Why You Need Interesting Basic Garments in Your Wardrobe


And How to Select Them For Your Personality

If you’re feeling that your wardrobe is a little bland and boring, it can be because you’ve settled for the more boring version of the basics.  

We’re told we all need a classic white shirt, a classic tee and a blazer to be well dressed.  It’s the kind of old-fashioned wardrobe advice I learned when I started as an image consultant at the turn of the century.

What I’ve learned is that this is not necessarily so.  Unless your personality is very classic naturally (think super organised, responsible, conservative and ordered) who enjoy wearing the more simple and classic garments, you may find that plain classic is just too boring for your style and you feel like there is something missing from your style.

So rather than throw out the thought of the white shirt, the tee and the blazer in as valid garments in your wardrobe.  Why not think about going for a version that fits with your personal style, that has some detail that takes it away from being “boring” for you.

The Classic White Shirt

In each of these examples, you’ll see the more standard plain version of the garment, and then some more interesting versions.

Unusual construction with asymmetry – this will appeal more to those who have a more creative personality and want a more quirky or slightly different version of the classic white shirt.

Frill detail – here this example has a double-layered structured frill that may appeal to those who enjoy a more elegant chic style.

Pussy Bow detail – the classic pussy bow in a soft fabric blouse suits those who like a more feminine style of shirt.


The Classic Tee

In the days of James Dean, the plain tee was a sign of rebellion, as it was underwear worn as outwear.  These days, it’s a wardrobe staple for many and has evolved from rebellious to boring.

We all need a few tees in our wardrobe, they are great with a pair of jeans, can be dressed up and down with skirts and are a staple in so many wardrobes, yet again, you can go for the completely plain variety, or one that has an element of something more.

How to find non-boring basics to make your wardrobe more interesting

Tie Front – here is an option that is still relaxed and easy-going and relaxed, but has that small element of detail that will hide a muffin top and make your tee not quite so plain.

Hem detail – this asymmetric hem is a detail that will suit a creative personality who is after a little something different.

Colour Stripe Edging – a couple of stripes makes the boring tee into a classic staple, it’s dressier and more refined than the completely plain version.


The Classic Black (or Dark Neutral) Blazer

Whether you want to dress your jeans up with a blazer or wear it to work as part of a suit or suit separates, a blazer is a great item to own as it can be a truly versatile garment that hides any lumps and bumps (it’s the structured shape) and provides a professional air to any outfit.


Taking the Classic Blazer and turning it into something more interesting and excitingAsymmetric closure with satin lapels – the asymmetric closure is the first detail that takes this black blazer away from totally classic styling, and with the addition of the satin lapel the blazer is starting to look more related to a black-tie dinner suit, a truly elegant chic appeal with a touch of dramatic flair. 

Exaggerated Waist Shaping – Blazers are a more masculine garment (they were originally made for men before being adapted to women’s shapes) and so can be a little straight up and down and boxy, which is why when you add-in an obvious waist shaping to the blazer you turn it into a much more feminine garment.

Metal detail with Split Sleeves – Here is a much more rebellious version of the classic black blazer.  Metal detail gives it an edgy and lightly “bondage” feel, so the opposite of classic conservatism, and then the split sleeve gives it another element of flair and drama.

What’s Your Flavour of Non-Boring Basics?

You can see from these examples that there are many ways of adding detail and interest to your classic basics that can reflect parts of your personality dressing style.

If you’re not sure what kind of details you’re after or want to know lots about how your personality influences your style, and what kinds of details you should be looking for, you can get this as part of my 7 Steps to Style program.

These examples are just a very few samples of how you can tweak any garment to reflect your personality style.

What kinds of details do you enjoy having in your clothes to make them less-dull?

Why You Need Interesting Basic Garments in Your Wardrobe


More Tips on Classic Dressing

Style Rules for Building a Wardrobe of Classic Staples When You Have a Light Ideal Value

5 Ways Meghan Markle Updates and Modernises Classic Outfits

Colour Personality – 1. Neutral – Classic

How to Make a Classic Garment Suit a Casual Lifestyle

How to Make a Classic Garment Suit a Casual Lifestyle


I'm not sure if it's for you but how would you feel if you learned all about the colours and styles of clothing that suit your individual personality, shape and style? Just imagine what it would be like when you can open your wardrobe and pull together fabulous outfits that make you look and feel amazing every day? If you'd like to stop wasting money on the wrong clothes and accessories plus join an amazing bunch of very special women also on their style journey - then my 7 Steps to Style program is right for you. Find out more here.

More from Imogen Lamport

How to Choose a Flattering Swimsuit

If you need to choose a new swim suit for this summer...
Read More


  • I would choose the “boring” basics every time because they are more versatile, better for layering, and a good base for interesting accessories. For example, the basic shirt can be worn buttoned as shown with room for a scarf or necklace. It could be buttoned to the neck with a narrow scarf for the pussy bow look. Or it could be worn open over a tank or t-shirt.
    The other, more “interesting” options might work for a woman who does not wear accessories, but they would limit my creativity and ability to create a lot of looks with few clothes.

    • IT’s great you have the creativity to turn boring into interesting, for many, it’s can be boring on boring without any accessories to create that interest.

  • Hi…I love asymmetric shapes as my features are very asymmetric but is it too much to wear layers of asymmetric garments…does this work? I find that if I wear a symmetrical overlayer over an asymmetric top it looks off. What do others think or do?

    • it could be the specific shape of those two asymmetric garments not providing balance with each other – even with asymmetry there is a need to balance the outfit as a whole.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *