Fashion Magazine

A Quick Look at My Fall Purchases

By Bridgetteraes @BridgetteRaes

A Quick Look at My Fall PurchasesAs a personal stylist I am a bit of an expert on shopping for clothing, I give lots of tips about it on this blog. When it comes to shopping for myself it is usually a very different, often bordering on being downright comical, story. What is the saying, the cobbler's kids have no shoes? While I do spend plenty of time in the stores it's rarely for me. After long days of pulling clothes for clients, helping them try them on and just being wiped out, all I usually want to do is just go home and not look at or think about anything clothing related. Therefore, when I need to go shopping for myself it's not the wonderful, service-oriented, lavish experience that I give my clients. Hmm, maybe I need to hire my own stylist?

This past month was exceptionally busy. To give you some perspective on just how busy it was, in what I would call a typical busy month, I am usually juggling five active clients. Active meaning, they have appointments (sometimes several) booked that month, I am fully engaged with them, corresponding, planning, pre-shopping, and more. These active clients with appointments are the ones who are in the front of my mental filing cabinet, so to speak. They are my priorities, while others, who aren't booked with me, sort of float around in the back of my mind. Well, this month, instead of five active clients, I had 15 which is three times the normal number of what I consider a sane amount to handle. Add this client load to my other responsibilities, like blogging, being the accessories writer for and just the daily routine of running a business, I only had one day off in October, and that was on the 12th to go to a dentist appointment.

From a business standpoint, I am not certainly not complaining about the workload. Heck, if every month could be like this, I'd be thrilled. But from a personal perspective it was tough. Plus, you have to remember, I'm a one woman show. I don't have an assistant a staff or a team. Every word on this blog (except for Friday's posts which are done by Cameron), every social media post I put out there, email I answer, newsletter I write and article of clothing that is pulled for a client is done by me. Although, this may have to change or the next thing I might buy for myself is a strait jacket.

Yet, despite the fact that my shopping is way more haphazard than it is for my clients, I do have one advantage over most women who go shopping for clothes, I am in the stores constantly. I have a very strict policy that I never shop for myself on my clients' time, however, this doesn't mean I am not mentally shopping for myself in my head. I have the great advantage of not only being in the stores but also being in the dressing rooms, seeing how things fit, etc.. When the time comes when I do have a spare second, I have already scoped out the stores many times over. I remember one time being in the shoe department over the summer pre-pulling shoes for a client who was coming in. In the spare 20 minutes I had before she arrived, I ran up to another department and picked up the few summer things I needed. Had I not been fully prepared and well versed in what the store had, I couldn't have been able to do that. So, yes, it's a little crazy when you have to shop like me, but it doesn't mean I'm not effective.

This brings me to last week, which was, for lack of a better word, a total sh*tstorm with clients. Looking at my calendar, knowing that it was a "now or never" moment to not only pick up some desperately needed fall pieces, while also taking advantage of the amazing Friends and Family sale that Lord & Taylor had going on, I managed to carve out a little time to shop for myself. Below is what I bought, why I bought it and how I planned on using it. Perhaps you will be able to find some ideas, while also gleaning some advice from why I purchased what I did, for yourself.

A Quick Look at My Fall Purchases

Purchase #1- Ivanka Trump Navy Blazer
A Quick Look at My Fall Purchases

This blazer has been wildly popular with many of my clients this season. Not only is it reasonably priced, but many of my clients have really seen the benefits of having this useful piece in their wardrobes. In fact, I styled a client in this blazer several ways in a past post you might want to check out. Even a client of mine, whose clothing budget is much (much) higher than mine, also picked up this blazer when she saw me wearing it.

My choice to purchase this blazer was the fact that I noticed the need in my own wardrobe. I was relying on a navy cardigan during times when a navy blazer could have been better and there were a few times while getting dressed that I wished I had one, so I knew I would wear it. I have already worn this jacket twice in less than a week. Considering I got it on sale for under $100, I have no doubt this will more than pay for itself.

Purchase #2- Chambray Shirt
A Quick Look at My Fall Purchases

I own a chambray shirt and I love the look. However, what I didn't love about the one I owned was the fit. To compensate for my bust size I had to buy larger and it just didn't have enough shape. What drew me to this style is the fabrication. It looks like cotton chambray but it is actually Lyocell, an incredibly soft fabric that you just want on your body. The fabric also has a great shape, buttons well over my bust and has a longer shirttail so it wears like a tunic. I have worn this top twice in a week, once under the navy blazer with a pair of skinny jeans and cognac boots and the second time under a grey merino v-neck sweater, which is another purchase I will get to in a second.

Purchase #3- Slim Knit Tops in Grey
A Quick Look at My Fall Purchases

About a year and a half ago, I bought this camel sweater vest that I love so much I blogged about it. With sweater vests still being incredibly popular, I found I needed more to wear underneath it. While I had a slim grey turtleneck and a drapey ivory top, I noticed that I was styling a lot of clients with slim grey crew neck tops underneath the vests they bought this season. With the sale, I was able to get each top for about $10. I'm not kidding! I also plan on wearing these long sleeve tops under my navy blazer, under other cardigans, and just times when I want to wear a basic tee with long sleeves.

Purchase #4- Vince Camuto ivory Tunic Sweater
A Quick Look at My Fall Purchases

Sweaters are a big favorite of mine. My life is relatively casual, even when I am seeing clients. For client work, I'd describe my style as smart casual because the work can be very physical (I am usually sitting on the floor when helping clients with shoes). I found I was lacking sweaters I could wear with leggings or skinny jeans and I liked the shape of this one. One way I plan on wearing this sweater is with my chocolate brown leggings and cognac boots. I haven't worn this sweater yet but am looking forward to the opportunity once the weather gets colder.

Purchase #5- Merino Cardigan in Navy
A Quick Look at My Fall Purchases

I mentioned my existing navy cardigan earlier. It's a classic boyfriend style and I have relied on heavily over the past few years. Before heading out to the store, I noted that I wanted to bring in a new style that was better for winter (the one I currently have is cotton) and I had certainly proved to myself that this classic cardigan style is a staple for me. I think I got this merino cardigan for under $40 on sale.

Purchase #5- Merino V-neck in Charcoal
A Quick Look at My Fall Purchases

I saw myself wearing this sweater a variety of ways. One way I have already worn it is with the chambray shirt underneath is with the tail of the shirt peeking out. It was cute. I also love it simply with just a pair of jeans, boots and fun accessories and scarves. If you haven't guessed by now, my style is pretty classic. Like the cardigan, I think I got this for under $40 on sale.

Purchase #6- Lord & Taylor brand ivory Blouse
A Quick Look at My Fall Purchases

I have a severe lack of blouses in my closet. For one, I don't need them nearly as much as I need knits. Second, button down blouses often gape on me, and, third, I don't have a strong need for anything overly precious in my closet, meaning, because of my more casual lifestyle, I typically go to knits first. However, I wanted one blouse that was easy to wear, didn't gape, had some shape and was long enough to wear with leggings and skinny jeans. When I found this top it hit all the points I was after. I have already worn in under my navy blazer. I also appreciated the fact that is machine washable and easy to care for. Rarely do I make it to the dry cleaner.

Purchase #7- Calvin Klein White Button Down Shirt
A Quick Look at My Fall Purchases

I definitely want to check out Tuxe's button down body suit shirt and covet Hugo Boss' Bashina white shirt that all my client's love, however, I found this white shirt from Calvin Klein that I wasn't sure was going to fit my boobs. Yet, it did, and it had shape, even untucked. I love the look of a classic white shirt and finding a needle in a haystack is easier than finding a shirt that meets all these points. This one did, plus it is non-iorn.

Purchase #8- Sam Edelman Chelsea Style Rain Boots
A Quick Look at My Fall Purchases

I had pulled these boots for a client of mine who loved them. I already own a classic pair of Hunter rain boots in silver but they were getting old and worn out. I like Hunter rain boots but with the tall shaft they can sometimes be a pain to wear. I wanted something different.

Even without the sale, these boots are only $55. I bought this pair in olive and took a serious chance wearing them last week without testing out how comfortable they'd be. After four straight days of being on my feet, with rain in the forecast, I put them on for a full day of more walking and standing. Cautious, I put a pair of flats in my bag, just in case I needed to take off the boots due to discomfort, but didn't need to. I was comfortable all day long, so much so that I wished these rain boots were everyday boots instead. I may look for a similar Sam Edelman style in leather for a future purchase. For now, I am unbelievably happy with these for rainy days.

Where's the color?

You may be wondering where all the color is in my purchases? Basically, everything I bought was either grey, navy or ivory, excluding the olive booties. However, you have to keep in mind, these pieces were brought in to enhance my current wardrobe. I have plenty of accessories, boots and other wardrobe items that have color in them. Second, I really don't wear a ton of color in the fall or winter. My fall/winter wardrobe is primarily a palette of navy, grey, denim, chocolate, olive, camel and cognac. If I do add color it is usually done through my scarves, jewelry and handbags.

I also keep my wardrobe neutral heavy because I like a small, compact capsule that can be mixed and matched. Except in the summer, I really don't wear prints and I don't like things that are too specific that can't be worn multiple ways. I'd much rather use my accessories to do that, not my clothes.

The last reason I keep my wardrobe as simple and easy to mix and match is because there were a lot of years of building my business where I didn't make as much money as I do now. Some of these years I needed to be painfully frugal while also needing to look good. Despite having more money, I still shop with a frugal (not cheap) mindset to ensure that I get the most out of what I buy.

The clothing is great, the price tag was even better

Lord & Taylor and Saks 5th Avenue are definitely the two stores I shop at the most with clients. Sadly, many people have told me that Lord & Taylor isn't as great where they live, but here in New York it is amazing, even when they aren't having sales. But when they are having sales, the prices are crazy good. Everything I bought came to under $400 and I saved over $150 with the sale. Yet, I still shopped mindfully. The things I purchased were chosen out of need, consideration, the avoidance of duplication and to enhance what I already own. Unless I loved something, could see it being a need in my current wardrobe I didn't take buy it.

I am sure that your schedule is as busy as mine is and that your opportunities to get to the stores are about as slim too, so I hope you found this post on my purchases helpful for yourself.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog