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Whenever I’m going through a wardrobe and sorting it out for a client, I’m always making sure they have a few basics that will make the rest of the wardrobe work. So what is a basic and what am I looking for?
To me, a basic is something that you need to make your Heroes/heroines work.
1. Tank tops – must in black/brown and white/off-white (depending on your colouring). I also like to have a few in colours that you can wear to create interesting colour combinations. Tanks are essential as often necklines can be too low for everyday wear, they give you the coverage you may need (especially for work). One of the benefits of tank tops is they also create a slight smoothing effect so the next layer works better.
2. Knit tops – tops you can wear with gorgeous skirts or trousers, or that work under funky jackets. Look for colours that work back with your existing wardrobe so that you can create more outfit combinations.
3. Jacket – one that can be dressed up or down. One of my most useful garments is a jacket that I can wear with a pair of dress pants and looks smart, but also wear with jeans and isn’t too formal.
4. Cardigan in a dark neutral colour – this is so useful, very often people don’t have the layers they require and end up being too cold, a well fitting cardigan (in good condition) that is not ‘granny like’ is a really useful basic.
5. Jeans – yep – a pair of dark denim jeans (no distressing) is great for every wardrobe – dress it up with a sandal, funk it with knee high boots, dress it down with flip-flops – the choice is yours.
6. Dress pants in a dark neutral – a well-fitting pair of dress pants in a modern cut can be worn to the supermarket and to dinner, change the shoes and the top (and accessories of course) and you’re good to go.
7. Skirt – a flattering skirt in a trans-seasonal fabric in a neutral tone is a great wardrobe staple, wear it with knee-high boots, ballet flats, sandals or pumps, team it with your jacket, top or cardigan for different moods and occassions.
8. Handbag – a great handbag, good quality, good condition that isn’t too formal or too casual is an essential item. A great bag can really finish off an outfit.
9. Shoe Wardrobe – I’ve written before about my list of essential shoes – but at the most basic level I’d suggest for a wardrobe (depending of course on your climate): knee-high boots – either flat or with heel (if you’re a daily heel wearer). Ballet flats (or some other low vamp comfortable but pretty flat shoe) to wear with skirts and pants, but are easy to run around in. Skin-toned sandal (with heel of some sort) to dress up your skirts and jeans and work with all your clothes. Flat sandals for scooting around with skirts, dresses, jeans in comfort. Pumps with heel to dress up your dress pants, skirts and jeans.
So that’s my short list of absolute basics.
What basics can’t you live without?