Top: c/o Everlane (also available at Nordstrom), Jeans: Levi’s 721 jeans (lot’s of pairs also available on Shopbop), Leopard loafers: Sam Edelman Lior Loafers (come in so many other colors, too!) you also saw them styled in this post, also–these leopard loafers with the bows are SOO cute! Bag: Rebecca Minkoff–exact one is sold out but this version is nearly identical (just a bit larger) and just got marked down to 40% off! Sunnies: Old from Tuckernuck but these are similar and only $55!
Let’s get really real here for a second.
Sometimes I still laugh over the fact that I write a style blog.
I reference this every so often–but if you saw what I wore back in college, you would’ve thought I was so funnnyyyy if I brought up the idea of starting a blog about style. “How many Kamchatka shots have you had, Keys?” would’ve likely been your response. (Who remembers Kamchatka? SICK.)
Anyway, I have made quite a few questionable fashion choices over the years. Like the giant gold belt I used to wear with every outfit that I thought disguised my Freshman 15 😂. But when I started to focus more on adding classic staples to my wardrobe was when things really started coming together for me.
I guess in one little corner of my mind, I’ve always had a little bit of “cool girl” insecurity that pops up every so often. For example, sometimes I get what I refer to as, “imposter syndrome” when I’m say–meeting a client for a meeting. I know that she’s my age. I’m worried that I will get to the coffee shop to find she’s wearing the COOLEST edgiest outfit. She looks like she stepped out of a high-fashion magazine. Suddenly I feel like a stupid imposter because my sweater is from GAP instead of Barney’s. Plus the trench I’m wearing is under $200 and looks like Burberry but isn’t.
“If this girl is a so called “style” blogger–why am I dressed so much cooler than her? There’s nothing trendy about her outfit,” I imagine her telling herself in my head.
Which is ridiculous, really. Isn’t it?
I mean, the reason I started writing about style in the first place is honestly because I felt like there weren’t enough “normal” girls out there on the internet. Because when I was a girl in my young twenties, I felt inadequate. Especially when I would look at my favorite fashion bloggers each morning when I got to work (because really, isn’t that what EVERYONE does when they get to work? 😂). I would think about how achieving that level of “cool” was never in the cards for me. Why couldn’t I dress like that? Why couldn’t I pull that off? (The answer: because I don’t have a million dollars and for the most part, dressing like a street style blogger at Fashion Week just takes way too much effort. WOOF.)
Years ago, I would walk into Forever21 and Zara on the regular and spend too much money on super trendy items. Honestly isn’t that what every 22 year old wants? To be cool? To be trendy? I would only wear these once or twice before they got banished to the back of some drawer, because they were “one-off” items that didn’t really play a role in building a “wardrobe.”
Amidst these trendy fast-fashion shopping sprees, I gradually realized that a lot of what I was drawn to fashion-wise was classic style–like Jackie Kennedy–or the ever popular “French girl style.” Hmmm.
Then I picked up a book in a local boutique called “I Love Your Style” while shopping with my friend Kate, and spent 20 minutes pouring over it while she tried on various items of clothing. She took note of how immersed in the book I was. She surprised me with it as a gift a few weeks later. (I love you Kate!) The book taught me something that had never really occurred to me before–that classic, timeless style was in fact, cool, too. (I would absolutely recommend it for anyone wanting to really fine-tune their personal style!)
So I guess the moral of the story is that my entire attitude toward “fashion” changed. I realized that you can still be fashionable without worrying yourself over whether or not the clothes on your body are “in” or “on trend” that season. I realized that “fashion” and “style” were two different things. They can be completely independent of one another. Realizing this was extremely liberating.
So–long story short, that sentiment is the heartbeat of The Golden Girl today. If you’ve ever wondered about the thought process behind what clothes I choose to wear on the blog–that’s it. Making everyday style approachable for every girl.
Why am I telling you all of this now? For one, to serve as a reminder to you that everyone has those negative thoughts sometimes in the back of their mind, no matter how silly they are. Blogs have pretty pictures, but the reality behind the pictures is that life isn’t perfect–and that’s okay! That’s a good thing! Imperfections teach us lessons in how to grow and evolve.
And secondly, because I thought it was an important set up for this outfit today.
Remember that cool-girl-coffee-shop-meeting-complex I described above? When I’m not sure how to be up to par with those “cool girl” fashion standards and have no earthly idea what to wear?
I pull on this outfit.
Three Wardrobe Essentials to reach for when you don’t know what to wear:
Wardrobe Essential #1: The silk button down
This shirt. Without a doubt. If I had to pick ONE top to wear to every single occasion, every day of the year–it’s this one. Hands down. No other top can be both professional and incredibly sexy, worn to a job interview or to a romantic date, to a swanky downtown party or even a dingey dive bar.
Did I mention…it’s under $100? I think my price per wear on this thing has got to be down to one cent per wear. That’s how much I wear it!
It’s made by Everlane, which is one of my favorite brands. They are actually my #1 independent brand. I love all of their clothing, and especially love what they stand for. They have ethical factories, greener production methods (their jeans are made in a factory with 98% recycled water!), outstanding quality, and “radical transparency”. Meaning, they list how much it costs to make each of their items. So, you can tell exactly how much they’re marking it up. Because there’s no middleman. They mark it up 2-3x the hard cost, vs. traditional companies, which typically mark up to 6x what it costs to make the clothing.
I love feeling good in my clothes both because they’re cute and ethically sourced. Thanks Everlane!
And nope, they aren’t sponsoring this post, and I’ve never been paid to write about them, either. I just love them that much! (Although total transparency–they do send me clothes from time to time to try and, and write about if I like them–no pressure!) But I was a fan of theirs long before the free clothes part 😉
Anyway–it’s pretty awesome to pull on a wardrobe staple I love so much and know that it came from a small American company who is making a difference in the world! I know many of you guys feel the same way about your clothing. So I highly encourage you to check them out!
For work, it looks great tucked into a pencil skirt or slacks. If you want to look “under-the-radar sexy-french girl” you can pair it with jeans and undo a button and wear a lacy bralette underneath. (Side note: This post on Cup of Jo is so interesting on the topic of how the French view lingerie differently than Americans. It inspired me!) The possibilities are basically endless, and aside from a black tie affair, I can’t think of a single occasion where it wouldn’t be appropriate to wear! I am partial to white, but it also comes in lot’s of other colors. (I may just have to spring for the blush next.)
Everlane also just started selling this top and some of their other key items at Nordstrom (I was so excited when I saw the launch there! GO EVERLANE!!) Additionally, they came out with one with pockets recently!
Shop Everlane silk button downs:
Wardrobe Essential #2: Levi’s
I have quite a few pairs of Levi’s that are part of my denim collection. It’s hard to choose one favorite. Honestly, it changes from time to time depending on my mood, but the 721 blue jeans are what I reach for 99% of the time. They look good with everything and look good on everyone. Honestly they are a pretty solid choice for just about any casual occasion. Not to mention, they come in just about every wash imaginable and are super comfy, too! (Shopbop sells quite a few as well!)
What I love about Levi’s is that they have always been in-style, and they’re always going to be in-style. They’re classic, timeless, and iconic. When I think about my personal style, those are three words that I always want to embody!
Wardrobe Essential #3: Classic shoes with a twist
Lately, my go-to “classic shoes with a twist” have been my leopard loafers! I absolutely ADORE them and they required no break-in time whatsoever. They are so comfortable I’ve started to wear them in place of my slippers in the house! What makes them work so well is that they’re a classic shape (not too round, not too pointed toe). They also have an updated hardware that’s a nod to the classic horsebit–BUT–the pattern makes them a really awesome statement piece. They’re a conversation starter without being too loud.
But, that doesn’t mean that this outfit combination has to be worn with leopard shoes. (Although if you wanted to dress it up, these leopard pumps would be PERFECT). Play around with classic shapes with a bit of a twist–maybe they’re a fun color, texture (like velvet!) or have fun elements like pom poms, or wrap-around features–I love this pair of block-heels with the wrap-around pom pom ends! These Mary Janes would also be a perfect option! You want something with timeless roots, that makes a bit of a statement at the same time.
Another shoe I like to swap in with my silk button down and Levi’s is this pair of oxfords (also from Everlane but available at Nordstrom as well. I’m also in love with their loafers!). They’re minimalistic, sleek, and are the perfect balance between masculine and feminine. (Plus, this look is gorrggeouuss with the perfect camel coat or classic trench coat draped over your shoulders!)
Shop more “classic shoes with a twist”
Do you have a go-to outfit or wardrobe essentials that define your personal style? What do you reach for when you don’t know what to wear?
Photos by Cassandra