I’ve been working on this post for a while. Not only is this one of my most requested posts and emailed questions, it’s something I’ve personally been working on. Now that I’m in my mid-twenties, I’m way more interested in selecting pieces for my closet that I can wear year round for many years to come. I’ve also been paring down what I own and only keeping the things that I wear frequently and feel confident, comfortable, and chic in. This isn’t to say I wouldn’t splurge on a colorful dress or something fun, but these are the things that I gravitate towards on a daily basis. They’re pieces that you can mix and match and create outfits that you feel and look great in.
There are grown up pieces that can work in a professional setting, pieces that are great for comfort, and pieces for everyday great looks.
I think if you snapped your fingers and were given a closet filled with the following, you wouldn’t have to shop again!
A couple of notes before I go into a deep dive.
– This should be used as a guide and not as a bible. I used a lot of things from J. Crew because that’s where I personally tend to get a lot of my basics… and it’s a retailer that shoots their products on a blank background.
– When building out your wardrobe, it’s first helpful to see what you’re working with. Take everything out of your closet, and sort your clothes based on what you have. Create a donate pile, a pile to toss, a pile to tailor, and a pile of what you want to keep. Then you can inventory what you have versus what you need.
– I also recommend not rushing into anything. You don’t need everything all at once. Keep in mind that it will take time! You don’t have to (and shouldn’t) run out and buy everything all at once. I recommend setting a budget so that you know what you are and aren’t willing to splurge on. For example, you may be willing to splurge on handbags since you use them every day, but want to save on your t-shirts.
– If you’re looking to build a wardrobe on a budget, I recommend… Old Navy, Joe Fresh, Gap, ASOS, Uniqlo, and Loft.
– I based this guide on the colors I wear most often: black, navy, and grey… with brown leather touches. You may find that you’re more of a chic all-black kind of girl or maybe you never wear black. You can tweak the colors to fit your personal preferences.
On any given day, I’m almost guaranteed to be wearing one of these tops… or a combination. I love a good grey sweater (I have too many!) and a button up can be worn alone or with a sweater. I didn’t add it in the collage, but I also think it’s worth stocking up on great basic tees– definitely in white, navy, and grey– every year. I wash mine so frequently that they tend to lose their shape and color after a year.
Bottoms is pretty simple. With this group of bottoms, you can create a bunch of simply chic outfits.
For outerwear, I tried to be thoughtful about what I like to wear throughout the year and what coats I feel the very best in. I included both a Barbour and a field jacket, but you could definitely eliminate one or both if you’re not feeling it.
As far as dresses go, this would be the very bare bones of what I’d have in my closet. I tend to buy more dresses than anything, especially during the summer months when it’s the easiest thing to throw on. I think the LBD speaks for itself, but if you don’t already own a shirtdress, I highly recommend investing in one. They’re the most comfortable and easiest dress to wear while still feeling relaxed yet chic.
I definitely belong to the “less is more” camp for accessories. From time to time I’ll find a trend that I may like, but I always fall back on the same classic pieces that are tried and true.
As with the dresses, I can go a little crazy with shoes. But if I was just starting out my shoe wardrobe or moving somewhere where I was forced to limit the number of shoes I brought, this is what I’d be left with.
Did I miss anything that’s a must have in your wardrobe?