All it Takes...

I have already done this post, but upon retrospect I realized I didn't do it as well as I would have liked. So here it is again, but new and improved! A reader asked me to pick a few items, and then illustrate how to put them together in various and interesting ways. I hope this shows you that a great wardrobe does not require a ton of clothes. Use your creativity, and you can come up with a lot of fantastic outfits.I started with really basic pieces, to emphasize that you don't need a closet filled with unique, crazy, or expensive designer clothes to make stylish outfits. I only included shoes, because I thought other accessories would clutter up the images, so use your imagination on that front! Throw in a bold necklace, patterned scarf, or an artistic hat to give these looks more mileage and personality. For casual wear, easy basics like jeans and a jersey dress will get you through a lot of different events. This sweater is a good piece to own, because it looks like two tops layered but it's really just one. It adds a lot of interest, but it didn't take a lot off effort. Here, I paired it with jeans. But you could add the military blazer to dress it up a bit, or throw it over the dress to make a sweater/skirt combo. You could wear the blazer with the dress as well, and the red sweater would look great layered over or under the dress.
Trousers and a nice wool skirt are perfect work basics. A little button down is ideal as well, and can be worn with the red sweater or the military blazer. Throw the blazer on over the sweater and skirt combo as well. Or wear the shirt under the sweater with the skirt for another look. I think you get the idea: a lot can be accomplished with simple layering! It's all the same stuff, but they take on a different feel when paired differently.
The workwear trousers and casual jeans make another appearance, but dressed up by bright satin and velvet! You can wear any of the tops with any of the bottoms for a variety of looks. The green shoes are fine for evening because of the flashy color and shiny gold buckle.
Finally, a few more outfits to get your juices flowing. Try the velvet blazer for day by pairing it with the tweed skirt and the chunky brown heels. The button down also helps to tone down the velvet. You could even wear the velvet jacket with the next outfit - the dress tucked into the pants ( = a top!) with the green flats. The military blazer would look good with this as well. As another example of how to take your eveningwear into the daytime, the military blazer and satin top are made casual with jeans.

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I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor

Connie of Pretty Legit offered this idea for a post: non-cliche things to wear to a party. This is especially important for the college students and twenty somethings out there, who inevitably end up wearing tight jeans, strappy sandals, and a sexy top. I know that Connie is the queen of theme parties, and I have not come up with outfits as great as hers, but for a regular, casual party, I think the following looks will suffice.If you want to do the denim thing, do it different! A slim, non-embellished pencil skirt with a very dark uniform wash is perfect. I think that cardigans can be very cool, like this one from Anthropologie. The color is bright and fun, and the shape is really flattering. Wear it over a silk camisole or even just a regular cotton tank. If you want something a bit more dressy, try a silk blouse, like this kimono top. It's more covered up than the usual boob-baring, filmy tank, but it's still sexy. It's subtle sexy, and it will give you the right kind of attention. For the accessories, go bold. A great pair of dangly earrings and gold pumps are evening appropriate and fun. I would even add some bangles, or a necklace, and a cool clutch or small shoulder bag if you need it.
For a less casual event, a silk tank will work. This one from J. Crew is not so low cut, and the billowy fabric doesn't reveal to much curves. The spare neckline shows off your collarbone and back with criss-cross straps. To tone it down a little, pair it with slim Bermuda shorts. I picked dark purple as an accent, for both the pumps and the necklace. It is a little matchy, but that can easily be fixed by adding a cropped cardigan in a complementary hue, like pale yellow, or even green. The chocolate brown dress has a fancy look, but it's actually jersey, which means comfy casual. I added a gold clutch for some interest.

In general, you want to think outside of the overtly sexy box. Be creative and fearless with your color combinations, shapes, and textures. Parties are supposed to be festive and fun! The outfits I put together are a little on the safe side, but this is just meant for inspiration. And there are a lot of different kinds of parties, so dress accordingly, but never settle for the expected!

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