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July 19, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 1 Faves: 0

Revamped and Versatile

By Rachael Ellen More Blogs by This Author

The opening of the closet doors on a Thursday morning feels like jumping off the boat onto the beaches of Normandy.  My closet is mass chaos, a dreaded conundrum of clothing. The pieces are good for one or two outfits, but their limitations drastically diminish my wardrobe’s possible potential, leaving me stuck in a rut with clothes that never work for me. They lacked versatility. Or, so I thought.

For some of us, putting together outfits for whatever Mother Nature’s got planned isn’t easy. I began writing this blog with the mindset that my clothes couldn’t be versatile. Going out and buying a cute sundress was great and all, but that dress was only usable in the hot summer months, never to be heard from again once a chill stung the air. I was struggling, and my frustration was getting the best of me. I wanted to keep my style updated and fresh without breaking the bank. I needed some help. I presented my lacking wardrobe dilemma to my style sensei, Gabby.  With her keen eye for design, she came to my rescue with some great advice. Some advice that I thought the readers of the Smart Living Network would also like to hear.

As July would have it, the temperature started pushing eighty degrees.  By the time I showed up to Gabby’s that morning, the mugginess had condensed into a looming cloud of discomfort.

But fashion waits for no woman, and it didn’t matter that we were sweating our butts off. 

Gabby and I had decided for the sake of the blog, we would tackle the sweltering heat and capture some pictures of the outfits Gabby had put together.  With arms full of miscellaneous pieces of cute, Gabby hopped into my Malibu, and we headed off to begin our “photo-shoot.”  

Now, I am completely open about my lack of photography skills, but props to Gabby for harnessing her modeling experience to make sure my pictures turned out beautifully.  

The first piece Gabs donned was a simple, figure flattering dress.The bottom half was reminiscent of a pencil skirt, while the top had yellow and blue banding that hugged her chest, held up by thin spaghetti straps.

Okay, I thought skeptically, this is super cute, but I don’t see how this will ever work for another season.

Oh me of little faith.

After a quick addition pulled from her bag of tricks, the informal dress was covered by a  black peplumed (a new word for my style vocab referring to the looser bottom half of the shirt) long sleeve with some bead work done on the shoulders. In a blink, a spring/summer piece had been converted into a stunning, more formal piece. But Gabby had yet to add any accessories to the outfit, and her addition was the icing on the cake. Again reaching into the Malibu, she pulled out a fur infinity scarf that blended the black from her shirt with the tan tones from her heels, completing a wintery look that had all started with a simple sundress.

I was impressed. My skepticism was starting to dwindle. Maybe my closet had a chance after all. Before I could start seriously thinking about my own closet and it’s hidden potential,  I was snapped back to reality by Gabby’s next piece.

A little edgier with black studded heels, leather shorts, and a nautically inspired tank, outfit number two was all about a hot, social summer. The black from the tank’s collar was just enough to keep the dark tones going.

She had nailed a summer look, but taking the outfit into another season seemed unlikely. Using a bright, ombre denim button up over the tank was her reply, a stroke of simplistic genius. Not only did the denim add a touch of contrasting color, but the outfit had just become a piece for a chilly fall afternoon.

Elementary level simplicity here folks. That doesn’t mean I could have come up with it, but as Gabby provided the visual versatility of a few clothing pieces, I couldn’t help but question what was hiding undiscovered in my dresser drawers.

As we packed up, Gabby offered some final insight into the new style pieces that have taken center stage this year. Her list (with a few surprising additions added by yours truly) included denim-on-denim, high waisted shorts, laces, bright colors, chevron, (if you’ve read my other blog, Little Space, Big Style, you know that I’m in love with chevron. I can’t get enough of it!) and layering with sweaters and cardigans.

After our scorchingly hot morning of fashion, it’s safe to say that our closets have a lot more potential than we give them credit for. When shopping, keep in mind this lesson, readers: Every piece you purchase should always have more than one possible outfit pairing. Incorporation of that ideology into your shopping saga will drastically impact your wardrobe as you buy smarter. As I step down from my soapbox (no need for applause) just go out there and shop for versatile pieces!  


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1 Comment

  • LOVE these ideas! It just shows how easily you can transition summer clothes into a fall wardrobe by adding some pieces! Brilliant! Gabby is gorgeous and definitely has a eye for style! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! Thanks for sharing this!

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