Wardrobe 101

WardrObe Wonders

Happy day, dear reader!

Hope yours is a great one! I know it’s a personal question, but… What do you have in your closet? Lots of Building Basics? Some Style Staples? What about a few Wardrobe Wonders? 

What’s a Wardrobe Wonder, you ask? A WardrObe Wonder is a little hard to define, but you know one when you see it! Wardrobe Wonders are also known as Heroes, or Show-Stoppers. They are those pieces that jump out and say “Here I am!” Unlike Building Basics, which are the basis of most wardrobes, or even Style Staples, which are commonly found but less utilized, Wardrobe Wonders are fewer in number, and many women fear them.

The first thing to understand about a WardrObe Wonders is that a Wonder is completely personality driven. One woman’s Wonder might be another’s Style Staple. People with bolder, more Dramatic, Creative, or Rebellious personalities are more likely to have Wardrobe Wonders in their closets. Classics, Relaxeds, and Elegant Chics are less likely to buy, let alone wear, a Wardrobe Wonder. Feminines are on the fence…

What’s a Wonder?

After pussyfooting around a definition, let me try to get this out in black and white. A WardrObe Wonder is a piece of clothing or accessory that makes a person go “WOW!” and makes everything with it look better. It could be a pattern, a texture, or color that creates the Wow effect. Think about a brightly patterned coat, or an unusual pair of shoes. Here’s a few examples:

All of these are real WOW pieces. It could be the color, like the red pants or patchwork handbag. Neither would garner nearly as much attention in brown. Wow can be shine or sparkle, like the necklace or the wedge trainers. WOW could be the pattern like the maxi-dress. That dress is not for a shrinking violet; it would always be front and center. The booties sport a more subdued colorway, but are still quite the WOW, especially with those giant ribbon laces. Speaking of giant; oversized is another way to get wow. WOW might be the texture, like the brocade jacket, or the faux fur. Either of these with a pair of jeans and a white tee would be the outfit-maker! (Now I am coveting that pink faux-fur jacket…) Or WOW can be a combination of details, like the beaded cuff bracelet at the top: it’s got color, pattern, texture, and shine all going on. On this smaller scale, it works!

Too Many Wonders

Most wardrobes are built of predominantly Building Basics, a smaller number of Style Staples, and just a few Wardrobe Wonders. There’s a good reason for this! Too many Wardrobe Wonders can leave you with a closet full of gorgeous clothes and not an outfit to wear. Wardrobe Wonders spend so much time standing out that they don’t often play well with others, so if you don’t have enough supporting pieces (those Building Basics). Those drama queen Wardrobe Wonders don’t like to share the spotlight, and don’t mix well with other Wonders. Imagine the sartorial equivalent of a WWE Divas Smackdown! Note: There are people for whom too many wonders are just right! Cue… Iris Apfel!

Too Few Wonders

No wonders leave a wardrobe feeling lackluster, and ordinary. Now, if your personality is on the more subdued side, and wearing a Wonder leaves you feeling stressed out and vulnerable, that’s okay! You don’t need to go out of the house in a Pucci print coat. Your wonder might be a pair of red pumps you wear when you need a little “party.” If even a pair of colored pumps feels too bold, your wonder might be a quirky coat lining, or frilly underthings that no one but you knows are there. Your wonder should make you smile, and feel more confident. Now, let’s practice!

One Wonder

What are your natural Wonders”? What attracts you? Shoes? Jewelry? Hawaiian shirts? Colorful bangles? Those pieces we find ourselves collecting are the wonders we are meant to wear!

Two Wonders

Three Wonders

And none of these outfits are nearly as OTT as our fabulous Iris! So how about you? What Wardrobe Wonders attract you? Are you comfortable wearing them, or do you feel overdone? Please share in the comments below! I do so love to hear from you…

Stylishly yours,



    Liz, I just LOVE those shoes with the ribbons! I own some Doc. Martens with wallpaper pattern from a English castle with ribbon ties that I LOVE! I guess that’s a Wardrobe Wonder!

  • Natalie

    I’m firmly in the Too Few Wonders camp but Jill has an amazing green faux-fur gillet that I’d love to borrow. I’d just try it and pretend to be more adventurous and glamorous for day.

    • closetplayadmin

      Thanks for visiting, Natalie! I bet Jill would loan you that gillet in a hearbeat, she’s like that! I don’t have a lot of wonders in my closet either; I’ve been told it looks boring. But I make up for it by piling together smaller wonders, and patterns. My faux fur is a navy scarf, not nearly as exciting as Jill’s gillet or the pink jacket in the post… It would make a fabulous addition for a Sublime, though!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.