I’ve been thinking about an article on Coveteur titled “One writer makes the case for eliminating universal closet staples,” which asks the question “(i)n an effort to truly embrace personal style, how are ‘closet staples’ still a thing?” The image of a rack of beige and black clothes the author, Shanna Battle, chose to illustrate her piece made me laugh out loud. My wardrobe and the kic shop are, for the most part, neutrals-only. But, that’s not what Ms. Battle is addressing really, she’s poking at the idea of creating a stringent wardrobe of prescribed basics. She found that a little black dress and turtleneck, foundation items in many a wardrobe, are not her thing and ended up letting go of them. My favorite nugget — “(i)t wasn’t until my fourth pandemic closet cleanout that I decided to divest my closet from the idea of needing “universal closet staples” and lean into the pieces that made sense for my personal style.” Furthermore, I completely agree with Ms. Battle when she says of the drumbeat of posts on basics “you will no doubt find more than a few people drained from this idea ready for more creativity in their style arsenal.”
This all got me thinking about my own wardrobe of neutrals and similar silhouettes and I realized that they are my personal style, my own universal basics if you will. However, I could shake things up a bit and not be so neutrals-all-the-time. I collect wool vests and Gucci 1955 Horsebit bags, perhaps a color and pattern outside my comfort zone would be good. The bag in cherry red and a brown diamond patterned vest (I’m besotted with brown these days) would go quite nicely with my predominantly grey and beige wardrobe. I already lean into my personal style, it’s just that my personal style could use a bit of zing.