(ABOVE) In this post and video, I talk about the 10 timeless, essential items I would want to have in my wardrobe if I was starting over, from scratch.
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January 7, 2023 / Video Post Notes
THE 10 ESSENTIALS THAT NEVER GO OUT OF STYLE
These Are the 10 I Would Choose; What About You?
During the last several years, I’ve seen countless videos and articles on “capsule wardrobe”–a small collection of clothing (and sometimes accessories) that the presenter believes should be in a woman’s closet, because it contains the basic, interchangeable essentials that mix and match well with each other.
Of course, everyone has her own idea about what are truly “essentials”, depending on her age, style, and body type. But, the idea of it got me thinking: what would I choose if I were starting over and could choose only 10 items? Narrowing it down was a challenge, to say the least. Nevertheless, I thought it was an excellent exercise, both to get me back to the root of my style, which is classic/timeless, but also to get me more organized.
So, the items you will see here are those timeless items with which I, personally, would want to begin my wardrobe, if I were starting all over again. Because I live in a region that, unfortunately, does experience hurricanes, it’s something for which I do need to be prepared.
What do you think? If you were beginning again, what would you choose? I look forward to hearing your feedback, because I believe we can learn much from one another.
I hope your New Year is going well so far!
Janis Lyn Johnson
Classic-Style Lover. Happily Married. Born in 1960. Fan of Understated, Timeless Fashion and Healthy Living.
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Scenes From The Video / The Items
White Cotton Long-Sleeve or Three-Quarter Sleeve Tee
(ABOVE & BELOW) Talbots White Crewneck Tee. I’m wearing size PP. If I could have only one casual top, it would be a cotton long-sleeve or three-quarter sleeve tee, because it goes with so many casual and also dressier items. It can be worn alone or under pullovers, cardigans, scarves, shawls, ponchos, and blazers. It’s so versatile. This one is made from pima cotton and is a crew-neck style, but a v-neck or bateau-neck tee also is a timeless option.
Neutral-Color Chino Pant
(ABOVE & BELOW) Talbots Relaxed Chinos. I’m wearing size 2. A pair of chinos is a wonderful alternative to jeans. Although they are a casual pant, they make an outfit a bit more refined and elevated than jeans, which is why it would be my first choice if I could have only one pair of casual pants besides jeans. You can choose between a looser fit or slim fit. It’s up to you. If you are a casual person, you might prefer a relaxed fit. If you tend to be a bit dressy even on casual days, then choose a slim fit. These are a relaxed fit (and come in several different colors), but I also have slim fitting chinos, because I like to have both options. If you would prefer a pull-on style, consider these J.Crew Contton Pull-On Chinos, featured in my last post.
White Silk Concealed-Placket, Button-Up Blouse
(ABOVE) White LilySilk Concealed Placket Silk Shirt, c/o LilySilk, grade 6A mulberry silk (more colors available). I’m wearing size XS. A white silk shirt is so versatile, because it can be worn with jeans and flats for a casual look or paired with a taffeta ball skirt for a black tie event. If I could have just one dressy top, it would be a silk button up like this. NOTE: Extra 12% off everything at LilySilk. Use code JLJ12 at checkout.
White LilySilk Concealed Placket Silk Shirt (more colors available)
Blush LilySilk Tie-Neck Blouse (more colors available)
Black Silk Dressy Pant
(ABOVE) Black LilySilk Heavy Crepe Silk Pant, c/o LilySilk. I’m wearing size 27. If I could have only one dressy bottom, it would be a black pant. I think this one is absolutely gorgeous. I love it. It’s elegant, but so comfortable, and could be worn to the office with a blazer or cardigan, dressed up for a date night out, or dressed down with a white tee and flat sandals. I will be wearing this pant for decades; it is so timeless. NOTE: Extra 12% off everything at LilySilk. Use code JLJ12 at checkout.
Black Cashmere Sweater
(ABOVE) Black LilySilk Cashmere Sweater, c/o LilySilk. I’m wearing size XS. Nothing can compare to a quality black cashmere sweater. It goes with everything from jeans to a little black dress (simply throw it over your shoulders). This one is woven from Mongolian, grade A-yarn, worsted cashmere, so it’s luxuriously shear and soft. NOTE: Extra 12% off everything at LilySilk. Use code JLJ12 at checkout.
Black Silk Shirtdress
(ABOVE & BELOW ) Black Equestrian-Print LilySilk Shirtdress, c/o LilySilk. I’m wearing size XS. If I were starting over and could have just one dress in my closet, it would be a shirtdress. I’d choose a shirtdress style because the fit-and-flare silhouette is flattering to any figure. This shirtdress features a timeless equestrian print, which makes it quite eye-catching. I like that I can style it to look office or date-night ready, but also casual. Just roll the sleeves above the elbows, replace the matching belt with one in black leather, and add black flats and a casual black bag, and it’s a cute, more casual day look. (You also could style it with brown accessories, picking up one of the colors in the dress.) NOTE: Extra 12% off everything at LilySilk. Use code JLJ12 at checkout.
(ABOVE & BELOW) Generation Love Faux Fur Vest. I bought this one last year, so it’s not available. However, it is available in midnight blue and black). I chose this as my final clothing item because it’s so fun. It provides a layer of warmth during fall and winter, and adds a bit of texture, luxury, and interest. It’s also a timeless piece that is always in style. I recommend a neutral color so it can go with more items. (See the Via Spiga Faux Fur Vest below, which is available in black, ivory, beige, burgundy or grey. Also see more faux fur vests at SaksOffFifth and Bloomingdale’s.)
Black Leather Loafers
(ABOVE) Brooks Brothers Black Leather Penny Loafers. I bought these shoes 12 or so years ago, and I wear them a lot with ankle pants and short, casual skirts. If I could have just one pair of casual shoes, I would choose a black leather moccasin, ballet flat, or loafer, like these. All are timeless, good-looking choices for the wardrobe. I love this particular pair, because they have the slim profile of a ballet flat–due to the pointy toe–paired with the refined structure of a loafer. I like that combination, as I’m getting the look of two timeless favorites in one!
Black Leather Pump
(ABOVE) Black leather slingback pumps. I bought these about three years ago. They have a three and one-half inch heel, so they have the elegance of a very high heel but the comfort of a lower heel. If I could have only one pair of dressy shoes, they would be black and a pump–either slingback or closed heel. This style of dressy shoe goes with everything from jeans to dressy dresses and pants. I think a slingback in leather is a tad dressier than a regular pump, which is why it’s my first choice. I also find a slingback more comfortable, because the strap enables me to adjust the fit. It’s a classic that will always be in style.
Black Leather Top-Handle Bag With Removable Shoulder Strap
(ABOVE & BELOW) Prada Galleria Black Saffiano Leather Mini Bag (with detachable/adjustable web strap and saffiano coin purse). When it comes to which handbag I’d choose if I could only have one, it definitely would be a small bag like this one, which is very structured, and has both top handles and a removable shoulder/crossbody strap. I prefer this style of bag because it can be worn crossbody, on the shoulder, or carried by the top handle. So I feel it’s a bit more versatile. But if this style of bag doesn’t appeal to you, a shoulder bag similar in width and depth to my Louis Vuitton empreinte leather Multi Pochette Accessoires below is also a timeless option. I realize the double-bag look is not necessarily timeless, but wearing just one of the bags definitely is. Also, you don’t have to have a designer label in your clothes, shoes, or bags to look stylish and timeless. More important is the material, shape, and quality of craftmanship.
Prada Galleria Saffiano Leather Mini Bag, Double Zipper (with detachable, adjustable saffiano leather strap)
Gold Dual-Ended Retractable Lip Brush, for applying lipstick
Set of Four Portable Eyelash Combs, Pink, to comb out mascara
NECKLACE: Pearls, gift from my mother in law years ago / RING #1: Boucheron (similar Saks Fifth Avenue; preloved Fashionphile) / BRACELET #1: David Yurman (more stones/colors available) / BRACELET #2: David Yurman (David Yurman, Saks / BRACELET #3: Roberto Coin
MY MAKEUP (All Natural/Organic Ingredients)
FACE: Mineral Fusion Powder Foundation, Warm 3 / CHEEKS: Honest Beauty Creme Cheek + Lip Color, Rose Pink (Ulta, Amazon, Target) / EYES: Honest Beauty Get It Together Eyeshadow Palette, Burnt Mocha (Ulta, Amazon); set with RMS Beauty Un-Powder Powder (Nordstrom, Amazon) / LASHES: Honest Beauty Extreme Length Mascara + Lash Primer in One (At Ulta, Amazon)/ LIPS: Gabriel Lipstick, Chocolate Cherry / CHEEKBONES HIGHLIGHTER: Triple Purified 100% Petroleum Jelly (Amazon, Target)
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David Yurman 18k Gold Pearl Bracelet (More stones/colors available)
Roberto Coin 18k Gold and Diamond Bangle Bracelet (Variety of Styles Available)