Normally, right about this time of year, I'd head out on a yearly birthday shopping trip with my mom. That's right, she takes me out every year and buys me a handful of new clothes for my birthday, which is the end of June. Our same routine happens just before Christmas, so it's been my routine to use these semi-annual shopping trips to fill out my wardrobe with any missing items, styles I've been eyeing, or to replace key staples that have been worn out.
This year, with Covid-19, things look a little different, and with stores still mostly closed, I decided to take a different approach this spring. There's a saying out there: it's not about having resources, it's about being resourceful with what you have. And while this is usually applied to areas like business and education, I think it applies perfectly to your CLOSET as well.
When it comes to clothing, we ALWAYS reach for the same reliable combos we're comfortable with. But if you have just 5 bottoms, 5 tops, and 3 shoes...well, that's a potential of 75 different combinations! Which is way too many outfits to handle. But what I'm getting at is that there are likely LOTS of adorable outfit possibilities RIGHT UNDER YOUR NOSE, and I bet at least a handful of those are ones you've never thought of before!
Today I went to our guest room closet and pulled out my spring + summer clothes that had been stashed away for winter. A lot of my pieces are all-season items, but I do have a few shorts, a knit skirt that I adore, and a handful of light, airy tanks that really only make sense for warm weather.
I spent some time ironing all the pieces that looked a little tired from sitting in the closet for 7 cold months, and then I simply played with new combinations! Don't be afraid to try something that you're pretty sure will look ridiculous. You never know!! It might ACTUALLY be the perfect combination!
SO—let's get to the outfits! I'll tell you a little about the pieces, what I like about each combo, and any other little tidbits that I learned along the way.
1) White Shorts, Tunic Top, Bomber Jacket + Blue Slip-ons
Last year I picked up these white high-rise shorts on a Good Will run, and I absolutely LOVE THEM. They are sooooo comfy, and they're also so high you can tuck just about any shirt into them. Sidenote: you're going to see a lot of tucked shirts on this round-up...that's my go-to these days!
The bomber jacket was from my 2019 winter haul, so this is my first spring having it, and it was a fun thought to pair it with this shirt/short combo! The blue slip-ons were from my spring 2018 shopping trip, and I've never actually worn them until this year! I'd bought a pair of white Clarks that same season that ended up being my ALL TIME favorite slip-on, and for the life of me I can't find anything similar! Those are preeeetty darn worn out now, and when the first warm day hit this year, I was like...uh oh, I don't have spring shoes! Only I did! I'd just forgotten about these. Woo hoo! And I'm pretty confident these will be my regular spring shoe this year!
I love the mix of textures...the shirt is slightly ribbed, shorts are solid, and the jacket is a faux suede. I poped on a chunky pair of silver earrings my mom got me a while back, and voila! Outfit number one.
2) Mint Ruffled Collar Tank + High Rise Shorts
This is a shirt I originally purchased for winter...which feels a little odd now that I look at it, but I used to wear it with a black pencil skirt, wedge boots, and a sweater. I'd never thought to pair it with white, which looks great. Really, until last year, I'd never owned white bottoms before, so this is a whole new world to me!
This looks super cute with my leather toned sandals and these chunky silver earrings. I like that the shirt and shorts are different fabrics, with the shirt having a slight sheen, and I like that the chunky geometric earrings contrast the light, feminine collar and sleeves of the tank.
3) Black V-Neck Tank + White Shorts + Leather Sandles
So this was actually an outfit I pulled together last year, however, the accessories were a new addition this year. Remember that super cool vintage necklace and watch from my winter haul? The ones that used to be my grandma's? These looked super cute with this outfit! I had figured this necklace would be more of a winter accessory because it's so chunky, but it makes this outfit the perfect going-out-for-a-cocktail-in-summer outfit...just the right amount of glam!
One fun detail I enjoy in this combo is that the top layer of the tank, which I chose not to tuck, reveals the button at the top of the shorts—super cute!
4) Chambray Button-Up + Baggy Green Tie Shorts
I'm excited about this combo because it's SO DANG COMFORTABLE. This is a shirt I've had for a couple of seasons, and usually, it's more of a winter/fall shirt. The thing is, it's actually super thin, so when I do wear it in winter, I tend to layer it. This will be perfect for those not-super-hot days and would work great with both the leather sandals and the blue slip-ons.
As for accessories, I paired this outfit with my favorite gold coin earrings that I've had for years and popped on the gold watch as well. This could probably work with the bomber jacket too, however I didn't try that out yet! But I can see leather tones looking awesome with this color palette.
*I can definitely see this being one of my go-to outfits this season!*
5) Floral Top with Ruffle Collar + Striped High-Rise (also ruffled!) Shorts
You know I love a good stripe, but other than that I'm not naturally much of a pattern gal—however, THIS shirt caught my eye spring of 2018, and while I've only tended to wear it a handful of times each season, it truly does speak to my soul! The problem is that it fits a tad oddly, so it's not super comfortable for long periods of time. I'll wear it out, or to a client meeting, but not ever if I'm working from home.
I love that while the shorts feel very tailored and the blouse feels playful and feminine, the ruffle around the waist of the shorts ties the two together. I also like the way the clean stripe on the shorts contrasts with the organic pattern on the shirt. Remember—when mixing patterns, you want to make sure the scale of your patterns is different so they don't fight with each other.
With this combo, I used the same chunky silver earrings contrasting the softer organic shapes of the blouse. I'd wear the same leather sandals with this outfit, or maybe even a wedge sandal (which I don't own! ha).
6) Black Lace Top with High-Rise Jeans—Tucked, Untucked, and with Cutie Metalic Loafers
This is a shirt I've had in my closet for a few seasons, and for whatever reason, I don't end up wearing it much. I've never tried it french tucked before, and I'm really digging it this way. I've always felt like I shouldn't tuck it because the bottom has that beautiful eyelash lace detail—but hey! If that's what it takes to wear it, tuck away!!
I paired this shirt with my trusty Calvin Klein high rise jeans, my grandma's jewelry, and some fun metallic loafers my friend gave me last year. As you can see, I had a hard time figuring out how to show you my shoes...LOL.
I like that, while super simple, this outfit has lots of different textures and materials. The lace, the denim, the sheen on the shoes, and the shine of the gold jewelry. Very classy—I'd totally meet with clients in this outfit—while not being complicated or over the top. Just my style!
7 - 9) Black Lacy Top Tucked into High-Rise Shorts....add Blue Linen Blazer + Metalic Loafers OR Leather Sandals... Swap Blazer for Bomber Jacket
These next three were a fun little outfit discovery! Enter again the white shorts (FAVE). This black shirt was a resale find from spring 2019, but I only wore it once or twice. It's a little loud, so I can see why it's not one of my daily go-tos. However, I do adore it, so I'm dedicated to figuring out how to make it work in my rotation!
This is the season of tucking, so I tucked it in with the white shorts. THEN I decided...let's get a little funky! The top feels very playful and vogue-ie to me, and I've been watching a LOT of fashion stuff over the last year—mainly Next in Fashion and Queer Eye—but it's helped me think about layering things together that I never would have before!
The light blue linen blazer is such a stark contrast to the black lace shirt, but my gosh! It totally works! Again, we're mixing pattern, and doing it with different scales (small stripe, large lace). I tried it with both the metal loafer AND the sandal, and I like both, but this feels like such a statement outfit that I'd lean toward the loafer (unless it were super hot that day—then sandal for sure).
Lastly, I thought I'd just swap out the blazer for the bomber jacket to see what would happen, and I like that too! The tone and texture of the suede bring a whole different feel to the combination. It feels a little more "cool girl", where the blazer feels more "fashion chic"...yes, those are styles...LOL
10) A 2019 Summer Go-To + Bomber Jacket
Next up is an outfit I've come back to again and again, but I decided to try it with the bomber jacket—I love it! This knit skirt is SO FREAKING COMFY, I could wear it every day in the summer. And this top—which I feel like you see me wearing every. single. day.—is one of my all-time favorites. It' more of a tunic style, but not super dramatic in the cut, and again, because it's so comfy, I grab it almost every other day...
Adding the bomber jacket was a nice contrast to the blue tones and textures in the base outfit. I can see this with either the slip-on blue shoes (no shame in a bloutfit!) or with the leather sandals. With the jacket, it'll be perfect for nights when it's juuuust slightly chilly.
11) Blue-green Tank + High-Rise Striped Shorts
You've seen the top. You've seen the shorts. You've seen the jewels. Now you've seen them together! I like this combo because, for one, the navy blue looks awesome with the blue-green color of the tank, but also, I like that the simplicity of the top allows the shorts to steal the show. This feels classy, summery, and fun—almost 1960s inspired. I'd pair this with the leather sandals and call it good!
12) A Summer 2019 Go-To + Gold Accessories
Soooo the only thing new about this go-to summer outfit is that I popped on my grandmas watch. It's such a comfy, simple—yet stylish—outfit, and adding the bit of gold bling elevates it just a tad.
I love the combo of the blue and green, and pairing this outfit with the leather sandals would bring in a bit of warmth to step up the color palette.
13) High Rise White Shorts + Teal Floral Blouse + Metallic Loafer
Last up, one last play on the white short / shirt combo. This is similar to the previous appearance of this shirt (outfit #5), but the plain white shorts let the blouse do the talking in this instance. I like the way the loafers and the earrings play off one another, and while being super simple (just four elements total), it makes a bit statement. I would definitely wear this out for dinner or drinks in the summer and feel super snazzy!
The Wrap Up
WHEW! That was fun—and tiring! Between setting up, ironing, shooting the photos, editing the photos, and compiling them into a blog, this post took me an entire day! But it was a fun way to spend a Monday...so I hope you've enjoyed!
Anyway...what did I learn!?
Well, I learned that I'm narrowing in on my style and that my favorites from last year are still my favorites this year. I'm particularly excited about some of the new combos I found that utilize my go-to pieces (outfits #1, #4, & #10) because it gives me a few more options for my weekly rotation that are comfortable for working from home.
I've mentioned before that I'm not necessarily interested in having tons of variety or exploring funky new fashion trends. I like to "set it and forget it" each season when it comes to my wardrobe...but that doesn't mean I want it to be boring! Setting aside a day to "shop my wardrobe" and come up with new outfits made my collection feel fresh—even though I wasn't able to add new pieces this season.
SO—now I challenge YOU to shop your own wardrobe and see what interesting new combinations you come up with! AND, by all means, I'd love to see them! Tag us on Instagram at @LFdesigns.co and share your new outfit finds with us!
TIP: Doing a photoshoot like this can be super helpful for reminding yourself what outfits exist within your wardrobe! You can do it all at once, like I did here, and save your outfits into an album on your phone, OR, you can do it gradually. Try something new one day a week, and each time you find a great new combo, snap a quick selfie and pop it into the album!
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