Wardrobe essentials

Ivy asked in a comment on my closet post about wardrobe essentials. She noted, importantly, that it’s a highly personal thing, and “slippery,” which I liked as a descriptor.

Wardrobe essentials

The definition of “wardrobe essential” surely varies from person to person. What I consider essential may be seen as completely worthless or frivolous to another person.

Wardrobe essentials
Hand-me-down boy’s blazer, from Grace.

As I’ve said before, one of my 2015 resolutions is to pare down my closet and refine my sense of style to look something like a Parisienne (or what I imagine a Parisienne to be). And so I’m editing down to neutrals, tailored menswear, and great boots and blazers.

Wardrobe essentials
Oxfords from Madewell.

One of the benefits of editing your closet down to essentials is that, surprisingly, my desire to shop and buy has decreased substantially. I don’t want to go shopping just to find something new. I have a concrete list of essentials I’d like to acquire, but I am happy to wait on them.

Wardrobe essentials
Chambray shirt from J. Crew Factory.

So, without further ado.

What I (Currently) Consider to Be My Wardrobe Essentials

  • 1 crewneck white T-shirt
  • 1 crewneck black T-shirt
  • 3 V-neck T-shirts
  • 3–5 button-down shirts
  • 1 (preferably more) silk blouses
  • 1 chambray shirt
  • 2 pairs black pants (trouser cut and slim cut)
  • 3 pairs jeans
  • 2 pairs other pants
  • Perfect black dress
  • Black skirt
  • 3 blazers
  • 2 PJ sets (the button-down shirt kind, like your grandpa wears)
  • 2 nightgowns
  • Unlimited collection of sexy lingerie to wear on a daily basis
  • Black boots
  • Brown boots
  • Oxford shoes
  • Black ballet flats
  • Leather sandals
  • Black heels
  • Loafers (impatiently waiting on those unbelievable loafers from Everlane to get back in stock)
Wardrobe essentials
Lingerie sampler.

Essentials I feel that I am lacking, although I am willing myself to be patient regarding acquisition: Another silk blouse / those loafers from Everlane / cashmere crewneck sweater / better black blazer / perfect leather jacket / leather tote bag

Wardrobe essentials
Black wool dress, J. Crew.

So, here’s my question, to men and women, because I am genuinely interested:

What are some items that you consider to be your wardrobe essentials?

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5 thoughts on “Wardrobe essentials

  1. Good list! Thanks for taking my request. =) I’m still figuring out my full list of “essentials” but I definitely could not live without my black ankle boots, black Joe’s jeans, a handful of skirts (pencil and mini), my chambray button-down and (right now in the grips of an Ohio winter) fleece-lined tights/leggings. I’ve also decided that a black jumpsuit is a great alternative to the LBD. Can you tell that I love black? For a long time I thought I should fight the impulse to buy so much black, but now I’m starting to embrace it. A black turtleneck paired with BRIGHT matte red lipstick is my current power outfit.

    Also, I have lingerie envy. Where do you shop?

    1. Love the idea of a black jumpsuit as an LBD alternative! Hot.

      As far as lingerie goes, I will shop anywhere except Victoria’s Secret, which I hate with a passion. Some of my favorite lacy things have come from Anthropologie (which actually sells a lot of high-end lingerie brands), Urban Outfitters, and yes, Aerie (which looks like teen lingerie).

      I’d really love to start sourcing some ethically made/USA made lingerie, though. It’s extremely hard to find! Hanky Panky is one source that people refer to (made in the US), so I’ve thought about getting some of their bralettes.

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