Saturday, March 31, 2012

Outfit photo: 5 wardrobe essentials

There's been plenty of talk around the blogosphere recently about how much is enough and what we consider true wardrobe staples. I had to laugh this morning as I went running out the door, because pretty much everything I had on fell into that category for me. Photos courtesy of Ali, sea shell and all.

Essential #1: Denim jacket. Goes with pretty much everything - dresses, skirts, pants, tunics; prints, solids, bright colors, neutrals - and if you're lucky enough to work in an environment where it's passably OK to show up in a denim jacket as I do, 1 jacket will take you through 85% of your lifestyle needs for 2 seasons, possibly 3. I like to casually rumple the sleeves up midway as you can see.

Essential #2: Boots. I like mine flat, waterproof, and comfortable. Your criteria might be different. These may be a tad casual for work but I wear them in anyways. Great for commuting and for pairing with skirts or dresses in fall, winter, and early spring.

Essential #3: Basic cardigan. Mine is black and slightly cropped, thin and very fitted, which means it layers really well over pretty much every blouse and dress I own and, again, works for both office and hanging out with friends. For me, the cropped length works really well with my height, but also means that if I button it over a blouse that hits at high/mid hip, it gives me a bit of a waistcoat/vest look. Multiple looks, one cardigan! I think I've had it for 4 or 5 years now and the elbows are finaly starting to show some sheen and it doesn't quite hold its shape. Sigh. Hate the thought of scrounging up a replacement, its utterly perfect.

(My "Casual-er Friday" look)

Essential #4: Fun tights. Gives any outfit a kick when you just can't be bothered with making it lively. I love these mustard ones, although they are eerily kind of close enough to my regular skin tone to possibly make me look jaundiced-like. Besides bright tights, patterns like argyle or stripes work well (I don't do dots because they stretch terribly across my calves and thighs), or unexpected neutrals like olive green.

Essential #5: A dress you adore. For when you really don't want to think about what to wear but still want to look good. I tend towards bright and quirky, what can I say?

And my bonus essential, Essential #6, is a neutral, patterned scarf. The neutral colors mean it will go with pretty much any outfit you put together, but the pattern gives additional visual interest. And, because its neutral, you can wear it repeatedly without looking like you're wearing the same thing over and over again.


Minnado said...

I love this post, not least because my idea of essentials is very similar to yours! I am pretty much incapable of dressing without a cardigan. I'n still loving the spectacles dress. x

Violet said...

I have my wardrobe essentials, but get bored with them easily - which is my excuse for buying clothes I don't need.

Anonymous said...

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gypsybiscuit said...

Rock on, Jessica! I really do admire your style :-)

Sigrid said...

Gotta love it when someone counts bright yellow tights and a green spectacle dress as essentials, but you're right: the boots, denim jacket and scarf make it look basic instead of wacky.Sorry your favorite cardi is wearing out, that can be traumatic.

Alessa said...

Those are five great essentials! Like Minnado, I think mine are actually quite similar (I'll switch my red leather jacket for the denim one, and substitute shoes for the tights ;).
I love your spectacle dress!

Nothy Lane said...

I love the fabric of your dress. Cool outfit.


Amy said...

Sigrid's comment made me laugh, because I was thinking very much the same thing--I kind of heart you for counting bright yellow tights and that dress as essentials. Awesome. And I love the idea of thinking about what I consider essentials--I'll need to consider that.

Roobeedoo said...

Ah - lovely! I pretty much agree with all of that... though I can't wear anything denim to my workplace unless we are having a charity sponsored day.
Mustard tights! How fab!!

Scruffybadger said...

I too loved this too- but can I gush about your spectacle dress & mustard tights - what a cool look!

Zoe said...

Hiya Jessica, how are you doing? Looking cute as all hell I see!

In case you wanted to see what I used that black jersey you so generously sent me ages ago for, check out this post:

Thanks again, you are such a sweet lady,

All the best
Zoe xxx