The Style Sheet: Bringing Up Basics

Jan 22, 2018

Many of us spend our fashion dollars curating a wardrobe filled with stylish basics.  But, over time, basics start to feel a little boring.  The Style Sheet covers how to add new pieces to your wardrobe that will take a tried-and-true favorite and transform it into something new.

Every woman I know owns a white button-up shirt and a black crewneck sweater.  Of course these simple pieces can be styled into a chic outfit, but switching up the pieces and adding accessories can give you something brand new.

Swap in a Printed Blouse. To get more mileage out of your black crewneck, trade the white blouse for a printed one.  This Rails Kate blouse has a black and grey color palette that blends in well with the black sweater.  Keeping the print in the same color family allows you to wear a cheeky print in a work-appropriate way.

Need a less expensive blouse?  This Forever21 top has a subtle, black and white leopard print.  I also love this large dotted print from Finley.  For something sleeveless, this DvF floral high-neck blouse is wonderful.  Plus-size? Try this dotted top from Forever21.

Add a Statement Necklace. Wearing a dramatic necklace under your collar adds sparkle and texture to your outfit.  This Lizzie Fortunato necklace gives you a lot of shimmer with a feminine bow.  Prefer something simpler?  This BP. metallic collar necklace can be worn with anything.  Other good choices include this starburst collar necklace and this necklace with large black stones.

Wear Color on the Bottom. Don’t be afraid to wear color in new ways.  If you haven’t tried a pair of colored pants or a colored pencil skirt yet, do.  These J.Crew matte crepe pants would add a whole new dimension to a simple outfit.  I also like these Tahari cobalt pants.  Plus-size?  These Alfani pants come in a whole host of colors.

Prefer skirts?  This purple Express pencil skirt could be worn in any season.  This emerald-green Worthington skirt is a real find.

Still looking for other ideas…

Try a Different Sweater. Instead of a classic, white button-up, try a printed sweatshirt or sweater.  A graphic sweatshirt gives you a more casual look.  Or go bold with an animal-print sweatshirt.

Add a Spray of Brooches. We’ve already covered how to wear brooches to spice up an outfit.  Putting together a group of small brooches on one shoulder can make your simple sweater seem like something totally new.  I like this simple, rustic star brooch set.  Prefer a single large brooch?  This bird brooch is fabulous.

Bring in a Pair of Printed Pants. If you’re already a fan of colored pants, try a cool print.  These Jack Wills blue jacquard pants are fantastic.  Talbot’s also has a fun dot print.   Or for something really avant garde, Boden always has crazy prints that walk the line of good taste (and occasionally cross it).

{image found here; this post contains affiliate links that generate commission for the author}

SaveSave

How To Wear It, Style

share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Emily says:

    Love this post!

  2. Beth says:

    Thank you so much for this post! Things like this remind me why I love your blog 🙂

  3. MOnica T says:

    I love the collared shirt under the sweater look…on other people. When I try it, I just can’t seem to get all the elements to lay smoothly and so I spend all day tugging at this part or that part of my outfit, what am I doing wrong?! Also is there a way to do accomplish this look with a bracelet sleeved sweater?

    Love the post!

    • Kate says:

      Same problem! Best solution (but annoying in its own way): wear a camisole or smoothing tshirt OVER your button up and then put on the sweater. It smooths out the button bumps. But for me at least I end up tugging at the tshirt all day.

    • Beth says:

      So, I actually bought one of those bodysuit button up blouses from J.Crew and it’s awesome for layering a sweater on top (or when I wear a button up under a sleeveless work dress).

    • LS says:

      I’m convinced this issue is partially body-type related. I’m busty and I think there’s too much fabric for it to work unless the shirt is perfectly tailored.

      • Maggie says:

        I agree. I have a real problem with the crew neck and button down combo. But I feel like it works a lot better for me with a v-neck. A few years ago a reader mentioned wearing a cami over a button down to smooth it out and that really did work well! But I still felt way too busty. So, onward to v-necks.

        LOVE this post! Reminds me of days of old! (I am also really liking the Insta-stories too!)

  4. Meghan says:

    Belle, just wanted to leave a note to say you’ve knocked it out of the park with blog posts the last few days. Awesome job. Would love to see “Style Sheet” become a regular feature!

    • Shanghai says:

      I agree! Belle, you’ve been knocking it out of the park lately. I know the blog is often a labor of love for you but you’re killing it. Would love this as a regular feature!

  5. Carly says:

    Love those Jack Wills pants. Any sense of how their sizing runs?

  6. beatriz says:

    What a great post! I also hope to see the Style Sheet become a regular feature. (And agree with Meghan; I’m a longtime reader and have learned so much from your blog –thank you!– but these recent posts have been excellent!)

  7. Stephanie says:

    love this post!!! classic caphillstyle that brought me back again and again because they helped end the boring work outfit rut!

  8. Jules says:

    Perhaps it’s because I live in Hawaii (where it’s always warm and colorful), but I love how women here dress in all sorts of prints and colors on the regular. I’ve also started seeing a lot more printed pants too, which is a fun look. I stick to skirts, but I have a few fun colors/prints.

  9. Chloe says:

    Great post!!! I miss colored pants. Where do you buy yours? My work is casual enough to do skinny colored jeans, and they’re nowhere to be found anymore.

  10. Amy says:

    Love this post Abra!!! More of these please!

  11. Amy says:

    Fantastic post! I’m in love with that Lizzie Fortunato necklace and trying to figure out how to justify it…

  12. Ruchita says:

    I don’t own a black crew neck sweater or white button down, but now I want to buy them so I can copy that fabulous Pinterest outfit! I found the following post helpful.

    https://www.puttingmetogether.com/how-to-roll-up-layered-sleeves/

Join The List

Stay up to date on the latest from Capitol Hill Style!

sUBSCRIBE

Ask the Editor: Vol. IV, No. Eighteen

Before we start today’s reader questions, I wanted to take a moment to talk a bit about mental health. For those who experience mental health challenges — whether occasionally or frequently — talking about our struggles is a double-edged sword.

2

READ MORE 

Recent Posts

The Range: All the Pretty (Work) Dresses

Sometimes, you just want to wear something pretty to the office. Something that makes you feel good. A dress that makes your whole day better. These are those dresses.

2

READ MORE 

Solving The Skinny Jeans Conundrum

Depending on who you ask, Gen Z has cancelled skinny jeans or perhaps they are back? Trends change, and we should change with them. But what do you do when you have a closet full of skinny jeans in a wide leg world?

7

READ MORE 

VIEW ALL POSTS

Ask the Edit, Style, Top Posts | April 16, 2024

Ask the Editor: Vol. IV, No. Eighteen

Before we start today’s reader questions, I wanted to take a moment to talk a bit about mental health. For those who experience mental health challenges — whether occasionally or frequently — talking about our struggles is a double-edged sword.

2

READ MORE 

Career Style, Posts, Style, Work | April 16, 2024

The Range: All the Pretty (Work) Dresses

Sometimes, you just want to wear something pretty to the office. Something that makes you feel good. A dress that makes your whole day better. These are those dresses.

2

READ MORE 

Posts, Style, Style Translator | April 11, 2024

Solving The Skinny Jeans Conundrum

Depending on who you ask, Gen Z has cancelled skinny jeans or perhaps they are back? Trends change, and we should change with them. But what do you do when you have a closet full of skinny jeans in a wide leg world?

7

READ MORE 

Fantastic Finds, Posts, Style | April 11, 2024

The Find: An Affordable Work Dress

This winter was particularly hard on my psyche, on my self-esteem, and on my waistline. As we move into spring, I need to make a plan for how I am going to dress this additional weight over the months of work that it will likely take to shed it. So I was so glad to […]

3

READ MORE 

RECENT POSTS

©2023 CAPITOL HILL STYLE | SITE BY LEIGH THE STUDIO