10 basic garments I base my wardrobe on

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When minimizing ones closet, good staples become even more important. They are versatile, classic and if you buy good quality (which you should if you can, quality over quantity) they will last you for years. Everyone has different preferences, some might feel comfortable in flats, others in heels, some in pants, others in skirts. It all comes down to what you wear the most and what makes your closet more versatile and the morning closet line up simpler.

In my closet there are a few things that are indispensable. They are either garments I wear almost every day or items I returned to every year, even if I don’t wear them that often. Like fancier dresses, they might not be the most useful garment in my closet since I’m not going to that many parties anymore, but the ones I own I have had for 3-5 years and I always return to them because they fit me well and are of a rather classic cut that always works. For fancier events, they are my comfort zone so I would never think of throwing them out even if they only get worn 2-3 times each a year.

Back to the staples! In my closet these are the most important garments that I tend to return to whenever inspiration fails.

White shirt

A classic for people who work in offices with dress codes or people who want to look a bit put together. I own a decent amount of white shirts in different models, fabrics and cuts and it is generally the first thing I reach for on a stressful morning. I’m not a huge fan of the classic Oxford since it really does not fit my body, so I tend to go for more oversized boyfriend cuts when it comes to shirts. There’s really a huge range of styles and something for everyone.

Simple fitted pants

A pair of fitted pants is a great addition to any closet. Whether you prefer high or low waste, slim or wide legs they are great for everyday use. My color of preference for pants has always been black or dark navy, but any neutral would do good for mix and match purpose.

A pair of black flats

Ever since I went on my first trip alone to Paris I have been in love with the ballerina flat. In my eyes it is the perfect flat, feminine and chic, yet comfortable. There are other great styles for flats like a nice loafer or brogues, which I unfortunately cannot really figure out how to style so I’ve just stuck to the ballerinas. Nevertheless, a black flat is a great addition to any closet.

A pair of black boots

Continuing with the black shoes, a pair of black boots is another thing my closet would be incomplete without. Here I mix all kinds, high heels, biker boots, low heels and chelseas. Since I live in a rather cold climate boots is what I tend to wear for more or less half the year so investing in good ones is a must. If you live in a warm climate you might not need it for weather purpose, but you know, they are also kinda cute!

A pair of sneakers

A pair of comfortable sneakers is a must in my closet. And I’m not talking about the big running shoes à la Asics now, but rather the more refined everyday one. It can be a simple tennis shoe or more athletic, but not a proper sports shoe. They’re great for leisure, walking and exploring, so a real must for weekend city exploring or travelling.

The black jacket

There was an exposition by Karl Lagerfeld in Paris when I lived there years ago celebrating one of Chanels most important garments: the black jacket. Black goes with any color and once again since I live in a colder climate I wear jackets more or less all year round. I often notice that while it’s more fun to get colored jackets and fun prints, a black jacket just matches easier and that makes it a great staple.

The white t-shirt

I don’t think this need that much introduction. A white t-shirt is the staple of staples in my book. A really nice fitted white tee can make a pair of jeans look nice and casual, but can equally work under a suit jacket for a more dressed up look.

A good knitted sweater

Especially for us in colder climates this is a must. I classic knitted sweater (I would go with a crew neck if I could only chose one) to layer on top of shirts and tees will make winter a nicer affaire. I would opt for wool (cashmere, merino, alpacka) for warmth, otherwise cotton is also a good option. I try to stay clear of man-made materials (e.g. polyester, nylon, acrylic) since it breathes badly and it’s a non renewable resource and thus bad for the environment. If you feel that nice wool sweaters tend to be to expensive, look second hand, there are heaps of nice woollen sweaters to be found.

The little black dress

The classic black dress. Chanel put this garment on the map forever and I am thankful! It’s a go to for me whenever I am in doubt what to wear to a nicer or more formal event. I play with the cuts slightly depending on the context, for a more proper work related event I go with a simple cut up top with a blazer, for a cocktail party I am a fan of a low back.

The statement garment

This might seem a bit off compared to all the other items on the list that are all classics or neutrals. But I do believe in having one (or a few) statement pieces that stand out. Also if everything else is in neutrals, there’s no problem matching it anyways. In my closet this tends to be coats or jackets and shoes, I have a flair for jackets with crazy patterns and fun texture and when it comes to shoes I have more than one pair that is glittery…

So that sums it up. The ten basics I base my wardrobe on. There are other pieces that didn’t make it on the list but have a place in my wardrobe too, such as jeans and simple skirts, so I’ll just give them an honorable mention. What are your thoughts on this, do you have any staples that you could not do without?

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