I wrote a lot about style, quality–quantity and de-cluttering so far and in these posts usually I mentioned basic clothing too but I never defined what’s a basic wardrobe is. So what is a basic wardrobe and why is it so important?
In my definition basic wardrobe is based on clothes which you love no matter what, what you can wear over and over again total independently of fashion and trends. This is the frame of your wardrobe if you will what you can build the whole thing on.
Aren’t you closer? Well, yes, it’s important to mention that basic wardrobe is a total personal thing which formed by personal preferences and on a whole other bunch of things like lifestyle, workplace, body shape, budget and even culture. So for example a suit or costume is not the part of my basic wardrobe but for somebody who works as a manager in the banking area it is.
Having this said, everybody has to define his/her own basic wardrobe based on their personal preferences and needs but I can give you a hand what are basic clothes for me.
First things first you have to clarify these things total honestly, because if you’re not honest with yourself then how could you expect that from others? Right? Right. Secondly you should answer to the following questions:
Which colors are the best?
- This is a basic rule. You cannot really go wrong with neutrals. Black is the basic wardrobe’s alpha and omega if you’re in doubt go for black, but other neutrals like nudes, beiges, camels, whites, greys and navys are equally good choices.
- If you have your neutrals, every other color may come, just be aware the quantity and the meanings of colors. Red is for example the color of love and passion but too much red means danger and can be aggressive too. Yellow is the color of youth and happiness but it can equally be silly and immature. Orange is the mix of yellow and red so the meaning of it is also in between the two. Green is the opposite of red and it means tranquility and harmony but it also the color of greenhorns. Blue stands for clearness, like intelligence, wisdom, loyalty and honor.
- It’s always a good idea to use some pop of colors in your outfit especially if it suits your personality and complexion.
Which materials are the best?
- When it comes to basics it’s always recommended to spend a bit more on quality. Natural fibers like cotton, linen, silk, wool, mohair suede and leather are the bests but usually these are the most vulnerable materials too.
- That’s why they’re usually mixed with other artificial fibers which make the clothes more stretchy or just more manageable, so some percent of poly anything is not bad at all.
- Viscose is an in between, semi-synthetic thing (as it’s made from dissolving pulp) so it’s fine as well.
What’s your job?
- Lets be honest here, work takes the big part of our life. +/-40 hours per week and that’s a lot. And of course you have to feel good in your own skin and clothes all day. If your workplace has a dress code (I feel for you, really :() then there’s no question left. You probably need more suits and costumes, shirts, tights, decent shoes and that’s it. Only way to spice up your look a bit is some nice accessories like a cool bag or scarf or belt.
- Luckily most job wants you to dress business casual which is much better. As I wrote about it here I think everything is about balance. You have to know how to dress up and down things and you’ll be fine. You can always use a nice pair of black or nude pointy heels, slim cut raw blue or black jeans, more decent blazers and shirts.
- Or you have no dress code bonded at all? You lucky one, go to the next point.
What do you do in your free time?
You can keep buying cocktail dresses or classic suits if there’s no occasion to pull them off. Lot of women are complaining that there’s nothing to wear because they keep purchasing all the wrong things. If you like being i your home around your family then buy comfortable and practical clothes like jeans, t-shirts, hoodies and sneakers. If you like going out the buy dresses and going out tops. Just always consider before buying anything that how many times and where can you wear it.
What’s your body shape like?
We’re all different so if a skirt is amazing on somebody else it doesn’t mean it’ll be fabulous on me too. Again be honest with yourself. Define your body shape and read the tips and tricks. I said it before and I say it again, optical illusion and being comfortable can do a lot for you. Speaking of comfort, don’t buy or keep smaller clothes because you keep telling yourself that you have to loose few pounds/kilos anyway. If it doesn’t fit you won’t wear it. Because who wants to feel uncomfortable all day?
What’s your personality like?
Ok, this is a more tricky one, because there are no guides for it. Most important thing again that you have to be honest. If you’re blank then know yourself. It’ll take time and a lot of trial and error but it’ll be better day by day, year by year. Until then keep the above written things in your head and don’t forget to pay attention for yourself what do you prefer and wear all the time and what do you not. If you know yourself already, then stand for it. If you don’t like skirts then don’t buy skirts, wear whatever you feel comfortable in but if you feel you can also challenge yourself.
+1 thing: Ignore trends!
Basic wardrobe is not about trends, it’s above all. No fuss ,no bells and whistles just simple lines and sharp cuts. It should be classic and timeless as I said before what you can wear no matter what and you can wear over and over again until it eventually falls apart or your daughter asks for it. 🙂
So these are my thoughts in the topic but not all of them. Next time I’m gonna tell you what I personally enroll under the term of basic. It’ll be fun.