I'm still struggling with this concept with respect to my own wardrobe, including how to identify statement pieces. My sense is that a wardrobe essential is not likely to get "That's a GREAT ___!" even if the fit and fabrication are wonderful, right? (Other than on here, of course.) Whereas statement pieces draw such attention.

I have a moto vest similar to the one below only smooth pleather that I wear all.the.time. Total workhorse. But is it an essential or a workhorse?

I'm also wondering if I have grown my wardrobe so much that I have almost no essentials (or at least rarely wear what might be essential for others) and lots of statement pieces? I could get rid of whole categories of items like solid pencil skirts and still be able to get dressed.