You know those style posts that talk about the essential items every woman needs for a complete wardrobe? Things like a classic white button down top, basic tee, ballet flats, power blazer, perfect jeans and a leather jacket are often included in these lists.
In fact, these are the exact items I pulled from various sites across the web. What do you think when you see these items? Do you feel like you NEED them for a complete wardrobe?
That’s not to say those pieces won’t work for your style.
But I’d never recommend following those general lists if you want a style that’s unique to you.
Why General Wardrobe Essentials Won’t Serve
There’s a reason those general lists won’t work—because your wardrobe essentials are specific to you.
My styling practice serves a diverse range of women. When I look at their different wardrobes, I can’t find one item that would be useful to all.
Several of my clients have jeans in their closet. But one of my clients doesn’t wear jeans. There are only a couple clients who have a white button up top. Three have leather jackets. And almost all have a blazer, but not everyone. So if I was to distribute a general list of wardrobe essentials that they must have…it wouldn’t serve them all.
Staple Items Don’t Always Serve
I’m all for building a versatile and cohesive wardrobe. Who doesn’t want to open up their closet and see how everything goes together? But the pieces of this puzzle will look different for each person.
And don’t forget about seasons and lifestyle! Your leather jacket wouldn’t be essential in July. And the covid lifestyle has done a real number on what most of us consider essential at this point. I certainly didn’t foresee a hierarchy of sweats in my wardrobe!
What Goes In Your Essential List
The goal of these lists is to help you procure your wardrobe staples. These are the items that you’ll want to wear, and they make sense for YOU!
So to create your personalized selection, start with what you’ve got. Pull out the top 3 – 5 items that you’ve worn the most this season. Be honest with yourself when perusing your closet. This means that even if you love your beige cashmere sweater but you didn’t wear it much…that’s not one of your top 3 -5 items.
Once you’ve got your top items, then you’ll need to see how many different outfits you can create from those pieces. If you can create at least 3 outfits from that item, that’s one of your essentials! And if you feel an item is missing that would easily go into 3 of your outfits, that could also be your wardrobe staple.
Click play on the video to see how I came up with my essential items so you can figure it out for yourself based on what you already own.
I realize it’s easier if someone could tell you what to wear and give you the stylist approved list with every must have that’ll make up your ultimate wardrobe. But those general lists, or anyone who is speaking to a broad audience, won’t serve your personal style.
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