Tuesday, September 7, 2010

WWW: Nude Shoes, Bold Skirts, and Neutral Blazers

Thanks for stopping by for Wardrobe Workhorse Week!  We're celebrating our favorite and most dependable clothing items, the garments and accessories without which we'd consider our closets incomplete.  Today I'm showcasing my personal wardrobe heroes: nude shoes, skirts with personality, and neutral blazers.

Composition: Nude Shoes
suede peep-toe heels (Seychelles), round-toe wedges (Nine West), patent peep-toe heels (Guess)

Months ago I touted these suede peep-toe heels as one of my favorite spring purchases, and I followed up with a post about the nude fashion trend.  Since then, I've amassed a collection of flesh-toned shoes, from simple flats to dressy heels.  In fact, most of the shoes I now own are nude hues.  They elongate my legs, they pair easily with any outfit, and they seem to create more of a "look" than the brown leather or black patent "neutrals" to which I previously gravitated.  Of course, depending on one's skin tone, "nude" can mean anything from buttery yellow to rosy pink to rich mocha.  Pale versions complement my peachy complexion best, so I was pleased to score these light patent peep-toe heels on eBay last month.  After they sustained me through a night of dancing at a friend's wedding, I high-fived myself for a smart $17.50 purchase.  Versatility and durability?  A perfect combo.

Composition: Skirts with Personality
pink tiered skirt (Target), multi-colored patterned skirt (Lulu's)

Since I generally keep my shoes toned-down, I like to beef up my outfits with skirts of interesting textures and colors.  This is surely a fashion violation, since maximizing the prints and colors around my hips in effect maximizes the look of my hips themselves.  I'm okay with this because a) I appreciate hips and the women who show them off, and b) I don't exactly have a curvy figure.  Patterns and textures help me create the illusion of width.  So bring it on, Stacy and Clinton.  This is one rule I'm content to break.  Above I've featured two all-star summer skirts.  I'm struggling to select merely one, so they'll share the "workhorse" title.

Composition: Neutral Jackets
linen blazer (Gap), grey wool-blend blazer (Gap)

Blazers are wardrobe essentials for many women, and I understand why.  In my own closet they're incredibly versatile; they add an extra something to so-so ensembles, enable creative layering, and help me transition between seasons.  What's more, in professional environments they elevate my look to one of authority instantly.  I wore the above grey blazer during my master's defense in May, and it gave me the confidence boost I needed.  It also summoned a bona fide degree out of the experience, so job well done, wool-blend wonder!  My brother has likely forgotten that I wore the same blazer to his college commencement, but if he remembered, I'm sure he would credit it with his successful graduation as well.

  • Are you a fan of any of these wardrobe workhorses?  How do you style them?  Why do they work for you?
  • Could you offer me any suggestions for styling these workhorses in the future? 
  • If you own similar items, where did you buy them?  And where do you normally shop for them?
  • How often do you wear your wardrobe workhorses each week?  Each month?  Here's my estimation breakdown for the items I've featured today:  Nude Shoes: 4 days per week / Bold Skirts: 2 days per week / Neutral Blazers: 1-3 days per week, depending on work schedule.


Plummy said...

I love your nude shoes! I am currently on the lookout for a new pair of shoes and you are really swaying me towards a nude (although a cute flat for me, thank you!). My question is, though, how do you keep them clean? Obviously the patent can just be wiped clean, but the suede? I almost always go for leather shoes, because they last longer and I love how they mold to my feet, but I'm worried if I select a light color (I am also very pale-skinned) then they will pick up dirt and end up looking grimy--not at all what I would want out of a chic pair of shoes! Any suggestions?

Miss. Studios said...

You are stylish in every way! I like your pick of skirts. I do not own any colored skirt but I find them so fun.
I am also a big fan of a talored jacket even though it's hard to find a nice one that fits my petit frame appropriately. Seriously, jackets are must-pieces for working professionals.

La Historiadora de Moda said...

I am a fan of all these wardrobe workhorses of yours, Anne Marie! I complete share your thoughts about blazers. I keep one in my office on campus that I often throw on if I'm chilly or if I want to amp up my outfits for teaching or committee meetings.

Scholar Style Guide said...

Great choices, and definitely representative of your wardrobe! I especially like the colored skirts mention, since we've talked more about the other 2 on the blog before. I think most people tend to dress their top half with more attention than their bottom (me included), so I like that you've shown a skirt can be the statement piece, as well.

And I do believe you snuck a few new pieces in here, miss. I have never seen the fleur-de-lis tee, nor the jacket you're wearing with the white ensemble, have I? I think I'd remember them. : )


Scholar Style Guide said...

Plummy, I hope you find some nude shoes that suit your closet! My flesh-toned flats (pictured above) are Jessica Simpson. Maybe that gives you a lead? Suede is more difficult to keep clean, for sure, but I rely on Kiwi Suede Protector for my shoes. It works wonders. Let me know how it goes!

Miss Studios, I think jackets are essential too. I'm petite like you, and I find that Gap blazers usually work for my figure. In case you're shopping around, I really like this navy blazer from Ruche:


Thanks, lHdM! Good tip, too, stashing an on-call blazer in your campus office. :)

Liz, the fleur-de-lis tee is actually an old piece, and this photo is an outtake, ha. Believe it or not, the grey jacket I'm wearing w the white ensemble is the same ol' grey blazer I've had for a while. It looks different in this photo for some reason.

Thanks for your feedback, all!


Anonymous said...

Oh, the neutral blazer is such a workhorse in my closet! I have a few of them - it's one category in my closet where I have multiples of similar items - but I wear them all the time. I wear them all the time because they go with just about everything and bring such a great vibe to most outfits.

I love that the bold skirt is a workhorse of yours. Since reading your blog, I've really wanted to get some bold and fun skirts of my own because you wear them so well. I love how yours are playful yet still sophisticated and chic.

Scholar Style Guide said...

I just wanted to say that I covet all of your nude shoes. They're now on my list of must-haves that I need to buy.