So as part of my fall cleaning project and to finally unpack and sort all of my clothes I have decided to do a massive closet purging down to only the essentials. One problem... As a regular pioneer as one of Jehovah's Witnesses I spend about 6 days a week in skirts. No women's essential wardrobe list is designed for women who actually dresses up that much so I had to use about 7 different lists on the internet to come up with the following list. This is what I will be using tomorrow to organize and sort all my clothes.
4-6 Basic Tanks or Camis for layering
These are great for raising the neckline on low-cut tops and making see-through options actually wearable. Try to stick to 100% cotton in neutral shades like black, white, grey, and navy. One or two bold colors are perfectly acceptable as well. It also never hurts to have more than one black tank since this is the most versatile option.
Try to keep these chic and avoid over sized granny styles. You can probably get away with fewer but I usually carry one with me everyday of the year so I like to have options. Stock at least a couple neutral colors like black or grey but this is also a great way to add a splash of color to your wardrobe. Again stick to cotton so that you can just through these in the wash.
5 Blouses or Dressy Tops
I like to look for loser fitting blouses or button ups. Longer empire waist tops are great for hiding a belly poncho but be careful to avoid the maternity look.
1 White Button Down Blouse
Something with a little stretch is best and make sure you don't have any pulling at the bust buttons. Avoid anything too boxy but shoot for a nice tailored look. I personally like to go for the tuxedo blouse since i think it looks especially cute when paired with cardigans.
These are great for layering or wearing alone in the fall and winter. Solid colors are best since they tend to stay in style much longer than patterns or stripes.
3 Long Sleeve Shirts
I personally love Old Navy's v-necks for the fall and winter months.
10 Tees (3 Graphic, 3-5 Solid, & 2-4 Patterned or Embellished)
By the time you hit your 20's you want to start toning down the graphic tees and focus on more versatile solids and embellished shirts that can be cutely paired with pants or skirts.
1-2 Zipper Hoodies
These are great for casual winter days but stitch to the zipper kind which tend to be more tailored and eliminate the bulk of the pull-over versions.
3 Work Shirts
I like to stick to long plain graphic-free shirts that will still cover my back when I bend over. Also watch out for loose neckline that may show too much of your chest when leaning forward.
1 Work Hoodie or Long-sleeve Button Up Shirt
This will keep you warm for when you first get started and haven't worked up a sweat yet.
2-3 Pairs of Jeans (Dark wash, light wash, and dressy - avoid anything too trendy)
These need to fit the body you have now and not be too trendy so that they can last several seasons. It never hurts to stick to a dark wash that can be dressed up but one pair of light wash is ok for casual settings. Consider a more dressy pair for night's out.
1 Pair of Nice Dress Pants (Black or Grey)
These need to be a well fitting trouser that will be appropriate for a wide range of occasions. The length should be appropriate for heels but not dragging on the ground.
2-3 Pairs of Loungewear Pants
I like to have a couple pairs of super comfy stretchy or sweat pants that I wear around the house. These are usually the comfiest things I own and I will wear them almost everyday. But these are never ever allowed to be worn outside the home.
7 Skirts (1-3 Summer Fabrics, 1-3 Winter Fabrics, and 3-5 Seasonless Fabrics)
Your best bang for your buck is selecting seasonless fabrics that can be worn year round. Same goes for solid colors like black, brown, grey, and khaki. Try to maintain a versatile selection with at least 3 tea-length a-line skirts, a longer skirt (possibly a maxi or broomstick style) and a fitted pencil skirt or two. Or course fun floral prints in lightweight fabrics are great with solid tees in the summer.
1-2 Pairs of Work Jeans
These are crucial if you are a member of the RBC or like to do a lot of painting, gardening, or other misc. messy house work. Make sure you find a pair that doesn't let your bum fall out when you squat or sit down.
2-3 Summer Capris (Khaki or Denim)
If you are like me and don't have the thighs for shorts than capris are what you need to be wearing in the summer.
These should be appropriate for service or meetings.
1-2 Formal/Cocktail Dresses
Think little black dress. This is what you will be wearing to weddings or dressier parties.
6 Correctly Sized Bras in the following styles:
2-3 Basic Underwire T-shirt Bras (these are the kinds with no cup seams so that you will smooth under whatever you wear).
1-2 High Support Sports Bras depending on your usual amount of physical activity.
1 Backless or Adhesive Bra (It's nice to have this on hand so that you don't wind up like me that one memorial where I had to rush out to Walmart to try to find something that would work. Unfortunately most strapless bras just don't ride low enough in the back for a lot of dress or halter tops.)
10-15 Pairs of Knickers
I like to keep a few pairs of both low and high rise depending on what I am wearing and a pair of control top for fitted bottoms and a thong for underneath pencil skirts. Also it is essential to have at least a couple pairs of white or nude color panties for when you are wearing lighter colors.
2 Slips (short and medium-long with side slits)
1 Spanx or the equivalent
You never know when you might need that extra little help with "sucking it in".
5 Pairs Padded Crop or Ankle Socks
These will be your go to for sneakers.
2 Pairs Peds
This is what you will be wearing with your ballet flats.
2-3 Tights (Black opaque is a must)
Having run-free tights is a big deal in the winter and can be a great way to liven up an outfit with fun patterns or texture.
1-2 Pairs Knee Socks
These work great as boot liners paired with skirts.
2-3 Pairs Nude Pantyhose
Make sure you always have a couple pairs of run-free skin color pantyhose on hand.
1 Leather Jacket
This will be your go to choice for cool nights out.
1 Trendy Jacket or Blazer
You will need something lightweight for those brisk Spring/Fall days that just aren't cold enough for a heavier option.
1 Wool Coat
Shoot for something mid-thigh to knee length. That way you can not only wear it with skirts but pants too.
1 Trench Coat
This is what you will wear on rainy days but try to find something chic and fun like a bold color or large buttons.
1 Casual Winter Coat
If you live in a snowy climate then this is what you will wear on ski trips and casual events.
2-3 Ballet Flats
Shoot for black, brown, and a bold colored pair as well.
2-3 Flat Sandals
I like to always have a super comfy pair of black and brown sandals for service and a trendy pair of flip flops for everyday use.
1 Pair or Exercise Appropriate Sneakers
I personally like the trendy styles of Sketchers or Puma.
1 Pair of Casual Sneakers
I like the slip-on styles of brands like Rocketdog. Converse would fall under this category too.
1 Pair of Winter Boots (Black or Brown)
Look for something warm with a low to no heel. I love styles that feature fur edging and laces but anything service appropriate will do.
1 Pair of Dressy Boots
This is where you can look for something heeled and fun.
1 Pair of Black Pumps
Whatever style you like best as long as it's not to trendy and can be worn with a variety of outfits. You should be able to wear these for more than 5 hours. In fact that should be a rule for all your shoes.
1 Pair of Metallic High-Heeled Dress Shoes
These are what you will wear to formal events.
2-4 Pairs Other Heels
These can be closed toe or sandals and in whatever colors best suit your overall wardrobe.
1 Large Purse for everyday use
1 Clutch for special occasions
3 Pajama Sets (Spring/Fall, Summer, Winter)
While the average American woman owns 7 pairs you really only need 3. Choice sets according to seasonal temperatures. For instance: Summer = tank & shorts; Spring/Fall = 3/4 sleeve t-shirt & capri sweats; and Winter = long-sleeve shirt or sweatshirt & pajama pants.
1 Pashmina Scarf
This is not only perfect for wearing tucked under the collar of a coat on a cold day but it is also great for covering your legs when cold at a meeting.
1 Pair of Knit or Leather Gloves
1 Pair of Sunglasses
Shop around to find the frame that best suits your face.
Choose your style depending on the amount of time you actual anticipate spending in the water.