Blacksweatercasual This series on fashion is inspired by a few great fashion related posts and bloggers I've been reading lately as well as a really positive response I got from a comment I left on another blog. A young woman was asking what she should get for a work wardrobe without spending a fortune. I gave this some thought and then commented on the ten pieces I'd recommend she get. I got an email back, complimenting my complete list and saying it would serve as a shopping list. (I'll link this as soon as I can find it!)

Over the next two weeks I'll be doing a post on each article of clothing as well as photographing some of my outfits. Enjoy!

If you know me only in Computerland, you probably don't know that I love clothes. I consider myself a fairly well dressed person though occasionally I take some fashion chances that don't quite work. (Much like the Carrie Bradshaw character in Sex and the City.) There are, however, some tried and true wardrobe staples every woman (and men too!) should consider.

A cotton sweater is something for everyone's closet. First of all, they are usually pretty inexpensive, which is helpful. Also, a thicker knit sweater is more, um, forgiving on a not-so-perfect body. They can be worn all seasons of the year and are great for layering. Here is my black cotton sweater done three ways (I have gotten lots of wear also with my yellow cotton sweater!):

Blacksweaterbusiness Casual

A black sweater over my favorite t-shirt is made much less fussy with a pair of worn jeans, flats, and some funky (but not so sparkly) earrings. Great for a Saturday morning breakfast at a diner without looking like I just rolled out of bed.

Business Casual

I like to break rules by pairing black with brown. My brown cropped pants (which were once pants for a shorter friend of mine) look like they match the sweater when I pair the outfit with brown heels and brown earrings. Since the neckline of this sweater is very detailed, a necklace would make it too busy.

Funky

I'm so happy leggings are in style; they've doubled my wardrobe! When I pair them with a graphic print dress, printed flats, and my trusty black sweater, I am an unstoppable ninja. Well, maybe not, but I look kind of artsy and creative, right? But remember when your outfit has this much going on, say no to flashy jewelry!

Blacksweaterfunky Cotton black sweater: New York and Company, $30 (this was from a couple years ago)

Tips on your cotton sweater: Look for a thicker material/weave. A thin fabric will be clingy, which is not ideal for most people. A longer length (hitting at your hip bone) is more versatile then a cropped version. Try not to go too low with a V-neck or you won't be able to wear it to work. When you do get your sweater, hand wash and dry on a rack to help it keep its color and shape. Also if you are in a flash photography situation, don't wear light colors underneath a dark sweater because everyone will see your underwear. Especially don't do this during a blog photo shoot; your dog and/or boyfriend will laugh at you.