Casual Wardrobe Top Ten List

November 13, 2014

A big thanks to Mo (whose blog is here) for her comment on this post regarding top ten lists for sparking the idea about what would be included in a casual top ten list.  Too often, top ten lists focus on the items that may work well for a formal business environment.  But what about those of us who work in a casual setting, or, work from home?  Or what if you are just not a dress and skirt kind of gal?

I do work outside the home but am fortunate to currently be in an environment that is pretty casual for the dress code (no logos or sweats but jeans are ok).  And I am a jeans and trousers kind of gal.  My wardrobe could not function without these 10 core items.

Shopping Brake’s Casual Wardrobe Top Ten List:

Jeans, boots and blazers are must haves for my wardrobe.

Jeans, boots and blazers are must haves for my wardrobe.

T-Shirts, jackets, scarves and thermals are must haves for my wardrobe.

T-Shirts, jackets, scarves and thermals are must haves for my wardrobe.

A black trouser suit is a must have for my wardrobe.

A black trouser suit is a must have for my wardrobe.

  1. Bootcut Jean.  My wardrobe could not function without bootcut jeans.  I sport jeans daily and while I do own and I have tried many styles and colors of jeans, yet a classic bootcut pair in a medium blue wash is still my favorite.  It is a core element of my style.
  2. Short Boot. What better to pair with my bootcut jeans, than short boots?  Some short boots fit very close to the calf and are a perfect pairing underneath jeans.  I pull out my boots as soon as the weather is cool enough to do so and I hold onto them as long as possible into the warm weather.  I’ve been known to sport cowboy boots often in a/c settings during summer months despite the heat.  I just adore boots!
  3. Straight/Skinny Leg Jean.  Since I sport jeans daily, having variety in the styles really helps prevent me from growing bored.  Plus, during wet, snowy months, a straight leg jean tucked into boots is a really practical option.
  4. Tall Boot. Another perfect pairing to me, straight/skinny leg jeans and tall boots.  When I need a break from bootcut jeans and short boots I shift to straight/skinny leg jeans and tall boots.
  5. Blazer.  The easiest way for me to dress up my jeans, is to pop on a blazer.  I may update the style from time to time (at the moment many of my blazers are a boyfriend fit/length) but there is always a blazer in my working wardrobe.
  6. White T-Shirt. A white button down shirt is always on a top ten list and is praised for it’s versatility  But I prefer a softer look than a crisp white shirt.  My white t-shirt is just as versatile, but provides a softer look.  I can pair it with necklaces or scarves to ‘dress it up.’  It can be layered underneath a blazer or cardigan for a little ‘pizazz’.  And when it’s really cold, I can layer it underneath knitwear.  My white t-shirts are a four season item that is very versatile.
  7. Leather (real or fake) Jacket. Every top ten list has a piece of outerwear on it and a leather jacket is mine.  A leather jacket paired with boots is a match made in heaven to me.  A timeless pairing I have never grown tired of.
  8. Scarves. The fastest way for me to add a pop of color and visual interest to an outfit is with a scarf.  I always have a rotation of scarves in my wardrobe for those days when I want a bit more interest in my outfit than what I can achieve with necklaces.  Since a scarf often hides more of the material, I find I can easily sport the same top often without others realizing I’m doing so!
  9. Thermals.  Thermals are my solution for always cold settings in winter months.  Actually I tend to sport them for cool fall and spring days too.
  10. Black Trouser Suit. While my wardrobe is mostly casual, there are those random times throughout the year when the occasion calls for something other than my beloved jeans.  When this happens I reach for a black trouser suit.  Add a sparkle top and the suit can go to an office party.  Swap out the sparkle for a muted color shirt and you are ready for a funeral.  Switch to a pretty blouse and you are ready for a job interview.  Every top ten list has a black dress as a versatile item in it and a black trouser suit is my black dress stand in.  My black suit can work for multiple occasions with a simple swap of footwear and tops.

What is included in your personal top ten list?


  1. So glad you did this!! I’d have to think on mine a bit. The moving between climates confuses my idea of core needs sometimes lol. For a temperate CA climate I agree with a lot of yours. I might switch scarves for a fashion sneaker for my own list. Definitely the tee in place of the button front, though!

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