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  • Writer's pictureGabby Eckert

Wardrobe Basics

“Seventy percent of the clothes you own should be meat and potatoes. Thirty percent should be icing and fluff — that’s colour, pattern, shine, accessories. Too many women get the proportions the other way around then can’t figure out why they can’t get dressed” — Michael Kors.

Wardrobe Basics Michael Kors quote

I don't agree with this exact percentage for every woman, but you get the point! A wardrobe with too much icing and fluff with little meat and potatoes is a problem!

Do you have trouble putting outfits together? If so, take a look in your closet and see if you have the right wardrobe basics. Your wardrobe basics are the "meat and potatoes" of your wardrobe.

I recently asked a group of women, What is your biggest fashion struggle?

A few of the answers I received were “putting outfits together,” “creating matching outfits,” and“figuring out how to pair things,” etc.

Wardrobe basics are the building blocks of your wardrobe. Many women have plenty of fun statement pieces ("icing and fluff") but do not have the necessary foundation pieces to build their wardrobe. That is why they struggle to put outfits together.

The problem is that when we shop, we are mostly attracted to the quick trends in fashion and the shiny, bold, and pretty pieces. Those things are fine, but we often forget the basic pieces that hold our wardrobe together. The wardrobe basics are often forgotten and thought of as the boring pieces in our wardrobe. But the truth is that our wardrobe basics play a very important role. We cannot have a wardrobe solely made up of fun statement pieces. If all we have are statement pieces in our closet, we will find it very challenging to create outfits.

Must have wardrobe basics

Wardrobe basics have an important job: they are to support and balance out statement pieces or fun pieces that reflect more of your personal style. Once you have your basics, you can add these fun statement pieces to create a beautiful wardrobe with plenty of outfit options, because you will have the necessary pieces to pair with them. Most of the basics work as a great base and allow you to create both casual and dressy outfits.

The first step to figuring out whether you are in need of wardrobe basics is to start with a closet detox. A closet detox will help you to see if you have the wardrobe basics you need in your closet to create beautiful outfits. It will also give you a good idea of what your color palette is and what statement pieces you have in your wardrobe that need basics in order to create an outfit. You will know what needs to be replaced or repaired, and you can create a shopping list for yourself so that when you go shopping for your basics, you do not get distracted. If you need help with the closet detox process, download my free PDF guide that will walk you through step-by-step.

After you have completed your closet detox, you are ready to go shopping! There are a few factors to consider when selecting your basics. You want to consider your personal style, body shape, seasons, weather, and your lifestyle.

Here are a few questions to help guide you as you shop for your wardrobe basics:

  • Does this fit and flatter my body shape? (For more on body shapes, download my free PDF guide HERE.)

  • Do I feel comfortable in this?

  • Does this piece make me feel beautiful and confident?

  • Is it good quality?

  • Does it fit my color palette? (I tend to gravitate toward black and white for my basics, but you can certainly try navy, beige, tan, pale pink, gray, etc.)

must have wardrobe basics and wardrobe essentials

When shopping for the basics, my advice is to go with the best quality you can afford. I would allot most of my budget to purchasing these pieces, because you will be wearing them often.

Now let’s move on to which specific basics you should have in your wardrobe for the summer! (Again, when looking at this list, consider your personal style, color palette, and lifestyle.)

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Black and white short sleeve shirts (You can also go with other neutrals like cream, tan, navy, gray, etc. Again, consider your color palette.)

  • Black and white camisoles for dressier occasions. These are great for layering, and try to stick with silk-inspired fabric.

  • Black and white tank tops

  • White button down tops

  • Chambray shirts

  • Black or white denim

  • Black pants

  • Dark wash and light wash denim

  • Black dresses

  • Black skirts (pencil skirts or a-line skirts)

  • Black blazers

  • Denim jacket

  • Kimono

  • White sneakers

  • Black sneakers

  • Black heels

  • Nude heels

  • Neutral, strappy sandals

  • Black flats

Having the necessary wardrobe basics for each season will transform your wardrobe, give you versatility, save you time getting ready, and allow you to create beautiful outfits effortlessly.

If you would like more one-on-one help with your wardrobe, book a complimentary Personal Styling Strategy Session HERE. Slots are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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