I’m so excited to begin a new series today. I’ll just post these sporadically over time, as readers supply me with challenges or questions. I already have a few more in the works! But today I present to you our first Dressed for My Day Reader Fashion Challenge. Of course my sweet reader didn’t actually put her dilemma to me as a challenge. She just asked me to help her think through her situation.
Here’s her request: “My dilemma is that my closet is full of black and gray! I wear black, gray, or brown slacks to work every day and have for years. I am about six months from retiring and don’t want to invest in a lot of new clothing. Can you do a blog on how to work with my black pieces as we move into spring? Thanks!”
And so I spent quite a bit of time yesterday thinking through how to freshen up a basic black work wardrobe this spring without purchasing new slacks. Just for the sake of time and cohesion, I’m only featuring additions to go with her black or gray pants, not the brown. But all of the suggestions I’m making could apply to the brown pants as well.
Let’s get started!
Maybe a few new tops?
I understand the desire to keep a tight reign on the purse strings if you’re planning on retiring from work soon because you may not wear these clothes as often then. But if you choose wisely you could add a few pretty tops that you will enjoy wearing even after you’ve stopped going into the office.
If you don’t have a couple of pretty, soft white tops to wear with your black, gray or even brown pants, you might want to purchase one for sure. But I’d also add or pull from your closet some soft shells in springy colors. They could be bright like the deep periwinkle shell from Talbots (which also comes in soft pink) or the pink tie front top pictured below or they could be a soft pastel. For instance, I think soft teal or peach are beautiful with brown. And pastel pink or baby blue would be nice with the gray pants. For the black you might find a trendy lavender silk blouse.
Of course, I love floral silk tops, too. But the geometric print top from Calvin Klein shown below would look great with your black or gray slacks. You could wear any of these under a blazer, with a solid soft long cardigan (like the one in the picture) or by themselves.
Maybe invest in a couple of new toppers.
Perhaps you already have an array of colorful tops to wear with your pants, but you need to freshen up the third layer. I don’t even know what kind of work environment this is for, but I think a third piece of clothing is always smart in most work places. It makes the outfit look more complete and it provides a little warmth in an air conditioned building.
I like the idea of updating your solid colored pants with a pretty jacket, a colorful kimono and/or a print cardigan. Shown in the image below, I have a feminine black and white print jacket from Chico’s. If you check it out you’ll be able to see a video of the model wearing the jacket. It looks so fun and appealing! And it’s on sale right now.
The aqua kimono is at Soft Surroundings and they call it the Azura Topper. I’ve been eyeing this kimono for over a month now! And the floral print black and white cardigan below can be found at Nordstrom Rack.
Or add another fun, colorful accessory.
I don’t know if kimonos are even appropriate at your work place, or if they allow you the mobility needed to do your job. But I love them. And I like scarves, too. This spring scarves have become skinnier and smaller, so you can probably find one that doesn’t feel cumbersome and hot.
At any rate, the idea is to add some color with accessories like statement necklaces, earrings, shoes, handbags and of course scarves or wraps. I haven’t picture any jewelry or shoes here because the possibilities really are endless. If you don’t want to spend much on accessories, but want to try some new ones, I suggest you check out Baublebar for ideas.
In the graphic below, I’m showing you a silk scarf from J.Jill, a bright pink wrap from Chico’s, and a large scarf like silk wrap from J.Jill. The kimono at the top of the graphic is in the shopping widget below.
Black, Gray and Brown are great spring basics!
Actually, there is nothing at all wrong with building your spring wardrobe upon black, gray and brown trousers. When matched with some of the seasons hottest colors – cherry tomato red, meadowlark yellow, little boy blue, lavender and dahlia for instance – your pants will provide the perfect background for these trendy colors to pop.
I have a solid black dress that I’ve worn for almost 20 years now, no kidding. And I just bring it into every season with a colorful scarf or trendy jewelry. It’s really just a matter of updating your accessorizing pieces. And I would definitely look toward pieces that you could enjoy wearing again next spring…when you’re no longer working! Yay! Congrats on your upcoming retirement!
I have at least two more Reader Challenges in the works, but I’m definitely game for more. If you have a special occasion for which you would like a fresh perspective or a fashion dilemma that has you stumped, let me know in the comments below or feel free to email me. I’d love to hear from you.
And speaking of shopping, if you missed my 10 Fitting Room Tips for the Savvy Shopper you might want to check it out. And pass it on!
Blessed for My Day
Do you ever feel envious of what others have? Do you ever feel like you are missing out? There’s an acronym for that, you know. FOMO – the Fear of Missing Out. Of course our fear of missing out has been heightened by the Internet and social media. Sometimes it just seems like other people either have more or are experiencing more. Actually, the Bible does indicate that no one has it all. Instead God gives each of us what we need, what is best for us and what He pleases for us to have. And we’re also assured that what we have is very, very good…and more than enough. Today if envy pokes at you, remind yourself of the truth: God has dealt graciously with you.
The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. ~ Psalm 16:5-6