PHT: Hannah’s New Wardrobe, pt. 2 – Shopping Guide

First of all, THANK YOU all for your lovely encouragement about Hannah.  It was a fun day that I’m quite proud of and thankful for.  Your comments made it even more fun!

Today’s post is about how we shopped to fill Hannah’s empty closet.  It was kind of nice to be able to start from scratch.  Since I myself am reassessing my closet after having discovered style blogs, I was shopping for Hannah how I would shop for myself if I were to start over, with things I learned from WNTW and things I learned from style blogs.  Currently, however, my own closet is full of bad habits and old shopping paradigms that I’m having to undo, discover holes that I’ve created, and fill those holes.  It can be maddening sometimes!

There are a bajillion lists out there about “Wardrobe Essentials Every Woman Should Have” but I’m beginning to strongly not believe in those since every woman lives a different lifestyle.  Like, a white button-down shirt is almost always on those lists, and I have personally still not encountered a single experience for which I needed one of those.

Hannah’s Lifestyle
Hannah needed a wardrobe that took her from work in a semi-casual environment as an administrative assistant to campus as a college student to weekends filled with birthday parties.

Method to the Madness
Hannah saved money for this, but it’s not like we had endless amounts of it.  We were still on a fairly tight budget, especially for an ENTIRE wardrobe!  I didn’t want to go in just buying whatever caught our eyes.  I wanted to get her a mix-and-match wardrobe with pieces that could each take her into at least 2 out of 3 of the categories of her lifestyle.

Choosing Colors and Basics
I made a list of pieces that would serve as foundational basics for Hannah, and I wanted to find those in neutral colors.  Then, we’d have a secondary color palette, and I had other items on our list that I wanted to find in the secondary palette.  With the mix of neutrals and a distinct color palette to work with, it was easier to know that things would “go” together and therefore create more possibilities for mixing and matching.

Bottoms Up!
We first shopped for bottoms.  I don’t know what stroke of genius made me realize we needed to start there, but it was a decision I would definitely stick to again.  The 30 for 30 taught me how important it is to have different colored bottoms to have a highly remixable wardrobe.  There are infinite possibilities for tops, but bottoms seem to be harder to find for some reason.  I wanted to see what kinds of colors we could find for bottoms, create our secondary color palette from that, and then find tops to match.  Seriously, best decision ever.  (And that’s what’s upside-down in my closet right now.  I have no colored skirts, and my dilemma is that if I buy skirts I don’t have shirts to go with them.  Bad news.  I’ll save more whining for another day.)

The List
I tried HARD to NOT take her to Target, but after a shopping lull and almost as a last resort we went, and we found nearly half her stuff there.  And she liked a lot of things she’s seen me wear, so you might recognize a few of these items.  🙂

Click on pics for links to item…


  • skinny jeans (The ONLY thing Hannah had.)
  • grey trousers or khakis (we couldn’t find any for her)
  • straight-legged dark wash jeans 
  • neutral skirt* 
  • secondary colored skirt* 
  • 1-2 more colored or patterned skirts (couldn’t find)

DRESSES: had to work for both casual everyday wear & quinceaneras on weekends

  • versatile dress in neutral (LBD-ish)*
  • printed dress #1
  • printed dress #2*
  • solid dress*

  • blazer in neutral*
  • cardi in neutral (not shown online)
  • cardi in secondary color (bought in black and olive, neither are shown online)
  • jean jacket


Old Navy:


New York & Company and Express (both on sale):

SHOES (all Target):

  • wide medium-brown w/ embellishment
  • wide dark brown braided
  • medium-width black
NECKLACES (all from Charming Charlie):
  • red necklace
  • teal/gold statement necklace
  • long metallic chain

*purchased on sale in-store

That’s all, folks.
I like how all the pretty colors go together.  Not the case in my own closet.  Sigh.

We only found her 3 bottoms and bought 27 garments, yet we could still make 35+ distinct outfits from her clothes.  Awesomeeeeee!  I have organization and efficiency envy.  How’s THAT for a 30 for 30?

Anyhoo, on with our regularly scheduled program.  If you actually made it this far, thanks for reading!

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