Three Classic Wardrobe Combinations That Always Work

Hello Lovely,

My style is constantly evolving. When I was in high school, I rocked the emo look. When I transferred to college in Miami, I started wearing bright colours and made drastic changes. Because I was still trying to find what worked for me, getting dressed often became a chore. No matter how hard I tried to set clothes out from the night before, I often ended up changing my mind in the morning and doubting myself. I even documented this evolution in a Facebook album. Looking back on some of those outfits often makes me cringe, but I learned a lot from it, which really sped up my getting ready process. Getting dressed is so much easier for me now. I’m far more confident because I know what works for me. So I’m sharing three classic wardrobe combinations that always work.

Short Dress, Long Coat

I don’t get to wear long coats very often, but this past weekend, I wore it when I went out with some friends. While a short dress or skirt, especially one that's form-fitting, can feel too revealing, throwing a knee-length coat, trench, or sweater over it instantly elevates it to something that feels elegant and rich. I’ve even worn it with long skirts and it still had the same effect. I’m partial to a neutral dress with my floral duster but I’ve even done it will all neutrals.

Monochrome

You can’t go wrong by wearing the same colour in various pieces. Although I don’t wear this combination as much, it’s definitely a safe bet! Whether you choose all black, all grey, pink, white, or blue, monochrome always looks good!

Basic Blouse, Statement Skirt

I do this all the time at work! It’s easier and often looks cooler, which is why so many of my outfits use this formula. After selecting a knock-out skirt, I reach for almost any neutral top to go with it, that would have looked far less memorable had I paired it with a simple pair of trousers.

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe for Work

THIS POST WAS INSPIRED BY LAURE AND LAURIE, AND ALL INFORMATION CAME FROM THEIR POST HERE. LIKE AN INSENSITIVE IDIOT I DIDN'T CREDIT THEM BEFORE. ONLY THE OPINIONS AND PHOTOS ARE MINE.

What Is A Capsule Wardrobe

A capsule wardrobe consists of  some of your favorite pieces and items of clothing that can be mixed and matched and also worn in many several different ways.

As pictured above, you can see how the same pieces of clothing are being used to put several different outfits together. Before I share my experience with building a capsule wardrobe, I want to share the benefits of doing so, so that you really understand the process that goes into this.

Why Build A Capsule Wardrobe

The main reason why this whole idea of building a capsule wardrobe is so appealing is all the benefits that comes with it.

Benefits : 

1.) It saves time.

I don’t know for you, but for me this is gold. I’ll gravitate towards anything that will save me time in the mornings. Not having to stand in front of the closet forever trying to decide what to wear truly is a good feeling. All the stress of getting ready in the morning suddenly goes away when the clothes you need are already there waiting for you.

2.) It saves money.

Having a capsule wardrobe doesn’t only save time but it also saves money. Think about it, the amount of money you would be spending for work clothes significantly decreases because you’re not buying clothes because you think you have nothing to wear.

3.) It declutters.

For example, in this work capsule, I have outfits that will last me up to a few weeks. And these are not new clothes that I went out to buy. I went through my closet and sorted through my clothes and picked out what I thought would be good for work. In the process I also got rid of things I  know I would never wear.

How To Start on Your Capsule Wardrobe

There is no one way to  build a capsule wardrobe. You can make your own rules when it comes to this just like you’d build a regular wardrobe .

But if you have no clue where to start, let me briefly break down the process that went into creating this capsule wardrobe pictured  above.

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Key pieces   – The key pieces in your capsule wardrobe are those pieces that I call the solid pieces. These solid pieces have the ability to  completely change an outfit. This why they’re so important. In this case it would  be the blazer or duster .

Basic Pieces  – Unlike the key pieces, the basic pieces can be used to wear under a blazer or duster. This can be like a simple top.

Extra Pieces  –The extra pieces are the pieces you don’t need but can choose to add just to spike up your outfit. For example, accessories can fall under the category of extras. I  can choose to add a necklace along with my outfit but it’s definitely not a must. Same thing would go for a scarf.

So how did it work out for me????

I HATED IT!!!!!!! OMG, it was one of the worst experiences of my life!!!! Despite all of the benefits to having a capsule wardrobe it just doesn't work for me. So many days my mum would say to me, "You're wearing that AGAIN?" And I would fee bad because I felt trapped and confined to just those choices. Which is why I introduced so many options. Even then, I had to do laundry every week just so these options were available again. With my wider wardrobe, I have enough clothes to last me at least 2 months without washing, which I loooooove.

The next stressful part was having to photograph every single outfit just for this post. It's hard to take photos of your outfits for 20 days in the morning. Some mornings were ideal but most mornings I was in a mad dash to get to work on time and avoid traffic.

I also lost 2 days every week due to dress up days at work. Every Thursday was the seniors t-shirt day and Fridays usually became some fundraising dress up day. So I couldn't photograph those outfits, making this process even longer. I eventually quit after 12 outfits because I just couldn't stand to do this for one more week.

But just because I didn't enjoy it, doesn't mean you shouldn't give it a try. Don't let my experience stop you. It's definitely worth a try and it really forces you to get creative with the same pieces. What do you think? Would you ever try a capsule wardrobe? Share your views and advice in the comment section below.

Weekend Diaries + Weekday Wardrobe

Hello Lovely,

School reopened this week for us and with it brought on more anxiety than I expected. I've been exhausted all week and a little on edge. Even with sleep, I haven't felt like I got enough sleep. Truthfully, I really haven't gotten enough sleep. I've had a lot of late nights and early mornings, which doesn't gel well with my work schedule. I was looking forward to resting this weekend, but I had family in town and a birthday party. I'm sure I'll get used to it soon.

I also lost my 16GB memory card which had Wednesday's outfit on it. I was so heartbroken and on Thursday and Friday I was rushing out of the house, but here's what I was able to capture.

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Monday

Blouse by JcPenny, skirt from Black Food Shop and Shoes from Shoedazzle

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Tuesday

Blouse from Forever 21, Pants from Primark and Shoes (not visible) from Christian Siriano

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Friday

Dress by Talbots but purchased at a yard sale

My weekend started as always on Thursday when my friend Richard took me to a meeting. At first we thought it was one of those pyramid schemes but it turned out to be something for Dream Nation. It was interesting and I'll look more deeply into it to ensure it's worthwhile before investing.

Saturday morning, my family went to the Hilton for breakfast. The spread was amazing and delicious. I wasn't satisfied with the Maxwell House coffee though so I had to walk out to the Starbucks for a Caffe Latte. 

I wore my green bodycon dress from Primark with my Primark shades and a pair of wedges I've had for quite some time.

My mum even made me take some photos of my brother and his pregnant girlfriend while we waited for the rest of the family to take a group shot.

After breakfast, I went to the African Pop Up Shop and bought a bodycon dress for work. I tried on the beige one which was a size 6 but it was too small so I had to buy the blue one (identical to the one photographed) in a size 8. I also couldn't resist the necklaces and got one for my grandmother!

So that was my weekend. I can't believe how many photos I had to share! I love how the photos turned out. Especially the ones of my brother's girlfriend. I'm really starting to like maternity photography so I'll let you guys know how that goes for me. How was your weekend? Did you do anything exciting?

Olivia's Love Letters: We Need a Resolution!

Huzzah! We have just completed the first full week of 2016, everyone! Give yourself a pat on the back! You made it! We're wrapping up resolution week on the blog and I hope you guys got some inspiration for what your New Years resolutions will or even completed some aspect of it! My blog journal is full of fresh new ideas for the year for lifebyolivia.net and I can't wait to share them all with you! I'm more motivated than ever to make this the best year yet. If your New Year’s resolutions include stepping up your fitness routine, maintaining a balanced diet, reading more, trying new recipes or hair routines, eating out more, or revamping your wardrobe, you might want to keep reading…

This month on the blog you can expect to hear all about health and wellness. From workouts that you can do on your lunch break to learning the best toning moves for your whole body, I can already tell that this year is going to be a healthy one. A new year calls for a new wardrobe, right? I have a fresh batch of January style tips to share with you as well as a dedication to sewing more! 

Trust me when I say that you don’t want to miss out on all of this goodness…

What would you like to see more of on the blog this year? 

Share your thoughts in the comments!

XoX,

Olivia


How to Tell Your Friends that They Dress Badly

I firmly believe in wearapy; that being the way we dress has a significant effect not only on how others perceive us, but how we feel about ourselves. The way you dress should be a reflection of who you are. You can also express your mood through your outward appearance. Not everyone dresses the same, and that’s okay. But somewhere along the line, you’ve deemed yourself to be more knowledgeable in fashion and trends, and now you’re looking at your friends, trying to figure out how to save them from a fashion disaster. This could be either a fun or a really sensitive topic when confronting the person. But sometimes you just need to let your friends know that they dress badly. Here’s 5 tips on how you can begin to have that conversation.

1. Let Them Know You Care

This can be a delicate situation to handle. It’s always better to start out with how much you care and appreciate them. Make sure they know that you only want what’s best for them. Maybe you can try having this conversation over a glass of wine or their favourite comfort food. Make sure they’re comfortable before you begin the attack. Don’t make them feel like this is an intervention, even though it basically is.

2. Ask Them Why They Dress that way

Before you go off on what you think is wrong with what they wear, it’s good to get their perspective. Everyone has their reasoning for why they think it’s okay to wear pyjama pants or a satin cap in public at four in the afternoon. You may not agree, but to them it makes sense.  Whatever their reason is, help them get over it or through it. Be a good friend. After finding out why they won’t change, give them a reason to change.

3. Ask Them if They Want to Change

No one likes to have someone else’s views shoved down their throat. Don’t forget, opinions are like private body parts: It’s great to have, but when you start swinging it in someone’s face, no one’s happy. When they do decide to change, make sure you’re there for them and willing to help. Don’t be the friend that nags them to change but doesn’t help. That’s unsupportive and what kind of person does that make you look like?

4. Be Upfront about it

Upfront. Not mean. Sometimes that friend just needs to hear it straight, no lies, no sugar coating. Don’t leave any room for misunderstanding, and let them know you’re being serious. You can start by telling them why you question what they wear. Maybe the slouchy pants and stained t-shirt makes them look a little sloppy. It’s also better if they know that it’s not just you that is bothered by how they dress. Explain how their appearance affects their lives. Is your best friend still single and only has her cats to look forward to on a Friday night? Or maybe that job interview ended before it even began. Bring up past experiences in their life and let them know that the reason why something happened is because they dress badly. This involves explaining what is wrong with their clothes. If the crop top is too small for her body, let her know! Plumber crack is not sexy people! And no one wants to be seen with 18th century school librarian. Not only is she making herself look bad, she’s making you look bad as well because other people are going to say, “She couldn’t tell her friend she looks bad”?

5. Tell Them How They Can Change

Maybe your friend already knows they want to change but has no idea where to begin. Telling someone to change without giving them the tools to do so is a setup for failure. Give them inspiration; whether it’s reruns of ‘What Not to Wear’ or ‘How do I Look’, or making them a board on Pinterest. (And if they don’t know what Pinterest is, there may not be help for them at this point). You can also go the subtle route and just buy the clothes you would want to see them in as a birthday or Christmas present. You can even go the cheap route by just offering to share your closet with them. Explain how fashion works and give them choices. Explain the difference and why one choice is better than the other. Help them find their actual style in a modest and subtle way.

 

Some of you probably have one person in mind the entire time you’ve been reading this, or maybe that person is you. If you’re having trouble with defining your sense of style, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Some of you may genuinely not care what others think of you and that’s fine. There’s no need to depend on the validation from others to feel special or good about yourselves. But if you find yourself constantly falling on hard times, or feeling like you just can’t catch a break, it’s okay to make a few cosmetic changes, if it means that at the end of the day, YOU are happy with yourself. Because if you’re not putting your best foot forward, you’re only doing yourself a disservice.

XoX,