This is hard to do during the pandemic in some ways, but in some ways, not. Giving up 75% of my wardrobe to storage has made my categories clear. HOWEVER, it's warm in my apartment and I'm hardly wearing sweaters, though I have a sense from before of which are essential. I look forward to my new home, where I can keep things cooler and wear my sweaters.

I have learned during these months that am NOT a capsule wardrobe person. I like having a variety of completers and statements. A lot of the essentials definitely needed to be retained so I could make my statements work. Essentials are an area of my wardrobe that I really struggled with before YLF, since I always liked statements but consider one per outfit to be enough.

I think the essentials are all similar to before, except maybe the army green and cream jackets, and the headband. The jewelry I mention below was worn daily last year as well, but I didn't think to add it then.

Essentials:
-knitwear and tees in solid navy, black, and white/cream

-knitwear and tees in neutral stripes (Navy and white or black and white)

-Jeans in wide, bootcut and demi-bootcut shapes--dark and medium washes. (I still have skinny ones but don't reach for them)

-White, black and metallic sneakers, hi and low top (I do need new white low top ones--the old ones stopped being supportive enough)

-White and metallic sandals

-Black booties (I feel like white or metallic ones make more of a statement in the winter? They are often contracting the darker colors of my coats.)

-Some kind of top layer in summer
for indoors a/c TBD
(used to be denim jackets, but this may change due to
the pandemic and my new home... it may be I buy more knitwear toppers. I
will hold off until I'm there and it's warmer.)

-Army green utility jacket in shoulder seasons, and my cream denim chore jacket

-ETA - Black short buffer jacket - forgot this before

-black and navy pants, esp. in warmer weather (for work) - I don't wear pants so much as jeans at home, but I'm off skinny shapes either way. Army green pants used to be in this list, and may be again, but the ones I have currently aren't what I reach for. This may be an area to replenish in warmer weather.

-rose gold Apple Watch and my wedding and engagement ring. The only jewelry I've been wearing since March, but they are worn daily.

Questions/unclear items:


-my rose gold headband. The Zoom-era accessory that replaces my long pendants (I haven't been wearing jewelry beyond what I mention above). I have other headbands that are statements, and are worn less because I have a lot of statement tops. This can be thrown on with most outfits. I want a silver one, too.... Is this neutral enough to count? I am using it as a neutral.

- Not sure I consider any of my winter coats an essential,
except maybe my tweed topcoat, but it's probably too colorful (though the colors in the tweed allow it to go with everything, and it's grounded in white and navy). I wear it all the time, except when it
dips below 40. I have a black and navy winter coat, but it's not always cold enough for them


-I
suppose at this point my black and grey loungewear joggers have to
count? Are we counting loungewear? I don't wear it to WFH, but I do wear
them every night. I am guessing this won't count

-Shorts in my solid neutrals were never in one of these categories before, but I wore them a lot last summer since I was home more and my house was hot. My new home will have central a/c, so this remains something I won't know until the summer, and it will depend how much time I spend outdoors (I will have a small yard/patio, and will be able to work out there, too). So this is TBD.

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