Do you have a closetful of clothes but find yourself gravitating to the same general pieces on a regular basis, while many other items collect dust? Sometimes it’s because of our current dressing needs (work from home anyone!?), seasonal changes, life-stage/style changes, or just our mood. But what are those key pieces that always rise to the top? If we each had to choose our top go-to 5 clothing items for casual everyday wear around the house and doing errands, this is what we’d choose!
I wore a Catholic school uniform for 12 years and I still utilize the uniform mentality in my wardrobe because it makes buying clothes and getting dressed much easier! My plaid uniform skirt, white blouse, and navy sweater wardrobe hasn’t changed a lot since the 1980’s and since the workplace casual dress revolution I really have only one wardrobe that I wear to work and out and about on a day to day basis. Here’s my list!
- Jeans. Light blue, dark blue, white, black – I wear jeans every day. I’m a Gap girl at heart. Gap denim holds its color and shape and its prices are great, especially with all the sales they have! If I want something a bit dressier, I turn to Paige. These jeans in a dark wash can pass for a dressy trouser. A Levi’s store opened near me recently and I was taken back to the good old days with these jeans. They can be customized in-store with different color back pocket tags, buttons, or topstitching. The sky’s the limit!
- Tees & Turtlenecks. Living in Seattle with mild weather, I wear a long sleeve tee shirt most every day. My go-to brand is Cos. They have heavyweight tees in classic solid colors and sometimes I really jazz things up with this striped number. When the temp drops I like their wool tees (not available every year) and turtlenecks. These are super thin and warm and a great way to layer up in the winter.
- Puffers. Uniqlo puffer jackets and vests are definitely a part of my uniform. They are ultra-light, come in many colors, and are not over-the-top expensive. I like the collarless jackets (not always available) as they look a little like a blazer and pair easily with a scarf. For a little fancier (and a lot more expensive) option, I like Herno for their cap sleeve and ¾ sleeve options.
- Sneakers. Thank goodness sneakers are finally an acceptable part of the everyday uniform. I like these Spring Court canvas sneakers, classic Nike’s, and Golden Goose for a bit dressier option.
- Blouses. For a dressier option to go with jeans, I turn to blouses like the ones from Xirena. They have fun colors and patterns and their cotton is beautiful. Similar ones can be found from Sea, Target, and J. Crew.
I work from home, don’t have to get dressed up very often, and like to be comfortable yet look nice. I rarely wear heels anymore (but I like added height as I’m short), love a good white t-shirt and jeans, and live in a moderate climate that doesn’t require heavy coats. Here’s my list!
- A perfect short-sleeved white tee. I wear white t-shirts 4-5 times a week I think and it’s the biggest ‘stack’ in my closet. But my ATM short sleeve crewneck is my go-to. I WISH I had bought multiples of it…but alas didn’t know it was going to become THE ONE, and of course, now the exact same one is no longer available (but there are similar). They are pricey however, so I often go to Nordstrom Rack for them (but I can’t link to them as the links change often if they run out of stock, but check there first!).
- Pair of great everyday jeans. How to choose! I have a few favorites- my loose, slouchy pair for around the house and on weekends, my longer bootcut pair for ‘nicer going out jeans’, and my slightly tapered, cropped pair for everyday. Choices are so dependent on body shape and size of course, but in general I like Madewell (love the Cali Demi Boot cut and their newer Kick-out Crop Jean), Joe’s (I like the Honey bootcut), Mother, and Wit & Wisdom (stretchy, comfy and well-priced).
- Shoes you can live in. I tend to live in my Birkenstocks and my JSlides platform sneakers, both of which were Joanne’s suggestions.
- A ‘nice going out shirt’ that works with jeans for a night out. See Joanne’s blouse suggestions above for ideas.
- A soft cashmere cardigan or crewneck. I’d choose black or camel if I could have just one.
Utility Jacket – This goes with pretty much anything and the price is right as well.
Madewell Jean Shirt Dress – they make them every year and can be dressed up or down and are just so easy to throw on.
So if I’m ever choosing one outfit for life it’d be jeans, white tee, cashmere cardigan and birks, plus maybe a scarf. And after I wrote that sentence I just looked down and noticed that I have exactly that outfit on now :).
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