A while ago, I did a post on Wardrobe Basics from Real Women, and I’ve been meaning to do one about the clothes I can’t live without myself. I don’t have a washer and dryer in the apartment, so there are a few things I’m always fishing out of the laundry basket to wash by hand in the bathtub. And no matter how many pairs of shoes I own, I seem to wear the same two every day.
These are absolute basics, nothing edgy or revolutionary, which is why I can’t keep them clean. They’re what I wear as a base for more daring pieces. Some of the stuff isn’t available online because I got it awhile ago or at a thrift store, and in those cases I’ve linked to alternatives below. We’ll start with the obvious T-shirt and jeans:
1. V-Neck Tee
American Apparel Deep V-Neck
Oddly, I discovered these when I was nursing, the deep V makes it easy to pull aside, and I liked the look much more than those weird half-wrap-top things they try to foist on you when you’re too tired to think clearly. Anyway, they’ve become a layering staple even now that I don’t need constant boob access. Great under blazers and sweaters.
2. Skinny Jeans
Levi’s® Modern Slight Curve Skinny Jeans
As we’ve recently discussed, skinny jeans and boots is such an easy go-to. I especially like to pair mine with something voluminous on top. Speaking of which…
3. Dolman Sweater
H. Fredricksson Dolman Cardigan
I have a huge red batwing sweater I got at an antique shop ages ago, and it’s so cozy. I’ve worn it so much it’s probably time to replace it. Caveat: This is an easy look for a tall girl, but shorter folks needs to watch the proportions to avoid looking like a Fraggle. Here are a couple more options in red and grey.
4. Knit Scarf
Jumbo Nomad Rag
If you’re a little more advanced sartorially, you can go with a pattern, texture, or a bright color here, but if I’m being honest, I do always find myself reaching for the grey knit. Mine is an eternity scarf, which I’m a little over, so I’m linking to a fuller version here with loose ends that give you more options for tying.
5. Riding Boots
Frye Jackie Button Boots
I’ve had my riding boots resoled twice, which is about as many times as I’ve been on a horse in the six years I’ve owned them.
6. Little Black Dress
Dolman Sleeve Dress
I have a few versions of the knit little black dress. I like this one because it looks so different belted and I can also wear it as a shirt by pulling up the bottom and letting it bunch. Versatile when I’m traveling.
7. Black Miniskirt
Pins and Needles Pleated Twill Skirt
This is what I wear when I want to feel cute, but don’t want to worry about trying too hard to get there.
8. Travel Flats
If you’ve been reading for a while, you knew this was coming. When I’m not wearing my boots, I’m wearing these. The cutest, most durable folding travel flat I’ve found. And yes, orange is my go-to color.
9. Cropped Cardigan
Cropped Cashmere cardigan
I wear a lot of 50s day dresses, so I need cropped sweaters that compliment the high waists. I also find this a good length to even out my long torso, and it works with any length of T-shirt underneath.
10. Narrow-Collar Blazer
This is pretty much the only coat I wear anymore. A looser fit is more casual, and works with almost everything in my closet.
Those are the big ones for me. Which pieces do you buy in duplicate, and what are you always digging out of the laundry basket so you can wear it again right away?