I've been enjoying the conversation on Angie's thread.
Sveta said: "This is how I understand what are essentials: things which simple enough in color and style to play well with a lot of other things AND without them you CANNOT build outfits true to your style AND lifestyle."
This rings so true to me. It's that intersection between style and lifestyle that is so interesting and important to recognize, and unless you do this, you'll never be able to identify your true essentials. It takes acceptance. Acceptance of your body type/ income level/ climate/ actual activities (vs. fantasy) and your genuine needs.
Well -- call me lucky, or blessed -- or maybe dull as dust. Because for me, identifying essentials has never really been a problem. I knew what they were, intuitively, even if I never really thought about it explicitly. And I consistently bought them, over and above any statement items. In fact, I still do. (More on that in a moment).
CocoLion added something that also resonated: "...for me, a head-to-toe essentials outfit is easy but can get boring. I think this is why every few days I wear a bright colored shirt just to break things up."
Wow, did I recognize myself there. And here's the unhappy result: In the past year I have been feeling a bit guilty or worried about what I see as too much "churn" in my wardrobe.
As a work from home mother who consistently wears outfits that fall into Amid Privlege's "Humming along" category, I find that my clothes "work together" really easily. The wardrobe is cohesive. And I can get dressed without any real angst.
At the same time, I easily tire of the same old same old sweaters/ jeans/ belts looks. The fact is, I get bored.
Like Denise, I've typically looked to colour and/or pattern to elevate items from the "essential" to at least the "regular" category. But that doesn't stave off the boredom. So I've been trying to vary the silhouette a bit, but that requires a bigger investment.
Lots for me to ponder here. I've just come up with a set of ratios -- my personal percentages of essentials, statements, and regulars in each clothing category. But I will save this for another post because this is already quite long.
Thanks for reading these musings and I would love to hear where you think you fall on this spectrum and what the effects are, for you.