[style diary] Wardrobe staples

What is a wardrobe staple?

♥ …something I wear often: Having spent most of last week in this cocoon cardigan, I went out and bought a second one, because I know I will wear them both often. Before that cardigan, I practically lived in a black hooded cable-knit sweater; the cardigan is just a little more grown-up.

♥ …something I can wear with anything: My go-to wardrobe saver has been a skinny black faux-leather D-ring belt I made myself. Seriously. Throw that around my waist and I suddenly have longer legs, or a defined figure, and a piece that would otherwise be on its way to the consignment shop or Goodwill is saved. Ditto two pairs of black capri leggings. A tunic I thought was useless turned out beautifully when I belted it and wore it over those leggings. Who would have guessed?

♥ …something I can wear anywhere: My little black dress is actually a little red dress with a high waist and bell sleeves. Winter here lasts from November to April, so I’ve worn it to quite a few different events: plays, dinners with the Tasty Beloved, Mass, a day at home on the sofa–doesn’t matter! I dress it up or down with the right shoes and accessories. Cost-per-wear is probably down below a quarter by now.

Aside from the wardrobe staples I’ve already mentioned, I’d list my long black coat, my black prairie-style mid-calf boots, and a few of my pairs of jeans, which I lovingly refer to as “booty cut”. I prefer dresses to shorts, so guess what I’ve stocked up on this year? Dresses are great year-round, too, whereas I can only really wear shorts maybe two months a year. If I like the fit. Which I seldom do.

Style, I’m discovering, is mostly about how pieces work on me. Unique or plain, if I have nothing else in my wardrobe that works with it, I have to kiss it goodbye. There is a Jackie O-style blazer in my closet that I simply haven’t worn. Ever. It looks awkward over my shirts and does not go with jeans. My go-to trousers are pinstriped, both pairs. I could wear it closed with my favorite skirt (black, knee-length, ruffled hem) if I had an Occasion–like a funeral.*

*Unfortunately, a close relative is dying by inches. I may well be attending a funeral soon. Fuck cancer.


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