Tuesday, April 25, 2017


If I could share one piece of advice to newbies starting their closet curation process, it is this: Purchase items that will work with more than one thing you already own. The more versatile your clothes are, the more outfit options you have. You can turn three pieces into six outfits if you know how to shop. Since I am primarily budget-minded when I shop, I don't like to buy things that can only be worn one way. If I buy a shirt, I think back to the bottoms I have that might go with it. If I buy capris, I imagine my closet and the shirts hanging in it that will coordinate. Versatility gives you the option to be ready for any occasion. It allows you to dress for any weather. It gives you more choices when the laundry isn't caught up. And, above all, it saves you money.

This week's clothing theme is "Out of Africa". I have chosen my first five outfits to write about, and they all have some sort of nod to Africa. It's not something I particularly chose when shopping for these outfits, but as it happened, I have shown an affinity to bolder prints over the past few years.

After going through ALL of my clothes, I noticed I had several groupings of similarly-themed outfits. There is my "Out of Africa" collection, which I will be sharing this week. Next I will show off my "Pretty in Pink" collection. After that, I will move into "Stipes and Solids", finishing off with "Glitz and Glam". After sharing all my work clothes I will do a bonus week of my "Evening Out" clothes. These are like my "honorable mentions". They are clothes with stories, but not necessarily ones I would wear to work. 

To kick off my "Out of Africa" week, here is my first outfit. It consists of a cheetah print tiered skirt, leggings, and a black camisole. On Monday, when I wore this outfit, the temperature outside was 46. Needless to say, I was not going to waltz outside in a cami and sandals. However, the high was supposed to reach 76 in the afternoon. I knew I didn't want to be sweaty and gross after work while picking up the kids. So, I planned ahead. I wore a black sweater and a puffy vest in the morning with my sheepskin boots. After lunch, I went out to my car for a quick-change. I swapped boots for sandals, and a black cardigan for the sweater and vest. Lighter clothes to feel cooler in my day...planning for the versatility I knew I would need. 

At the core of my outfit is the cheetah print skirt. I bought this at one of my favorite stores when I lived in Sedona. Allie Ollie was my place to shop. I would meet my best friend there and we would play dress up. Most of the time we would leave with a shopping bag to attest to our store loyalty. The skirt started out one tier longer than what you see pictured. It was originally more versatile than just working for differing temperatures. It was made so that it could be worn as a skirt or a dress! I never did like it as a dress and for about two years, I would roll the waistband/bodice so that it would cover up the top tier and shorten the skirt. I wanted it to look as short as in the pictures I am showing you now. After wearing an incredibly tight waistband for two years, I thought to myself one day, "I will never ever wear this as a dress. Why do I torture myself by making the waist band so tight just to get the length I want? Why not just cut off the bottom layer?" By making the decision to shorten the skirt, I was giving myself the freedom to wear the skirt more often. I didn't like wearing it that much because it was either too long, or too uncomfortable. 

Now I wear it so much more often because it's the length I want and it's comfortable. I wear it in the summer time with a cami or tank top and no leggings. I wear it in the spring and fall with opaque leggings and a layer over the cami. On cooler days the layer is the black sweater; it's one of my lighter sweaters. On warmer days I layer the sheer, black cardigan. I change my shoes out according to the temperature too (boots or sandals). In the winter time, I wear my black, fleece-lined leggings and a heavier, creme colored sweater. It breaks up the darkness of the black when it's already so dark outside. 

One skirt I can wear year-round with three different tops. I never put this skirt away for the seasonal shift. It is a permanent fixture in my closet. Its construction and fiber content have allowed it to hold up in shape and color for so many years I have lost count. I think it might be a six or seven-year-old purchase? Fun Dollars very well spent. 

This skirt is the hallmark of versatility. Even though I can't wear it as a dress anymore, it is still incredibly versatile and works on many levels in my wardrobe. 

Take a look at what you have in your closet this week. Find the items you own that are the most versatile. Maybe they are items that can be dressed up and dressed down. Maybe they are things you have that can be worn with several other items. See what you have that can serve you in more than one season. Take note of these items. They are the backbone of  your closet. 

Until Next Time....Happy Closet Curating!  

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