Thursday, September 22, 2016

Ten Core Pieces of My Wardrobe

Flying Clubhouse: The Ten Core Pieces of My Wardrobe

Happy fall! It's the most wonderful time of the year, in my opinion.

Recently, I really got my wardrobe sorted out. It had sort of lost its way in the past few years. It was far too large and unfocused. I wanted to make my wardrobe more practical and reflect my personal style in day-to-day life - not just on special occasions. I found that once I narrowed down my clothes, it was easy to identify the ten key pieces that make up the foundation of my wardrobe. Everything functions around these ten types of clothing. I currently have at least one of each type, and if I double the tops, I have a nice capsule going on. This list is aimed at fall weather, but these are the same pieces I have in my wardrobe all year long - except in summer, when all long sleeves are banished.

I wanted to share this list with you because I thought it might be helpful. You might even want to make a list of your own, since my core pieces are sure to be different. It's all about individual taste and lifestyle.

Flying Clubhouse: The Ten Core Pieces of My Wardrobe


Cotton Turtleneck
I have three of these - black, white, and deep purple. One of these is a blend of cotton and spandex, which is nice too. I wear them as tops, or layered under a jacket, cardigan, or sleeveless dress. 

Light Sweater
I've never found a heavy or chunky-knit sweater that I liked or thought looked good on me, and I don't feel that I need one. However, a high-quality light-knit solid sweater is a valuable piece in my wardrobe. I have a black crew-neck one and several turtleneck sweaters in different colors. They were all thrifted, and probably cost more than I could afford when new. But it's never been too difficult to find a nice second-hand sweater, as long as I paid attention to the fiber type and made sure there were no holes or stains.

A Soft Print Blouse
This is not a blouse with a soft print, but a soft blouse with a print. Oddly specific, perhaps, but it's one of the most worn pieces in my wardrobe. In the past, I've had crisp button-downs, chiffon blouses, and I just didn't wear them - or liked wearing them. My current favorite one is in a print that is colorful, but goes with every single one of my bottoms except my red tennis skirt. It's very soft and breathable.

Sleeveless Jumper Dress
This is the crowning piece of my wardrobe. To some, a jumper dress might mean a sweater dress, but what I mean is a sleeveless dress that can be worn on its own or with a top underneath. My best jumper dress is a black denim one by Boden. It can be worn on its own, or with any of the aforementioned tops underneath. Not all sleeveless dresses can be layered well, and not all pinafore dresses can be worn without layers, so it's always good to find a versatile piece like this. 

A-Line Dress
It's like the classic little black dress, but the shape is more important to me than color or pattern. I have a few long-sleeved a-line dresses in crepe. One is a sold navy and one is a dark floral print. I've worn it to rehearsal, and I plan on wearing it to an upcoming October wedding. I would also wear it to a party or to the movies or a lunch - maybe with a denim jacket over it. To me, this print one seems just as versatile as a little black dress. It's the mini silhouette and a-line shape that makes it work for me.

A Smock or Tunic Dress
My lounge-around-the-house uniform is a soft long-sleeved tunic dress, usually with tights or leggings. It looks nice enough to wear out, too. I might add a wide-brim hat, boots, and a denim jacket. I have a plaid one that has worked very hard all fall and winter in the past two years. 

A-Line Mini Skirt
This is my favorite kind of skirt, and the only type I own, except for a pleated tennis skirt. Until this year, I never really loved the skirts I've owned. For some reason I still associated skirts with the black ones I had to wear for orchestra class as a child. Shopping for these with my family was a nightmare, and I always ended up with a horrible straight polyester number with an obvious elastic waist band. But after finding some mini skirts with a retro a-line shape, I was smitten. I am a new skirt convert.

Comfortable Jeans
I always thrift these. I can't remember that last time I bought a pair of jeans new. I have a flared pair and a skinny pair, and I don't know which is more versatile. I like them both and would pack either one to travel. For me, it's mostly about a dark wash and comfortable fit.

Denim Jacket
My thrifted denim jacket is something I keep on hand even in the summer months. It has an over-sized, boyfriend fit - which I like best since it comfortably fits over everything.

Cotton T-Shirt
I don't consider myself a t-shirt person, but a short-sleeve cotton t-shirt is needed on warm fall days. As a vintage-lover, I don't mind all kinds of unnatural man-made materials, but I think my t-shirts need to be all cotton. I had a cute ringer t this summer that would have been perfect to take into fall, but the poly-cotton blend started smelling strange after only a few hours of wear. I held on to it longer than I should have, giving it chance after chance, but eventually it just became embarrassing and I recently sent it packing. Anyway, a navy 100% cotton v-neck completes the core of my wardrobe this fall.

Flying Clubhouse: The Ten Core Pieces of My Wardrobe

And that's the list. I decided to save shoes and accessories for another time. Thanks for reading and please tell me about your core pieces in the comments. I'm always interested in what other people love to wear and find useful.


  1. Thanks for sharing your core wardrobe pieces. I am still working on getting my wardrobe to a more cohesive stage! My core pieces would definitely be knee length full skirts, and t-shirts or blouses. I also love to wear dresses, as they are basically an all in one outfit, with only accessories needed.
    The Artyologist

    1. Makes sense! Sounds like some useful core pieces. I love how simple and easy dresses are that way. :-)

  2. A great way to look at one's wardrobe- seeing what are the workhorses that you always reach for (and among those which are those foundational pieces many outfits are many from as opposed to always wearing the same look too....)

    1. Oh yes! :-) When I think of my style, I don't automatically think of a denim jacket and solid t-shirts - but the "reach for" method landed those item on the list. Good point.

  3. Wonderful post and selection of ten core pieces. Each of these really speaks to me as being the types of garments I picture when I think of your (awesome) style, sweet dear. My list tends to change a little periodically, but some of my core pieces are neural coloured pencil and a-line skirts, shirtwaist dresses, black tights, wide brimmed hats, a black turtleneck, cardigans a plenty, and 40s style high waisted jeans.

    Many hugs & happy start of autumn wishes,
    ♥ Jessica

    1. Thank you! Oh boy, black tights and turtlenecks = <3
      I'm going to have to go back through your outfit posts and read about your 40s-style jeans. I'm often on the hunt for high waisted pants. When I think of your style, lovely cardigans definitely come to mind! :-)