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Steady Days | Wardrobe Essentials

Steady Days | Wardrobe Essentials

If you missed yesterday’s post on taking a few minutes to get dressed each morning, you should read it before reading this one. A wardrobe is just the cherry on top to a beautiful person created by God, and things like fashion are just “extra” in my humble opinion. I do believe how we dress is important, though, and effort ought to be put into it. Whether you have a big or small budget, a husband who sees you daily, classes to attend, a work environment with members of the opposite sex, or kids that spit up and mess up your clothes, I hope this encourages you to dress with modesty and class, enhancing your femininity.

Black Skinnies // $59.50

I’ve listed these first because I think they are the single most important wardrobe essential you could own. The only maternity item I’ve bought is a pair of black skinnies from Target ($34.99). You can build an entire wardrobe from a pair, so if you do not buy anything else on this list, buy these or something similar. Please, please, please trust me on this!

Dark Skinny Jeans // $29.99

A dark wash is the most flattering on any body type and the most versatile because you can dress it up or dress it down. It is important to buy a pair of jeans that fit you well and make you feel good, so even if you don’t walk out of a store buying something know that the hunt is worth it. Buy a little tighter than you think you need, because they will stretch. I love the little zippers on the back of these jeans from Target and the price is oh so right.

Black or Grey Maxi Dress // $34.99

I’ve worn this black maxi dress from Old Navy since the beginning of pregnancy and it has hung in there with me through the 30 lbs I’ve gained. I’ve worn it with a cardigan, tied a tee over top of it, or just as is. It is my go-to for running errands or when I don’t know what to wear. I usually pair mine with a statement necklace or scarf to give it a little oomph.

Pretty Blouse // $28.58

You need a nice blouse in your life for work events, date nights, or church services. Pick something neutral if you need to look dressy and have it pair with a lot of the things on this list. If not, be brave and buy a patterned blouse or one with lots of color. Either way, it should fit loosely so you can pair it with your black and/or denim skinnies with ballet flats.

Hat // $16.99

I’m convinced that a hat makes any outfit look stylish. You can cover the craziest hair and throw on a pair of sun glasses and never even bother with makeup still looking like you’ve got it together. If you’re not used to wearing them then give yourself a few wears before you feel comfortable.

Canvas Closed-Toe Shoes // $60.00

These are on the splurge side, I know. I waited a year to buy a pair, but now that I have them I wear them all the time as they translate well for almost every single season. These casual shoes take a typical weekend look or a frumpy mum look to the next level. Throw your hair up in a messy bun and your look is complete!

Neutral Sandals // $19.99

These are brown and black, so you can wear them with everything. And I do mean everything!

White Tee and or Grey Tee // $14.95

Do I need to even mention how important this one is?! You can pair a good tee over top of a maxi dress, with jeans or with anything else I’ve listed for you here. It is extremely important to buy one that you like, is flattering, and makes you feel good. Gap, Old Navy, and Target are all great stops for tees. Don’t feel bad if you take 15 back to the dressing room and only end up with one or two.

A Good-Fitting Bra, No-Line Panties & Simple, Everyday Pretty Ones //

I’ve linked to Ross Dress For Less for you and even though you can’t shop online through them, this is the place I’ve found the least expensive underclothes for the quality. I can usually find Calvin Klein there for a fraction of the price (think around $10 – $15 for a bra, $3.50 for panties). It is hit or miss, but I can usually walk away with something and as a woman it feels oh so nice to be pretty underneath. If you don’t have a Ross, the Gilligan O’Malley line at Target is another one of my favorites, just a step up in price. I want to treat myself to a robe in magenta for when baby comes and I’m staying in the hospital.

Ballet Flats // $19.94

You really need a good pair of simple ballet flats to go with your skinnies. I, for whatever reason, have picky feet and have to buy the really nice leather ones on sale at the outlets so that my feet don’t hurt with shoes. But, these ballet flats from Old Navy are super comfy!!!

Striped, Cotton Dress // $47.64

Again, a bit on the splurge side. But having a good cotton dress in your life is a game-changer. If you need a more forgiving fit, having a separating seam at your waist helps establish a good structure like this linen one or this grey jersey one. Also look for thicker fabric when shopping, as it helps with structure and not showing every lump and bump.

Chambray Shirt // $34.50

Need I say more? Chambray is classy and goes with practically everything. Own one.

Brown Leather Bag or Purse // $29.94

I owned one vintage, coach purse that I got at a yard sale for $10 for the longest time. And really, I’m here to tell you you only truly need one brown classy bag. The one from Old Navy is super cute, but if you want a splurge, go here.

Hunter Green Cropped Pants or Shorts // $19.94

Hunter green is basically a neutral. Did you know that??? It goes so well with stripes and adds just a smidgeon of color to all these whites and grays I gravitate towards. I have this linen pair of shorts listed above and a pair of cropped pants on clearance from J Crew that go with so many of my things and the color will never go out of style.

Statement Scarf // $12.95

A versatile, light-weight scarf can last you through a lot of months and finish off the look of an outfit with no effort other than throwing it around your neck right before you walk out the door.

If you want to redo your closet and feel overwhelmed with this list, don’t be! Start with one or two items, like a pair of skinnies and a cotton dress and then just build from there as you are able. Let family members know that you would like gift cards to go wardrobe shopping for birthdays and holidays. Most people love a chance to help a woman feel beautiful and will happily oblige!

 

 

Steady Days | Getting Dressed

Steady Days | Getting Dressed

Clothes can be such a touchy subject for women. We all have our insecurities, our backgrounds, our limited budgets, our work environments, and personal tastes thrown into the mix. Maybe you, like several women who’ve emailed me, don’t even know what you like and for years you’ve tried to nail it down, all leading to frustrated dressing rooms and hours standing in front of your closet.

I would like to start by encouraging you. Yes, you fellow woman (and maybe some guys reading this who don’t know what to say when their wives or girlfriends ask “How do I look?”)

You are beautiful.

Period. We are all in different stages of our journey…some of us are growing babies in our bellies, nursing, working a lot of hours, trying to have children, dating, or stuck in a rut, but you know how I know that you are beautiful? Because God created you. He created round faces, long faces, tall bodies, short bodies, wider hips, narrower hips, blessed booties and not-so-blessed booties, flat chests, full chests, asymmetrical ears and pointed ears, crooked teeth, straight teeth, curly hair, straight hair, skin prone to breakouts, skin that is flawless, large hands, petite hands…

And He looks at you and says, “You are my perfect creation.”

I believe this is so important to grasp before talking about anything external, like getting dressed every day. We have to understand that clothes are just the cherry on top to a kind of beauty that is everlasting. And clothes, well, they come and go.

I grew up in a modest-conscious community, so my style tends to gravitate towards the covered-up look. There’s always somebody who would probably disagree! But I mostly like to keep my shoulders covered when it’s not extreme southern weather and wear shorts that cover my blessed behonka (translate: booty) well. I love neutrals and branch into the color world on occasion, but if you peeked at my closet it is a row of blues, grays, blacks, browns, and whites. I also like comfort and I hate ironing. I used to beg my younger sister to iron my wrinkly clothes for church and when I left for college it honestly took me 2 months to figure out how to survive without her.

When I got married and first began having children I regret that I didn’t put more effort into how I looked and dressed. Of course, my husband told me I was beautiful and of course, my kids didn’t know any different. But now that I’m a bit older I realize that how I dress and choose to take care of myself reflects the importance I place on others, and that our wardrobe is not necessarily all vanity, like I so naively thought. Dressing appropriately shows that we care. We care about the body God gave us, and the people He’s placed in our individual paths. Whether we like it or not/accept it or not, we send a message to people with the clothes we put on.

There is a lie that bigger closets are better, that more shoes are optimal, and every girl ought to be willing to splurge on a Madewell dress. That’s a myth. In my early twenties, I realized that you really only need a few staples to create a put-together look that is attractive, modest, and appropriate for staying at home or going out. All the time I hear women say that they don’t have the money, or they hate shopping, so they’ve given up on looking put together. And can I just say, I’ve been in that place. Goodwill was all we could afford sometimes. But you can do it! You can find your style in musty, thrift store clothing racks, just as much as you can find it in a J. Crew at the mall.

The point is, that you make an effort. The effort will translate differently on everybody and there will be some days where you’re cleaning the house all day, or moving, or feeling sick, or just trying to recover from nursing a baby all night, but get back up the next day.

Take a shower.

And get dressed.

 

P.S. I’m sharing a list of wardrobe essentials with links to purchase tomorrow. I’m keeping it around 15 items, because that’s about what I’m living on with this pregnancy and I think it’s totally doable. See you then!

All images via my STYLE, SUMMER, and BABE boards on Pinterest.

The Everyday Project | Lines

Lines

So much of this week’s photo challenge for The Everyday Project was about composition. Just look at these gorgeous images!!!! I am in awe of all the different ways we can find lines in everyday life and yet how we choose to frame them is what truly makes the photograph. I think it’s worth mentioning this post on all the various angles we can take a picture – down, up, straight on, slanted – because this challenge proves what a difference it can make. We ended this set of photo of prompts on a bang!!!!

And here are our lovely features this week…thanks for participating.

@dibonjo // @oliviaflorentine // @misssouthernblog // @colouranddust // @snappystreet // @hannahkatherinew // @carissafassnacht // @steadyfeelinirie // @threesacrew

Hashtag your photos #theeverydayproject on Instagram to be apart of this inspiring community of over 24,000 photos.