The Basics.

There is this myth floating around that to look your best, you must invest a great amount. I used to allow myself to be tricked into thinking that paying more for certain apparel items meant they would look better and last longer.

I have since learned and proved to myself that it just doesn’t have to be true. I have always shopped true to myself, not to a brand. I buy high and low in regards to apparel and beauty products. This doesn’t fly for everyone, but it works for me.

Here is an example. I’ve recently been on a journey to nutritional maturity. What the what? Basically, I’ve been making a concentrated effort to eat mindfully and, in turn, settle into whatever weight I feel is maintainable long-term. During this journey, if I chose to invest a great deal on the basics each time I needed a new size, well, let’s just say it wouldn’t be reasonable or smart.

I am a fan of stores like Old Navy for staples. Basics are items we build an outfit around almost daily, whether we dress it up for work or wear it casually on the weekends. My tip for shopping at Big Box stores like Old Navy without sacrificing style is to buy simple. What do I mean? Read on…

  1. Opt for solids and basic patterns. Bold patterns can often, not always, take your look from chic to cheap.
  2. Try everything on. In these stores, sizing is a sad issue. You might walk away with three pairs of pants in as many sizes. That’s okay, as long as they fit appropriately. TIP: When purchasing jeans with a bit of stretch in them, keep in mind, they may stretch as you wear them. If you are concerned about what size, consider taking them home and wearing them around the house for a while before taking off the tags. If they stretch and you think a smaller size is best, run right back to the store and get what fits!
  3. Ankle Length. Pants that hit just above the ankle bone are quite flattering. I often have pants, even and especially the ones I purchase on the less expensive side, hemmed to this magical length. Much higher and they are just capris that show off the bulk of your calf.
  4. Build Simply. When you get your new basics home, build outfits around these pieces. Accessorize simply. I’ve included a few ideas below.

Black Pants

What I love about these is that they have back pockets – praise! I really loathe black pants that act like leggings and have no pockets. Also, these have a slimming waistband as opposed to a bulky zipper and button to deal with.

*Wearing 2 Regular (Would have preferred 2 Short. I will have these hemmed just above my ankle bone.)

White Jeans

These are make with a “Stay-White Technology” that apparently repel stains. AND, the pockets match my skin – YAHOO! No more white pockets that stick out like a sore thumb.

*Wearing 2 Short – I will not have to hem these, they hit at the perfect spot. They have stretch and will loosen up a bit, based on experience.)

Tank (Similar)

The thin stripes are the key here. This is the perfect layering element to add a little something extra to almost any outfit.

Argh. This tank must only be available in stores at this time. For your reference, the item number is #209473. The one I have linked to is the exact same style, just not the stripes. 

*Wearing Extra Small – Hangs a little loose

Striped Long Sleeve V-Neck

Give me ALL the V-Necks! Super flattering on all body types and again, the small stripes, more flattering than a bold horizontal stripe that adds bulk and width.

*Bought a Small – Form fitting

Off-White Tee

The Luxe line at Old Navy is a “feel good” experience. It is a step up, softer and a bit nicer. This wears smooth and overall higher quality. I love the subtle light beige color that is rich along with the delicious fabric. Additionally, I appreciate where the arm length hits. It’s more flattering than many tees.

*Wearing an Extra Small – again, seems to run a bit loose.

*Size Reference