The Anyone, Anytime Gift Guide: Part III

The Anyone, Anytime Gift Guide from dressedtocode.com

This is the third installment in a mini-series about gift-giving. Part I of the gift guide may be found here, and Part II may be found here.

We’ve already discussed giving gifts to perople you know and people you barely know. Therefore, we now come to what may be the least populated but most difficult category of all: people that you know so well that no present is ever going to express what they mean to you. Personally, the people that fall into this category include my parents, my significant other, and a few very close friends.

Let me start by warning you that some of the best gifts I’ve given must seem rather strange from the outside. That’s just it. An incredible present may be of such intimate significance as to make little or no sense to anyone else. However, if you know the recipient very well, it’s perfect. Because they matter to you, you should have an idea of what will put a smile on their face. Better yet, it could make them smile each time subsequent time they encounter it.

As an example, one of my mother’s favorite material gifts I have ever given her was a set (six or eight, I don’t remember) of french wine glasses from Crate & Barrel. Hers look like these, but without the bulge in the stem. To some, drinking glasses would be considered an impersonal gift. Nonetheless, to my mother, it was a useful quantity of well-designed, quality items that she appreciates and enjoys every day. She still occasionally thanks me for them. (Side note: my parents’ cats LOVE drinking out of the glasses because they think they’re being sneaky.)

That brings me to the first gift idea.

Get them something useful that they wouldn’t get themselves.

If your friend struggles with their $5 corkscrew every time they throw a party, a nice bottle opener and their favorite bottle of something might be just the thing. Depending on your current situation, you may not be able to spend a lot of money. You don’t need to. Go for something with a lot of thought that says you pay attention.

When my significant other insisted on buying decent knives for our kitchen, I thought it was a strange place to spend the budget. Now, I love and appreciate them with every use. Young people who may be stocking their first kitchen from family castoffs and thrift stores especially appreciate such items. This time of year, a quality cookie sheet and a silicone baking mat can go a long way. (If you haven’t used a silicone baking mat or silpat mat before, get one for yourself too!)

Silpat AE420295-07 Premium Non-Stick Silicone Baking Mat, Half Sheet Size
If you bake on cookie sheets, this silicone baking mat is amazing for cutting down on burnt cookies and questionable cooking sprays.

My second gift idea involves a little more luck:

Get them something something incredibly them.

As another example, I have a dear friend who frequently wears pearls and also loves cats. I found a set of pearl earrings with cat ears that everyone else who knows her sees and declares to be perfectly her. This Nessie Ladle might be just the thing for the dinosaur-loving soup-maker in your life. You can find items like these by searching keywords of their interests. Unfortunately, this can be a time-intensive process, but “cats” and “pearls” eventually got me to a very good place.

S.Leaf Cat Ear Stud Earrings Freshwater Cultured Pearl Stud Earrings
These cat-eared pearl earrings were the perfect thing for a dear friend.

If you are in a good place financially, you may be better able to pull off the next gift idea:

Give the gift they always talk about but would never splurge on.

We all have that one item we find ourselves window shopping for or constantly pinning on Pinterest. You may know what that is for someone and be in a position to make it happen. A great raincoat or quality backpack can get expensive quickly if you’re on a budget. Nevertheless, they are both items I am glad I was able to invest in. Maybe their dream item is something frivolous that they can’t justify spending the money on and you can. Be careful here to walk the line between being able to make it happen and lording it over them.

If you don’t see this person as much as you’d like, consider:

Give them something sentimental.

Okay, it’s cheesy. So what? This is a person you care about. A nice photo in a frame of their taste might be the gift that warms their heart. While photos of you and the recipient are usually preferable, photos of young people are usually well appreciated by older relations. Many of us stop taking professional photos regularly after high school, but you can now take decent enough photos yourself. For less than a professional photographer, you can also find students who take beautiful shots.

TOGETHER FOREVER STRING CATS CARD Designer: Red Cap Cards
If someone is important to you, don’t be afraid to let them know it, maybe with this adroable together forever card.

Other sentimental items include hardcover copies of favorite childhood books for grandparents to then read to their grandchildren. I enjoyed an old copy of Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel as a kid.

Last but not least, consider this:

The best thing to give may not be a thing at all.

My partner is one of those people who are nearly impossible to shop for because they buy so little and already have what they desire. He was working out in the desert and had had a pen explode because of the heat. I gave him a Fisher space pen, not knowing at the time what a pen snob he is. It didn’t have an absurdly fine tip, so he didn’t use it. Fast forward two years, and he gave me a pen that he and a friend designed and made. Altogether, it not one of my better gifts. Now, years later in our relationship, I’ve given up. I no longer give him things.

Experiences and memories are an incredible gift, particularly if your time is scarce. Take a day together to do their favorite things, explore an old jaunt, or simply talk. Do something they love but you don’t. Try out that restaurant and don’t split the check. Restaurant-hop thought the night, getting your favorite course from each place. Enjoy each other’s company.

Lush greenery lines the trail in this photo taken at Cougar Mountain, Washington
If they already have everything they might want, give them memories.

What are your greatest gifts for the ones you love? Do they make any sense to anyone else? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments.

“Your love and care is the greatest gift of all.”

-Casey

The Anyone, Anytime Gift Guide: Part II

The Anyone, Anytime Gift Guide from dressedtocode.com

Welcome to Part II of the Anyone, Anytime Gift Guide. If you missed Part I, gifts for people you barely know, you can find it here. Moving on, Part II is a gift guide for people you know reasonably well. As in the first part, this gift guide is less about specific products and more about how to brainstorm better presents for the people on your list.

Watch and listen.

Yes, that really is the best advice I can give. Pay attention to your intended gift recipient, and they may very well show or tell you exactly what would make them happy.

Of course, keep in mind our society’s penchant for hyperbole in distinguishing whether they only “LOVE!!” it in the abstract or would actually love it in their living room. For example, there are plenty of items for which I have expressed enthusiasm but have no use or storage space. (A mixer is not one of those items. I would really appreciate a mixer, especially in matte black. Hint, hint.)

Consider how they spend their time.

For example, if they’re always watching their grandchildren, a beautiful book is always a great gift. Books also fall into the semi-consumable category, loved forever or donated to the local library and appreciated by countless others. If you are giving a “child’s” book to a grown adult, be sure to include a note explaining that you thought they could enjoy the book together.

As picture books for young children go, I loved some of the following books as a kid:

Overcoming Fear, Grandmother/Granddaughter: Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco

Cover of Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco
In Thunder Cake, a grandmother’s wisdom and secret recipe help a young girl overcome her fear.

Halloween: Rattlebone Rock by Sylvia Andrews

Hanukkah: Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric A. Kimmel

Hanukkah and Christmas: Christmas Tapestry by Patricia Polacco

I’ve also heard amazing things about Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty, excellent for inspiring young girls.

I tend to prefer hardcover picture books, as they are often easier to hold up to show off the pictures.

Consider which everyday items facilitate the activities they enjoy.

For the active people in your life, there may be gear specifically suited to their sport or activity which can really add up. This is one of those ideas best coordinated with a parent or other highly-informed person, but can be an excellent choice for those with nothing down on their wishlist. (Similarly, if you’re a financially stable adult expected to give presents to nieces and nephews you last saw on their birthday a year ago, focusing on what you know can help you start a conversation with someone who can give you more specific ideas.)

Runners often need to replace shoes every few hundred miles, which could be every few months for a high-mileage runner. Frequently, someone who has found the proper shoe for their body (pronation, supination, and cushion are all key factors) will go back to the same shoe in the same size time and time again, which makes it an easier purchase than most sized items.

Black and white Nike Free RN (run) shoe, available at Nordstrom.
These Nike Free RN kicks are my current running and workout shoe, but also look sleek and neutral for a casual outfit or travelling. My pair in the closet are a size 7, so keep in mind that the sizing runs small.

Similarly, think about extra-cushioned yoga mats, brilliantly reflective vests and jackets for running and cycling, or a Discover Pass or Parks Pass to get outside.

Consider what they use.

This is similar to the previous bit of advice but includes they mundane things we use every day and often take for granted. Is there some small token which would would improve their everyday experience in some small way? Maybe it’s a travel coffee mug that actually keeps their coffee hot, a fuzzy blanket to keep them warm watching Netflix, or a stapler that actually staples their papers.

Consider what you use and enjoy.

Chances are, if this is someone you like enough to give them a gift, you have something in common. Therefore, consider giving them something you yourself use and enjoy. I’d happily give everyone on my list a Hydroflask water bottle because I use and love mine so much. Seriously, when the reviews say that you can leave it in a baking car all day and still come back to ice in your water bottle, believe them. I’ve done it.

Hydro Flask Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle, Wide Mouth w/Flex Cap
These fantastically-insulated bottles come in a variety of colors and styles.

Most importantly, remember that at the end of the day, it really is the thought that counts. A gift is simply a gesture that you care about someone and want to present them with a token of that affection.

What’s an example of something you love so much you’d give it to everyone on your list? Tell me in the comments! Also, stay tuned for the third and final installment of the gift guide.

“Worry less about the things and more about the people.”

-Casey

The Anyone, Anytime Gift Guide: Part I

The Anyone, Anytime Gift Guide from dressedtocode.com

Just in time for the season of gifts, I am introducing this mini-series on gift-giving.

I pride myself on having given some truly spectacular gifts over the years. Certainly, that doesn’t mean every gift every time. Sometimes you just don’t have enough information, money, or time for the perfect gift. However, you can use these tips to give better gifts.

To kick off the series, I’m going to discuss the realm of gift giving with the most potential to be awkward: people you barely know.

It might seem weird to think about giving gifts to people you barely know, but these gifts usually end up being polite hostess gifts. Think sudden invitation to a friend of a friend’s house, your significant other’s family gathering, or a coworker’s housewarming. Don’t know if you should bring a gift? Emily Post has a guide, even if I don’t love all the gift suggestions. Obviously, time is your friend here, but that’s not always something you can control. That’s why default gifts for this sort of occasion tend to be quick purchases like wine, nice chocolate, or flowers. The situation also tends to call for throwing on a nice satin bow rather than fully wrapping the gift. This balances between the touch of wrapping the gift and awkwardly doing the “Should I open it now?” dance.

The best gifts for distant acquaintances tend to adhere to the following guidelines:

Give them something consumable.

You barely know these people, and they barely know you. Don’t stick them with a knick-knack they’ll want to cart off to Goodwill the second you walk out the door. Wine, nice chocolate, and flowers* are all items that you get, enjoy, and never have to think about again. In the event that they don’t partake in wine or chocolate (personally, I’m a no on wine and big yes on chocolate), both are usually easy to re-gift in the event that they aren’t thrilled with your pick.

*Cut flowers will require a vase, so keep in mind that it will require the host to stop and deal with your gift. Many etiquette guides advise against fresh cut flowers for this reason.

I like Theo’s chocolate bars as a beautifully wrapped, quality chocolate option. Get a set of three or four flavors and tie them up with a thin satin bow. I especially like the orange dark chocolate and mint dark chocolate.

Assorted bars of Theo chocolate
These Theo chocolate bars can be picked up locally in Seattle from the factory store in Fremont or ordered on Amazon.

Bring a conversation starter.

The kind of occasions which require you to give gifts to people you barely know tend to require you to talk to people you barely know. A gift with a nice backstory or something interesting gives you something to break the ice.

I have given orange olive oil in the past. Feel free to talk about how it features cold-pressed oranges rather than an orange infusion, or just mention that it’s amazing for dipping bread. This particular oil might not be the conversation starter for your event, but similar finds at your local farmer’s market can give you that ice-breaker. Put a bow around the neck, and you have a lovely gift and a conversation starter.

Sciabica Orange Flavored Olive Oil
For kitchen-oriented acquaintances, olive oil or homemade olive oil are great options. However, you don’t need to prep the olive oil months in advance.

Keep it generic enough.

Clearly an extended dossier on everyone you’re about to meet or see again would be incredibly helpful. That said, we’re rarely so lucky. If you can, ask about nut allergies or other dietary restrictions before gifting edible items. Otherwise, go for items that you could reasonably expect most people to like (creepy doll figurines not included). Soaps and lotion have long been traditional gifts, but people are often particular about those kinds of products these days. As long as you keep the scent mild, a nice candle can be consumable and generic. Moorea Seal offers a soy wax candle in a wintertime spruce scent.

Moorea Seal sells this Spruce Candle from P.F. Candle Co.
Stay away from bizarre scents and opt for a refreshing winter scent with this candle inspired by a walk in the woods.

 

Next time you’re stuck fumbling for a gift for someone you barely know, remember to keep it generic, consumable, and conversation starting!

Have any particularly great gifts that you keep on standby? Let me know in the comments.

Want more gift guide? Keep reading.

“It’s the thought and the thoughtfulness that counts.”

-Casey

 

 

Find Out What’s on My Intentional Wardrobe Wishlist

Moorea Seal Black Wool Morley adjustable hat with Abercrombie satin bomber, Madewell Quincy Wash 8" Skinny Jeans, Hunter Original Refined Rain Boots from Nordstrom, and Apple Milanese Loop Watch.
In my signature black and denim, this is one of those outfits that feels like a better version of myself.

I made my pledge to focus my purchases on building an intentional wardrobe, and today I’m sharing more of my own process with you, along with two of my recent finds. Many bloggers are calling this a capsule-style wardrobe, but right now I’m more focused on cultivating a more intentional basis for my wardrobe.

If you haven’t read the other post yet, start at the beginning: Start Building A Wardrobe.

0. I put down the card and stepped away from the checkout.

I’m not the most impulsive shopper (I may even be too hesitant to hand over the money) to begin with, so this part was fairly easy for me.

1. I figured out what I like.

Trends may change, but you already know I’m drawn to black and denim looks. I’m also visually drawn to lighter colored clothing, but I tend to default toward black when buying.

Outfits that inspire me tend to contain staple colors: black, white, greys, tans, and denim blues. For accessories, I want to expand to black and cognac. See my vision here.

2. I made a list!

This is the stage that I’m sharing with you today. I’m still playing around with exactly how much I’d like, but I have a good foundational list started.

Note that this is a relatively casual list and does not include business formal workwear.

Tops

  1. Short Sleeve Tees
    • Black
    • White
    • Tan
    • Heathered Grey
    • Black & White Stripe
  2. Long Sleeve Tees
    • Black
    • Heathered Grey
    • Black & White Stripe
  3. Button Front Shirts
    • Chambray
    • White
  4. Pullover Sweaters
    • Black
    • Grey
    • Tan
  5. Cardigan Sweaters
    • Grey
    • Tan
    • Black & Grey

Dresses

  1. Black T-shirt Dress*
  2. Black Maxi Dress

Pants

  1. Dark Skinny Jeans
  2. Medium Skinny Jeans
  3. Black Chinos
  4. Black Leggings*
  5. Tan/Grey Skinny Pants
  6. Flared Jeans?
  7. Tights
    • Black Sheer Tights*
    • Black Opaque Tights*
    • Black Fleece-lined Tights*
    • Colorful Opaque Tights

Skirts

  1. Black Faux Leather Skirt
  2. Black Maxi Skirt

Outerwear

  1. Colorful Raincoat
  2. Black Shell
  3. Black Bomber
  4. Grey or Tan Trench
  5. Black Wool Coat

Shoes

  1. Black Riding Boots
  2. Black Chelsea Boots
  3. Black Flats
  4. Cognac Booties
  5. Nude Sandals
  6. Rain Boots

Accessories

  1. Scarves
    • Blanket Scarf
    • Colorful Scarf
    • Black/Grey Scarf
  2. Bags
    • Black Crossbody Purse
    • Cognac Tote
  3. Belts
    • Black & Silver*
    • Black & Gold
    • Cognac & Gold
  4. Other
    • Black Gloves*
    • Black Sunglasses
    • Black Wool Hat

Therefore, with this list, the total numbers of items in each categories are as follows:

  • Tops: 16
    • Tees: 8
    • Shirts: 2
    • Sweaters: 6
  • Dresses: 2
  • Bottoms: 8
    • Pants/Leggings/Tights: 10
    • Skirts: 2
  • Outerwear: 5
  • Shoes: 6
  • Accessories: 11

Altogether, that’s 31 articles of clothing, 6 pairs of shoes, and 11 accessories. Total, that’s 48 pieces!

3. I can now check off what pieces I already have and are in good condition.

I’ve starred (*) the pieces that I’ve already checked off my list above. You can see some of those pieces in prior posts:

  • Black short-sleeve tee, dark skinny jeans, and nude sandals here
  • Rain boots and black and grey draped cardigan here
  • Medium skinny jeans here
  • Black leather skirt and black crossbody bag here
  • Colorful raincoat here

4. Now it’s time to be patient and keep looking!

Moorea Seal Black Wool Morley adjustable hat with Abercrombie satin bomber, Madewell Quincy Wash 8" Skinny Jeans, Hunter Original Refined Rain Boots from Nordstrom, and Apple Milanese Loop Watch on Casey of Dressed to Code.
This new favorite outfit ecompasses several elements on my wardrobe wishlist, which is a good sign that I’m headed in the right direction!

The Morley Hat

I finally made it over to Moorea Seal’s gorgeous store in Belltown. If you aren’t in the vicinity, you can still shop her store online here.

Because I have a pretty tiny head, I’d all but given up on checking the wool hat off my wardrobe wishlist. Cue the Moorea Seal store, where I couldn’t help but try on this Morley hat. Imagine my delight when I was informed that it was adjustable!

The Morley hat comes in five colors, including grey and burgundy. There is a ribbon inside the brim of the hat that you can tighten and secure with velcro. However, I pinned mine with a small safety pin for extra security, and it’s nice and snug. I wouldn’t want this beautiful, handmade piece to blow away!

Moorea Seal Black Wool Morley adjustable hat with Abercrombie satin bomber and black shell from Banana Republic on Casey of Dressed to Code.
The best part of this gorgeous hat is that it’s adjustable. That means that I don’t need to hold it on.

Satin Bomber

This satin bomber was an Abercrombie piece that I initially tried on when I bought my faux leather skirt. However, I watched and waited until it went on sale before pouncing. Score!

This is more of a juniors’ fit, so the jacket is very petite-friendly and would be cropped on someone with a longer torso. I’m wearing a size XS for reference. This is not, by any means, a winter jacket, as it has the thickness of two layers of satin. That said, I’m enamored of the luxurious feel and dressed-up, dressed-down combination of the satin fabric and bomber shape. The cuffs are a thick, soft knit.

My biggest complaint by far about this jacket is that the pocket zippers are upside down! That’s right, they zip up to open and down to close. While it doesn’t sound like a big deal, it has been throwing me off. The pockets could also be bigger – I don’t think an iPhone 7 would fit! I also think that the jacket would have a cleaner look if the main zipper had a sleeker zipper.

Moorea Seal Black Wool Morley adjustable hat with Abercrombie satin bomber, Madewell Quincy Wash 8" Skinny Jeans, Hunter Original Refined Rain Boots from Nordstrom, and Apple Milanese Loop Watch on Casey of Dressed to Code.
One day, I’ll find my replacement pair of black leather riding boots. Until then, I’m wearing these Hunter rain boots.

Top

This top is my shell from Banana Republic. Find a longer description here.

Jeans

These are my Madewell 8″ skinny jeans in Quincy wash. Read more about them here.

Rain Boots

These are my Hunter Original Refined Rain Boots in black, which I snagged during Nordstrom’s annual sale. Find a glossy version here or read more about mine here.

Moorea Seal Black Wool Morley adjustable hat with Abercrombie satin bomber, Madewell Quincy Wash 8" Skinny Jeans, Hunter Original Refined Rain Boots from Nordstrom, and Apple Milanese Loop Watch on Casey of Dressed to Code.
Your wardrobe should put a smile on your face and help you stand a little taller (high heels optional).

What’s on your wardrobe wishlist? Let me know in the comments below!

To quote Albert Einstein, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

-Casey

 UPDATE: I will keep an updated version of this wishlist, complete with links, here.

Start Building an Intentional Wardrobe

 

Eddie Bauer Women's Flightplan II Cardigan Sweater with Madewell 8" Skinny Jeans in Quincy wash, Hunter Original Refined rain boots in black, Forever 21 tank, and Fossil Georgia leather watch.
The three primary pieces you see here are all on my wardrobe checklist: drapey black cardigan, dark skinny jeans, and black rain boots.

This post could also be titled “Start Building a Wardrobe Instead of Hoarding a Bunch of Things in Your Closet.” With new styles coming out every season, it’s easy to get caught up in trends and start buying pieces. However, unless you have a pretty big bank account, buying individual pieces or outfits gets expensive fast. Instead, by shopping intentionally, you’ll find that the same budget will get you further.

After making my own wardrobe checklist, I’ve recently been focusing my search on sweaters for Seattle’s chilly days. As a petite, I find that “oversized” sweaters are often far too big on my body with comparatively tight arms. Unfortunately, I tried on far too many sweaters that were too thin, draped oddly, etc.. Finally, I stumbled upon this color-blocked drape-front cardigan at Eddie Bauer. I’m wearing an XS in the “Women’s Flightplan II Cardigan Sweater,” which is available in two other color combinations, including a rich merlot red called deep garnet. (It’s currently 25% off too!)

This style is more forgiving than other sweater shapes. Most importantly, I found that the sleeves were fitted without being too tight, and the grey color helps minimize the volume of fabric in the front. The fabric is substantial without being itchy, and the merino wool gives it some breathability. It’s also machine washable (yes!).

Black and grey/gray Eddie Bauer Women's Flightplan II Cardigan Sweater rear/back view.
While a piece with as much fabric as this draped sweater won’t be the most slimming thing in the world, I like that the color block changes just below my natural waist, adding a little more definition.
Black and grey/gray Eddie Bauer Women's Flightplan II Cardigan Sweater with delicate, minimalist silver dot necklace from Silver Cup Studios on Etsy.
I see myself snuggling up in this sweater as things get chillier and tossing it on over my other wardrobe essentials.

I paired my black and grey acquisition with minimal silver jewelry, including my silver dot necklace from Etsy. As you can see below, I’m also wearing my black and silver (see a trend here?) Fossil Georgia watch, which nested nicely under the fitted but not too tight sleeves. I also have the sleeves cuffed slightly where there is a difference in texture, but someone with longer arms could leave them uncuffed.

Eddie Bauer Women's Flightplan II Cardigan Sweater with Madewell 8" Skinny Jeans in Quincy wash, Hunter Original Refined rain boots in black, Forever 21 tank, and Fossil Georgia leather watch.
This petite-friendly cardigan is going to take me into fall by adding a warm layer to my existing base layers.

Now, here’s how I’m building my intentional wardrobe and how you can too!

0. Put down the card.

With online shopping, snatching up new clothing now takes under thirty seconds. The first step is to stop buying individual pieces and focus on creating a cohesive wardrobe of items that work together.

I know I’m guilty of making “desperation purchases” (seizing the first thing you find when under a deadline), but these items rarely make it into my regular rotation. Instead, they often spend a lot of time in the back of my bottom drawer. That’s a waste of money! Right now, I’m pledging to myself to stop doing that. You should join me.

1. Figure out what you like.

Congratulations! If you’re here, you’re probably already reading blogs and following bloggers. I follow plenty of bloggers who have amazing style that just doesn’t line up with my own.  That’s okay. Focus on the bloggers who have style you could actually see yourself wearing. Classic looks are always in style, and you can modernize the basics with a trend here or there, such as adding a bell-sleeved sweater for this fall.

Also take into account what shapes you feel comfortable wearing — don’t bother adding pencil skirts if you’d never wear them. There are plenty of pieces I love on someone else that I wouldn’t on myself.

Pin your favorite outfits and figure out what the common elements are. Is there a common theme or color scheme? For example, I find myself drawn to outfits which consist primarily or entirely of neutrals: black, white, tan, grey, and denim blues. Check out my inspiration board here.

2. Make a list.

Of course, you’ll always have some pieces which don’t strictly fit into your new wardrobe scheme. That’s totally fine. I’m certainly not going to give up my burgundy skirt because it’s not in the neutral palette! You can also omit special occasion clothing (unless you get fancy on a regular basis) and workout gear (unless you’re going for an athleisure look). Remember to include work appropriate apparel if you need weekday outfits that meet a certain look or criteria.

That said, make a list of the core of your intentional wardrobe. I love blue ball point pens and lined paper for getting the creative juices flowing, but I then transferred the list over to a spreadsheet to move things around and organize a little more.

a. Figure out how much you’d like.

How many items and what should be on your list is really up to you. Jesica of Classic in Gray just did a great post on this. Think about how frequently you want to recycle the same looks and how often you do laundry. Those in hot and humid climates probably won’t get away with multiple wears of base layers the way someone in a cool climate might.

b. Figure out what your staples are.

Maybe you’ll happily rock the same great booties all season long. Maybe you’re happy wearing the same tops but like to mix it up with your bottoms. Personally, I’m happy with a few great bottoms that I mix up with a greater variety of tops. Bottoms can be reworn more frequently and are often more expensive, so this is a win-win in the laundry and budget departments.

Figure out what your staple items should be (hint: you’ve probably already got some of them in your closet) and build out from there. Pinterest is a great place to find lists that will help you determine what kinds of pieces work well together.  I like this “50 Classics for Your Closet” list for ideas, even if it’s not item-for-item my style.

c. Don’t forget underwear, outerwear, and accessories.

A great jacket can really define your wardrobe in cooler temps, so remember to add gear appropriate to your geography to your list. Similarly, undergarments are the foundation of a wardrobe. Therefore, add items like tanks, bras, and bralettes to your list, keeping in mind what would pair with your intended tops and dresses.

3. Check off what you already have.

If you don’t own any of the items on your wardrobe wishlist, that’s a red flag that your plan may not be realistic about what you’re comfortable wearing. You probably own multiple of your staple items, so that’s part of your focused wardrobe already available to you! You may also want to evaluate these items to determine whether they are in good condition and fit well or need to be replaced (holes happen, unfortunately).

4. Shop strategically and be patient.

If you don’t already have a monthly or similarly regular budget, make one first! Once you have an idea of what you can spend, think about your target price range per type of item. I’m willing to spend a little more per item for better quality. That said, I still have a price at which I’ll balk and walk away. I also tend to stick things in my bag or on my wishlist and wait until they go on sale. The great thing about being intentional is that you can better figure out where to splurge and where to save.

As a petite woman who doesn’t buy many overly trendy items, the items in my cart don’t usually sell out before going on sale. I also sign up for the lists for my favorite stores, so I can jump on sales when they happen. Also pay attention to your items after you buy them. I’ve gotten as much as $40 back after asking for a price adjustment on a big purchase that went even more on sale after I bought it.

5. Keep reevaluating.

You may never have everything crossed off your list, but it’s important to periodically reevaluate all the goals in your life, including this one.

 

What’s on your intentional wardrobe wishlist? What’s that one item on which your closet depends? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Best of luck, lovelies!

-Casey