Transitional pieces for a functional wardrobe

featured photo credit – Marufish

But what do you mean by functional wardrobe, Sarah?  Well, you know that dress you bought a few years back, that you just love the color and look of?  And maybe you tried it on, and it fit a little funky, but if you just lost a few pounds, or had your tailor bring it in here and there, it would be perfect!  But alas, there it sits, alone and forlorn at the back of your closet, doomed to never see the light of day until…. you take it to a thrift store.  That little piece in your wardrobe?  Not functional.  Perhaps it sang a siren song to your sense of style, but it wasn’t meant for you.  We all have had, or currently have, something in our array of attire that just doesn’t get the attention it deserves.  So set it free my friends, and replace it with a functional garment that you WILL wear.  Here are a few items that are functional and stylish, and will work for these late summer days and on into the fall.


The Camisole

I wear camisoles a lot, even during the summer.  Then can help smooth out lines underneath lighter material shirts, add extra color or pattern under a solid shirt, or layer perfectly under a blazer or cardigan.  I use basic camisoles without a shelf bra under tee shirts or light fabric shirts to smooth out lines from my bra, or hide any lines my body might create on it’s own.  The camisole at left from LOFT is a good basic for wearing under lighter tops.  Another store that offers great basic camisoles is Target.  The cami shown in the middle is from GAP, and would look great under a true green cardigan or blazer.  And at right we have a camisole from Topshop with an impressionistic floral pattern that would also look beautiful under a green or plum blazer or cardigan.


The Denim

I’m so happy we’re cruising towards the time of year that jeans are comfortable to wear again.  Like most women nowadays, I wear my denim quite often when the weather permits, which means just about all the time during fall and winter.  I love denim trousers, like the Banana Republic Indigo Denim Trouser pictured at left.   They make it easy to wear denim but still look really put together.  Fore a more casual look the LOFT Modern Straight Leg Jean in Vintage Grey (shown middle) will do the trick.  Grey denim has become increasingly popular, and they’re a fun way to mix your denim up while providing a neutral palate to pair bright tops and shoes against.  And every girl needs a slimmer pair of jeans to tuck into boots.  I like these GAP 1969 Deconstructed Skinny Jeans.  They look a little worn, but it’s not overdone.


The Dress

Having a few go to dresses in your closet makes life so much easier on days that you just feel like wearing a skirt on your bottom half.  Tank dresses work well on these days when summer is waning and fall is rearing it’s wonderfully leafy, spicy, cool head, but the heat can still take hold.  They make great base pieces for layering, and can still be worn come cool weather with the right things.  The Denim & Supply Bib Tank Dress at left is a great staple piece that will add some bohemian chic to your closet.  It cuts fairly low, but you can layer a cami under it if needed.  The Anama Midi Tank Dress in the middle is a perfect color for late summer into fall and will pair well with other autumn colors.  The ruffles along the hemline and pleated skirt make this dress ultra feminine.  Try pairing it with a pumpkin colored cardigan.  And at right, we have a Calvin Klein Belted Scoopneck Tank Dress.  Wear it with a light denim shirt on top, bright colors, boots, flats, or sandals if the weather is still good enough.  The extra fabric on the skirt adds a bit of dressiness, and the longer length will help keep your legs warm.


The Cardigan

If I were rich, I have the feeling I’d have a cardigan collection to match my shoe collection.  I’m the type of person that overheats when I’m indoors drinking a warm beverage, and really appreciate when I can take a sweater off easily.  So I tend to purchase cardigans much more often than pullovers.  Starting us off at left is the Lands’ End Canvas Skinny V-neck Cardigan.  This cardigan is a 3/4 sleeve sweater, and it hits at the hip.  If you have a petite torso like me, cardis that hit at the hip can create better lines for your body.  This cardigan comes in 7 different colors.  Get wild with the Lucky Brand Cheetah Crew Neck Cardigan.  Some women like animal print, some don’t.  I kind of go back and forth.  I don’t know that I would wear this particular cardi, but I know I would like the way it looks on a few friends of mine.  Last is the August Silk Striped Open Front Cardigan.   If you like a sweater that closes, this one won’t do it.  But I love the saturated bright orange, and the stripe detail in the weave of the knit.  Easy to throw over multiple things for an injection of color.


The Shoe

Don’t worry shoes, my cardigan collection would NEVER surpass my shoe collection.  I heart you.  The shoe at left is the Trotters ‘Sizzle Signature’ Flat.  That’s a snazzy name!  And metal is pretty popular this season, so the big ol’ buckle will fit right in this fall.  Available in 3 colors.  In the middle of our shoe Oreo is the BCBG Paris Cadencex Bootie.  These have a modern slouch to them, and the heel doesn’t look too scary.  I don’t know if I’d be able to pull off all day in them, but I think I could manage fine for a few hours or more.  On the right, the Aldo Beckerle Boot, and a pretty girl she is.  Again, heel is decent, although for myself I might be veering a bit from the “functionality” part of this post.  But there’s nothing wrong with appreciating form!

What are your functional transitional pieces?  What did I miss?  And what piece of clothing or shoes do you have that you’ve not been able to give up, but never wear?  Leave it in the comments…


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