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10 Basics that make your wardrobe Work!

Updated: Jul 20, 2021

Capsule wardrobe basics
10 Basics that make your wardrobe work!

Whilst we are all about Capsule Wardrobes here, not everyone wants a Capsule wardrobe. Some of you simply struggle with making your current wardrobe work and want to be able to wear and enjoy all of the clothes that you have. Some of you may frequently find yourself pulling an item that you really love , only to find that you don't have anything to wear with it. This can often be due to having all Killer and no Filler! Or in other words, a common problem is people buying all the statement items but neglecting the basics. There will also be some of you with the opposite issue that you have an overload of basics when in reality you may be able to get away with a few key pieces.

So what are the key basics that can help pull your wardrobe together and "Make your Wardrobe Work!"

In this post, we will look at 10 basic items that should go a long way to making your existing wardrobe more cohesive thereby making your Wardrobe Work.

The items detailed here could make a really simply 10 x 10 capsule wardrobe or be the filler items for people those of you with a disjointed wardrobe or a wardrobe where its hard to put together outfits as nothing seems to match.

Most of these items would suit a casual style but even these basic pieces can be combined and accessorised to give a turned up more elevated look.

In line with my ethos, I would advise getting as high quality as you can as "If you buy cheap, you buy twice! " However there are some items that can be on the affordable side as sometimes there is not a massive difference between affordable and high priced versions. There is a fine line between basic and boring and whilst you want your basics to be functional and versatile, you also want them to actually look good, flatter your shape and be of a good quality.

If you are interested in starting a capsule wardrobe and are not sure where to start check out the post on Get started building a capsule wardrobe here or download the Core Capsule Guide here

If you just want your wardrobe to work that bit harder check out these 10 items below:

Please Note that this post may contain affiliate links

A Black Cardigan

I don't want to sound too hyperbolic about something as mundane as an item of clothing but a black cardigan is just really really handy! Easy to get on and off without destroying your hair and make up! This item can smarten up a more casual outfit if you don't want to go full Blazer woman! It can serve as a jacket on summer evenings when the temperature drops and not gonna lie, mine often doubles as a smart dressing gown!

For a classic cardigan that can also double as a jumper, check out this one from Karen Millen

For those of you who prefer a more casual look, check out this one from & other stories

A White Tank Top/Cami

A White Tank Top or Cami is one of those great layering pieces that will be a real powerhouse in your Wardrobe. If you have a more casual style, go for a Tank top/Vest Top, White tanks look great with all of your denim items obviously, But even the most casual of tank tops can be worn with tailored items for a business cool look. Or if you prefer a more elevated style a White Silky Cami will work in all of the same situations but will give a more polished look. It can be hard to keep whites white so this is an item that may need replacing more often than other items in your wardrobe. For this reason, this is one of the few items in your wardrobe where you can go the more affordable route should you choose to.

This really affordable white tank from Shein has some touched detailing on the side to add some interest.

This loose style deep V tank top from & other stories is another great option

A Black Tank Top/Cami

The Black Tank top will serves the same purpose in your wardrobe as the White Cami but there will be times when you need this option in Black! The Black Vest or Cami also tends to work better for an evening look and clothing with richer colours. A good quality black tank can be dressed up simply by the use of good accessories.

This black tank from warehouse is super basic but also super useful

For a different take on this style, check out this wide shoulderd tank from Boden

A White Tee

Ah the White Tee, so basic yet so versatile and soo many options! Depending on your personal style or body type. A slightly loose T shirt will provide options for tucks ties and a more casual style. If you prefer a more sleek silhouette opt for a fitted version.

This White T from Karen Millen is a basic but the neckline help to elevate it and interest

This one form reformation has a more oversize fit that will be more suitable for all of those different styling options

A Black Tee

Just like the white tee there are endless styling options for a black tee. A fitted one can be a decent base layer when its cold out. Similary to the white tee, the black tee looks great under a Blazer or with your tailored items but will also work with all of your casual denim pieces.

This One from French Connection is a simple classic in a nice quality

This one from Monki is an affordable oversized option

Black Leggings

For a while leggings have been out in the fashion wilderness but in recent times they have made a comeback with the fashionistas. To be fair most normal folk never stopped wearing them as they are just so useful. In cold weather they can be your base layer under a pair of loose trousers (or even a maxi dress) In the transitional seasons they are a really comfortable stand alone piece. And in recent years they leather/pvc ones have emerged as a superwarm flattering wardrobe staple. This is an item where it is best to invest in quality as a good pair will suck you in and flatter your shape but a bad pair will have the opposite effect.

This pair of faux leather leggings from Spanx set the industry standard

This pair from People tree is made from 95% organic cotton

Blue Jeans

Every wardrobe should have at least one pair for good blue jeans (in my humble opinion!) For the past 10 years, the skinny jean was the only game in town but over the past few years there have been lots of new fresh styles coming through. If you want to see some of the new silhouettes ,check out the Jeans blog post here. Theres a pair of blue jeans for everybody.

This pair of wide legged jeans from French Connection is in one of the new modern styles

This high waisted pair by Frame are a wonderful high quality pair of basic blue jeans

Black Jeans

Black jeans in some ways are even more versatile than blue jeans. They have all of the comfort and flexibility of a blue jeans but can also be smartened up a bit more than their blue brethren. A super dark pair can be a substitute for tailored trousers when paired with a smart blouse or blazer. If you can only buy one pair of black jeans, go for a pair with no or minimal distressing.

This Pair from Karen Millen has a relaxed style and is a great option if you are looking for a New Shape Denim style

For a smarter black jean, this pair from Warehouse is currently on sale

A T shirt Dress

Unlike the other items this is more of a Spring/Summer item but is so and for this reason, it has been included in this list. A T shirt dress is one of those items that you can throw on with pretty much anything when you don't want to think about it! They can be worn on their own with sandals, ankle boots or trainers. Or accessorised with a hat or belt to give a more turned up look. .

A super affordable T Shirt Dress from Shein

If you prefer a bit more visual interest this stripe one from Boden is great quality

A Sleeveless Tank Dress

This is another basic but oh so uselful dress which can represent a one and done outfit but can also be styled up in a multitude of ways. And can be worn with a belt or layered & accessorised for a more interesting look.

I would advise going for black but this is not a hard and fast requirement and equal use could be made from this style dress in a neutral or even colourful option.

This one from French Connection is a little bit Va Va Vroom!

A more casual option is this loose style one by Current Elliot

So do you think I've missed anything? Whats your most useful versatile item? Let me know in the comments!

Check out these outfit ideas below

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