Building the ideal wardrobe is no easy feat and often takes a few years to perfect. I’ve been guilty of shopping impulsively only to end up with a pile full of clothes that I rarely ever use. And over time, I’ve learned that building an effective wardrobe falls down to one thing: acquiring the right pieces you can actually wear on a normal basis. Although everyone’s wardrobe needs vary according to several factors, such as location, climate, and lifestyle, I think we can all agree that the best closets are made up of clothes that can be worn in several ways and for various occasions. It is all about creating the perfect balance that allows your own sense of style to shine through. So, I’ll be sharing the number of pieces you really need in your wardrobe – and exactly what they are. Take a peek into your own closet and see what you already have.
Burberry Poncho (similar here, better for budget here) | Lovers + Friends Sweater Dress (size down) | Gucci Velvet Marmont Bag | Saint Laurent Sunglasses | Stuart Weitzman Over-The-Knee Boots (better for budget here)
Lovers + Friends Gray Sweater (wearing an XS) | GRLFRND Distressed Denim (size down) | Celine Bag | Christian Louboutin Eloise Pumps (size down by 1/2, better for budget here) | Quay Sunglasses | MAC Lipstick (in ‘Russian Red’)
Given that it is optimal sweater weather season, let’s start out with cozy knits. A strong wardrobe is comprised of at least 4 different sweaters. Two of these should be business casual and work appropriate so you can wear them to the office or meetings. Think crew neck sweaters, v-necks that can be layered under button downs, and cardigans. The other half can be trendier everyday sweaters that are ideal for weekend outings.
I used to hoard t-shirts because they were so readily available and easy to buy, but I soon realized that I wore the same ones all the time! I’ve discovered that 7 tees and tanks is the magic number to have – 2 short sleeves, 2 long sleeves, and 3 tank tops. The mix of sleeve lengths will serve all of your layering needs, but are also great for wearing alone throughout the seasons.
This category was decidedly the most difficult category to narrow down to an advantageous number. However, this is definitely where you can infuse a little more trend into your selection. I found that a wardrobe only needs about 15-20 tops to be fully functional and versatile. The way I narrowed it down here was by ensuring each top can be worn with a mix of bottoms. For every pair of bottom I owned (denim, skirts, and shorts), I really only needed 2-3 tops.
Coats and Jackets: 4
As far as outerwear is concerned, I heavily rotate between 4 different coats and jackets. I have a trendier statement coat for jazzing up an outfit – like a faux fur or teddy coat. Then, a leather moto jacket for adding an edgy touch, a classic trench coat that ties any outfit together, and a denim jacket for casual fits.
Balmain Blazer (wearing an FR34, better for budget here) | Gucci Belt (also here, read my ‘Gucci Belt Buying Guide’ HERE) | Cami NYC Lace Cami | GRLFRND Jeans (size down) | Christian Louboutin White Heels
Suits and Blazers: 2-3
I may not work in a traditional office anymore, but workwear pieces such as a blazer or trousers are a constant in my life. I am always mixing and matching my suit sets with everyday basics. And two to three high-quality blazers or suits is all it takes to create a myriad of chic and polished looks. I find myself gravitating between a fitted blazer and an oversized boyfriend blazer.
Have you ever had a last minute event come up with absolutely nothing to wear? This happened to me before and it sent me in a spiral of panic so I now make sure to keep at least 5 dresses in my arsenal at any time. The most versatile and wearable dresses encompass a shirt dress, maxi dress, lace dress, cocktail dress, and a formal gown, so I am ready for any situation that arises.
Lastly, everyone needs a few pairs of jeans. I know I rely on my favorite styles so much! The optimal mix of denim comprises of 6 different styles, which are: 2 skinny jeans that can be dressed up or down, a pair of distressed boyfriend or girlfriend jeans, and 3 neutral-colored jeans (white, black and gray).
This all boils down to a total of 43-39 pieces that you truly need in your wardrobe. With this set up in place, you’ll have an abundance of options to create different looks.