Ignore Those Fashion “Must-Have” Lists


It would seem that without knowing me, what I like or what my lifestyle is like, every fashion magazine or website knows exactly what I need in my wardrobe. They also know the must-haves
 you, your best friend and her sister need, apparently.

Why else would headlines like 10 Affordable Staples Every Busy Girl Should Own, 10 Things Every Woman Must Own, 30 Fashion Staples To Have By 30 and Must-Have Fashion For Spring 2016 be everywhere?

If you’ve spent even a few minutes browsing any other publication aimed primarily at women, you’ve no doubt come across them.  I’ve done a few “things you need” posts myself. (Lists and “must-haves” are great for search engines). At some time or another you’ve probably gone through these lists checking to see if your wardrobe meets these “requirements”. If it doesn’t, don’t feel like you’ve failed anything. Truth be told, the only things every woman needs in her wardrobe are those which she, and no-one else, deems to be absolutely important.

What is “essential” or “basic” for a full-time student is way different from what a corporate executive with a busy after work schedule needs. And when we take into consideration things like body type, age and most importantly, in my mind, personal preference, the whole idea of every woman needing the same items seems a tad unlikely.

If the two paragraphs above sound slightly familiar, it’s because I pointed this out back in 2012 soon after I started this blog. At that time I still listed my personal wardrobe essentials but I feel like I’m anti-list right now. I’d identified the following as things I had to have, things I would replace them almost immediately it they faded, tore, stretched out or anything like that.

  1. Black pants and skirts
  2. White button-downs
  3. Assorted belts
  4. Animal prints.
  5. Pearls.
  6. Work appropriate red shoes and bag.
  7. Black pumps for work and play.
  8. Black cardigans.
  9. Strappy tops in black, brown and white.
  10. Ballet flats especially in black and brown.

Four years later, I still stand by all the black items and ballet flats. But the rest? I’m neither here nor there because my style has evolved. All I really need is a cohesive wardrobe with pieces I like and stuff I can have fun with.

What about you? Is there anything you really need in your wardrobe? Let me know in the comments.


Natasha Beckles

Natasha Beckles is a freelance copyeditor, writer and content creator. She has over a decade's experience in both traditional and online media. In addition to blogging about fashion and travel, she uses the written word to help brands and individuals tell their unique stories.

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