wardrobe basics.


I've been thinking a lot about cold weather basics. I now live in a building that is basically like an old refrigerator. It locks in the heat in the summer and the cold in the winter. So instead of dressing like it's still summertime all year 'round, you gotta dress like it's 50 degrees inside (because it is). This morning I went into my sewing room and put on my red wool hood, wrapped a blanket around my waist, wore a pair of wool socks and wool slippers and then a long wool cardigan over the top of a plaid shirt and long sleeved knit shirt. I was still cold, and unable to move I might add. Not ideal wear for working either. So I got to thinking about my wardrobe and how it would be nice if someone could put together a list of basics. Just your good old basic jeans, flannel shirts and pair of good boots that work for winter snow and rain. I put a file on my desktop and I'm beginning to acquire a list of items online that I am interested in adding to my "basics" wardrobe. Ideally I would make most of my clothing, but I don't have time and when it comes to the end of the day, I'm really not interested in doing a lot of sewing for myself. That may change, but this is how I feel for the present. That said, I've already purchased a vintage pattern and wool for a new winter coat I plan to make myself. Go figure...

Here are a few items I've found that I think are made reasonably well and should be sturdy and last a long time.

{top to bottom: lands' end striped top*, lands' end "canvas" slim jeans, ll bean flannel tucked shirt, ll bean sturdy black leggings, sunday factory top, fox river red heel socks, lands' end chelsea boot**, ll bean 10" maine hunting shoe.}

*i own this top and love it. exactly what i was looking for. btw, i ordered a size xs.
**similar to the ones from toast, only not as expensive. not sure of the quality, though.


  1. That's it! I'm getting one of those land's end striped shirts, after having a few people recommend it.

    Also, I agree winter basics are a must, but you forgot a cardigan. I live in mine in the winter. :)

  2. you'll love it, martha! also, they seem to have sales quite often so i was able to get mine on sale plus free shipping. oh yeah. ;)

    and you're right. i did sort of forget the cardigans, but i almost feel like that should have its own post. i *live* in my wool cardigan. literally.

  3. I have the Land's End striped top, in reverse colors. LOVE it! I also got one of LE's Beach Living Bikinis (on sale), and it fits great, too.

    I'm also loving LL Bean's Flannel Rangeley Camp Shirt in 'cardinal red' plaid.

    'Glad to see I'm not the only one living in LE and LLBean these days!

  4. I love your choices! I've also got that same striped shirt, and the quality is fabulous. I was pleasantly surprised to see that all of your choices were from classic companies with reasonably priced basics, and not Steven Alan, Toast, APC... all of whom I love but can't afford :)

  5. ditto on the lands end top, i must have it!!
    honey, get a space heater or 5!! I have lived in a place (ok all my previous places were refrigerators)like that and we had several space heaters and they were more economical than using the actual baseboard heaters and they make em much safer nowadays. you could at least set one up by your sewing area.
    good luck staying warm...

  6. What crisp and pretty basics!! I love all the checks and browns! Our little house is much like the way your place is.....there is little to no insulation and we basically freeze in the winter! (Our front door actually freezes shut on occasion and need to be defrosted with a heat gun so we can get out!! yipes!) tee hee....Your blanket, layered outfit sounds much like what I throw over myself when it gets cold......oh the joys of rental life! tee hee

  7. I'm loving the plaid shirts you posted! I've been scouring the thrift stores for those, but they don't seem to be easy to find in Florida (unlike rather tacky amusement park or tropical print ones ;). I think I might have to put that Lands End striped shirt on my wishlist too. I have a black/white/metallic gold (not as tacky as it sounds) one that I bought at Target a few years ago (it was one of their designer collaboration lines), and love it. Blue and white would be just as at-home in my closet!

    ♥ Casey | blog

  8. anna, have you considered thermal underwear??
    not sure if that's what it's called in the US but i once worked in an archive which was f-r-e-e-z-i-n-g and a long sleeved thermal vest - tucked in - under whatever i was wearing made a huge difference.
    also fingerless gloves and a scarf around your neck/lower chest - i.e cover as much skin as possible - also works wonders.