Still getting the hang of this, but I find that understanding how items work in my wardrobe by category helps me make better choices/fewer mistakes. So in addition to the “what” of the category (essential, statement, wildcard), the “why” is also important. Here goes:

Dark bottoms, higher to high rise, for three seasons:

Pants: black in all fabrics and leg shapes (EX: cotton skinnies, lined wool straight legs, blended fabric drapey wide legs). One brown and one dark olive pair entered the rotation this year. Two black crops (Aritzia straight leg blend and JCrew Teddie flairs) are worn mostly early fall/late spring. I have a lovely paperbag waist full-length navy pant, but it is harder to wear because it is blue (not my best color to match on top) and because I can`t have any extra weight or water retention to feel fab in them #agingwhatcanyoudo?</p> <p>Jeans: Same as above. Dark, all leg shapes and fabrics. Rich full cotton wides, stretchy skinnies and straights, blended trouser jeans (really old, more than a decade from JCrew and maybe now just starting to feel dated—although I still wear them a lot). Burgundy NYDJ flares entered rotation this year. I do not like white or light full-length denim on me, period. I have wasted far too much money on these items, including premium denim, and AM. DONE.</p> <p>Pencil skirts: Two VC midi tube skirts, one each in black and dark charcoal, and a denim pencil midi, all from NAS years past, are in heavy rotation.</p> <p>Shorts: I like shorts in all colors—contrary to three-season pants. I have tomato red and bright white narrow legs, as in bermudas and skinny crops. Could this be because proportionally, my thighs are long compared to my calves, so shorts and crops have a lengthening effect by placing attention on the longer part of my leg?</p> <p>I suspect scarves and earrings are essentials for me because they complete outfits (or does that make them “completers?” They are the glue, in Suz`s words, that often pull outfits together). But I wear them in so many colors and shapes that I cannot categorize them more fully. I do love color, and I balance my dark bottoms with plenty of color on my top half and around my face.

What to do about dresses? They are my favorite thing to wear in every solid, pattern, shape and length. They are my one-and-done.

Footwear: This is the category that has most expanded during my time with YLF; I finally understand the value of appropriate footwear to make an outfit look current and pulled together. In heavy rotation during three seasons are a taupe and black bootie, each with 3” chunky heel, pointy-toe, high hugging ankle, and waterproof exterior. I have added black, navy, and burgundy tall boots with lower 2” heels this season.

Tops and toppers I am still figuring out. This is the area where I am presently weakest in my understanding. Generally, my tops are on the shorter or cropped side to help lengthen the leg line—although I do have some tunics that I wear with black leggings. All colors, solids, patterns and fabrics. Many place holders.

Understanding wardrobe categories saved me recently from purchasing something for my fantasy life. I loved it (a dress) and really wanted it—then realized I would never wear it. Poof! Like magic, the craving was gone.

That is the best I can do for now. Thanks for reading; I welcome any and all insights you can muster!