Thursday, June 23, 2016

Closet Necessities

I've written quite a few posts about the classic staples that I believe to be the building blocks for a versatile wardrobe (see previous content here & here).  But, it's equally important to invest in essential undergarments & a handful of special tools that will help extend the life of your clothing, shoes & accessories.  So today I'm highlighting my top picks in each category & sharing why I can't live without these key pieces.  I've purposely selected products & brands that I personally use and love, so they come highly recommended by me.

1) Leather hole puncher - This is such a handy tool for quickly adjusting your accessories (I've done this with several of my vintage & thrifted finds).  Because there are a variation of hole sizes, you can use this on belts, purse straps or watch bands to create the perfect fit.
2) Suede cleaning kit - After having one of my favorite pairs of suede boots ruined due to unexpected weather, I immediately went out and bought a suede care kit.  This one has everything you'll need to protect your suede shoes from puddles or stains and to carefully clean them without ruining their soft finish.
3) Clothing steamer - I'm fairly certain there is no one who despises ironing as much as me, so I rely heavily on my steamer for most wrinkle-removing tasks.  This handheld size is great for traveling, but if you're looking for a heavier duty model, I recommend this one for at-home use & larger jobs (both on sale now!).
4) Sweater comb - This fine tooth comb is ideal for removing pilling from fine gauge knits & cashmere.  I recommend using a very light hand when brushing over your sweaters so you don't snag the fabric.
5) Fabric shaver - I use this battery-powered gadget on my thicker knits, chunky sweaters & wool jackets to remove fuzz & lint - it works quickly and thanks to the smaller size, it's great for packing when you travel.
6) Lint brush - I don't like to use the sticky lint rollers as they can leave an adhesive residue on clothing, which ends up attracting more lint.  So, I prefer this brush style and I also have this travel size, which I keep in my purse for on-the-go touch-ups.
7) Jewelry cleaner - I prefer not using the liquid jewelry solution because the smell always bothered me and there was too much potential for spilling.  So I was happy to discover this kit, which comes with both the smaller brush stick (for rings & dainty items) and the cleaning cloths (for necklaces & larger pieces).

1) Seamless camisoles - I recommend having these in black, white & nude and I personally prefer to have a variation of styles (some scoop-neck, v-neck & some with thicker straps) so I can wear them with any neckline top or sweater.  Shown above: one // two // three - more options here, here & here
2) Strapless bra - I've tried several different brands over the years & have discovered that the key is to look for a style that has rubber grips lining the inside so it truly stays put (I swear by this one).  I also recommend buying one that's a little tighter than a regular bra because it will stretch with continual wear.  Shown above here - additional bras here & here
3) Full slip - This comes in handy if you find a dress you love that's slightly sheer or if you just want a little more coverage.  I have one in white that came with a dress I purchased years ago, but it's so versatile that I wear it with several other pieces in my closet.  Shown above here - more styles here & here
4) Backless bra - These are especially useful in the warm weather months when you're wearing dresses or tops that are low cut in the back.  Most styles are good for 20-25 uses before they start to lose their adhesive staying power.  Shown above here - other options here & here 
5) Shapewear - The exact style you purchase comes down to personal preference - the high-waisted pair I own are the ones I reach for most often, but depending on the garment you're wearing them under, you might want one that hits right at the waist.  Shown above: one // two - also like these cooling shorts, these mid-thigh shapers & this extra-firm style
6) Half slips - So many of the current skirts & dresses in stores aren't fully-lined and, many times, it will be a style that I really want.  So instead of passing it up completely, I'll opt to wear a half-slip underneath.  I have a longer-length style in nude that I found at the thrift store, but I'm on the hunt for a shorter version as well.  Shown above: one // two - also like this midi-length, this lace-trimmed style & this knee-length slip