Back to Basics Series

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I am launching a new weekly series focused on how to wear and where to buy the 50 most important – and perhaps only – items you need in your wardrobe.  

Given the popularity of my Creating a Daily Uniform and Casual Capsule Wardrobe editorials I thought this would be a fun and useful series. Every week I will highlight one essential item in-depth. In each weekly post I will style the item in various ways and provide recommendations on where to buy it, what to look for (especially fit, fabrication, and color), and how to care for it. My goal is to help you build and maintain a complete wardrobe using only 50 pieces. 


I will mostly focus on womenswear but, with the help of my partner, will occasionally incorporate menswear so men can still follow along. I will not include accessories, intimates, activewear, and sleepwear.  With some items, such as tees, I'll recommend purchasing more than one (in multiple colors and styles) because of their utility within a minimalist wardrobe. The full list can be viewed and downloaded below. 


My palette will primarily include neutral solids in shades of black, gray, cream, navy, taupe, tan, and white. Minimalist patterns such as stripes may also be incorporated. Choosing a neutral palette makes it easier to pull together outfits from a limited number of pieces. I want this exercise to feel relatively effortless. 


I will prioritize 100% compositions of natural fibers such as cashmere and other types of wool, cotton, leather, linen, silk, etc. If well-made, I will also include items composed of sustainable regenerated fibers such as tencel/lyocell because they are environmentally friendly.  My rationale for this is that synthetic fibers, though less expensive, are typically treated with harsh chemicals, are hard on the environment, and do not hold up as well over time as natural fabrics. 


Though I personally gravitate to "affordable luxury" minimalist brands, I think it's important to showcase items in a range of price points and will adopt a high/low approach.  Multiple purchasing options will be provided so you can follow along regardless of your budget. 




  • Ankle jeans
  • Boyfriend jeans
  • Cropped chinos
  • Denim shorts
  • Leather pants
  • Linen pants  
  • Skinny jeans  
  • Stretch leggings
  • Wool trousers 


  • Down coat
  • Hunting jacket
  • Jean jacket
  • Leather jacket  
  • Rain parka
  • Sweater wrap
  • Trench coat
  • Wool coat 


  • Blazer
  • Button down 
  • Camisole/Tank 
  • Cashmere sweater 
  • Cotton tees 
  • Hoodie/Sweatshirt 
  • Silk blouse 
  • Wool sweater


  • Ankle Boots
  • Ballerina Flats
  • Flat sandals
  • Flip flops
  • Loafers
  • Pumps
  • Sneakers
  • Wedge sandals

Full body

  • Formal Dress
  • Jumper
  • Lil’ Black Dress
  • Lil’ White Dress
  • Lil’ Neutral Dress
  • Knit Dress
  • Romper
  • Shirt Dress
  • Slip Dress  
  • Wrap Dress 


  • Backpack
  • Briefcase
  • Clutch
  • Crossbody
  • Handbag
  • Shopper Tote
  • Weekender

I'm excited about this series and truly hope it will prove to be useful for anyone interested in adopting a Subtle Style!  You can download the checklist and explore the entire series below.