We are now entering the home stretch for the 15/30: The Capsule Wardrobe Project. With less than a week left for the challenge and with some pieces having been worn for the fourth or fifth time, I decided to check up on the other bloggers participating to see their progress. Even with varying personal styles, I noticed a few similarities in terms of what most deemed to be their best pieces. They’ve certainly shown how these pieces (which I’ll go over below) are highly versatile. Such pieces can be dressed up for the office or for a gallery opening, and dressed down for a casual weekend. They can be easily mixed and matched, proving they can play well with others. It has been incredibly inspiring to see how these stylish bloggers put their own spin on some of their essentials.
But, how does a piece become an essential when creating a solid and sustainable wardrobe? Essentials are the building blocks, the starting points, the first things you gravitate towards when there are days you just couldn’t be bothered with coming up with a new outfit or look. Plus, they’re timeless – a word that has been used quite often to describe these essentials. Rather than buying and tossing, buying and tossing, season in and season out, trend after new trend, timeless pieces can stay in your wardrobe for, well, forever. Remember when I talked about cost-per-wear in this post? It’s embarrassing that I used to waste money on a top, for example, that was $20 only to be worn once and forgotten. My white Ralph Lauren button-up shirt, though a bit pricey, has paid for itself five times over already. How? A white button-up shirt is a wardrobe essential. There are just too many ways to style a classic button-up – it doesn’t even just have to be a white one.
This brings me to the first wardrobe essential: Invest in a good button-up shirt. It can be a silk blouse like the many options offered by Equipment, a crisp white shirt like the one I described above, or a denim version that can be found at Levi’s or Zara. Wear it buttoned up all the way to the top and add on a great statement necklace or layer it on top of a dress and wear the shirt completely unbuttoned (cinch at the waist with a belt for a more feminine, figure-accentuating silhouette). The possibilities really are endless – just browse through Chictopia for tons of inspiration!
Wardrobe essential two: A structured jacket or blazer. While I didn’t pick a blazer for this challenge, Karen of Tomimito wore a double-breasted navy blazer and Sam of Sam is Home aka StyleNomad wore an almost knee-length, single button jacket – both versions I love (and simultaneously wondering why I don’t have a few in my wardrobe). These are perfect toppers for a jeans-and-tee kind of day or for super girly top-and-skirt combos.
Wardrobe essential three: Striped top. Either classic Breton stripes or more graphic colorblocked editions just scream Parisian chic. Pair it with ankle-grazing skinnies and ballet flats à la Audrey Hepburn or layered under a button up à la Blair Eadie of Atlantic-Pacific. Both incredibly classic, yet modern interpretations of the same piece. Can’t get more timeless than that.
Wardrobe essential four: Dark denim. With the hundreds of denim brands out there, there are perfect denim jeans for everyone – so many different cuts and silhouettes are available for every body type. Why dark denim? It’s slimming, flattering, and can easily be dressed up (and worn with all three wardrobe essentials listed above!).
Wardrobe essential five: A shift dress. Just like dark denim, there are countless options available. Wear it belted, unbelted, as a top, as a skirt, layered with a striped top or button-up… Shift dresses are appropriate enough for the office as well as for Sunday brunch. For a semi-formal event or for going out shopping. With heels, ankle boots, flats, sandals, even rain boots (because, you know, April showers bring May flowers).
Just because they’re called wardrobe essentials doesn’t mean they have to be boring. Add layers and bold pops of color, mix in some statement jewelry and shoes (like these DIY mint cap toes).
What are your wardrobe essentials? Share by tweeting to @everybodyisugly or leave a comment below!