Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wardrobe Staples

The time is nigh for thinking about goals and organizing, which means people are in the middle of re-working their closets and paring down the ol' wardrobe. (We always do a closet clean-out this time of year, even if it's not one of our official goals. You?) This got me thinking about wardrobe staples and the stuff I like to keep in heavy rotation. A lot of my requirements are based on versatility, because we've been living with teensy closets for years and I just don't have room for a superstar collection.

My look tends to hang out on the casual end of the spectrum, as it usually does for hermits people like me who work from home, but I still want to feel pulled together. Here's what I keep an eye on when I hit the stores:


Wardrobe Staples
blazer  //  cardigan  //  jeans  //  t-shirt  //  dress  //  nail polish  //  purse  //  flats

Clothing:

>> Classic blazer. My old standby is charcoal gray, but you can rock any neutral color that you'll wear a lot. Blazers are perfect for throwing on over a t-shirt when you need to look like a real grownup. That was always my trick when I sold my jewelry to local stores. It made me feel like a boss, literally.

>> Cozy cardigan. We can sing a verse of The Neutral Song here, too. I know zany colors are more fun, but you should get at least one solid neutral that goes with most of your closet. I wear these on more casual days, and sometimes stick them under a blazer when it's extra cold outside.

>> Dark jeans. These can be any cut that's flattering for your figure. The most important thing here is the wash. The darker they are, the easier they are to dress up if the mood strikes. It's hard enough for most of us to find jeans, anyway, so aim for some you can wear for just about anything and save yourself the rage headache.

>> Basic t-shirts. And by basic I mean embellishment-free. That might make me sound like a party-pooper, but think about how much easier it is to wear fun jewelry when your clothes act like a canvas. Plus, basics are easier to mix-and-match, giving your more outfits for less closet space. If you want to make it extra easy for yourself, find a brand that you like and buy the same thing in several colors. I usually do that at Target.

>> Little black dress. Do I need to explain this one?

Accessories:

>> Red nail polish. Okay, this should probably be in a makeup category instead of "wardrobe," but whatever. What color of nail polish is classic and will never go out of style? Yep. Red. If I had to stick with one color for the rest of my life, it would be Come to Bed Red by Butter London.

>> Camel purse. Not everybody likes to change purses all the time (I don't), so if you're in that club, know that a good medium leather looks great year-round. I've also found that leather-like materials hold up SO much better than fabric. Maybe I'm weirdly aggressive with my purses, but fabric just gets all janky looking after a few months. Ain't nobody got time for that.

>> Colorful flats. These are the easiest way to hop on board with color trends. The example above is turquoise, but get whatever strikes your fancy. Patterns are fun, too! My favorite brands for little foot parties are Steve Madden and Nine West.

What are your wardrobe staples? Did I forget anything? Who else is rocking a small wardrobe and loving it?

9 comments:

  1. I am rocking a ridiculously small wardrobe right now and LOVING it. I have mostly these basics right now and a few more fun pieces. I have a post scheduled on my calendar about my closet pair down-- we'll see if I actually ever write it. I just purchased a few more tees both plain and ever slightly so embellished from Victoria's Secret. Apparently their clothes are made for people with ridiculously long legs and arms so that is my little clothing secret that many overthink because they only think lingerie with the name. I also got a steal on two blazers from Kohl's (I rarely shop there, but had lots o' credit to use up that they gave me when we bought sweaters there for Andrew's brothers for Christmas. I feel like a super duper swanky graphic designer in a big city with my blazers on. But who are we kidding, right? ;) Also, we must be show twins because a lot of my crazy colorful and patterned flats are Nine West or Steve Madden. My favorite pair is a floral pointed toe flat from Nine West.

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    1. Victoria's Secret is one of my favorites for t-shirts, too! And they last FOREVER. I still have some that are probably 5 years old and still going strong. I am a little surprised to hear you had luck and Kohl's because they never seem to have anything for tall people at my store! Maybe I'll try it again.

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  2. Yeah sure, I clean out my closet twice a year :) Your choices are classic and would work for me too!
    I'm always on the lookout for a pretty cardigan, as it is cold/cool here year round!

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  3. I love nail polish but it really bugs me when the nail polish peels especially on my fingers so I usually just paint my toes. I don't usually clean out my closets because I don't have a lot of clothes but I did notice that my dresser is getting filled to the rim so I need to start moving around things.

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  4. I feel like I keep a pretty paired down closet. It's nice I can wear jeans to work - so jeans, blouse and blazer is my go to uniform. One thing I notice though, is the less items, the more worn they get.. - I find sticking to quality jeans and blazers gets a bit more life out of them. I have a $10 coupon to DWS though and I'm going to be looking to get some flats. I was going to go black - but maybe a fun color will win out instead!

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    1. So true that you get what you pay for. I shelled out $90 for a blazer from Zara two years ago, and it's held up so well.

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  5. I'm defiantly paired down right now! Moving via airplane really cut down on my excess possessions last month. I'm currently trying to find another pair of dark wash jeans I like - I tried on several last week and couldn't find one that was just right!

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  6. My wardrobe staples are black slacks, black turtlenecks, and black flats. (I know, it sounds a little John Cash-like.) Then I add more colorful sweaters or jackets -- and I have a bright red wool coat. I need to consider getting a couple of scarves -- my daughter is a scarf diva.

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  7. I love all of your staple suggestions. Now that I'm working from home, too, I wear a lot of jeans that I can dress up or down with versatile tops and cardigans. The more use I can get out of pieces, the better.

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