A tee with flexible, breathable fabric is so ideal. It can be worn for lunch out, an exercise class, or meeting your friends at a bar.
If you haven’t got a sporty t-shirt to fill this gap, add at least one or two to your rotation.
Again, these are great if you’re into your athletics, but they can be paired with so many other outfits to create signature looks. Black is the most universal color and can be a good change from your white t-shirt if you want a sleeker appearance.
Leggings can be matched up with skirts, dresses, and tunic tops for all but the most formal occasions. They suit most people and come in a wide array of styles and colors.
You can also wear them for a workout – provided they don’t turn transparent when they stretch! Find durable leggings made for the gym and yoga class.If you’re fighting an endless war with your wardrobe, just know that you’re not alone!
There are questions that have persisted through the ages, and for many of us, the answers still aren’t clear.
How many pairs of tights are too many? What about shoes? Do you need three winter jackets? Should you throw out clothes you rarely wear or keep them for the odd occasion? Even the most stylish people on the planet struggle with these dilemmas.
This can be an exhausting cycle, particularly when it comes to activewear. After all, trends move fast in this category, and it always seems like there’s something new to add to your rotation of tops, tanks, tees, leggings, shorts, and tights.
Whether you need to cut down your collection, improve your activewear, we’ve got a guide for basic wardrobe essentials to send you in the right direction. Hopefully, by the end of it all, you’ll finally have your closet under control!
Basic Essentials You Need
Everyone’s list of essentials will vary to some degree, but there’s likely to be some common ground for us all. Even if you disagree with a couple of items or want to add a few, this list will give you a good sense of what your core wardrobe should include:
T-shirts are casual, versatile, and can be smartened up and dressed down as you like. They are also great staples for working out casually, and they can be paired with almost anything.
Unless you live somewhere that is hot year-round, you should have one go-to warm hoodie. Zip-up hoodies are versatile, have practical pockets, and can be slung on over gym wear or a summer dress – your pick!
We all need at least one pair of very comfy shoes that we can tie up for anything from running around the block to a trip into town.
Sneakers are the perfect way to dress an outfit down and are also versatile and handy for any activity at the gym. If yours are getting worn out, it’s time to replace them!
Everyday Carry Bag
This will vary a bit depending on your lifestyle, but if you’re hitting the gym after work or a cafe after class, your bag should be able to accommodate a girl on the go.
A bag that’s too small will force you to leave out some essentials, while a massive one will only weigh you down during the day. Figure out your ideal daily carry and pick and pack accordingly.
These can be as fancy or as plain as you like, but having a pair ensures you’ve got some subtle shoes that will work with pretty much any outfit.
Sky-high heels giving you back pain? Check out a pair of subtle but sexy kitten heels or the universally loved pair of flats.
Tracksuit Pants (and a Jacket)
Perfect for winter, tracksuits have always been associated with gym wear, but they’re also great for casual days out. Plus, they’re at the forefront of the athleisure trend in fashion.
Tracksuits tend to be warm yet lightweight and comfy, and you can pair them with the jacket if you want to go for a two-piece look.
A staple in pretty much every person’s wardrobe, jeans are useless in the gym but good for almost anything else.
They can be smart, they can be casual, and anything in between. They’re a must-have in your wardrobe and will last for years if you choose quality construction and materials.
Slimline Sports Bras
Even if you aren’t sporty, you should have a sports bra ready to rock.
They are comfortable, supportive, and reassuring, so invest in one that fits well and feels good. If you do exercise, you won’t have much fun without one!
You may not be jogging around the block in either a summer frock or an evening gown, but your wardrobe should have a dress or two for hot days or evenings out.
Formal occasions can be stressful, and not having the proper attire can only make things worse. Build a small but reliable set of formal clothing that you can count on no matter what.
Some dress shirts, a few pairs of slacks, maybe a skirt or two, and the LBD (little black dress)—you won’t need much more to get you through.
In addition to your formal wear outfit, have a couple of other shirts or blouses in the arsenal. This will help you to keep things fresh and ensure you have a bit of flexibility for various occasions.
Great for slinging on after a workout or wearing out to dinner, a soft and high-quality cardigan is extremely flexible.
If you choose a neutral color, you’ll be ready for anything.
That should give you a good starting point for the basics of your closet, so build up from there and see what you think you still need!
Keep Your Closet Compact
If you’re struggling to manage space in your closet, you might need to take a more minimal approach than you have in the past.
The best method is to make all your clothes really earn their space and ensure that every garment can be used in a wide array of outfits and scenarios.
Pair tank tops with jeans and jackets. Match your sneakers with a skater dress, and don’t be afraid to wear leggings to the gym and then out to brunch. The only limit is your creativity!
Choose practical bags which are suitable for multiple occasions and plain enough to match multiple outfits.
Obviously, this only goes so far: you probably can’t take a business suit to a workout session or wear an evening dress with running shoes.
However, taking this approach will help you see opportunities to minimize your wardrobe by maximizing the functionality of each item.
Can You Have Too Much Athleticwear?
If you’re passionate about fitness, you will probably find that your activewear collection is constantly expanding without rhyme or reason. All it takes is a couple of trips to the mall for your yoga wardrobe to triple in size!
Once again, it’s time to think more efficiently when it comes to activewear. Get shoes you can run and cycle in. Find shorts that are suitable for both tennis and Pilates. You don’t have to buy into the specialized-items-for-each-sport idea. Make the most of every item.
Another key point is to cut down or duplicates, or at the very least, store those extras somewhere else until your original garments are worn out and thinned.
If you have five pairs of running shorts, you don’t have to get rid of a pair. Instead, store them under your bed or on top of the closet to give yourself more space.
This sort of clear-out can help you track inventory and make it easier to identify gaps in what you do and don’t have.
If you can’t find the right gear for the gym, you can always fill the spaces intentionally and know exactly what you’re looking for. Conscientious shopping is the best way to avoid clutter, after all. Plus, you’ll save money and time, which is always a plus.
It can be difficult getting your closet back to the basics, but if you make most of your garments work overtime and cut the clutter, life becomes much more manageable.
You may find a service like a subscription yoga clothes box helps you keep your closet fresh and encourages you to think about garments in different ways.
This type of program also ensures that your collection grows at a steady rate while never overloading your wardrobe with extras.
With a more structured approach and smart management, you can get your closet back to basics - and keep it there!