the six bottoms you want to own

Imagine that you had a job interview, a date to a cool new art gallery, and a trip to the zoo with your nieces and nephews all planned for next week. What are you going to wear? Do you have 20 options to choose from for each? Do you have even one?

One of the most nerve-racking things about doing a closet purge is thinking, “What if I have to go somewhere and have nothing to wear because I threw it out?” or “Will I have any clothes left after this?!”

Cleaning out your closet can be overwhelming. If you’re like me, it may have left you going, “Ok. So basically all I own that I like to wear are dark skinny jeans and cotton shirts”. Knowing what articles of clothing you “should” own is like trying to determine what to pack for a surprise trip, there are tons of factors and many unknowns. Still, I think most women have a need for certain basic items (and probably multiples of some of those items, depending on their daily activities).

I found a great resource in Brass Clothing about choosing essentials for your wardrobe, and it inspired me to make my own list, starting from the bottom.

I have three categories, with only two items in each category: office/formal; date night/semi-casual; and casual.

the six bottoms you want to own

1. pencil skirt | 2. trouser pant | 3. black jeans or leggings | 4. dark jeans | 5. utility pant or chinos | 6. lightwash casual denim

office attire: pencil skirt and trouser pant

Although I no longer work in an office, I still think it’s a good idea to own a good pencil skirt and trouser pant to wear to church, a formal meeting, or to make a presentation. A mid-length pencil skirt is an ideal piece of clothing to own, because it is appropriate in so many circumstances, and not too short.

“date night” attire: black denim and dark skinny jeans

Black denim (or a dressy pair of leggings like my favorite H&M ones) and dark skinny jeans are easy to dress up and down. If tailored properly, they can be worn with heels or flats and their possibilities are pretty endless. Short of a funeral, I would pretty much wear them anywhere.

casual attire: modern cargo and light-wash denim

Cargo pants?! What is this, the 90s? This style of pants may not be for everyone, so a slim fitting chino style pant in khaki would also be a good choice. They look great with sandals, tennis shoes, booties and tall boots and pair well with a casual button up or cotton tee.

The light-wash denim could be boyfriend style jeans or something more fitting with some distress. The idea is that they can be thrown on to go see a ball game with your husband or go junk shopping with your mom. They go well with t-shirts and even heels for an edgier look.


What items would you add to this list? What items could you live without? I’d love to hear what you think!



  1. Katie Doyle · January 26, 2016

    So glad you found the post helpful! Looks like you’re off to a great start with your capsule!


    • Katie Lingor · January 27, 2016

      Absolutely! I look forward to adding some Brass pieces soon!


  2. Pingback: the three dresses you want to own | kate+48

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