Fashion Polls & Debates

What are your wardrobe essentials?

Your closet goes on fire, and all your clothes are lost. Which wardrobe essentials would you buy to replace them in a hurry?

bare closet with empty hangers

Imagine your closet went on fire. It’s OK: no one gets hurt, and the closet itself escapes pretty much unscathed, but… your clothes are all gone. Yes, all of them. You now find yourself in the unusual position of having to buy yourself an entire new wardrobe – or at least enough to get by on for a few weeks – in a hurry. The question is, what would you buy? We all love to drool over pretty dresses and beautiful shoes, and to indulge in the fashion trends we love (while completely ignoring the ones we DON’T obviously), but when it comes right down to it, which items could you REALLY not live without?

Because everyone’s lives and tastes are so different, we’ve never thought lists of so-called “wardrobe” essentials were particularly useful when it comes to working out what we should fill our OWN closets with. That doesn’t mean they’re not INTERESTING, though, and you can tell a lot about a person by the items they’d rush out and buy in a hurry, so, purely out of curiosity, we want you to tell us what you’d buy if you had to completely rebuild your closet from scratch (Because we’re generous, we’re going to let you assume all your underwear, shoes, and outerwear survived so you don’t need to worry about those.).

In the spirit of sharing, here’s Fashion Police editor Amber’s list…

wardrobe essentials: blue jeans

1. Skinny jeans in mid-wash blue

My personal style revolves mostly around dresses and skirts, and I generally have a fairly “dressed up” kind of look. Oddly enough, though, in the situation described above, the very first thing I’d rush out and buy would be a pair of blue skinny jeans, in a mid-wash. Although they’re not something that’s really associated with my style, I couldn’t live without them: they’re warm, they’re practical, and  they’re always the item I reach for first on days when I just want to be comfortable and casual. They can also be dressed-up too, though, and while jeans wouldn’t ordinarily be what I’d wear to a party, say, they would be what I’d wear if my closet had just burnt to the ground…

2. As many cardigans and tank tops as I could afford

I’ve lumped these together because I can’t wear one without the other: as a permanently freezing person, cardigans are an absolute essential for me, because it’s rarely warm enough for me to want to bare my arms, and they allow me to still wear a nice dress or top without getting goosebumps. To go underneath them on non-dress days, I favour basics like t-shirts or tank tops, in a variety of different colours.

3. A Breton stripe top

An all-time classic, to go with the jeans.

4. A fitted blazer

I’m cheating slightly here by assuming that my closet goes on fire in Spring/Summer and I don’t need to budget for an winter coat. Even with outerwear accounted for, though, I’d want a good-quality fitted blazer to dress-up my jeans or throw over dresses. Because it would have to go with everything else, I’d choose a neutral colour like off-white or beige, rather than a dark one like black (I’m not fond of wearing black with other dark colours, although it often looks good on other people.)

5. A full, 50s-style skirt

With all of those basics taken care of, it’s really only at this point that I’d start to think about injecting a bit of my own personal style into the mix. I’d probably do it with some kind of circle-skirt, probably in red, or some other bright colour, to wear with the various tops listed above, and to dress up 0r down as required.

6. A simple, block colour pencil dress

For those times when it’s necessary to look a little more formal/dressed up, a pencil dress in my favourite colour would be my go-to item.

7. A warm, snuggly sweater

Or maybe two, actually. You just can’t have enough chunky sweaters when you live in a cold climate…

8.  A pair of cropped trousers

A little more formal than the jeans, but still with the ability to be dressed up or down: perfect.

In an ideal world I could think of a few extras to add (some more dressy tops would be nice, for instance), but I reckon I could get by pretty comfortably on this lot for a few weeks, if I was re-building my wardrobe from scratch. That’s just me, however, and my list will probably be very different from yours. I’m curious to see just HOW different, though, so tell me:

What would you run out and buy if all of your clothes were destroyed in a fire?

[Images: © Morchella7  and Micha360| Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images]
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