Closet Questions, Part Three

in case you missed them, part one and part two.

Q: What's your go-to outfit when you feel like "you have nothing to wear" or are running short on time? -- Colleen
A: i have three outfits on retainer just for those days. the first is just a simple summer dress with a pendant necklace and sandals. i'd wear this one to run errands or if i'm absolutely pressed for time. it requires no thought and always looks great. the second is a tank top, maxi skirt, sandals, and some bright earrings to add a little interest. this one is great for lunch or running to the mall. it's simple but still looks like i  put some thought into my outfit. the third is a simple top, colored shorts, a statement necklace, and wedges. this one is great for dinner or a night out. it's fail-proof and always makes me feel good.
dress / pendant necklace / grey tank / skirt / earrings / sandals / necklace / white top / shorts / wedges
Q: Do you have any tips on trying to find "your" style? -- Faith
A: the best way to get an idea of your style is to look through your closet and see if you have a lot of repeating styles, colors, brands, etc. if you find that you have a lot of clothes from a certain store or brand, then you can kinda bet that store/brand represents your style the best. you can visit the store or website so get more ideas for other clothes that you may like. if you have a pretty solid variety of things, try to find the items that you wear most often or feel the best in. then you know what you like the most next time you go shopping. a lot of finding your style can come through searching things like Pinterest, Polyvore, or fashion blogs and seeing what your eye is drawn to. going into new stores and trying new things on can also help. don't let what an item looks like on the hanger or rack fool you. clothes can be surprisingly deceiving that way. you have to try things on in order to know if you like it, so just try it on! you may discover new colors, patterns, or styles that you never would have known you liked until you tried them. in my experience, i have kind of a split style. on one hand, i have the style that i have now and like. on the other hand, i have the style that i want to have and transform into, but it can't happen over night. unless someone plants a money tree for me. although my current style and dream style are pretty similar, my dream style is a bit more professional, has a much better variety of shoes, and i maybe a little less conventional than my current style.

Q: When wearing a maxi skirt, what is the best type of heel and where should the maxi hit with length? -- Ashlyn
A: this one is kind of a personal preference one. i'm really picky about my maxi skirts because i like them to be long enough to hit the ground and hide my feet. i don't like how maxi's look on me if they hit at the ankles or even just a 1/4" above the ground. if you're someone that feels that way, wearing a flat sandal is probably your best bet. if you're not too picky about it and like your maxis to hit at the ankle or anywhere below, have some fun with it and pair it with some platform wedges or some strappy heels. in my opinion, if you have a skirt short enough to show your shoes, at least make sure that they're cute! of course, if you're running errands in it, you can pair it with some strappy sandals that are comfortable to you.
Q: What trend do you just wish would die already? Mullet skirts? High waisted shorts? Flatforms? -- Allyson
A: i couldn't help but laugh at this question. i don't want to offend anyone because i know that there are plenty of people that wear plenty of things that i don't like or wouldn't wear myself. just like i know there are plenty of people that don't like and wouldn't wear plenty of things that i wear. that being said, i've never been a huge fan of the high-low skirt for myself. i've tried on several different dresses and skirts that have the high-low and it has never looked right. some people can pull it off and look great, but i'm not one of them and it's not my favorite. i also can say with 100% certainty that i don't like the flatforms. i just don't get it. either wear flats or wedges, ya know? personal style is supposed to be just that, personal. at the end of the day, if you feel comfortable, pretty, and stylish in your clothes then that's all i would hope for you. clothes are supposed to make you feel better and if other people don't like what you're wearing, well then it's a good thing you're wearing it and not them!

Q: What do you think about mixing navy and black? I recently bought a black and cream polka dot purse and don't know if I can wear it with navy. Am I stupid for thinking this purse will look bad when styled with other neutrals? -- Sarah
A: you're not stupid at all! if i had to guess, i bet a lot of other people wonder the same thing. in my opinion, you can absolutely wear the purse with navy. some more traditional women will be cringing at that because they would never mix the two (or brown and black!), but i'm all about it. especially since it's your handbag. if you asked about wearing a navy blazer with a black pencil skirt, i'd probably tell you know because people might think you mismatched and didn't have a chance to look in the mirror. so, when it comes to handbag colors, you can wear them with anything. i wouldn't worry about matching your purse to your outfit. in fact, that's kind of old news. i have a black and cream striped purse that i'm using right now and i wear it with white with no hesitation.

Q: I like to buy a few new wardrobe pieces at the beginning of every season. What pieces would you suggest to buy on a small budget ($100 or less)? -- Janna
A: without knowing what you currently have, it's hard to answer this question specifically for you, but i can suggest some things that i think every woman should have in her closet. first, a great blazer is a must. something that you can throw on instead of a cardigan that instantly polishes an outfit. i've found my chambray shirt(s) to be an essential part of my wardrobe. they're great for layering or making an outfit a bit preppier (if you have a preppy chambray shirt). a great pair of patterned/colored/embellished denim is also a good thing to add to your wardrobe. it's nice to have that option instead of just wearing jeans all the time. a pencil skirt or maxi skirt is a nice alternative to pants/shorts, too.
skirt / red pants / striped skirt / grey pants (Target) / chambray / black blazer / pink blazer (similar)
Q: What are 4 (or more) essentials of the shoe variety? -- Allyson
A: in my opinion, a great pair of flats, nude wedges, casual shoes (like chuck's or TOMS), a colored pump. in addition to that, i'd say any number of summer wedges, casual sandals, loafers, and printed shoes. have a variety of shoes is a great way to spice up your wardrobe and can help to pull a look together.

if you have a question you'd like to add, send me an email with subject line "Closet Questions" or tweet me @the_laureneliza!

*all items linked are either the exact item or something similar

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