There’s no question that my personal style has evolved over time, and through the years, I’ve learned more about what works for me and what doesn’t. I continue to allow myself to experiment, and it’s clear that some of my fashion choices have been better than others, but it’s all part of the learning process—a process that I’ve been thinking about more and more recently while spending time at home looking at old photos, cleaning out my closet, and talking to my mom about how we’re curating our wardrobes for the future.
My mom has always guided my personal fashion choices and inspired my penchant for a wardrobe rooted in pieces that feel classic but still modern. More and more, we’ve been spending time talking on the phone about the pieces we really love, others that have landed in our donation piles, and how we're approaching fashion moving forward. To get her perspective on the best purchases she’s made and some of the wardrobe mistakes she’s vowed not to repeat, I asked her to share the fashion lessons she’s learned over the year. Ahead, she’s breaking them down.
Mistake: Buying Into Trends
Instead: Buy Classic Wardrobe Pieces
"My style has evolved but has long been centered on understated, classic, yet modern, pared-down pieces that transition from work to the weekend. I’ve never been happy with my choices when buying into trends that aren’t authentic to my style. One of my biggest mistakes has been when I don’t follow my own instincts and I have been convinced to wear something I’m not comfortable in. I regret it immediately."
Shop classic wardrobe pieces:
Mistake: Wearing the Wrong Jeans
Instead: Stick to Straight-Leg Jeans
"Wearing the wrong style jeans—too much stretch, too low-waisted, too distressed—has not been my best look. Now, I opt for a more straight-leg fit like classic Levi's 501 jeans that I wore in my youth and have returned to wearing. They're not only flattering but versatile as well."
Shop straight-leg jeans:
Mistake: Wearing All Black
Instead: Add Color and Neutrals When Wearing Black
"There was a time when my closet was mostly black and while I always prefer a black bag or LBD, it left me with a pretty boring and uninspired wardrobe. I’ve added other color, although mostly neutrals, to give my wardrobe a little more personality."
Shop modern neutrals:
Mistake: Ignoring Good Undergarments
Instead: Regularly Replace Worn-Out Lingerie
"I’ve let my foundations get too worn at times but found that the right undergarments can really make or break how well an outfit looks and fits."
Shop undergarment staples:
Mistake: Not Buying Duplicates of Most-Loved Items
Instead: Buy Multiples of Favorites
"For years, I wore a pair of beloved linen pants in white, black, and camel until they became threadbare. I learned to buy duplicates of my most-loved and most-worn pieces after many of my favorites were either sold out or no longer available."
Shop closet staples:
Mistake: Wearing Perfectly Matched Outfits
Instead: Mix Patterns and Textures
"As much as I love solids and monochromatic palettes, outfits that are too perfectly matched are tiresome and are much more interesting when other colors, patterns, and textures are mixed in."
Shop mismatched tonal pieces:
Kristen Nichols is the Associate Director, Special Projects at Who What Wear where she oversees luxury content and Who What Wear Weddings, and covers fashion content including the designer market, runway reporting, and seasonal trends. She also writes columns including The Luxury List, Investment Portfolio, and What’s Good. Prior to Who What Wear, Kristen held positions at Allure and Rodarte. She studied Art History and Business at the University of Southern California and currently resides in New York.
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