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© 2018 Vittor. Photo Credit: Whitney Vittor. Photos used by permission. All rights reserved.

Fashion is the industry of marketing new clothing trends. Style is creating a work of art that describes your identity through clothing. Most people confuse the two. You can be stylish without being fashionable. Fashion is quite taxing on the budget. One trend cycles out in a few months as another cycles in.

The best way to build your closet is by purchasing high-quality basics (thrifting is best) and make as many combinations from those pieces as possible.

My style is best described as effortless rock star chic. While I have a few ornate pieces in my collection, most of my closet revolves around basics.

© 2018 Stanley. Photo Credit: Steve Stanley. The Frugal Fashionista. All rights reserved.

Before we start, there are four rules to follow:

  • Everything must fit properly for your body type.
  • You are building an entire look, which includes hair and makeup.
  • Consider versatility when purchasing basics.
  • Feel free to experiment. You don’t have to wear clothing in it’s traditional state. Roll cuffs. Tuck and untuck. Find new ways of wearing the same items.

Look 1: Feminine with fierce

Basics: white lace dress, statement heels

© 2018 Narramore. Photo Credit: Richard Narramore. Photos used by permission. All rights reserved.

I think I found this dress at a Goodwill. It’s your typical strappy lace dress with a sweetheart neckline. Think your run-of-the-mill wedding reception/church dress.

To add a sense of style to this ordinary dress, I added a military jacket. This blazer is a steal I found on Thred Up. It’s an Elizabeth and James blazer I purchased for $50 new with tags. If you’re not familiar, this is Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen’s ready-to-wear line. It retailed for $500.

© 2018 Narramore. Photo Credit: Richard Narramore. Photos used by permission. All rights reserved.

To prevent the style from looking monochromatic, I added a floral kitten heel I bought new on clearance.

Part of looking chic involves the I-threw-this-on-last-minute-and-walked-out-the-door aesthetic, whether this is actually true. For this reason, I wore studs and red lipstick to keep this look somewhat minimal.

© 2018 Narramore. Photo Credit: Richard Narramore. Photos used by permission. All rights reserved.

I like to mix two parts feminine with one part badass. Lace and metal. Soft and hard. It’s a very vocal style.

Look 2: The Little Black Dress

Basics: LBD

© 2018 Principe. Photo Credit: Tara Principe. Photos used by permission. All rights reserved.

I bought this kimono on a road trip with the hubby. If kimonos are not your thing, you can achieve a similar look with a duster or floral trench coat.

The colors on the kimono are gold, red, and green primarily. I wore a red slingback heel to bring out the red and an orange lip to give contrast to the red.

© 2018 Principe. Photo Credit: Tara Principe. Photos used by permission. All rights reserved.

I bought this lbd from Goodwill. It’s a simple halter dress. Nothing too fancy. You can dress it up. You can dress it down.

I’m also pairing the outfit with a slight statement earring in gold and silver. Be careful with accessories. It easy to go over the top.

© 2018 Principe. Photo Credit: Tara Principe. Photos used by permission. All rights reserved.

This is the best part of owning a kimono:

© 2018 Principe. Photo Credit: Tara Principe. Photos used by permission. All rights reserved.

Look 3: Business Meets Casual

Basics: fitted jean, tunic, boyfriend blazer, flats, scarf

© 2018 Principe. Photo Credit: Tara Principe. Photos used by permission. All rights reserved.

Sometimes I mix a bunch of basics together.

I really need to gush about this Antonio Milani jacket for a moment. I bought it for pennies on Thred Up. I thought it was traditional fitted jacket until it arrived, hence the rolled cuff. Short people problems. But hey, it looks intentionally stylish.

I think the French invented the boyfriend style. I could be wrong, but this is the story I tell myself at night. Boyfriend style (jeans, jackets, shirts) are looser versions of women’s clothing designed to look a tad larger for the I-stole-my-man’s-clothes look.

© 2018 Principe. Photo Credit: Tara Principe. Photos used by permission. All rights reserved.

Underneath is a plain neutral tunic, in this case a keyhole tunic. To add flavor to the outfit, I wore a brightly colored patterned scarf.

I wore d’Orsay flats. You know, those almost-not-a-shoe flats with a pointed toe and no sides. For earrings, I wore chunky gold hoops.

I wish you could see my makeup. It’s very fashion forward. I recreated a tutorial on YouTube with MAC pigment in pink on the inner corner of the eye only. If you’re interested, the tutorial is here.

© 2018 Principe. Photo Credit: Tara Principe. Photos used by permission. All rights reserved.

Random style tip:

The jeans are a curvy skinny fit with a little stretch designed for women with hips. The leg is tapered. I’m wearing a loose tunic and jacket, which can create girth if not paired with a pant that gives the allusion of skinniness. The long scarf draws the eye downward, making you look leaner.

© 2018 Principe. Photo Credit: Tara Principe. Photos used by permission. All rights reserved.

Look 4: Mixing Things Up

Basics: leggings, neutral heels, printed dress

© 2018 Principe. Photo Credit: Tara Principe. Photos used by permission. All rights reserved.

I love this dress. I found it at a Goodwill Select, new with tags for 90% off. Prints are fun. To make this outfit more fashion forward, I paired it with color block heels and a statement jewelry.

© 2018 Principe. Photo Credit: Tara Principe. Photos used by permission. All rights reserved.

I love these earrings. I bought them on sale. They add a pop of color to the outfit. I bought the ring at Goodwill for $5. For additional fun-ness, I wore an orange lip.

The key is to avoid looking matchy matchy. It’s okay to wear conflicting styles if the end result is cohesive.

Look 5: Like a Boss

Basics: boyfriend jacket, printed top, leggings

© 2018 Principe. Photo Credit: Tara Principe. Photos used by permission. All rights reserved.

Here I go with the conflicted patterns. The top and shoes are the same color. This is mixing patterns 101 for the novices and the skeptics.

 

What you can’t see, is the glitter heel.

Same boyfriend jacket and leggings. I do re-wear my pieces. That’s the point of this exercise, darling.

My mom gave my this top. The ruffles hide poochiness.

I’m also a sucker for a statement earring (could you tell). I purchased these at Back on the Rack Upscale Resale.

© 2018 Principe. Photo Credit: Tara Principe. Photos used by permission. All rights reserved.

I’m growing out the pixie. I have to give Whitney props for cutting it just right.

Random style tip: Tell your hairdresser you plan to grow out your pixie one to two haircuts out. Whitney cut it in a way that allows the hair to grow out more seamlessly.

I tousled the hair on one side and created a french twist on the other. It’s perfectly imperfect.

No powerful woman look is complete without manicured black nails, winged eyeliner, and a red lip.

© 2018 Principe. Photo Credit: Tara Principe. Photos used by permission. All rights reserved.

I hope this blog inspired you to raid your closet and to find new ways of wearing existing items. Raid your closet. Play dress up. Take mirror selfies. Have fun.

Happy shopping!

© 2018 Principe. Photo Credit: Tara Principe. Photos used by permission. All rights reserved.