11 Essentials You Need in Your Wardrobe

As a stylist I have discovered that most people expect me to have a massive wardrobe, filled with the most gorgeous and expensive clothes much like those we lust after in Pinterest images - you know, huge walk-in spaces with shelves filled with designer shoes along one wall, handbags on another, and a chaise lounge to drape on after a big day of shopping. Sadly, I would kill for this, but it’s not my reality. I have one of the smallest wardrobes I know of - including all my clients who tell me theirs is tiny. It transpires that in the case of wardrobes and the amount of clothes in them, size really doesn’t matter!

What I do have is a very flexible wardrobe. I am careful to purchase items that can be mixed and matched readily, and can transition a casual outfit from the beach to dinner without stress. I also vary my spend depending on my perceived value of the item - how often will I wear it, is it trans-seasonal, can it be dressed up and down, is it a classic or trend item? I have no trouble spending more on classic pieces (whilst some flinch, others understand the value in “investment”). What you can afford or perceive as worthwhile is your business only (don’t compare to others as you will never feel good enough), but I always advise my clients to invest the most they can afford on these items. That’s not to say I am frivolous with my client’s budget - quite the contrary, I am very careful to monitor our spend, but my advice is to invest in the key pieces, and spend less on the trend items. A beautifully cut blazer, made with gorgeous fabric will last you for years - you may want to change out the buttons or update it a little, but it will exude quality and upgrade your outfit from nice, to WOW!

One of my favourite “must haves” is jeans - I love them! My current faves are from Halo & Hazard in Northlands Mall, Christchurch (they have an online store, too!). They’re faded with frayed hems and holes, you know the look! Paired with a simple tee, blazer and my Valentino heels they are totally on trend and look very smart. What I love, too, is the price! In my role I see a broad spectrum of price ranges - you can get some pretty good deals these days, but for quality, trend and style these are a great buy at $169.00 - I baulk at spending $500+ for jeans!

On the subject of denim, I also believe a denim jacket is a wardrobe essential - the latest trend is the over-sized boyfriend style, but the smaller, more fitted classic always looks great and defines the waist well. Switch out your work blazer for a denim jacket at 5pm and you’re all set for a post work drink without looking like you’ve come straight from the office.

My top eleven essentials (in no particular order) are:

1 Denim jeans

2 Denim jacket

3 Good quality blazer

4 Black pants

5 Fine merino sweater

6 High quality white shirt

7 Dressy blouse

8 Leather jacket (the biker style has been around for a couple of years but I think the trend will last for a while yet)

9 Good overcoat

10 Graphic t-shirt

11Pretty dress*

*I used to advocate for the LBD, but I really don’t think in 2017 there is a real need for them. A gorgeous, pretty dress can be paired with a denim or leather biker style jacket for casual and on trend looks, or you can add heels and beautiful accessories to dress it up for dinner and special occasions.

This is not the extent of my wardrobe by any means, but if you ensure you have these items in yours, you will be able to create so many different outfits that will take you anywhere. I dare you to see how many looks you can create, and comment below.........


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