I think Angie covers this topic every year? Every few years? And she always says this...

"They are not to be confused with wardrobe basics"

But darned if it hasn't taken me until now to kind of figure that out.

So I sat down and thought, what are my wardrobe essentials? and I was kind of surprised to realize it really is just a handful of things, and I can be comfortably dressed year-round.

For year-round:

  • High-rise skinny jeans in dark indigo wash.
  • Black ponte pants or thick black leggings.
  • A black draped or ruched, close-fitting pencil skirt.
  • Black, white, and blush short-sleeve crewneck tees.
  • Black long-sleeve knit tops or tees. Slash or crew or v-neck.
  • Black leather high-heel pumps.
  • Nude patent leather high-heel pumps.
  • Nude block-heel ballerinas.
  • Pearl stud earrings.
  • Zip up black cardigan.
  • Black cross-body bag.
  • ETA: sunglasses. I cannot manage without sunnies.

I wear zip-up black cardigans year-round, with pretty much everything. They're perfect for layering in cool weather, and for frigid A/C in hot weather.

For cold weather:

  • Non-wool black tights with a high denier.
  • Black OTK boots with a flat or low heel.
  • Black leather gloves.
  • Pashmina or pashmina-feel scarves.
  • Long coat that comes down to the knee.
  • ETA: wool cadet cap.

For hot weather:

  • Lightweight pencil skirt in tan or white.
  • Lightweight knit boleros
  • Shorts in tan or white, with a 3-4" inseam
  • Espadrilles.
  • Wedge Sandals with an ankle cuff.
  • One really good swimsuit with good bra support.
  • ETA: sun hat for the pool.

I like to have toppers available during the summer, to complete an outfit, that can withstand A/C in the Deep South, but be cool enough to step outside in.

Obviously there are other things I wear regularly, besides these - but if I have these, I can do anything from going to a dance or fitness class, all the way to going out for drinks + dinner.

Having made this list, I realized that 'essentials' for me, are the things I absolutely have to have. If I travelled for more than two weeks, and was missing any of this, I would seriously consider going out and picking up a replacement.