anatomy of an alt wardrobe : the basics

by Meagan Breen

The structure of a strong and basic wardrobe is the tried and true basics!  Now, I am in no way here to down play your vinyl pants, corsets, and bullet belts, but you should have a good grounding in which to make your “alt” wardrobe smoking!

The idea of having a solid “base” to a wardrobe is important, you’ll have versatility which will allow you to create many different looks.  Having a good foundation will only make choosing outfits easier, and you’ll be able to accommodate your mood and possible changes of interest.  I personally like to view at my wardrobe as a library of “looks”.  But at the same time, I also like to throw in a few oddballs for fun.

Let’s go over some good basics to own…

Black Pants – jeans . Dickies . flares . straight-legged . boot cut
You need this item in your closet, as it can be dressed up or down.  Black pants can be both versatile and comfortable or edgy and sexy.  I personally prefer a skinny or boot cut denim pant, as I can wear them with a variety of different shirts.

Boots – heeled . combat . flat . girlie . feminine . masculine . sleek
Boots are a monumental staple.  Guys just need to own them (as you can wear them practically all the time) and girls should have more than one pair (so you have the right style for the right outfit).  Even during family occasions, shine those babies up, and people will think no less of your shoes (even though they are the Doc’s you just wore out the night before to the club).

Jacket – blazer . bomber . suit-coat
Don’t just think “conservative blahs”; you really can create a signature piece in your wardrobe with a jacket.  Slap on some pins, patches, deconstruct, reconstruct, and make it yours.  I know people who are “known” by their jackets.  Plus it keeps you warm and may protect from beer spills.

The Plain Tee
What can I say, you just need to own plain tees! Solid colors in black, white, and all colors of the rainbow. Plain tee’s can be great under a dress, with a corset, or under a men’s suit coat.

Accessories – bandanas . pendants . band buttons . necklaces . rings . bracelets . handbags … the list can go on forever

Making an outfit with this selection of basic must-haves is simple, effective, and stylish.

For example:
For a lady: Take a white fitted tee, black skinny jeans, cropped and fitted pinstripe blazer, and Doc Martens.  Then throw on some colored bangles, a pendant necklace, and some band pins.
For a gent: A black tee, dark wash boot-cut jeans, DIY patched suit-coat, TUK monkey boots, and black leather wrist cuffs put together make a great outfit.

Think about all the items in your wardrobe, and then separate them into the basic categories above, once you start outfit building the possibilities are endless.  It’s just like shopping, but in your own closet.  These suggestions are geared to help you stretch your fashion outlook and see that spending a lot of moo-lah is not always necessary.

So, now we’re all set on basics.  When you start buying eclectic pieces to add to your wardrobe, you won’t be scratching your head thinking, “Why did I buy this?  I have nothing that matches it!”  You are prepared for any fashion disaster or success, thanks to those basics!!!!!!

Suggestions and Tips:

When shopping at the mall, online, etc, look at your closet before you leave for your shopping adventure.  This way you have a fresh grasp on what’s in your dark vortex of a closet before you go hog-wild and come home with those ass-less chaps you thought would look good with your Mickey Mouse tee.  Evaluate your cash flow too!  If you’re looking to shop smart, don’t be impulsive (well at least not all the time)!

Here are some fashion websites to build up those basics! and

Meagan Hendrickson
Meagan Hendrickson was a founding member and now is a fashion contributor for Auxiliary.
Meagan Hendrickson on FacebookMeagan Hendrickson on Wordpress
Auxiliary Magazine
Auxiliary Magazine
Auxiliary Magazine
Auxiliary Magazine