Fashion is the way I introduce myself to the world, every day, without saying anything.

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Almost daily on the internet, one could find any number of articles about classic pieces (or as my SIL calls them, HQB’s – high quality basics) that every woman should own.

These articles are important, don’t get me wrong! But, as with any exercise, you have to start by looking in before you can look outward (can I get an Amen??). So, before you start trolling the web for white button downs and blue blazers, let’s scope out what you’re already workin’ with.

1. Don’t judge your wardrobe. So many times with clients I hear “I know, I know, I don’t even know why I own that…” before I even say anything. Hold up a sec, friend! Quit doling out judgement and put on your thinking cap. The good stuff is in there, you just haven’t thought of it yet. Obvious: the  Polo button down from HS with pit stains. Yes, it’s RL, and yes, it gets donated. Not so obvious: that weird tunic that you love but have no idea how to wear. Put it on, and start imagining what it would look like if it were shorter, tighter, without that appliqué rose. Got it? Now put it in the save pile and take it to be altered stat.

2. Classics don’t have to be black and white (PUN). Though black and white do go with everything, don’t feel the need to rid your closet of every other color. Those silk jammie pants from a couple years ago work great with a chambray button down, at the beach, and with some heels for going out. They’re patterned and loud, and that’s a good thing.

3. Your jewelry is part of your closet, too. You don’t need 75 H&M statement necklaces. What do you wear out of those 75? What did you wear in the last month? Keep those, and then ask yourself if any of your friends would wear what you plan on selling / donating. Every time I clean out my closet, I invariably find stuff that my best friend Gill would love. I’ve been right every time (she has the most wonderfully imaginative sense of style ever).

4. No, you don’t need an LBD. If you’re an actress, you might not ever wear a blazer. A blazer is a classic piece of clothing, but don’t get one just because every article aimed at the corporate gal says you need it. If it makes more sense for you to invest in an amazing pair of heels that you can wear to auditions, then do that. Don’t let society pigeon hole you (steps off soap box).

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5. Less is more. Build your closet. As with anything, stay true to your style. If you’re a t-shirt and jeans kind of gal, get some amazing Rag & Bone denim. If you wear dresses every day, hit up a department store and treat yourself. The goal is to invest in pieces that you’ll still wear in 10 years, or will eventually be stolen out of your closet by a daughter, son, niece or nephew.


photos by Ashley Caroline Photography.

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