The simple bare necessities

talking with my mother yesterday about clothes, she contrasted her approach to mine by explaining that she desires a functional wardrobe. i protested that i too want a functional wardrobe. that while i want the items i have to thrill me beyond words, i want them to be functional pieces and my love for beautiful clothing never supersedes my value that they be functional ("functional" here meaning that i can safely and comfortably wear them and would want to, and do). she very much seemed to think that functional was an objective term. i'm not sure it is. obviously career/lifestyle might influence the type of clothing and amount strictly required to function effectively, but what about the extras?

in your opinion, how many shoes would a functional wardrobe consist of? and purses?
how do you define "functional" in terms of clothing?


Iheartfashion said...

Love the Chalayan table dress, but can you sit down in it?
As for how many shoes/bags a wardrobe should consist of, I'd have a hard time winnowing it down to fewer than 20 of each.

editor said...

20 purses????
okay now, remember, the key word here is "functional," a functional wardrobe. not a dream wardrobe.

Iheartfashion said...

Does that seem really extravagent? I'm not saying 20 $2000 designer purses, of course. Because I have around 20 bags (bought over the last 15 years) and I change bags every week or two, so I DO use them all.

Carlene said...

Purses...I woke up thinking about this. 5. 1 large brown(ish), 1 large black, 1 small brown, 1 small black, one pretty, embellished small for evening. This would be perfectly functional for *me*. (I need the large brown, and the small embellished.)

Shoes...I have no idea. Two? One for each foot? My brain can't really wrap around this concept.

Meg from The Bargain Queens & All About Appearances said...

Well, as the nudists have taught me, you don't *need* any clothes -- it's just about fitting your clothes to your lifestyle (or vice versa).

Beyond simply allowing me to conduct business outside of the house and nudist camps, a "functional wardrobe" for me is one that projects the image I want to project to the world. And although it's fairly tied to that idea, I also want to enjoy getting dressed everyday.

I do have a large wardrobe, especially when it comes to accessories. My family has been kidding me that I'm on my way to having a collection to rival Imelda Marcos.

If I had to narrow it down to just a few things, my base outfit would be a white blouse, a black or gray skirt, a purple bag, my yellow jacket, and some brightly colored ballet flats. That's my basic formula nowadays: neutral clothes, bright accessories. You'll rarely find me using a neutral colored purse.

Prêt-à-Porter P said...

Fuctioning essentials:
6 shoes: 1. Black driving shoe 2. Red pump (goes with everything) 3. Simple black ankle boot 4. Black ballet flat (day to night) 5. A black wedge heel shoe of some kind (for walking) and 6. A black pump with a verrry high heel

As far as bags, a roomy bag that can be worn cross body is absolutely essential. But I rotate all by bags for outfit/by what I have to carry/etc…

Function is as long as I’m wearing it. There’s usually a method to my madness…

Shar said...

I only have three bags, a large slouchy brown Michael Kors(my everday bag...I'm in love with it 2 years after initial purchase), a medium Michael Kors(brown again), and red structured clutch for evening. For me, this is the perfect bag wardrobe. It is neither frivolous nor sparse in my opinion, but I doubt what is perfect for me is perfect for everyone else.

Shoes are another story altogether. I always try to pare down (no pun intended, ok, maybe it was), but I cannot seem to live happily without around 10 pairs. I have an erratic lifestyle that includes two jobs with totally different dress codes and a social life thrown in as well. And I just can't be happy with just black and brown, I need at least one pair of red and right now I am loving a yellow pair I just aquired. And boots too! Don't forget the boots!

enc said...

Alright, here goes:

1 daytime—neutral color
1 daytime—wacky color
1 briefcase (if needed)
1 evening bag—matte/fabric
1 evening bag—sparkly/beaded
1 tote/shopper
1 sporty bag
7 total

1 trainer for the gym/sports
1 trainer for the street/style
3 flats—black, brown, color
4 heels—black, brown, color, metallic
1 boot (dressy), neutral color
1 boot (weather), any color
1 casual walking shoe, any color
12 total

I wonder if I missed something?

Anonymous said...

^^^ enc, in general, I concur with you, save perhaps, I'd lose a pair or two of shoes and one bag. :-)

Functional to me means having a wardrobe that has you covered for the majority of occaisions for which you must dress. This means, for special occaisions, perhaps a clothing purchase would be necessary (e.g. a wedding).



editor said...

iheartfashion - you know, it isn't the cost that seemed extravagant (it wouldn't matter to me if there were 20 $10 bags or 20 5k bags), i just lack the imagination to anticipate using/needing 20 bags - but you do. could you imagine operating with fewer?

carlene - you woke up thinking about purses? hello friend. :)

meg - your basic sounds very pretty...and functional. ;)

candid cool - i am seriously taking notes! love the shoe breakdown.

shar- i am a big fan of long-term bag satisfaction.

enc - minus the gym shoes at the top (i simply have no where to wear them), i think you just listed all my shoes...

sabina - i think that's what i have, a functional wardrobe, by your definition...and that's why i was totally justified in buying a new dress (not true, but worth a shot).

Meg from The Bargain Queens & All About Appearances said...


enc said...

Nowhere to wear gym shoes? What about the GYM?! (the horror!)

editor said...

i do own sneakers, but gym shoes? let's go back for a moment. start at the beginning. what is this "gym" that you speak of?

enc said...

I made up that bit about the "gym." It doesn't really exist, I was just trying to trick you. Did it work?

editor said...

i thought about it all day. i do know a Gym, but he spells it differently.

enc said...

I think most guys with that name spell it 'Jem,' don't they?

editor said...

hmmm, must be thinking of someone else then...

Anonymous said...

Functional, hmmm. A pair of black flats, a pair of colorful flats, a pair of super comfortable shoes (sneakers, driving shoes, whatever fits the bill), a pair of boots... that's it for me.
Bags? One nice day bag, one big schlepper bag or tote, and then a smaller bag, but not exclusively an evening bag. So, 3.
Functional means no hesitation about wearing it and using it. It has to be applied, used on a regular basis, and then it is functional - so I guess I define it by its function... Does that make sense?

enc said...

Maybe it's "Gem."