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How to Style Different Basics & Minimize Your Wardrobe

Updated: May 1, 2022

[from the Archives]

As much as we LOVE having a diverse wardrobe that allows us to dress to every emotion and phase we're feeling, I've learned how absolutely impractical it is. Closet space is hard to come by in most cities, and the never-ending cycle of buying into a trend only to wear it once and then donate it a few seasons later is as exhausting as it is harmful to the environment. There are many ways that you can express yourself in clothes that don't include massive shopping "hauls" each season or one-and-done articles of clothing. None of these lessons come easy, but learning how to minimize and stretch your wardrobe with timeless pieces and uniquely styled basics is pivotal to long term sustainability. We're notorious for packing 3+ weeks of travel into one duffle bag with no repeating outfits by styling smarter, not harder. Below are some Disco Frank favorite basics and timeless pieces, as well as ideas for styling them for every occasion - by no means is this an exhaustive list, just a starting place to inspire your own ideas:

Black Tee

It would be remiss of us not to start this list with our all time favorite, the basic black t-shirt. Before getting into it, we'd like to stress the importance of this t-shirt being of good quality* and comfortable material (*this does not necessarily mean expensive). We love the black t-shirt because you can dress it up or dress it down for every occasion: a trip to the beach, date night, drinks with the girls, a job interview, a rock concert - the options are truly endless if you accessorize well and think outside of the box.

A Black Turtleneck

Sister to the black t-shirt is the black turtleneck. You can make essentially all of the same outfits with the black turtleneck as you can with the t-shirt, but it's particularly useful in colder weather, and dare we say it, a bit more formal. No matter how you pair it, you can't go wrong with a simple black turtleneck.

White Button Up Shirt

Another staple is the white button up shirt - a versatile basic that has the potential to elevate any outfit. The options here are endless - collared undershirt, beach cover up, day at the office, running errands, after work drinks, Sunday brunch and so much more. The best part of the white button up shirt is that if you don't already own one, guaranteed you can steal...we mean borrow one from a man in your life's closet.

A Good Coat/Jacket

You can go any direction here - peacoat, leather trench coat, denim jacket, fur coat, biker jacket, varsity bomber jacket, etc. and the principle stays the same: a good coat/jacket can completely change the perception of a look (and keep you warm). We can't begin to count the number of times we've been wearing an otherwise mundane outfit, threw a favorite jacket on top and *boom* compliment-city. Having a good coat or jacket in your wardrobe is vital to your style 3 out of 4 quarters of the year and is often overlooked. This is the one area where if you're going to spend more money, it's often worth it for better quality and longevity of wear. You're doing a disservice to yourself if you don't have at least one go-to coat or jacket.

Denim Jeans

This one goes without saying, but a GOOD pair of jeans goes a long way and should be one of the most important things in your wardrobe. There's nothing worse than being out-and-about and the only thing you can think of is peeling your jeans off the second that you get home. The key things to look for when picking out a pair of jeans that will last you awhile are the size and fit, stretchiness of the fabric and the wash. Remember, if you're in between sizes or don't want to feel like you have to unbutton your pants to breathe after a meal, we recommend sizing up because it's a lot easier to wear a belt than it is to feel like your circulation is being cut off all day from the waist down. +Bonus points if it hugs your bum in the right places to give you that extra bout of confidence!

Graphic Tee

Anyone who knows Disco Frank's creator knows the importance of the graphic tee. Dare we say the graphic tee is one of the most overlooked pieces of any wardrobe. You can dress it up or down as much as you'd like and it makes for a GREAT addition to your suitcase on any trip because it can double as a pajama top, chic going out look or even a workout shirt. Finding a loose, cotton t-shirt that makes you feel comfortable around the clock and even adds a pop of color into your wardrobe is one of the easiest (and perhaps most affordable) ways to spice up your closet.


Give a girl a blazer and she can take on the world, or something like that. Blazers are a power tool - you put one on and instantly transform into a new person, specifically, one that means ~business~. We love how classic, and chic a blazer can be, yet still have the versatility to give a wide array of outfit choices (not to mention an added layer for warmth). You can also usually steal one of these bad boys from your dad's, brother's or boyfriend's closet. Throw it over a casual dress for a day running errands, pair it with jeans and heels for a classy dinner look, wear it for an interview or business meeting - you can't go wrong with a good blazer!

Something That Makes You Feel Good About Yourself

Last but certainly not least, you should have at least one (but hopefully MANY more) item(s) in your closet that makes you feel like a million dollars without fail. It does not matter what it is, how much it costs, or where you got it from, you deserve to feel good about yourself every day and in every way. We all have our moments of frustration trying to pick out an outfit and feeling awful in your body - it's human nature not to always feel 100% but during these moments, having an ole' faithful, reliable item can be your saving grace even if it's your old ratty sweatshirt from fifth grade or your grandma's hand-me-down purse. Find what that item is - or even a color that you can turn to, to make you feel ready to take on anything the day may throw your way.

Hopefully by the end of this post you've gotten the gist that most, if not all, of these pieces are most likely already in your wardrobe. If it's not in your closet, it's probably in the closet of a close friend's that you can borrow. What we're getting at is that if you want to minimize or diversify your wardrobe you shouldn't have to spend money on new clothes, but if by chance you do, we'll provide a list of a few [albeit, non-exhaustive] favorite stores for shopping basics. The most important thing should be that you feel comfortable and can move around in the clothes, and that they're of quality* and easily washable material (*this does not mean expensive).

1 commento

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