It really is. It’s as simple as the three pairs of jeans, four sweaters, two handbags and five scarves hanging in your closet. Allow me to demonstrate…
Think of it this way—when you’re baking, you need the essential ingredients to create something delicious—flour, butter, sugar, chocolate, salt and so on. Each of these ingredients is pretty bland on its own. And it’s not until you combine them in the right proportions, that you see the magic unfold.
The same principle applies to fashion. The ‘basics’ are already in your closet, and combining them in the right colours and proportions sets the stage for elegance and style to naturally emerge.
This idea dawned on me when I was helping a friend pick out some styles that worked for her, out of her very own closet. We didn’t re-invent the wheel—we simply worked with what she had, and figured out what proportions worked best for her. We also identified some staples that she would keep an eye out for, the next time she went shopping.
So what are those staples, or basic ingredients? Here’s my list—it’s based on what I’ve found through observation and experience, has worked for me.
My recipe for elegance: – 1 X navy jeans – 1 X regular wash jeans – 1 X khaki pant – 1 X classic black pant – 1 X black top – 1 X crisp white or cream top – 3 X tops in assorted colours that work for you – 1 X classic black pumps (patent optional) – 1 X classic nude pumps (think Duchess Kate!) – 1 X classic black ballet flats – 4 X ballet flats in assorted colours/styles – 1 X classic black riding boots – 1 X little black dress – 3 X skirts – 1 X classic black tote – 1 X classic tan tote – 1 X classic cream or beige tote – 6 X cardigans in assorted colours that work for you – 10 X scarves in assorted colours that work for you. (My personal favourite!)
Disclaimer #1: Keep in mind that the ‘basics’ listed above, and demonstrated in the hands-on part of this post, need to be customized in terms of fit and colour, to suit your unique shape and personality!
Disclaimer #2: Choose the highest quality you can afford. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t have all the staples yet—work with what you’ve got and add on as you go!
To show you how simple coordinating basics really is, I’ve put together a handful of simple, yet elegant ‘looks’, by mixing and matching the staples above.
Now it’s your turn—take a new look at the wealth of options waiting to be discovered in your very own closet.
Elegance is simple—it starts and stuns with basics—wouldn’t you agree?