my wardrobe basics

Wednesday, April 11

I've gotten a few questions recently about wardrobe basics, so I thought I'd share mine today if you don't mind. If I had to re-start my wardrobe from scratch, these are the items you'd most likely find in my closet due to their versatility and functionality. Of course, the patterns/colors on almost all of these could be interchanged. A polka-dot skirt and a pair of green boots are not necessarily essentials, but I would consider an A-line skirt and a classic shaped boot to be. Hope that these are helpful in some way for those who asked! Links to a few of my favorite options for each item are listed below :)

Cardigan: one, two, three
White Button Up: one, two, three
Chambray: one, two, three
Boyfriend Blazer: one, two, three
White V Neck: Honestly, I like Hanes the best

Maxi Skirt: one, two, three
Pencil Skirt: one, two, three
Wide Leg Jeans: one, two, three
A-line skirt: one, two, three

Classic boot: one, two, three
Flats: one, two, three
Simple sandals: one, two, three
Nude Pumps: one, two, three
Gold Watch: one, two, three
Skinny Belts: Most of the time, I try to buy my belts at thrift stores. There are TONS.

111 Response to my wardrobe basics

April 11, 2012 5:02 AM

Cute! I just love the Polka Dot skirt!!!

April 11, 2012 5:02 AM

I like how it is so neat. Everything is so needed for a clean look. And a life saver. Greatness Sydney!


April 11, 2012 5:07 AM

Definitely helpful : ) It's cool to have seen how you've used these different pieces, too. I'm loving this, please continue to share for the fashionably challenged like me!

April 11, 2012 5:07 AM

Great list - I might add a jean jacket or trench coat as a basic. Can be worn all year round, and come in so handy. :)

~Natasha Fatah~
~Natasha Fatah~

April 11, 2012 5:18 AM

Thank you for your post))

April 11, 2012 5:21 AM

Immediately i saw the title of the post, i knew chambray would be there and i was spot on :)

I love this post as i am trying to fix up my wardrobe. Could you do one for Autumn/Winter as it is Autumn here in Australia

xo Stephanie

April 11, 2012 5:26 AM

I'm good on the tops and accessories, need some work on bottoms... Thanks for the great tips!

April 11, 2012 5:29 AM

I love this. It's very helpful. I love that polls dot skirt.

April 11, 2012 5:37 AM

Great advice! I recently had to start over with a wardrobe (moving from the us to europe and back to the us in a few weeks) and I wasn't so smart when I bought my first few things.

April 11, 2012 5:53 AM

Hi There! Thanks for posting about wardrobe basics! I'm trying to plan for a month long getaway, and this post has given me ideas for how to pack. You're the best! Hope to see you in G-town!

April 11, 2012 5:54 AM

Love seeing someone else's wardrobe basics. There are NO button-down shirts in my entire wardrobe, because my chest is so big that they either don't fit right or they make me feel extra self-conscious and matronly. You're inspiring me to go out and try to find the right button-down!

Rachel @

April 11, 2012 5:56 AM

Thanks for sharing..!! I love your post .. I am looking more post like this one on
this blog .. this post proves really helpful for me .

April 11, 2012 6:00 AM

i love the idea of getting belts at thrift! such a great idea! f21 ones are pretty cheap too!!

April 11, 2012 6:03 AM

Just ordered those brown sandals last night! Chambray, v-neck t-shirts and A-line skirts are definitely a must for this lady. Thanks for including those links! I have been searching for an inexpensive watch for a while now, and I found the perfect one with your guidance :)

April 11, 2012 6:17 AM

Great essentials! I think I own most of those, however would like to include the missing ones!!! xoxo A-

April 11, 2012 6:23 AM

Love the colors and pretty much everything! :)

April 11, 2012 6:24 AM

Great basics for any wardrobe! I'm looking through to see how many I can check off or what I "need" to buy :)

April 11, 2012 6:33 AM

I definitely agree with you on most of those basics and have them all myself. Except for a chambray shirt. I need t get one!

Maria @ Orchard Bloom

April 11, 2012 6:38 AM

I Heart You! Thank you sooo much!! :) :)

April 11, 2012 6:39 AM

Hey Sydney!

So happy I started following your blog! I'm loving your list. Those nude pumps are just too perfect. Happy Wednesday to you!

Luna from the Red Pants -

April 11, 2012 6:44 AM

is it sad that i'm pining over someone's 'basics'? i have staples that i definitely wear over and over but they aren't nearly as sweet as these! wanna share a closet? i'm guessing you might say no, i'm thinking it might be a one-sided 'share'. :)

April 11, 2012 6:49 AM

I consider many of these my basics too! I recently stocked my wardrobe with button-ups! I am however, missing a chambray top. Skinny jeans and black pumps are also included in my essentials. Thank you for sharing, Sydney!!

April 11, 2012 6:50 AM

Really good post! I don't have 'true basics' and don't invest in them. Should do though. I love to see all your new combinations with (e.g.) your boyfriend blazer :)


April 11, 2012 6:50 AM

Love this! I totally agree with all your choices minus the green boots. Lol. I live in FL and there's just no use for them. I absolutely adore your polka dot skirt. Its so adorable!

Vonae Deyshawn

April 11, 2012 6:51 AM

gahhhhhh i NEED those green boots!!! also loving the maxi skirt ;)

p.s. - enter my giveaway for a chance to win 100 postcards! who doesn't love snail mail?!

xx, kara

April 11, 2012 6:54 AM

I love your style! And your hair!
I know you did a hair tutorial a while ago on how you get your curls, but I was wondering if you could do an updated one, now that your hair is longer? It seems more "wavy" now than curly, and I'm wondering how you get that look every day!!!

April 11, 2012 6:54 AM

love it all. i could wear rain boots every single day. definitely need to invest in some hunters. my green rain boots are "gardening boots" from target. they work, but they're not hunters.

April 11, 2012 7:00 AM

I always try to Thrift my belts too! Good post:)

April 11, 2012 7:04 AM

I have a lot of these in my wardrobe too! They are so essential. Thanks for sharing!

April 11, 2012 7:05 AM

Thanks so much!!! Love ur wardrobe tips which is very helpful! but right now I am having a baby, i have a hard time finding the right clothes. Can ya give me the wardrobe tip for pregnant woman like me? :D

April 11, 2012 7:12 AM

you da bomb! lol

April 11, 2012 7:13 AM

Sydney! I miss your posts like this! This is definitely helpful and I also enjoy your posts at the Washingtonian.

I had a question for ya - I just cleaned out my closet (donated, sold some items) and now need to update it with some staples.

What would your spring/summer must haves list look like?

April 11, 2012 7:20 AM

I love this posts, I always struggle to get some good basics in my closet and I've vowed to only buy basics until I am fully stocked.

Thanks for the inspiration!

April 11, 2012 7:21 AM

love the polka dot skirt!! great post!!!

April 11, 2012 7:24 AM

ooh i really like this post! beautiful items!

April 11, 2012 7:24 AM

ooh i really like this post! beautiful items!

April 11, 2012 7:25 AM

Oh how I wish I could all those items (and more!) of your wardrobe. I especially love the belt and watch, have seen them many times in your outfit posts and always loved them. Thanks for sharing!

April 11, 2012 7:33 AM

awesome list, I have a similar wardrobe, except skinny jeans are also a part of mine :) as will be a new denim jacket this season

April 11, 2012 8:03 AM

total agreement...but I also need my skinny jeans :)

April 11, 2012 8:11 AM

I've been following your blog for a while but just had to comment on this awesome post--I just started a new job and after staring at my closet for hours every morning, I've decided it's time I update my basics. This was super helpful!

April 11, 2012 8:13 AM

Awesome! This is really helpful!

April 11, 2012 8:15 AM

I admire your sense of style. The other thing I like about you is because you looks really stylish even without trying to get/have really expensive wardrobe.


April 11, 2012 8:20 AM

Great tips!! And so true!!


April 11, 2012 8:25 AM

I love your basics! And I consider a polka dot item to be a very necessary basic in my closet. :)

xo, Yi-chia
Always Maylee

April 11, 2012 8:40 AM

I love how you've pared down to the absolute essentials. It's posts like these that make me remember that style and fashion doesn't have to be flashy or expensive. I love the clean lined outfits you put together without getting too crazy. Plus, I would love to see a post about all the mix-n-match outfits that you could make with these pieces for further inspiration!!!

April 11, 2012 8:41 AM

i've been loving that blazer and polka dot skirt for a while now! -miken

April 11, 2012 8:44 AM

Great post! Thanks for sharing! These items are definitely the perfect basics to have!

April 11, 2012 8:55 AM

hey sydney! love your taste and style... i always have a hard time styling the classic rain boot. i just feel like they look clumpy and frumpy, but your outfits w/ the rain boot don't. do you think you could do a post on styling a rain boot? :)

April 11, 2012 8:56 AM

Nice list of basics!
I just invested in my first EVER chambray shirt and I've already thought of about one million ways I can style it. Now I just have to refrain from trying out every pairing in the same week, as people would probably find that sort of gross...
Thanks for opening up your closet for our inspiration! :)

Left brain, right brain, pug brain.

April 11, 2012 8:58 AM

Great post- I absolutely agree with them all! I would personally add in a striped tee as well :)

April 11, 2012 9:11 AM

oh this is so inspiring! I've been reading a lot of closet basic thingies, and this really helps me :D Thank you.

Come and hail to my cruise, yo mates!

April 11, 2012 9:12 AM

YES thank you so much for this!! I remember that blazer from some of your old posts! Nice to see that it's still a staple in your wardrobe.

April 11, 2012 9:16 AM

This looks like a neat set for spring time.

Take a look at my "This or That"

April 11, 2012 9:22 AM

Great post! Love the polka dot skirt and the Hunter boots. ;)

A Fashion, Beauty, and Maternity blog

April 11, 2012 9:29 AM

Chambray is the one 80's trend I welcomed back with opened arms. It's so versatile!

April 11, 2012 9:30 AM

this is super. i try to build my wardrobe around staples but sometimes i get drawn toward the wrong things.

April 11, 2012 9:44 AM

Totally love that polka dot skirt, SO cute!

April 11, 2012 9:45 AM

you seriously have the best taste!

April 11, 2012 9:59 AM

What a great post! I rarely comment on your blog but I enjoy reading it so much. You are such an honest writer and I appreciate that so much. And I love your style posts :)

April 11, 2012 10:01 AM

i love this post!

April 11, 2012 10:02 AM

love the thought of getting belts at thrift stores! I hadn't thought of that before!

April 11, 2012 10:22 AM

Super useful post, Syd!

Good work!

April 11, 2012 10:22 AM

great post! Thanks for Sharing!

April 11, 2012 10:22 AM

great post! Thanks for Sharing!

April 11, 2012 10:24 AM

I adore that polka dot skirt! Great list of basics, thanks Sydney!

April 11, 2012 10:41 AM

I need to get me a chambray shirt

Style in the City

April 11, 2012 10:42 AM

You should open your own store. I have a feeling you'd be a great merchandiser.

Along Abbey Road

April 11, 2012 10:58 AM

Ah! love these... I am pretty proud I have almost all these basics! :)


April 11, 2012 10:59 AM

I really love this post idea! I even recognize the items from your outfits. I have to say this list is pretty good.

April 11, 2012 11:10 AM

I love this! What a wonderful and helpful blog idea!

April 11, 2012 11:11 AM

I couldn't agree more, great post!

April 11, 2012 11:52 AM

i really love those kind of posts from you sydney :-) also i loooove a+a thursday and the ootd..
maybe you could do a new video :-) just about a normal day or so!!

from germany

April 11, 2012 11:56 AM

Syd are your white Hanes vneck mens or women's? Are they individually sold or packages? I never can find the Hanes ones!

April 11, 2012 12:04 PM

Hello Sydney!
I have been recently following your blog and I love it! I love how you use all different types of brands.. expensive and inexpensive brands and put your outfits together! but most of all I love how you talk about life and share your journey with your readers. :)

April 11, 2012 12:05 PM

Great post! These are the fundamentals of style, and so much more relevant to your audience than the edgey, expensive stuff you style for the Washingtonian.

April 11, 2012 12:33 PM

I agree, these are also some of my go to's!

April 11, 2012 1:17 PM

Thank you for the tips. One thing though. What you call an A-line skirt is really a full skirt (gathered skirt with a waistband) or a dirndl (a nod to its German peasant folksy origins). An A-line technically has no gathers. It is a flat front skirt with little fullness (possibly one or two pleats)and style lines that angle outward towards the hem. So much for making a long story short. Love your blog, a' course. Danielle

April 11, 2012 2:58 PM

The polka dot skirt needs to be in my wardrobe! I to swear by my hunters! I tagged you for an award on my blog.

April 11, 2012 3:20 PM

Love this post, thanks for sharing!!

April 11, 2012 3:56 PM

This is awesome, I've been trying to sort out my wardrobe lately, have to narrow down my basics too.


April 11, 2012 4:30 PM

Love all these pieces, so many possibilities!!

You should consider doing a 30 for 30! I know you've done it before, but it seems like your style has changed since then and I'd love to see what you come up with again! :)


April 11, 2012 4:43 PM

Definitely love the pieces that you chose, they have substantial weight in any wardrobe.

April 11, 2012 4:48 PM

Really love this. I've been trying to get back to basics in my closet. I have too much stuff! It's nice to just wear a white tee and jeans. Yes, Hanes are the best! I'm wearing one right now. :)

The Rich Style

April 11, 2012 4:57 PM

Such a great set of pieces.
I've been working on bringing some nice new basics into my closet. Next step: a chambray shirt.

April 11, 2012 5:05 PM

What a fantastic list! I totally agree with you. There are still some staples I need in my wardrobe. Thank you for the inspiration.

April 11, 2012 5:28 PM

I agree, great basics throw in a LBD and it's pretty much the same in my closet. I like the way you showcased them.

April 11, 2012 5:37 PM

These are great pieces! I'm pretty sure I just saw that mustard cardigan at the J. Crew outlet today!


April 11, 2012 7:41 PM

Oo Oo Oo! I have almost all of the above, so I think I'm getting there for staples! I just love your blog! Thanks for inspiring me every day!

April 11, 2012 7:42 PM

Totally agree! Have very similar items in my closet.

April 11, 2012 7:58 PM

Love the blazer and the button down!

Hosting a giveaway for some great accessories if you're interested:

April 11, 2012 8:01 PM

love! thanks!


April 11, 2012 9:30 PM

I pretty much <3 EVERYTHING you posted.


April 12, 2012 1:31 AM

I love this!
I'm currently getting ready to move, and this is SO helpful to minimize my wardrobe!
Thank you <3

April 12, 2012 2:25 AM

I am so in love with maxi skirts these days. So essential for every wardrobe!

April 12, 2012 2:44 AM

New to your blog and I really love it. You hit the essentials on the head. Love the polka dot skirt!

April 12, 2012 5:50 AM

This was really helpful. I'm trying to pack for a trip and am swamped with choices, so I'm glad you posted this!

April 12, 2012 8:07 AM

Awesome post!! Thanks so much for sharing! I just purchased that skirt... I think... if it is J.Crew. I think it will be an awesome, versatile piece all season long. If you have a moment, I would love to invite you to hop on over to the Queen City Style. I've been going at my new hobby for about 5 months since becoming a stay at home mom with baby boy #2. I want to thank you for your inspiration as I work to get my newest baby off the ground. You provide me with a lot of it!
Fondly, Whitley Adkins Hamlin

April 12, 2012 11:04 AM

This was super helpful! I'm slowly, (very slowly), but surely getting all of these basics into my wardrobe. Thanks for sharing!

April 12, 2012 7:10 PM

Great basics! Always fun to see what staples people pick. My faves are a lot of the same but also include some casual cuffed jeans for spring/summer.

The polka dot skirt you have isn't actually an "a-line" skirt because of the gathers--that makes it a basic gathered skirt. The first two you linked to are also basic full-ish pleated skirts, and only the third is a true a-line skirt because it's smooth from the waistband.

April 13, 2012 1:50 AM

I'm amazed at how little you picked as basics!Yet they make for numerous combinations!

April 13, 2012 8:37 AM

Love this post!

April 13, 2012 10:33 AM

This is a great post! Isn't it funny how no matter how much stuff you cram into your wardrobe, those essentials just keep getting worn again and again?

April 13, 2012 10:38 AM

I have the watch you suggest (watch #3) from windsor and it is FANTASTIC! I didn't have high hopes as it is only a $20 would never know it! It's amazing. Glad that you suggested it....

April 13, 2012 12:20 PM

great post! thanks! :)

April 13, 2012 2:35 PM

great post! I love getting insight into how you style things so well :)


April 14, 2012 8:22 AM

I love seeing your essentials laid out like that- great photos!

I love all your picks- but am surprised you didn't do skinny jeans. I live in my skinny's!

April 14, 2012 10:35 PM

Great post! I'm in the process of down-sizing as I move into my first condo. It's really helpful to see your essentials. I'll definitely be referencing this post as I prep my closet for the move! Thanks x

April 15, 2012 6:15 AM

The polkadotskirt is sooooo cut, i really need more basics too

April 22, 2012 4:54 PM


May 10, 2012 12:29 AM

Lovely, clean, simple! Time to start shopping!
- Jen

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