Can’t live without…

black trouser pants

A little back story for today’s post. Recently in a meeting, Meg had the genius idea of starting a link-up series for The B Bar. I loved it! Here’s how it works: Each month, we post a topic or question on The B Bar’s blog, and anyone can answer the question or write about the topic on their own site. We compile all the links, and everyone not only posts their response, but links to all the other responses too. It’s a really neat way to share lots of different insights from many voices across the Internet! So yes, today is the first link-up in our series, and the question is a good one:

 

WHAT DID YOU PURCHASE IN THE PAST YEAR THAT BECAME INVALUABLE TO YOU?

 

I love this question, though I have to tell you, I struggled to think of something non-business related* I’d bought last year that was truly invaluable. Maybe it’s my friends’ influence, but recently, everyone has been talking about tidying, and I’ve been on a simplifying and purging kick. Which just goes to show that most things really aren’t that invaluable! Here’s what I landed on: the thing I’ve purchased in the past year that’s become invaluable to me is actually several things, but they’re all basically the same: black pants.

A while ago, I wrote about developing a uniform, and I’m here to tell you that simplifying my wardrobe and wearing effectively the same thing every day has made my life a million times easier. I thought I would miss the self-expression in coming up with fun new outfits using the latest trends, but I just don’t. Typically when I go out now, I dress in some combination of black pants, and either white, camel, grey, or navy tops and outerwear. Shoes are the only thing that I tend to have more “fun” with.

For me, stocking up on several pairs of black pants in a variety of fits and materials has been invaluable. It’s so easy to just go to my closet, grab a pair, slip them on, and know that whatever I pair it with, I look pulled together, but are still comfortable. You can go anywhere in them — lunch dates, a night on the town, a dentist appointment, to a meeting with a client. Sure, I might “window shop” and feature all different types of clothes and trends here on the blog, but in daily life, simplifying what I wear has become invaluable, and black pants are a huge part of that.

emerson fry

Favorite pairs? Early in the fall, I actually purchased a pair of faux leather pants from Blank Denim. I was skeptical about them when they first arrived, but they’ve ended up being favorites, especially for evening outings. My pair has some interesting moto detailing, and I love the little bit of edge they give to any outfit! I also have basic black pants from both Old Navy and Gap, and I really love each. Both are stretchy and flattering, but have retained their shape well after many washes (in fact, the Gap ones I’ve actually had for probably 4 years and used to wear to my old day job, and the Old Navy ones I’ve had for over a year. Both are in great condition!). In the summer time, I could be seen wearing these harem-style black pants anywhere and everywhere. They are super lightweight, comfortable, and chic (and I can’t wait for spring time, to bust them out again).

So anyway, my invaluable thing is kind of two fold: one, realizing that adopting a uniform was a huge way for me to reduce the stress/anxiety around getting dressed every day, while also freeing up a huge amount of creative energy in my brain, and two, that black pants were the key to the uniform.

*A special little surprise too. While on our own blogs Meg and I are talking about a personal item that became invaluable, over on The Well, we’re discussing business purchases that were invaluable. Be sure to stop by to read an extra response from each of us!

And, here are all the participants from our first link up! Please swing by their sites to check out what each of these ladies named as their most invaluable purchase (you’re sure to get some great tips and ideas!).

Of course, I’d love to know — what’s something you’ve purchased in the past year that became invaluable to you?

 

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37 Comments

  1. I love reading everyone’s so far! This was such a great idea. My black pants from Gap are the best!! J Brand Maria black denim is amazing too.

    21 Jan 2015 · Reply
  2. jillian wrote:

    fun series! i have a few pairs of black pants that i loveee from Gap! xo jillian

    21 Jan 2015 · Reply
  3. Having a uniform makes getting dressed so easy! I love the idea of keeping the color pallet of your outfit simple and then adding to it with shoes or accessories.

    Alyssa J Freitas

    21 Jan 2015 · Reply
  4. Jenn wrote:

    Finding the perfect black pants in my mind is like seeing a unicorn. For me, it’s a quest that never ends. I was actually thinking about this on my way home last evening. I have black jeans but no black pants. Pants for me always need altered so much that I may as well just have them custom made for me! Day in and day out at work, I see so many pairs of ill-fitting dress pants on ladies that I don’t own one pair. Not one! Maybe I should check out these Gap pants. At least give them a try.

    21 Jan 2015 · Reply
  5. Ashley wrote:

    You can’t beat a great pair of black pants. They work for almost every occasion and you can always find some within your budget!

    21 Jan 2015 · Reply
  6. I’m kicking myself for dropping the ball on this link up! I’m looking forward to the next prompt :) Black pants are my go-to. I actually have a few of the same pair from Gap and rotate them out every other day. I didn’t own a pair of regular colored jeans in 2013, just black pants..but I branched out in 2015 and got a few different pairs.

    21 Jan 2015 · Reply
  7. So interesting! I can completely relate to what you said about thinking you would miss dressing up differently every day – I’m the same. I used to buy, buy, buy, and then when I discovered Everlane and started basically wearing their t-shirts every time I went out for casual errands, walks, etc, I realized how much easier it was. Just throw on a black t-shirt, jeans, and cute flats, and I’m good to go. And I don’t miss trying to make up different outfits. Which was kind of surprising, really, because in HS I was all about it. Now I just love the simplicity and ease of not having to think hard about making an “outfit.” Too much else to think/worry about! I literally don’t even own a pair of black pants though, which is ridiculous. I guess jeans are my version of black pants, but I’m going to look into getting a few pairs – much more versatile and a little more dressy. My closet is lacking some basic essentials (like black pants, little black dress, heels), and my goal is to stop buying what I already have a million of and work on filling in those blanks.

    21 Jan 2015 · Reply
  8. ohhh black pants. I feel ya, i loved gap ones forever but recently cannot get enough of the j.crew pixie. it’s almost a sick obsession… i don’t like any other pants now!

    21 Jan 2015 · Reply
    • Yes, I loved J.Crew’s Minnie pants too, which I think they renamed. They’re great!

      21 Jan 2015 · Reply
  9. Erin wrote:

    I’m totally with you on the black pants! I hadn’t even owned a pair in years and then I started a new job where I needed a pair. I got the J Crew Campbell Capris and they are so perfect that I went back and got them in two additional colors as well! They look immediately pulled together, and because they are capris I can wear heels or flats with them and always look chic. I’m obsessed!!

    21 Jan 2015 · Reply
  10. I could not agree more, Victoria! I have a black/white wardrobe (it’s been about 7 years now), and my morning routine is so darn easy. I spice things up with jewels and shoes, like you, and I feel like it just works for me. I try to inject a bit of colour here and there, but it’s hard! I’ve got to check out the faux leather ones from Black Denim that you suggested.

    21 Jan 2015 · Reply
  11. I love the way you shared the material item as well as the meaning behind it and why it was a must have. I’ve always toyed with the idea of simplifying and a capsule wardrobe but I don’t know if I’m quite ready to tear myself away from the trends yet… :)

    21 Jan 2015 · Reply
  12. I love this- sometimes the best and most appreciated things in life are the ones you use daily but never think about! I actually went through a period where all I had was dressier clothes and workout clothes and nothing casual, so now I’m PRETTY proud of my jean collection and graphic/ vneck tees I have going on! So glad that you and Meg thought to do a linkup. It really has helped me connect with other great blogger babes and is such a great way to reflect over a great question! Can’t wait until the next one.

    21 Jan 2015 · Reply
  13. Might just start developing my own uniform does sound like it would make life much easier. Great post.

    Meg | Meghan Silva’s Blog
    @MeghanSSilva on Instagram

    21 Jan 2015 · Reply
  14. There has been a lot of talk lately about capsule wardrobes, and I think there’s something to it, but I like your plan better of having more of a uniform. Sticking to some pretty basic colors would ensure that anything you pulled out of the closet would look great together, and wearing black pants always looks sleek and sophisticated.

    22 Jan 2015 · Reply
  15. I own a few pairs of black pants, none of which fit properly. I’m going to make a point to get to GAP soon to try on all theirs it sounds like there are a lot of people happy with theirs. I love the concept of the link up too. Hoping to get into the next one!

    22 Jan 2015 · Reply
  16. Allison wrote:

    A girl’s gotta have a pair of black pants! Gap is always my go to- their pants fit me so well, and I can easily find things in short sizes.

    22 Jan 2015 · Reply
  17. Sandi wrote:

    Totally with you! Since I’ve developed an uniform of “all-black,” my life has become so, so much easier. I love the trouser pants in the first photo. Any idea on where those are from?

    22 Jan 2015 · Reply
  18. Tara wrote:

    Victoria, I have been unable to get those Blank Denim faux leather moto pants out of my mind after seeing this post a few days back, so this morning I bit the bullet and bought a pair for myself. It’s my birthday next week, so “to me, from me”! Thanks for helping me push the edge a little bit. And, a random thought–I really enjoy your blog. Thank you for all you do, and have a great week. :)

    27 Jan 2015 · Reply
    • Hi Tara! Thank you so much for the sweet comment :) I hope you like the pants! I have to warn you, if like me it’s outside your comfort zone, you might put them on and be like, “WHOA.” Give them a little bit — I have found they stretch out just enough after a wear or two!! I really love them.

      27 Jan 2015 · Reply
  19. Tara wrote:

    Yeah, I am a little worried about both the Catwoman and “mutton dressed as lamb” effects since the upcoming b-day is NOT my 29th, but they just look so great on the ShopBop site, and your vote of confidence gave me the kick I needed. I had to try! I also immediately bought a few drapey tees–ha, ha. I am crossing my fingers and like that there are free returns in case I need to size up. Yay!

    27 Jan 2015 · Reply
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