all seasons, and if they’re knowledgeable about weather patterns (or the lack thereof) they know how to dress in all sorts of inclement conditions. However, I missed the memo… You know the one that gives people the inclination to check the forecast before walking out the door in the morning.

Today was one of those days. I knew better than to be deceived by the bitter cold waiting on the other side of my window, but the chirping birds and sunshine had me fooled. I ran out the door in ballet flats and a thin sweater. As I felt the cold wrap around me, I realized boots and a jacket would have served me better.

Being a born and raised Reno local, you’d think I’d be used to our wacky weather patterns, but you’d be wrong. Perhaps someone out there can learn from my mistakes. My first piece of advice would be to check the weather prior to getting dressed. Trust only the temperature—In this city both sunshine and storm clouds may be misleading.  Second, I suggest always having a sweater within arms reach. Third, layers never hurt…I always seem to forget that you can add or subtract these extra layers at your own leisure.

As far as layers are concerned, I always like to start with a light sweater and build from there. A trench coat is a suitable follow-up layer throughout most of the year—it’s a stylish alternative to other jackets and adds a sense of sophistication to all outfits. A thin scarf is also suitable through most of the year, and it can really help combat a chill. Finally, if boots won’t do, you can easily pair warm tights with flats or heels.

Please leave a comment below to let me know how you battle Reno’s inconsistent weather patterns.

Shop Local

We all know it’s better for our local economy to shop at the mom & pop businesses, but many of us still head towards the bigger, chain-type retail locations whenever our wardrobe needs a facelift.  So, today I wanted to share with you three of my favorite locally owned clothing stores–the ones I head to when I am in the mood for a quick update but don’t want to break the bank.

First up is Junkee Clothing Exchange; it is my go-to shop for one of a kind, vintage inspired pieces. Junkee Clothing Exchange buys, sells and trades clothing, which enables its customers to easily switch up their wardrobes. They keep their store pretty up to date as far as trends go and have their racks organized by garment type and color. Clothing is very reasonably priced at Junkee, and their selection changes everyday. Junkee is open 7 days a week from 11am to 7pm and they are located at 960 South Virginia Street. Junkee scores bonus points in my book because they also have a great variety of antiques to sort through.

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Next we have the Niche, which started out as a modestly sized clothing and home décor shop in Shopper’s Square, that has since expanded to four locations in Reno, Sparks, Carson City and Truckee. The Niche features boutique styled clothing at a fraction of typical boutique prices. I often find myself heading to the Niche if I am looking for an outfit to go out in or if I just need something fun. My favorite part about the Niche is that they don’t stock a lot of the same items, so you aren’t likely to run in to someone on the street wearing the same thing. The Reno Niche is open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 6:30pm and Sunday 11am to 5pm. They are located at 1300 East Plumb Lane. Make sure you check out their home décor too; most of the pieces are unique and make for great conversation starters.

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Finally is Labels Consignment Boutique, an absolute must for the fashion-minded individual. They carry many different designers, but some of my favorites include Chanel, Free People and BCBGMAXAZIRA—the best part you ask? Everything is on consignment so it’s always reasonably priced. Labels is a great place to shop for any occasion, and you can always be sure to find awesome accessories. Labels is open Monday through Friday from 10am to 6pm, Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Sunday from 11am to 4pm. They are located  at 601 West First Street, just outside of downtown.

I’d love to know which local store is your favorite; please share your thoughts below.

Date Night Inspiration

In honor of the sappiest holiday of the year, I thought I would share some outfit inspiration suitable for a casual night out–I’ve got you covered if  you and your Valentine plan to catch the latest blockbuster, grab a bite to eat or share drinks downtown.

For the ladies I suggest keeping it simple. This outfit is casual and comfortable, but has just enough detail to keep it fun. The bow and lace detail on the tank top are a great compliment to the Mary-Jane pumps.

Date Night Inspiration

Blazer: Kohls | LC Lauren Conrad
Tank Top: Forever 21
Jeans: Forever 21
Earrings: Target
Satchel: Target
Heels: Forever 21

The guys should keep things simple too. This outfit is super low-key, but the tailored denim keeps it from being too casual.

Date Night Inspiration

Cardigan: Target
V-Neck: Banana Republic
Jeans: Gap
Beanie: Target
Belt: Gap
Boots: Off Broadway Shoes

Both outfits were put together using inexpensive pieces from stores around town–there’s a good chance you may already have some of these articles of clothing in your closet. Even on a budget, its easy to look pulled together and stylish.

So, when you’re getting dressed for that hot date, keep a few things in mind. I recommend gravitating towards neutral colored items and adding in a pop of color to mix things up. If you’re going to wear jeans, make sure they are a good quality pair (trust me, it makes a difference.) When getting dressed for a date–whether its your first or you’ve been married for 20 years–you want to keep  things simple. I’m a firm believer in less is more. You don’t want to be uncomfortable or competing with your outfit for attention.

And if all else fails, you can always stick to black.

I’d love to know what you wore for your Valentine’s Day date night. Leave a comment and let me know!

A Style All Our Own

When you think fashion, what cities come to mind? More than likely New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Paris, Milan, etc. Reno on the other hand probably doesn’t even hit your radar, but I want it to. I am not saying that Reno is the next up and coming fashion capital, but here in the Biggest Little City we have STYLEIt may be a style all our own, but its worth sharing.

Do you ever find yourself walking down the street, through a store, around the university, etc. and think to yourself, “That person has style.” If you’re not into that sort of thing then maybe not, but if you’re anything like me, I’d bet it happens on a regular basis. Moreover, I’d bet you find yourself asking, “Where did they get that?!” I normally just ask; who cares if they think I am crazy—if I like their shoes I am going to figure out where I can snag a pair. Some of us keep these questions to ourselves, which is completely understandable. But just in case you still find yourself wondering a couple of hours down the road, I want to help you figure out where you can score the latest and greatest Reno has to offer.

I want to share the scoop on trends, sources of inspiration and the best places to shop. But more importantly than all of that, I want to share with you those Reno locals who know what real style is all about. I want to showcase Renoites who know how to present themselves—because style isn’t just about what you wear, it’s about how you carry yourself too.