Wardrobe Essentials Checklist: The Very Basics for You

Wardrobe Essentials Checklist


No doubt, we all have a certain love for beautiful and stylish clothing. From time to time, we would come across an attractive piece that we just couldn’t resist to try on. This is all very well of course, and it just goes to show how much you appreciate dressing up and feeling good yourself.

Quite often, these clothing you shop for may be in the latest fashion trends, or they may be some uniquely designed items that simply captures your attention. You may have been attracted to their overall designs, including their colors and patterns. And with every new piece, you may have felt really excited about bringing it home and wearing it some time. Sure, that rewarding sensation feels great.

But guess what? Your collections will never be complete without the wardrobe essentials, which are the ultimate building blocks to any styling foundation. Why? You will definitely see why if you could relate to any of these situations:


There have been times when you…

  • feel like you have nothing to wear, even though your wardrobe is in fact full of clothing
  • realize that your new apparels don’t get to be worn as much as your old favorites


Sound familiar to you? These are indications that your closet is lacking some wardrobe essentials. Not sure which pieces you’re missing exactly? Go check out my basic wardrobe essentials checklist below and find out for yourself. This list only contains the very basic clothing that I believe everyone should own. So, if you happen to miss any of the items on my list, it may as well be a good time for you to consider revamping your capsule wardrobe!



The 7-Item Wardrobe Essentials Checklist

But before you actually dive in, DO keep in mind that your wardrobe essentials should be in neutral colors. This can then ensure that they work well with many of your outfits. Other points to note when it comes to choosing your wardrobe essentials include:


  • They have to be classic
  • They have to be of fine quality


As you’ll get to wear your wardrobe essentials frequently, it is not hard to see why these points are valid. You wouldn’t want something that goes out of fashion after a while as your wardrobe essential, right? And you would definitely want to invest more in the qualities of what you get to wear a lot, agree?

So without further ado, the 7 items on my basic wardrobe essentials checklist are:


#1: Plain White Tees & Plain Black Tees

Wardrobe Essentials Checklist: Plain White Tee (Crew-Neck)

Wardrobe Essentials Checklist: Plain Black Tee (V-Neck)














White/ Black Crew-neck Tee; White/ Black V-neck Tee

They are just so plain that you can always find ways to wear them with everything else. On days when you’re in a rush with little time to dress up, simply pair them with jeans and you’re good to go. On cooler days, you can add a bit of layering on top of your tee, like a cardigan, to keep yourself warm and still look good.

Both plain white tees and plain black tees are very versatile clothing that can be worn alternatively. Because of this flexibility, it is best for you to own a few of them in your wardrobe.


#2: White Button-down Shirt

 Wardrobe Essentials Checklist: White Button-down Shirt











White Button-down Shirt;

The white button-down shirt is another must-have in your wardrobe, in that you can wear it to create both smart casual looks and formal looks to suit different occasions. It is therefore an essential piece that can smarten up your look 100% of the time. During the day, you can have it buttoned up for a decent look…and when the night comes, you can simply roll up the sleeves and unbutton a few of the buttons to start partying. It works like magic!


#3: Jeans

Wardrobe Essentials Checklist: Jeans

Wardrobe Essentials Checklist: Black Jeans












Blue Bootcut Jeans; Black Bootcut Jeans

Needless to say, you should own at least a pair of jeans. They are extremely easy to style unlike most of your other pants, and you can hardly go wrong with wearing them in almost all social situations. Yes, almost all – even at work (where permitted). Just go for a pair of dark wash jeans and you’re ready to rock them around your office. For casual occasions, you have a wide range of styles to choose from (e.g. wide-leg jeans, skinny jeans, bell-bottoms…you name it!). What’s more, the jeans just become more and more unique with age, as the fabric fades over time to create a beautiful wear and tear look.


#4: Chinos

 Wardrobe Essentials Checklist: Chinos












Straight-Leg Chinos;

Chinos are another type of versatile pants that you should consider owning besides the jeans. Like the jeans, they are often well suited for both formal and casual settings. Although they come in many different colors these days, to form part of your wardrobe essentials, you should choose a pair that comes in dark/navy or in any shades of khaki. Often regarded as dressier than your typical jeans, you will find the chinos to be a real good match with your shirts, cardigans, blazers or jackets etc. You will also find them very comfortable to wear since they are basically made out of cotton.


#5: Cardigan

Wardrobe Essentials Checklist: Cardigan













100% Cashmere Boyfriend Cardigan;

Cardigans are great whether as an essential piece that is worn when you feel chilly, or as a styling piece to bring more patterns and textures to your outfit. Especially, when worn as the top piece of clothing, you are really making your cardigan the statement piece for your outfit. So it is really important for you to find a cardigan of fine quality to serve both its practical and styling purposes. To create different looks, you can also throw your cardigan over your shoulders (or waist) and tie the sleeves into a knot around your neck (or your waistline).


#6: Denim jacket

Wardrobe Essentials Checklist: Denim Jacket












Denim Jacket;

Isn’t the denim jacket just among the top few items you can think of to go with your pair of jeans? And in fact, the denim jacket isn’t just a great companion with jeans – it goes well with literally everything! How about wearing a pair of sunglasses too during the sunny days – how cool does that sound?

As is the case with the jeans, since denim is made from a sturdy textile, this jacket is very durable. It also wears and tears with time, which means it only gets better and better to many people.


#7: Black/ Navy Blazer

Wardrobe Essentials Checklist: Black Blazer

Wardrobe Essentials Checklist: Navy Blazer













Black Blazer; Navy Blazer

Out of all the wardrobe essentials, what better way is there to look dressy than wearing a blazer? Yes, you can look smart in a white shirt alone. But when worn together with a blazer, you will see just how much synergy they create: your look is smartened up to yet another whole new level. Of course, you can also wear your blazer on top of your tees or other tops to look great.

To better match your outfit, if you’re wearing khaki or navy-colored pants, you should consider getting a navy blazer; and if you’re wearing black pants, you should try getting yourself a black blazer.



Hitting Everything on the Basic Wardrobe Essentials Checklist?


Back to you – are you missing anything from my basic wardrobe essentials checklist? If so, I would highly recommend you to get them before buying any other new clothes.

Remember, the wardrobe essentials are really the foundation to keeping your wardrobe collections sustainable. Without them, you will never feel like your wardrobe collections are truly complete!

6 thoughts on “Wardrobe Essentials Checklist: The Very Basics for You

  1. Paul Reply

    Hi, Sharon.

    As I have said before, I have never given much thought to my wardrobe.

    I think many men, myself included, tend to be quite lazy when it comes to choosing an outfit.

    As a tomboy, can you give basic wardrobe tips for men?

    Many thanks,

    • Sharon Post authorReply

      Hi Paul, thanks for reading my posts. I hope my checklist has provided you with the very foundation to building a sustainable wardrobe, as the items listed there applies to everyone. As you mentioned in your other comment, since you admire Michael Portillo’s outfit, I think it’s fair to say that you are more into dressy styles? With his style, it’s more about knowing how to match colors. So I’d say you’re in the right direction – having read my post on color matching tips. What’s left now is to put those theories into practice, and find out what colors works best on you! You may also come back and check on my other posts later, some of which may also be helpful to you.

  2. Angela Reply

    Good basics! These items are simple yet versatile! Is there a more casual type of button-down shirt or long-sleeved shirt you would recommend to incorporate? I live in a cooler climate and often need an extra layer but a crisp white shirt with a cardigan can be a little too dressy for my weekend errand run. Thanks!

    • Sharon Post authorReply

      Hi Angela, thanks for your comment. For more casual types, you can try getting a collarless button-down shirt. Alternatively, you may also want to consider the chambray shirt that comes in a shade of denim blue. But since you’re coming from a cooler climate, you may also want to give some thoughts to the turtleneck, which is also what many would consider to be a classic wardrobe essential piece. It can be worn on its own, or you can also layer a denim jacket or cardigan over it. Hope this helps and let me know if you have any further questions!

  3. Whitney Reply

    I was just looking in my closet like why do I have nothing to wear yet there are so many things in there! Haha, thanks! Funny, I’m honestly lacking basic tees and button ups!

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