My 10 wardrobe essentials
Being a big city girl and working in a not too corporate environment, I find that the classic must have lists I read about often don’t apply to me. Obviously we don’t need lists to dictate us what to wear, it’s just that for list-o-holics like myself (I’m sure you’re one too, be honest with me now!) it can provide guidance for what pieces to invest in and offer some structure in the way we shop.
When switching seasons, I always organize, de-clutter and structure my wardrobe and taking everything out and making yes no and maybe piles gives me a good sense of what pieces work best for me in the long term, what my reoccurring shopping mistakes are and what is still missing and needs to be added.
Something that helps me in putting together a functional wardrobe is starting with the basics: with (in the case of this post) 10 essential items that I feel absolutely comfortable in and are easy to combine. These don’t have to be super expensive but they should be of quality and be perfect in your eyes. When it comes to basics you’ll need one perfect biker jacket (sure, you can add other cool ones later!), one perfect pair of black jeans, one perfect silky white blouse instead of buying a new pair each month/season/year that’s almost good enough but has a detail you don’t like. Making a list of what 10 basics are for you, personally also shines light on what you might be best off ‘investing’ in. I, for example, live in black leather jackets and think they complement almost every other item I own, so I’d rather haunt down a high quality version in my dream cut than settle for less.
What you see in the above picture is a mix of basics and statement pieces, and it definitely isn’t all expensive. I have many more pieces in my wardrobe that I love – and some of the items you see here aren’t perfect in my eyes – but I included them because I do feel the garment type should be in my top 10 essentials list. This is simply my perspective, at this point in time, and it’s all about prioritizing. A camel coat, a mohair cardigan or black wide legged trousers might top your list or might top mine in a few months!
in order of favorites, 10 essential items for me are
1)Leather jacket. For me that’s a biker version, but it could be a quilted one or a bomber for you. This is something you’ll probably wear years on end as it goes with nearly everything, so don’t skimp out on the quality of your one perfect leather jacket.
2) Breton striped top. I prefer a knit or sweatshirt so I can wear it all fall and winter and on chilly spring evenings.
3) Loose black t-shirt. Usually I opt for one that’s slightly sheer and has a loose, round neck. Casual, sexy and the ultimate layering piece.
4) Perfect jeans. Depending on your style I’d go for dark grey skinnies, a medium blue boyfriend fit or a deep blue flare pipe.
5) Black (short) skirt. A black shorter skirt is my replacement for the LBD – which I often feel too formal in. Wear it under a huge knit with tights, with a basic t-shirt, leather jacket and bare legs, everything goes.
6) Leather trousers. Surely not a staple for everyone but for me this is one of the easiest pieces to look edgy and effortless in on all those cold days. They’ll rock with any of the tops in this list. Treat them as if they were regular black jeans and you’ll see leather pants incredibly easy to pull off.
7) Non black coat. In a neutral or statement color, or with a stand out print or cut. It could be a camel coat, a big faux fur, a grey tweed egg shaped version… anything that you feel comfortable in and that will take your basic jeans + jumper outfits to the next level.
8) Printed dress. My top 10 essentials aren’t all basics. A printed dress (it could be striped, graphic, floral, you name it) is – in my case – appropriate for casual work meetings, dinner dates, a night with the girls, etc. A long or short sleeve makes the dress appropriate for different daytime situations. I prefer this over an LBD because that often makes me feel too formal, especially if I need to wear tights with it which is almost always the case in Amsterdam.
9) Tuxedo jacket. I like them with long lapels, either in all black (a leather lapel gives a fun accent) or in off white (perhaps with black lapels). Wear this with a white T, those leather trousers and a high bun or with jeans,messy hair and red lipstick Kate Moss style.
10) Silk shirt. To dress up the most ragged of shorts, a top that’s a little more classy and refined like an off white silk shirt works well. Rather go a size up than true to size for a nice relaxed fit.
And I’m very curious to hear what yours are! So I thought it might be fun if you’d copy this list in the comments and add or alter your favorites: 1) leather jacket, 2) striped top, 3) loose black t-shirt, 4) perfect jeans, 5) black skirt, 6) leather trousers, 7) non black coat, 8) printed dress, 9) tuxedo jacket, 10) silk shirt