Hi Guys! Hope you had a wonderful week. I returned from New York City last night and will be posting a travel diary post real soon. However, if you must know the “nutshell” version of my thoughts on the trip, I’d like to say my second trip to this city was just as special as my first. There were many “firsts”, including some unpleasant-2018-versions of surprises that made this recent trip to New York City just as memorable, educational, and unique as my 1998 New York City trip. So look out for that post next month.
Today, I wanted to do something really practical, helpful, and pertinent to many women’s wardrobe dilemmas. Keeping your wardrobe and spending in check when trends seem to be changing seasonally seems like a no-brainer, but leaves many women discouraged or broke. I’ve had the toughest time defining my personal style that seems to be evolving with age and choice preferences (See HERE and HERE). With years of that experience, I feel I can teach women how to adopt fast fashion trends without breaking their bank balance even. So ladies, if you are experiencing trouble while taming your wild overflowing closet, this post is for you. So here goes:
The very first step is to divide the clothes in your closet into “2.5 categories”. The number may appear funny, but it is an important aspect to balance your wardrobe choices and thus, your budget. Your 1st category is your work clothes. Your 2nd category is your casuals, which includes athleisure wear. The 0.5 is for your formals.
Your work clothes should have staple pieces like button-down shirts, especially in white, classic sweaters and cardigans, plus dark and light-hued pants in flattering cuts. You can play with fast fashion trends where blouses, skirts, and dresses are concerned. Blouses come in pretty patterns each year.
While the last couple of years have been about florals, I think the next couple of years maybe about checks and patterns. I suggest for blouses you buy patterns and cuts that complement your staple pieces like pants and cardigans.
Skirts and dresses are also another way to freshen up your closet. I have seen designers and brands introduce pleated skirts, pencil skirts, flared skirts, maxi dresses, midi-dresses, A-line silhouettes to fit-n-flare silhouettes each season so it can get pretty overwhelming. My advice is to choose a skirt or dress with your age and body type in mind. While the flattering figure of my twenties allowed me to experiment and have fun with many, many trendy silhouettes, I know in my thirties, I have to shop smarter.
You will be surprised to learn that women spend just about the same amount of time in casual wear as in their work attire. I find myself being worry about this 2nd category the most. While I would love to wear trendy athleisure-wear when I go out, I do question whether wearing it would be appropriate for occasions other than grocery shopping or working out in a gym. If you like to be active all the time, investing in a lot of trendy athleisure pieces that can be layered is essential and cost-effective. Seeing how cute athleisure-wear is these days, I wouldn’t mind “sporting” it through lunches and brunches with girlfriends.
For the rest of that free-time that calls for casual wear, invest in some comfortable pieces like jeans, cotton shirts in different styles, and sweaters. Maybe a fleece or two for those chilly weekend mornings.
I will be lying if I didn’t say I spend a lot of money on clothes in the “0.5” category. Mostly because I am a Pakistani-American and have many formal occasions that require Pakistani clothes aka formal clothes. It can be festive occasions like Eid parties, Ramadan parties, weddings, or random dinners that give opportunities to pull out that latest ethnic outfit to have fun in. I have made smart decisions to purchase a few “hand-embroidered” outfits for weddings. My hand-woven, 3D embroidered, and digitally printed saris are versatile enough for any occasion. For regular festive occasions, I made a personal choice to stick with lawn suits and simpler pret pieces (See HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE).
For non-Pakistanis, that versatile little black dress can go a long way for any occasion including any type of wedding. Dress that LBD up with some designer accessories or layer it to make it less formal.
For showers or religious occasions, a pastel color is usually the way to go. Here, it is perfectly acceptable to dress up your “work clothes” instead of purchasing new clothes (which I would not recommend).
The Dior Book Tote Bag
A great bag that would go with practically any clothes under my “2.5 categories” rule is the Dior Book Tote Bag. Large enough to fit a book (or two!) and a laptop, this tote is perfect for a woman to carry during a work engagement on a weekday, run errands with during the weekend, and style an outfit (including those trendy athleisure wear pieces) during weekend get-togethers. The best part is that even though Dior doesn’t necessarily incorporate cruelty-free or vegan products in their collections like Stella McCartney, you can own a piece of Dior with these embroidered canvas pieces, guilt-free (for those fact sticklers, there’s only one tote made with calf-hide). So for fussy ethical-fashion-loving, sustainable-fashion-hugging fashionistas like me, THAT’S a big win. For those of you who are curious, my favorite tote bags from this Dior collection can be seen HERE, HERE, and HERE.
Please note the Dior Book Tote Bag doesn’t come with a top zipper, which can be unsettling for many women, but treating it like a second handbag is perfect if you plan ahead what you want to carry. Lastly, the tote looks especially cool with a print-heavy look. So to answer the question, “Is the Dior Book Tote Bag appropriate for your wardrobe?” I say wholeheartedly and 100% “yes!”