When I travel I take my iPad with some TV series downloaded onto it to watch, on the plane, waiting for a plane, whenever I am bored. Not having cable TV (I figure with blogging and work, if there isn’t anything I want to watch on free-to-air TV I should be doing something else with my time), so I missed out on seeing Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style and notice that he’s got a list of 10 essential items he thinks every woman should own.
Here is Tim Gun’s List of Wardrobe Essentials
- Basic Black Dress
- Trench Coat
- Dress Pants
- Classic White Shirt
- Any Occasion Top
- Day Dress
- Sweatsuit Alternative
It’s a very classic list of items, and definitely is trying to help you have a range of items so that you can create an outfit for anyoccasions. In the TV show he asks his participants to show him outfits that represent their life:
- Going out to dinner with partner
- G0ing to work – dressy
- Going to work – casual
- Out with friends
- Comfortable around the house
- Special occasion
These are a fair representation of situations that many of us have in our lives, and this list certainly doesn’t cover every aspect of our lives, but it’s a reasonable list to be able to dress for appropriately. You may also think about adding in any wardrobe requirements for special hobbies, and of course clothes for the day to day needs of the school run or shopping.
When I do a wardrobe audit I’m asking my client how they spend their time, what they do with their life, their clothing requirements and needs. Then I’ll ask about what they most enjoy wearing. Jeans may be a staple item in some people’s wardrobe, but never worn in others. I don’t think that you can insist that these exact items be the ones that you really need (I can’t remember the last time I work a classic white shirt, it just doesn’t fit with my personal style or lifestyle).
These lists are useful as far as giving you an idea of where to start, but I wouldn’t be following them to the letter.
I do like his Sweatsuit Alternative idea though – particularly if it’s something that is not to do exercise in but more to run errands in. Basically it comes down to something that you find comfortable that is easy to throw on, but still looks stylish. For me it’s either jeans, a knit top and funky jacket, or it’s a dress in warmer months.
Imogen’s List of Wardrobe Essentials:
- Basic DarkDress – Basic dress that you can dress up or down, in a dark colour that suits you – aubergine, navy, deep teal, burgundy, brown etc.
- Coat – A leather jacket or coat in a fairly classic cut that isn’t too heavy or light so is more tran-seasonal. A trench may work, but so may a different style.
- Dress Pants – I agree – a good pair in a great dark neutral can work day or night.
- Shirt or Blouse – A shirt if you’re classic, a blouse in a softer fabric if you’re more feminine – and not in white, but a colour that really suits you.
- Jeans – Dark Wash Denim in a cut that suits you – unless you hate jeans
- Any Occasion Top -A Smart top in your eye enhancing colour that is something you could wear to work, or put on with a pair of jeans.
- Skirt – Happy to keep this one in – Find a shape that suits you. But if you just don’t wear skirts, go for an extra pair of dress pants in a different neutral or with a pinstripe.
- Day Dress – Love this – a dress is so versatile. But if you have great difficultly buying dresses because of your shape, opt instead for a skirt and top that work together.
- Jacket-a Jacket that you can dress up or down in a great neutral that goes with lots in your wardrobe. Wear it with jeans, wear it over a dress, wear it with dress pants…
- Sweatsuit Alternative – it may be a dress, or jeans, it’s up to you and your lifestyle. But make it something you’d want to be caught in by an ex-lover, get some more tips on finding your sweatsuit alternative here.
- Handbag – something of quality, what you carry is important as the rest of your outfit
As you can see, it’s all in the interpretation of the garments, more than the garment type themselves.
Download my Wardrobe Checklist here to give you more ideas on garments and accessories that form the basis of a well functioning wardrobe.
What’s on your essential wardrobe list?