Monday, September 6, 2010

WWW: Jeans, Belts, and Shifts

Hi, all!  I hope those of you here in the States are enjoying your Labor day weekend.  I'm off for some football and fun today, but I've cued up my first installment of wardrobe workhorses to get our theme week started!

Composition: Dark Wash Jeans
Mine are skinnies from American Eagle.


All the makeover shows tout the greatness of dark wash jeans, and this is certainly one place where I agree with them.  My dark jeans serve as a great wardrobe workhorse because I feel like they're more versatile than lighter jeans.  I wear both washes in casual ensembles, but I have an easier time "dressing up" dark jeans.  After buying these skinnies to wear with the boots on the left, I've been surprised at how frequently I've worn them.  Skinny jeans seem particularly versatile because they feel like different pants depending on how you cuff them.  Dark wash jeans have been a staple of my wardrobe for at least 7 or 8 years, but I'm glad I took the plunge to try out skinny jeans this past Spring.  If you're wondering how I've kept them so nice and dark, I don't wash them.  I take them to the dry cleaner with my work trousers, which keeps them from fading out.  (This also means they still turn my hands a little blue after a long day, but this is a price I'm willing to pay for fashion.) : )

Composition: Wide Belts
My brown stretch belt (top row) is from Kohl's, and my black faux-patent belt (bottom row) is from H&M.

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of belting.  I haven't counted, but I'd guess that I have about ten decorative belts in my closet, so to some it might seem strange that I reach for these two so frequently.  I haven't done a lot of critical thinking about why a look feels so much more "finished" to me when it's belted, but for whatever reason, the belt usually functions as the final piece that pulls the whole look together in my mind.  Belting has now become a sort of signature of mine, too, and so it gives a sense of consistency to my personal style.  Belts also find their way into my ensembles frequently because they have so many functions-- I've used them to hold a wrap dress firmly closed, create the appearance of a dress out of two separate pieces, and give definition to dresses and tops that otherwise don't fit perfectly.  (Incidentally, it makes me laugh a little at myself that I do not consistently wear my belt going the same direction.  Is one way or the other "right"?)

Composition: Shift Dresses
The three dresses seen below are all the same H&M shift dress, just constructed out of different fabrics.


The versatile black shift dress I shared with you all a few posts back served as one of the inspirations for Wardrobe Workhorse Week, but these three dresses served as my inspiration to buy that shift.  The blue print shift has absolutely been my favorite thing to wear this summer, and in addition to wearing it as shown above, I've also worn it jumper style, with a button-down underneath.  I also found several innovative ways to style my sister's pink and purple versions of the same dress, so when I saw that my German instructor had this very dress in black, I had an epiphany: I needed a black shift.  The way the shift lays close to the body and its simple, lay-flat neckline make it the perfect foundational item to use for layering.  You know you've maximized the utilitarian nature of your dress when someone tells you, "great skirt!" : )

  • Can you think of any other ways to wear dark wash jeans, wide belts, or shifts that I haven't documented yet?  Please share!  
  • If belting a look is one of my signature moves, what's one of yours?


Clare said...

These are all such fabulous staple items, and you so seamlessly make them each match your personal style. My favorite way to wear big stretchy belts is to create a high-waist silhouette with a skirt or dress that wouldn't normally be that way.

Plummy said...

Awesome staples! I also love my dark wash skinnies with my black boots (very similar to yours! :P ) After living in Europe for a year, dark wash denim has become practically the only denim that I own. It just looks so much more pulled together and can transition so much easier!

Miss. Studios said...

Haha. I already see huge overlaps between what you have chosen and what I have in mind! However, I won't be as diligent as you to choose multiple items in one post:) I love bottom right dress and flower shirt combination. It's just perfect.