I really do try and fill my wardrobe with versatile pieces that not only work for a variety of situations, but for different seasons as well. This has become a particularly handy skill since Texas can dole out all four seasons in the span of about six hours. While these White House Black Market pants look basic like your basic black and white plaid, there is a yellow stripe running throughout the print which makes them a fun to style up in different ways. These are their Slim Fit pants and as someone with a small waist but wide hips, I love it when I find a pair of pants I can wear without altering. Quick! Many of their trousers are on sale for under $40 right now! And while this darker color combo is gone, I am tempted to purchase this rather pretty earthy-toned pair.
For the hot summer weather, I paired the pants with a yellow sleeveless top that is also from WHBM. And like the pants, this top is also basic with a twist – it has a subtle, embossed animal print to it, delicate gold buttons on the shoulder and a necktie – all details which make a simple outfit not that simple. Because it is summer, I decided to pair the outfit with these Sergio Rossi sandals I got on consignment. But because all offices must be artic during the summer (it’s gotta be law, I swear…..), I styled up the outfit with another consignment find, this vintage Ungaro blazer. Both finds were under $75.
The spring/fall transitional look uses one of my favorite instant style formula tricks: combining new pieces with vintage finds for a unique style that comes from owning one-of-a-kind items. This blouse is from Velvet Turban, a local vintage seller here in Austin owned by a fantastic career mom giving her passion project a shot. Her brand’s tagline is, “I help free-spirits find unique, affordable style,” and I LOVE THAT! The shoulder pleats and buttons on and around the collar make this one of the best vintage blouses I have added to my collection in quite some time. The subtle print makes it a perfect piece to pattern mix in even the most conservative offices. Plus, it is 100% silk. All of Natalie’s items are curated and special like this blouse. The shoes, bag, and belt were also added to my closet via thrift (the sling backs are a vintage Ferragamo find from Savers for $12.99), Etsy (the vintage Christian Dior purse), and The Real Real (the Fendi belt).
I topped the pants with a sweater I purchased from the HalogenxAtlantic-Pacific collection at Nordstrom for my winter look. These Gucci loafers became mine after an intense stalking session on eBay and this Cynthia Rowley purse is an old sale purchase that I will never tire of.
There are still many other ways I want to wear these pants: A white tee, cropped jean jacket, and sneakers, which would be perfect for various weekend outings or even a casual work look; a red sweater to play off the yellow pop of color in the pants; the yellow blazer from this suit; a denim button down and loafers; with a boucle cropped jacket and tons of gold necklaces layered on top of each other for an 80’s bad ass businesswoman vibe and with a trendy sweatshirt or graphic tee and Chucks for a put together mom-on-the-go look. You wouldn’t think these pants would be a versatile as they are. They have all the trappings of traditional, professional wear, yet from brunch to board rooms to babies, these pants have endless options. This is great info for moms who are in transition. Staying at home now, but getting back to the working world soon? Don’t box up the career clothes or worse yet, give them away. That will only leave you scrambling to rebuild your wardrobe when the right professional opportunity comes your way. Figuring out ways to incorporate clothes from your “old life” into your “new one” can really help you to feel like you.
Never be afraid to experiment with the items in your closet. A great way to live sustainably is to simply buy less. Brainstorming new ways to wear one for your staples – AKA shop your – closet is a great way to cut down on unnecessary consumption. I make it a goal to try and pull out one overlooked item and create an outfit or take one of my go-tos and figure out a way to style it in a way I have never done before. We all get in a style rut, so I am hoping that sharing these photos and ideas will inspire you to look at what is hanging in your closet with fresh eyes. When you have a closet full of clothes, I guarantee you have something in there to wear.
Images by Breezy Ritter