I’m constantly seeing posts about timeless pieces worth the investment or things that every woman should have in their closet. My younger self would spend so much time and energy searching for the “perfect pair of skinny black jeans” or those “must have, classic pumps”. When I FINALLY found these things, they would sit in my closet unworn for days, weeks, even months. It was then that I came to a conclusion: one fashion editor’s core wardrobe basics may never match my lifestyle or taste.
So, how do you cut the fat and find what pieces you really need? Here’s a few tips to help you define your style and help you develop your own collection of timeless essentials.
1. Style > Fashion
The first thing you should take into consideration is this: fashion and style are two entirely different entities. Developing your sense of style will always be more important to me than blindly following fashion trends. It took me years to develop mine and I’m constantly fine tuning it here and there. Fashion trends will come and go, but your style embodies more than the clothes you wear or the shoes you own. It’s up to you to decide which trends to adopt and how you want to incorporate them into your personal style.
2. The Daily Grind
What you do for a living and your lifestyle should absolutely be taken into consideration when developing your wardrobe necessities. I’m currently working in a boutique and I have at least an hour commute to and from every day. Do you really think I’m going to rock a pair of pointy heels on the bus? I think not.
Finding a more comfortable option that still matched my style was essential. Last year, I took the plunge and invested in a pair of Swedish Hasbeen red clogs and I never looked back. Clogs found a home in my closet and go with everything I already own. They’re super stylish plus my feet aren’t screaming at the end of the day.
Do you travel for work? Do you work from home? Does your work environment call for something a little more sophisticated or is the dress code pretty lax? These factors are key when you’re deciding what to wear!
3. Open Your Mind
Fashion can be an intimidating thing, but fear not. Taking a risk on a trend that might be outside your comfort zone can really pay off. Who would have thought that a pair of silver oxfords would be in constant rotation in my day wear? Certainly, not I! If you see a trend you love like metallics, work it into your wardrobe in a way that makes sense for you. Starting small with an accessory is an easy (and affordable) way to convert a fashion item into a timeless piece.
4. One Day You’re In, And The Next…
Sometimes, you grow out of something you love and works perfectly with your wardrobe. That’s A.O.K. Take these booties, for example. I love how they look paired with dresses and jeans, but the comfort factor was just not there. As for the dress, it was much too short, to wear day-to-day and too casual to wear for a night out. I had to let them go and I’m glad I did. Now I can sell them and invest that money into pieces that’ll suit me better! Developing your personal style is all about trial and error.
5. True Colors
I’m naturally a very colorful person, but when I’m shopping there is always a shade I gravitate towards: blue. If you took a look in my closet, you would see among the brights and pastels a never ending sea of denim and chambray. Like black, navy blue, light blue, and indigo are a great base colors to build a wardrobe around. Start with a neutral shade (be it olive, white, brown, black, or blue like me) and add color pops and statement pieces like a red shoe, a striped tee, or if you’re daring, a vintage sequin vest. It’s ok to have an abundance of one color if you wear it fairly often.
6. Baby, Hold On To Me!
Find that one piece you wear over and over again? Hold on tight! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve given something up and immediately regretted it. I’m sure you’ve seen this denim jacket in a post or three. It’s my go-to layer when it’s just a tad chilly out. Sure, it has a few holes here and there, but it’s the perfect shade of denim blue and I wear it constantly.
The minute you start to slip and think you can live without that denim jacket, slouchy cardigan, or little black dress, think about the number of times you wear it in a week or month. Better yet, have a fashion show! Seeing how that item looks in unlikely pairings gives it new life and gives you a little more style inspiration. Have you worn it to death? If even a tailor can’t revive it, hang onto it until you find a perfect replacement.