Building a Classic Wardrobe - Spring Edition

spring outfits

Building a classic wardrobe is important for so many reasons.
It helps cut down on the total amount spent on clothing, it prevents stocking your closet with items you will rarely use and probably the most important, it cuts down on time spent picking an outfit for the day. And for all you sustainability advocates, it fits that bill, too!

I do stylist consulting in my spare time. I work with a few women each year to remove unnecessary items and to build a wardrobe that makes them feel like the best version of themselves. Mostly these are women who are struggling with a closet full of clothing they rarely wear and no clear way to create the outfits they need - clothes to wear to work and on the weekends. I call it the 'Both Wardrobe' (trademark pending 😁)

The Both Wardrobe is being able to use what you have for work and play. Outside of a few special occasion items like cocktail dresses and work out clothing, your wardrobe should be used for all your daily activities. You all know I am a big advocate of cost per wear, the total cost of an item divided by days used to get a much smaller number. Having a Both Wardrobe accomplishes that rather quickly!

The number one mistake I see is wardrobes that are filled with all black clothing. I don't have anything against black clothing, in fact you will see me suggest key pieces in this neutral colour over the next year. But the first thing I ask a client to do is to create a Pinterest board of outfits they love. What I see, time and time again, is colour. It makes sense. When you look at a photo of a fashion model or Instagrammer, they look so happy and carefree in colourful clothing. Colour reflects on to us and makes us appear more alive and youthful. Who wouldn't want that!

I always ask my clients why their boards are bright and then their wardrobes are drab. The number one reason is they get overwhelmed when shopping and sticking to black is easy. I've also heard people say that it doesn't show stains and truthfully, that makes me want to gag. Why would your number one thought be "I need this outfit to hide what I plan on staining it with?"

Polite society dictates that we need to wear clothing so let's start feeling good in the clothing we wear! We all have different personal styles whether it's preppy, rocker, artsy/funky, boho, even tomboy. Those styles are easy to accomplish once you have a solid foundation, a classic wardrobe.

Each season I am going to share some of my favourite key pieces for a classic wardrobe. This will be your foundation to start building outfits that feed your personality. Myself, I love colour and prints so when I see a neutral such as white pants, I'm instantly thinking a fun printed top. Take these foundational items and add them to the items that are already in your closet.

spring clothing

Trench in British Khaki with removable hood - It's classic but the most important part is it's functional. As soon as it warms up in the north-eastern part of North America, it will rain. And it will stay that way for a good few months, alternating between warm and cool. You need a jacket that can hold up to our weather's indecisiveness. It also looks cute with a colourful square scarf (coming soon to the Celebrating This Life shop!)

Navy blazer - If you already have one, you are ahead of the game! If not, add this immediately. Nothing in your closet will get such a workout as a classic navy blazer. Wear with jeans, white pants, over dresses and skirts. The shorter list is what can't you pair with this.

Slim coloured pants - Now you don't have to specifically buy this pair of pants. If pink is not your thing, try a pair in indigo or sky blue. And if you're feeling bold, try this pair of leopard pants. What we're trying to do is break out from the usual blue jeans or black dress pants look. A pair of coloured pants can be worn to the office and on weekends with neutrals or fun patterns on top. Stick with slim, ankle length pants. Avoid wide leg or rough hem which are big trends right now (and won't be come next season).

Blue button up cotton shirt - We're starting to really build a full outfit here. Pair this with everything above but what's even better? Pair this with everything already in your closet! Wear under a sweater for cooler days, spice it up with a bold necklace, pair with that printed skirt that has been hiding in the back of your closet begging to come out and play!

Floral top - We have a good base of neutrals here, now we add a little fun! I know, florals for spring. Groundbreaking. But they are classic for a reason. They look fantastic! A fancy floral printed top is another one of those items that can be mixed and matched easily. Coloured pants and your navy blazer for work and with blue jeans and a fun pair of flats on warm weekends.

Shirt dress - Any colour will do but navy is oh-so-perfect for now and every season that follows. Flats for work, rain boots on weekends. Pretty wedge heels for summer, brown riding boots in fall and with nylons and plaid heels for the holiday season.

Flats - This one is a little tricker to recommend only because this is where I want to let your personality lead us. For years I was afraid of wearing a leopard flat because I thought it was too bold and not me. I was wrong. Those flats that I bought many years ago, amazingly I think of them as a neutral! If you're in a similar boat, say you'd love a pair of hot pink but just don't think you can pull it off, I say go for it! Luckily with shoes they are a fairly small piece of the outfit puzzle and you'll be surprised to see that even bold colours won't overwhelm the rest of your look.

Leopard flatsNavy leather flat, Ferragamo Varina in red, Michael Kors Moccasin

*To avoid - white flats (until summer at least) anything with crystal embellishments (too fancy, you won't wear them daily) and anything with large labels and logos on them (unless it's Chanel or Dior and then go for it!)

Purse & Jewelry - This is another one of those items that's highly personal. A bag says something about who we are and our daily lives. Right now I carry the Gucci Disco Soho in red. It says that I love designer and bright colours but that I also live a busy life and can't be fumbling around with a full and heavy bag. While I do have a few bags in storage there are only two that I use consistently, my Gucci and my Louis Vuitton Neverfull.

Jewelry is something that I truly believe you buy for life. Pearl earrings, a special watch, a charm bracelet, and a diamond pendant necklace are all classics. I'm going to leave purses and jewelry to a future post just about those two items.

If you are interested in private styling sessions, please email me at for more information. I only take on a few clients a year and I do have some availability for 2020!