A wardrobe essential is an indispensable staple, without which your wardrobe would not function. They can be clothing items, footwear or accessories. They are usually versatile and simple in design. They are current, and sometimes even trendy. They are NOT statement pieces, but rather complement a statement piece to create a pulled together look. Wardrobe essentials are not to be confused with wardrobe basics, which are knickers, bras, camisoles, socks, sleepwear, loungewear, hosiery and thermals. 

I listed my current wardrobe essentials at the beginning of the year. After a shift in my personal style I had pared down the list to black turtlenecks, trendy jeans, dressy black trousers, denim jackets, flat white footwear, and oversized watches. But after removing white button-down shirts as a wardrobe essential, I’d forgotten to include a Spring and Summer item that would serve as their replacement.

As I’ve been dressing for Spring, I’ve realized that the essential I should have on the list is a white cotton pullover. I reach for one frequently to layer under jackets and to wear with jeans. It’s a very simple and effective “glue piece” that often makes an outfit come together.

I have the following white cotton pullovers in my wardrobe at the moment and both are workhorses: 

I’m wearing the Ann Taylor shrunken mock neck sweater so frequently that it became a bottleneck in the laundry. So I duplicated it and I now have two. I might even get a third because it ticks all the boxes: crisp, soft, polished, simple, comfortable, trendy, fitted, versatile, and an ideal neckline for my body type. I also have the same top in ink blue and, predictably, don’t wear it as much. I do like the ink blue with my flared white crops, full-length white flares, and some skirts, so it’s not an orphan either. 

Wardrobe essentials are personal and our lists of items might look different. White cotton pullovers are like my version of the ubiquitous white T-shirt. I will be adding a few more of them to my wardrobe over the next few months as soon as I figure out the right silhouette. Perhaps I’ll go for more of a boat neck to wear in warmer weather. 

A wardrobe full of statement pieces is fun to purchase and exciting to look at, but hard to create outfits with. Wardrobe essentials help you create complete outfits and make statement pieces shine. Do not underestimate their importance in your wardrobe.