Being Basic

Sometimes it's okay to be a basics bitch. In fact, I'm all about it right now. 

I've been trying to reduce and scale back on all fronts: product, lipgloss, bedding, clothes, and shoes (holy crap the shoes). But, I've also been diligent in getting things to the tailor (my best friend essentially) and replacing my well-worn basics, from undies to the classic striped tee, for more substantial basics.

That means better well made pieces to go the extra mile, and if my bank account can afford it - something a bit on the luxurious side (my bank account called and said no way jose). So instead of spending $10 on a white tee every season, spend $30 for one with better fabric that will last all year and maybe the next. By the way Everlane has some of the best tees around.

Yep, let's get rid of the crap + clutter and replace it with fewer amazing pieces. Basically my mantra for the year if you haven't noticed.  

Here are a few other basics that I've been detoxing then upgrading. It might be a good starting block for you too (if we're on this same decluttering kick together):

- socks: we're on our feet all day long, its only wise we treat our feet to scratchy-free material that also allows for breathability. I got my socks down to about 18 pairs.

- underwear (also known as panties): I actually went through my underwear drawer and realized I owned too many. I couldn't even remember the last time I purged them. To the trash went the lace thongs, overworn, and faded pairs, and in came cotton or seamless pairs. I've pared this down to 16 pairs, all mostly from the Calvin Klein (never fails) line. Panty lines have been MIA ever since. 

- bras: one thing I learned while working in bloomingdale's intimates section is to never skip on support. Did you know that 4 out of 5 women wear the wrong bra size? An ill-fitting bra can cause back-pain and ruin an outfit - with that being said get fitted next time you go bra shopping. If this is a little foreign, this article has lots of more bra knowledge. I have a good set of bras (5 pairs to be exact) all from Calvin yet my t-shirt bra was in desperate need of a replacement. Which, of course I did.

- cami/white tee/black tee/striped tee: Find the best quality your money can get you for each (or whichever fits your life) and donate/sell the others. Like I said, Everlane and Marine Layer are great contenders to keep in mind. Both produce shirts in small batches and only with the finest materials while staying aware of their carbon footprint.

- sweatpants: told ya I was basic. But in all honesty, we all need a pair of lush sweatpants that can take our Sundays from 1 to 100 real quick. I found this pair from Nike and have never ever looked back.

- This might be a good time to revisit your "uniform" and replace any pieces you've worn to bits with a few higher quality items that can hopefully stand the test of time.

Feel free to chime in and add your basics (and where from) in the comments. 

P.s. Keep in mind, Rome wasn't built in a day and neither should your wardrobe. Take your time (and budget into consideration) when building your closet.

Establishing My Lewk

For those of you working on decluttering your apartment and/or closet - I feel you. I totally understand the feelings of anxiety and confusion when it comes to minimizing the closet. FYI, currently struggling with the shoe collection which is kind of crazy and a first world problem if there ever was one.

There simply had to be a way to a better part with unnecessary things. 

After a night of sorting through denim (some even witnessed high school) my nerves were at an all time high (clutter will do that to ya), I decided to unwind by pinning. Don't ask why - it just works. So there I was pinning my dream bedroom which turned into a few inspirational quotes followed by a few aspirational spring looks. 

Then it hit me - I can use Pinterest as a way to declutter my closet.

Yep, I see those blank faces from over here, so let me explain and start from the beginning. 

Pinterest has given me a way to store all my favorite looks by pinning what made my heart flutter. In turn it gave me an idea, or rather an outline of my lewk - something concrete I can look at and say "ah, that's so me."

Pinterest also gave me a checklist of sorts: items that should remain in my closet and things that gots to go.

Being that I grew up in the age of H&M and Forever21 you can bet there is an influx of NWT (new with tags) crap hanging around waiting to be worn. After experimenting with trends and figuring out what styles worked best on my frame I finally have a clear and concise sense of style that feels like me. 

So whenever I feel the urge to hold onto a pair of sequined booty shorts, I'll give my Pinterest board a look over and remember that it's not part of the road I'm headed towards. It's also pretty handy when cruising Zara.com and reminding myself that nope culottes aren't for me (but they are cute).

For those of style-searching and experimenting with the latest trends, I say keep a Pinteres board and keep a record of either what you wore, looks you would like to try, or looks you absolutely love. It'll help give you an idea of what you lean towards and what you wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole. Another great tool and if you want to take a step further is getting The StyleBook app- it helps you store outfits and manage what you already have in your closet.

Now let's get the conversation going, how did you all figure out what your style is? Do you also keep a record of your favorite outfits and how?

Photos by Lydia Hudgens

The Stylist Kit for Everyday + Beyond

Remember this post and how I vowed to be more conscious on what I was bringing home? So far, so good. I haven't fallen astray to tempting sales (and they are tempting). Instead I've been purging my closet of the old and forgotten pieces. Lots of things have been donated and a few have been sold on Poshmark. For the special pieces that survived the purge, I intend on making them last with my tailor and look their best with my stylist kit

"What exactly is a stylist kit," glad you asked.

Image via J. Crew

Image via J. Crew

A stylist kit can be thought of as your fashion emergency kit. Got white fuzzies all over your black sweater, reach for that kit. Unintentional deodorant skid marks on a tee, reach for that kit. Popped a button, reach for that kit. See where I'm going with this. Why waste the outfit when your kit is there to save the day. 

For those of you in the market for a pre-made kit, I suggest going with Fashion First Aid kit curated by Lauren Messiah (co-founder of School of Style). This kit has basically everything for your next gig or fashion mishap. For those of you knee-deep in wedding season, consider this your best friend for rehearsal dinners and the big day. This kit prevented hot mess syndrome during sweaty Miami fashion, so its pretty solid to say the least.

The kit comes complete with: folding scissors, lint roller, sewing kit, tagging gun, tape measure, safety pins, double sided tape, skid out deodorant packets, drool remover sponges, bra strap holder, heel fixers, shoe grips, nipple covers, garment guards, purse shine, sole glow. See complete details here.

Image via  Brit + Co

Image via Brit + Co

For those of you wanting to DIY your own kit, consider these essential basics to be stored in an all-clear bag (easier to find what you need): 

- mini deodorant + deodorant remover or a small sponge: smell good and avoid the white stains.

- Band-Aids: great for blisters and unexpected cuts. I carry a few in my beauty bag too!

- safety pins, binder clips/clothespin, double-sided tape: these are great for hemming or holding any piece on the go.

- nipple covers: turn off the low-beams when they're not invited.

- nude underwear: sometimes our clothing may be a little more sheer than expected. Avoid any embarrassing moments with nude or black undies. 

- tide to-go: because life happens and stains come along with it.

- lint roller: helps keep the fuzzies at bay.

- foot petals, heel liners + shoe pads: to prevent feet fatigue on those long days.

- static guard, small sewing kit, and scissors: necessities for any kit.

I know it sounds like a lot but you'll be happy to have them when the bad ju-ju strikes, especially that tide to-go pen. Is there anything I missed that should be added?

P.s. You don't need to be a stylist to have a stylist kit, in fact think of it as your fashion emergency kit!