Breaking free of your winter style rut + shirt factory

Whether it’s rotating between my favorite coffee shops in Buffalo these days, or back in high school when I’d ask my Dad to take me to the nearest cafe in Medina (looking at you, Shirt Factory,) cafes are my go-to home away from home to simultaneously get work done and relax. Sipping on a cup of coffee or a sugary vanilla latte if I feel like treating myself (I usually do,) listening to some Norah Jones and City and Color… the chances of the same Pandora radio station playing at every cafe is pretty high… and I’m at peace.

Last weekend, Lucy and I traveled to Medina, NY right near my hometown. Two wonderful people, Scott and Alix (check out their blog), I’ve been lucky to meet through the Blogging Network, just took over the Shirt Factory Cafe. I’ve blogged about this cafe before many times, herehere, here, and here. A beautiful refuge from the snow in winter and an ivy-covered oasis from the heat in summer, this cafe has always been a personal favorite. I’m so happy to see what they’ll do with the place (cocktails, anyone?) and look forward to trying the avocado toast next time. Boy, would I have loved avocado toast near me back in high school.

We also took a stroll down Main Street in Medina. In case you can’t tell from the snowy pictures, it was quite chilly, but we managed to stop in some shops. Pictured above is The Book Shoppe and Ellen J. Goods, an antique shop. I stop in The Book Shoppe whenever I’m in Medina for nostalgia, my parents used to always take my sister and I there and it still smells the exact same as it did then, like hot chocolate, nutmeg and paper. Mmm.

Oh, and how cute is that pupper in the antique shop? He was so friendly and kept following us around, I wanted to take him with me.

fresh cut, who dis?

I promised style tips in this headline, and that’s what you’re going to get. Every winter I feel some sort of rut, either from the snow or piles of work from school, but this year I’ve remained pretty positive. And as far as style? I haven’t run into a rut there yet, either. Usually, I run out of outfit ideas, become uninspired and exclaim often “I have nothing to wear!” Of course, I have something to wear.

So this year, in the form of my personal oh-so-favorite bulleted list, here are my tips on keeping your style inspired in the winter, and enjoying getting dressed in the morning.

  • Update your basics – If you think your wardrobe is missing a lot, chances are it’s really just missing the basics. With a good base of basics, you can build most of the outfits you want to recreate. You only need one statement piece to elevate it. Basics are something I struggle with buying because even though they’re everywhere, I’m much more likely to buy an embroidered dress or top than a plain black one. But don’t underestimate that black top. If you’re going to buy a few new basics, here’s what I’d recommend: a soft black turtleneck, a striped tee/long sleeve tee, high-waisted jeans, a strappy black tank and a few accessories, like a big scarf or a beret. Black turtleneck, high-waisted jeans and a beret? Perfect outfit.
  • Find your favorite outfit formula and stick to it – It’s taken a while for me to find mine, but there are some combinations I go back to every day and always feel comfortable in. A cozy sweater, boyfriend jeans, booties and a scarf have become my daily uniform. If I’m feeling a little more adventurous, a long-sleeve sweater dress, tights, booties and a jacket are my go-to. I usually top them off with a beret, brimmed hat or knit beanie.
  • Go through your closet and try things on – I’m guilty of buying things and letting them get buried, only to either forget about them or assume there must be something wrong with it, maybe it doesn’t fit right. Whenever I go through my clothes and try things on, I’m always surprised by what I have and like, and never wear. This is called shopping your own wardrobe. Treat the back corners of your closet like a sample sale at your favorite store. Best part? It’s free.

Last Nite – The Strokes

Francesca

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