Saturday, January 8, 2011

Inspiration Boards: Back To Basics

In a world where embellishments like sequins, studs, lace, rhinestones, lame, and other various additions are taking over the world, it's hard to remember that the best complements to them are the basics. The basics are those few foundation pieces that can be worn over and over without anyone noticing as long as you change it up with "embellished" pieces. By having a strong foundation of basics, you can wear every trend every year without having too many clothes in your closet. So, I decided to do a "Back To Basics" styling post featuring designer brands. You can obtain basics at any price, but let's be honest, it's more fun to play with designer items :) The basics I will be focusing on are:

1. Denim Jacket
2. Blazer
3. The LBD (Little Black Dress)
4. Basic Tank Top
5. Classic White Shirt
6. Jeans
7. Black Pants
8. The Pencil Skirt

LOOK 1: Denim Jacket + Classic White Shirt
Back To Basics 1

A classic white blouse gets an update in the form of a tunic. By adding a classic denim jacket and black jeans, you get the double denim trend without wearing the "denim suit". What could have been a super casual looks gets upgraded by adding glam jewelry, fierce booties, and a vintage Chanel backpack.

Denim Jacket $380.60 at Net A Porter (no longer available)
T by Alexander Wang Top $235 at La Garconne
Moto Jamie Jeans $80 at Top Shop
Pierre Hardy Boots $1,112.15 at Colette
Vintage Chanel Backpack $2,190 at American Rag
Earrings $13.98 at Make Me Beautiful
Dara Ettinger Jordana Cuff $238 at Max&Chloe

Back To Basics 2

The LBD. Every woman should have one, because it can be styled in so many ways. This LBD is intended for going out in this look. By adding a jeweltone shoe and clutch, it keeps the look vibrant. A velvet turban headband and jewelry with shine to it adds to the sexy allure of the ensemble.

Herve Leger Dress $1,850 at Net-A-Porter
Yves Saint Laurent Sandals $776 at Montaigne Market
Bottega Veneta Clutch $1,220 at Barney's
Turban Headband $24 at Topshop
Kenneth Jay lane Earrings $150 at Charm & Chain
Mixed Bangle Set $6.99 at Rue 21

LOOK 3: The Blazer
Back To Basics 3

A blazer is an important staple for both men and women. This blazer has details that make it a tad more special. With bold buttons and fringe detail, it makes it not just a foundation pieces, but something that can be worn throughout the seasons. By adding a pair of matching trousers in a trendier fit, you end up with the no so classic suit. This looks goes sexy corporate with a floral bustier, matching platform pumps with a bow detail, a classic doctor bag, simple stud earrings and a vintage inspired watch. Say to the corporate world, "I am a powerful woman, and I embrace my curves and still get the job done on time."

3.1 Phillip Lim Blazer $650 at Barney's
Rebecca Taylor Bustier $156 at Pink Mascara
American Vintage Pants $95.70 at My Wardrobe
Echinacea Pumps $233.22 at Kurt Geiger
Brea MM Doctor Bag $1,430 at Louis Vuitton
Anita Ko Earrings $300 at Net-A-Porter
Genuine Leather Strap Watch $45 at ASOS

LOOK 4: Basic Tank Top + Jeans
Back To Basics 4

A basic tank top and wide leg jeans get bohemian styling by adding a printed fringe jacket, simple wedges, a messenger bag, and tons of gold and stone jewelry. The key here is to add glam to the bohemian look with elements like metallics and print. You can go from shopping at the farmer's market straight to cocktails without changing a thing. Wear the top two rings on one hand with some of the bangles and wear the last ring one another with the rest of the bangles to keep the look balances.

Kite & Butterfly Jacket $264 at My Wardrobe
Long Perfect Tank $7.50 at Old Navy
Hudson Jeans $202 at Zappos
Diane von Furstenberg Wedges $295 at Net-A-Porter
Lucky Brand Bag $107 at Piperlime
Minimal Hammered Hoops $68 at Kyler Designs
Alexander McQueen Necklace $495 at Net-A-Porter
Adreena Bracelet Set $100 at Amrita Singh
Gucci Bamboo Ring $1,590 at Net-A-Porter
Alexander McQueen Skull Ring $295 at Net-A-Porter
Yves Saint Laurent Artsy Glass Ring $195 at Net-A-Porter

LOOK 5: Black Pants
Back To Basics 5

The black trouser gets a major update. In the style of harem pants, these black pants have the ability to be dressed down without looking like you tried to hard. For those who are seriously confident, rock these trousers with a casual cropped graphic tee. By adding the anorak, studded bag, and floral boots, you give off an indie rocker vibe. An animal inspired ring pulls supports the watch and studs, collectively adding to a complete neo-indie rocker ensemble.

Surplus Anorak $70 at American Eagle Outfitters
O'Neill Crop Tee $23 at Pac Sun
Maison Martin Margiela Pants $540 at Net-A-Porter
ACRE Boots $78 at ASOS
Alexander Wang Bucket Bag $825 at Net-A-Porter
Zoe Studs $3,780 at Barney's
Nixon Watch $362 at ASOS
Elizabeth & James Ring $325 at Bergdorf Goodman

LOOK 6: The Pencil Skirt
Back To Basics 6

The pencil skirt is an any occasion staple that should remain in a woman's wardrobe throughout her entire life. The pencil skirt gets edgy with a sequin top, studded oxford flats, and glam jewelry. By wearing black tights, it keeps the look more sophisticated.

Tory Burch Top $395 at Net-A-Porter
Alexander McQueen Skirt $565 at Net-A-Porter
Kate Spade Tights $29 at Zappos
Candela Oxfords $139 at Endless
Judith Leiber Clutch $1,395 at Net-A-Porter
Caroll's Earrings $44 at Fantasy Jewelry Box
Power Bracelet $149 at Amazon
Candi's Ring $29 at Fantasy Jewelry Box

The key to maintaining great style is to always keep your basics and invest in them. By investing in great basics, you can participate in trends and still know that when trends fade you have a great style Be picky with the way you incorporate trends into your wardrobe. If you want a trendy style, the best way to do it is in a neutral shade, that way the item can actually become more of a basic than a trendy item.

What items do you consider basics? Everyone has a different set of basics based on their personal style. Feel free to share what yours are by leaving a comment :) For more Inspiration Board posts, check back here at Sarah Jane R. Styling!

Sarah Jane R.

Sets created on Polyvore.


  1. you have done an amazing job on all of these! I am in love with look 4!!!

  2. Dream outfits! Love the gold earrings in look 1!! ;)

  3. LOVE looks 3, 4 & 6!!!

    YSL Arty ring is next on my list!

  4. Really great outfit boards!! Loving the blazer you chose! It's perfect. Thanks for your lovely comment! :)

    Kirstin Maire

  5. Really loving these looks!!...especially the kite and butterfly jacket in the jeans & tank look...

  6. Love the second and fourth looks! :)

  7. Hi! So I emailed you a couple days ago but I am guessing I made a spelling mistake!!! Could you email me I don't get your email wrong! hah. My email is!

    Lovin all these looks by the way:) You are so amazing at styling!

  8. Look #4 is right up my bohemian alley! hehe. Great work!

  9. the chanel bag is to die for<3 xx stop by sometime darling:)hope you like my blog xxx


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