Happy New Year! How were your holidays? Mine were pretty great. Most of the year I spend most of my days running the kids around to their activities. Then on Saturdays we often have soccer games, swim meets, dance recitals, or family activities. Sundays we go to church. All of this means I don’t get any days to stay home. I am naturally a homebody, and too much activity makes me feel depleted and anxious. I could stay home for 2 weeks straight and be perfectly content. Even in the summers I drive the kids around to sports just as much as in the school year.
When the kids have a break from school, what I really want is to stay home. What they really want is to go places and do fun things. Over the Christmas break there was so much to do. Errands to run, a few one on one dates with kids, fun activities, something every day. The last 3 days of the break my husband and I intentionally arranged it so I could stay home. Well, staying home from church was because the cold that everyone was finally over started up again with more coughs and mucus and raspy voices. It sounded like a TB ward around here. We also had one vomit and another with diarrhea on top of it. Not really the reasons I’d want to be homebound.
My husband took an unprecedented 10 days off work! The holiday season is always the busiest season for his job, and in the past they didn’t really allow any time off other than the actual holidays, so this was a nice change! The kids were home from school, and I ended up taking most of the break off from the blog and social media. It was a much-needed break for me. The holiday season is not only a busy time for most people personally, but also the busiest time for a blogger. I should have been hustling through these last 2 weeks, but I chose not to. I didn’t even take pictures of my outfits the last week of the year (I mostly wore flannels and jeans while we ran errands or worked on purging projects around the house). Today the kids are back in school, my husband is back at work, and so am I! I have lots of plans and ideas for the blog to get to work on!
This is what I wore the week leading up to Christmas. I have always loved classic styles. There are items in my closet I’ve had since college. Literally. The exact item. I have continued to wear them every single year because they are…classic. Black pencil skirt, black shirt dress, dark wash denim jacket, white button up shirt (ok this one I’ve replaced over the years bc they start to get dingy, but same basic style), black crew neck sweater, striped t-shirts (also have been replaced when they get worn), navy pencil skirt, black knee high riding boots (replaced because of heel and toe box styles), black turtleneck sweater, etc.
I realized recently that there are certain outfits that I have worn over the years that are the exact same, year after year, so this week I decided to show you a few. I also realized that most of these items are also in the Stunning Style Wardrobe Guide, or are variations. This is what I wore when I kept it classic, and repeated some favorite outfits from over the years.
What makes an item classic
History. Look back at the last several decades, and what have women been wearing? Pencil skirts, pumps, trench coats, jeans, ankle pants, button up shirts, sweaters. My ultimate test is Jackie Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn. Would they wear it? Have they worn it? Yes? It’s a classic winner.
Avoid trendy details. There are small ways that the items change at times, but a basic, black, leather pump with a 3-inch pointy heel will always, always, always work. Skirt hemlines go up and down, but the top of the knee is always in style. Trench coats come with trendy details like ruffles, flared hems, and varying width of lapels, but the basic trench coat in a neutral color will always be perfect.
Neutral colors. Neutral colors are always in style. My favorite neutrals are black, navy, and white. My forever-until-I-die trench coat is black. Most of my closet staples are black. Looking at the list above, I realized most of the items I’ve had forever are black.
Tailored, clean lines. Extremes in lines like flare pants, super baggy or oversized, ruffles, super low or super high rise pants, or any extreme addition to a garment makes it more trendy. In jackets, extreme length variations like below the knee or cropped would be more trendy.
You. Honestly, whatever makes your style uniquely you is classic. What are the details and colors you’ve gone for repeatedly over the years? For me it would be cobalt blue, stripes and dark wash denim. And black. Everything black.
What are you closet staples? What do you wear year after year?
I love plaid. LOVE IT. In college I had some plaid skirts I loved that were more of the kilt style, and in my opinion, younger. This slight a-line version is more grown up. It can be hard for me to find plaid skirts that are long enough to come to my knee (why must they all be mini?), and when I found this one recently I was over the moon! I did size up to a 6 so it would sit on my hips and be just the right length. A basic black sweater, striped tights, and boots are more classic items I am never, ever without in my wardrobe.
When I was 8 years old my mom was into the seasonal color analysis program Color Me Beautiful. She and her friends draped me with different color swatches, and I was declared a winter. I was also told that royal/cobalt blue was my color, and it made me look radiant. The great thing was that blue has always been my favorite color (with a brief deviation to purple in the fourth grade), so I happily wear and am drawn to this color. I’ve had a sweater this color for as long as I can remember. In college I found a mock turtleneck sweater vest, and I cut the sides of the collar, turned it down inside and stitched it so it was a crew neck and I could layer it with button up shirts, which is another thing I’ve always loved.
One of my favorite wardrobe items of all time, and one I’ve had since high school, is a fitted, thin, black turtleneck sweater. I heart them. So much. I could wear an outfit every day of the week with one and repeat outfits I’ve worn since college. I was sure you would get sick of it, so this week I didn’t do it. I’ve had to replace them over the years when they show too much wear, but I never let go of the last one until I have a new one. I replaced one last year because it was itchy. This one is perfect. It’s ribbed, and I love the button details. I need to paint them silver, and then it really will be perfect. I had this exact outfit in college: black turtleneck, black bootcut jeans, red boots. At the time I was too poor (like most college students) for a leather jacket, but I WANTED one.
One year I found a pair of dark wash boot cut jeans that fit me so perfectly and they were ON SALE that I bought 4 pair. I wore them all the time. They were my favorites. I loved wearing them with my turtleneck, or with my white button up and black sweater and black boots.
When I was in college, I bought a coat EXACTLY like this, It had faux fur trim on the hood. I stopped in my tracks when I saw it. And I loved it. And hated it. I loved the coat and how it felt on. I hated that people stared at me and commented on it. I hated that it drew so much attention to me. I ended up selling it to a friend and was conflicted about that too. I was flooded with relief and regret all at the same time. Every time I saw her in it I felt more regret and less relief. It’s funny the things that stick with us, but I have thought about that coat over the years and wished I’d had more courage deal with the stares. When I came across this gem last week, I knew it was coming home with me. My only complaint is it’s very puffy, which I don’t like, but I can also check my makeup in it, it’s so shiny. So there’s that. Do you have an item you regret parting with?
A black pencil skirt and button up sweater are about as classic as it gets, and I’ve been wearing them together for as long as I can remember. Button up shirts are part of my uniform that I wear year round. I love them. I chose this as my Christmas Eve church outfit.
This is what I wore on Christmas day. A chunky cable knit sweater, dark wash bootcut jeans and…my slippers. Because I’m being totally real here, I did not put on shoes. I wore my new slippers all. day. long. In college I had a chunky turtleneck sweater that was bold red and hot orange woven together and I loved it to pieces. Literally. I wore holes in it, and that is the only reason it isn’t with me today. I wore it with my dark wash bootcut jeans mentioned above all the time. For years. That’s a picture of my husband and me chilling on the couch next to the Christmas tree.
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