Monday, April 15, 2013

back to basics

About two weeks ago when Chicago was warm and sunny, I was struck by an urgent need to swap out my cold-weather clothes for my warm-weather ones. I've come to regret that decision (as I knew I would, but I couldn't help it!) as the weather has been cold and wet since, but the clothes swap did give me the opportunity to edit and pare down my closet. After sorting the contents of my closet into keep/donate/sell/chuck piles and repositioning the items I decided to keep, I took stock of my closet and realized that every item I kept was really a variation on repeating themes in my closet - my wardrobe basics.

The basics I have:

striped shirts
slightly slouchy tees
flannel/chambray/gingham button-downs
crewneck or v-neck merino sweaters

dark skinny jeans
white skinny jeans
dark bootcut jeans
boyfriend jeans/khakis
dark trousers
A-line skirts

fit & flare

low-profile sneakers
ankle boots
single-sole pumps
strappy sandals

long scarves
delicate necklace
stud earrings
medium/large & semi-structured
small/medium crossbodies

utility jacket
denim jacket
winter coat
odds & ends
good underwear

The most-used items in my closet used fall into one of these categories. I have other items in my wardrobe, of course, that don't, but those items are far less used in my day-to-day life - i.e. statement necklaces, bangles (I hate how they sound when I do anything productive with my hands/arms), shoes with a platform, small shoulder bag, etc. I also noticed that I favor grey, black, white, dark/cobalt blue, and red when it comes to clothing, but I'm more adventurous in color when it comes to shoes, scarves, and jewelry. 
Taking stock of what I had post-edit allowed me to make note of basics I had covered and the ones I'm lacking. These are the items that I find myself wishing I had to complement the much-loved basics I already have.
The basics I'm looking to add:
white button-down
trench coat
riding boot
various belts

All four of these needed basics are part of an ongoing, never-ending quest. Because I'm short and busty, finding a flattering, semi-dressy white button-down that doesn't gape at the chest but isn't swimmingly long or huge in the waist is like finding a needle in a haystack. For similar reasons, my perfect trench coat has yet to be found. My perfect flat riding boot has also evaded me thus far because as a former long-distance runner, I have short athletic legs and muscular calves that make finding any boot with a long shaft near impossible, much less leather riding boots of good quality under $500 (which is why ankle boots have been my go-to). The belts aren't too hard to find, but I haven't taken the time to really pick out a variety of styles. In the midst of other shopping, I feel like belts are always last on the list and the first to be put off. I'm hoping to change that...and to find my elusive trifecta.

What are your basics?

image via


  1. if I should pinpoint basics in my closet they would be a black and white striped top, black blazer, a line skirts, and my black pointed or platform heels ..well and also my black flats..i go through tme fast..hi dear i just found your blog and i love it!!!! would you be interested in following each other via GFC and Bloglovin? I always return the follow..leave me a comment and let me know

    1. You can never go wrong with black and white, and I love stripes. Thanks for stopping by! I left a comment on your anniversary pretty!

  2. curating the perfect wardrobe is never easy - especially when those seemingly simple basics elude you! Hope you are able to track them down!

    (and can that photo be my closet please?)
    Chic on the Cheap

    1. If that were my closet, I'd never leave. I'd just live there. ;)


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