BLUE DRESS PANTS

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Tank top: ASOS | Slacks: ASOS | Lace-up Ballet Flats: Banana Republic | Sunglasses: Madewell | Clutch: Anthropologie

It’s been really refreshing to incorporate looser clothing items into my capsule wardrobe recently. I’ve been slowly pruning my wardrobe to a collection of high quality pieces of a variety of cuts, so that I can mix and match items freely. I had to remove a pair of old slacks and decided to order two pairs from ASOS to replace them. I ordered a pair of black and these powder blue ones. (This shade of blue is one of my accent colors). Watch my How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe video to learn more.

These are seriously the most comfortable “formal” pants I’ve ever worn. They’re perfect for spring and summer because they’re so flowy and bright. I can’t stand wearing tight pants in the summer – not a fan of pealing those suckers off after a hot day. (TMI – sorry!!)

I paired these slacks with a fitted blush colored tank top (which looks more nude than blush in the photos). I like the way the look turned out. It was perfectly fine for our Saturday evening walk through the park and I’m excited to pair it with more flowy tops in the future.

The lace-up flats have been featured so much recently, but I want to make sure that I share actual outfits I wear from my capsule wardrobe with you guys. Hopefully, it’s not annoying to see the same piece multiple times, but helpful because it gives you ideas of how you can style something multiple ways! See how else I styled these flats, here, here, here, and here

Also, I apologize for the coffee cup being in almost all the photos! Before we went to the park, we stopped to get a snack and I totally forgot to put my coffee down before taking photos hahah. 🙈🙊

Anyways, hope you all are doing well. Please don’t hesitate to reach out – I love how social media gives us a platform to connect! I want to see your outfits and how you style your pieces.

Be sure to follow me on YouTube – I post every Wednesday and Friday at 6am! This week I’m sharing a bridal makeup tutorial since that time of year is coming up for a lot of people. (Lol any excuse to wear that dress again 😜)

Lots of love,

Maria

XXO

HOW I STORE MY CAPSULE WARDROBE

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Check out my last post 5 Steps to Build a Capsule Wardrobe.

I personally prefer to store my wardrobe using a clothing rack because it’s an easy way to see everything together and assure that your colors and styles go well together. It’s also not as easy to hide items, which really holds you accountable to keeping things neat! (As a slob, I need storage to be as simple and easy as possible! If I have the opportunity to shove things in closets or drawers – I will)😄

My clothing rack is organized by color because it makes it easier for me to put an outfit together in the morning. I also think it’s more pleasing to the eye when things are organized by color. (That might just be me, but I think it looks sloppy otherwise)

Clothing that is out of season is stored in an under the bed storage box. I don’t switch out my wardrobe once per season because, at least in New York, the seasons tend to transition slowly. (Example: It’s been both 40 and 70 degrees this week hahaha). I’ll take a few items out when it feels right.

Style Worksheet #2

I take joy in a well organized room / home! It sounds so lame (seriously, I stayed home to clean for an entire day over the weekend), but have an organized closet makes me feel so much better. The questions below are an exercise to help you figure out which storage / organization system works best for you – there are no right or wrong answers. Don’t take it too seriously. Take it several times over several periods of time. I’ve included my answers to help you get started!

  1.  What kind of space are you working with?

A small (but BEAUTIFUL)  apartment in NYC built in the 1930s when apparently wardrobes were pretty small / closets weren’t a priority. We have one small closet in the bedroom. We use it to store our socks, pajamas, unders, and workout clothes. Check out a tour of my closet here. 

2.  What can you afford right now?

Simple, but well designed clothing racks. I bought this one from Urban Outfitters on sale for around $130. I really like it because it has two shelves where I store some of my more attractive shoes and my massive mother-of-pearl jewelry box from South Korea. Sangbin liked my clothing rack so much that he decided to get one…so now we have two! Our bedroom is actually just a walk-in closet with a bed now.😄

CHOOSING OUTERWEAR FOR YOUR CAPSULE WARDROBE

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 Jacket: Madewell | Turtleneck: Madewell | High-Waisted Black Jeans: Madewell | Sneakers: Adidas Superstar | Sunglasses: Madewell (in Bordeaux) 

It’s easy to forget about outerwear when planning your wardrobe, because at least for me, I didn’t really consider it to be part of an outfit until recently. When you go to an event like a wedding, people generally comment on the dress you’re wearing, not the coat you wore over it on the way there. However,  after seeing photos of Kate Middleton in her coats, (Check out some of her coats here) I started to notice what a difference it makes. Plus since moving to NYC, I spend a lot more time outside looking at what people are wearing! (Seriously, I’m considering doing a post about my recent wardrobe additions that have been directly influenced from New Yorkers).

As much as I love Kate Middleton’s style, I still have to consider that I have a Capsule Wardrobe and can only allot two to three outwear pieces per season, because while I’ve discovered how fun outwear can be, I still have to save room in my wardrobe for shoes, denim, tops, dresses, bags, etc.(Watch a video on how I built my Capsule Wardrobe)

How to Choose Outerwear for Your Capsule Wardrobe:

(Check out my post: 5 Steps to Build A Capsule Wardrobe , if you don’t have one already / are interested in the concept)

  • Identify the base and accent colors within your existing wardrobe: This is probably the most important step, because you’ll want it to compliment the outfits you’ll be pairing it with. As you all saw in my Capsule Wardrobe post, my wardrobe is super heavy in blacks and neutrals, so it made sense for me to get a black and white coat! My accent colors for Spring 2016 are blush and light blue, which will also go well with this black and white coat. You don’t have to choose a color that matches your base or accent colors, but it should look nice  with them. One of the best perks of having a Capsule Wardrobe is the freedom to mix and match without having to worry if they go well together! Do the work up-front in buying items that make sense and then fuhgeddaboutdit :p
  • Determine where you’ll wear the outerwear the most: I have a day job which requires I wear business attire, so it makes sense for me to choose a jacket that can be worn in a professional setting. The other two days of the week, my outfits are much more casual. If you have to dress professionally 70% of the week, at least one of your outerwear pieces should allow that. (See how I styled one black dress three different ways for work.)
  • If you’re drawn to it, figure out why: Even though most of my clothes are neutral in color, I love big prints to breakup an otherwise plain look. (Check out my patterned bag to see an example) I saw this jacket in the sale section of Madewell and put it on immediately. While you’re out shopping, and find yourself gravitating toward a specific piece, ask yourself why you think that is. Did you see someone whose style you admired wearing it? Do you like the way you look in that color, cut, fabric, etc.? The more you do these types of exercises, the more you’ll learn your style and easier it gets building your wardrobe.
  • Quality over quantity: This one is a given, but a good reminder. If you have a minimal wardrobe, you better invest in quality pieces so they don’t fall apart after a few wears. The same is especially true for outerwear because most people will wear the same coat / jackets everyday for months, so they wear out much faster than other pieces within your wardrobe.

 Above all, make sure that you love whatever piece you buy!! (Because you’ll be wearing it all the time) :) 

Lots of love,

Maria xxo

SPRING OVERALLS

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Overalls: Madewell | Blouse: Madewell | Blush Leather Flats: DSW | Glasses: Warby Parker

For our trip to the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx, I wore my button-up Madewell overalls (see the last post I wore them in.) They’re so comfortable and fun to wear! I decided to pair them with a light blue Madewell blouse I got last year and my blush leather bow flats. I bought these flats last summer and they got totally ruined one night when I got caught in the rain in the city! I was so upset because I had just gotten them. They got completely soaked and I had to walk home in the dirty New York streets. I thought they were done for, but I did a little googling and managed to salvage them a bit. They were originally a beautiful petal pink and now they’re almost the same color as my skin! One time I wore them and someone told me they thought I was barefoot… -_-

Has that ever happened to you –  ruined a piece right after you bought it? I don’t know why I haven’t gotten rid of these yet. Not sure if it’s the quality of the leather or the water damage, but they’re so soft and comfortable to walk in now. I probably won’t throw them out until I find something just as cute – even though I know it won’t be nearly as comfortable.😉

 

EASTER DRESS

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Blue wool coat: Zara | Dress: ASOS | Lace-up Flats: Banana Republic  | Bag: Coach

This post is a little late, but I wanted to share what I wore to Saint Patrick’s cathedral for Easter this past Sunday because it’s such a special piece in my wardrobe. I bought this it two years ago for engagement photos with Sangbin in Indianapolis. I absolutely love the sequin and beading details.

Sangbin and I got to the cathedral an hour before mass because we wanted to take pictures on the stairs and with the arches. Still being novice New Yorkers, we had no idea how crazy it would be!! I think there was an Easter parade there earlier in the day because the stars and sidewalk were covered in people wearing the most outrageous Easter bonnets. (In hindsight, I wish we had gotten a few photos) We ended up taking our photos across the street in front of a beautiful gold wall, which worked out nicely.

 

 

LITTLE BLACK DRESS – STYLED 3 WAYS

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Look 1: Dress: BrassTurtleneck: Madewell | Lace-up Flats: Banana Republic Bag: CoachNecklace: Ann Taylor | Glasses: Warby Parker

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Look 2: Dress: Brass | Bag: CoachLeopard Smoking Slippers: Madewell | Vintage Gold Watch: Bulova | Glasses: Warby Parker

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Look 3:  Dress: BrassLeggings: Under Armor | Platform Sandals: Jeffrey Campbell | Glasses: Warby Parker

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Since starting my Capsule Wardrobe about a year ago, I’ve become picky about what gets added into my collection. However, when Brass approached me to feature one of their dresses on my blog I figured it would be a great opportunity to show you guys three different ways you can style their A-Line little black dress.

How I wore it in one week: Twice to work in mid-town Manhattan and once over the weekend hanging out in NoHo.

The good:

  • I was stopped by a stranger (for the first time) who wanted to take a picture of my outfit featuring this dress. I was so surprised I didn’t realize the girl following me yelling “excuse me!” like five times was for me. (p.s. I’m suddenly inspired by her to have a New York street style section on this blog…)
  • The quality of the material is excellent and lays very well. I have no fear that this dress will last season after season. I hate buying a piece of clothing and then having to ditch it after a handful of wears due to poor materials and construction.
  • The pockets are so subtle, but completely functional! (the perfect size for a phone) which is ideal for me because I hate carrying a purse everywhere, but also feel the need to carry like 10 things with me at all times.
  • I can wear this dress in a professional setting and still be comfortable. (I’m talking to you post-lunch food baby)

The bad:

  • I say this knowing that it’s probably just me, but I personally am not a fan of the wide neckline because I’m afraid people can see down the dress when I bend over.  I also feel like if I don’t have perfect posture, the dress makes an unattractive crease in the bust. I compensated for that by wearing a black turtleneck under the dress in Look 1.
  • I got the dress in an XS and it still seemed a little large to me (especially in the sleeves) – not a huge deal because I generally like loose dresses, but I wish it was a little more fitted, especially since I’ll wear it to work so often.

I’d recommend this dress to someone:

  • Just starting a Capsule Wardrobe – you probably need a black dress like this if you don’t have one already, plus it’s a great piece to practice styling in multiple ways!
  • With little children – it would definitely hide most stains and since the material is so durable, it would survive a lot of washes.
  • Who’s great at layering (or accessories) – this is basically a blank canvas for you to work with.

 

If you have this dress (or end up purchasing it) please tag me on Instagram with how you styled it, so I can see!

Lots of love,

Maria xxo