I’m not necessarily someone who enjoys shopping. When I don’t have any purchases to make, I do enjoy browsing the new arrivals at a handful of favorite stores (Tuckernuck, Ann Mashburn, and CK Bradley, to name my top three). However, when I’m actually on the lookout for specific staples, I often get overwhelmed trying to navigate sites like Shopbop and sometimes even J. Crew! It probably doesn’t help that, when I do need to replace an item, I have a very specific idea of what I need–sometimes it feels like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Over the past few years, I’ve noticed that I really only wear a handful of staples every season, and I wear the same ones again and again. It certainly makes it easy to pack and get dressed, but it is frustrating trying to find things in a closet that also hold non-essentials or things I’ve only worn a handful of times. When I switch my closet over from winter to spring, I’m planning to weed out those items I no longer wear and sell or donate them, then use that space to restock with the items I reach for again and again. Below are my five spring staples!
A great pair of jeans
About six years ago I desperately needed some new jeans after ruining mine by spending the summer excavating in Ireland. I spent the day on M Street in Georgetown, trying on jeans at J. Crew, Madewell, and various other places. Finally, I went to the Levi’s store. I was fairly broke at the time (a typical DC intern problem), and they were having a sale. I’d always had problems in the past with jeans–they were too long, too short, too loose at the waist–but these were amazing. They fit perfectly, weren’t exorbitantly expensive (I think they were $40/pair), and are still (barely) hanging on, even though they are my most-worn item in my closet! However, it seems as though they’ve discontinued that style, so I’m on the hunt for a few new pairs. I have a number of places on my list: The Gap, Sézane, Industry Standard… where would you recommend?
Let me just say it: I have a bit of a stripe problem. I own a lot of striped items, and t-shirts are no exception. For some reason it feels like a Saint James shirt is more versatile than a solid color. Anyway, I love the quality of the fabric, the different cuts, and the way that you can get a Saint James shirt that’s light enough for 90 degree days and one that’s heavy enough to keep you warm when it’s in the mid-fifties. I’ve also been intrigued by KULE–I love the little grosgrain ribbon sewn into the shirt, and it seems that their shirts are long but not super-boxy, which I appreciate! I’ve been lucky enough to work in very casual environments, but even on days when I’ve had to be a bit more dressed up, I’ve found striped shirts to be a workplace staple when they are layered under a blazer.
I’ve always loved the classic smoking slippers popularized by Stubbs & Wootton. They are so easy to dress up or dress down, and I love how simple it is to slip into them and be on your way! I was lucky enough to inherit quite a few pairs from my mother and grandmother and I wear them frequently. My favorite pair is of pink needlepoint with green frogs. They add a bright pop of color to my outfit and always make me so happy! They are also incredibly comfortable and very fun. While I do have a fair number of them, I always have my eye out for more. I love this navy and white checked pair (they would go with almost everything!) and I’ve long coveted a pair of bespoke Stubbs. Maybe one day!
A versatile purse
I’ve never been much of a handbag person. I suppose I’m always scared that if I switch purses, I’ll forget something in my other bag (like my wallet)! Because of that, I use one extremely versatile bag in my everyday life. I love my Le Pliage from Longchamp–it holds so much, is waterproof (!!!), and folds up when not in use. I have one in charcoal, so it goes with either black or navy and everything in between.
A scarf or wrap
Spring, especially the beginning of spring, is always tricky when it comes to the weather! I try to always bring a wrap with me, whether it be cashmere for early spring days or cotton or linen when spring begins to feel more like summer. They’re easy to put in your purse and have always struck me as an essential item to have. I love the washable cashmere wrap my sister gave me for Christmas this year, and I favor pashminas or linen wraps later on in the season. I also love colorful shawls that make a statement, like these three fantastic ones from Tuckernuck!