Unconventional Wardrobe Basics

Wardrobe basics are a common topic of magazine articles and blog posts. They're important because items like a little black dress and a classic suit in a good neutral are the items we build on to make our wardrobes work. However, a closet full of basics isn't very interesting.

Before starting Fashion Me Fabulous, Jael Paris took a look at my closet and banned me from buying anything black. With the exception of some undergarments, I didn't buy anything black for close to a year afterward. I spent a lot of time infusing color into what had become an all too basic wardrobe. When I did allow myself to begin shopping for black again, I started to shop for unique shapes and began looking for good, colorful accessories. This has given me a far more interesting wardrobe than the one Jael assessed several years ago.

Through this process I've built a new shopping list of wardrobe basics that keep things interesting and give me something to wear with my LBD and classic white dress shirt. Here are a few of those things:

Colorful Shoes: These make any outfit pop. I know a lot of women who have great red pumps, but it seems to stop there. I'm trying to achieve a rainbow in my footwear collection. I have purple (this is my personal neutral), green, gold and blue just to name a few. I'm on the search for a good pair of red shoes, yellow sandals and some hot pink shoes.

Interesting Tights: From bright colors to fun patterns, a pair of cute tights is essential to the way I dress most of the year. I can done a simple little gray dress and black pumps, but the tights make the outfit pop. Best of all, tights can be found cheap. I shop department store clearance when the seasons change and look for designer tights at Marshalls or T.J. Maxx for a quarter their original price.

Vintage Necklaces: Vintage costume jewelry is pretty cheap and rather easy to find. If I can't find any I like, For Love 21 can provide my with vintage looking necklaces for under $10 (when they fall apart I just put them together with other broken necklaces for a whole new look). That basic tee and those classic jeans make a cute outfit, but they're even cuter with a long vintage necklace and a pair of purple shoes.

Fun Dresses: Most articles about wardrobe basics say the LBD will take go almost everywhere a dress needs to go, and a good one really can show up at a party Saturday night, church Sunday morning and the office on Monday. However, I can never have too many dresses. Just wear one item of clothing (maybe some with tights and a jacket depending on the weather and occasion) paired with shoes and you're out the door looking fabulous. No fussing to find tops and pants to go together. No searching for a color of print to make your drab neutrals pop. Just fun prints and shapes that can be a whole outfit on their own. Of course, I like to play and pile on the the accessories sometimes too.

Keeper Trend Pieces: Some trends just fit my sense of style so I buy them up when available and continue wearing them after they "go out of style." I'm a sucker for a hippie blouse. I'm seeing them everywhere again and I want them all. The ones I stocked up on in high school are falling apart so I'm glad the trend is back. My harem pants might look dated in a couple years, but with some careful styling I'll look quirky rather than fashion victim-y. A carefully purchased trend piece can become a wardrobe staple and help establish my personal style.

What do you consider a basic in your wardrobe? What are you always shopping for even if it isn't on Tim Gunn's list of 10 items everyone woman must own?

Comments

This post was amazing and I like it. Your stuff was fantastic and your piece was lovely. Thank you.


Charles A

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