Trying to be fashionable can be exhausting. And overwhelming. What with countless fashion blogs and Pinterest and emails from brands screaming at us that this is a must buy, this is the color - one can get tired. Of fashion. Of shopping. Dressing up, looking good – its supposed to be fun. So forget whatever they tell you. Build your own basic wardrobe with the basics that will work for you, irrespective of current fashion. The bare minimum essentials for a wardrobe. The serious list. You can add to it at your own pace, or you can be a happy hippie with just this. Whatever floats your boat.
P.S.: This is specifically for the city I live in, Bombay, or Mumbai, as it is known as. Or any coastal city which is as hot and humid as Bombay. If you live in a colder climate (like Delhi or Dehradun or Shimla - and how I envy you!), throw in cardigans and coats and all those woolen wonders.
P.P.S: None of the brands linked or mentioned here have sponsored this post. These are my personal views and preferences.
A dress. A dress that fits you in all the right places. A dress that makes you feel wow no matter how bad the day was. A dress that commands attention. A dress that looks like it was made just for you. Not necessarily a little black dress, though. I believe that you should go with that one color that works for you. Maybe it’s Black. Or Red. Emerald. Navy. White. Or perhaps you would rather go for a printed one. Or one with more than one color. Just look at the above yellow dress, and how chic it looks with the gorgeous purple heels.
Left: KOOVS Square Neck Strappy Dress, Rs.795; Right: ASOS Mini Wiggle Dress in Bright Winter Floral Jacquard, $94.75 (Free shipping)
Something you can wear to an office party. Or a lunch with family. Last-minute Friday night plans. A friend’s bridal shower. Dress it up or dress it down with accessories and how you do your hair. It will make all the difference in the world.
Buy a piece that makes you feel fabulous. The fit should be comfortable, the neckline should be flattering and the hemline should be just the right length. For you. It won’t be easy finding a dress that fits the bill, but eventually you will and it will be worth the wait (sounds like finding the right job or the right guy, no?). A dress which will deservedly be called the dress.
A White Shirt/Tshirt/Blouse. Why does it have to be white, you ask? Because it’s the basic wardrobe we are talking about, I say. It is something you will find yourself reaching for again and again for occasions that don’t require you to dress up but you don’t want to go out looking a bum. (This is not a rule, though. I don’t believe in them). So go ahead, buy the purple or the happy yellow shirt.
Again, the fit is crucial. It shouldn't be too loose, or so tight that there is gap between the buttons. In the case of the t-shirt, it should hug your chest like a good friend, not like a horny lover. Printed or plain, your choice. Throw it on with your best pair of jeans and you are ready for anything.
A pair of jeans that’s casual yet sexy. It should be a perfect fit, of a style that suits you. The perfect pair of jeans requires hard work. Trials and retrials. But this is something you will be wearing day in and out, dressed down or up, night or day, to work and play. It deserves all that sweat and cursing you will undergo in your hunt for it.
See this fab video for inspiration:
Getting warmed up? Good. To make your task easier, I have compiled a few helpful links. All of these are basically guides to buying your perfect pair.
This guide here helps you find the right fit for your figure. So pear shaped or apple shaped, curvy or busty, she’s got you covered.
Here, you get to see comparison photography on various “subjects” on the type of jeans they tried and what looked better on them. Very informative and it has loads of other denim posts at the end of the article. If I were you, I would bookmark this.
A saree. Cocktail saree or traditional. Silk or chiffon. Spoilt for choice. And the best part? No matter how much weight you loose or gain over the years, you can still wear the same saree (if you want to, that is). Just get the blouse altered. A classic black or red saree will work for any occasion. Play with the blouse to make the look formal, casual or elegant. Or buy a cream saree with gold border. For the best friend’s wedding. Or the office Diwali party. Or your college’s farewell. It’s kinda quintessential.
A jacket/shrug. I am not too sure about this, especially in this hot and humid climate. Unless you are forever ensconced in air conditioned office and home and travel in climate-controlled vehicles. Or you travel early in the morning on a bike etc. during the “cold” months.
The only time I ended up wearing one was for the duration of a flight. Airplanes are mercilessly cold. If you do need one, I would say go for a darker color or print. Don’t buy this online as you need to be sure of the fit at the shoulders and the length of the sleeves.
Heels. Somebody should write sonnets about heels. Maybe they already have. Sigh. I adore them. (But I have very limited number of pairs, for in our day to day lives, where would I go running on stilettoes, really?) They make my legs look never ending, and you have to wear a pair to know about the high one gets when rocking a great pair. They are a drug, I tell you.
Heels should always be from “the good brands”. Never the roadside stalls, be it Colaba or Janpath. Because even though they are oh-so-cheap and you can buy dozens at the price of one high street pair of heels, they will damage your feet in the long run (Done it, regretted it). Think about it. Your feet, your health deserves better. I would recommend Aldo and Charles & Keith. Buy them during the sales and you can easily get a 50-70% discounted pair. They last really long and don’t harm you. Color? Black. And/or Tan/Nude.
If you don’t like heels, or aren’t comfortable in them, flats or kitten heels are a good option. Don’t buy those idiotic footwear (no matter how cute) that have a sole as thin as wafers. Really, that’s just damage to the foot, as bad as wearing heels all day. Buy something that doesn’t make you feel like you are walking barefoot. You shouldn’t be able to feel every rough stone or pebble through the sole.
This is my view on what the very basic is. The foundation. Once you gave got this clear, add more as required. Go for what you believe in, not for what they say is the in thing. Because trends come and go. And the fashion cycle repeats itself, year after year. So everything is in, if you ask me.
What, according to you, are the very basics for someone? Do share in the comments below.