How to Rebuild Your Wardrobe From Scratch: The Essentials of a Wardrobe

Before adding in essentials to a wardobe it’s important to assess, purge, and PLAN (so important!) your wardrobe. Make sure you’ve already done step one, which is to purge your wardrobe!

If you are reading ahead or you are happy with where your wardrobe is at, then read on!

For each category I’ll share what you should look for in the basics of your wardrobe. Including colors to think about and different fits. As far as brands and types, I will go into more detail in future posts on each category. The goal of this post is to help you think about some things as you’re planning!


Okay I know what you’re thinking, seriously? There’s nothing worse than putting on a pair of underwear with your favorite leggings only to realize, as much as you like your underwear, your underwear lines are yelling “I hate wearing thongs!”

For underwear I look for what is

#1 comfortable. This is a must for me. Whatever cut that is for you, go for it. If it’s granny panties, even better. Be comfortable.

#2 breathable fabric. Cotton underwear keeps me comfortable from winter all through summer.

#3 practical. To me this means I like to have underwear that is in some nude shades in case of white jeans. Seamless underwear is also important for wearing leggings.


For loungewear I’m looking for items that look classic, chic, and in colors that feel comfortable for mixing and matching with the rest of my wardrobe.

Basically I want to put it on without any thought and love it. Basic pants, hoodies, tee shirts, socks, etc. I typically wear loungewear as pajamas, so for me this category includes both.


Tee Shirts seem to be the most difficult category for me. I’ve never found a “plain white tee” that wasn’t horribly revealing. Anyone else?

I typically go for black, but I’m on the hunt for the perfect white tee shirt. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. At this point I’ll spend anything if it genuinely isn’t see through.

I also consider the best cut and color for me. I prefer oversized, baggier, or boxier fits. Again, comfort for me is #1. If you’re not sure what colors look best on you, I highly recommend looking into it. Seasonal color analysis is a great keyword to search!

For some people white does not look great on them. Other people look flat in black. Not that you can’t do these, but finding colors that make you shine will have you reaching for those items first.

For example if your coloring is warmer (mine is not) finding an ivory or cream colored tee shirt is a subtle shift but could really bring out your colors better. And when going for black, you could try some deep brown shades and you might find you like those colors on you best!

Like I said, I don’t think it’s that certain people “can’t do” certain colors. I think it’s more about playing with color and fit in a way that isn’t trendy.

Right now brown is totally trending. I look absolutely blah in brown. Just horrible, washed out, weird. Other people are absolutely thriving in this trend and I love to see it!

I did find a shade of brown recently that was almost grey. Since this brown shade was a very cool color, I really loved it. I would have given up that color entirely if I didn’t know what to look for!


When it comes to jeans I’m looking for a few different pairs. Medium wash, dark wash, and black. If you like a good light wash, go ahead and add it.

I personally don’t love the lighter colors on the bottom for me so I skip that altogether. I look for high waisted as it’s flattering on everybody and for my body type I like a slightly looser jean. A straight leg or a vintage cut.

I think jeans is another great place to play with different cuts and colors. Instead of fighting against what you don’t like, ask yourself why don’t you like it.

I tried light wash jeans for years thinking I was just too chubby and they accented my thighs weird. So in my mind, if I was skinnier I would like them on me (such a negative viewpoint!) but after learning a bit about color, I realized that some light shades can wash me out and I usually paired light jeans with lighter colored tops and the outfit was always just blah on me!

I think it’s a balance of trying anything, and embracing what you love, not fighting it.


With shoes I feel like I am typically under thinking this one and wearing birkenstocks with every outfit 12 months out of the year. So I’ve had to be more intentional with planning my shoes. I aim for

1. a pair of versatile sneakers;
2. a pair of sandals (hey birkies);
3. a solid and practical boot for Minnesota winters;
4. a black flat;
5. a brown flat.

These five should do the trick for me 90% of the time. Maybe you’ll want a couple pairs for more formal events. For Minnesota it’s practical to have a sock boot and a heeled sandal for formal events in different seasons.

I also highly recommend investing in shoes. I have purchased many a cheap shoe and regretted it. I wear a size 11 (yikes) and am reasonably tall 5’9”. I find that, and perhaps it’s just my body, but I need a good solid support on those massive things to stand tall and be comfortable! Birkenstocks, kork-ease, All Birds, Vionic, Trotters, Naturalizer, and many more are great brands to try!

Bags / Accessories

Now I hate to be the odd one out here, but I’ve never been a fan of accessorizing. I basically never wear jewelry and basically only have one purse.

I’ve been like this my entire life. I’d like to warm up to it though, I admire it on others so much! But for me, I have found a practical small crossbody leather bag that goes with literally everything.

My jewelry consists of very dainty simple pieces that I can wear with anything. I feel like this is the most practical way to accessorize. Especially if you’re a mom and accessorizing before leaving the house isn’t a priority, this will get you through!

So what are you waiting for? Make that list!!

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