As we transition to Autumn and Winter, think about your wardrobe essentials. These are the wardrobe staples without which your wardrobe would not function. They make the rest of your wardrobe more wearable. 

Wardrobe Essentials are NOT wardrobe basics, which are items like underwear, socks, sleepwear, hosiery, thermals and loungewear. They are clothing items, footwear and accessories that are versatile, current and simple in design. They are also NOT statement pieces, but rather the simpler item that allows the statement piece to take centre stage. 

Most importantly, wardrobe essentials are PERSONAL. What is essential to one person is not to another. They can become workhorses.

I’ve changed my own list of wardrobe essentials quite dramatically over the years because of changing preferences. In 2017, I’m down to these items across a four season climate:

  1. Black and ink blue turtlenecks and slashneck pullovers
  2. White and cream knitwear
  3. Trendy jeans
  4. Denim jackets
  5. White and cream footwear
  6. Chunky white pearl necklaces
  7. Gold watches

I’m sorted on wardrobe essentials for Autumn and Winter, except for the tops and jeans. So I added an ink blue turtleneck and dark blue full-length pair of slim jeans about a month ago. Because of my new blazer additions, both items became workhorses right away. So I duplicated them in the same colour. I now have TWO of the same ink blue turtlenecks and slim blue jeans. That way I can have the duplicates in rotation and avoid laundry bottlenecks. 

Last year I duplicated another wardrobe essential – a pair of very comfy low-heeled cream pointy toe booties. They get so much wear because I wear them all the way into Spring. I kept the new pair boxed and unworn so that I would have another pair ready to go when the first pair wore out. I’ll be retiring the first pair soon. 

The only wardrobe essential I still need to stock up on is cream and Winter white pullovers. I’ve tried many styles, but haven’t found the right items yet. They’ve either been too transparent, too scratchy, or too pricey to duplicate. The search continues.  

Wardrobe essentials aren’t exciting, dramatic and interesting purchases like statement pieces, and sometimes it feels hard to justify allocating part of our budget to them. But they are essentials for good reason, making it easier for us to create complete outfits. Don’t forget about them.