Time for the annual wardrobe basics post. You might not enjoy wearing or purchasing basics because they’re tedious to try on, hard to fit, hard to find, relatively pricey, and quite boring. Most basics are also hidden from public view. I get that it’s much more fun to spend time, energy and money on wardrobe items that you and others can see, and I feel the same way. But the fact is that most wardrobe basics are workhorses. We wear them daily and cannot get dressed without them. That’s why they deserve your attention, and a portion of your budget, at least once a year.

To recap, wardrobe basics are items like panties, bras, camisoles, thermals, socks, sleepwear, shapewear, loungewear, hosiery, and workout wear. They are NOT the same thing as wardrobe essentials, which we discussed at length last week.

It’s extremely satisfying to wear comfortable, breathable and flattering underwear, to wear socks that don’t slip and slide, to wear hoisiery that doesn’t dig into the waist, to have workout wear that looks good and does the job, and to wear loungewear that looks pulled together. If you’ve neglected these aspects of your style, I’m reminding you to replenish what you can this year. Review your wardrobe, assess which basics need replenishing, and add them to your shopping list.

Personally I am reluctant to spend money on some basics, like workout wear, but bite the bullet because it’s so worth it. On the other hand, I like wearing pretty underwear, hosiery and cute loungewear, so I adore shopping for those basics.

My guess is that your wardrobe basics are in relatively good shape because many prioritized these types of wardrobe purchases while we held on tight — and continue to hold on tight — through the global pandemic. The emphasis on workout wear and loungewear over the last eleven months has been enormous, and with good reason. You might even have the best set of wardrobe basics that you’ve ever had. That is definitely the case for me.

Coincidently, it was a style goal in 2020 to refresh most of my wardrobe basics, which I did throughout the year. I purchased monthly and a few items at a time. I replenished across all wardrobe basics categories quite thoroughly, except for workout wear. It’s therefore a style goal in 2021 to give that section of my wardrobe some love.

My workout wear needs are simple: a yoga capsule and that’s it. These items are worn for yoga and physical therapy, and nothing else. The pandemic changed my yoga setting from a heated studio to an at-home practice, which meant that I needed a different set of clothes. It’s just as well because I last bought workout wear seven years ago, and my stuff was a little shot. I therefore created a new capsule from scratch.

It’s taken a while, but my new yoga capsule for at-home practices is complete. I created five outfits for five practices a week to avoid laundry bottlenecks. I need a sports bra, leggings, a long-sleeved top and a sweatshirt for each practice. The sweatshirts are only for the beginning and end of practice, so three is ample because they don’t need to be washed after every wear. I chose pink, teal, navy, olive and eggplant as the main colours, because those were the colours available in the items and brands that I like. I tried to avoid black and grey, but it was hard so you’ll see a bit of that coming through too. I like the idea of wearing looser yoga wear, but it doesn’t work for my practice. I’ve tried, and it was disastrous. I need compression leggings and tighter tops for vinyasa and hatha yoga because of excessive stretching and movement at a faster speed. I don’t enjoy wearing leggings and tight technical fabric tops, but it’s the most practical solution because the items stay put and stretch. My favourite items here are the sweatshirts, which were the most fun to buy.

Now that that’s done and dusted, and I’m committed to practising yoga at home from now on, I hope to not have to think about purchasing yoga gear for a few years. The collection shows the exact items in my capsule.

Over to you. Are you refreshing wardrobe basics this year? When did you last edit and review your wardrobe basics capsules? Are your wardrobe basics in better shape than ever after 2020?