I got a really good question from a reader the other day. How do you choose versatile clothing? And what makes an item of clothing “versatile?” Let’s talk about it!
Versatile clothing is important in a closet
Do you feel have versatile clothing in your closet? Versatility means something is adaptable to different functions or activities.
So versatile clothing means the item can be worn in several different ways, and works for several kinds of activities, functions, or events.
Do this before buying an item you think is versatile
Think of what you already have in your closet. Can you come up with at least 3 different ways to wear this new item with pieces you already own??
If the answer is yes, then let’s continue.
If the answer is no, maybe you’re looking at a special occasion piece, or a statement piece. It’s ok to have those in your closet too — in fact, it’s great! But today we’re talking about versatility, and statement pieces are not often versatile.
Here are some additional questions to ask to see if your clothing is versatile
- Can you dress it up AND dress it down? (If you’re not sure how to dress up your clothes, READ THIS POST)
- Can you layer with it to make it feel different? (add a jacket, wear it under or over another clothing item?)
- Can you tuck it or knot it or half tuck it? (here’s a tucking guide if you need one)
- Is it neutral enough to wear with other colors and prints in your closet? (here’s a fun print mixing guide if you need one)
If you can come up with “YES” answers to all those questions, then your item is probably pretty darn versatile.
What are the most versatile kinds of clothing items?
- ANYTHING DENIM – JEANS, DENIM JACKETS, DENIM SKIRTS, etc. Especially if you choose your denim item in a classic fit and wash, and doesn’t have much or any distressing (which ages it quickly). Denim is easy to dress up and down, goes with every color, and can be worn with a huge variety of tops and jackets and shoes.
- WHITE SHIRTS. Whether it’s a button down, a blouse, or a tee, a white top is a really good versatile kind of clothing item.
- CLASSIC STRIPED TOPS or DRESSES. If you’ve followed for any amount of time, you know I love stripes. Specifically navy and white stripes. It’s a great print that goes with other prints, any other color, can be dressed up or down, and looks classic no matter what.
- TAN or NUDE SHOES. They’re the kind of shoes that go with any outfit and can just blend in because they’re a similar shade to your skin.
There are plenty more, but those are just a few!
Let me show you some examples of some versatile items in my closet….
1. THE STRIPED TEE
Here’s a roundup of a bunch of great striped tees
2. DENIM JACKET
shop my denim jacket here
But not all versatile items need to be basic…here’s an example of something being versatile even though it’s more of a statement item…
3. YELLOW WIDE LEG PANTS
shop these yellow pants right here
I hope that’s helpful as you work to build a closet full of versatile pieces.
I’ll also be doing a Get Dressed with Merrick about clothing versatility on my Instagram stories today, so don’t miss that! It’s also up on my YouTube and you can watch it here:
GREAT ADVICE! I ALSO LIKE CLOTHES THAT WORK ACROSS SEASONS. I JUST BOUGHT A LOVELY TAN SUEDE JACKET WHICH I THINK WILL BE HANDY AS AN EXTRA LAYER IN SPRING & SUMMER (UK WEATHER!) AS WELL AS WITH A SCARF OR ROLLNECK JUMPER IN AUTUMN & WINTER. I USE THE STYLEBOOK APP WHICH IS GREAT FOR PLANNING YOUR CLOSET AND MAKING MORE SENSIBLE VERSATILE SHOPPING CHOICES.
Good advice, except I do question the jumpsuit. it may be comfortable for wearing, but I don’t like to have to wrestle with it (taking off whole top) in the bathroom of an airport, airplane or gas station when traveling!
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