10 Wardrobe Essentials

Okay, okay…I confess…the title is wrong. There are actually eleven. It’s just that “10 Wardrobe Essentials” sounded so much better. And I really did start with 10, I just couldn’t leave out my leather jacket. So let’s just consider it a bonus!

10 Wardrobe Essentials

10 Wardrobe Essentials plus the Bonus Item!

You may recall me mentioning that a couple of years ago I had a mish-mash of a wardrobe and often felt creating an outfit was too complicated so I streamlined everything I bought. The key I felt was to only buy things that could be mixed and matched and the colour scheme I went with was black, white, gray, taupe and red (I was having a thing for red at the time).

I didn’t throw out things I had in other colours that fit or that I liked. I just restricted any new purchases to that colour palette.

The second year I added brown and orange…mostly because I love the colours and they look good on me.

So, is it any wonder that when I put together the 10 Wardrobe Essentials that they fall into that original criteria? Except the jeans…but then jeans go with everything!

Some of these come from those early days and some are recent purchases but I find the reason they work for me is that they go with each other (lots of opportunity to mix and match) and they go with other items in my wardrobe as well.

When working out essentials, I thought it was important to work with classics. What are those items that I would pack if I only had a small bag and needed to be as flexible as possible? I probably could have thrown in a few other items, but I think most women could build a good basic wardrobe if they had these items.

  1. Classic White Button-down Shirt – you can pick them up anywhere at a wide variety of price ranges. This one happens to be from Country Road. Sorry it’s a bit wrinkled…I had just worn it to work!
  2. Classic Black Pants – again, any price range but I recommend buying the best you can afford with all of these items because you will wear them to death. This pair I have had for years and love. They are from Ralph Lauren (bought at the outlet store, regular price $399 on sale for $79).
  3. Classic White T-shirt – any style collar is fine. It just needs to be one that you are comfortable wearing. This one is Mossimo, bought on my last trip to the US for $3…yes, $3…I bought a couple!
  4. Blue Jeans – Even though coloured denim is so hot right now, nothing beats a classic pair of blue jeans. You’ll recognize this pair as my beloved high-waisted, bell-bottomed J Brand jeans that I purchased last year from at half their normal retail price!
  5. The Little Black Dress – I did a whole series using this dress called 7 Looks x 7 Days. That is how versatile it is! – Purchased from a boutique in Hong Kong for under $100 (you may remember this is the dress the lady thought I was “too big” for and it ended up fitting me perfectly).
  6. Pencil Skirt – normally I would recommend either black or nude to make sure it works with the other items and remains flexible but I had this one made in Hong Kong and specifically choose the fabric because it is black, white and nude so it will go with everything!
  7. Tailored Suit – black would work just as well as this nude one I had made in Hong Kong. If you are in Hong Kong, I highly recommend seeing a reputable tailor to have suits and skirts made. I was excited when the tailor I chose had photos of Anthony Bourdain on the wall! Seems I just missed him filming a segment there my about a week. They also had Bill Clinton but that’s not as cool as Anthony Bourdain.
  8. Black Handbag – this is the handbag from my lust have list – cost $99.
  9. Black Shoes – a mid height heel is most versatile but as I predominately wear heels most of my pants are tailored for a higher heel. This pair is Prada, bought on sale for $250. Buy a pair that works for your budget but make sure they are very comfortable because you be wearing them a lot.
  10. Black Belt – this one happens to be a medium width as I find it most versatile. Plus I like that the buckle is a little bit bigger so it adds some personality to a look. Pretty sure I bought this one at Target, so it had to be reasonably priced.
  11. BONUS ITEM – Black Leather Jacket – If your budget doesn’t allow for leather you could go for vinyl/plastic/faux but I would recommend using a denim jacket instead. So leather or denim the whole idea is to provide a layer and make it a bit casual.

These 10 wardrobe essentials (eleven), are the items with which I would start building any wardrobe. If you have them you so many mix and match options that you could be dressed appropriately for anything from a casual day out to dinner and a night out!

Tomorrow I’ll show you why I think these are wardrobe essentials and how I use them.


About astimegoesbuy

Just a middle-aged woman with a love of fashion trying to have a purchasing fast. Spending 90 days dressing out of what is already in the wardrobe.If I can't shop for clothes, I may as well write about clothes! View all posts by astimegoesbuy

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