Wardrobe Renos by Kay: Blog and Business

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Summer Wardrobe part a

Hi Girls,
Well believe it or not summer starts next week! Normally we'd have been wearing shorts for a month+, but not this year!! So if you are looking to complement your current summer wardrobe, check out these items below. This week, during my research, I noticed that there are some great sales to take advantage of.
My goal for writing about a summer wardrobe is to demonstrate the importance of using one or more neutral bottoms and blazers/cardigans (white, beige/light brown, brown, grey, and black) to create a truly mix & match wardrobe, which I like to call a foundational wardrobe. And why do we need to do this? - Because most of us are everyday ordinary women who have to be creative with the budget that we have. That's not to say that we don't buy those special one off pieces that don't fit into this category; but this is the starting point, or the foundation on which to add the more elaborate/patterned bottoms and/or cardigans/blazers.
These are the minimum items that create a mix/match summer wardrobe, so that when you buy something you are guaranteed to have other items with which to pair it, and which creates at least 3 outfits.

  • 1 pair of shorts in a neutral colour (casual or dressier, depending on your preference)
  • 1 pair of pants in a neutral colour likely the same colour as your shorts (casual or dressier)
  • A variety of tops (casual & dressy) but make sure either the shorts and/or pants are dressy
  • 1 blazer or cardigan in a neutral colour (until you build on cardigans of other colours this is a fall back colour that will give you a more completed look)
  • 1 blazer or cardigan in a colour that is prominent in your tops
  • 1 dress (particularly a little black dress: it's important that the fabric is appropriate for all seasons of the year, otherwise you restrict its use - all of the ones I've chosen seem appropriate, but without actually seeing them in the store I cannot be 100%).
  • (potentially 1 skirt in a neutral colour (casual or dressier, depending on your preference) (I did not include skirts due to lack of time).
Although it may seem boring, keeping to the same neutral colour for your 1 pair of shorts, pants and blazer/cardigan will give you optimal opportunities for mixing & matching, and adding in fun accessories, tops and shoes to create distinctive & creative outfits.

You could continue to add to your first neutral colour by adding in dressier or casual versions that you do not already have. Or another option is to then start building on a 2nd neutral colour.

So I think the next question is, which one or 2 neutral colours should I start building into my wardrobe? Black is always a good option unless you really don't like black. But before you make a decision be sure to lay out some of your most favourite tops, scarfs, and possibly your jewellery to help you determine which colour to start with.

The other thing to consider, especially if some of your minimal items are different neutral colours, is to know which neutral colours match. You know that the neutrals match every colour, but not all the neutral colours match.
  • White, beige, grey and black match each other.
  • Brown works with beige but not with white, grey and black
Sometimes you will see someone wear black & brown together and it make look good, but I think this is more an exception than the rule.

Have fun looking over these items which I have chosen from various canadian retailers' websites. To view the retailer, item details/price, click on the collage of photos. Then my polyvore.com page will load containing all of these items and their associated detail (by either hovering over an item, or looking at the list of items down the right side of the screen). If the retailer's price is not listed, click on the item's link for the retailer's site. This link will take you directly to that item, and you will find additional details and the price.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to add a comment or email me at kayclaresaint@gmail.com. Please note that there is another blog entry below because I ran out of space!

Below are examples of shorts and capris/pants in casual and dressier styles - in neutral colours.
I was unable to find dressier brown shorts and dressier brown pants. If I come across some, I will add them. For the black pants - there's a fine line between the two of them; both could be considered dressy, the "casual" ones are more fitted/skinny jeans, whereas the other ones are still fitted, but a bit more dressy.

1. Again back to the issue of budget, I recommend you buy a pair of pants that you can wear year round. For example, the fabric would be more on the heavier than lighter side.
2. Choose pants that have 1 colour, not 2+ colours/tones e.g. a pair of brown pants may have a light and slightly darker brown or a pair of pants that have a pin stripe in a slightly different colour. When you have two colours it creates a sort of pattern and no longer represents a clean/fresh backdrop and will compete with your focal point item e.g. patterned top.
3.If you have to make a choice between casual or dressier shorts or pants, I definitely recommend leaning towards the dressier versions. You can typically wear a casual top with a dressier pair of shorts/pants but the converse is not true; you cannot get away with wearing a dressy top with casual shorts/pants. However, in saying that, you also have to balance that with your lifestyle and comfort.

(rows from top to bottom: casual shorts, dressier shorts, casual pants, dressier pants)
summer shorts and pants


A variety of colours and styles are represented here. I absolutely love the Joe Fresh t-shirts. This spring I haven't purchased any, but the fabric, stitching, colours and pattern options are fantastic considering the price of approx. $10.

Summer tops


1 comment:

  1. Great post, Kay. And I agree - got some nice tops at Joe this season.