New Classics

I’ve been working to update my wardrobe, replacing items I’ve worn out, items that no longer fit, and trying to make my work-week items a little more professional and higher quality. I’m very lucky in that my workplace has a pretty casual dress code, so I’m not stuck in suits 24/7 like many lawyers – which is especially nice in D.C. come July! That means that many of my work pieces can do double duty as nicer everyday clothes.

The idea of filling your closet with updated, current versions of “classic” pieces isn’t new, but I’ve found that tracking down the right ones is hard work! Particularly when you want to buy quality (read: more expensive) items, it can take much longer to find the specific pieces that will fit your needs. I’ve been keeping a list of “holes” in my closet – pieces I’d like to add or buy better versions of, so that when I go shopping I can keep an eye out. Pinterest is also an amazing resource, because I can immediately see the subtle differences between similar items, and I can see how they work with other things I’m looking at or already own. I have both a clothing-wish-list type board, and a my-closet board to help me keep track of what I’m lusting after at the moment and what I’ve actually purchased. So far, here are the items I’m most excited about.

I finally bit the bullet and ordered a pair of the Hunter Original Adjustable rainboots and I’m kicking myself for waiting so long to do this. I was put off by the high price, but these are worth every penny. They’re very comfortable, water-resistant, and they actually fit over my calves! I especially love the material that the inside of the boot is made of, it’s not plastic-y at all, and is actually very comfortable if I slip my boots on over bare legs for a quick trip outside. I did order a pair of the fleece welly socks to go with them, but with the socks on I can really only wear leggings or tights, and it’s still a pretty tight squeeze. I’m only 5’4″, so I do wish the boots were just 1 in. or so shorter, because they sit right in the crease of my knee when I sit down, but that’s really the only downside.

Another expensive, but so worth it, purchase was this rain jacket from Piperlime. I looked for ages for a waterproof, light rain jacket that would work equally well with jeans or with a suit when I have meetings for work. I do have a regular khaki trench coat, but I love my coffee and am also horrible at walking without spilling some of it on myself, so the khaki color wasn’t the greatest choice… I’ve also found that trenches aren’t very waterproof, and when it decides to pour down rain in D.C., where I’m walking around in close proximity to traffic, I needed a little more water resistance. This jacket is by far the most stylish option I found. In person, the material has a very subtle sheen, and there are little lines in the fabric that give it the tiniest bit of texture. I will say, the reviews on this thing are spot-on. It runs a bit small through the shoulders, and is very fitted all the way down (which means it will ride up when you sit down if it’s zipped). I ordered a size up (M) and it’s still very fitted. If this jacket came with a double-zipper and slightly deeper side pockets, it would be absolutely perfect.

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A few of my “new classics.”

I’ve also grown to love a good quality purse. After spending many years buying 2-3 $40 Target purses per year and wearing through them, I’ve finally invested in a few nicer ones. My first black Longchamp bag has been with me for 3 years (including my last year of law school and wedding planning – which equals lots of stuff!) and is about ready for a replacement. I also found a good deal on a leather cross-body bag from Coach Outlet last year and I’m so glad I went for it. I have the Ashley Mini Tote in black, with gold hardware. I can tell this will be a bag that gets better with age and it’s the perfect size for a crossbody – big enough for my phone, Nook, and wallet, but not so big that it gets heavy or irritating to wear all day long.

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New shoes! Sorry the photo is so grainy, it was surprisingly hard to get a photo of these that was true to how awesome they look in real life!

When we moved from our last apartment to the house I did a major shoe purge and got rid of anything that was in bad shape (which was most of my shoes…) I’m trying to be really thoughtful with the replacements, buying things that I know I’ll get lots of wear out of. I saw these Steven by Steve Madden heels online and stalked them for a while, waiting for a sale. Lord & Taylor finally obliged me by having reduced these shoes, and then giving me an extra 25% off during their friends and family sale last week. I ended up paying around $65 plus shipping for these leather beauties. I have another pair of Steven by Steve Madden shoes that are around 5 or 6 years old- a black patent pointed toe pump with a snakeskin print embossed into it. They may sound garish, but they’re the perfect understated-luxe work shoe. I’ve worn that pair absolutely into the ground, but I’m hoping to take them to a cobbler to get them patched up, because I know I’ll never find a replacement for them. All that to say, I’m sure that these new sandals will last me for a while!

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Close-up of my spiffy new Ted Baker sunglasses any my tortoiseshell Stella watch from Fossil.

Finally, some accessories! I love a good Fossil watch. They have a huge selection of styles, their staff is always very helpful if I need a fix, and the watches themselves are really good quality. Now that I’m out of school, I really prefer to wear a watch, because nothing looks more disrespectful in a meeting than pulling out your cell phone – even if it’s just to check the time. This tortoiseshell one is neutral enough to match pretty much everything, is lighter than most boyfriend watches, and has a little bit of bling too. ๐Ÿ™‚ If you follow me on Instagram (I’m barksandbaking there too) you’ve already seen me sporting my next item. I found these Ted Baker sunnies at Nordstrom Rack not too long ago for $55. I have a really hard time finding sunglasses that will fit my face without making me look like a bug, let alone ones that won’t cost major $. I liked these immediately when I put them on. I wasn’t familiar with the brand, but they fit really well, so I paid up and took them home. Then I googled around to find some reviews and saw that these puppies retail for ยฃ149, also known as $250 – say what!? Now let’s hope I don’t break them!

What are your new classics? Is there anything you’ve been looking for but absolutely can’t find? (Mine is leather riding boots – my calves make boot shopping impossible!)

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