I’ve always thought that curated “closet essentials” are wily subjects. For example, a wardrobe essential for an ER nurse who works a lot of overtime and teaches college courses on the side will look entirely different from the closet essential of a diplomat who travels 300 days of the year and attends a plethora of business and formal events.
Especially if you are trying to build a capsule closet, a seasonless curated closet, or simply a well-edited closet that doesn’t make you want to hide in your bathroom every morning, nailing those “wardrobe essentials” can be tough. Add to that the fact that these items should be high quality, versatile, and timeless – there’s a lot of pressure to make each closet essential THE ONE.
But we all make mistakes when trying to build a curated closet, minimalist-inspired or not. After moving and doing some major closet decluttering last year when we moved (ironically, to a large home outside the city), I thought it would be fun to share with you some of my wardrobe heroes. The pieces that, time after time, year after year, have saved me from stepping out feeling less than my best. Each of these items pull my look together, add some whimsy, or just make me feel awesome.
Oddly enough, most of these pieces are completely unexpected, and not the traditional “Closet essential” you would envision. At least, I didn’t purchase them with the intention of wearing them so darn much.
So here they are, my wardrobe heroes over the years which – without sounding like too much of a hypocrite – I think may just suit every type of wardrobe.
THE PARTY SKIRT
Ages ago, Blair Eadie made tulle skirts a thing and my scattered style brain really wanted one. Luckily, I was still working in finance at the time, so had the money to splurge on an expensive Alexandra Grecco tulle skirt from Anthropologie. A bit hesitant to wear it at first, I then began to embrace the pouf, and have styled it with sweaters to dress, and silky camis. This skirt never lets me down when I need a statement maker and I’m glad I spent the money to buy one that was so well constructed it maintained its grace and whimsy long after the tulle trend was over.
AN ADJUSTABLE BELT
PERFECT BLACK BOTTOMS
For me, this is a pair of black, slightly tapered slacks from Club Monaco. I’ve had them since my first days working in finance and even now as a freelancer, I wear these regularly. These Club Monaco pants were expensive for me when I bought them (they still are!) – I purchased them with intent, made sure the tailoring and construction was on point – I used my very first “adult” paycheque to buy them.
If you are more of a skirt person, then a black pencil or A-line skirt might be best here, but there’s a reason why we love basic black. Yes, they’re comfortable, but sometimes you need that – a solid garment that provides comfort and strength.
A COLOURFUL SHOE
Yes. Colour. I think colour and minimalism CAN exist together, in fact, I think a colourful shoe is so much more versatile than people give it credit for and is a must in every wardrobe. Life is fun, fashion is fun, why should your closet miss out? Especially for those who are approaching a more minimalist or capsule wardrobe, footwear and accessories are a great way to inject flair and fun to your neutrals and timeless pieces. Just make sure colour is the only thing that makes these shoes stand out, and that the rest is timeless, classic, so that you make the most out of your investment.
A REALLY EXPENSIVE - BUT USEFUL! - BAG
I don’t even like bags. If I could I’d wander around with money and my phone loosely hanging out in my pocket. But alas, I carry too many other items with me (like my water bottle, notepad, and glasses, and chapstick among other things) to live this luxurious lifestyle so instead, I spent a ton of money on a bag that is beautiful, impeccably constructed, and SO versatile. Because it converts from a shoulder bag to a backpack (and I could probably wear it cross-body too with some strap adjustments), I can choose whether or not to go hands-free, and still look chic either way. This is another one of those items that was purchased with intention, and again knowing what I know now, I would have paid double for it. It’s THAT good.
A BLACK BLAZER THAT FITS LIKE A GLOVE
I think a blazer is literally authority and polish in a piece of clothing. It’s the top half of a power suit, for goodness sake. It has to be awesome. This is why I LOVE my black blazer. It’s a few seasons old, but it drapes beautifully and isn’t too bulky around the chest or arms.
Now that I’ve fulfilled my black blazer basic requirement, I’m on the hunt for a cream one, and camel coloured blazer. I’m hoping I’ll love them as much as my trusty black blazer.
I’ve owned each of these items for at least 3 years, and they were the first to pop into mind when someone asked what my wardrobe heroes are. There are more items though; some newer which I have been truly loving and am SO glad I let them into my closet.
What are your closet heroes? How long have you had them?
As always, thank you for reading, xo