Wednesday, March 3, 2010

5 Essential Extras for Your Wardrobe

Tips on the perfect wardrobe basics litter magazines each month. While I won't deny the power of the quintessential little black dress, what about the pieces that add something special - that little je ne sais quoi? Here are five essential extras that are sure to add oomph to your closet - and become just as well-loved as your go-to basics.

01. Hands-Free Bag
I know many of you rely on a bevvy of bags to get through the week. The workhorse tote trucks to the office with you, with your high heels in tow; a spangled clutch is more reliable on a night out than your relationship with wine. Trust me, I understand. But I'm still going to recommend one bag you should rely on more than any other: the crossbody bag. Nothing, I swear, nothing will make you enjoy shopping more than having both hands free to snag the last pair of Choos in your size.

pictured above, left to right: Rebecca Minkoff Linear Studded Leather Rocker Crossbody Bag ($295); Nine West Drawstring Bar Crossbody ($69); See by Chloe Cherry Small Crossbody ($435); Poppie Jones Fashion Crossbody Bag ($19.95)

02. Stockings
There's a reason we've seen chic legwear worn on nearly every runway and by each influential blogger: it's the easiest - and most cost-effective way - to transform an outfit. Even your standby essentials take on an entirely different personality depending on which tights you choose. Fleshtone fishnets add subtle sexual overtones. Quirky touches are perfected with fire engine red tights. Or you can be staggeringly sophisticated with opaque black hosiery. In short: accumulate as many different colors and patterns that your closet can bear.

pictured above, left to right: Jonathan Aston Feathered Rumi Tights ($20); See by Chloe Lace Tights ($85); Jonathan Aston Vintage Sweet Roses Tights ($21.50); Hue Opaque Tights ($12.50)

03. Statement Something
Choose a statement bauble that shows off one (or more!) of your favorite features. Do you prize your hands for their ability to transcribe your thoughts? If so, choose a bold cocktail ring. Does your slender neck and collarbones make you feel particularly feminine? Don't cover them up - pull attention upward with a pair of dangling earrings. Love your cleavage? What better way to adorn your upper half than by draping a necklace around your neck? And jewelry isn't the only statement you can make. If you favor your hourglass figure, lean toward a staggering belt that cinches your outfit, accentuating your curves.

pictured above, left to right: Trina Turk Cabochon Ring ($66); Amrita Singh Jewelry Bonbel Bangle ($75); Torrid Gold Leaf Cutout Earrings ($12); Kate Spade Gumdrop Necklace ($82.90 - on sale)

04. Printed Frock
It's easy to be a wallflower in basics; sometimes your little black dress simply isn't going to stand out in a sea of noir-adorned women. Infuse both your closet and your mood with a printed frock. There's sure to be a pattern to suit your sartorial personality: a romantic floral, an arty brushstroke, or a modern graphic print. If you're not keen on dresses, try a printed blouse. It'll perk up your work wardrobe, leaving your tired grey turtleneck in the dust.

pictured above, left to right: Forever21 Ruched Pattern Dress ($24.80); Sass & Bide Midnight Runners Printed Tank Dress ($170); Anna Sui Silk Wrap Dress ($455)

05. Lingering Fragrance
A spritz of perfume completes your signature style - or transforms your persona. Instead of limiting yourself to one preferred spritz, try creating a scent wardrobe. Follow your nose to a clean, crisp scent for daytime; a flirty floral for winking at gentlemen; a sophisticated perfume in a designer bottle for special occasions. I prefer to spritz at the nape of my neck - it's an intimate statement discovered only by those who lean in close.

pictured above, left to right: Guerlain Mitsouko ($118); Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Perfume Solid ($75); Estee Lauder Private Collection Jasmine White Moss Solid Perfume ($195); Van Cleef & Arpels Feerie Pure Perfume ($250)


  1. I only got the chance to experience the pleasure of using a crossbody bag lately and I am a convert. Have a great day! xoxo

  2. love the brown and the blag bag the most and stockings are me first love :)

  3. Yeah I'm beginning to think he never will. But at least when he is doing his thing on his laptop next to mine we don't bother each other :)

  4. Love this post, fashion that makes you stand out is so much better than fashion that makes you blend in. You are so right about the crossbody bag, I always take mine when I travel so I can use my hands to take photos and shop without my purse in the way.

  5. Mhmmmmm. Great post!

    By the way I am removing my blog. (, but I have a big problem with DNS of and now the blog update is not working. I want let me know this. Please don't forget to visit my blog because I have a new post for every day. :-)))

  6. great post, there are so many essentials to go out and buy!

  7. those bottles are gorgeous! makes me want to spend the money just to have them to look at.

  8. I agree with the first four, I haven't worn a fragrance in the past couple of years.... I was actually just thinking about that today (looking at a sign in a scent-free office)

  9. ooo sass and bide dress! reminsd me of christopher kanes midnight dress!

  10. WOW. I agree with EVERY SINGLE ONE - particularly the cross-your-heart purse. As I mentioned below in yesterday's post :)

  11. Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes. This is such an amazing guide, Jessica - and incredibly true. No girls life is complete with each and every one of these things - especially the hands-free bag!! :)

  12. great guide Jessica! So true!! A signature perfume is always a fabulous thing to have!!

  13. This is such a great post and really made me rethink my wardrobe priorities :) Thanks!

  14. YOu're so right. Loved this post! Now I need more statement and colorful pieces...

  15. Hey,
    Thanks for comment dear! :]
    Great post and all your blog :]
    If you want to exchange links, let me know!

  16. Hi Jessica! I love your site. I spent nearly all day clicking through your links, where I found other great sites! I wanted to share with you my blog I have similar taste and hope that you will also find some things that you enjoy.


  17. I'm in love with the big blue ring awesome! xo xo

  18. Omg that Van Cleef & Arpels Feerie Pure bottle is stunning, I want it for decor!

  19. The only thing that I'm going to be sad about when it gets really warm again is no more textured tights!


Thanks for commenting - each one means a lot!

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