A popular post for Fashion Bloggers over the years has been, on “closet staples”. You’ve seen these posts with 10 timeless pieces that theoretically “everyone” should have in their closet…yeah. I’ve never enjoyed those posts because it always left me feeling like my closet was lacking when I didn’t need to buy anymore and knew without a shadow of a doubt I’d never wear some of the pieces mentioned. For example, I don’t work in a professional office and I’ve always loathed button down white blouses thanks to my four years in FFA in high school. And a white button down shirts were required for the FFA dress code, with black pants and the FFA jacket. I’m not going to tell you today 10 things you should have in your closet. Instead, this post about closet staples is going to look very different for every person and I hope it inspires you to see which pieces in your closet are staples to your style.
When it comes to the tops in your wardrobe it’s important that they not only feel good on, but also are versatile for your lifestyle and go with the other items in your wardrobe. I have a tendency to buy earthy shades in my tops. I love burgundy reds, mustard yellow, and muted tones. This works out well for me because this color goes well with my blue jeans, skirts, and dresses. (Yes, I love to wear tops over & under my dresses!) I prefer 3/4 sleeves they are perfect to wear under a cardigan and even good on warmer days in the spring and summer. Since versatility is important to my closet sleeveless tops are not a popular cut for me.
There is a vast difference in my summer tops and my winter tops. I am a big fan of mock neck tops and I live in long sleeves until the snow melts, in the summer I live in short sleeves or sleeve less with a lightweight layer.
What are your closet staple tops the ones you return to again and again? What color are they? How do they fit? Consider the sleeve length, top length, neckline, and fit from shoulders to hip. Do you feel like you are missing a particular cut, color, or style for your lifestyle? Why do you feel like you need that top in your closet?
I love blue jeans, in fact they are my go to bottoms of choice. Choosing bottoms it’s important that they fit right and in all the right places, especially inseam length & rise. For skirts, it is important that they have a good hem length, whatever you feel comfortable with, and sit comfortably on your waist & don’t ride up.
High rise denim has become super popular and on-trend over the last few years, and the reason I think it is sticking around is people genuinely love the fit. I know I do. But if high rise denim isn’t your jam, no big deal wear what YOU feel comfortable in. Don’t like skinny jeans? Cool there are lots of other fits out there! And sometimes an outfit calls for something else like a wide leg crop or a classic bootcut. I love skinny jeans in the winter because it is easy to keep them out of the snow and wet and stuff into boots, also they are less breezy. Warmer weather you will find me in skirts and wider cuts of denim.
What cuts, colors, and fits of pants do you prefer? What do you feel like you are missing for your lifestyle?
While I love wearing dresses, which we will get to in a second, skirts feel much harder to pull off. Styling a skirt feels like an art I have not mastered yet, but I am learning. I prefer skirts that fall to my knee or below, although I don’t own any maxi skirts. And having one top you know can go with a skirt is a great place to start getting creative! Skirts, like dresses, are easier to wear when they have pockets and I don’t like when they ride up on my torso.
What cuts, colors, or styles of skirts do you love or would love to wear? How important are pockets & hem length?
Oh dresses, before I started participating in Dressember I owned like 2 dresses and I wore them never. Don’t get me wrong when I was little I loved dresses but dresses also got in the way of running away from the boys at recess so it was a gamble. Today, I own more dresses than I ever have and I wear at least one dress a week and not necessarily to get dressed up.
There are a lot of factors for dresses; fit, fabric, hem length, sleeve length, color/pattern, and pockets. I tend to prefer dresses with pockets, obviously where else does one put their gummi bear stash, and I am either/or on knit vs woven although most of the dresses that fill my closet are presently are knits. For a while I was getting very self conscious about my arms and didn’t like sleeveless tops or dresses even though I own a few. If this is the case a simple cardigan can help. My favorite new thing for dresses in winter? Wearing a mock neck under a sleeveless dress. Really.
How many dresses do you currently own & wear regularly? Why do you wear those dresses? Is it the cut, the fabric, the fact that they may have pockets? Do you feel like you are missing a particular cut, color, or style for your lifestyle? Why do you feel like you need that dress in your closet?
Keeping in ming my earthy toned tops & dresses, I like my lightweight layers to be well in the same tonal family. Lightweight layers can be a few different things, a pullover sweatshirt style, a pullover with a kangaroo pocket, and cardigans. I have a few fast fashion cardigans I am going to keep wearing until they need to be replaced, but I much prefer a simple button down with pockets. Neutral is always a winner & in case you haven’t caught on pockets are always a plus! Wait until we talk about Outer Layers!
Which lightweight layers do you love? Do they have pockets? Are they long or short? Perhaps they have buttons or are warm & cozy. Do you feel like you are missing a particular cut, color, or style for your lifestyle? Why do you feel like you need that cardigan in your closet?
There was a time when I owned more outer layers, think coats & jackets, than I ever needed. I have since limited my wardrobe to a few that I really love. Now, this does not apply to a heavy winter coat, if you live somewhere cold you know that your winter coat doesn’t need to fit your style, although it is nice when it does. Instead, these are more stylish outer layers for not arctic weather days.
I have 3 outer layers, I wear often; my leopard coat, my denim jacket, and my olive utility jacket. My favorite feature are the pockets. Also I can wear my leopard coat & my denim jacket over 90% of my wardrobe including thick sweaters. I love my olive coat for the length, pockets, and it has a hood, even if it does fit tighter than I’d like I wear it in place of a lightweight layer often.
What features do you love in a layer? Is it color, fit, how many pockets are available to you? Do you feel like you are missing a particular cut, color, or style for your lifestyle? Why do you feel like you need that layer in your closet?
Your shoe choices are much more dependent on your climate and outdoor environment. I’m one of those people when I find what I like, I am ALL in. I do the same thing with music. I find one or two things I love and I wear the heck out of it. This is good because I get a lot of use out of the pieces I own and I own them for years and 2 they become a signature of my style, always there.
I have 2 seasons of shoes, summer = sandals and winter = boots. 95% of my shoes fit into these 2 categories. I also wear flats ‘between’ seasons, but overall avoid boots and flats in the summer and defiantly avoid sandals in the winter. I wear a good portion of the shoes I actually own, except for rain boots. While necessary in Texas and in California, I really don’t wear them much in Colorado. If I am going to wear boots when it is wet out, they will probably be more traditional boots and not speciality rain boots. I consider clogs sandals since they don’t encase the whole foot and I do enjoy these in the winter with socks, however controversial that may be, it is a fun change in pace.
What kinds of shoes do you often wear to work? Do you like heels, if so block heel or something more like a stiletto? How high? Do you wear flats? What is the over all color palette of your shoes? Are they neutral or bright & bold? Ankle boots or riding boots?
All in all the most important thing you can do in your closet is not buy what some fashion blogger tells you, instead it is to figure out what you love to wear and why. Knowing your style will help you make better purchases for your closet in the future and will eliminate the I have a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear paradox.
Launching in April 2021 is the stylishly YOU course & community, the first 20 women who sign up will get 20% off the monthly price! There will be work, homework, community, and a chance to ask questions & help you discover YOUR style.