After you’ve mastered the first 25 wardrobe essentials, here is a list of the next ten peices you can look to add to your closet.
Keep in mind, you want all (or as many) of the pieces in your wardrobe to work together – maximizing versatility and interchangeability.
I realise these lists are seasonally oriented, but the concepts can easily be tailored to different lifestyles and climates. We will also be running “must have” features of this kind every season.
Without further ado, here are the next ten essentials, in no particular order.
1. LIGHT/MEDIUM WEIGHT BOMBER JACKET
Great as a layer, or a jacket on it’s own. Stick to a classic shape, that fits well through the body and sleeve and hits a couple inches below the waistband.
2. DOWN VEST
It’s important that this fits snugly through the body, to give you the option of wearing it as a layer (under the parka, peacoat, trench, etc). You will likely want to go down one size.
A dark solid color will give you the most versatility, although these things come in all kinds of cool fabrics now.
3. CHUNKY SHAWL CARDIGAN
It should be slim enough to wear as a sweater for layering, but chunky enough to stand on its own as lightweight outwear.
It doesn’t need a belt or patch pockets, although these details make it slightly more style-forward and convincing as an outerwear piece. A simpler style would be more versatile since it can be layered under a tailored jacket.
You can dress this thing up with a shirt and tie, dress it down with jeans and sneakers, or style it anywhere in between.
4. FINE-GAUGE HENLEY
As always, fit is very important here. It should be elegant enough to wear with a suit (like here), snug enough to wear on the body under a shirt (like here), and have just enough room to fit over a shirt (and perhaps a tie) too (like here).
Check out last year’s post on Henley Layering.
5. WASHED DENIM
The most important thing with washed jeans, other than the fit of course, is that the distressing looks authentic. They should look like they were naturally broken-in from years of wear, not like some clothing designer dipped them in chemicals to mimick the effect.
With that said, your best bet is actually breaking-in a pair of raw denim.
6. WHITE LOW-TOP SNEAKERS
Can’t go wrong here. These can put a casual finish on just about anything in your new upgraded wardrobe.
Keep them all white and simple/classic in shape, like these awesome full-leather Chuck Taylors.
7. EVERYDAY BAG
Lots to choose from (see here). Just make sure it fits naturally into your day-to-day and yourstyle.
8. FOUL WEATHER BOOTS
No matter where you live, it will rain (and maybe snow too).
A classic pair of rugged rainboots simply makes life less stressful.
9. COLD WEATHER PARKA
Sometimes there are those days when it’s so cold you don’t even want to step outside. You need a coat that you can throw on and not have to worry about the elements.
A streamlined parka that fits well through the body and sleeve, and is longer than your suit jacket, can finish-off just about anything in your new upgraded wardrobe – from corportate suit to sweater and jeans.
10. DRIVING “IVY” CAP
A hat can instantly redefine an entire look and is great for those times when you want to lay low (or not have to comb your hair).
A driving cap in a neutral color like brown, grey or navy looks good on just about anybody and can easily be dressed-up or down.
They come in wools/tweeds/cashmeres for the wintery crowd, or cottons/linens/silks for those in sunny places.
BONUS: WEATHER APPROPRIATE ACCESSORY
Again, you will need to put some thought into tailoring this list to your specific needs and lifestyle (last month we had readers in more than 190 different countries, so we can’t really make it all-inclusive).
With that said, this bonus item can represent a number of accessories, depending on the climate where you live.
In cold places it could be a nice pair of cashmere-lined leather gloves (chocolate brown is probably the most versatile). In rainy places a quality stick-umbrella or a pair of rubber shoe protectors would make sense. In sunny places maybe it’s a straw fedora or a stack of no-show ankle socks. And so on…
In the two following outfits, I am wearing all of the next-10 essentials (with a couple items from the original 25) .
Keep in mind, there are hundreds of different outfit combinations between these ten pieces, along with the original 25 essentials.