Good Bones

Thursday, January 12, 2012

*** Did any of you miss the most awesome Kardashian photo ever? If you did (and SHAME ON YOU) check out my page and let's all make fun. Also, I saw a headline that read -- not kidding -- "Kim Kardashian replaced by French bulldog in Super Bowl commercial. It was a great day. ***

SO. Today I wanted to talk about something that has always bugged me a little. And since I generally have a short fuse, that category includes things like helicopter parents, people who think that their baby is a genius, people who walk slow in malls, Lady Gaga's shenanigans and people who confuse tights as pants. But you know what really annoys me?

The show "What Not to Wear."

I mean, don't get me wrong, I love me a makeover show and I wish Clinton Kelly could join Tim Gunn and be my best gays -- or best... ambiguous sexual orientation friends -- but one thing really bothers me about the show. You know the part when they throw out all of the poor person's clothes? That bugs me.

Here's why. When was the last time a fairy godmother -- or Stacy London -- appeared out of nowhere with $5,000 for you to spend? So there's probably a good chance that you'll never in your entire life have cause to toss out your entire wardrobe and start fresh. So that means you're pretty much workin' with what you have at this point. And while some clothes really need to be trashed, I generally think it's a rare person who doesn't have the good bones of a decent wardrobe already in her closet.

Even if you don't have a ton of money to spend on your clothes, I bet you have a couple of bucks here and there to buy the elements that could update a sloppy tee or your old faithful pair of jeans. Can we talk about this and I'll show you how? While I wish I could go through everyone's closet and yank out the pieces that don't work, you'll have to be satisfied with seeing some of the ways you can work stuff you already own into different, HNTDLAM-approved looks.

A Sloppy Shirt


This Gap tee is one of the most unstructured pieces of clothing I own. In case you haven't noticed, I'm kind of a high-detail super structured girl. While I think it's great, it can definitely look a little sloppy when I wear it with the wrong stuff -- especially my husband's basketball shorts. And who doesn't own a baggy white tee? If you don't, I would say you're probably a martian. Either way, you can totally update it by pairing it with skinnies. These are my beloved red ones and I scored them for $19. I just tucked the shirt in messily and added some heels and it's an instant upgrade. Another thing I sometimes do to make a white tee look more feminine is just roll the sleeves up once or twice. It just makes it look a little less I-won-this-at-a-school-fundraiser-esque,

A Button-Up (Or Button-Down I am So Conflicted)

bones1
Abercrombie Fitch long sleeve shirt, $24
Billabong long maxi skirt, $44
Wet Seal flat shoes, $15
Pewter jewelry, $13
Pendant, $15


I confess, I think I like button ups more than the average bear. It's like I'm just drawn to them because I love masculine styles with feminine touches. Yeah, button ups look super cute with boots, but how awesome would it be with something super girly, like a maxi skirt? Totally unexpected but still comfy enough to wear to lunch with the girls. I would wear major jewelry for fun but you could totally ditch the jewels and wear this to something super casual. It's a great way to get more mileage out of one super simple piece of clothing.

A Good Pair of Flats



I use flats to help tone down outfits that might be otherwise too va-va-voomy for regular use. It's like you can always get two outfits out of the same skirt: wear it with heels for superlong legs and to impress your hubby or tone it down with flats and you can wear it to a PTA meeting -- not that I have ever been to one. I wore this to something pretty casual, so out came the flats. Seriously, they are like no-fail footwear and you should absolutely fine a pair that you love. When it doubt, bring 'em out because they're more formal than sneakers but more casual than heels. Win-win, right?

A Pair of Straight-Legged Jeans

Miss Selfridge circle earrings, £8.50
TopShop white shawl, £22
Dorothy Perkins tan belt, $9


If you only had the budget to buy one pair of jeans, I would definitely recommend a dark wash straight-legged pair. If you already have some in your closet, you need to know how super versatile they are. I'm wearing mine today! Check out the outfits above. They all have the same jeans. But since the leg is straight, you can cuff it over heels, tuck it into boots or even wear them with your super casual outfits (So I love TOMS, shut up.) Most other jeans need a specific type of shoe to look good, but you can get away with all of them if you have a good straight legged pair. Seriously, try and see how many outfits you can put together with them and you might not need to do a lot of shopping.

A Skinny Belt



I make no apologies for this: I love my Walmart belt. It was super cheap and it's reversible between cream and white. All I have to do is click the belt buckle around. I wear it SO MUCH. Obviously. If you have a skinny belt on hand, you can update a ton of outfits by just slapping a belt around them. I love the cardigan in this picture, but on its own it can look really conservative and that's just not me. I'll seriously belt anything... cardigans, jackets, pencil skirts, you name it. It's an awesome way to define your waist and look like you know what you're doing in one fell swoop. Just don't wear it to Thanksgiving dinner or you'll feel like it's going to pop open and hit someone in the eye.... not that I know that from personal experience or anything.


So, I challenge you to take a look at your closet and identify it's good bones. You'll probably find that instead of having nothing to wear and being sick of anything, there's a few pieces that can be reworked and worn in different ways to make them look more flattering and current. And since that saves you money, you can send the rest of it to me! YAY!

PS: What is your favorite closet staple? I would definitely say my straight-legged jeans and my beloved boots, but I'll take suggestions!

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm a martian... :(

Janelle said...

As I've plus-sized myself out of my classy wardrobe (I promise, I used to be a super classy dresser!)I have been working (by stalking you, mostly) on identifying those good elements I have or can get. For me, my "must" pair of jeans is slightly boot cut. I have always had very muscular calves (even in my uber skinny days) and jeans that are too snug can make my legs look hefty even when they weren't. A fitted pair of jeans that is looser below the knee makes everything look 100x better on me. I haven't tried a fully straight leg pair yet. I'm shooting on getting a pair of boots I can tuck jeans into, but I have expensive taste so it takes time to find some I still love, that look good on big feet, and fit muscular calves.
I think the biggies for getting me beyond the mom look is thought-out shoes (not flip flops or clogs every day) and adding jewelry.

Tera said...

So I have not done the belted look since I was 13 or 14 and I just can't bring myself to do it because my waist IS NOT my most flattering part of my body. Am I right to not belt my tummy when my tummy looks prego (and I'm not) and if I belt it under the boobs then it accentuates the prego belly?

Jae said...

Maaaaartiaaaaan!!!

Janelle, you are awesome. PS I envy muscular calves. Mine are anything but. And yes, shoes and jewelery (or a scarf) makes a ha-yuge difference for me.

Tera, after I had my second babe, belting right below the boobs stopped working for me. Now I belt at my natural waist, which for me is right below my ribs. You can totally play around with belt widths and placements to find one you like -- I used to always do wide belts but I'm really into skinnies too and I'm glad I gave them a shot!

Wendy said...

Wishing I had your style! I have a nice "professional" wardrobe that I've recently outgrown (and need to back into), but my casual wardrobe needs serious work. Love the skinny belt; hoping I can pull that off. I don't own any skinny jeans, but I love those red ones on you!

Jae said...

Wendy, the skinny, colored jeans are fun, but I wouldn't spend a lot of dough on them! Definitely not a staple... you can totally build a better wardrobe of basics before you get into trendy stuff like that. I had an awesome professional wardrobe from my office days and sometimes I wish I could wear some of the stuff for no reason... pinstripe pants and blazers... sighhhh. I miss having a reason to dress like a boss. lol

Quirky Jessi said...

" You know the part when they throw out all of the poor person's clothes? That bugs me."

Me too!! Granted, sometimes that clothing really, really needs to be thrown out, but realistically, most people can't do that. And hey, not all of my clothes are bad...they just need a little help sometimes. Love your ideas. :)

bequi said...

You should come to my closet and do a post about working with what you've got. Due to budget restraints, most of my clothes cost less than $15. My staple is the T-shirts from Downeast Basics (They have an outlet right by me, so when I have $10 I go get 4 T-shirts) and some flared jeans. I LOVE flared jeans. I think they make my butt look AWESOME. Then when I think of it, I wear necklaces with them. And I always wear really sparkly earrings.

bequi said...

You should come to my closet and do a post about working with what you've got. Due to budget restraints, most of my clothes cost less than $15. My staple is the T-shirts from Downeast Basics (They have an outlet right by me, so when I have $10 I go get 4 T-shirts) and some flared jeans. I LOVE flared jeans. I think they make my butt look AWESOME. Then when I think of it, I wear necklaces with them. And I always wear really sparkly earrings.

Karen Tippett said...

I was in Target (Australian Target that is) today and saw they were selling red jeans and I immediately recalled your posts and got so excited! Am determined to find some and make them the item of winter (southern hemisphere winter... it's coming at some point)
Love the blog! Love everything about it! What more is there to say?

Sarah said...

This gave me some inspirations, thanks for sharing those looks. I think I some to check out some of the plus size stuff by Australian designers tonight.

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