After watching only a single episode of Marie Kondo's Netflix show, I can tell you the best thing to do for yourself in the new year is to streamline your wardrobe. Appreciate the work you put into cultivating your closet, but it's time to retire some things and bring peace to your disorganized drawers.
I'm not telling you to get rid of ten tons of clothing, but it's time to focus on wardrobe staples that will bring you through seasons and trends without much thought, and how to take care of them in the long run. These are the pieces that help build a strong backbone for a person's style, and in turn help you really hone in on what should and shouldn't be in your closet.
Outerwear Is As Important As Underwear
Look, I'm gonna be honest with you here. Good leather jackets, ones that will last you years before they show any kind of wear, are going to be expensive. But you're investing in a piece that could last you a decade if you take care of it, so the price evens out pretty quickly. Opt for sturdy top-grain or full-grain leather ("genuine" leather may seem like a great selling point, but it's actually the lowest of the leather grades). The Arrivals makes solid jackets like the Lautner II or Förd for men and the Clo II or Rainier for women. Their jackets also come with a lifetime warranty. Acne and AllSaints both make really great ones as well.
An overcoat is a piece of outerwear that will make any outfit look more put together. These are the kinds of coats that are thrown on top of a dress shirt and slacks or a dress for the office that are conservative but not stuffy. Uniqlo makes some really great, sleek options like the Chesterfield Coat, which is a durable (and wrinkle-resistant) wool/cashmere blend. J.Jill's Double-Faced Button-Front Coat is another good, streamlined style that adds dimension to any outfit.
Dress To Impress (Yourself)
Even if you don't work in an office that requires business attire (or if you don't work in an office at all), it's always good to have a go-to outfit just in case. Rather than finding something off the rack, take your time and use a service like Indochino that custom makes stylish, legacy suits and shirts or Ministry of Supply, which adds a technical element to their professional apparel, so you'll never feel stuffy (even if it looks like you are).
Like men with suits and women with little black dresses, everyone should have own a pair of comfortable dress shoes. Whether it's a pair of Cole Haan's revolutionary ZERØGRAND Wingtip Oxfords or the Everlane Day Heel that was literally created to be able to be worn every day, there should be a pair of nice, fancy-ish shoes in your closet you won't dread having to wear in a pinch.
Simple Is The Answer
I won't be the first, or last, person to tell you that investing in basics can make any trendy or fashion-forward item look ten times better. A solid white t-shirt to pair with everything from a blazer to under a dress is one of those "buy in bulk" items in your wardrobe that you shouldn't skimp on. I'm a huge fan of the Richer Poorer Crew Pocket Tee and all the tees from Known Supply.
Take Care of Your Clothing
While not technically a wardrobe staple, taking care of your staples should be part of your resolution too. Dry cleaning is required for a lot of the higher-end items when they really need to be deep-cleaned, but you can invest in smaller tools to maintain them. A suede brush is a good thing to have handy for any scuffs or stains to suede boots or bags. A good leather conditioner and cleaner will help keep your new leather jacket looking that way for years to come, and a healing balm will help if you've been lazy with it. Dryer balls act as a natural fabric softener and can speed up drying time. And to keep your clothes looking great after your've done all this, get a hand-held steamer that won't quit (or leave water marks).
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