With a passion for fashion starting at a very young age, I was destined to wind up in the industry at some point and that some point turned into a lifelong career. My love for fashion, and more specifically style, came from recognizing the ability to truly have your style be an extension of you! A misconception that I always challenge is that you have to have money to be considered ‘fashionable’ – that couldn’t be farther from the truth. When it comes to shopping destinations as a consumer these days opportunities are endless – from buying used online, on consignment, or at thrift stores, to buying low price points from fast fashion retailers or discounted department stores such as Winners, all the way to luxury retail stores and shops of the top designers around the world. When it comes to fashion & styling, it is an art that can be learnt and enjoyed with no boundaries, and I am happy to help any of you gain confidence in this aspect of your life. The fabulous Coco Chanel, respected fashion designer and businesswoman, was filled with wise words which I will share throughout this article. Allow me to walk you through the top 5 things I believe are a great starting point for you to build a wardrobe of versatility, on any budget.
Black Leather Moto Jacket
- Budget Conscious: Dynamite Faux Leather Moto Jacket w/ Zips $70
2. Middle Ground: PeleCheCoco Leather Moto Jacket $275
3. Splurging Sista: Rudsak Taller Leather Jacket $695
Vroom Vroom – rev up that style engine and be ready to take on every twist and turn of the road ahead. A black leather moto jacket, whether it’s faux or real leather, is a must-have in every wardrobe. You may be thinking…I don’t own a motorcycle and am certainly not edgy. The answer to that is-you are you sista! And you CAN wear a leather moto jacket your way. It all comes down to what you pair it with-go for that grungy rocker approach with ripped boyfriend jeans, a graffic tee, and chucks. Then take it to the other side of the spectrum, pairing it with a soft pink lace dress and black pumps for a girly vibe. The styling options are endless and that it why this will be a jacket you will find yourself wearing all the time.
“Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.”
– Coco Chanel
White Boyfriend Tee
- Budget Conscious: Joe Fresh Boyfriend Tee $16
2. Middle Ground: Project Social T Ozzy V-Neck Pocket Tee $34
3. Splurging Sista: Free People Rising Sun Tee $80
Oh the Boyfriend Tee how much I adore thee! When extreme comfort pieces like this are on trend, all of us should be jumping for joy and on this bandwagon. Once again, this piece suits EVERY style and can be used as a staple piece in so many outfits. Wear your white boyfriend tee tucked into your knit pencil skirt, white sneakers and an oversized cardigan on top. Dress it up, that’s right I said dress up your t-shirt, with a statement necklace, dark denim skinny jeans, a bold printed jacket, and your favourite black pumps. Your boyfriend will be jealous of how well you make his simple white tee look!
“Fashion has two purposes, comfort and love. Beauty comes when fashion succeeds.”
– Coco Chanel
Denim Button-Down Shirt
- Budget Conscious: Forever 21 Patch Pocket Denim Shirt $35
2. Middle Ground: Artizia Community Veritas Shirt $95
3. Splurging Sista: Polo Ralph Lauren Denim Western Shirt $195
Yeehaw, go get em’ Cowgirl! Sorry…I had to! The denim shirt which once started as an everyday attire for riding horses and the Canadian tuxedo, has transformed into a necessity for all wardrobes near and far from the barn. There are so many denim washes and tones to choose from, as well as a variety of fits from tailored to over-sized. I love this, because every body type and style can enjoy this trend. Wear a tailored style buttoned up and tucked into a pair of jeans for the denim on denim look, and accessorize it with a skinny braided belt and some great boots. Or, go for the oversized denim shirt and wear it open overtop of your jersey knit dress and flats. You will be making all the horses come out of their stables walking by in this shirt.
“Everyday is a fashion show and the World is the runway.”
Black Midi Pencil Skirt
- Budget Conscious: H&M Jersey Skirt $15
2. Middle Ground: Wilfred Lis Skirt $65
3. Splurging Sista: Kendall & Kylie Panelled Pencil Skirt $239
My LOVE! If you see me often, then you often see my black pencil skirt…sorry, not sorry! The truth is I own about six of them so it most likely isn’t the same one, but it achieves the same result; a good look! Every woman needs a black knit, stretchy pencil skirt as it provides a hint of class with a whole lot of comfort when you can just slip that bad boy on. Dress it up, dress it down…either way you add the perfect feminine touch. Wear it with a loose off the shoulder tee, plaid shirt tied around your waist, and sneakers. Or dress it up with a bold lace bodysuit, a blazer, and sexy scrappy heels with all the right accessories. We all have parts of our bottom half that we either appreciate or want to cover up, the beauty of this look is you can achieve what you want with what you pair on top with the skirt. Your black skirt is going to be your new version of the black pant…flaunt it baby!
“Women think of all colors except the absence of color. I have said that black has it all. White too. Their beauty is absolute. It is the perfect harmony.”
– Coco Chanel
Block Heeled Ankle Booties
- Budget Conscious: Aldo Mathia Ankle Bootie $130
2. Middle Ground: Blondo Nivada Waterproof Bootie $258
3. Splurging Sista: Rag & Bone Harrow Leather Boot $689
‘These boots are made for walking, and that’s just what they’ll do, one of these days these boots…’ are going to prove this to be true! Block heeled booties are a dream come true. Screaming comfort with sass, and I like it! For someone who had worn heels everyday for over 10 years I can say that my feet need a break, and this type of boot gives me that while still adding a sense of style to my outfit. When it comes to color choice, I am going to leave that up to you. Picking a neutral (black, tan, grey) is the way to go if you are investing in your first pair. The choice comes down to the color story in your wardrobe and what makes sense. But back onto the versatility train; these can be worn with your favourite pair of denim and a blouse, your leggings and an oversized sweater, or the finishing touch to your flirty dress and jacket combo. Strut your stuff and turn heads-these boots mean business!
“Fashion changes, but style endures.”
– Coco Chanel
“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”
– Coco Chanel
Jody Belanger XOXO
Co-Founder of I Like Her Style Vancouver