Not So Basic Closet Essentials For Chic Winter Looks

Hi everyone! Here are some thoughts behind last week’s video about winter wardrobe staples that can help build chic outfits for the holidays and beyond. 

How to Identify Classic Silhouettes

Because colour is so subjective depending on your style personality, closet colour palette and skin tone, I always prioritize clothing that has a classic silhouette when adding wardrobe staples to my closet. Classic silhouettes typically have similar characteristics which can still apply to different body types. Here is what I look for in a classic silhouette: 

– minimal or subtle embellishments (example; no dramatic sleeves or shoulders, no ruffles)

– a neckline that suits my body type, taking care to stay away from trendy necklines (something exagerrated or asymmetrical for example). Classic necklines include; v neck, crew neck, square neck, boat neck, turtle neck, scoop neck, among others.

– a silhouette that is relaxed yet still shows my shape. Good tailoring is key here. 

How to Choose Lasting Items For Your Closet

Choosing a garment that will serve you for years to come depends on several factors that deserve some careful thought and reflection before diving in. Here is what I think is important to take into consideration when deciding whether a garment should get to take up valuable real estate in your closet: 

– is it well made? Look for straight, finished seams, and material that feels substantial in your hands. If you’re shopping online, have a look at the fabrics used and any reviews to suss out the product. Be aware with prints, as sometimes brands use a busy print to hide imperfections. This video by Justine Leconte is a great resource for this. 

– is it a classic style and colour, or a style (colour) that you don’t care becomes outdated because it just looks THAT fantastic on you? 

– will you realistically maintain this garment and take care of it so that it lasts? 

Why I Chose These Everlane Pieces

First of all, I want to explain why I was so happy to work with Everlane on this video and add some their pieces to my closet. I turn down about 95% of offers that come my way, mostly because they are not aligned with my values of sustainability or my personal style, but more and more simply because I don’t need additional product. I am also trying very hard to take on only paid posts, as I get asked (very often from “ethical/sustainable” companies), to talk about brands and products without any paid compensation. I find it ironic that brands boast about paying their employees a living wage but don’t feel that it’s necessary to pay someone like me a living wage. Yes, I am very priviledged, but this is also my livelihood. Sadly, I can’t eat shoes, and in order for me to do more work in the realm of slow fashion, I need to charge.

Everlane is one of those brands that pays fairly for the amount of work it takes to research, style, film, edit, disseminate and produce a video/social post. Yes, they still have some work to do on their sustainability goals but to be completely honest – so do I. I appreciated that they didn’t pressure me to do a “haul” or keep all the garments that I showcased in this video. They accommodated shipping and returning items so that I wouldn’t over consume and I think this is a testament to their committment to doing this right. (For example, for this video, I was to showcase all Everlane pieces but in order to create the looks I wanted, I needed to use items that I didn’t necessarily need. A lot of the items were then shipped back. The pieces I kept are down below) I cannot turn down opportunities when they align with my values and allow me to continue to do what I do. Everlane’s clothes are well made, timeless, and suit my personal style. While I don’t think it’s necessary for me to explain all of this to you, I wanted to share my thoughts with you, so that you understand the importance of partnerships like this as I try to slowly transition to moving my business 100% digital. (I still currently do some freelance writing and wardrobe styling)

Now, onto which items I kept:

– the recashmere crew ; I already have several cream sweaters in a medium and heavy weight but nothing that is lightweight and keeps me warm. Most of my time is spent during colder months, so I was happy to add another cozy option that was classic to my closet. 

– the renew hoodie; I don’t own a classic, clean, non-graphic(ed) (is that a word? I don’t think so but i’m going with it) hoodie. I am always wishing for one on days when I want to go out but still feel almost a little underdressed so am SO happy to be finally adding this one to my closet.

– the oversized blazer; I have black, navy, and a light cognac blazer but nothing in between. I’ve had my eye on Everlane’s oversized blazers for about 2 years now so I took this opportunity to add one to my closet! 

– the alpaca crewneck sweater; this has to be my favourite addition so far. All of my heavy weight cozy sweaters are cream, and I had identified this gap last season. I am SO happy with how this sweater camouflages spills (nobody is immune!), is soft and cozy, has a slightly voluminous sleeve but culminates in a nice tight sleeve at the wrist for no fuss wearing. 

– the bodysuit: I did not predict liking this piece so much when I decided to keep it. I realized it’s fabulous for winter layering (even long shirts tend to pop out of my jeans and a freezing lower back ensues) and it’s also a nice top for formal occasions without being too fussy. It is a bit of an outlier when it comes to my closet’s colour palette though, however it works well with denim, cream and black so I should be able to incorporate it easily enough. 

An honourable mention needs to go to Everlane’s ReWool coat in toffee which i was VERY VERY close to keeping. As a Canadian, I can totally justify another coat, but I had just refurbished a vintage Hudson’s Bay coat and couldn’t justify yet another one. I do hope that so many people enjoy this coat though because it is perfection – recylced materials, a beautiful silhouette and a killer colour. What more do you want!? 

Here are my favourite items featured in the video below! 

how to choose closet basics, closet esesntials, wardrobe essentials, Everlane review, slow fashion, ethical fashion
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