Top Ten Wardrobe Items

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About eight or nine years ago I first read Kathryn Finney’s How to Be a Budget Fashionista. I was in graduate school at the time and I really recommend this book to any student or recent grad who is trying to build their first adult wardrobe without going broke.

Aside from her tips on how to save when you shop she also provides insights on editing your wardrobe. She talks about creating a top five list of clothing and accessory items that you love so that they can be a guide for figuring out future pieces you want to add.  I took a look back at what I wrote almost a decade ago and at the time my five favorite items were:

  1. A Sigrid Olsen houndstooth coat which had a vintage vibe to it. It looked like something Ann Marie or Mary Richards would have in their closets.
  2. A red, velvet sweetheart top that I found vintage shopping. I loved it because the color, neckline, and sleeve length were flattering and it had a romantic bohemian vibe to it.
  3. Marc Jacobs black lace flats that I bought these on a trip to NYC when I was in grad school. I loved them because no one else in West Michigan had them.
  4. Burberry sunglasses which I also got at a Century 21 trip when I went to NYC. They were very 80s looking with thick, red, plastic frames. Again I loved that I never saw anyone else wearing them.
  5. A cerulean cashmere sweater that I bought when I was working retail at the now defunct Marshall Fields. The color popped.

I think that a top list of your closet can and should evolve over time. Because of changes in your body and the natural wear and tear of clothes you will have very few pieces forever. None of the items I listed above are still in my wardrobe. Tastes change and as you mature and move onto different careers your clothing needs may change. In the past decade I went through major changes in weight which has meant several wardrobe overhauls. I also used to work in a suit and business casual environment and now work in a creative office so the guidelines of what I wear on a daily basis have also changed. Favorite items have less to do with the label and how expensive they were than how good I feel wearing them and the sentimental value attached to certain pieces.

I recently did another closet edit and since I can’t limit myself to five I came up with 10 pieces that I love:

  1. A red Moschino dress that my sister Esther gave me as a hand-me-down.
  2. Kenneth Cole Unlisted black stiletto booties.
  3. A midnight blue Apt. 9 puffer coat from Khol’s.
  4. A garnet ring that used to be my mother’s.
  5. A beaded wrap bracelet that my friend Tori got me for my last birthday.
  6. Two silver rings that I always wear together. One says “wander” and I got it at a boutique in Grand Rapids. The other is a crescent moon and star that I found at a vintage store in Brooklyn.
  7. A yellow trench coat that was more recent Century 21 find.
  8. A black and white newsboy cap.
  9. A wool dress that my sister Sarah got me while vintage shopping.
  10. A Guess multi color dress with pockets that I found on a recent trip to Florida.

What are your favorite items in your wardrobe?

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