On a recent blustery evening, Mr. Mickey and I had an early dinner date. Under my heavy gray coat (shown here), I wore a silk blouse, a black cashmere v-neck sweater, and black slacks. The suede pumps have a two-inch heel, and the little reptile print bag is a few years old, as are all the other elements. The crystals and pearl jewelry elevate without too much drama. An understated and subtle style always feels most comfortable to me.
Lots of you have asked me to share links for more budget-friendly items, so today’s tips and ideas may help you find what you need at moderate prices. I challenged myself to create an essential starter wardrobe for cool weather for less than $350.
Whether you shop preloved at thrift stores or high-end boutiques, these tips may be helpful. Look for elegant, simple lines in solid colors, no logos or embellishment, and the best quality you can afford. A classically styled garment that fits the shoulders and skims over your body will be most flattering and blend with various styles. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy the newest trends, but the essentials you intend to keep for a long time and wear often need to stand the test of time.
A mid-thigh or above the knee, single-breasted coat looks great worn casually with pants or dresses. If you have short legs like me or are petite, this length will be the one you reach for most often. The detail at the waist is a feminine touch. There are no oversized cuffs, collars, belting, toggles, fake fur, or bright buttons. I found the coat here. Now that you know the style of coat that goes with everything let’s talk about quality. A cashmere or wool coat will hang better, last longer, and keep you warmer than manufactured materials.
A dark neutral bag looks more elegant no matter when or where you carry it. If I could only afford one, it would be black. I found this one here.
If limited to only a couple of pairs of jeans, I would buy a white pair and a black pair. Either color can be dressed up or down with a good blazer and a nice blouse. Here are the jeans pictured. A slightly bootcut or straight leg style is the most timeless.
A stylish, comfortable pair of waterproof booties can take you almost anywhere and make you look sharp while keeping your feet dry. I found these here.
A good-looking cardigan sweater in a dark color can elevate any look, and you can wear them almost year-round if you have cool summer evenings. I found the one above here.
A long sleeve white tee can be the first layer or stand-alone. I found this one here.
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