The Always List

March 30, 2017

“The Always List,  timeless pieces that are the foundation of every wardrobe.”

Over the last three years, I have definitely become a lot better at making considered choices when it comes to buying clothes, which has probably stemmed from the fact that I’ve financially prioritised other things like travelling, homewares and of course a mortgage! When I made the decision to try cut down on my fashion spending the first thing I did was to write a list of all the pieces I really needed and wanted in my wardrobe for the season and tried to stick to it.

I called this The Always List, and defined it as the key pieces that would make the basis of my wardrobe for the season or years to come, that I could easily incorporate into all aspects of my sartorial life. At first it was really hard as I hadn’t set the list up with enough flexibility to accommodate ad-hoc items, so I decided to have two running lists, one which consists of ten essentials or key pieces and another which consists of five ad-hoc pieces for the season – cue your fashion pieces. Having this running list of priorities has really helped when I’ve wanted to make an impulse purchase or to avoid any duplication in my wardrobe. Continue reading to find out what is on my current list, and tips on how to create your very own Always List.


I thought I would share with you three items that were on my Always List for this season. The first was a striped tee, now if you know me well you would know that I have a serious issue love affair with stripes and that it pretty much forms part of my daily uniform, so needs seasonal updates. I discovered this one by Assembly through Surfstich and knew it would be perfect, impeccably comfortable for travelling and lounging yet simple and structured enough to wear to work with cigarette pants as pictured or tucked into a playful skirt with statement earrings to dress it up. The classic striped tee is a staple that every wardrobe needs.

The second was a new carry-all, I have had a thing for micro bags these last few seasons but realistically they are definitely not practical for work or for travel! I’ve had my eye on the Mansur Gavriel bucket bag for years, but was so put off by never actually being able to buy one – because they always sold out and the steep price increase, that I just decided to boycott them! Luckily long time favourite Minima Handcrafted (see here) who create beautiful handmade leather goods, created their own version. I usually always opt for black but when I saw the rich masala colour I immediately fell in love and knew that it would add that much-needed pop of colour to my wardrobe! Knowing that it was handmade with love by a Perth local was also a major plus and better yet, you can where this bag two ways! It comes with two detachable straps so you can wear it hands-free as a shoulder bag or carry it in hand with the top carry handle.


The third item was a pair of statement sunglasses to replace my favourite Le Specs ones that I sadly accidentally broke. While I do take a lot of care of my things I never seem to have luck when it comes to sunglasses so will probably never invest in a very expensive pair! I am a big fan of Le Specs for their classic yet interesting designs and their affordable price-point, and my last pair lasted me several years so I decided that my update would come from them as well. Surfstich has a great range of their designs – which made it hard to choose! I was tossing up between Liar Lair and the Halfmoon Magic ones, but I ended up getting the Halfmoon Magic sunglasses because I loved the reflective lens, which just adds a little fun to all my outfits.

the-essentialist-blogTips on writing your own Always List:

    1. Basics: I always start with basics, what are the key items that I need to replace or update or that my wardrobe cannot live without. E.g. A great pair of black skinny jeans.
    2. Prioritise: Ask yourself what you need most now and put that at the top of your list.
    3. Cost per wear: Ask yourself how much use you are going to get out of the item and for how long.
    4. Pick five: When I begin my list I try to only write five key pieces I need/want, that way I have flexibility to add more items come mid-season.
    5. Substitute: If you have already completed your list, but there is something new and exciting that you desperately want, simply replace one of the items with this new piece – try to avoid adding to the list as it defeats the whole purpose!



I hope you have found this article helpful, and I would love to hear if you have any tips to make more responsible purchasing decisions. Xx Nadine

Outfit details: Le Specs Halfmoon Magic sunglasses from Surfstich, striped tee by Assembly from Surfstich, bucket bag by Minima Handcrafted, cigarette trousers from Asos (similar here or here) and pumps by Betts.

This post has been created in collaboration with Surfstich and Minima Handcrafted.

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