DETAILS: denim dress made by me (tutorial here, buy similar here and here) | espadrille sneakers | fringe bag | similar necklace | mirrored aviators 
*photos by Jana Laurene
In the past year or so, I think I’ve really figured out my style. And although I can’t quite put it into one particular style category (like feminine or preppy), I feel like I’ve discovered what I love to wear and what pieces make me look and feel my best. I still take risks with my outfits, but I feel like the thing that has made the biggest difference is figuring out my Wardrobe Building Blocks. These are pieces that are the foundation of my wardrobe — the pieces off of which I build the rest of my outfit, and the pieces I find myself buying and wearing over and over. 
My main wardrobe building blocks are dresses, heels, sneakers, distressed denim, and basic tops. For each season, the pieces change, but the categories do not. I might wear a sweater dress instead of a sundress, or a simple sweatshirt instead of a basic tee, but the building blocks remain the same, and thus my style stays consistent. 
My chambray dress and these striped espadrille sneaks are staples for my summer wardrobe, and are great building blocks because they are so versatile. I wore them here for an easy summer look with a cute fringe bag (by the way, crossbody bags are definitely one of my accessory staples), but this dress is great with heels, a jacket, a sweater, a button up tied over it, or even with tights and boots. As for the sneakers, they’re almost as versatile — I wear them with jeans, shorts, dresses, and skirts. 
I get emails and comments all the time from readers trying to find their style, and I think this is the key. If you can figure out what your wardrobe building blocks are (or at least what you want them to be — so long as they work with your body type and lifestyle), you can find your style. 
Next week I’ll get more into what specific things you should look for as you build your wardrobe and discover your building blocks, but for now check out Janssen and Landen’s wardrobe building blocks! Happy Tuesday!


  1. Natali says:

    Such a simple and super cute outfit! I like your necklace and bag very much. 🙂

  2. Liv says:

    Such a simple, yet stylish outfit. Thanks for sharing!


  3. gorgeous post! Love that dress! XO

    ig: @stylemelauren

  4. Anna D Kart says:

    I love this denim dress you made! lovely styling dear

    Happy Medley

  5. Heidi D. says:

    So simple and pretty! I absolutely love your style! I have an amazing giveaway up on my blog, I hope you’ll check it out!

    Wishes & Reality

  6. Elisabeth Klassen says:

    Beautiful. I love having sisters, my sisters and I still to this day borrow clothes from each other.

    Diary of Elegance.

  7. I went through this same process of defining my staples when I put together my first capsule wardrobe in January, and its only gotten easier to discern things I can always rely on to love wearing. It also makes shopping so much easier when you know just by looking at the cut or pattern of the fabric that it won’t work for you. Its a great feeling! Also that dress is amazing, I thought it was the sweatshirt dress from Madewell thats been all over Pinterest the past year. Its great!


  8. Emily Choulaghians says:

    Love this look SO much Merrick!

    Emily Jenny

  9. Kate says:

    Love that necklace with the dress- such a fab look!
    This Side of Paradise

  10. Valerie says:

    I can’t get the link for the shoes to work. Can you tell me the site they’re from?

  11. I agree! A good basic dress is an awesome foundation that you can build on and dress up or down. The fit & flare style is my fav too!

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