Back today as promised, a day late, to share Dominga's style tips and perspective on a few pieces you can introduce into your wardrobe to get major style points. But first, a quick reminder to comment below or email Dominga to RSVP for our event next Thursday.
Each morning I find myself in the throng of harried-looking moms who are gently (or not) prodding their children to the school drop-off line. Whether we’re rushing off to work or to a short stint of precious solo time, we are united in our unforgiving schedules and the promise of another day of mostly the same. I’m sure I’m not alone in my quest to figure out ways to maximize efficiencies, whether it’s shaving a few minutes off the daily commute or bedtime. Now that my daughter has adopted her own sartorial point of view, we’ve incorporated choosing outfits into the evening routine, which got me thinking about my own approach to getting dressed.
When you’re working within a fixed schedule, it’s tempting to throw on whatever is closest to the bed/door/closet, but that shouldn’t be an excuse for wearing pajamas or slippers in public-- unless you’re rushing off to an honest emergency (though my glamorous aunt once showered and powdered before she went to the ER). I also don’t believe you have to compromise comfort in order to look pulled together. I see a lot of women who have adopted yoga capris for everyday wear, but it’s just as easy to throw on a crisp tunic, leggings and a cute clog instead.
While I appreciate that there are those who, frankly, just don’t feel that their appearance should warrant any effort given all there is to do on any given day, the reality is that like anything else, establishing a system and sticking to it is more efficient. But beyond saving time, wearing something that fits well and looks good can make you FEEL good. In fact, research supports the idea that what we wear affects how we think about ourselves (more confident, physically stronger) in addition to how we’re perceived by others (more intelligent).
The good news is that it’s not difficult or time-consuming to create a system for getting dressed, and it can work for any lifestyle: corporate mom or creative. The simplest approach is building a capsule wardrobe, which really just means downsizing to a few key pieces each season that are versatile and interchangeable. Visitors to my store, Perican Bing, will find that I stock neutral palettes almost exclusively and any patterns you’ll find are going to be more organic or geometric so matching isn’t a challenge. While I do believe in incorporating color, it’s easier done with accessories than with the primary components of an outfit. And it doesn’t have to be boring: unique silhouettes and textures can provide interest.
So what’s the easiest way to get started? Here’s a list of some essentials as we segue into fall:
- Denim: Skinny jeans or boyfriend jeans. I wholeheartedly believe in wearing styles that feel best, regardless of what’s trending. Right now I carry Blank NYC denim because it’s well-priced and the fits are simple. Plus, no embellishments on the pockets!
- Tunic: Tunics pair wonderfully with skinny jeans, leggings or if long enough, can be worn with tights as a dress. They are super comfortable but also look polished. I usually have tunics from Mary Meyer or Ali Golden in stock year-round. For colder months they are easy to layer under an oversized cardigan.
- Well-tailored t-shirt: These are an absolute staple and can be worn on their own or layered under overalls, a jacket or even strappy dresses to get more wear out of summer styles. I carry t-shirts in a number of different silhouettes and fabrications: scoop-neck, v-neck and raglan-sleeved in cotton, linen and rayon.
- Jumpsuit: These have been showing up each season and contrary to popular belief can be very flattering. Yes, you have to pull them down to go to the bathroom but I promise it’s not that much effort! I have jumpsuits that can be worn solo and ones that are closer to overalls that can be paired with a fitted t-shirt or thin turtleneck. For those scared of pants, pinafore-style dresses are another option.
- Interesting black pant: Black pants don’t have to be basic. A higher waist, drop-crotch or jogger style is a good alternative to a plain stovepipe and they can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.
- Shirt dress: I love a shirt dress because they work on so many different body types and are equally flattering. They can be paired with tights and boots in the winter and with sandals in the spring and summer.
The best thing about a capsule wardrobe is that the fewer choices you have, the easier it is to get dressed. And of course, you can build up your wardrobe over time, but the point is to start with a solid foundation so you can add without worrying about compatibility. While adopting this approach to getting dressed may not guarantee you get you to school on time, it can be one less thing to worry about.
Thank you so much Dominga! I am taking all of this advice to heart. What I love most of all is that most often capsule collections feel a little too 'j. crew basic' for my tastes. Dominga's shop offers so many stylish and classic silhouettes but in fresh colors and patterns so you can still feel like an individual while hacking your wardrobe with some elevated basics.