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Wardrobe Essentials for Your Personal Style

2024 Style Series
February 15, 2024
2024 DFMD Style Series

It’s smart to consider what’s truly essential for our wardrobes to function each season. Wardrobe essentials are those components that are foundational to creating a variety of outfits easily. They’re not generally the most personality driven pieces, but they certainly should resonate with your personal style. Think t-shirts, tanks, jeans, solid trousers and necessary outerwear. You generally want to collect at least a small, interchangeable collection of these garments in neutrals that will work nicely with the colors you’ll be wearing. But it’s certainly okay if a few of your wardrobe essentials are also in your signature colors.

Wardrobe Essentials for Your Personal Style

We’re continuing our Define Your Style…Refine Your Wardrobe style series with a consideration of wardrobe essentials for your personal style. If you’re new to the series, I suggest you start HERE. And you can always find the full series in the top menu of the blog. Also be sure you’ve at least begun to Define Your Personal Style and have read my Tips for How to Express Your Personal Style.

I’ve “played paper dolls” a bit and put together some style boards for inspiration for your personal style wardrobe essentials. Since I have no idea what your personal style is of course, I just threw together eight examples to get you started working on your own.

Personal Style Wardrobe Essentials Inspiration Boards

My Personal Style Wardrobe Essentials Inspiration Board

We’ll start with a board a put together to represent my own wardrobe essentials. This is not a complete list of my wardrobe essentials for my personal style, but simply a little inspiration. This way when I start shopping (of course I’ve already started!), I can make sure that other essentials I add would fit on this board, too.

I’ve used the three style angles effortless, elevated and classic. I’ve filled my wardrobe essentials board with things like basic tees and tanks, modern jeans, a few essential third pieces and basic footwear. I didn’t spend too much time on my own board because I wanted to focus more on the others I created with you in mind.

ssentials for Personal Styles 1
blazer // denim jacket // linen shirt // trench coat // demi boot jeans // white jeans // white tee // blue tank // white tank // sling back pump // sneakers // loafers

Really, these style boards are meant to be just for inspiration. I quickly ran through the newest spring lines at some of our favorite retailers where I knew I could get pictures of the items without the people wearing them. Not all retailers have those available, but they make the best style boards. So I used J.Jill, J.Crew, Banana Republic, Everlane, Gap and maybe a few things from other places. I’m linking items in the captions of the boards so you can shop them if you’re interested. But I didn’t have the time to hunt for best deals and such. I hope you’ll understand and take these boards for what they are meant to be: inspiration.

Let’s move on to some other style angle combinations. Maybe you’ll find something close to your own. Or maybe you can at least get a little inspiration and see how I used different styles to build essentials for varying style angles.

Style Angles: Feminine, Classic, Elegant

I tried to fill this board with items that looked soft and feminine, but that also would contribute a little elegance to outfits. I didn’t want anything with too many frills and ruffles, but the items needed to sort of flow and have a beautiful drape.

Essentials for Personal Styles 1 (5)
linen button-up shirt // lady jacket // tank // trench coat // dress // chino trousers // white jeans // pleated skirt // slip skirt // cardigan // sneakers // silk blouse // cap toe flats // sling back pump

Remember, you can add more personality with the rest of your wardrobe purchases. But these essentials are the more “neutral” backgrounds upon which those personality-driven items will shine. Not only should these essentials be in mostly neutral colors, but they should have a neutral vibe to them.

Style Angles: Feminine, Sporty, Natural

The beauty of having three style angles is that they can express different parts of your personality. Here I was thinking about a woman who wants to look distinctly womanly, but also enjoys the outdoors and being active. I put together an essential style board for her everyday outfits, not hiking, gardening, etc.

Essentials for Personal Styles 1 (4)
blue denim jacket // pink denim jacket // cotton sweater // tank // white tee // button-up shirt // t-shirt dress // white jeans // denim skirt // pleated skirt // wrap skirt // sneakers // sandals // ballet flats // tote

I imagined that this woman would like to lean into dresses and skirts and only wear jeans when necessary. Then I added completer pieces that feel very down-to-earth, but also look soft and feminine.

Style Angles: Feminine, Modern, Minimalist

I frequently come across readers who tell me they only wear skirts and dresses. I think that is very admirable. So I created a style board with that in mind. I used the style angles feminine, but also modern and minimalist. I’m assuming not all dresses-only women are all ruffles and lace types.

Essentials for Personal Styles 1 (3)
trench coat // blue shorter dress // t-shirt dress // striped dress // handbag // black dress // wrap skirt // pleated skirt // cotton sweater // elbow length tee // tank // sling back pump // sneakers // flats

I assumed this woman would want to look feminine, but also prefer clean lines and minimal details. She may not wear jeans or trousers, but she’ll still enjoy that pullover sweater over a dress or skirt, or she can wrap it around her shoulders or tie it around her waist. And I think every woman needs some sneakers, even if she rarely wears them.

Style Angles: Modern, Vibrant, Classic

The way I see it, with a word like “vibrant” in your style angles you probably like to wear a lot of color. But you still need the toned down wardrobe essentials for those colors to play against nicely. That’s why I filled this style board with modern, classic pieces mostly in neutrals with a few colors thrown in for good measure.

Essentials for Personal Styles 1 (2)
blue shirt // pink linen shirt // yellow sweater // black tank // white tank // tote // black linen blazer // demi boot jeans // white jeans // khaki trousers // denim skirt // black skirt // blue cargo pants // sling back pump // sneakers // driving mocs

If one of your style angles is modern, you truly have to make some modern choices. Items like these retro sneakers, lantern jeans, wider leg trousers, denim midi skirt and cargo pants keep this capsule modern and still classic. I would say the trick would be to wear an outfit with something vibrant, something more classic and toned down and something more modern.

Style Angles: Modern, Western, Feminine

These style angles may seem all over the place, but that’s the beauty of having three. I’ve put together a style board of essentials that would help this woman put together western inspired outfits that still look modern and also have a feminine touch.

Essentials for Personal Styles 1 (8)
cotton button-up shirt // denim shirt // cotton sweater // classic denim jacket // longer denim jacket // denim dress // denim skirt // straight blue jeans // straight carpenter jeans // oatmeal tee // tank // mules // sneakers // sandals // shoulder bag (use code KAY10 for 10% off only at PatriciaNashDesigns)

By the way, denim skirts continue to trend this year, and denim dresses have joined them. And I also want to point out that we now have a code for Patricia Nash Designs. So if you love Patricia Nash, be sure to use code KAY10 only at Patricia Nash Designs.

Style Angles: Classic, Edgy, Modern

Let’s take quite the turn now to something a little edgier. This board is filled with very basic pieces, but they lean toward black and grey for this edgy, modern woman. Add personality with accessories and garments that have studs, leather trim, etc. But keep the essentials very clean and minimal for a modern vibe.

Essentials for Personal Styles 1 (7)
cotton button-up shirt // denim shirt // cotton silk sweater // striped tee // white tank // elbow length tee // black blazer // grey denim jacket // pleated skirt // straight blue jeans // white jeans // black skirt // shoulder bag // boots // sling back pump // mules // sneakers

Remember to look for wardrobe basics that will serve multiple purposes. I like to be able to wear my wardrobe essentials in at least three outfits and to at least three different places. That’s what makes them essential!

Style Angles: Classic, Relaxed, Uncomplicated

And for our final inspiration style board, I gathered wardrobe essentials for a classic woman who also prefers to put together looks that are relaxed and uncomplicated. No frills, ruffles, extraneous hardware or fussy designs here.

Essentials for Personal Styles 1 (6)
linen button-up shirt // denim button-up shirt // tank // silk button-up shirt // cardigan // linen blazer // trousers // pleated skirt // ponte pants // wide leg blue jeans // tote // sneakers // sling back pumps // driving mocs

Again I chose pieces in easy-on-the-eyes neutrals. And the fabrics have interesting and various textures rather than a lot of designs.

I do hope this was helpful to you. I wish I could have done more. It was so much fun to put this post together for you, but it also took much longer than I anticipated. Thanks so much for dropping in!

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next up, Define Your Style for Your {Real} Lifestyle (click to access)

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Blessed for My Day

Who initiated your most wonderful love relationship? Was it your husband or boyfriend? Or did you make the first move? While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with you taking the initiative…because sometimes that’s just what it takes, there’s just something special about being the recipient of someone else’s new love.

I love it that God took the initiative in reaching out and beginning a relationship with us. Not only that, but He reached across the chasm caused by our own sin to bring us close to Him. God sent His Son to live and die for us so that we could feel and know His amazing love. That’s pretty awesome. And that, dear friend, is how special you are to Him.

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. ~ 1 John 4:10

xoxo, Kay
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13 thoughts on “Wardrobe Essentials for Your Personal Style

  1. Wow! Kay ,I appreciate all the hard work you put into making these style boards. They are awesome!🤩 I am trying to build a new wardrobe from almost scratch for spring and summer. Your Wednesday video gave me great advice on where to start. Bottoms! I am excited about this journey I am on and can’t wait till I can pick clothing out like you and feel confident in my purchases.😀

  2. Thank you, Kay. I appreciate the time you put into this!
    Seeing the shoes you chose for each styleboard was especially helpful.

    1. Hi Kara, I wish I could do each board, but I just can’t. I’d suggest you consider what basic tops, bottoms and jackets you need to serve as the background for your more interesting, personality-driven things. You’ll nail it I’m sure.

  3. Love this post and the boards. Thank you for your time to put these together. Enjoy your family and Happy Birthday 🎈

  4. Thank you Kay for all your efforts. I found most of my wardrobe is in the modern, vibrant and classic. There’s some items from the other capsules too. I’m complicated. Lol.

  5. Kay, you did a great job! The boards were really helpful. I assume (and hope) that one of your future posts will show the additional pieces (jewelry, scarves, belts, signature or statement clothing items) or combinations that will take an outfit from basics to a more personalized version of a person’s style triangle.

  6. This is such a helpful post. Thank you! It is filled with terrific tangible examples and ideas. The effort you put into your posts is greatly appreciated.

  7. Great boards, thanks for all the work. I found I could almost pin down my 3 personal styles, but once awhile I would lean towards a 4th personal style choice. I guess that is what make us unique. Nice BFMD.

  8. Happy Birthday! Want to alert you. Yesterday, Friday, I received 3 posts from you–all old & in different from current format. Any idea why?

    1. Yeah, I received them too! Ha! And I have no idea why. My website developer is supposed to be checking into why that happened a while back but I haven’t heard from them. Sorry for the inconvenience. Hopefully it won’t happen again. I’m