Basics don’t have to be BAY-SIC

Basics don’t have to be BAY-SIC

basic wardrobe essentials ottawa

We’ve all heard the “Basics are your wardrobe-essentials. They should be in a neutral palette of blacks, navies, beiges, tones of brown.”

Blah blah blah.

“Wardrobe Essentials.”

Are just b*llshit sayings that the marketing industry made up to sell you clothes. I should know, I’ve worked in the fashion industry since I was a little girl helping my parents out in their respective stores. I’ve worked as a buyer and one-on-one with clients on the floor, and have loved every minute of it.

What I’ve learned is how to map out your own version of “basics” that Pinterest (whatever Pinterest even is) can’t tell you.

What is a “basic” in clothing:
Basics are versatile pieces of clothing. They can be any colour, any print, or texture as long as you’re able to mix and match them with other things in your wardrobe. I have clients whose “basic” is a leather jacket, and clients whose basic is a t-shirt.

Can you mix the piece with at least 5 outfits?
Yes. Five.

Think about that t-shirt. You can style it with a skirt, a short, a dressy trouser, a pair of joggers, you can tie it up, you can wear it under a dress you can wear it over a dress, you can wear it tucked in, or even French tucked (half). The options are virtually limitless!

Same with your leather jacket.

Now, I didn’t say what colour the t-shirt was. I just said t-shirt. Cause the t-shirt can be whatever colour you wear the most. Hot pink if you like that. Black, white, teal. Whatever. What matters is that YOU like it.

A basic is mostly about the shape. You want to look for a classic shape, so that it does work with all of these other pieces in your wardrobe. A classic shape is a shape you’ve seen in fashion forever. We’re talking the classic white button-up, a pencil skirt, a tank dress, a trouser, a jean. I could go on, but you get the picture.

basic wardrobe essentials - blank tank dress

Some would argue that your basics are where you want to invest in quality, and I think that’s fine, but not necessary. You should invest in your statement pieces. Your forever pieces. THE piece that makes you walk down the side of the street feeling AH-mazing.

Basics -  you’ll get bored of and will change when the trends change anyway. Don’t go buying crap that’s going to fall apart in five minutes, but don’t go spending thousands of dollars on a t-shirt. Spend those thousands of dollars on your accessories, on your forever pieces, the pieces you’re going to want to give to your kids or your grandkids. THAT’S where you spend your millions.

“A basic can’t be a print & it can’t be a colour.”

Well, that’s just wrong.

I will agree that it is easier for most of us to not walk around in prints all day every day. But a colour!? If you like the colour then make the basic a colour.


Again, it’s all about the shape.

This divine tank dress is the perfect example of coloured basic. It has a classic shape, easy to match texture, layer-able, aannnndd is a colour.

Because a life without colour is just blah.

Look at it; wear it with a t-shirt underneath, a jacket on top, wear it tied up, dress it up, dress it down. BASIC.

But not basic.

Let’s recap:
- Pinterest knows nothing.
- Basics have to fit your life and what you like based on what else is in your wardrobe.
- Basics don’t have to break the bank.
- Basics should be able to make five outfits to be called basics.

Need help figuring out your basics? Come see me at the shop on 6 York St. and I’ll help style you to perfection.

Be happy. Be stunning.
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1 comment

I was at Mandy’s shop yesterday for the first time. What an experience! This lady knows what she is doing. I bought eight pieces that are absolutely Stunning!!! But most of all, I walked out of that treasure of a store feeling like I just made a new friend! Thank you Mandy and Rebecca.!


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