Saturday, January 12, 2013

Your Signature Style III: The Missing Pieces

I forgot my pants. Source.

After the less-than-cheery step of "analyzing my mistakes", we are back on track for fun with step 3: Identify the Missing Pieces! It does require some analysis and reflection. The questions below, via the Real Simple article, are spot-on for discerning what's needed to round out your wardrobe:

Step 3: I.D. the Missing Pieces in Your Wardrobe

Separate your clothes by type. Ideally, you want to have three times as many tops as bottoms—the same ratio you see in stores, says Julie Watson, a wardrobe consultant and a former senior director of merchandising for Banana Republic. “No one remembers your pants,” she says. “We associate with people from the waist up.” Watson also suggests a 60-40 balance of staples (timeless, solid-color pieces) to novelty items (prints, funky details). To refine what you need, write down your responses to these questions, then check off what’s lacking from your closet on the Wardrobe Basics Checklist.

    What items would make the pieces you own more versatile? (For instance, a polka-dot blouse to perk up a pencil skirt or pointy-toe flats to make cropped pants look less casual.)
    Do you spend most days in a corporate environment but have a closet full of cheery sundresses? (It might lift your spirits more if you invested in a new suit that makes you feel great.)
    Have there been occasions (maybe a dressy dinner, a job interview, or a funeral) when you were at a loss about what to wear?
    Do you need to update any go-to items that you’ve reached for one too many times (say, a pair of overly dry-cleaned black pants, a wool suit with shine marks, or a ring-around-the-collar white blouse)?

Your answers reveal: The only things you should be buying. (Stay strong!)


I don't necessarily buy into the tops-to-bottoms ratios for my own closet, as I love to collect (and wear) interesting/memorable skirts. But I do need to pay attention to my tops, and not always fall back on my store of black tees.

The missing chunks in my wardrobe definitely relate to weekend wear. I tend to focus my energy and $$$ on office clothes, even though it's a laid-back environment. The second question above got me thinking about upgrading to a nicer pair of dark denims, some fresh Breton tees (they do wear out) and maybe a cool chunky necklace for casual wear. I already bought a nice black cashmere cardigan to wear any day of the week and it has filled a lot of gaps.

These classic Levis would freshen up my weekend wear.

And this cool necklace from Etsy would add vintage personality to my black/striped tees

I'm good with occasion-wear, having a classic pinstriped pantsuit and a Little Black Dress. So my shopping list is short and focused, with flexibility for dream-pieces. A woman can't be too strict about these things! For example, here are my fabulous new Cydwoq booties, not on any list but too yummy:

Megan got me hooked on this brand, and they are soooo comfortable.

Over to you, insightful fashionistas: What are the missing pieces, if any, in your closet? Do you shop by that list, or let the style spirits move you?

Reminder:  Visible Monday is on for Monday January 14th! Everyone is welcome to participate!

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  1. Great tips!  I love the photo of the little dog!  What a cutie pie!  -Marci @Stone Cottage Adventures

  2. Pam@over50feeling40January 12, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    I wish it was this easy, but I have enjoyed your posts and they got me thinking.  Have a great day Patti!!

  3. The perfect pair of jeans are on my list.  But, they've been on my list forever.  It's probably why I have like 20 pairs.  I just can't give up.

  4. This has been such a fabulous series of articles. I can't wait to start on my wardrobe using these ideas.

  5. These are such good exercises to make me stop and think instead of buying randomly. I've been meaning to get some new, colorful tees for awhile now, and they tick the box here about versatility. I'm glad that one is so easy!

    I love that "chain" necklace. You should get it!

  6. I'll have to put a pad of paper in my closet and jot down when I'm unhappy about what I'm going to wear someplace. 

  7. I have fitted cotton blouses but I don't have a truly beautiful floaty fitted blouse - in every colour (or even one). This is a serious lapse which must be righted quickly. Your Cydwoq booties are awesome!

  8. Hmm, off the top of my head: a better-quality below-knee black pencil skirt, walkable sandals, cropped cardigan(s), hats, and more gauchos! Anything else black or grey is close to not-allowed though. 

    I seriously adore your new Cydwoq booties, Patti!!!

  9. Oooh those beautiful boots! Screw classics. My closet is full of unique cuts, patterned, bright colors. I'm much happier pulling together outfits out of those pieces than one-statement and one-basic. Also I have so many bottoms. I hate buying tops because they never fit well. I wish I had 2-3 times as many tops as I do now, but truthfully I never find shirts I really love.

  10. I don't fit into that ratio either - I have 50% skirts, the remainder my wardrobe.  I am on the prowl for cute shirts though!

  11. I think you need the jeans, and so do I. And the necklace is great to! Are you getting it?

  12. Great post Patti, I really enjoy it and the doggy without pants cracks me up :-) Lately I have been buying mostly flat shoes, so I'd say the missing pieces in my closet are some comfortable heels (that you can wear more than a couple of hours running around and still feel like dancing :-))

  13. What a fun series of posts! I've enjoyed reading through them (I've been out of town). I adore the Cydwoqs in that last picture - I really want a fancy pair - I have one pair of black shoes and I love them. 

  14. Love this on now I need to visit my closet

  15. I am so going to do this! Thanks for sharing!

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