What do you think of when you see or hear the phrase “wardrobe essentials?” If you google it, you will get a host of articles with advice on what you “must have” in your closet. In reality, it is tricky for anyone to tell you what you must have in your closet because each of us has a unique life with different clothing requirements. Your wardrobe will vary widely depending on whether you are a fashion expert, a construction worker, an office professional or a stay-at-home mom.
However, one thing these checklists do offer are helpful guidelines for stocking your closet with items that can make it easier to get dressed. And whether it’s a Manic Monday or a Casual Friday, nothing but good can come from that! Here are some of our favorite checklists:
- The Essentials of a Well-Balanced Wardrobe from Real Simple Magazine
- Tim Gunn’s 10 Essential Wardrobe Items for 2012
- Wardrobe Basics: How to Wear 8 Pieces 30 Different Ways from Good Housekeeping
- 18 Fashion Essentials from Oprah.com
- My 10 Essential Closet Picks from Wendy’s Lookbook
Although they are all worth reading, for those of you who like shortcuts, these lists can be quickly summarized in four words: black, white, jean and leather.
- Black is popular! And why wouldn’t it be? Black is classic and easy to match with anything so it makes sense that most of these lists feature items of this color. Most suggest a little black dress and black pumps or heels. Add to that a black power suit, black blazer, black tee, black purse and black high top boots and you are over half way done.
- White is always in style. Classic white shirt and classic white tee. Check!
- Jeans. You need one pair of dress jeans in dark wash with a boot cut say the experts. (As if we needed encouragement and, seriously, who could stop with just one pair!) And while you’re looking, a blue and/or white denim jacket is always in style.
- Leather. Not pants, but a jacket. Sounds good to us.
And, of course, do not neglect the undergarments! Invest in a good bra and some targeted shapewear (for where you need it most) to make the outer garments look as good as they are.
It also makes sense to focus on quality for these basics (like the pieces we offer at Jodi K’s!). They are timeless and will last you forever so it is worth the investment.
Finally, if all this is perplexing instead of helping you, here is great advice from Sally McGraw of Already Pretty on how to make sense of these lists (if they don’t sound like items you’d like to wear).