CLOSET CONFIDENTIAL: Wardrobe Essentials


We’ve all seen them, the list of essentials every woman ‘needs’ and ‘must have’ in their closet or wardrobe. The list has expanded over the years, from 7 articles of clothing to 100 pieces with accessories included. The basics have always been a little black dress, pants, skirt, blazer, trench, white tshirt, white blouse/shirt, and jeans. Then came tights, a Cashmere cardi, good shoes heels/ballet flats, good leather bag, big sunglasses, scarf and on and on and on.

What I realised is that everyone’s lifestyle and job will dictate what is in their closet. For example, if you work in a bank or office, then you will have business suits and blouses, so pants, skirts and blazers mixed with white blouses and shirts. I’ve been there and done that and yes, I still have those things in my wardrobe as they are too good to throw out and they may full well be necessary for future functions, such as weddings, funerals or meetings.

Some of the other things they’ve added have been very specific. Button down blouses, Oxford shirts, boyfriend cardigans. Apparently you can’t have your own cardigan you must have his. Then there’s skinny jeans, cigarette pants, pencil skirts, grandpa sweater, ribbed tanks, bra shelf tanks, tshirts for casual, dressy or housework. The list is long. So, so, long…

So, I decided to do my own, and I think every woman should do their own basic wardrobe essentials as everyone is going to be different to everyone else. It’s all going to depend on our jobs, our lifestyle, and our spare time. What do we wear for work and do we wear that for casual days out? Do we have pieces to get dressed up in or are we dressed up all the time?

Step 11 – Get a big A4 notepad and pen, stand in front of your wardrobe again, and take a good look at what’s left. Go slowly through your clothes and write down everything you have. Use a separate page for each colour and at the end you will have multiple lists.

Do you need to replace business clothes, casual pants, workout wear? Do you want plain clothes, printed clothes or fancy clothes?

And remember, fancy clothes, such as sequined tops or jackets, or articles of high style, design or quality fabric don’t have to be left ‘for best’ (although if you’ve paid more for the article then they should last longer). Wear them anytime you want. So many stores sell sequined tops these days, at greatly reduced prices, that you can afford to have them in every colour and wear them when and how you like.

12 – If you find a deficiency in what you have, now is the time to write up another list. Get to work on what you need, and I said NEED, and what you want, although they may be the same thing. Make up two columns on the one page and start writing. Think about what you need for work, play, casual, sport, gardening etc and write it all down. Then write in your want list. Once you’re done cut and cull those lists because depending on your budget you may not be able to buy everything on the list or what you want. You could also write down names of shops you’d like to check out for what you need and consider stores you wouldn’t or don’t normally shop in.

The limit is yours as to what you buy, it’s only limited by your budget, just don’t feel you need to go overboard because your favourite celebrity or blogger has something and you think you should have it too. Stick to magazines for ideas and the latest styles.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the final instalment of How to Audit Your Wardrobe and Update Your Style in Two Days.

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