The top half of my perfect 'all occasion' dress

The recent events in Brisbane and North Queensland where people have lost everything got me thinking, what would you do if you had to start all over again, I mean completely all over again with your wardrobe.

A few friends have had family members lose their whole wardrobe in the recent floods. The clothes were so covered in mud and yuck and grime that they were unsalvagable.

So what are the basic pieces that you would need to start again? Or, looking at it from a different angle – what are the essential items every girl should have in her wardrobe for all occasions.  Here is my two cents worth, and why:

1. Something that you feel comfortable wearing for almost any occasion. I know that sounds like a funny way to start this list, but you know that piece of clothing that you have right now that you can throw on to go to the shops, or out for dinner with friends, or just relax around the house in? Mine is a black jersey maxi dress from (you guessed it) SACHA DRAKE. It is elegant enough to wear out of the house, but comfortable enough to lounge around in. This is the MOST important piece of clothing in your wardrobe because it can cover many different situations. It can be a summer cotton frock, or a comfortable pair of jeans (although we will get to those later) or a great pair of shorts and a singlet.

2. The perfect pair of jeans. Ha! I know this is actually a fashion myth, but you know what I mean. Coming from a girl who avoids jeans like the plague most of the time, there is something to be said for these wardrobe staples. You don’t have to spend a fortune on a good pair of jeans either, Just Jeans and Jeans West are always a good place to start and if you are lucky you will get someone to help you in the store who knows a thing of two about jeans. The other place to try for great jeans is Levi’s – they have now brought out 3 different bum sizes! How awesome is that – watch this space for more on that in a later post.

3. Tops and Tees. So we need something to go back with the jeans. A few basic tops or tees in a shape and colour and style that works for you is essential. If you find a few longer version of tees and tops that you like too, these will go back well with the next essential item…..

4. Black leggings. See Tops and Tees – get some tops and tees that are long enough to wear over leggings and you can almost eliminate the need for jeans in your wardrobe – see above my thoughts on jeans. Black leggings saved my life (and sanity) last winter. As previously mentioned I am not a jeans girl, but pop a pair of THICK black leggings under a short dress, a long top or with a jacket or coat or cardigan that covers all the right bits (you know what bits I’m talking about – LEGGINGS ARE NOT PANTS – COVER YOUR BUTT!) Leggings are great for the trans-seasonal times too, layer up summer clothes to create a more winter look.

The SACHA DRAKE Iris Dress

5. The LBD (Little Black Dress). This is an item that every girl should have in her wardrobe at all times. It’s the dressed-up equivalent to the comfort item mentioned in the first point. It doesn’t matter what fabric, shape, style or length this dress is as long as you feel great in it. Cue, Witchery, MYER (all the usual suspects) will always have LBD’s on offer for around the $200 mark. The SACHA DRAKE Iris dress is another LBD option (did I mention that 3/4 of my wardrobe is SD). It retails for less that $200 and is a great classic shape that will travel well.

Witchery classic ballet flats

6. Ballet flats. The final item on my list. Black is best, or tan, but if you want to add a little bit of personality to your basics, go for a pop colour. Country Road and Witchery both did a beautiful blood orange ballet flat in their classic style. The perfect basic shoe, the ballet flat will work with afore mentioned leggings, jeans, comfort outfit and even the LBD for a less formal occasion. Now toe cleavage (the lines of your toes that may, or may not poke  out from the toe part of the shoe) is a whole other discussion, but I am a fan of a little toe cleavage, but just like other sorts of cleavage, there is a fine line between classy and ridiculous so watch those toes girls.

So the list of essentials could go on and on (can you count a pair of Louboutins as essential to a girls wardrobe!?) but I think these are a great place to start. I hope there aren’t too many of you out there that have had to totally start again but if you did, what would be the first thing you would need?