I often read magazines that spell out the “Top 10 Wardrobe Essentials” but I never fully agree with them, so I decided to write my own.
I was really into looking up this topic online when I graduated college and had nothing but a closet full of concert t-shirts, jeans, and some random skirts and dresses I had been given by my older sister.
Miss Vinyl’s Top 10 Wardrobe Essentials
Essential #1: Black Pants
I own a great pair of black trousers I can wear in the winter or summer. They’re not wool (I’m allergic to it anyway), so they breathe and they aren’t itchy. If you aren’t into solid black pants, try a pair of dark grey or dark brown. Or, even try a pair with a simple print. Whatever it might be, invest in a decent pair. I’ve had mind for nearly four years, and they’re still stylish and in great condition.
Essential #2: Fitted Jacket
This doesn’t mean it needs to match the pants from #1. I’m not a suit-loving lady, so I don’t advocate matching unless your job dictates you wear a suit. I have two go-to jackets. The first is a three-quarter sleeve length swing coat, in black with white polka dots. It’s a very classic shape with a fun print. It goes with the pants, but it also goes with plenty of other things I own. The second is a military style, with angled buttons and lots of buttons on the sleeves. It’s pretty awesome.
Essential #3: Trench Coat
I have two, I’ll admit it. Maybe three trench coats. One is solid white and was the first one I purchased by myself. The second belonged to my mother in the 70s and is my favorite. It’s light brown with black trim. It matches everything I own. The third I bought at thrift store and it light pink. It’s totally cute with poofy sleeves. There are plenty of different trench coats on the market, but a classic shape in white, brown or black is probably your best bet.
Essential #4: Pencil Skirt
I have one, and mine is black and hot pink. I LOVE it. It’s a very classic shape, one that is unlikely to go out of style any time soon. And even if it does, who cares? If you look good in a pencil skirt, own it.
Essential #5: Denim Jacket
I spent the most money on a denim jacket three years ago. I really wanted one, and I wanted a fitted one. I hated finding those cheap ones at the mall that have a HUGE space between your lower back and the fabric of the jacket. I finally found one that fit me like it was made for me. It was about $100 – more than I’ve spent on pretty much anything I own. I bought it, and haven’t regretted it at all. It still fits and looks amazing. Totally worth it.
Essential #6: Dress
I own a few dresses, none of them black. One, I made. It’s a 1950s style, with a bright flower print. I love it. The second is gold, from Modcloth, and is also a 1950s style. The third is the most formal of all. It’s blue, jersey and very drapey. I don’t need a black dress – I feel pretty in all of these. If you own at least one dress you can wear to a wedding, or work, you’re fine.
Essential #7: Belt
I own plenty of belts. My two favorites are a waist-cinching black elastic one and a brown leather belt for my jeans. They’re both worth it and can help make an outfit look amazing. (Although I can’t figure out where the black one is…)
Essential #8: Boots
Whether you wear heels or not, a great pair of boots can make a typical jeans and t-shirt combo look totally badass. I have two pairs of boots- short, ankle-length brown boots that give a Victorian vibe (at least to me), and knee-high, black moto-style boots. I love them both, and they are both fake leather. They’ll probably need to be replaced in a year, but that’s fine with me. If you can afford to spend more on boots, I’d recommend it, as long as you purchase a classic style.
Essential #9: Purse
This one eludes me. I like to switch purses often, and I’m not really into leather. But, I do think you need a big purse. We are all so used to carrying our wallet, phone, chapstick/lipstick, iPod, change, camera… etc… We need lots of room. There are tons of purses that have lots of room for exactly what you need. Don’t buy a purse that won’t fit all your stuff. And, if you buy a bigger purse, you will find the stuff to fill it. I know this from experience.
Essential #10: Trends and Statement Pieces
Buy SOME trendy things, such as bright-colored tights and chunky necklaces. And statement pieces. For some people this means bright prints, for others (like my sister) it means sequins! Whatever it is, you just need to feel comfortable in your clothes and own them. I’ve gone to work in a vintage dress and flowered tights, had some people look at me like I was nuts and have others think I looked great. Fashion is one part what you wear, and two parts your attitude. If you fall in love with a bright yellow shirt that looks good on you- wear it. Just because other people wouldn’t wear it doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. I have plenty pieces of clothes that look fabulous on me, but weird on other people.
Here’s a depiction picture of everything I just talked about: