Since Madeline has requested it, I thought I would put together my own version of the 5 Essentials. I don't really follow trends actively, and sometimes I begin to feel that my style is getting a little stale or that what I like is no longer in fashion (which is probably truer than I care to think...), but these are the things that look good on me and make me feel good, and looking good and feeling good never go out of style.
1. Dark Wash, Wide-leg Jeans
I know Madeline has already done the dark wash jeans, but I have to specify that I require a wide leg. None of this skinny stuff for me. I love wide-leg pants. There's just something about them that makes me feel put-together.
2. Shirts with Feminine Detailing
I know... a little vague. I arrived at this essential by staring at my wardrobe and trying to find the common element. (This is easy to do at the moment, as my entire wardrobe has exploded into my front room and there awaits my attention... so it's easy to look at everything at once.)
I don't wear much jewelry. On any given day my wedding ring provides all the bling I require, so my clothes speak for themselves. It also helps if the shirt sweeps away from my midsection, since this is my biggest problem area at the moment.
This is one item I'm sure is on its way out, but I have worn flats consistently for as long as I can remember. I love flats! They make my feet feel happy and look dainty. I prefer flats with an interesting pattern; polka dots, stripes, geometric shapes, etc. They command a little attention, but don't scream "Look at me!" or make my tootsies sore.
A strange essential, perhaps, but ribbon is a great way to dress up an outfit without a lot of fuss or expense. Keep a collection with different colors, patterns and textures. (Grosgrain and satin in solid colors are great basics to have on hand.)
I don't really like buckles so I am not overly fond of belts, but tying a ribbon around your waist is a great way to emphasize your itsy bitsy-ness. I also keep ribbon on hand to dress up a pony tail in a pinch. (Gotta be prepared for those bad hair days when they come along...)
5. A Sturdy Bag
I have a deep and abiding love of canvas totes and messenger bags. Anything that I don't have to treat with kid gloves and can stand up to some abuse. (It doesn't hurt for it to be machine washable, either.) It also needs to be expansive enough to lug around a book or two. You never know when you're going to end up sitting around waiting for something, so I always have a book in my purse.
I think I am in love with dark denim right now, and the bag pictured is what I'm dreaming about at the moment. (It's for sale on Etsy, but I'm not going to tell you where in case I decide to buy it...) But any sturdy fabric will do.
So... those are my 5 Essentials.
Not really trendy, but I don't know that I could get out the door in the morning without them!