Wardrobe basics are items like panties, bras, camisoles, socks, sleepwear, loungewear, hosiery and thermals. If you’re not a sporty and athletic person like me and don’t have a lot of gear, yoga outfits are wardrobe basics too. 

Wardrobe basics are NOT to be confused with wardrobe essentials, which are the simple items that are essential to your particular style.

When I help clients to edit and review their closets, they often think they’re done after we’ve gone through clothing, footwear and accessories. Not so fast! We have to hit wardrobe basics. Some clients are reluctant, but we eventually edit and review that component of their styles, and add important items to a shopping list. It’s always a great feeling when it’s done.

You might not enjoy wearing them or purchasing them, but wardrobe basics are workhorses, and therefore deserve your attention and a portion of your budget. Tackle each of the categories a drawer, bin, or pile at a time, and make a list of what’s missing. Arrange the items you’re keeping neatly back into their storage spaces, and find better storage solutions if you need to. The process is fast, effective, and satisfying.

Underwear and Shapewear

Go through your pile of panties and bras and pass on the items that are worn, ripped, unflattering, pilling, stretched out, don’t fit, or uncomfortable. Do the same for shapewear and camisoles. Take special note of white camisoles and thermals that are stained and greyed.

This is especially important with weight loss or gain when you’ll need to adjust the size and fit of undies. People tend to forget that knickers and bras are an important foundation of one’s style.

Socks and Hosiery

Go through the lot and pass on worn, ripped, ill-fitting, and uncomfortable socks and hosiery. Pass on socks, knee-highs, and footies that have been single for years.

Sleepwear and Loungewear

Attack that forever growing pile of “demoted to sleeping” tees because you don’t need twenty of them. Do the same for sweatpants, sweatshirts and leggings. Check for worn-out fleece and flannel PJs. Check for holes in cotton pyjama sets. Sew on buttons that are missing, and pass on knits that have shrunk or stretched out. Assess your sleepwear capsule and whether you feel good and comfortable wearing it. If not, evolve your sleepwear style.

If you wear loungewear, make sure you look and feel good in it. Can you answer the front door, or nip out into the garden quickly wearing it and not feel embarrassed? Ask the same questions about your PJs and robe. It’s not the best solution to wear ruined, worn, ill-fitting and un-fab clothing around the house just because you don’t want to pass it on. Feel good in your at-home style too.

Workout Wear

Attack that forever growing pile of old tees you’ve decided are good enough to work out in. They might be, but again, you probably don’t need more than seven if you work out daily. Attack that forever growing pile of free tees that you’ve accumulated from completing a sporting event, participating at a work function, or contributing to a charity. Keep the ones that are sentimental in a box out of the way, or take a photo of the important tees and store the sentimental ones digitally.

Check through the rest of your workout wear and make sure it’s dead right for your needs. Many of my clients wear 20% of their workout wear 80% of the time. Pass on the malfunctioning lot and duplicate the winners.

If you’re very sporty and have a lot of specialized sports gear, take the time to go through what you hike, bike, swim, ski, canoe, paddle board, snowboard and belly dance in, and make sure it’s functional, fabulous, and makes you happy.

I edited and reviewed my wardrobe basics a couple of weekends ago. Editing items and neatening up the content of drawers makes my toes tingle. I could do it all day! I passed on some cute but dreadfully ill-fitting socks, old bras, and polyester camisoles that look great but feel awful. I revamped my sleepwear and loungewear last year and feel good in it. My yoga capsule is extremely small but very functional so I’m not adding to it. I ordered some new bras and knee-highs and I’m set for a while.

Over to you. How edited are your wardrobe basics? Do they need to be replenished? I’ll be starting a basics editing & reviewing challenge on our forum soon, which might help with the motivation to get it done.