Boden + Gingham….Brilliant

Skirt: Boden Sweater: JCREW Shoes: Ralph Lauren Bag: Kate Spade NY Necklaces: JCREW Sunnies: Franco Sarto

Skirt: Boden  Sweater: JCREW  Shoes: Ralph Lauren  Bag: Kate Spade NY
                                                                               Necklaces: JCREW  Sunnies: Franco Sarto                                                                                                 PS. …I’m terribly sorry that my skirt is SO wrinkled in this picture..I took these after lunch and it couldn’t be helped!

As I’ve been turning my wardrobe and shifting from summer to fall, I’ve discovered the beauty of “shopping” in my closet. During the turning, which sounds downright vampiric, I noticed several articles of clothing with tags dangling from their pretty collars and sleeves.

As I inspected these items I realized most of the pieces were bought on clearance or at heavily discounted rates and were for more formal occasions.

A cute black silk dress with a shiny geometric pattern…for that occasion when I needed just the right LBD…

A beautiful blue dotted dress with a swoop neck collar…for that after work party that called for casual elegance…

A fabulous blue gingham skirt that just needed a little special attention….

And so I decided to shop in my closet! Each of these items was bought because I truly loved some aspect of the design, texture or color and I found that I still loved these things…I just had nowhere to wear them!

Therefore, I made a resolution to repurpose each of these items, finding new ways to dress them down for everyday work wear. Here are some tips I learned from my endeavors:

For Dresses/Skirts
Add a sweater or cardigan
– Its Fall in the South and so sweaters and cardigans are great at dressing down an otherwise too formal skirt or dress.
– Remember – you can always pull a sweater or cardigan over a dress to essentially convert it to skirt. If the dress still looks too formal underneath a cardigan, try layering a camisole under the cardigan but over the dress to conceal the top half of the pattern or button the cardigan fully.

Wear tights instead of sheer hose
– Sheer hose will make your look too formal.
– Tights will instantly convert an otherwise formal skirt or dress to a less formal look.

• Wear boots
– Stick with low heeled boots or wedges – higher heeled styles will confuse the look as a higher heel is typically worn during a more formal occasion.
– Be leery of boots with lots of hardware – it depends on the hardware but the boot needs to make sense with the overall look you’re trying to achieve.

• Tone down the bling
– Jewelry is a must but keep the jewelry simple or to one or two pieces. Opt for simple pieces that are bigger vs ornate smaller pieces.

For Shirts/Blouses
• Wear a simple but chic pant
– Either nice slacks or jeans – skip the “hiney” embellishments!
– No silk or shiny materials – the focus should be on the blouse – by adding a shiny or silk pant you’re shifting from casual to formal

Be careful with skirts
– Keep skirts simple and chic – go for solid colors or simple prints
– Keep the length of the skirt in mind; long skirts tend to look more formal unless the material is very casual

• Skip the necklace (possibly)
– If the blouse is very formal – either in material or if it has added embellishments – skip the necklace and keep the earrings casual
– Large or ornate necklaces can detract from the beauty of the blouse

• Add a jacket
– A casual jacket, even a jean jacket can take a formal shirt and turn it into an eye catching but day wear approved look
– Ensure the fit of the jacket compliments the shirt – The jacket needs to accentuate the blouse, not swallow or hide it.

I hope these tips are helpful! Next time you’re staring aimlessly at your wardrobe, take a look at those items with the tags still dangling and enjoy shopping in your closet!

xx..Cortneybre…

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17 thoughts on “Boden + Gingham….Brilliant

    • Aww..thank you so much! You made me smile! I’m in love with that Boden skirt…I hated that it was so wrinkled in the shots though. It will def be in future posts and hopefully not wrinkled! Have a great weekend!! xx…Cortneybre

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