If the last year has taught us something, it is that the strongest preparations can go wrong. Close to almost two years of cancelled events, delayed trips, and changing “return to office” plans, most of us have naturally focused on the stuff we can influence.
Attempting to make more decisions in advance about how we spend our time, the connections we engage in, and, if you’re like us, the wardrobe essentials we’ll be carrying into the new year. While the first few weeks of the pandemic were marked by panicked stockpiling of basic commodities, the following months have demonstrated that less may, in fact, be more — especially in the case of fashion.
Whether you’re cleaning out your closet and starting over to fill your wardrobe, or you want to take the next step, here are some ideas.
Almost everything in our closet has gotten a leather makeover (from suit separates to spring dresses), but investing in a leather staple will go a long way in your wardrobe. Consider a blazer, trousers, or a button-up instead of an accent piece like a headband or a removable collar. It would be just as simple to style as its non-leather counterpart, but the fabric will immediately elevate your entire ensemble.
2. Button-up shirt
The button-up shirt, borrowed from the boys but in better prints and colours, always strikes a balance between casual and polished. Depending on where you need to go, pair it with jeans or a pencil skirt. Choose a button-up made of high-quality material to elevate your look.
3. Face masks
A cloth face mask would be missing from any list of 2021 must-haves (or two, or three). They may be the only thing on this list that we will wear every day for the near future, so why not add to your acquisition?
There’s a cardigan for every event and weather, from thin cashmere to durable cotton to thick wool knits. Cardigans are a favourite type of garment because they can be dressed up or down. Make sure to stock up on a variety of cuts, garments, and styles so you have plenty of options. On a personal note, when I go to concerts and football games, I prefer cardigans over hoodies or jackets because they are thinner and thus easier to stuff in a wallet or tie around the strap of a cross-body bag if it gets really hot.
Yes, I did say sneakers. Take my word for it. They remained a timeless fashion staple in 2021 and show no signs of going out of style. You’ll wonder why you didn’t buy a pair of all-white sneakers earlier. A simple pair of classic white sneakers can be worn in a plethora of ways. Look for a pair with few to no embellishments if you want these shoes to complement and blend with any outfit.
Always keep a pair of leggings on hand. Replace those vexingly stitched churidars that are too big around the knees but too small around the ankles with a pair of comfy leggings. Get them in a variety of colours to mix and match with pretty tunics and kurtas. They are a boon to both your Western and Indian wardrobes, and they are comfortable enough to live in!
7. Black or white jeans
Although medium wash distressed, bf, and mom-style jeans seem to be more fashionable, a quintessential pair of black or white pants should always be in your closet. These can be slim cut, flared, or boot cut — just keep them simple. These jeans are always in style and are ideal for dressy dinners, informal days at the office, or simply pairing with a t-shirt. Look for styles that don’t have any fading or embellishments, and if they’re too long, have them hemmed so that they perfectly hit the bottom of your heel. A straight or boot cut pair of designer jeans is unquestionably the most timeless option if you want to splurge on a pair.
8. Tees in white or black
Begin by purchasing black and white tees from the basics section, and then gradually progress to the colourful basics. You can also get them in a variety of necklines and textures, as well as graphic tees. I can’t tell you how many of these essentials I have stashed away.
9. Jewellery that is timeless
Consider gold and silver watches, chain necklaces, and simple rings. You can take breaks from them, but they will always return. When we think of Indian accessories, the first thing that comes to mind is jumhkas and chandballis. They can be worn with Kurtas, suits, or even sarees. When all other options have been exhausted, they are a safe bet.
This particular item appears to have eluded me; despite the fact that black is all I wear, I haven’t been able to locate a little black dress that I must have and cannot live without. I have the customary t-shirt dresses and such, but nothing that I would classify as a class 1 must-have.
That said, find a black dress that fits you perfectly and feels like a no-brainer on nights when you don’t feel like getting dressed up. But you know you’ll look like a million bucks anyway, thanks to the chic dress. Choose between a short and a long one; the possibilities are limitless. Owning the perfect black dress does not come with a manual.
When it comes to Indian clothing, dupattas are a show stopper. They instantly brighten your appearance. When paired with a monochrome salwar kameez, a beautiful bright colour dupatta elevates the entire look to a whole new level. Tossing a dupatta over a camisole and jeans adds a layer of ethnicity to your western look. So dupattas can be your saviour when it comes to finishing an Indian or fusion look.
Don’t be afraid to dabble in new trends that you fall in love with as you add to your closet over time! Wardrobe essentials like these will act as a backdrop for the star-studded pieces you’ll be incorporating into your wardrobe throughout the year.