Make This Tweak To Your Summer Wardrobe Game

Aug 6, 2015


August, to  me, means two things: 1) Baby girl needs to roll up her sleeves and nab one last summer love before the leaves start turning gold and 2) This is the month where you sit in front of the aircon in your underwear all day. The two could be loosely related, but that's a conversation for another day ;)

When the temps get so hot that your ice cream cone doesn't stand a chance, not many of us could be persuaded to put style in front of survival. We just toe the line between "bearable" and "not getting arrested" and call it a successful day. But what if I told you that your closet didn't have to get in the way of comfort? What if all you had to do was follow one simple rule? Curious what it is?


It's fill your "closet basics" holes. Repeat after me: All your problems will be solved if you focus on filling all your closet holes. These are the pieces that are plain and unassuming, but are the workhorses of your wardrobe. They are the unsung heroes; your champions. And they will take your sartorial game to a whole other level.

But what exactly are they, you ask? They're your black crop tops, your white blouses, your high waist pants. Your tailored cigarette trousers, your minimalist leather sandals, your neutral A-line skirts and your structured bags- anything you feel that could be mixed and matched with a big chunk of your closet over and over again. They're not statement pieces, but they're the things that help create an outfit around your statement pieces.

But- and now here's the trick- don't just buy the first staple you see. Try to find a version of the basic that's got a little more interest to it. For example, I searched high and low for a white top, but one that was in a bell shape because I knew it would look more playful with wide leg pants and layered on top of dresses. Same thing goes for the other pieces: Focus on finding a black crop top with a high neckline that will help create proportions in your looks; a cross-body bag that's got sharp lines and will add elegance to each outfit; a midi skirt that's got deep pockets or a paperbag waist. Find basics with a little bit of spunk in them, and I promise you your closet will be thrown into a new playing field. 


Let's Discuss: What basic are you currently trying to find?

PS: For more "fill your holes" inspiration, continue reading:

outfit details
Top: Akira
Pants: Francesca's
Shoes: Forever 21
Purse: c/o New Old Fashion Vintage

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  1. So beautiful photos! You look lovely, remind me of my Grandma when she was younger :D gorgeous blog! xx

    elizabeth | ”Ice Cream” whispers Clara | follow for a follow!

  2. I love this look so much Marlen! It looks so chic but comfy and breezy for hot August days. I like finding basics with a twist to keep them more interesting- this top totally fits the bill. Your hair looks super cute like that :)

  3. So good to see you back! And how lovely you look! That top is stunning on you - what a great way to show off pretty tanned shoulders. xo

  4. Love your printed plazzo pants! :)

    I like your advice too, it's good to have a wardrobe full of basics with a little twist or piece of interest. It adds an extra something to your look, while still having all the ease and wearability of a real wardrobe basic.

    Away From The Blue Blog

  5. I am a collector of everything weird, colorful and quirky, so when I see basics my brain immediately refuses to comply and I never get any essential basics for my wardrobe, hence I have huuuuuuge difficulties styling something without the help of basics. I think they play a major role in everyone's wardrobe and I should really finally start buying some :D
    I love the wide leg trouser and that dark red lippie is striking! What brand is it? Tell meeee!!!!
    Also, I am so happy you are going to Ireland, my sis went there for a few months as part of a student exchange program, I wish I could visit it someday, this country is one of my favorites O_O

  6. Yes, I love this idea! I keep a steady supply of basics around, even if they are just my version of a basic. For example, my favorite basic piece is my Free People voile and lace trapeze slip. I wear it as a dress, as a top, with leggings, with bodycon skirts, with boots, with flats, with sweaters layered over the top... basically any way I want! Currently, I am looking for a natural fiber plaid or flannel (these are not the same!) shirt dress. Doesn't sound basic, but it will be. :D

    Anyway, *ahem* enough about me. I like your combo! It says a lot about what I meant up there; basics are what you want. That white top would also look good with cardigans in the fall or skinnies!

  7. This was so fun to read! I didn't realize until recently, but I am ALL about the basics, not flash trends. Trends are fun, but by the time I catch on it's out of style.

    When I started *really* cleaning out my closet for the first time, I got rid of everything that was low-quality or super trendy. But I tossed one of my basics that I didn't even know was a basic - a no-sleeve white button up. So many of my outfits revolve around it! I've finally replaced it, though. The new one is fitted and sharp, soo much better than the first one.

    Now I'm on the hunt for a maroon and gray cardigan for winter!

    crazy scarf girl

  8. This outfit is adorable! I love the breezy crop top and patterned pants you chose. They look perfect for hot weather!

  9. I told you on Instagram but I am telling you again how very much I adore those PAAANTS.

    In summer I'm pretty sure the only times I go out are for errands and the like and my dressing up includes just lots of jewelry on top of something loose fitting. I really do need to fill those holes in my closet, though, and then I could probably work with my closet a lot better. I just got a white T-shirt the other month--sad, right?

  10. I don't really need any basics...but I'd like to transition all my clothing to fair trade / American-made as pieces wear out. A different sort of process.

  11. Blah. I am actually pretty bad at filling in the basics of my wardrobe. I am pretty surprised because the other day, I bought myself a the classic white button down top. And then I just bought myself a black and white striped dress. But I am super excited to start wearing both of them! Those classics are definitely great additions and I should consider getting more of those classics :) Loving this outfit so much! It might actually be an all-time favorite look I have seen all summer! Lovely Marlen-glad to see you're back! Hope you had/ are having some fun travels!

    Olivia | Her Name Was Celebration

  12. There are you are! I've missed you. Looking gorgeous! I would have never thought to pair these 2 together because of the proportions but they look so effortless, easy and chic. Parfait. I have a high neck (90ish like) halter crop top and you're so right - Total. Game. Changer. Wear it all the time!
    xoxo, Lindsey Dish

  13. I am so with you on "fill your holes" styling idea, it is so simple we sometimes forget it. I've been unearthing old basic pieces that have a bit of an oomph like pleats and a pretty square neckline from my closet pairing them with separates that have patterns and colors. Dressing has never been this fun, really. BTW: Though I haven't had the opportunity to properly purchase your book, I truly enjoyed reading the few sample pages of your book: Ugly People Beautiful Hearts. Your words take me to places and I like that! :D

    Shanaz | Fashionista NOW

  14. I love this top and I agree that unusual details make even basics fun!

    Maria xxx

  15. Ok, how do you know what I've been doing all month?! ;) Although it's more like "sit without AC, sweating profusely because you don't want the electricity bill to make you broke" haha. Also, this post came at such a necessary time, where I find myself looking at my closet not liking much beyond my classic basic pieces. I'm working to kind of redefine/revamp my closet to more so fit how I feel my style has changed, so this is something I MUST keep in mind, to find interesting basics rather than just regular basics. Glad to see you back blogging, too!

  16. LOVE this outfit!! That top is so pretty! I love the cut so much!
    Sincerely, Sara

  17. Yes! I'm always so enchanted by the "exciting" pieces that I neglect the basics, until I realize that I don't own a single white button down or pair of jeans, and those things would be really helpful to have. I've actually been feeling the "wardrobe holes" a lot lately - I've picked up the aforementioned white button down (although I'm still on the prowl for a pair of jeans), a denim jacket, and a pair of nude flats, and it's amazing just how often I've found myself reaching for them.

  18. Thanks for the closet tip ;) I think the whole I'm currently trying to find is that perfect pair of jeans. My weight has fluctuated a lot over the past two years so I haven't been buying that much denim since my size is always changing!

    I love this look! Those palazzo pants are so fab and perfect with this heat. The red lip of course just makes the whole look that much better :)


  19. This top is pretty much AM-AZ-ING! I love it!

  20. LOVEEEE this top! And I love your hair up and lipstick color :)


  21. I love your white tank! I haven't exactly done a thorough search but for the fall/winter I'd like to find a great white button down. Something that is a bit more exciting then your traditional oxford.

  22. I love the bell shape tank with teh wide leg pants. The echo of shape works really well.

    Also, I feel like saying "Amen!" to your great sermon about the importance of filling those closet holes!

  23. Couldn't agree with you more! I actually use to avoid spending a little extra on basics because... it was just that... a basic! But I've learned the hard way that basics are the key and basics with a bit of interest is gold!


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