Lets Discuss the Ultimate Basic Items to always have in your closet?

  1. I am reevaluating my closet and I decided alot of my items are not quality items. I want to update my closet with the basic items we all need but I want the items to look well tailored and I would like to be able to mix and match. Can anyone recommend some brands or places? Maybe what would be a good brand for the basic white, black t shirt?
  2. Here's Tim Gunn's essential shopping list:

    1. Basic black dress
    2. Trench coat
    3. Classic dress pants
    4. Skirt
    5. Blazer
    6. Jeans
    7. Classic white shirt
    8. Day dress
    9. Cashmere sweater
    10. Sweatsuit alternative
    If you haven't seen the show, the "sweatsuit alternative" may throw you for a loop, but it's basically a go-to outfit if you're out running errands (as in going to the grocery store, walking the dog, etc) that does NOT involve you looking sloppy.

    For brands and tailoring, I immediately think of Theory and Elie Tahari for workwear. Club Monaco for more affordable but well-cut slacks. A basic DvF dress (the Julian is a classic style). For tees, I like James Perse, or three dots.
  3. ohh Thanks will defin check those out
  4. Hmm, for me the ultimate basic items would probably be:

    - Well fitting jeans in a variety of washes (a skinny, dark rinse for example can be worn much different than casual bootcut medium wash 7FAMs).
    - Basic tees and tanks (I love Michael Stars, C&C California, James Perse, and H&M has great tanks!)
    - A fabulous (and warm!) figure flattering coat (my go to is a wool/cashmere belted Burberry)
    - A classic trench
    - Casual jacket that hits at the hip, and some blazers to pair with jeans, etc.
    - Dressy pants with a straight (or wide) leg in versatile neutrals like black, charcoal grey, etc
    - Button downs that fit perfectly in the shoulders, aren't too boxy, and don't gape at all at the chest (makes even the most expensive shirt look cheap)
    - A dress - or several haha... DVF wrap dress are so flattering... but it isnt necessarily the price that matters here, it's the fit)! You can't go wrong with the LBD! :p
    - A cozy sweater or a sweatercoat (cashmere for the former or wool/cashmere for the latter is nice) in a neutral color that can be worn with jeans, over a button down if it's the sweater if you like that look, etc.

    That's what I can think of for now! :heart:

    Check out Nordstrom, Bloomingdales (jeans, tees, etc.), H&M (awesome $6 tanks that last!) Bebe, Theory, Banana Republic, Neiman Marcus/Saks, Macy's (INC has cute pieces), etc... happy shopping!
  5. My basics consist of simple black pants that can be dressed up or down, dark wash jeans, a sleeveless shift dress, cashmere sweaters cut close to the body in simple v neck or round neck styles in several different colours, leather cropped jacket, and a 3/4 length wool coat.
  6. I forgot a classic suit in pinstripes or black.
  7. I've seen the show once and thought they had a lot of useful, real information. I got so excited with the above list that I am going to clear out my closet, too.

    I had good luck shopping online with Nordstrom. I have a City DKNY white shirt. I love Macy's, I.N.C. for fun pieces, and Jones New York for well made, tailored cuts.

    Aslo, where are you finding your cashmere, ladies? tx
  8. Try J. Crew and Theory for nice, affordable cashmere :smile:
  9. With the exception of # 1 (I know I need to invest into a LBD but I just can't bring myself to wear dresses) and # 10 (WTH is it?!:wacko:), I pretty much got it all covered.:tup:

    I would also like to add that I can't live without a plain turtleneck in the fall/winter months.

    I also find that GAP sells great basic tees and dress shirts. They are very well priced and very well made!:yes:
  10. I think his list is perfect for a basic starting point. His book goes into more explanation of each necessity. Honestly, that book has become invaluable to me, and it's ironic, b/c I already pretty much dressed the way he suggests. The book was able, though, to articulate why I do and to add some finesse and polish to my wardrobe.

    I always look to Eileen Fisher, Ellen Tracey, Burberry, and Cambio or Christopher Blue (for jeans). Oh, I almost forgot....Ralph Lauren is a good place to get basic clothes too!
  11. That's a good question! I have problems with it "pilling" and would like to know of a good brand that might not do that.
  12. I get my cashmere from Club Monaco, but I don't know how far that brand extends outside Canada...
  13. Tim's list looks great on paper, and on TV, but I don't know how practical it would be in terms of everyday life, depending on one's lifestyle.

    It is very akin to the European school of having just a handful of good basic items, but I'm not sure that wearing the same thing two or three times a week** would be a good match for most US office cultures, even assuming that one had time to wash and dry clothes every evening.

    A more workable compromise for someone with a 9 to 5 office job, for example, might be to figure out the minimum pieces one would need to assemble ten work outfits, with an eye to some of them doing double duty, as in tops that might go to work under a blazer or cardigan and can also be worn alone with jeans, or a dress that would work for most daytime events, but could also go to work, again with the blazer or cardigan.

    Someone who works from home, whether as a mom or a rocket scientist, might think in terms of more pieces that could be assembled into sweatsuit alternative outfits, and just a few looks that would work for meetings with clients, parent-teacher conferences, etc.

    Speaking of that sweatsuit alternative, I'm looking forward to seeing some guest stars choose outfits that will be more appropriate for the supermarket than a garden party! One episode had a lady pick a fancy all-white ensemble for dog-walking!

    **While it is true that accessorizing skillz can completely transform the most basic top and bottom from one day to the next, there are limits, and most office culture being what it is, people would notice after a while that you were wearing the same skirt and sweater over and over!
  14. Except I think the point of the list is to say you should always have these items, regardless of what the season's trends might be, not that you shouldn't have anything else. In other words, the list gives you the basic building blocks you need to always have a dependable outfit for any occasion, but surely your closet will contain more than the list.

    Too many people, myself often included, buy things that are great and cute but that don't coordinate well with anything else they own. So they end up with a closet full of trendy pieces that cannot combine to make good outfits. That's why people stand in front of a full closet and lament they have nothing to wear. With the basics in place, there is always something to wear no matter the occasion.
  15. ^^^
    Well put like that it makes more sense. I am waiting for Tim to intone that basic Number One Shopping Rule and Universal answer to the Question "Should I buy it?":

    If you can look at the item and imagine at least three outfits that you already have that will be improved by this item, buy it!

    If not, keep looking for the item that meets the above requirement.