Have you recently gone all “minimalism is the shit” and rid your wardrobe of everything except your underwear, only to realize that clothing does play a fundamental part in our daily lives and isn’t just for satisfying insatiable retail cravings?
Then welcome to today’s blog post!
Today, I’m talking about the basics of your closet. Like, the bare bones – if Maslow had made a pyramid about fashion, this stuff would be on the bottom of it. Regardless if your style is more feminine or androgynous, polished or bohemian, the items that every woman should have in her closet are the building blocks to creating your personal style. And when it comes to creating a capsule wardrobe, or at the very least a closet full of pieces you actually wear, having these foundation pieces which you can restyle multiple ways is key.
After going through several closets, styling enough shoots and putting together TV-worthy outfits, these are the items I’ve found always come through, no matter what type of style you’re trying to portray. And because of my new sustainable direction, I’ve done my best to feature brands that are focused on sustainability, slow fashion, and/or ethical practices.
image c/o thackernyc.com
Even if you don’t spend your 9-5 in a traditional office setting, the white button down is one of the main workhorses in a minimalist wardrobe. Why? The styling options are endless – wear it open over a tank and ripped shorts, or tied at the waist of a printed maxi skirt if you’re a boho chick. Button it all the way up to the collar and cuffs and top off with a chunky necklace for the prep inspired or wear it unbuttoned low with a peekaboo lace bra for the glam. Plus about 3,457,812 ways to wear it, which, if you like, I will start featuring on the blog.
photo c/o: agjeans.com
Every season online magazines tell us that “insert new trend here” is the new denim, or that a new denim silhouette is hot so everything else should be hidden away in shame. Well – I don’t care for fashion’s schizophrenia anymore and neither should you. What I’m saying is – for this foundation piece, fuck whatever trend is happening and buy a silhouette that is most flattering for your body type. Pick a medium wash so it’s good for all seasons. My favourite denim is AG, and I recently learned they use ozone technology which is less harmful to the environment, so – bonus!
photo c/o poppybarley.com
This is another basic that is totally customizable to your personal taste and style. Prefer a feminine touch? Grab a pointed flat for optimal cuteness. Prefer menswear inspired looks? A brogue will suit you best. Whatever you choose, make sure they’re comfortable, well made, and in a neutral colour. These adorable grey flats are from Canadian designer Poppy Barley!
photo c/o therealreal.com
Nothing elevates a look like a great black heel. It doesn’t need to be fancy – the right cut and classic toe – like these Manolo Blahnik BB pumps, are eternally chic. A stiletto heel may not always be the most on-trend, but it’s always visually appreciated. My favourite place to score designer items like this is on consignment – I look to therealreal.com (on most occasions the affordable price justifies the duties) and Valamode.com. If you prefer a little more drama, a patent finish can work wonders and is still very versatile.
photo c/o zady.com
As prissy as it sounds, a pair of pants that fit beautifully are a great addition to any wardrobe. When worn with a simple tee and sneakers, they’re on-trend, and when worn with a slick pair of heels and your favourite shirt or blazer, they’re perfectly proper. A classic trouser is also a grown-up alternative to denim when you just want a change.
photo c/o shopbop.com
A timeless wrap dress is a great way to incorporate print or colour into your wardrobe. Make sure you pick your favourite colour (make sure it’s something you won’t get sick of), or print (if it’s a print, keep it classic like a polka dot, tartan or stripe), and soak in the compliments. A wrap dress is universally flattering and eternally stylish. I have truly not found a wrap dress that fits and travels like a 100% silk DVF dress. It may not be traditionally sustainable, but for me – a dress that has lasted almost 8 years without the slightest hint of aging (both from a trend and construction perspective) is worth it.
photo c/o hm.com
A classic layering piece – choose a crew neck or v-neck depending on your body type and sense of style. The best tees are lived in and comfy – grey and/or white are the best colours to start with. I’ve had great luck with H&M’s conscious line, but I also love Splendid and Michael Stars.
photo c/o cavadesoi.com
Before building your sweater collection make sure you have a medium knit a neutral colour. The best fabric is merino because of its seasonless attributes; merino keeps you cool in the heat and warm in the cold. Choose a v-neck or crew-neck based on your style personality. Quick stylist’s tip: larger busts can rock a v-neck as a crew neck can make us look top heavy.
image c/o thackernyc.com
Whether its real or faux, a moto jacket adds attitude to any look, and the best part is that whether your style is preppy, feminine, androgynous or goth; a moto jacket complements each of these genres with its versatility. I love this one from ThackerNYC because of its simple yet flattering cut, and the absence of embellishments and hardware, making it more timeless.
A men’s-inspired watch:
Most women who always look put together are wearing a cool watch. This is what I’ve noticed anyway. Whether you wear it to tell the time, or to simply make a statement, a masculine-looking watch says polished-cool. I’m having a moment with this vintage Gucci …
Keeping in mind this is the very base of your capsule wardrobe, do you think there’s anything missing? Living in Canada, I do believe outerwear requires its own list as we are subjected to about 346 different types of climates throughout the year. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Thanks as always for reading, xo