Wednesday, December 6, 2023

The 15 Classic Wardrobe Essentials and 5 Tips for Stress-Free Shopping


Build a more sustainable, classic wardrobe with a closet full of essential, timeless pieces. We’ve got the best tips to help make shopping easier.

A fantastic wardrobe comes with care, especially when you’re looking for timeless classics that are sustainably made and aimed at lasting a lifetime. The thing is, this takes time; you don’t build the perfect wardrobe overnight.

Besides, the best sustainable wardrobe means wearing what you have already, and replacing items only when needed. This makes it much of an ongoing process as you shop for key essentials.

Build your sustainable wardrobe, stress-free

So, how to build your sustainable timeless wardrobe? Start by being an informed shopper.

the realreal
Courtesy The RealReal

1. Do your research

Yes, there’s shopping homework. You might prefer to buy certain materials or from specific types of brands. If so, it can be a great idea to do your research before you buy whether in-store or online.

If you’re heading out to a store, try to plan your trip before you go. If you shop spontaneously, you might shop in rush hour or not get the best deals. If crowds stress you out, try shopping during the weekdays.

And keep an eye out for upcoming sales events where items are likely to be priced down. Major holidays often bring sales discounts as do end-of-seasons. It’s also smart to shop off-season: look for discounted sweaters in summer, swimsuits in December, and so on.

Denim look blazer from the Karl x Amber Valletta SS23 collection
Denim look blazer from the Karl x Amber Valletta SS23 collection | Courtesy

2. Know your style

It is a good idea to be clear about your style, what you like, and what suits you before you shop. For instance, different body shapes and skin tones suit different shapes and colors of clothes. 

If you pick things that do not flatter your shape or skin tone, you might feel disappointed or not yourself when you wear them. Instead of wasting your time (and money), get to know your style and preferences before you shop for new clothes.

And a friendly reminder about “skinny mirrors”. These are often found in fitting rooms and can make you look about ten pounds thinner. One study found that people who tried clothes on in a fitting room with a skinny mirror purchased more items and said they felt greater body satisfaction than those who used a regular mirror.

sustainable smartphone
Courtesy Jonas Leupe | Unsplash

3. Shop online

This one’s for the retail haters. The most obvious, effective measure to take when you want to take the stress out of shopping is to shop online. Although you might like to see and feel the clothes before you buy them, it is much easier and less effort to order something and try it on in the comfort of your home. That way, you can try it with other items you have to ensure you can make the right decision whether to keep it or return it. 

For instance, you might be looking for a new pair of comfortable sneakers — a capsule must-have. You can buy sneakers online so that you can skip the chaos of shopping in-store. You can easily find something to fulfill your needs and try them with various outfits to ensure they are the right shoe for you.

a person shopping
Courtesy Arturo Rey | Unsplash

4. Weigh your options

Whether you find yourself stressed shopping because you need an outfit for a specific event or, perhaps, because you feel you need to buy something every time you go to a shop, recognize that you do not need to buy the first thing you see. It is best to shop around until you find the exact thing you are looking for (or as close as possible). 

If you purchase the first thing you see or try on, you might end up not liking it and wasting your money. You might wear it once and never again. 

Whereas if you take your time to shop around various places, you will ensure to find something that ticks your boxes, which you can wear again and again. 

Although it might take more time and effort to shop in more than one place, at least you will leave the experience feeling satisfied. 

Secondhand stores are also a smart investment of your time for certain essentials. While it may be more of a challenge to find a crisp white T-shirt secondhand, you can often find lots of great classics including dresses, skirts, denim, blazers, and some footwear.

Courtesy Reformation

5. Shop (and swap) with friends

If you dislike the shopping experience because you often go alone, it can be a great idea to take someone with you. You can seek different opinions on clothes and your friend or partner might even choose things that suit you, which you would have never thought to choose. 

Or, don’t shop at all — but swap items with friends instead. Pool your friends together and set up a clothing swap. It’s a fun way to connect with friends and acquaintances while also refreshing your wardrobe.

What are the essential wardrobe classics?

Every closet is unique, but to build around and within your items, there are some wardrobe essentials to have in your closet at all times no matter what trends or styles you gravitate toward. From there you can add in other items and accessories from season to season.

And this list excludes the sweats and other basics you wear around the house or to run errands, etc. Covid style is largely here to stay, too, so some of those can overlap with your wardrobe essentials as well.

These are the top 15 wardrobe classics:

  1. A quality pair of perfect-fit jeans
  2. A versatile white T-shirt
  3. A black dress
  4. A blazer
  5. A flattering skirt
  6. Trousers
  7. A trench coat
  8. White sneakers
  9. A collared shirt
  10. A knit sweater
  11. Casual dress
  12. Boots
  13. Ballet flats
  14. A blouse
  15. Denim or leather jacket

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