Wardrobe Essentials _ A Minimalistic Yet Functional Wardrobe

Discussion in 'Clothes' started by lamb's breath, Jun 16, 2014.

  1. lamb's breath

    lamb's breath Worker Bee

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    Over time, I want to design a wardrobe which has continuity and versatility i.e. a colour scheme and pieces I can mix and match, some sense of style which is consistent throughout. I don't have a budget, I think this project is long overdue and deserves some proper money invested into it, but I don't want to spend thoughtlessly and end up with things I don't really want/need.

    At the moment I own a lot but not a lot. Most needs to be thrown out because I never have and never will wear it or it has been worn so often it looks scruffy and is started to come apart. Another reason things need to go is that I don't have a lot of space to keep any of it, literally just a chest of drawers and an exposed clothes rack, hence the emphasis on minimalism (but I just believe less is more anyway, as do most with a skinny mentality I expect).

    So, what do you consider wardrobe essentials, the absolute bare minimum one should own? What pieces to you spend the most money on? How do you have clothes that are timeless and how do you know what current trend you want to follow? How did you develop a personal style and shop within that style (or don't you)? How do you choose versatile clothes and mix and match outfits? Statement pieces, what are yours and how do you shop for them? How do you shop in general? Since its purchase, what item of clothing do you believe you couldn't live without? Where do you get your wardrobe inspiration and how would you describe your style? Any other contributions/advice/links relevant to the title in some way are welcome, I don't mean to limit peoples responses to just the specific questions I asked.
     
  2. Thinning

    Thinning Worker Bee

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    To start with, can I say I love this thread already and will definitely be taking advice from it. I too am looking to clean out and simplify my wardrobe.

    Personally, I've found so far, jeans are always a must have and a great winter coat (it's cold here atm). I love my small (fake - vegan) leather booties and my plain white chucks.

    Other than that my clothes are give and take and I am looking forward to getting some inspiration from this thread :)

    Much of my inspiration is from (embarrassingly) model street style as I am modelling part time and would love to go international and I adore how they dress for their skinny frame.
     
  3. Whippet Girl

    Whippet Girl SuperStar

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    A finely woven woollen / wool blend long coat with clean sleek lines in a forever colour, like black, charcoal grey, navy. Skinny girls get cold - wear it open on spring days, wrapped up with a scarf when it's cold, and works like a dream with layers if you're like me and still need a cardi to leave on inside as well. I find the minimalist, cleanly styled coats look fantastic on skinnies as the long lines echo a skinny girl's long, lean limbs. I get most comments on being tiny when I'm wearing a longer, straighter-cut kind of coat. A couple quick examples:

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]


    Oh, and a cute, clever, stinkin' rich boyfriend!

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Whippet Girl

    Whippet Girl SuperStar

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    P.S. How NOT to do it: :superpuke:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. Whippet Girl

    Whippet Girl SuperStar

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    O Sasha.. *sigh*

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  6. sylphe

    sylphe Rising Star

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    Ooh, I'm also trying to build a minimalist wardrobe. Since I'm still in college I find myself unable to resist a lot of trends, but I expect that in a few years I'll be happy with a simpler, classic look. Right now my "uniform" is jeans/leggings with a voluminous top, either a baggy sweater or boy's button-down, and my trusty docs. I'm definitely hugely inspired by menswear and the androgynous look, too. While I love putting together creative outfits, I'm much more in love with the idea of just having a few perfect pieces that I can throw on in the morning without worrying that they won't work together. Everything has to be in neutral colors and made of the best material.
    The key pieces I've been looking for the perfect versions of are:
    - black leather loafers
    - black cropped cigarette trousers
    - white oxford shirt
    - black wool coat, like those posted above except mid-thigh length to better suit my height (or lack thereof)
    - LBD a la 90s Calvin Klein

    Actually I probably already know where I can find all these things, I just need to save up the money :hmm:
     
  7. FutureFullOfBones

    FutureFullOfBones SuperStar

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    Leather trousers (an expensive pair that will last a life time - none of this PVC bullshit).

    [​IMG]
     

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  8. FutureFullOfBones

    FutureFullOfBones SuperStar

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    Denim shirt
     

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  9. classichic

    classichic SkinnyGossip Royal

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    So, what do you consider wardrobe essentials, the absolute bare minimum one should own?
    Black skinny jeans
    Skinny jeans
    A nice winter coat (black/navy)
    Cashmeres for me (can't go wrong in any colors but if low on budget stick to black, navy)
    White shirt
    Pumps - black, navy, nude
    Good quality wool sweaters
    Cashmere scarves/ wool/ silk scarves
    A basic white tee
    Good quality flats - I personally like suede ballerinas
    Loafers
    Good quality black boots
    Nice black /navy blazer
    Trench coat
    Something fun - either in a fun color or something on trend
    Good quality handbag
    Classic watch
    Delicate jewelry

    What pieces to you spend the most money on?
    Cashmeres and sweaters. Coats too. I live in the UK so I'm always cold and need good sweaters. My jeans are all cheap - mostly from hollister.

    How do you have clothes that are timeless and how do you know what current trend you want to follow?
    I stopped buying things that are printed etc I tend to just stick to solid colors just so I can still follow trends but can use the item after a few years. If you like something a lot and you think you'll wear it after a few months then buy it.

    How did you develop a personal style and shop within that style (or don't you)?
    No idea

    How do you choose versatile clothes and mix and match outfits?
    Plain colors. Neutral colors and poppy colors

    Statement pieces, what are yours and how do you shop for them?
    My jewelry. They're expensive but I loveeee them so much. They have sentimental meaning. I wear the same ones everyday. I don't shop. I only stick to these jewelry the others I have I received as a gift. But if I do buy a jewelry they're usually inexpensive. The other expensive jewelry I receive ( I don't buy for myself) I'll wear for an occasion or something but very very rare.


    How do you shop in general? Since its purchase, what item of clothing do you believe you couldn't live without?
    Mostly online
    My cashmeres
    Arm warmers/palm warders
    My jewelry

    Where do you get your wardrobe inspiration and how would you describe your style? Any other contributions/advice/links relevant to the title in some way are welcome, I don't mean to limit peoples responses to just the specific questions I asked.
    Everywhere, street chic, magazines, tv. I people watch a lot.
    Classic and chic. Oh I really hope that describes my style

    Basically fashion is supposed to be fun, don't take it seriously, be comfortable, don't dress for others. My rule is generally would I wear it next year? Would I want to pass it down to my family? If it's yes then buy it. :)
     
  10. Butternut

    Butternut Community Duchess

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    Wardrobe essentials:
    - Clean shorts, neutral colour (navy or black)
    - Clean skirt
    - Black skinny jeans
    - Dark skinny jeans (navy)
    - Fitted blazer, neutral colour
    - Comfortable white & black t-shirts
    - Nude & black tank tops
    - Knit cardigans
    - White oxford shirt
    - Leather Jacket
    - Trench Coat/Raincoat
    - A well-fitting bra!!!

    Shoes:
    - Black flats
    - Black pumps
    - Black boots
    - Walking shoes, something you can walk ~5 miles in, I have two pairs of keds (black and navy)

    Accessories:
    - Comfortable purse, medium - large size
    - Small clutch/wallet-sized purse
    - Plain earrings (Gold & silver)
    - Plain chain (Gold & Silver)
    - Black belt

    Other:
    - Sports-related equipment (Sports bra, running shorts, yoga shorts, t-shirts, indoor sneakers, hiking/outdoor/trail sneakers)
    - Bikini
    - Winter boots
    - Winter coat

    What pieces to you spend the most money on?
    Shoes, my feet are narrow and I have hyperonation so it's hard to find a cheap shoe that fits. Plus I want them to last many years.

    How do you have clothes that are timeless and how do you know what current trend you want to follow?
    I'm still searching for good durable pieces. I follow those trends that I like and that fit in with my current wardrobe.

    How did you develop a personal style and shop within that style (or don't you)?
    I don't, I wear clothes that match but I can be dressed in head-to-toe black one day and wearing pastels the next, my mood changes and so does my outfit.

    How do you choose versatile clothes and mix and match outfits?
    Nothing with sequins, sparkles, too much lace, rhinestones, huge studs everywhere, or other embellishments that are either an eyesore or a pain in to match. If your clothing is nice and sleek it's much easier to put an outfit together.

    Statement pieces, what are yours and how do you shop for them?
    I love my orange Zara skort, my blue leather purse and my leather jacket. I just buy things that catch my eye.

    How do you shop in general?
    I make a list of items I need and try to stick to that, but if a new item catches my eye and it fits perfectly I'll get it! It has to be good quality and I have to love it, I'm done buying things that are just "meh".

    Since its purchase, what item of clothing do you believe you couldn't live without?
    I can't live without my black skinny jeans!!!
     
  11. 71000

    71000 SkinnyGossip Royal

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    What do you consider wardrobe essentials, the absolute bare minimum one should own?
    1. high quality, well-fitted soft leather jacket (goatskin or sheepskin)
    2. skinny jeans (black, dark blue, and light blue)
    3. well-fitted tank tops (black and non-black)
    4. loose black tank top
    5. well-fitted t-shirts
    6. jean shorts
    7. little black dress
    8. pea coat or trench coat (black, navy blue, cream, or tan)
    9. black pencil skirt
    10. little black shorts that can be dressed up or down
    11. statement dress - something hot
    12. black trousers & blazer
    13. bikini
    14. exercise clothes (tank top + shorts)
    15. casual dress
    16. black pantyhose

    Shoes:
    1. black pumps or platform heels
    2. wedge sandals
    3. sneakers (I like Converse)
    4. tennis shoes (ONLY FOR EXERCISE)

    Accessories:
    1. sunglasses unless you have a chubby face
    2. black purse
    3. infinity scarf

    What pieces to you spend the most money on?
    Leather jacket because I know it fits my style and price determines quality and durability

    Statement pieces
    Leather jacket
    Highest wedges I can find

    How do you shop in general?
    I look for something I like, grab it in 2 sizes, try it on, and only buy it if I can see myself wearing it in the future and it fits perfectly. Unfortunately, sometimes I'm in a shopping euphoria and I buy something thinking I will wear it but I end up not wearing it, not because I dislike it, but because there are other clothes that I prefer more. I don't buy anything online because I am very picky about how clothes fit.

    Since its purchase, what item of clothing do you believe you couldn't live without?
    skinny jeans
    tight black tank top
    black sneaker wedges - love that they add a couple inches because I'm only of average height
    [​IMG]
     
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  12. KavaHess

    KavaHess Worker Bee

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    I have been trying to come up with a very minimal wardrobe that I can transport in two suitcases - because of my job and school I am almost always on the road and I currently don't even have a permanent place. Needless to say, I have a lot of stuff in boxes. BUT - The things I nearly always have use for are:

    Nude pumps, black pumps (work appropriate height but nice enough for a night out)
    Black ballerinas and 1 pair of coloured ballerinas
    1 pair tight black pants, 1 pair black dress pants
    1-2 loose thin fabric pants for summer
    two pairs of leggings (i have the rw&co city legging version in black and navy - so versatile and they are more like pants which is great)
    1 short sleeve white blouse, 1 long sleeve white blouse, 1 black blouse, 2-3 other elegant shirts
    1 black pencil skirt, a few other black or navy skirts, 1 red skirt i wear all the friggin time (my weakness... too many skirts)
    good quality nylons... i prefer hue. they complete an outfit and if they aren't comfortable they suck!
    1 breton striped sweater, 1 cashmere v-neck in a basic colour
    2 work-appropriate shift dresses, preferably a durable, non wrinkling light fabric
    1 summer dress
    1 going-out dress... preferably slinky and black with lace and, ya know :D
    good underwear
    1-2 silk camisoles for layering
    1 long cardigan
    1 black sweater
    one set of airplane clothing... mine are wool slacks, a silk camisole, my striped sweater and a big kaftan scarf

    outerwear includes a few good quality scarves, silk for summer and a thicker fabric for fall
    a wool coat, a beige trench, good leather boots for winter, a few winter appropriate shoes

    oh and i have three black blazers, 1 beige and 1 floral print one for work.

    1 black purse, 1 office bag, a good pair of earrings and a gold necklace

    Naturally it depends on your personal style but I aim for work appropriate wear that's also suitable for weekends. also, black.
     
  13. Beanpole

    Beanpole Worker Bee

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    This is SUCH a great topic! Thanks so much for starting this thread!
    I'll admit I'm not one of life's minimalists. But I'll approach this from the idea of a "capsule wardrobe", which is something I utilise a lot - I often accompany my dad on business trips and travel a lot (to cities, not the "backpacking" kind of travelling :lol:) so a well-put-together capsule wardrobe that I can cherry-pick pieces from depending on the weather is something I find invaluable.

    These are the items I find most useful and versatile, and which taken together would set me up for anything:

    (1) My Burberry trench. It's lightweight, fits like a dream and can be easily layered in winter. As long as you care for it (dry clean only! Get the waterproofing redone at the same time) it'll last a lifetime - my mum's has! Any trench or lightweight cotton coat will serve the same purpose.
    (2) Cashmere - one slim-fitting cardigan that could be layered over a sundress in the summer, and one thicker, draped jumper/cardigan, equally suitable over skinny jeans and pyjamas. One in black and one in another neutral colour.
    (3) Black skinny jeans. Mine are from French Connection and I got them when I was 14 - they're still in good nick! Also they show how crazy vanity sizing has become, because they're a size 8 UK and a size 8 UK would fall off me now!
    (4) Black Chelsea boots (or any flat ankle boots). Mine are Russell & Bromley
    (5) Warm, weatherproof coat/jacket - Mine is a Barbour (I'm from the English countryside, I don't think I know a single person who doesn't have one!) but if you're a city girl who isn't into shooting/waxed cotton, go for something more stylish!
    (6) T-shirts - 1 black, 1 white, 1 colourful. I prefer a draped style with a round neck.
    (7) 1 evening dress doesn't need to be black, although mine is (it's black velvet with a square neckline and pencil skirt). Just make sure it goes with...
    (8) 1 pair stilettos/dressy heels again, no need to be in a neutral. If most of your wardrobe is in neutral shades, a few jazzy accents can really pop. Make sure they have closed toes so they work for more formal occasions.
    (9) Ballet flats I should probably buy shares in French Sole, I have so many pairs (like I said, not a natural minimalist!). Get a well-made leather pair.
    (10) Shorts/summer skirt - depending on your preference! If shorts, tailored, not too tight or too short! I'd personally go for a lightweight white cotton skirt.
    (11) Pencil skirt - I'd go for black leather!
    (12) (Oxford) Shirt - I have an amazing white Hugo Boss shirt that fits me like a glove.
    (13) Tank tops - white and black, not too tight
    (14) Blazer - mine is from the Reiss sale, it's navy blue silk. Maybe go for one in a pale, dusky pink that can be worn in the summer too!
    (15) Shirt dress - depends on personal style, but I think a lightweight (cotton) collared shirt dress is a great investment. Mine's Polo Ralph Lauren, white, and I've worn it so much!
    (16) Sunglasses - nothing too out-there or fashionable. Classic!
    (17) Jewellery - 1 piece of jazzy costume jewellery for evening, one more subtle, classic set (I'm a pearls girl, but I know not everyone is!) for formal events.
    (18) Handbags One large, dark leather (I've had my eye on my mum's dark green Mulberry Bayswater for YEARS), one smaller with a shoulder strap, one clutch
    (19) Pashmina - any big, snuggly scarf, really. Mine is huge and black with little tassels. GREAT for travelling, and hangovers, and cold nights, and chilly summer evenings where you didn't bring a jacket... I'd also add in a classic Hermes scarf but I realise that makes me a walking cliche :p
    (20) cigarette trousers - navy or black. Mine are navy.
    (21) Sandals - I have a lovely brown leather pair I stole off my mum (my mum is a stylish lady, in case you hadn't guessed!). Could substitute wedges if your feet aren't as wimpy as mine!
    (22) Red lipstick - just because.

    I spent most money on my Burberry trench coat (SO worth it), two skirt suits and three shirts from Hugo Boss (I'm going to be a lawyer, they were my law school graduation present!) and the most expensive thing I own is a pearl necklace and studs set that I got for my 21st birthday.

    I don't really do fashion, at least the trend-driven sort. My advice with buying clothes, especially big pieces, is to wait a while (I go for a year!) before making any really significant purchase. That should weed out any flash-in-the-pan trends and give you time to think it over. Failing that, find someone (I use my mum) who isn't afraid of insulting you and get their opinion.

    My personal style is pretty dull - think Kate Middleton but less expensive! I definitely idolise the Audreys and Graces and Katherines of the world, style wise. It's not exactly exciting, but I genuinely don't think I've ever been inappropriately dressed for an occasion, ever, which I hope is a kind of style? Haha

    I shop with my mum. I also do a lot of sales shopping because I go for plainer pieces, and I know if that particular thing is sold out in my size, I could probably get something similar elsewhere. The only spur-of-the-moment thing I've bought this year were a pair of cropped white jeans with a lemon print from Kate Spade, which I adore.

    Mine are all formal dresses! Which is easier, because they don't really have to go with anything.

    My barbour jacket. Because I live in England and it's always raining. And my sunglasses. I'm hungover a lot.

    [​IMG]

    My mum, various European royals (Queen Letizia, Duchess Kate, Crown Princess Mary, Charlotte Casiraghi of Monaco, Grace of Monaco), various long-dead film stars (again, Grace of Monaco... Audrey, Katherine, Ava Gardner)... dull, I know! I aspire to always look good rather than fashionable, since I don't run in "fashion" crowds and will be working in a very formal industry (law), and most of the pieces I wear now I could probably still wear at forty, size permitting (I have pieces I've had since my early teens, ten years ago, which I still wear). I am not a girl for crop tops or print-clashing! So I guess I'd describe my style as unexciting but always appropriate :)
     
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  14. Thinning

    Thinning Worker Bee

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    Not a reply to your questions, but I saw this and it reminded me of this thread:

    Simplify your wardrobe. Owning fewer clothes of better quality means you'll always look good and feel good and you'll spend less time deciding what to wear.

    - Have a versatile, but basic wardrobe.
    - Choose a few basic essentials and styles.
    - Mix and match two or three colors.
    - Add different tops to black pants or blue jeans.
     
  15. lamb's breath

    lamb's breath Worker Bee

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    Thank you so much to all your thoughtful replies! I really appreciate the time and effort it must have taken each of you, karma to you all! :kiss:
     
  16. Thinning

    Thinning Worker Bee

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    I personally find, go for things in neutral colours. If you must go patterned, go geometric (basic geometric, e.g. Stripes). Then you can never really go wrong :) xx (just came back from huge opshop hehe).
     
  17. ScorpioScorpio

    ScorpioScorpio SuperStar

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    So, what do you consider wardrobe essentials, the absolute bare minimum one should own?

    -leather leggings
    -basic black leggings
    -black skinnies
    -dark skinnies
    -wool ankle trousers
    -black blazer
    -white blazer
    -lots of high quality tees and tank tops-black/white/gray
    -breton tops
    -long cardigans in gray and black
    -trench coat
    -jean jacket
    -leather jacket
    -sexy black dress
    -couple of wrap style dresses
    -silk blouse in white/black
    -crisp white blouse
    -at least 4 bras with matching panties (black lace unlined, nude lace unlined, black t-shirt bra, nude t-shirt bra)
    -nude flats
    -black ballerinas
    -black pumps (pointy-toe)
    -nude pumps (pointy-toe)
    -red flats for a pop of color
    -black ankle boots (heel or flat, whatever)
    -black knee boots (heel or flat, whatever)

    What pieces to you spend the most money on?

    -All of the above. Spend less on the extras. Your basics need to be the highest quality you can afford because they are going to WERK.

    How do you have clothes that are timeless and how do you know what current trend you want to follow?

    -I personally don't really do trends. You know timeless when you see it.

    How did you develop a personal style and shop within that style (or don't you)?

    -I have looked into my wardrobe on several occasions and pulled out the items I wear most. Those are the items I continue to buy in subtle variations. (see above). I've kind of created a style based on that. I like clean lines and timeless/classic styles.

    How do you choose versatile clothes and mix and match outfits?

    -It's easy to do when you have an idea of a capsule type wardrobe. You buy pieces that you know will work together. A good rule: If you are going to buy a new shirt, think of three bottoms you can wear it with and vice versa. If you can't put it into at least three outfits, don't buy it.

    Statement pieces, what are yours and how do you shop for them?

    -I do scarves. I will buy scarves anywhere and anytime I see a unique pattern or color. My wardrobe colors are so depressing, scarves are an easy way to brighten it up.

    How do you shop in general?

    -I do a lot of online shopping because I usually have a hard time finding my sizes in stores.

    Since its purchase, what item of clothing do you believe you couldn't live without?

    -Black skinny jeans. I wear them all of the time.

    Where do you get your wardrobe inspiration and how would you describe your style?

    -As you can see my wardrobe and style is really basic. It doesn't take much inspiring.
     
  18. happyending

    happyending Worker Bee

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    I haven't started making a minimalist/capsule wardrobe yet, but this blog is awesome if you're trying to build one because it has a lot about wardrobe essentials, clothing quality, etc and basically being a better shopper http://into-mind.com
     
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  19. Silent Night

    Silent Night SkinnyGossip Royal

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    This site is SO HELPFUL. THANK YOU :)
     
  20. happyending

    happyending Worker Bee

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    No problem! I found it over the summer and it's amazing. Just thought I'd share it with everyone
     

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