Skip the Silver Cuff

According to Susan, Oprah recently gave a list of ten clothing items every woman needs (she could be making it up for all I know, since I don’t think I’ve ever seen more than ten seconds of Oprah). Several women commented saying they thought a few of the things on the list were wrong for their lifestyles (for good reason – a pair of white jeans is NOT necessary for me at this point and maybe not at any point). So Susan said “What WOULD be on your list of ten essentials?”

And because I’ve recently cleaned out my closet and re-organized the whole thing, I figured I’d share my list because I know you’ve been wondering (you weren’t? Oh, sorry. Feel free to roll your eyes and move along).

Ten Items that I NEEEEEEED:

1) Jeans (dark rinse, skinny flare, medium rise). I am a committed jeans wearer – my job is casual, school is casual, and my house is casual. So yeah, I wear jeans probably four days a week at minimum. I own five pairs right now that fit and are fairly flattering, which is probably a life record for me.

2) Solid, basic-colored short-sleeve sweaters. I love sweaters for summer because they are both dressy and casual and can go with dress pants or jeans or skirts.

3) Jackets. Living somewhere hot tends to mean that it’s way over air-conditioned inside. And in the winter, you don’t usually need a coat so much as a jacket. I have several that I like – I wish I had a black one though. I need to get on this.

4) Dress slacks. When I started interviewing for jobs last year, I bought a pair of black slacks and a pair of gray ones. I like them both. Someday, I’ll upgrade to some nicer ones, but the two I own are plenty nice for now, since I rarely have to dress up.

5) Black pencil skirt. My mom bought me one about five years ago and it’s held up amazingly well; I probably wear it at least twice a month. Bart doesn’t love it, but I don’t care because I do.

6) Fun skirts. I love skirts, especially in the summer, because they are cooler (temperature-wise, rather than style-wise, but maybe style-wise too) than jeans and much nicer-looking than shorts (I am not a shorts wearer and haven’t been since high school). I own a rather preposterous amount of skirts.

7) Solid colored t-shirts (long and short sleeve). I own almost no patterned shirts. I suppose I’m boring. And I’m okay with that.

8) Corduroy pants. I like these as a change from jeans in the winter when skirts sort of stop being useful. I’d like it more if corduroy didn’t shrink SO much, making it practically impossible to buy the right length.

9) Button down shirts (different length sleeves). A little dressier than t-shirts and a good combination with all my pants and skirts. Ta-da.

10) Hooded Sweater. Much nicer than a sweatshirt and a good way to warm up a casual outfit. Also, it can go with a skirt. Or be worn under a jacket.

And an extra-special bonus category. Shoes I cannot live without:

1) Black ballet flats with wedge heel. I wear these shoes at least 10 times as often as any of my other shoes. Great with jeans or skirts.

2) Black heels. What more can I say?

3) Brown heels. These don’t get worn as often as my black heels, but I need them when I’m wearing something brown and black won’t cut it.

4) Nice brown sandals with a wedge. Great for summer and nicer than flip-flops. I have a pair with a back strap and one without.

5) Brown leather flip-flops. I am not a huge flip-flop fan, but when I do want to wear them, I’m glad to have a pair that doesn’t looks like I bought them at Old Navy (which I didn’t).

6) Nice black flip-flops. Same as above.

7) White shoes. I bought a pair in the child’s section of Wal-Mart for four dollars a few years ago and I’ve worn them far more than I ever expected. They are summery and put-together looking.

8) Black boots. I’d like to eventually own a knee-high pair but I have tried on dozens of pairs and never found some that actually fit my calves because I have little toothpick calves and so I look like I’m wearing my mommy’s boots.

9) Dress shoes for pants.

10) Casual tennis shoe. For Disneyland. And other walkie-and-talkie events.

So? What’s on your list(s)? If you write your list on your blog, let me know and I’ll put a link to it in this post.

Mel shares her list: List of 10
And a Charmed Life: Baby Got Back to Basics

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  1. My clothes list would be almost exactly the same as yours! I wear solids almost exclusively; prints kind of freak me out and they seem so limiting to me. I would also add silver jewelry (since I am anti the gold) and cardigans, especially v-neck.

    I don’t have many button-down shirts because my arms are too fat! They look like sausages in the sleeves, and it distresses me. That said, I am wearing a short-sleeved one now with a black cardigan, and that combination is sufficiently non-sausage-like.

  2. This is a great post. I have a very similar list to yours. I would add brown boots to the shoe list, for winter.

  3. Great post! So true about the jackets for the frosty AC. I used to visit Florida on a regular basis and you’re either steaming or shivering!

    Have you tried Nordy’s for boots? I take it you’re very petite if you’ve bought shoes in the children’s section. I’m not petite but my calves are pretty thin and their boots, though expensive, are cut on the slim side.

    My post is up at

  4. I dont think that I can even think of a list of ten items…dang it. Just three that I cant live without…my hoodies, my undershirt tanks and my ae clogs (dave hates these, he thinks they are ugly and too casual…but I still wear them all the time!) Any shoes that I can wear without socks or fine by me!

  5. It is sometimes really funny to me that we are friends. I only own I think two pairs of shoes (flip flops and running), I only wear solid color short sleeve t-shirts, and the only pants I have are ones that someone gave me for free and they don’t fit very well. Help.

  6. Nice post! I’ll definitely have to think about what I can’t live without. My “style,” if you can call it that, has always been so boring. I’ve been trying to spice things up without completely copying someone else’s style.

  7. my list contains a bunch of junk that doesn’t fit…things that i hope someday will fit…and things that i think will come back in style! maybe i should purge…what do you think? thanks for sharing:)

  8. I saw that Oprah show! I actually wrote down the list to refer back to whenever I manage to get to a town with actual clothing stores! I decided to nix the white jeans too, as well as the jean jacket (probably really cute for you gals, not so much on a 50+ person!) I thought most were sensible suggestions though. (Unlike you, I have to admit I’m an Oprah show devotee!)

  9. I watched that episode of Oprah, and I felt the same way. Those are not the ten things I need in my closet. Heavens no on the white jeans. I have a toddle who like to wipe snot on my pants for crying out loud!

  10. I so love your list! You can never go wrong with classics. I will be doing a post on my blog…it is in the works.

  11. Love this idea… and I am now contemplating a Top 10 list of my own… oh, the possibilities!


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