Shopping can be fun, but adding new items to my wardrobe is something I am far more discerning about these days, and I'll often wait for an item that I am interested in to go on sale before purchasing. I do not mind following trends, such as switching from skinny jeans to ones with a wider leg, as long as I can keep a classic feel. I have enough "what was I thinking" moments in my fashion history and do not want to add any more if I can help it! Here are a few items I currently have in my closet and have had for years, along with some newer items that I contemplated before purchasing and have been wearing regularly since. Just click on a photo to shop!
I bought this raincoat in 2019 during a sudden downpour while my husband and I were visiting Epcot in Disney World. We can always count on the Norway pavilion in the World Showcase for a quality, non Disney-themed sweater, jacket, or backpack if the weather takes a turn. I love this coat in white but it comes in a couple other colors online. Be sure to enter promo code Gretchen DiNardo for a 10% discount on your first purchase. I am wearing a size small.
This is the warmest coat I have ever owned. Living in an area where temperatures can hover around zero degrees in the winter, I would say this coat is a must if it is within your budget. I originally bought mine in 2015 before a February trip to Montreal, and it was about half the cost it sells for now in 2022. Even though mine is seven years old, it still looks brand new, and I think it was worth every penny! My coat is size extra small, but I could probably wear a small just as well.
Hands down the best faux leather leggings ever. I wear these at least once a week throughout winter. I find them to be warm, flattering, and perfect under a pair of over-the-knee boots. Even though they are tight, they are comfortable while contouring the body. In this picture taken in 2020, I am wearing a size small, but I recently bought a new pair in extra small - thanks to my Peloton addiction. The hem is raw so shortening them simply requires a sharp pair of scissors!
Years ago, I bought a teddy coat, but it was so heavy that I hated wearing it. By chance, I found this one while browsing stores in Disney Springs. It was so soft, warm, and lightweight that I fell in love immediately. I probably could have bought a small, but they only had a medium in stock, and I did not mind it being a little oversized. It has now become one of my favorite coats! I have never shopped at this store before so I am not sure if this is a standard item they carry every season, but the sale price is too good to pass up. Do not sleep on this one!
This turtleneck is so soft, comfortable, and usually can be purchased on sale for under $50. I am very particular about turtlenecks because I dislike the feeling of things on the front of my neck, but this one does not bother me. It washes well and is just as pitch black as when I bought it. I wear this turtleneck when playing paddle, for a night out, or I pair it with jeans for an easy daytime outfit. It is a classic forever piece. For reference, I wear a size small.
Along with the faux leather leggings I mentioned above, I wear these over-the-knee boots all winter, and typically I wear them together as styled in the pictures above. The double-layer that these boots provide on my legs helps keep me warm on frigid days. I love to wear heels and find these to be quite comfortable. I have walked all over Paris and New York City in them without any issue! I also have these in dark grey.
These winter boots are great for trudging through the snow since they are insulated and waterproof. They also have a good tread on the bottom to prevent slipping on ice. My feet stay nice and warm in them even without socks because of the shearling interior. I love that they can be styled both laced up tall or flipped down short to show the shearing!
When it comes to winter coats there is nothing better than one which feels like being wrapped up in a big warm blanket. This camel coat is a favorite of mine because the style is classic, timeless, and elegant - like it could have been passed down by a fabulous great aunt to her niece, and still be just as fashionable on her as it had been when she wore it as a young girl. I had been coveting it for a while and finally bought it about five years ago. It is everything I hoped it would be. It is warm and comfortable to wear without being restrictive or heavy. I love that I can wear it over a dress and heels, or casually pair it with jeans and sneakers. It makes me feel glamorous the moment I put it on, even if over my gym clothes! This particular coat is a luxury item which means the buying experience in the boutique was an event and included champagne! Although it is expensive, it is so well made and beautifully constructed that I will have it forever - maybe I'll get to pass it down one day! It is made from real camel hair, so it is very soft, provides great insulation, and is durable.
You can find my exact coat here. The designer makes it every year, but the price increases a bit each season. If you are a bargain hunter like me, then you can find it on sale. When considering buying something lux, I always think about it for a long time to see if it haunts me. I ask myself what I will wear it with? Will I tire of it? Does it fit my personality and style? Most importantly, is it worth the money? The answer concerning this iconic coat is a resounding YES!!
I have found a couple of other great options of camel-colored coats that are almost identical at friendlier price points here and here, that I would want to purchase if I did not already have mine. Here is a very affordable duster that is similar in style and here is a fun cropped version. This one, this one, this one, and this one are also great options if you like the belted wrap style, or this, this and this one if you prefer buttons.
For our trip to Marrakesh, I was not entirely sure what to pack. The closest I had ever been to Morocco was their pavilion in Epcot at Disney World, and admittedly, all I could mentally reference was Jasmin, belly dancers and glamorous Arabian night themed parties. Some of the bloggers I follow had recently been to Marrakesh, so I consulted their Instagram photos and reached out for advice. What I was told to bring was layers, and flowy dresses or skirts. What I saw in their perfectly poised Instagram photos was long floral wrap dresses, crop tops with skirts, chunky heels, wedges and bright colors. I had all of those things in my closet, so I was pretty confident to start picking out pretty sleeveless sundresses, crop tops with skirts or flowy pants, and strapless jumpsuits/maxi dresses. However, when I googled "What to wear in Morocco," I read on several sites that conservative clothes and modesty is best since it is a Muslim country. One article read that showing any skin, in general, should be avoided out of respect for the culture. The only people you will see wearing shorts or tank tops (or even short sleeves) are quite obviously tourists. I was momentarily at a loss and had to start over with my outfit planning. I was not necessarily trying to blend in, but I did not want to dress offensively either. Since I was going to spend some time in France before Morocco, I was trying to pack for 12 days in two different climates all in a carry-on! It did not help my planning that the forecast kept changing. After a while, I came up with some great stylish but modest outfits that I was excited about and zipped up my carry-on with confidence. I had grand ideas of taking stylish photos in cute outfits for my Instagram and blog recap of Marrakesh, but once we got there, I realized quickly that some of these outfits were just not practical to explore the city and go on the excursions our friends had planned. After the first day, I experienced some major packing remorse and started thinking about all the things my closet that would have been better suited for this trip.
What I packed specifically for Morocco was two pairs of long flowy pants, one pair of linen pants, one pair of leggings, one pair of silky cropped pants, one linen button up shirt, three long sleeve and four short sleeve silky shirts to go with them all. I also brought a cropped leg jumpsuit, a Moroccan dress that I bought in Epcot, and a high waisted maxi skirt with a short sleeve crop top (unless I lifted up my arms, my tummy did not show). Most of these outfits required a heel, which I did not mind since I wear heels almost every day anyway. I found a cute nude strappy sandal with a chunky heel at Charlotte Russe for $10 that went with everything, and I would not care about getting dirty. I also brought a pair of flips flops, pumps, slides and wedges. Unfortunately a lot of that did not get worn.
What I ended up wearing was anything that allowed me to wear my flip flops, as they were the most durable and comfortable footwear I had with me. On a couple of the days, I wore the jeans and long sleeve shirts that I brought to wear in France where it was cooler. I ended up buying two pairs of lightweight pants while there and a pair of sneakers for the day we visited Setti Fadma.
Here is my advice on what to pack for Marrakesh based on what I saw others wearing and my own packing mistakes;
Know that your shoes will get dusty and possibly wet in the streets, so make sure you bring shoes that can be cleaned easily!
Flat sandals that wrap around your ankle (not flip-flops)
Walking sneakers such as Converse or Adidas
A chunky heel or wedge if going to a fancier dinner, there is no real reason to wear them durning the day (and this is coming from someone that LOVES wearing heels!
Ballet flats or loafers
Whether wearing pants, skirts, or dresses, I would advise that they do not skim the ground. They should be at or below your knee, but not below the ankle. I suggest this because the streets can be wet and dusty with the occasional donkey droppings to dodge. They are also very crowded at times with people, motorbikes, and donkeys pulling carts, so there is a chance longer skirts could get stepped on. On the day I wore my maxi skirt I was holding it up most of the time while walking to avoid getting the bottom of it wet or dirty.
In the markets, you can find lots of inexpensive harem style or lightweight patterned pants with elastic waists and ankles - ideal for comfort and the heat!
For shirts, I recommend that they should at least cover your shoulders, stomach, and cleavage.
Regarding purses, cross-body or waist/fanny bags would be best.
There is no reason to wear a lot of flashy jewelry. Keep it simple with studs, a watch and your wedding/engagement rings.
Bring or purchase scarves while there to cover your head if you don't want to bring attention to yourself while walking through the streets, especially if have lighter or red hair.
Toiletries: We stayed in a Riad that did not provide any shower supplies, lotion or extra towels like a basic hotel would. So pack (or buy once there) shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion, shaving cream, etc. I ended up purchasing extra washcloths to wash my face and feet at night.
These were the only dressy outfits I wore heels with on the evenings when we went out to dinner. However, it is not necessary to dress up to go to dinner unless you go outside of the medina where there are fancier restaurants with belly dancers and other performers. Light, breathable materials such as silk or linen are best. I would recommend wearing looser clothing in general.
Any questions? Do not hesitate to ask! Have you been to Marrakech or somewhere else in Morocco? Share your thoughts!
At the end of last winter, one of my girlfriends that lives in Paris posted a picture wearing this coat on Facebook. She bought it in the camel color and looked beautiful in it (and very Parisienne). The style of the collar, along with the hardware accents intrigued me enough to ask her who it was by and hunt it down for myself. Since it was the end of the season, I was able to purchase it for about half the regular cost! I already own a camel coat, and a couple of black ones, so I decided to get it in the color oxblood. Burgundy has been a long trending hue and can be worn from autumn into spring. The lining of this coat is also beautiful, so wearing it open looks just as lovely as wearing it closed. I often get compliments on the color and know I will be wearing this coat for many years to come. Ted Baker makes this coat every year, but the details change slightly. This season, the hardware at the collar is different but still makes a subtle statement. The price of this coat varies depending on the length and material, as you can see here. I have found a very similar option for the short version on sale here for only $30!!
After making breakfast and cleaning up from my stepson's sleepover last night, I had the much more difficult job of deciding what to wear to church today. I was looking through my closet and saw this Rebecca Taylor blouse that I probably had not worn in over a year, but have not wanted to put in the donate pile yet either. I thought, why not pair this with something else that hasn't seen the light of day in a while? This fantastic faux-leather midi skirt by JOA Los Angeles was just right! I love timeless pieces because no matter how long I forget about them, I can still wear them years later! I decided to complete my outfit with some classic accessories such as this Chanel purse, YSL black pumps, and a Comptoir de Cotonniers coat. All of these pieces I've had for several years, but today they were new to me again! As they say, "A good classic never goes out of style".
Fashion is something that began to interest me during high school. However, it was not until becoming an adult & being able to save up for investment pieces, that I truly began to cultivate my style. Also, finding a good tailor made me look at clothes differently. My appreciation for quality, timeless fashion came from my time living in France. My host mothers were always so chic & put together that even though they often wore the same items, they mixed & matched them to look like different outfits. My husband & I joke that we hate to shop, but we love to buy things. Well, I really love to buy things on sale because saving money never goes out of style! On this page I will share some of my favorite pieces with you & how I style them.