Opinions aside on the Royal family, I’m always fascinated by the way that fashion choices add to their legacy. From Victorian jewelry, influenced of course by Queen Victoria’s reign all the way to Princess Diana’s lasting sartorial influence and the current obsession with what Kate and Meghan wear. As the world watched Queen Elizabeth II’s memorial this past week, I’ve been loving all of the dialogue surrounding her approach to uniform dressing and how it helped to define her reign.
For a woman who often didn’t say very much directly to the public – she always made a clear statement with her choice of clothing. It’s an approach that we typically see from men, which makes sense since for 70 years she served in a position of power mostly inhabited by men. The result of her ‘uniform’ approach was a feeling of reliability and sensibility – even when it was a lime green skirt suit in her case.
And while I’m not sure that I would go so far as adapting my own full uniform, I have noticed that when it comes to workwear I have largely begun to follow a formula of sorts. This time of year that means a blazer, t-shirt and jeans or trousers. A structured shift dress layered with a collared shirt. Or, in the case of this tweed number, a matching set. I know I feel good in these pieces, so I don’t have to worry about the fussiness of an outfit distracting me from the work at hand. My employees know what to expect from me (which may sound trivial, but take if from her Majesty, it adds stability and sets a tone). And frankly, it makes the mornings a whole lot easier because I can mix and match all of these pieces easily.
I don’t suspect that anyone will be writing think pieces about King Charles wardrobe anytime soon.. and for that reason alone, I must say, I’ll miss the Queen.
These blue croc slingbacks feel both classic and modern at the same time. Code STEELE15 gets you 15% off your order. I have another pair of heels from this brand and they’re truly comfortable.
Plaid is always a win for fall, even better in the form of loafers.
Ballet flats are back in a big way this fall (although I never think they’re out of style) – but this true “ballet” look with the elastic strap is particularly on trend. I love this velvet option.
Last year I coveted these Mary Jane heels and then missed them when they sold-out. They’re back this year and I’m scooping them up.
Chunky loafers are having a moment but if you’re looking for a pair that feels on trend but still wearable and classic – these would be my top pick, in chic black patent with tassels and horsebit hardware.
This brand is definitely an investment, but if you’re adding a staple to your wardrobe I can’t recommend the ‘perfect pumps’ enough. Impeccable quality and truly built for comfort. I have the black suede version, but this chocolate croc pair would be my next pick. Code: SARAHFLINT-BASTEELE gets you $50 off your first order.
Feathers! I just found the most incredible pair of secondhand feather Manolo Blahniks for an absolute steal on The Real Real.. but if you want to get in on the moment but don’t want the hunt, these mules look great.
These red ballet mules deserve a trip to Paris! This New York based brand is my go to for chic flats. Code: STEELE10 gets you 10% off.
If you’ve got Fall weddings or events – these strappy pearl heels would be so chic. Wear them straight through the holidays.
It’s officially the season for boots. A no brainer with a pair of jeans and just as easy with a dress – I love the versatility of a great pair of boots this time of year. I’ve been wearing the two black pairs in row 2 (lug sole and patent pointy toe) for several years now and I just got the middle pair in the top row and am SO excited to break them out.
While some of these are a bigger investment – I really believe in putting a bit of money into a great pair of boots or two that you know you’ll wear constantly and will hold up for years to come. I own about half of the pairs shown here and can personally vouch for the quality and comfort – and the others are all from brands that I really trust and love.
I’ll take solid color coats and sweaters, skirts and shirts.. but when it comes to dresses – I like ’em printed. While they may seem statement making to some, I always felt like they’re the easiest way to get dressed. Grab a printed dress, throw on a few accessories that tie into the key print colors – and you’re out the door.
A lot of the dresses on the market this season tend to be too ‘Little House on the Prairie’ for me – a look that looks so cute on plenty of people but on me, looks as if I’m volunteering for a Civil War reenactment. To problem solve this shopping dilemma – I’ve been having good luck with designer discount site The Outnet (not sponsored, I’m just genuinely excited about my recent finds), where I happened upon this cute geometric shirt dress style from French brand Maje that’s better suited to my style. A nice reminder that trends come and go, but finding silhouettes that you feel good in will work forever.
I’ve spent the better part of two years hitting reset on my shopping habits and my wardrobe as a whole. Training myself to diligently ignore trends, invest in classics and donate/sell anything left in my closet that didn’t feel “forever” to me. And I’m pretty close to a wardrobe that for me – is perfect. I rarely shop fast fashion anymore and I never find myself feeling like I have nothing to wear. It feels great. But not that I’ve made it, it feels like I can open myself up to introducing a few statement styles into the mix. Things that – when thrown on with those more classic pieces – feel curated and add interest to my outfits. A little goes a long way here, but above are some of the pieces that I’ve either picked up lately or currently have lingering in my online shopping carts. After all, life is too short to not have a little fun with it all.
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