The 10 things I wear the most

 It's a new season, and that always seems to bring talk of creating a capsule wardrobe. In theory, I think capsule wardrobes are an excellent idea; we all have way more clothes than we truly need, and there's something so efficient about being able to create a bunch of different outfits out of a handful of pieces. Back in the day, Lucky Magazine truly excelled at this, in an incredibly inspiring way. The reality, however, is when you ask people to commit to a limited number of items they tend to play it safe and go for more classic things. That's not necessarily bad—classics tend to be worth the investment in terms of quality and longevity—but too much tastefulness can be a little...boring. I've never been a maximalist, but I'm a firm believer that every wardrobe—even a capsule—needs a balance between statement pieces and basics. In fact, I have a few go-to statement pieces that are among the most-worn items in my entire closet. So while this post isn't a capsule wardrobe per se, I did want to gather my top 10 most worn items. Some are basic, some definitely not, and not everything goes together, but these are the best buys I've ever made.

Sweater blazer (similar here)

I could probably devote an entire post to my blazer collection; as I've said many times before, nothing makes me feel more pulled together than a blazer. This one in particular is from the Jenna Lyons J.Crew heyday; I've featured it in a 7 ways post, and while it's definitely starting to show a little wear, I still wear it all the time. What makes it so good is that it looks tailored but it's basically a fine-gauge sweater, so it's soft and stretchy and comfy. It looks like you're trying, but feels like you're not at all, which is kind of how everything should be.

OUTFIT DETAILS: J.Crew blazer (similar here) | Madewell whisper tee | Banana Republic skirt | Quince bag | Isabel Marant sandals (similar here) | Vanlinker sunglasses

Isabel Marant maxi dress (similar here)

I first saw this dress in Paris in March 2020 and kicked myself for not buying it then, however once everything shut down and the retail industry started to panic, I scored it for a song (thanks, Saks!) and since then, it's been my go-to for when I don't know what to wear but know I want to look and feel good. This particular dress has a forgiving cut, with dramatic sleeves and a nipped-in (but elastic) waist. The fabric is diaphanous but low-maintenance (it doesn't wrinkle at all, making it excellent for travel) and I feel like Stevie Nicks when I wear it (definitely not a bad thing). The funny thing is that I am really not big on floral prints, but I guess I'll make an exception for Isabel Marant. 

OUTFIT DETAILS: Gap denim jacket | Isabel Marant dress (similar here) | vintage belt | Celine phantom cabas tote | Hermes Oasis sandals 

Madewell chambray shirt (current version)

This shirt has faded considerably in recent years, and it's starting to look a little scuzzy on the inside of the collar, but it has settled into this incredibly soft state and I will continue to wear it until it's threadbare. I don't know exactly what makes this chambray shirt better than all of the others out there, but the cut fits me perfectly and—this is very important—there is no boob gape at the front buttons. It doesn't feel too Western or costume-y, or like it's trying to hard. It's just perfect, and it's the shirt I reach for when I can't seem to settle on anything else; for whatever reason, it always seems to do the trick. It's probably long overdue for a 7 ways post, so stay tuned for that!

OUTFIT DETAILS: Madewell chambray shirt (current version) | Free People skirt (similar here) | rattan bag | Birkenstock Arizona big buckle sandals 

Ganni leopard-print coat (current version)

I've said it a thousand times and I'll say it again: leopard print is a neutral....although it definitely doesn't feel like one, especially in a piece on this scale. No one does leopard like Ganni, and I own this coat, a dress, and a hat in similar iterations of the same print. I definitely wear the hat a lot, but I pretty much live in this coat in fall and spring. It's lined, so it's warmer than you'd expect, and it has a slightly retro feel. It looks good with everything from a T-shirt and jeans to a dress, to the point that it almost doesn't matter what you're wearing underneath—it's that good. If you've never considered a statement coat before, I highly recommend trying one, as it's transformative.

OUTFIT DETAILS: Ganni leopard-print coat (current version) | Everlane turtleneck dress (similar here) | Cuddl Duds leggings (c/o) | Mango bag (similar here) | Jimmy Choo Youth boots

Frame le high straight jeans

I have a wandering eye when it comes to denim, but this has been my favorite pair for seven years and counting, and no matter what trends come and go, I always return to these. They are mid-rise (ideal for those of us with short torsos) with a hint of stretch, and the leg is not too wide, not too slim, but just right, in my opinion. I've been trying to get away from saying this, but they're incredibly flattering; for those of you having a hard time giving up skinny jeans, they're a nice transition toward straight (I'd technically call them more of a stovepipe). I own these in several versions, but my favorite is the original step hem; I go down a size in these. 

OUTFIT DETAILS: Zara coat (similar here) | Everlane alpaca crewneck sweater | Frame le high straight jeans | A.P.C. sac demi-lune | Sam Edelman boots (similar here

Proenza Schouler tie-dye tee

It's very close between this and my striped Proenza Schouler tee, but I'm giving a slight edge to the tie-dye version because I've had it longer and it was my gateway drug to the whisper-soft, tissue-thin perfection of their T-shirts. (I know, they're ridiculously expensive for T-shirts, but I wear both of them nearly every week, so with Girl Math, they're so worth it.) How these tees manage to stay so soft without pilling or getting holey is beyond me; I'm not going to question the alchemy, however. Pro tip: they come out with different colors every season; you can also save a search on The Real Real for past-season favorites. 

OUTFIT DETAILS: Theory blazer | Proenza Schouler tie-dye teeFrame le high straight jeans | Allsaints Voltaire tote | Golden Goose Superstar sneakers

NakedCashmere Makena cardigan

I have only featured this cardigan once on the blog, but come winter, I literally live in this thing. It is 450 grams of thick-gauge cashmere, and it is literally the coziest thing I own. Sure, it's giving bathrobe but also rich wine auntie, and I'm more than ok with both of those things. It works over everything from loungewear (if you're staying in) to maxi dresses (if you're going out). In the winter, I firmly believe 100% cashmere is always a good idea, especially when it's super-sized like this.

OUTFIT DETAILS: NakedCashmere Makena cardigan | Proenza Schouler striped tee | Isabel Marant Lecce belt | Levi's 501 cropped jeans | New Balance 574 sneakers (similar here) | Ganni hat

Spanx Ankle Backseam Skinny Pant

I feature Spanx a lot on this blog—and I know you all love it—but I truly am not pandering to you; much like the above cardigan, I basically live in these pants (plus my multiple other pairs) in winter. Of all the fits, the Ankle Backseam Skinny is my favorite; it's slim without being suffocatingly skinny, and while I tend to wear it most with oversized sweaters, I can get away with wearing it under shorter tops too. They're warm and comfy yet somehow pulled-together looking, which, in case you haven't noticed by now, is a big theme for me. I will continue to wear them until skinny pants are back in fashion again (which, at the rate Gen Z is cycling through the trends, shouldn't be far from now).

OUTFIT DETAILS: J.Crew field jacket | Nakedcashmere sweaterProenza Schouler striped tee  | Spanx Ankle Backseam Skinny Pant (c/o) |New Balance 574 sneakers (similar here)

Chloe Susanna boots

What, you thought I was going to say Birkenstocks? Ok, to be fair, if you put all of my (ahem, six) pairs of Birkenstocks together, they'd probably be the most worn shoe in my wardrobe. My Golden Goose Superstars used to be in the running too, but to be fair, they're starting to fall apart and I don't wear them as much. Still standing, however, are my Chloe Susanna boots, which I bought back in 2016 and, hands down, wear the most of any of my shoes, especially in fall, winter, and even spring. They look good with literally everything and even though the price has gone up over the years, I think they're still worth the investment. As a bonus, they're like an automatic compliment generator. 

OUTFIT DETAILS: Isabel Marant Etoile coat (similar here) | NakedCashmere Cora sweater (similar here) | Spanx perfect black ankle 4-pocket pant (similar here) (c/o) | A.P.C. sac demi-lune  | Chloe Susanna boots

A.P.C. sac demi-lune 

As you might have noticed, many of the above items can be seen in multiple images, especially my A.P.C. sac demi-lune. I was afraid I was overexposing this one, so I've consciously not featured it for several months, but now that I'm seeing it again, I can acknowledge what a perfect little bag it is. It's not too big, not too small, very durable, and so understated. Mine probably needs a good cleaning and conditioning, but I can't wait to break her out again this fall. 

OUTFIT DETAILS: A.P.C. sac demi-lune 


Nancy 's Fashion Style said...

I am really loving the leopard print coat and the Isabel Marant dress. Although II don't think they fit in any capsule wardrobe,lol.

Laura B said...

These are all great items! I love that leopard coat especially!

ALLIE NYC said...

I like to live by the 80/20 rule, %80 classics and %20 trendy/statement pieces. And yes Lucky Magazine did DO this really well. I was a fan of the mag and was lucky enough (pun inteaded lol) to attend their Lucky Fabbblogger conventions.

Allie of

Mica said...

These are such great pieces to have in your wardrobe - especially that maxi dress! I think that it's true people tend to go for clasic basic neutrals if they are trying to build a capsule, but you're right, beautiful statement pieces can be just as valuable! :)

Thanks for joining the Weekday Wear Link up :)