Wardrobe Essentials to Splurge On

Six Fashion Essentials to Invest In…

Buy less, choose well. While I’m not afraid to buy a trendy little dress now and then or 32 bikinis when Target rolls out their spring racks, there are SIX pieces of clothing in my wardrobe that I consider to be timeless pieces and “investments” in my figure, confidence and style. While you can scrimp on a summer sun dress or fun pair of sandals, here are the six pieces to SPLURGE on…

1.     A great a pair of jeans.

An impressive fitting pair of jeans may be the most neutral and versatile piece of clothing in any woman’s closet. There are few things you can wear spring, summer, fall and winter which is why you should definitely invest in a pair of well-tailored jeans suited for your body type. I love Nordstrom for jeans…and when I say Nordstrom, I mean I order 10 pairs online because with free shipping and free returns, I can look at my muffin top in the comfort of my own home rather than have my toddlers sneak a peek underneath someone else’s dressing room. My favorites are AG, Rag and Bone and Paige for my body type.

2.  A nude wedge or heel

A skin tone colored heel or wedge not only elongates your leg, but matches anything in your closet…from your favorite little black dress to a dressy pair of jeans. It’s a classy look that never goes out of style. As a side note, ankle straps cut the visual illusion of a long leg off at the ankle and make your legs look thicker and wider at the bottom. If that area is a concern for you, avoid angle straps or ties.

3.      The wrap dress

Diane Von Furstenberg has been a successful designer for over 40 years because of her iconic wrap dresses. While some people may say the “little black dress” is a wardrobe staple, I would argue that a classic wrap dress is every girl’s best friend! I can get a cute little black dress at Target for under $40 but a classic wrap dress is the most figure flattering dress a woman can wear. The smallest part of any woman’s body, regardless of shape, is just underneath the breastbone. The wrap dress highlights and accentuates that area while slimming the rest of the body. Jennifer Lopez, Gwyneth Paltrow, Beyonce, Princess Kate, Reese Witherspoon and Oprah are all wrap dress super fans and are photographed in them regularly. Those women represent every body type which is why the classic wrap dress is a must have for any woman. Nordstrom Rack always has a good selection of wrap dresses..my favorite being Laundry by Shelli Segal. I always get so many compliments on her dresses that I got from there.

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4..     Flesh tone colored bra

One of the most important style/life lessons my mother has taught me has been the importance of nude colored bras. Even when I was a tween, she would caution me against wearing white bras or white underwear as they typically show right through light colored clothing. Nude colored bras are the best neutrals and while not everyone is “beige,” there are certain color codes that work for various skin types. Buffs and porcelains are often for our paler friends, light nudes and taupes for medium tones, “nude” generally covers medium skin tones while “almond” and “espresso” browns are great for darker skin tones.

My favorite Wacoal strapless bra.

My favorite Wacoal strapless bra.

While I’m on bras, if you happen to be searching for a great strapless bra, my absolute favorite is Wacoal strapless "Embrace Lace." Not the brand you normally would think of first, but as a 34D, this one offers fabulous support, ample coverage and has no-slide grip tape on it. These are the ONLY strapless bras I own.

5.     Figure flattering workout pants

I know that yoga pants aren’t often on wardrobe lists but as the mother of seven children, I live in workout clothes. I wear yoga pants nearly every day so why wouldn’t I spend money on what I wear the most? Like many women, my post-baby body zones aren’t quite like they used to be which is why I swear by Lululemon’s Wunder Under control top pants. These are like Spanx for the gym…or for when you want to pretend you went to the gym but just didn’t feel like wearing pants with buttons. These are also my “dressier yoga pants” because we all know that we have our pants that are suitable for parent conferences versus the ones we clean the house in! The Wunder Under’s cost an average of $90 so are a bit pricey for the gym ....but if I’m trying to burn some calories and tone what’s sagging, I’d like to not be reminded of my problem zones in front of 15 foot mirrors. They come in high waist and mid waist along with shorts, crop and full length pants. Try them, your baby belly will thank you. (I also wore these during pregnancy.)


6.   A better purse or handbag

Purses have a long cultural history of evoking status and are thought to be an expression of who we are and where we belong in terms of social and economic prestige. Whether or not that is the politically correct thought, the reality of that statement is true which is why imitation luxury handbags are in high demand. I have certainly bought into that philosophy which is why I carried fake Louis Vuitton handbags for years before I could afford a real one. More importantly, with five children under age seven, the chances of seeing me in a messy bun and stained workout pants are high so if I’m carrying a better handbag, I feel just a tad more put together. If you’re not yet able to afford a brand new higher end bag, look for them on eBay, Poshmark and consignment stores…these are great places to find gently used bags!

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