Baker’s Dozen of Closet Essentials

In the early summer of 2018 I presented a program to my Retired Teachers Association. My topic was my 10 closet essentials. I picked ten because of a time issue with my talk (I didn’t want it to go over twenty minutes).

I turned this talk into a post. However, mysteriously, everything, including photos and text, disappeared from my post about three weeks after posting.

Rather than posting again, I am turning this list into a permanent page and including three other items that are also very important to my closet. Now, there is not a time limitation and the list is now thirteen or as we say, a baker’s dozen.

#1  White Shirt

What can be more basic than a white blouse? It can go great under a crisp blazer for an office and work look but can be dressed casually with that perfect pair of jeans. I also throw it on many times as a light jacket which I can peel off when the day heats up. Honestly, I have more than one white shirt and use them all.


#2 Black Blazer

A black blazer can take you from the office to a casual walk with your beloved four legged. Add a pair of grey trousers and black oxfords for a polished office look or pair with a white Tee-Shirt and favorite comfy jeans to carry off a laid back French chic look.

A black blazer looks good with multiple colors and prints. Throw it over a printed dress like Megan Markle or pair it with all white and add a pop of color with your shoes like Sarah Jessica Parker. Either way, you will look fabulous.


#3 The Little Black Dress

OK, I do have more than one LBD. They are perfect backdrops for an array colors and styles of accessories. Everything goes with black. The LBDs can be formal, work-day or casual. They provide a blank canvas in which you can express your style. That is why the black dress will never be out of style.


#4 A Black T-Shirt

And I will add that you need a white t-shirt and if you really want to cover all bases,  add a grey and maybe one graphic. There is a lot to be done with with a simple black shirt. For starters, you can just throw them on and go. If your shirt is long enough like my American Giant T-Shirt, you can use a hair band to pull up one side and create an asymmetrical look.  I recommend one with  Model fiber for super softness.


#5 A Basic Crew or Turtleneck

This list is the essentials for my closet and I can’t live without  turtlenecks. Some can’t stand the higher neckline and I get that which is why I added crew necks. A turtleneck worn under a jacket or sweater or just by itself with a pair of jeans is so classic and will never go out of style.


#6 A Pair of Dark Jeans

A pair of dark jeans are so much more versatile than acid washed. They can be dressed up or dressed down and are a three season staple for me. In the summer, no, I don’t really wear my dark jeans. This is a item that I will pay big bucks for to the the perfect fit. I get my money back with the amount of time I wear them.


And there is a style for everyone!


#7 Black Flats

How many ways can you wear a black flat? Let me count……no, forget it because there are just to many ways! Again something that I use so much that I will, again, spend some money on this piece. At the moment I’m wearing and loving Marc Fisher’s Sunny D’Orsay Flat.

Black Flats

#8 Black Heels

Can you believe how many different styles of heels there are? You need a least one pair to see you through those special times.


#9 One Perfect Bag

For me it is the one bag that can be worn with everything and hold anything. I’ve had this one for at least eight years. If taken care of, a good leather bag and last a very long time.


#10 Scarfs

Scarfs are possibly the most underrated accessory. You can add a splash of color and change the style of your outfit with just a scarf. I collect scarfs; scarfs with Poodles, silk scarfs, Vera scarfs and others. When I don’t collect, I knit them and hand paint them. I love scarfs!


How can you wear your scarf? The ways are endless. This is just one sample I found on Google.


#11 Leggings

Honestly, leggings would not have been on my list even five years ago. Now, with the right tunic top they are one of my necessities. I have so many examples of me using leggings on the blog, I didn’t even bother to go to other sources.


#12 Black Leather Jacket

By expanding my list, I could add the two most important pieces of outerwear that you can have. The first is a leather jacket. I have two; a very old Michael Kors that I found new many years ago from and a new Jones of New York from eBay. Also is the mix is a vegan leather with fleece lapels that I found at a local boutique.

Since  all of my looks are casual, I looked for ways to dress up BLJ. That one with the chartreuse pleated skirt is a killer look in my book!


#13 The Trench

A traditional Burberry trench is on my dream list.  As you can see by my collage below, the one trench I own isn’t exactly traditional. I found my Nanette Lapore printed trench on sale at a Kansas City boutique a couple of years ago. It’s gorgeous with great details, including a blue and white stripped lining. But, traditional, it’s not.

I made a green trench during the late 80’s that I still have. Unfortunately, I decided to line it with a plaid flannel which turned it into a winter trench so it never was as versatile as I wanted it to be.


That rounds it out as far as my list goes. If you are thinking about what classics to add to your wardrobe, I hope this has been helpful.

Yours with style,