Handbags are a big part of my grownup ‘fewer better things’ philosophy. Instead of stuffing my closet with trendy inexpensive purses, I treat myself to two nice leather bags each year: one at the start of spring, and another when fall comes around.
This season, I’m searching for an everyday carryall in a rich neutral color or sleek black. This Hobo ‘Blaze’ converts from a shoulder bag to a backpack, so it’s the best of both worlds, with a tassel! I just wish it was a smidge bigger so it would fit my laptop, planner, and all the other stuff I schlep to-and-from the flower shop.
These oversized totes and carryalls top my favorites list. And I couldn’t resist throwing in a ladylike backpack.
Last week, while getting ready for a ‘business casual’ event, I realized there’s a problem with my closet…
It’s filled with casual work/weekend clothes, and cocktail dresses. There’s no middle ground.
Rewind to my days of corporate dress codes: I had outfits for every imaginable business occasion, but nothing to wear to a Sunday BBQ.
Shouldn’t I have this figured out by now?
My girlfriends have similar issues. Despite our best intentions to shop for well-rounded wardrobes, we tend to gravitate to clothes that offer the most mileage for our varying jobs and lifestyles. I find myself buying stacks of jeans and tees in every shape and color. My friend has a stockpile of pencil skirts and silk button-downs for her 9-5. Ask us to dress for something ‘dressy casual’ and our heads might explode.
So we, a.) panic when we’re invited to an event outside our wardrobe’s resources, and/or b.) buy something we’ll probably wear once for the occasion and forget.
I think there are a few key pieces that are missing from my closet that could go a long way in filling the gap between a day at the flower shop and a black tie gala:
Pencil Skirts & Trousers – I know, this is such a no-brainer, but after years of a strict corporate dress code (we’re talking pantyhose, peeps) I couldn’t wait to ditch my pencil skirts and Express Editor pants. I donated them several years ago and never looked back, but it’s time to bring them back into the fold. A simple black pencil skirt and a pair of high-rise trousers would really come in handy. I always loved my denim trousers from Express, and think I’ll order this pair.
Black Midi Skirt – There’s something so feminine and pretty about an A-line skirt in a slightly longer length, and you can dress it up or down with shoes and accessories. I don’t know how I’ve made it this long without one. I’d go for something like this ASOS midi skirt in scuba fabric.
‘Day Dresses’ – I can’t think of a better name for them, but I’m referring to the kinds of dresses you wear to a business networking event or Sunday brunch; not formal, not casual, but just right. I used to have them in spades, in every color and pattern, but they went the way of the trousers when I became self-employed. I’m thinking something solid and versatile, like this Tahari A-line dress.