You may have a wardrobe full of clothes you absolutely love but still find yourself stood in front of it left a little bit wanting. That outfit that makes you feel amazing or like you can conquer the world still eludes you. So what gives?
It could be a sign your wardrobe is missing some versatile pieces. Versatility is essential in a great wardrobe, versatile pieces are like the glue that bond all your clothes together making it easier to create different outfit combinations. If you’re missing these types of clothes you may find yourself:
- Buying more clothes
- Not wearing as much of your wardrobe as you’d like
- Feeling as though your outfits are never quite complete
- Feeling frustrated with your wardrobe
What are ‘versatile’ pieces
You can categorise these kinds of pieces in two ways; the clothes that help you link multiple items together to form a complete outfit or an item that can be worn for different occasions with some minor tweaks – think switching up accessories.
Aren’t they just basics?
Well, yes and no. Basics tend to be a standard set of clothes that everyone should own. While there’s no doubt they’re versatile pieces and serve a similar purpose, they don’t always account for the differences in each individual’s personal style. They can also be a key piece in your wardrobe so they can’t always be classed as basics.
Most wardrobes have huge potential, despite some of their owners not sharing that feeling. Adding the right versatile pieces that fit your personal style are like a key that will unlock that potential. Allowing you to maximise your entire wardrobe.
I’ve seen lots of wardrobes filled with some great pieces but they’re missing these key ingredients to bring everything together. There’s a good reason for this – they’re not always exciting. While catching up with a friend recently he explained how he’d signed up to one of the popular online personal shopping services and had been recommended some plain white trainers. He told me he’d worn them loads since buying them because they went with so much of the stuff he already owned. This was a pleasant surprise as he’d had reservations about them as they weren’t very exciting.
With a little tweaking, your wardrobe has the potential to be loved by you and leave you feeling great. I’ve listed some common closets I’ve come across that can benefit by adding some versatile items.
1 | Wardrobe
You have some amazing individual items that you love but some how can’t manage to wear.
2 | Wardrobe
You have a small selection of lovable items but the rest of your clothes are pieces you make do with or they simply serve a purpose.
3 | Wardrobe
You wouldn’t describe many of your clothes as items you love. Your wardrobe is mainly filled with pieces you make do with or they simply serve a purpose
What’s the benefit?
Wardrobe 1 – A cohesive wardrobe that doesn’t leave you scratching your head. One where you can actually wear all of the things you love.
Wardrobe 2 You get more out of the items you love. More loveable pieces and you get to reinvent the clothes just serving a purpose.
Wardrobe 3 – Your wardrobe gets a new lease of life. You get more interesting outfits and some pieces that you actually love.
You may be thinking “none of the wardrobes you described sound like mine“. If that is the case don’t worry you’ll still benefit by learning how to identify the versatile pieces currently sitting in your wardrobe. Once you’ve done this you can then decide whether you feel you have enough or none at all.
How do I identify the right pieces?
The pieces you should have in your wardrobe are going to differ for each individual depending on their chosen aesthetic. So there isn’t a cookie cutter set list. However, there are some common themes you can look out for when auditing your own wardrobe for versatile pieces or when making a shopping list to invest in.
Earlier I defined what I meant by versatile pieces and split them into two categories. I’m going to start by explaining what to look out for when searching for those items that can be worn for different occasions, to make it easier I’ll refer to them as ‘day to night’ pieces.
1| Day to night pieces
Ideally, you want a blank canvas. What that means to you will depend on your individual style and aesthetic. Remember this piece is largely going to stay the same so think about how it will work with other parts of your wardrobe. Is it flexible enough so you can change shoes and amp up the accessories and still make it work? It can be the main event or focal point of your outfit whether it’s a separate or a piece like a dress.
So something as simple as a printed top might be quite bold but could be paired down with some tailored trousers, court shoes, and simple jewellery for work. Outside of work you might want to throw on a leather jacket, some boyfriend jeans and sandals to completely change how it works. Remember we’re not talking about basics here so it doesn’t have to be plain or muted unless that’s your vibe.
2| Bonding pieces
These are the items I described that help your loveable pieces work together or are the stars of the shows themselves. It all depends on which of the three wardrobes you have from those I highlighted earlier. You’ll also notice the day to night items could be classed as bonding pieces as well, especially if you currently have a wardrobe filled with clothes you’re making do with.
These pieces need to absolutely be:
- Wearable – What I mean by this is; they need to be items that you want to wear and you can rely on to feel comfortable. No messing about with hems or shoulders. No messing about with things riding up or not sitting right. There can’t be any compromises here.
- Match your lifestyle – They have to be pieces that closely align to your lifestyle otherwise they’re not going to get worn very often and you’ll be longing for something you can wear more frequently. They can’t be pieces that will only be suitable for an occasion once every 3 or 4 weeks.
- They need to match your aesthetic – There’s no point picking up pieces that won’t fit your personal style as they may only end up getting worn on the odd occasion. If your style is all about classic tailoring but you find yourself swooning over a boho sheer maxi dress, it may end up gathering dust and only seeing the light once or twice a year.
- The rule of 3 – If a piece can be combined with the clothes you already own to make 3 separate outfits then it’s good to go. The reality is you’ll probably be able to use it in more than 3 outfits, but 3 needs to be the minimum benchmark you hold it against before you invest in it.
I’ve run through what versatile pieces are and why everyone needs them in their wardrobe, along with how to identify them. If you’re still left wondering how versatile the clothes are in your wardrobe why not put aside some time at the weekend and do an audit of the clothes you actually wear on a regular basis. That should highlight whether your wardrobe is as versatile as you think it may be. Then come back and re-read this post on what you need to look for to make sure all of your clothes work together.
How versatile is your wardrobe?
Photo by Brooke Cagle