TORONTO - It's the classic shopaholic's conundrum: must-have items in an ever-changing fashion world can burn a serious hole in your oversized clutch. However, a little creativity can go a long way and, if you're inventive enough, you might even be able to wear the same item twice in one week.
I tapped into my inner child, mimicking a rainy Saturday afternoon of dress-up, to experiment with some essential gear. The results? A guide to getting creative with three staples that should be in your wardrobe: high-waisted pants, Oxford shirts and rompers.
1. High-waisted pants
Ladies, rejoice! Mom-butts have made a glorious comeback. Elongating and slimming, a decent black, high-waisted pant flatters everyone; accentuating a small waist and creating an hourglass, curvy shape. You can pair them with a crop top for a casual look or with a slouchy sweater, tucked in at the front, for a more nonchalant style - a perfect combo of laid-back and chic.
For a night out, pair them with a skin-tight top, a belt and heels; throw on a blazer and the look goes from day to night in a cinch. A good quality pair of pants is always a must for any professional wardrobe, which makes them even more justifiable to have in stock!
2. Oxford shirts
Whether you're borrowing a button-down from Dad or going for a more feminine Peter Pan-esque collar, it's a fact: you can never have too many Oxford shirts. They're so dynamic - it was far too easy for me to get carried away.
For instance, bringing a "Canadian Tuxedo" into the modern day is easily accomplished: pair a denim button-down, with high-waisted jeans or shorts (told you they'd come in handy!) and a cute pair of wedges and you have the perfect outfit for a stroll in the Distillery District.
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A trend we'll never tire of is sheer, which gives a collared shirt a touch of panache and makes it perfectly acceptable to tuck into a pair of yoga pants. Wrinkled? Have no fear, tucking in just the front of your shirt or tying a knot will transform your look.
With spring and summer just around the corner, wearing an Oxford shirt might not be so practical. Instead, for a breezy (and ventilated) look, wear a pencil skirt with a sleeveless collared-shirt and you'll have the best of both worlds.
The best thing about a romper is that it is already an outfit in itself. That said, it's hard to get good use out of them, which forces you to get creative when accessorising. A pant onesie, paired with a skinny belt and a lace cropped jacket, can be worn just about anywhere. Better yet, pair a bold floral print with a denim jacket or make it work-appropriate with a pair of opaque tights and a long blazer.
Wearing a bikini underneath a romper with flats and a bold hat is another cute look that you won't mind wearing anytime, be it on the boardwalk or at a backyard barbecue.
Experimenting with your closet doesn't always have to mean war. Being thoughtful about what you can do with what you have, makes for an evolving selection of outfit choices (not to mention your wallet will thank you). So go ahead, take back your wardrobe!
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