Why I Have a Fashion Mantra ... and you should too.

If you have ever worn cowboy boots to a wedding or rocked Doc Martins with a floral dress, we’re on the same page.  Mixing nice pieces with well-worn clothes lets me move easily from work to grocery store to a night out.   That's why I live and dress by my mantra,  "a little trashy, a little classy."

“When in doubt, wear red.” – Bill Blass

So how does this help me shop?  Easy.  I know that I’ll be layering cardigans, blazers and sweaters with almost everything.  Which means that hip-length jackets and blazers work better for me.  Or if I’m looking at skirts I need them to look right with fitted t-shirts, so I tend to choose a cut that moves.  Dress shirts always look great with some nice slacks but how will it work with blue jeans? That means I like my dress shirts structured, not too drapey. If an item is trendy, then it has to go with classic clothes to come home with me. (Pro tip: don’t spend a ton on trendy items. if you know its only going to be cool for 3 months, be cheap)  Do I buy clothes that don't go in these rules?  Of Course!  But not often. Having a mantra gives me a strong foundation so that I can break it on my terms. But I find if I stray to far from it I don't wear that purchase (or have to go find shoes that I can wear with it)

“Trendy is the last stage before tacky.”- Karl Lagerfeld

How does it help me dress?  By bringing balance to my outfit.  Lots of cleavage today?  Better cover my legs and arms.  Short shorts? Better cover the girls up.  A little overdressed?  I’ll change from heels to sandals or add an unstructured jacket. 

“More is more and less is a bore.” – Iris Apfel

Having most of my clothes in one color range has been a life saver too.  My closet is lots of white, black, shades of blue.  This year I’m having a love affair with army green (you'll never convince me its not a neutral tone).  I stopped buying pinks and purples when I realized they never got worn. 

“Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” – Coco Chanel

Okay, Okay. So “A little trashy” doesn't work for every situation (hello job interview!, whats up wedding season?).  But I do have a super special back up mantra, W.W.A.W.  That's right.  What would Audrey wear?  She would for sure wrinkle her nose at my ripped jeans and toss out the graphic tees before grabbing a simple, fitted item that has only one stand out element.  Flats, stud earrings and out the door. 

“Always have fun with fashion.  Dress to entertain yourself.” –Betsy Johnson

That's right.  A mantra or two saves me from being overwhelmed by shopping or intimidated by a big event. That's why you should get yourself a mantra and use it as a clothing compass.

Are you all hustle, all the time? Shop by the phrase “Dress how you want to be addressed.”  You’ll find yourself gravitating to structured pieces, having a favorite tailor and lots of statement jewelry.  Wear clothes and shapes which have stood the test of time, then add only one bold item. After all you want to stand out from the crowd while being remembered. for the amazing work you did. I know you may only have time for coffee in the morning but it won’t be because you wandered over to a rack of sequined shirts or too-short skirts.

"Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world" -Marilyn Monroe

Juggling 50 hours a week and kids?  Live by “if it’s not black, put it back.”  You can hide the stains which come from lunches at your desk, dinners in the car and sticky hands everywhere.  And a monochrome wardrobe always looks modern, chic and planned out.  So buy lots of one color, but in many textures.  A collection of matte, shiny, knitted, sheer, thick, soft and silky clothes  will never feel boring even while saving you morning time.  Or if you are super human and don't spill on yourself (you know, not like me) go all white.  People will move out of your way when you walk (not lying).

Whatever your days look like, focusing your closet to pieces which work for you is a stress saver.  Stay true to yourself, be guided by your go to outfits, and be honest about what your life really looks like.  You’ll breeze through stores, always have something to wear, and feel confident where ever you wind up.