When I was in high school, I would scour the clearance racks for clothes at my Jersey mall, and trade tops with my best friend so rapidly, that I proudly never wore the same outfit twice during my senior year.
Thinking back, it was so wasteful — of money, time and clothes (but I dare you to tell that to the very obstinate teenage Ang!).
Now, as a full-time traveling mother of two with a burgeoning business, being a high-maintenance fashion maven daily is honestly not high on the priority list — but feeling and looking good are still crucial. So I consulted with my dear friend Alli Barry, a fashion and home stylist based in Brooklyn, New York. Her first piece of advice on looking great? “Make sure your clothes fit your body,” she emphasizes. “A good tailor is your secret weapon!”
I had Alli choose five essential items that can elevate a busy mompreneur’s wardrobe. This list is amazingly simple, versatile, and genius.
1. A great pair of jeans.
A pair of great fitting and comfortable jeans will serve as a foundation for your wardrobe. Alli says, “Pair a nice jean with a stylish tee and scarf for daytime, or a blouse and blazer for a dinner out.”
1) Joe’s ‘Kai’ Honey Bootcut Jeans // 2) Madewell 9″ High Riser Skinny Jeans // 3) AG Stevie Mid-Rise Jeans
4) Hudson Jeans ‘Ginny’ Crop Stretch Jeans // 5) Wit & Wisdom ‘Super Smooth’ Stretch Denim Skinny Jeans
A blazer is a versatile wardrobe staple that can instantly elevate almost any outfit. I love how it can take you from day to night, effortlessly. “Pair a blazer with a T-shirt, jeans and sneakers for daytime,” Alli recommends, “or a statement blouse and heels for dinner or a business meeting.”
3. Stylish Tee.
Let’s face it, t-shirts are a must for comfort and function — but they can absolutely feel chic and even luxurious too, when choosing fabrics like modal or linen. Alli reminds us, “We all live in t-shirts, so why not have some that are a little more trendy and fun? Colors, patterns, mix it up — it’ll add zest to your wardrobe.”
4. Updated Sneakers.
Want a perfect everyday shoe? There are some designers out there that put a fun and chic spin on sneakers. Alli says, “Sneakers have come a long way, they’re no longer just for the gym — choose a cute stylish one with some fun color combos, textures or detailed embellishments.” #ComfortForTheWin!
3) Michael Kors Katie Metallic Leather Sneaker // 4) Vince Coventry Fringe Leather Skate Sneaker
5) Joie Kidmore Sneakers // 6) Tory Burch Lennon Perforated Slip-On Sneaker
5. Statement Blouse.
There’s hardly an outfit that can’t be punched up by a dressy top with bold color or cut. “You can wear a statement blouse with your jeans and blazer — they can work in so many situations during the day, like a business lunch, or a parent-teacher conference,” Alli notes. “Then you can choose a sexy, low-neck blouse for date night with the hubby, or a sleeveless one under a blazer for a business meeting.”
4) Free People Mango Tree Buttondown
Alli Barry lives in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY with her husband Pierce, 2-year-old son Oliver, and cat Mama. She is a fashion and home stylist, and can be spotted often at Brooklyn Bridge Park, letting little Ollie run off lots of steam. If you’d like some fantastic, practical styling or organizational advice for your wardrobe or home, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.