We all are guilty of owning a wardrobe that is full of clothes and yet every morning we find ourselves digging through those very piles of clothes, that we have hoarded over time, in order to find the right outfit. Isn’t the whole point of having more options is to have less to think and more to wear. Then why are we struggling every day?
This is because we have a lot of cool separates (clothes) but nothing to wear them with. This gap is precisely what renders our wardrobe of cool clothes non-functional and puts our wardrobe in a ‘style-jam' where all our clothes are stuck in isolation because of lack of complimenting pieces to go with them. Cue, drumroll, wardrobe basics! They are a simple yet an often-overlooked solution to our ‘99 problems’ around daily dressing. This is why they are Image consultants best kept secrets.
Think of them as a foundation to your makeup and how I like to put it, Chandler to your Joey, a super supportive BFF that everyone needs. (I feel proud to have been able to use a Friends reference in an article about clothing!)
Before we jump on to any lists of basics it’s important to understand what these pieces are. Different people have different understanding of wardrobe basics. But I like how Image Consultant, Jennifer Mary paraphrased Refinery29’s definition of them. She defines basics as ‘Simple, unobtrusive, totally predictable pieces, in neutral and safe colors and silhouettes that complement everything’.
Wardrobe basics are often confused with Wardrobe essentials and ‘wardrobe must- haves. It’s important to know that ‘all basics are essential, but not all essentials are basics.’ For example, a classic watch is a must have as it easily elevates your look but you will not find it difficult to put a look together, without it and hence it’s not a basic.
Now that the difference between the two is out of the way, I have curated a list of few promising basics that will help your wardrobe get out of style-jam and help you put those statement pieces stacked deep in your wardrobe, with their price tags intact, to use.
This is one of the most versatile pieces that can be dressed up and dressed down as and when required. It anchors your statement-printed pieces that are difficult to style and pair things with.
Pro Tip: Focus on finding the one that fits you well. Try to go with cotton and linen blends that are friendly in all weather conditions.
No, I am not talking about the ones you have stacked in the corner of your cupboard, the ones you never wear. I am talking about the one that feels like second skin. The one that you keep reaching out to while making any look. The one that your mom keeps begging you to send for laundry. The one that you are imagining now, that’s the one. You love it and you need it, it completes you and your many looks. Hence it’s important to ensure that it fits you well, makes you feel like you are ready to take the day on!
Pro Tip: Invest in a good quality piece as per your body type that will last you a long time. It takes a lot litres of water to make one, so let’s just be sustainable about it!
My personal favourites are deep to mid blue shades.
This one’s a no brainer! This is literally what butter is to food, it makes everything more delicious!
Pro Tip: have a collection of some neutral ones along with white to make your wardrobing decisions easy.
From smart-casual-aesthetic to a classic formal look, this piece does both with seamless ease. With this in your closet, you never have to worry about being underdressed.
Pro Tip: Find a piece that has well-defined shoulders and a fitted waist for the most flattering look. Go for a neutral colour to maximize its usage.
This is the bottom wear equivalent of the classic white shirt. Another must have that will go equally well with your formal tops as with your casual tees. Take this piece to all seasons.
Pro Tip: Go for a high waisted style that fits your body well and highlights all your best features.
This one needs no introduction as It’s reputation precedes itself. The fact the that it can be reinvented in infinite no. of ways and it will still look as alive and fresh as ever. Pair it with a tee for a casual look, with a pussybow blouse or a blazer for an elevated look. There’s hardly an occasion where this can’t fit.
Pro Tip: Go for a comfortable length and a style which contours the waist for a more flattering look.
Listing basics would be incomplete without the mention of our sneakers! Thank god, we live in times where we dont have to compromise on design for comfort and vice-versa.
Pro Tip: If you don’t own a basic pair already, start with a clean white pair with minimal details and then you can continue to add more colours in your shoe collection.
Cooler and a more versatile sibling of a classic black pair of shades, this goes with all your looks and is a better colour on everyone.
Pro Tip: Invest in a superior quality piece that you can roam around the world with.
A belt is like jewellery for your clothes, Easy to ignore but makes a world of a difference if you get it right. Opt for a clean leather or a subtle textured one with a minimal buckle.
Never underestimate the power of accessorizing. And when it comes to jewellery, a pair of hoops instantly makes any outfit look more put together. This is definitely, a must-have.
Pro Tip: Select the size of the hoop based on your face shape to get the most out of it.
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