Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Basic Wardrobe Q&A

"Have you posted about building a starter wardrobe? I would like to start buying with a wardrobe in mind instead of on the spur of the moment."

Thank you, for your question Colleen! I have not blogged about a starter wardrobe per se because everyone's needs are different. Your colors and lifestyle might be totally different than mine but I will list my own wardrobe requirements as an example for this project.

Keep in mind that these are my basic starter pieces. Other colors, patterns, and textures can be added over time but you first need basics that can be worn every day and with each other without being memorable.

I need three blazers in navy, black, and white. Note that I have chosen simple lines with slim lapels and slightly nipped in waists. Too boxy is the wrong silhouette for my busty figure. If I am standing before an audience to give a talk I will button my jacket but otherwise, I rarely close a blazer or jacket. (I will never close a double-breasted jacket and that is also not one of my basics.) I look for fabrics that can be worn for three seasons.  

The next elements I need are three tank tops and/or three nice blouses in silver/gray, white, and black and three long sleeve simple tees in gray, white and black which can be worn with or without the blazers. Note the simple lines and plackets on the blouses. I will need simple scooped or V-necklines, small collars (if at all) and no ruffles, pockets or other details that add volume to the bust area. I often have to buy a size larger in a button style blouse to avoid the gap. I want the neckline to drop below my collarbones because I have a round face and this trick elongates it.

When I wear a long sleeve tee alone it will be of a heavier weight knit so that it flows smoothly across my body. If I am layering a long sleeve tee, it needs to be of a lighter weight fabric and more slim fitting so that it adds no bulk under the jacket. The Simple Comfort Covered Perfectly tops are my all time favorite for layering.

The current trend in jeans or pants may be flares or crops or wide legs but I will stay with my straight narrow leg pants because that is what flatters my body shape. I need three pairs of straight leg jeans (black, blue, white) one straight black pencil skirt, one nice pair of black dress pants. I dislike wearing dresses immensely but I do have a couple of black ones just in case. I have a long sleeve winter weight dress and a simple lightweight summer dress that I can wear a scarf or a sheer topper of some sort over. 

If I had kept these simple styling tips in mind when I started shopping for my new slimmer body a few years ago, I could have saved a lot of time and money.

Your colors and lifestyle needs might be totally different than mine but the following guideline works for everyone every day. 

Dress for the weather, the event, to complement your body type and to reflect your personality.

If you went shopping with me today, these would be the items I would try on and possibly buy for my basic wardrobe. I am not fond of bright colors or prints so there are never any of those in my cart.

Click on the arrow to the right to see more options.

Thank you for joining us on this wonderful journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!

Susan Street is the President of

Represented by Talent Trek Agency in Knoxville TN.

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Unless otherwise noted in the post, the products I am using or wearing were purchased by me or were a gift from family or friends. When products are supplied by companies, it is always disclosed within the body of the post.

All opinions are my own.


Beckey said...

This was immensely helpful! I always feel as if I have a lot of pieces, but no real wardrobe. This helped clear up some confusion for me. Thank you!

Unknown said...

Great post, Susan. Concise yet very informative. Thank you and wish you and Mr. Mickie the very best in 2016.

mercedes said...

Thank you Susan to help u to avoid mistares. Also have an Happy new year !!

Prairie Poulet said...

This is very much how French women dress: simple, good quality basics in neutral colors, that never go out of style. Spice it up with scarves, a nice handbag, shoes, and voilà!

Of course for me, fuschia is a neutral that never goes out of style, maybe in place of grey. What can I say?

Don't go changing to please us, Susan. We come here to see you and your style. We can change what we see to suit our own situations.

Myra said...

In building a basic wardrobe, can you recommend an alternate color for the third pair of pants besides white? I love white pants but avoid them because I have a pear shape and need to wear dark colors on the bottom. I cannot come up with a third color that does not draw attention to an area that I don't want to highlight. Ideas?

Susan said...

Myra, You could wear a dark burgundy, navy, black, eggplant or a deep walnut brown.