It's been a minute since I've done a fashion post, and let's be honest, we all know why that is (cough, cough, *COVID*, cough).
LOL no pun intended
While I still have client meetings and the odd event I need to "get dressed" for, the last two and a half years haven't been the most inspiring on the wardrobe front..
I'm pretty confident that over the last two winters I've alternated between the same two sweaters every other day, and because we've all been working from home, "business casual" has taken on a whole new meaning.
But! I'm excited today because earlier this week, my mom and I had the chance to go on our *used-to-be* semi-annual shopping trip—we got a little off our rhythm during the pandemic—and earlier this season, I had purchased a few key pieces (wide leg jeans, 2 pairs of sandals, and a blue stripe blouse), which I was excited to pair with the new items my mom and I found.
A quick recap: if you've been here for a minute, you might remember my last fashion post mid-pandemic where I Shopped My Closet to come up with 13 new outfits (you know, since the stores weren't open!). But THIS time around, I'm showing you almost all new pieces!
First, let me tell you a little about my usual process for adding pieces to my closet, and, so as not to reinvent the wheel, here's the explanation copied from a past post:
I'm super lucky in that my birthday falls in June—a whole six months from Christmas! For the last several years, instead of traditional Christmas or birthday gifts, my mom and I plan one big shopping trip in May/June an another in Nov/Dec.
Shopping has always been something we've loved to do together, so it's the perfect excuse to partake in a favorite activity.
This has turned out to be the perfect wardrobe routine for me: I know that, come summer or come winter, I'll have an opportunity to add a handful of new key pieces to my closet, so I start a little list in my phone and when I think of something new that would make my closet easier to wear or make more sense, I add it to the list!
I haven't always been a person who felt confident about my clothing choices, and it took some time to learn what works for me and what will ALWAYS end up going underused. I talk a little about this in a previous post where I share my personal style journey.
Pre-pandemic I had implemented a loose "capsule wardrobe" method for my closet, which I loved, but with our recent move, pandemic life, and a few seasons of just not having that many places to go, my closet has gotten a little...weird?
I started shopping online for clothing for the first time ever at the beginning of the pandemic—I know, I'm super late to the game, but I have always felt like I needed to try things on, likely because I am fairly tall, so some things things just don't fit right.
So I got on the online shopping train, and for some reason I am wayyy less likely to return things that don't fit perfectly when I buy them online...I think it's because it feels so clunky and time consuming from the initial purchase to actually finding the thing that works.
Thus, I've ended up with a lot of things in my wardrobe that I'm just not that excited about...a few jeans that fit oddly, some tops that are too short, etc, and if you know me, you know I am a person who believes that everything in your closet should be something you LOVE.
Anyway, that's a long way of telling you that I was especially excited to actually go to the store and shop for some new pieces that I could physically try on and make decisions about in real time.
Yay for IN-REAL-LIFE activities!
This season in particular, I was surprised about some of my choices, so I'm especially excited to show you what I found. Before I get to the actual outfits, here's the list of new pieces I picked up, along with what I utilized from my existing wardrobe:
Boxy Linen Floral Dress
Long Button-Up Floral Tank Dress
Short V-Neck Stripe Tank Dress
Green Jumper with Tie Waist
Brown Floral Linen Tunic
Mauve Lace Sleeveless Top
Yellow Ruffle Sleeveless Top
V-Neck Button Down Floral Top
Loose Flowy Crew Neck Top
Blue & White Stripe V-Neck Blouse
Hight Waist Cut-Off Black Shorts
Curvy High Waist Rolled Cuff Shorts
Wide Leg Crop Jeans
Green Strappy Sandal
Suede Bomber Jacket
White Slip-On Shoes
Metallic Loafers Gold Filigree Earrings
Leopard Print Earrings
DANG—after writing this list, I'm feeling a little like, whoa, that's a lot of new pieces.. BUT, it has been quite a while since I've rounded out my wardrobe, plus, because I haven't done much clothing shopping the last couple years, a lot of my go-to pieces from the past are starting to get fairly worn out.
OKAY! Let's dive in.
#1: Boxy Linen Dress, Gold Filigree Earrings, + Green Strappy Sandal
I decided to start and end the list with my two favorite finds of the haul, and this dress is absolutely one of them!
The dress is linen, which, while I love linen, I tend to steer away from it because it almost always requires ironing. However! It's so simple that I think it'll be quick to do, and it might even be something I opt to wear a bit wrinkled.
I love the boxy cut, it's suuuper cool for summer, and outfit wise, it's so simple to wear: just pop on some earrings and cute sandals, and I'm good to go! And the best part? IT HAS POCKETS.
The biggest surprise of my purchases this year was how much PATTERN I found my self drawn to. Generally, if I choose a pattern, it's either a stripe or something suuuuper simple. But not this time around!
Interestingly enough, I've started to be more playful with pattern in my design projects as well—I think in large part to a few designers I follow who do it so, so well. There's Jessica Helgerson (photo below left) and of course, Heidi Callier (photo below right)—both of which are geniuses when it comes to pattern.
#2: Blue & White Stripe V-Neck Blouse, Wide Leg Crop Jean + Leather Sandal
The next outfit is definitely a typical "Lauren outfit": the stripes, the palette, and the loose fit of the top tucked into high waist bottoms. One new element for me here is the cut of the jeans. I've found it hard to get on board with the wider leg pant trend, but these ones seem to be working for me!
I've been surprised how much cooler I feel in these vs. a skinny leg as well, which is super nice for warmer months when I don't want to wear shorts. Since purchasing them, I've found myself grabbing these to wear for almost every Designed in a Day session.
I love them paired with the warm leather sandal, and because pattern of the shirt is so simple, I paired it with my gold leopard print earrings. This outfit, specifically the top, has already become a staple for me.
#3: Mauve Lace Sleeveless Top, Black High Waist Short, + Metallic Loafer
Alright, this one is a little funky!
I like that the color of the top is muted, which balances out the loudness of the lace. I also appreciate the width of the shoulders—sometimes sleeveless tops stop too short of my shoulder and make it look like the shirt is to small. This one falls in just the right spot!
I've sometimes found that my higher-collar shirts like this one go underused because I get too hot when wearing them in the summer, but this kind of shirt is tricky to layer under a sweater in the winter due to the frilly shoulders.
But, alas, it was so pretty that I wanted to give it a try! And this top is one I feel like I'll end up wearing to client meetings because it's a little more elevated than some of my other pieces.
I paired it with the leopard print earrings to tie in the black shorts, and because the top is so fancy, I felt it needed fancier shoes as well, so I went with my trusty metallic loafers. These are getting a little worn, so I'm hoping to find something similar because I wear these ALL the time!
#4: Green Tie-Waist Jumper, Green Strappy Sandal + Leopard Print Earrings
This was my very first fun find of the season, and let me tell you, it is NOT an easy feat to find a jumper that works well with my unusually long torso! I was PUMPED when I tried this on and it fit like a glove.
I love this outfit because it is SO simple, but feels so elegant and elevated. It's also super versatile: I could pair it with heels or boots, looks great with sandals, I can change up the look with all different kinds of sweaters or jackets, and I can also see it being an all-season piece.
This color is also one I tend to use a lot in design! It's very similar to the color we painted our built-in bar in the piano room, it matches the walls and rug in our guest room, and it's definitely been a go-to color for sofa fabric in my projects:
#5: V-Neck Floral Top, Curvy High Waist Short, + Green Strappy Sandal
This outfit makes me happy because it feels like so many things I've worn at various seasons of my life. It just feels like me. I love the loose fit tucked into a high waist, and the tiny button-loops down the front feel especially fun and feminine. In general, V-cut necklines are my favorite as well.
Shorts wise, I've lately been preferring a high waist with a looser fit around the leg, but these, which are a more snug fit all around, surprised me. I think because the waist is SO high, they don't feel uncomfortably short.
The color of the shorts is a bit more faded/vintage looking, which I liked, since my other jean shorts are more true blue, and I also liked the rolled cuff bottom because my other shorts are a cut-off style. Always nice to have variety!
#6) Brown Floral Tunic Top, Black High Waist Short, + Green Strappy Sandal
This top was the biggest question mark for me. I really liked the tunic style, but I wasn't sure about the pattern. My mom really loved this one, so I decided to give it a shot! It goes great with the black shorts, and I do love the rich brown tone. I have a sweater in a similar color that I love, so it may be one of those pieces that surprises me.
This pieces is another linen one, so jury is still out on whether the maintenance becomes a road block to my wearing it often. But again, I do love the cut (especially when tucked!).
I paired this with my gold filagree earrings because the pattern of the shirt is fairly loud, and finished off the set with the green strappy sandal. The shorts are especially nice because they are super high and very stretchy, which makes them extremely comfortable.
I actually think they are a tiny bit big on me, but I have a hunch they will shrink the first time I wash them, so that may resolve the size issue.
#7) Loose Flowy Crew Neck Top, Wide Leg Crop Jean, + Green Strappy Sandal
The pattern on this top feels like so much of the wallpaper I'm seeing lately, and it also reminds me a lot of our dining room (below), which is one of my favorite spots in our house. It's so fun to see how the fashion trends and interiors trends overlap.
I didn't love this top with shorts, I think because it's really not a shirt you tuck, so the overall shape with shorts felt a bit awkward to me. However, when I paired it with the wide leg cut-off jeans, it looked adorable!
And I think this will also look great with skinnies. I love the embroidery detail along the collar, sleeves, and bottom, and the fabric has a slight texture to it, which makes it feel a little more elevated.
With this combo, I chose the green strappy sandal, though the leather ones would look nice as well, and I went with the lighter/softer gold earrings, which felt appropriate with this style top.
#8) Short V-Neck Stripe Tank Dress, White Slip On Shoes, Leopard Print Earrings, + Suede Bomber Jacket
This dress falls in my top three for sure. It's SO comfy, SO soft, and so easy to dress up or dress down. In this instance, I paired it with my white slip-on shoes and threw my bomber jacket on top for a more casual look.
I could easily dress this up with the strappy sandals or heels and swap the bomber for either a blazer or nice sweater.
I also love that the cut of the back is the same as the cut on the front—a fun back is underrated!! Because the pattern is so subtle, I again opted for the bolder leopard print earring.
I think this one will end up being a staple. I've already found myself wearing it around the house because it is so stinking comfortable—which has become more and more important to me the last couple years!
#9) Yellow Ruffle Sleeveless Top, Curvy High Waist Short, + Green Strappy Sandal
This one was a bit of a stretch for me, simply because it is so BRIGHT! But I've had a few bold yellow pieces like this over the years, and I'm usually surprised at how much I've worn them. This one I can also see being very versatile and all-season.
Here, I paired it with the curvy high-waist short and the green strappy sandal, and can see this going really well with darker or black skinny jeans, a high-waist skirt, boots, a cute blazer...so many possibilities. This is also a top I can see myself wearing to client meetings and business events.
#10) Long Button-Up Floral Tank Dress, Gold Filigree Earrings + Green Strappy Sandal
Last but not least—and my other favorite of the haul—is the this blue button-up floral dress. It is super comfortable, very cool, and again, could be totally dressed up or dressed down depending on the shoes and accessories.
The style and pattern is so feminine and light, and I love the subtle slit in the bottom front. The length is different than anything I currently have in my closet, which I appreciate, and the tie around the wait makes the cut super flattering.
The tiny blue and white print feels like so much of the tableware and pottery I'm seeing right now. My mom has always loved blue and white and has many teacups, vases, and pitchers that feel similar to this. Lately, I've noticed myself drawn to very these same patterns and colors:
The Wrap Up: What I Learned
I learned that my taste is slowly shifting in a way that feels very similar to the changes in my design style over the last year. I'm enjoying more organic shapes, warm earthy tones, and an overall more eclectic, gathered style.
I'm moving into more greens vs. blues (though I still love blue), and I'm seeing some warmer tones as well. And, of course, the patterns! Although, all of the patterns have been fairly subtle—almost more like textures±—and that, I suppose, is not so new.
I confirmed that I still love a good ole tucked-in shirt! I'm fairly pear shaped—I have a smaller waist with curvy hips—so I find that high waist bottoms with a tucked shirt and dresses or jumpers with cinched waist lines feel the most flattering to me personally.
I went with more dresses than I typically do, which I think this points to my need in this season for comfort and simplicity while still feeling put-together.
SO—What About You?
Like in interior design, I believe personal style is as much about function as it is about aesthetics. Just as the way a space needs to function is completely different from one client to the next, the same is true for our wardrobes.
Do you have a strategy for clothing? Has your style remained consistent throughout your life or have you seen it shift and change? Do you hang on to pieces for a long time or cycle through them quickly? Do you resonate with any of these outfits, or is your style completely different?
Tell me what you're loving about your own wardrobe lately—or what you are hoping to change—in the comments!
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We work with clients from Detroit to Novi to Clarkston, and Grand Rapids to Holland to Traverse City—and anywhere in between! We pride ourselves on creating bespoke, people-centered spaces—because after all, people are what this life is all about!