11 Closet Essentials to Inspire Your Every Day

The clock hands hit that morning hour, and you frantically yet sleepily try to stop the alarming sound interrupting that beloved silence. The morning routine has just begun. You make your bed that was not too long ago a platform for your dreams and head to the bathroom where you acquaint yourself once again with your toothbrush and hairbrush.

You stop at your closet to open its doors only to find yourself statue-like in front of the hanging options. The clock didn’t stop ticking when you put an end to its morning wake-up call. Hence, the time to decide your armor for the day narrows with every passing minute.

Below are some closet essentials that can easily work with and even help with anyone’s schedule by channeling the benefits of both comfort and class.

The Plain White Tee. No, not the band. But rather the classic, crisp, and casual shirt that never disappoints. Its versatility is endless, yet expression specified when needed. Without this essential piece, your closet lacks the link for pairing virtually everything else that hangs on the rack and is folded in drawers. In other words, the plain white tee is that best friend who always puts a smile on your face whether you’re wearing sweats, slacks, or a suit.

The Buttoned Down. This piece is generally reached for hours before job interviews, meetings, and even the not-so-casual luncheons. It’s a step or two above the white tee in professionalism because it’s not something you would wear every day (but could nonetheless buttoned up or even un-buttoned and layered with another shirt beneath). You should gravitate to the buttoned down when you need something under your sports jacket or to elevate your jeans. But honestly, the buttoned down should have a special space in your closet for the days when you want to make a subtle statement without doing too much; and the many colors, patterns, and styles make that all too easy to do.

The Graphic Tee. What would a closet be without a shirt that frames words that mean something to you, remind you of a memory, or simply spark emotion within the reader? Graphic tees also allow for experiences to be relived through a captured image. They literally tell something about us before we ever do. I personally try to collect a graphic tee from places I have visited and loved because on many occasions they will spark an interest in the readers to want to travel there themselves. I also really treasure the positive messages that can be worn because there are days when I need to be reminded of those particular truths and I know that others who cross my path that day will need them too. They are great for those 8 am classes to lighten your mood and motivate you when those chemistry equations fail to do so themselves.

The Blue Jean. This is something I am sure is already a staple in your closet and possibly even one you are wearing right now. It embodies comfort and if many of us are truly honest, something we just cannot live without. Whether you tuck in your shirts and use your favorite belt through its loops or err on the more casual side while showing off your shirt’s edges, the blue jean can mold itself into many different looks, according to the different seasons, and present various styles as well. So, whether you like your knees to breath in a ripped pair, want to channel a parent in a mom pair, or prefer to have one of each, the blue jean will always be a piece with many faces, but a trend that never goes out style.

The Jogger. There is something really interesting about the jogger that I just could not leave out of this list. A few years ago, I wasn’t even sure what it was and today it’s something I wear all the time. With its generally baggy legs that gently cinch at the ankles, these bottoms invite you to sit and work on homework, meet up with friends at the local coffee shop, babysit your neighbor’s kids, and do it all over again the next day. They can be active when need be and when paired with the right pieces, can be preppy as well. I cannot stress enough how great the jogger truly is. You’ll just have to add a pair to your personal closet to really appreciate it and when you do, I’m sure you’ll thank me.

The Jean Jacket. Since we have established the importance of denim for your legs, it is now time to welcome another layer of denim in the jean jacket. Everything that has been mentioned prior is 100% worthy of and possibly even necessitates what the jean jacket can give. It has gone through its own style evolution throughout the decades since its birth in 1880. And the nostalgia that it exudes regardless of whether it is old or new is timeless and in and of itself enough reason to have a dedicated spot in your closet. If you’re unsure about what side you are on in the denim-on-denim debate, I am here to assist you in adopting the truth. Denim-on- denim was worn in a time past and is now making a beautiful resurgence that all should welcome and enjoy.

The Blazer. Outer layers just have a way of adding a new dimension to a whole look. They can make the classic tee go from casual to professional and the favorite jean from sporty to classy. And the blazer is no different. It can be that pop of color you wanted to add or the piece that defines your business intentions in the classic black. The blazer tends to show people that you are willing to step up to the plate and bat for whatever is at hand. When you put it on, you are ready to walk the road ahead in something that hopefully causes you to just believe, even if others do not. 

The Rain Jacket. With Virginia Beach’s unpredictable weather forecasts, the rain jacket is more of a necessity than a style staple. If you have been on campus for any period of time you will know that with the passing hours and days, it seems as though the seasons make their appearances daily and weekly rather than the average three-month intervals others experience outside of this area. It’s a great tool to stay dry during wet days and can act as a windbreaker if need be. Just like in the words of the old American Express ad: “Don’t leave home without it.”

The Converse. They started out on the basketball court in 1917 under the coined name “Chuck” and have taken their place outside of the athletic arena and inside households since. Much like denim, they are comfortable, versatile, and if nothing else, genuinely nostalgic. My dad would tell me stories of some of his favorite sports players from years ago who wore the same sneakers I have on today. Converse has transcended time by bridging the generational gap within families and crafting something that all can enjoy. In my opinion, having a pair of Converse is more than just utilizing a great sneaker for your busy schedule. It’s always maintaining a piece of history right in your very closet.

The Loafer. When the day calls for more than just your worn-out summer flip-flops and even the aforementioned pair of Converses, the loafer is ready to take you through your day in style. With the same easy slip-on motion that your beloved flip-flops would have required, it is sure to become your new favorite. It is great for the office and classroom but with its various styles can also be your every-day go-to.

The Sweater. How can you have a closet without that one oversized and comfy sweater that could be the equivalent to your favorite blanket? And what would fall even be without the parade of different warm-toned and patterned fabrics on men and women alike across coffee shops, schools, and Target? They are easy to throw on during those chilly mornings and even easier to layer on top of that buttoned down I mentioned earlier or beneath a jacket. If you haven’t found that perfect sweater to call your own, I would highly suggest starting the search now because tomorrow, the weather may just call for one and it’ll be too late.

The Watch. Here is a bonus accessory that can’t really be hung in your closet but should take priority someplace in your room to remind you not to leave your wrist bare. Practically speaking, a watch can help us stay on time and even motivate us to get ahead of our schedules. With the rise of technology, it can even read our text messages, tell us whose calling our cellphones, and assist us in staying healthy by tracking our steps. It’s an efficient piece that reminds us how important time truly is and in reality, how we are all given the same amount of time to accomplish what we need to do.

The pieces of clothing you wear are more than just a covering from the elements. They are statement makers, givers, and receivers regardless of whether we want them to or not. These basic items have the ability to do something for us that only they can, and that lies in the simplicity of something beloved; like those pair of shoes that have taken you miles away from home and have always brought you back.

Julia Selwyn

Julia Selwyn

Julia Selwyn is a Department Head for the Daily Runner.