Spinning off from Deborah's great 5-Piece French Wardrobe thread, I've been thinking about the concept of "basics" in my wardrobe and how to create a foundation over which my personal style is built.
Since Maneera asked how to determine what constituted a basic, and I've been thinking about this as well, I thought it was worth a discussion.
I started by making my dream list based on these, but quickly realized it wasn't the fastest way to finding a list that suits my lifestyle, so I ended up looking at my wardrobe and picking out the things I wear constantly and combine in lots of different ways. In YLF-speak, basics=workhorses with staying power. (ETA: Others helpfully pointed out that Angie's actual term is "wardrobe essentials." That should help with searching.)
My list looked something like this:
Shoes - black ankle-strap pumps, black ballet flats, tan ballet flats, cowboy boots, Chucks, brown knee-high boots, snow boots
Skirts - dark denim a-line, burgundy wool
Tops - plaid flannel, striped tee, black drapeneck, black ribbed turtleneck sweater, chunky knit sweater
Dresses - LBD, chambray fit and flare
Pants - burgundy capris, skinny jeans, gray trousers
Toppers - black blazer, black cardigan, denim jacket
Bags - Fossil shopper
Coats - down puffer, black trench
Accessories - kuchi cuff, printed scarf, chunky knit infinity scarf
This isn't my whole wardrobe, just my workhorses. Some of the things (in italics) are items I had in previous seasons and have since worn out/no longer fit and need replacing. For me, having clothing items completely wear out (and wanting to replace them) is a good sign they're basics. There are some holes here, pieces that I think need adding, some replacements that will work better than what I have, but this is my starting point.
Over to you all, what are your wardrobe basics? How do you determine that?