My Ten Essential Closet Pieces

by wendy

 

We’re revisiting a very old friend today – the Ten Essential Closet Items topic.  I think this subject is somewhat relative depending on our lifestyles and professions.  While everyone’s essentials items might be different; for me, I’ve found that these ten pieces are my classic timeless items that help shape pairings in my closet.

A Favorite Tee

This poor tee has many battle wounds.  From being worn consistently to being the catcher of food stains, it has endured it all. Great for layering in Fall/Winter, fantastic worn alone on sunny Summer days, and incredibly sexy worn as a sheer top under blazers, she is the absolute favorite piece in my closet.  I have other cotton tees, but what elevates this particular tee to an essential item is in the details – she’s a cotton silk blend, high quality, semi-oversized, super soft, has a unique pocket design, and sheer.

Splendid cotton silk pocket tee

A Flattering Pair of Jeans

Denim cuts are somewhat trendy.  We have bootcut, wide leg, trouser cut, skinny, pencil, straight leg, and there’s probably more.  Depending on body types, certain cuts are better for some people than others.  There are many variables in selecting denim – our body shapes, colors, washes, price, etc.  However, one key component stays the same – it has to be flattering.  Flattering means it hugs our curves, it elongates our legs, it’s soft against our skin, it retains its shape regardless of the amount of wear, and most importantly, it does not constrict the waist line giving us muffin tops.

Paige Rowena jeans

An Animal Print Scarf

Let’s talk about animal print scarves!  I get really excited about this one!  Animal print scarves can be intimidating at first. At initial glimpse, it looks very unforgiving and difficult to wear.  But after a few friendly attempts, it really warms up to us!  Of all the animal prints, my favorite is the leopard.  My second is the cheetah.  Animal prints are truly works of art.  Leopard prints have stunning rosette patterns while cheetah prints have gorgeous spot displays.  To give our animal print scarves an updated modern look and feel, I prefer oversized, light, airy, silk or silk-blends scarves.  Silk cashmere blends (my personal favorite!), silk wool blends, pure silk, and silk wool cashmere blends.  Since the scarf is the centerpiece of our outfit, it pairs best with simple neutrals colors.  For a causal look, it’s great with a white tee and skinny jeans.  For a formal look, it’s gorgeous with a Little Black Dress.  And guess where I bought this oversized silk scarf?  At the fabric store!  This year is not over yet, but I have to say that this find is probably my best purchase of the year.

Oversized silk scarf, 1 1/4 yards at the local fabric store

A Perfect Black Handbag

Our perfect black handbag.  Regardless if it’s designer or non-designer, a high quality simple logo-free black leather handbag will last for years.  A few years ago, I was having dinner with a friend who carried a vintage Louis Vuitton Speedy 25 bag.  I complimented her on the bag and she shared with me that the bag was a heirloom from her mother, and in fact, it’s older than she is!  The concept of passing down handbags from generation to generation never occurred to me before that. After that point, I started thinking about handbags as investment pieces.  And ultimately, will the bag stand the test of time. To invest in a designer handbag, we should consider a few things – 1. How old is the design house? 2. When was the bag conceived? 3. What is the price point trend? 4. Does it age well? 5. Will it still be a classic item when we pass it down to our daughters or sons?  Considering all of these points, two timeless bags among a few come to mind – the Balenciaga Motorcycle and the Chanel Flap bag. The house of Balenciaga has been around since 1918 with the introduction of the Motorcycle bag in Spring 2001.  The Motorcycle bag design is over 10 years old.  Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel opened a shop in 1909 selling embellished hats and introduced the Chanel 2.55 bag with the Mademoiselle lock (not to be mistaken for the double CC closure Classic Flap bag that was introduced in the 80s) in February 1955.  Both bags share a striking similarity – their price points continue to climb year after year, and their re-sale value is quite high.  Depending on the production year, Balenciaga and Chanel’s leather can be moody at times.  It’s best to research the year, the style, and the color thoroughly before purchasing.  Will it stand the test of time? So far, both designs has.  One is over 10 years old and the other is over 50 years old.  Can we pass these beauties to our daughters or sons?  I certainly hope so! =)

Balenciaga Motorcycle, size ‘City’, 2011 black with regular hardware

A Warm Leather Jacket

In the outerwear category, I find myself consistently grabbing my leather jacket over my wool coats.  I think this is really a personal choice and weather dependent.  I find that leather jackets are great for casual and formal wear. And moreover, fantastic for layering.  She’s super versatile – put her over a denim jacket, thin cropped wool jacket, cable sweaters, and more.  Like all jackets, it’s important that the shoulder to shoulder length compliments our natural shoulder lines.


Theory Borie brown leather jacket

Classic Sleek Tall Boots

 I practically live in my tall boots in Fall/Winter!  For me, this item is definitely an essential piece!  I love pairing them with tights, jeggings, or skinny jeans.  Because they are worn over the pant leg, they give an extra layer of protection against the cold.  When selecting tall boots, I gravitate towards clean sleek designs.  To give it the timeless state, I look for boots that are simple with little to no embellishments, such as buckle or zipper details.


Stuart Weitzman 50/50 boots

A Tailored Blazer

To be honest with you, I’m still hunting for the perfect tailored blazer. I’ve had this Armani Exchange blazer for over 4 years now, and although I love it, I find it too thin and too casual.  A clean, well-fitted, fully lined black blazer is a great supplementary piece to transition any outfit from day to night.  Pair with jeans for a casual look, pair with slacks for a professional style – it’s truly versatile.  I think it is very important that the fit compliments our bodies – the shoulder to shoulder, bust, sleeve length, waist, and total length needs to match our natural measurements.  One well tailored high quality blazer will complete any wardrobe.


Armani Exchange zip blazer

A Pair of Black Pumps

A timeless classic pair of black pumps is essential to any closet.  In my opinion, the shape and design of the shoe is what gives it the timeless state.  I love the almond toe more than round, square, or pointy toe.  The almond toe is delicate and strikes a great balance between the round and pointy toe.  Non-platform or platform?  Non-platform.  I personally think that platform pumps are somewhat trendy, whereas non-platform pumps are timeless.  And now the ultimate topic… comfort.  In my humble opinion, I believe that shoes are made for walking, so they should not hurt.  The shoe fit and material determines the comfort level.  Not all designer shoes are comfortable and not all non-designer shoes are uncomfortable.  The length, width, toe box, pitch, padding, height, and leather quality must be harmonious in order to maximize the comfort level.

Christian Louboutin Decollete 868 100mm black patent

The Little Black Dress

Our favorite LBD!  A simple, figure-flattering black dress is timeless.


Max Azria

A Chic Statement Ring

This is really a recent item that I added to my essential list.  I think it’s true that statement rings are somewhat trendy.  However, I do find that every time I wear one, it completely elevates my outfit to chic status!  When it comes to selecting a statement ring, I like to look for one that has a vintage feel.  Something from decades ago that maybe my grandmother had.  One that has a good weight to it and an unique design. Hunting for statement rings can be a lot of fun!  These little treasures can be found at thrift stores, flea markets, and designer boutiques.

Yves Saint Laurent Arty ring

As always, thank you so much for reading and watching!