sábado, 30 de março de 2013

Make your own "Wardrobe Essentails" list

If you've ever felt lost style-wise, you've probably searched and read one of these, so-called basics lists that come from articles titled like "The 10 pieces every woman should own" that most of the time include this precise list:

  • A white-button down
  • Black trousers
  • Perfect fitting jeans
  • A white t-shirt
  • A black or navy blazer
  • The LBD (little black dress)
  • Black pumps
  • Classic trench coat
  • The last two vary a bit but never stray much: a perfect scarf, bag, coat or day dress are the most common
But while some people buy all the things on the list and go on to live well-dressed and hapily ever after, some just stare at their screens and go "Whaaaat? When/Where will I ever wear that?". And this article is for you! Those lists are adapted to a big slice of women: working girls from late twenties onward. But that's not ALL women and the others need basics that match their lifestyle too!

I'm not going to preach what would be a perfect list instead because everyone's lifestyle and personal style is different. Some of the essentials above will be perfect for you, others would sit unused for years if you bought them. What I will do, is help you make your own "Essentials" list! Grab some paper and let's go!
  • Before you start, you should already have a good notion of your lifestyle and, to some extent, your personal style. If you don't already, introspect for a little before going on
  • Think about what is the core purpose of each essential from the list above. For example, the white button down: a top that goes with everything else in your closet and makes you look polished and in control
  • Once you've figured out why is it "an essential" think about why it doesn't work for you. In this example, the shirt may feel to stuffy or office-y, which may be unpleasant if it's not necessary to your lifestyle
  • Now that you've got the "why" and the "why-not" you can start thinking of a substitute. In our example, a younger teen may find a neutral polo to be the perfect solution as it's still polished but feels much younger. On the other hand, someone just starting work that just doesn't like shirts could opt for a blouse or elegant wrap top.
  • When you finish your first item, move on to the next until you feel like you've got everything covered. Remember some of the basics on the list may be just right for you and need no alteration.
Other things to keep in mind is that you're likely to already own these new basics, as they are likely the foundation of your personal style. 
And while most basics are supposed to be neutral, to go with everything, you may find that a certain colored piece get a lot of wear and also goes with most things. That would be a unique basic, exclusive to you! 

When you are done, re-check the list (and your closet) and look for the following:
  • A simple, polished top
  • A casual bottom
  • A semi-formal bottom
  • Casual, simple tops
  • A medium warmth cover-up, like a neutral jacket
  • A formal outfit for each season
  • Shoes that fit these purposes: casual, polished, formal (it's more than ok if one pair fits more than one need)
  • A coat that flatters your figure (this can be quite the investment and I personally recommend you get one in a strong color that looks good on you)
When buying basics, the most important thing to take into account is fit, and only then should you care about color or style. And since these will be the foundation of your wardrobe, you should keep your standarts high and not be afraid to make some of these your investment pieces.

So, which standart basics didn't work for you and how did you replace them?

4 comentários:

  1. I love your big picture approach, instead of the "must have" pieces dictated by so many fashion articles. For me, a polished top is sometimes two pieces: a well-cut, modest t-shirt and a cardigan. I can dress it up or down, and it works great for an office in which the temperature fluctuates widely.

    I also agree with the flattering coat being well worth the money. My husband purchased a simple, long black wool coat by Anne Klein for Christmas for me a few years ago, and it instantly elevates whatever I wear. --jlgoodman

    1. I'm very glad you liked it and that you already managed to make substitutions! It seems like you're already on the good path to being well dressed and in your own style.
      About coats, yes, a good coat can elevate any outfit and should go with everything, as it will last you years if well taken care of

  2. I so agree with you! For example, the LBD is completely wrong for my body-type and style. Since I do have occasions when the LBD would be the perfect choice (like official dinners), I had to figure out a viable alternative. My choice has fallen on a pair of elegant black trousers in a transitional fabric that I can wear anytime by simply switching the top. A single purchase has covered me for many years to come ;-) Another essential I've substituted is the basic white T-shirt. While I own several versions of this item, my essential list would rather include a simple top in a light-warm color such as off-white/cream/light beige: these neutrals are better for my coloring, and therefore more basic and versatile for me. It is really important to figure out what is "essential" for you coloring, body-shape and personal style: eventually it saves a lot of money and headaches!
    p.s.: I've just discovered your blog and I'm loving it <3

    1. Welcome and thank you for your kind words!
      Even the so-called universal staples aren't right for everyone. What's right is the idea of finding a couple of key pieces that you can fall back on for any occasion.
      It seems you already know your style needs and what works for you. Congratulations!

      I'm very glad you like the blog! Make sure you answer our new poll, comment whenever you like and submit any fashion question you have to chica_esperta@hotmail.com