How to create a wardrobe with great basics | Part one

How to create a wardrobe with great basics | Part one

Basics are the skeleton of your closet. And without them, you are swimming in a sea of  “orphan” clothes. Time and time again, you stand in your closet, stumped on what to wear and frustrated with the fact that nothing goes together.

For me, I am drawn to fun bohemian clothes and bright colored prints, but they aren’t always practical and can’t take me from season to season. I’ve had to train myself to buy more basics because you need a good foundation before you build a house right? The same thing goes for your wardrobe.

Whether it’s a basic striped tee, a sharp black blazer or your favorite pair of boyfriend jeans, these basics never go out of style and always leave you looking polished and chic.

I had a “Come to Jesus” meeting with my closet a few months ago. There were two things that I wanted to accomplish: a smaller wardrobe that makes sense but still reflects my personal style. I still haven’t done the capsule wardrobe experiment, and I don’t know if I ever will. I love the idea, but I do believe it’s not for everyone. Thirty-six pieces for one season is hard to reconcile for me, but I might get there someday!

Now, I’m taking a different approach to shopping —and shopping less. I call it conscious shopping. I always like to say, “We don’t actually need as much as we think we need,” which means we can live with a lot less if we tried to.

And believe me, I’m no saint. If anything, I’m a testament to a life of excessiveness. My mom and I were obsessed with shopping anywhere and everywhere. If we visited a city for a weekend, we would always hop on over to the nearest shops immediately. We would leave shopping bags in the trunk of her car just so my dad wouldn’t see the damage. It became a hobby actually. Luckily, both of us got a grip before it was too late and decided to change our spending habits.

But, I digress, so back to wardrobe basics. First off, you must have a plan for creating the foundation of your wardrobe. And my other tip before we begin: Think like a Parisian woman. 

This may be a cliche, but it’s very true. Many Parisian women have great style, yet minimal wardrobes. So what’s their secret? Check out the French Five-Piece Wardrobe. Their closets are well-oiled machines! They have great foundations and unique pieces that still show off their personalities. You want a good balance of both, so your wardrobe is neither boring nor has zero function to it.

Some of my favorite basics are a great black blazer, a striped tee, dark skinny jeans and a comfortable tan cardigan. I wear these religiously along with my trendier pieces for the season.

You have to start thinking differently about your wardrobe and the way you shop. Then, good quality basics will become the heart of your wardrobe.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to help you find those basics that will give new life to your wardrobe.

We’ll cover:

-Your lifestyle

-Your color palette & personal style

-Investing in good basics and where to find them

Here are some more of my favorite basics:


Hope you are ready to fill your closet with beautiful basics!




  • Tess Bridges

    February 24, 2017

    I loved this blog post. I look forward to reading more of your posts like this one. I have always been a fan of striped shirts, so it is nice to know a black and white striped shirt is included in the basics. I definitely agree that we often have more clothes than we actually need. Thanks for sharing.

    • Kathryn

      February 24, 2017

      Thank you, Tess! And yes, striped shirts are a must for me. I can’t live without them! 🙂

  • Ro

    February 28, 2017

    I’m so excited to read more of this! I love basic items such as t-shirts and cardigans and agree that while you can definitely purchase some nice, fashionista-esque(definitely not a word, haha) items, some of them you can’t wear in various seasons. For example, I have a white, off the shoulder top that I can’t really wear until it gets warmer outside and more appropriate for those items. My go-to basic items are striped and solid-color black, grey, navy blue, and white tops since I have more freedom with those during the various months.


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