A Hawaii Style Blog

Tag: wardrobe

My 10 Essential Pieces Part 2: The Icing

Hello Everyone,

In my last post, I covered the basics pieces of my wardrobe. The pieces I mentioned build the foundation from which I to create outfits. I hope you found the list helpful.

This post looks at essential items that  add or finish an outfit.

6. Trusty Outerwear

Depending on the look you want to achieve, there are many options to layer over your basic pieces. Each type of outer wear has a distinct effect. A blazer, naturally dresses up anything from a tee to a shift dress. A jacket, preferably a leather jacket changes the look entirely, giving an outfit a bit of an edge while a cardigan tames an outfit and gives it a relax comfy look. My go to outerwear are cardigans and pullover sweaters. It keeps me lightly covered when needed and keeps me warm when it’s a little chilly here in Hawaii.

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Bamboo woven cardigan

Photo credit: Adam Levine Photo

7. Pumps

The pump is definitely a great shoe for every outfit and occasion. Every girl needs a pair of black and nude non platform pumps with an almond or rounded toe in the closet. They go with just about anything and they never go out of style.  These styles of pumps are more classic in their silhouette and tend to be closet mainstays. Shoes not only compliment the outfit but they should also be comfortable to wear. Some things to consider when shopping for pumps, consider the fit and the material of the shoes. Evaluate the pair’s length, pitch, heel height, width, padding, toe box area, arch support, and type of leather. If you want to get adventurous with pumps, try a red or an animal print pump to add some color and interest to outfits.

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Christian Louboutin  “Yoyo” open toe pumps. One of my favorite shoes. 

Photo credit: Adam Levine Photo

8. Sandals

Sandals are a must have for the closet. They are great throughout the year in tropical areas and for Spring and Summer months in northern areas. They are great for many outfits and ocassions.  When shopping for sandals, I gravitate towards sandals are black, brown, or nude. Some considerations that I have when shopping for a pair are leather quality, stitching, height, and style. I gravitate towards a styles that I am the most comfortable wearing.

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Golden Gladiator Sandal by Grey Saks Fifth Avenue. 

Photo credit: Adam Levine Photo

9. Statement Accessories

A great belt, a printed scarf, a statement necklace or a ring are great pieces that add to an outfit. Accessories can be obtained at any price point.  I gravitate towards accessories that help to finish and refine the look of an outfit. I also look at its pairing power, quality, and maintenance as well as price per wear. While accessories are often trendy and seasonal, I gravitate towards accessories that have long shelf life and will be great additions to my existing wardrobe.

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Express Brass Bib necklace. 

Photo credit: Adam Levine Photo

10. Black Handbag

A black handbag is a must have for any wardrobe. It can be obtained at any price point but somethings to consider when  when shopping for a black handbag is high quality, logo free, subtle hardware and a clean structure. It should be an item that will stand the test of time and a bag that can go with many outfits and shoe pairings. In addition, your bag should fit the needs of your lifestyle and activity. I gravitate towards bags that hold items are roomy and hold everything I need.

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Michael Kors 

Photo credit: Glenn Andaya Photo

Accessories are like the icing on a cake. They add to the wardrobe by adding flavor and finish. I hope this post and the last was helpful. Please like this post and let me know with a comment. Thanks again for reading.

XOXO,

Elle

My 10 Essential Pieces Part 1: The Cake

This year, I’ve been more deliberate in my choosing of pieces to add to my wardrobe. It was a calculated decision on my part to be more conscious of what I add and take away from my existing wardrobe.

In honesty, I’ve been in a bit of a lull, a fashion writer’s block, if you want to call it that. Don’t get me wrong. I know what works for me and what cuts fit me better than most, what colors are complimentary, what pairings to put together but I’ve been stuck, like we all are sometimes. I’ve stared at my closet full of clothes and thought to myself, I have nothing to wear. I’ve looked at my pairs of shoes but feel like I don’t have the right type of shoes to go with this outfit or that.

For the past month or so, I’ve been soul searching in the fashion sense. Trying to figure out how to work with my wardrobe, trying to find the science and math behind outfit pairings so that I could maximize my wardrobe without forfeiting my translation of current trends, styles, my fashion perspective and more importantly, me. The most important part of the equation in fashion is the individual. It is ultimately the person and not the clothes that make the outfit not the other way around. Fashion is surprisingly very autobiographical, like our lives, it is distinct to us and our needs.

With that in mind, I can not help but revisit the Ten Most Essential Pieces. Everyone has their own version of the list, why not, we all have our absolute go to pieces. Nevertheless, what you chose is definitely a reflection of your personal style, profession, lifestyle, and geographic location.

This post and the next will talk about the ten items that are the most essential in building my outfits. Much like a cake, outfits work with a great base. Once the base is set then its time accessorize.

THE BASE-IC PIECES

1. T-Shirts

They come in all shapes, sizes, prices, cuts and prints and out of the many pieces in my closet it is the most versatile. It is great for layering and great by itself. It can be dressed up or down and definitely goes with everything and it is the most reasonable to obtain. They come as inexpensive at $4 or as expensive at $100. I personally like the inexpensive ones, they work just the same and sometimes their quality is much better. I select my tees by their texture and feel. I personally like softer knit fabrics. On top of finding t-shirts that are softer, I also like t-shirts that have details that add personality to an outfit like pleats, drape, or combined with other fabrics. Another thing you need to about t-shirts, they are very easy to modify according to your needs.

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Allison Izu grecian draped tee. One of my personal favorites to pair and accessorize.

Photo credit: Adam Levine Photo

2. A Great Pair of Jeans

A great pair of jeans is a definite closet staple.  Through the years, I have tried on different styles, cuts, fabrics, and brands.  Finding a great pair is sometimes a challenge but when you do find the one and it fits just right, it’s like love, it’s meant to be. While denim cuts are trendy, I’ve come to rely on the one cut that flatters my body the most. When I find a pair of jeans that fits really well, I do what most people do in that situation, I buy several pairs of the same cut and brand of jeans, sometimes in different washes. I also make sure to have one pair in a darker wash for dressier outfits.

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Printed Trousers from Zara

Photo credit: Km2Creative 

3. The Pencil Skirt

So classic and goes with anything, it is my absolute favorite type of skirt. It’s slimming and sometimes curve hugging. It can be dressed down for an easy breezy day of errands, dressed up for a fancy dinner or a night out with the girls and still work for high powered business meetings. They come in different fabrics, prints, textures, lengths and sometimes heights.  The basic black pencil skirt is a must for your wardrobe. When looking for a basic black pencil skirt, look for quality fabrics and stitching as well as light lining. Because the shape is so classic, I find pencil skirts in season appropriate prints and fabrics to add to my existing wardrobe.

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Zara Floral Pencil Skirt paired with an Old Navy Sleeveless Button Down Shirt

Photo credit: Adam Levine Photo

4. The Button down

My ultimate blouse of choice, is the button down shirt. It is a closet staple that has never gone out of style and it is definitely a wardrobe workhorse. While a white button done  is a wardrobe must, through the years, I’ve added different colors, prints, and sleeve lengths to the collection that I rotate throughout the year.  The button down is an easy pairing piece. It can be layered under or over another piece. It can top a pair of shorts, a skirt, a pair of jeans, slacks, and even a pair of overalls or a jumpsuit. Longer ones can be worn as a short dress or a cover up for a day at the beach.

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J Crew Polka Dot Button Down paired with a Floral Pencil Skirt from Ann Taylor. One of my favorite mixed print pairings. 

Photo credit: Adam Levine Photo

5. Shift Dress

Another great basic is the shift dress. The slimming cut is flattering for many body types. I love that can be dressed up in so many different ways. A simple floppy hat can make it lunch date appropriate, a blazer can make it seriously business, a little bit of sparkle and pearls can make a great outfit for dinner dates. A shift dress in basic black is perfect for that go to Little Black Dress.
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J Crew Shift Dress in Polka Dot Print accessorized with a bow belt from Ann Taylor. 

Photo credit: Taryn Reid Photography

These basics have been  my absolute go to items for years. They are reliable, timeless, and lasting. I hope you enjoyed this post. I know I have enjoyed writing it. Let me know what you think. Take care and thanks again for reading.

XOXO,

Elle

Northward: Packing for Winter Weather

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Hello Everyone,

These pictures were taken a couple of days before we got back home from Michigan. The snow lightly covered the area where we stayed.

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 I got a chance to test out my Hunter Rain Boots in the snow.

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I had hoped to do this post closer to my trip to Michigan but since it’s snowing heavy back east, I figured it would be cool to do a packing post. It’s rare, I visit the continental U.S during the winter and this time around I decided to just take carry-on luggage given that flights usually get moved, delayed, and cancelled. Also, I really did not want to lose luggage going to and from my destination.

The trip was about a week and a half to Northern Michigan where the temperatures get really low. We checked weather reports up until the day we left, it was to make sure that we were packed accordingly.

This is what I packed in my carry-on.

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L to R:  top row: plaid shirt, j. crew. red pullover, forever 21. chambray button down, j. crew. middle and bottom rows: thermal long sleeve t-shirts, old navy. sweat shirt, old navy. cable knit sweater, old navy.

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L to R:  top row: skirt, j. crew. cordoroy jeans, j brand jeans. lace shoulders dress, h and m. middle row: wool skirt, j. crew. quilted leather clutch, found at t.j. maxx. flower crystal necklace, leslie danzis. bottom rows: skinny belts in red and leopard, ann taylor. jeans, old navy. leather belt, american eagle.  necklace, elizabeth stone jewelry, pearl and pyramid bangles, j. crew.

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L to R:  cowl neck sweater, old navy. chevron scarf, eden in love. coat, ross.

I kept most of my pieces neutral with lots of browns, grays, and beige. I also added some color to my wardrobe with pops of red. I brought three pairs of shoes; a regular pair of lace up boots (they are my go to Dr. Marten’s knee high boots),  a pair of strappy pumps (my favorite Christian Louboutin shoes as seen in my New Year’s post)  and a the Hunter boots that I decided to test out in the snow. They definitely kept my toes warm with heated socks. I found the heated socks work better than the regular hunter socks (thanks to my boyfriend’s dad, who got them for me.) I did not picture that pairs of shoes here because I use them often on this blog.

I hope that I am able to do a styling post for the pieces that I brought in a future post. I have to admit, the outfits worked out better than I expected and they managed to keep me warm. Not bad for a newbie in winter weather.

I hope you are having a great start of your week. Take care and let me know you think.

XOXO,

Elle

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