We’ve seen the checklist a million times, “Nude pumps, LBD, white button-up shirt, sleek blazer, and black ballet flats.” Otherwise known as the age-old staples all women should have in their wardrobes.
Frankly, I’m getting tired of hearing the same worn-out advice from every magazine, blog, and stylist on the planet! This overdone regurgitation of items doesn’t seem to be helping anyone feel better about wearing the clothes in their closet.
Recently, I asked myself why I am able to dress myself with ease, even though I don’t own all of these staple items?
I accessed my daily life, and realized that my activities don’t call for these items… (and let’s face it, I don’t like all of them anyways).
I despise a structured and boring white button-up shirt. Ballet flats work for some, but personally, not my thing. So how are these items going to help me put together a chic cohesive wardrobe?
Some women don’t have a reason to wear a blazer through the week. Some women work from home, run after kids, or work in a whole host of different settings where a white-button-up or a little black dresses wouldn’t be practical. So why keep buying these “basics” that we basically never wear?
The truth is, the age old “classics” are NOT what every woman needs in her wardrobe. Let’s stop subscribing to this fashion myth, and start buying what works for us as individuals.
First things first. What is the definition of basic?
Basic: Adj. of, relating to, or forming a base; fundamental:
a basic principle; the basic ingredient.
A “basic” is a foundation piece, or the fundamental building blocks of our wardrobe.
A basic is like the cake to our icing, the ABC’s to our sentences, or the bedrock to our city.
Q: How do we decide what basics we need in our own wardrobe?
A: By assessing what we put on our bodies the most.
For example: If you wear denim most of the day, then that would be a foundation piece for your wardrobe.
If you go into an office everyday, then a pair of comfortable black shoes would be a critical foundation piece for your lifestyle.
If you are not a dress-kind-of-girl, then an LBD wouldn’t be something you need. You may opt for awesome black slacks instead!
Guess what? That black dress in the back of your closet that you only wear for the occasional wedding or a funeral? That is not a basic piece. It is great to have one dress like this on hand to minimize stress during life’s unexpected moments, but it isn’t something you wear all of the time. So nope, not a basic.
How do we create a wardrobe that allows us to get dressed with ease?
By determining what we wear the most.
Start by taking stock of what you have worn the most in the past 10 days? What do you wear over and over again?
Take me, for example:
The past 10 days I have mostly worn, (In no particular order)
- Denim-shorts and pants
- Athletic shoes
- Skinny ankle pants
- Black pointed toe flats
- Neutral Camis & T’s
The top 5 things you wore the most will be the foundation pieces of your wardrobe.
Maybe you live in yoga pants and tennis shoes. If this is what you put on your body most days, then guess what? Those are foundation pieces in YOUR wardrobe!
Maybe you love dresses and wear them both to work and on the weekends? Guess what? Dresses will be an important foundation item in your wardrobe.
Now Take a closer look at the items you chose.
- Do you feel like these items mix and match well with other things in your wardrobe?
- Do the items you have fit well?
- Do they make you feel confident?
If you answered no to any of those questions you may want to consider:
- Buying your foundational items in a more neutral color (black, gray, nude) to help them mix better with other items in your wardrobe
- Getting certain items altered so they fit better, or consider buying new and better fitting sizes all together.
- Buying pieces that appeal to you instead of buying strictly for utility. Pick a different color that makes you smile, or a shape that is more flattering.
Since these are the items you wear most often, then you need to love them and they need to fit well. If you can do that, then you will save yourself a lot of wardrobe frustration!
Go through this exercise and determine what your foundation pieces are. What do you wear most? Let me know! I read every comment and every email.