Angie's post on essentials this year resonated much better for me. Like Suz, I had more of an aha moment about balanced specific/ not specific.
This list is only partial and also need some more reflection, bug I wanted to get started:
Black work pants: I still embrace black pants because black forgives minor fit issues and makes a long leg kind with dark footwear. Try to have several style but now aim for the best of each,so BLACK is the duplication but the styles evolve or fabrics upgrade. Black bootcut, straight trouser, ankle , crop depending on what I can find.
Navy is in the mix too mister because I've found some I love that only were in navy. And also, it is a softer look and gives a little variety.
Footwear in black , gray, burgundy and some nudes. "Flats " including 1". A variety that give the right " look" with different bottoms. Loafers or similar, short boots/ booties and more feminie flat like ballet style. The colors are part of the essential nature as I wear black and gray tights in winter and want low- contrast; nude hose in summer with skirts and want low to medium contrast there.
I will add specific ankle- strap style flats which I feel is essential to my being able to wear summer cropped pants snd some skirts, in my current style -
proportion view at least.
Polished knit tops / gray is essential in a variety of styles. Merino, cashmere, rayon blends, thicker linen and cotton knits. Others in my color palette( see jackets below). Some substantial and longer for stand- alone outfits not using a topper, & some thin enough for layering.
Pencil skirts in specific fabrics-- NOT tropical weights- too unforgiving. Thicker , textured and multi-toned. Think tweed, boucle, brocade, or sometimes print is enough. Always include black in the mix, or branching into navy, and ideally some gray, or
some beige/ camel, more of less of each if targeted for winter vs summer " leg color" and footwear- then can have touched of burgundy or berry etc.
Jackets including blazers for when more " formal business casual" is needed, to polished non- blazer style such as field jacket or military, but always with some degree of waist definition. Lighter- Med colors because black & navy wash me out, but one or 2 black options because, well. sometimes the jacket needs to be the dark neutral in order to wear other colors/ prints for the outfit. . A few different lengths for pants ir skirt; lucky finds work with both.
Curved shirttail hem tops that look intentional and not like just an untucked shirt. Usually a thicker knit for work but occasionally a woven works.
Slight hi- low hems. ( Not too extreme)A few different lengths for different bottoms. For casual wear, there are more options in casual knits and actual untucked button/ front shirts.
Tights: you may consider those as basics/ underwear but they are essential for my cool- weather skirt and dress looks and I wear some colors other than black and match tones to shoes, so for me the right options " make" both skirts and shoes wearable when I would not wear either with s nude leg, even nude hosiery
Necklaces in silver/ pewter, gray in various styles. I wear something almost every day.
That is mostly workwear.
For casual, full/ length jeans are more essential than crops, and straight cuts are the more essential style. Lighter fabric/ rolled hem pants for hotter weather. Linen knit short sleeve and 3/4 sleeve tops. Sneakers, as opposed to track shoes, and loafers.
Coats/ for another day.
Thanks for reading! I'm enjoying reading others' interpretations, too.