Legos: The Building Blocks of a Wardrobe

While the bedroom converted into a closet (I also have racks of clothes in our loft, smh) does not echo this sentiment, I truly believe in building from your fundamentals.

If you create an essential classic capsule collection, you will always have something to wear.

Do be reminded that your classic, my classic and Vogue’s are not the same.  I would never advise anyone to purchase “must-have” items if they truly are not you. I read countless blogs/articles suggesting what’s in and what’s out. I like the post, comment appropriately (you like how I snuck that in) and then proceed to my (style) business as usually.

I have an extremely conservative style to which I add wild-cards in small doses. When you have a signature style it becomes extremely easy to determine what is worth the investment and what isn’t.

When I am uncertain if a purchase is a timeless treasure, or a moments pleasure I elect to buy “play-play” pieces to determine how often will I actually wear the piece in question. I will admit, not every purchase I’ve made was an investment or worth it. In a future post I’ll list the items I could have and should have done without.

But for now I’ll list the pieces that have played an integral part of building my wardrobe.

A solid dress.

Of course my go-to is noir but do not feel that your wardrobe isn’t chic if you do not own a noir dress. Noir isn’t everyone’s neutral or safe option. If rogue is your baseline, bravo! Nude? Namaste! Whatever color makes you feel unstoppable wear that as your base.

2 Chainz.

Or fifteen in my case. J’adore jewelry. Faux or precious. There is no denying that adorning your décolletage with floating pearls or Cuban links pulls a look together. Find a go to necklace and wear it religiously! If it’s costume and you absolutely adore it, buy three.

Reliable, reusable, resourceful bag.

There is so much controversy over the Louis Vuitton Neverfull. I am here to say, that bag is EVERYTHING. If you are a working woman the Neverfull will see you from board meetings to the billard, tastefully. What I love most about the Neverfull is its strength. It’s truly magic. I have carried a work laptop, an iPad, 1.5 liters of water, toiletry pouch, hardback book(s), a janitors set of keys and my sons Nintendo 3DS, along with countless unwrapped mints. I’m uncertain what top secret clearance holding NASA physicist Louis Vuitton hired to design la belle but I thank them, endlessly.

Your everyday bag does not have to be designer but insure that it is leather, sturdy and structured for a pulled together look.

These shoes are made for walking.

I do not carry an extra set of shoes. The heels I leave the house in are the heels I climb (mental) hills, chase trains and twirl with the boys at happy hour in. With that being noted, I can’t cut corners. I must have a shoe that can withstand the sheer force of impact that’s delivered every time these size quarante touch down on zee ground.

Cost does NOT always equate to quality. I had several pairs of “bloody shoes” (prior to them becoming a pop culture phenomenon.) Ils ne sont pas pour moi. They weren’t practical for me. The narrow cut and the rigid material didn’t mesh well for sunrise to sunset escapades. There’s a plethora of designers I’d recommend if anyone is in the market for a pair of shoes that will stand the test of time.

Un + Deux = Trois

Even my Barbie wears a trois piece

The third piece: cardigan, blazer, motor or tweed. Whatever you choose be certain that it is tailored to your liking. Boyfriend, boxy, snatched or sinched. If you feel great, trust me, you’ll look greater.


I absolutely love that word. Ma grand mere referred to all of her shirts as “blouses.” Saying the word makes me smile. Not everyone needs or wants a blanc collared shirt. Blanc tops so happens to be my stable. Whether it’s a classic white tee, a silk blouse, or a printed button up, be certain that it is quality and always fits you well.

Apple Bottoms Jeans.

If you said “boots with the fur” we’re besties. If you physically got “low low low low low low low” we were separated at birth. A dependable bottom is your EVERYTHING. Pencil skirt, tailored trousers or a straight leg pair of jeans, whatever you fancy, buy multiple and think outside of the box when styling them. I have styled, altered and revamped this noir textured full skirt for over dix ans.

Deuces Wild.

I live for a wild card! You know, that piece that no one saw coming because “it doesn’t look like you.” I’m uncertain what your wildcard is but mine was the Balenciaga City Bag I recently purchased in Madrid. This wasn’t an impulse purchase. The BCB bag pre-dates “Jessie” (I reinvent myself every cinq years.) Nothing about the BCB says “Jessie.” It lacks structure, has multiple zippers and is adorned in three too many tassels. But I made it mine. If you’re always in cargo pants, throw on a tweed jacket. If you live in sneakers, switch up to a pair of brogues. Wild cards are pineapples on pizza of the fashion world.

Each one of the items listed above is a certain wardrobe builder. Once you have a solid capsule collection, you can begin to add on-trend items or introduce patterns and prints, seamlessly.

What items in your wardrobe are absolute necessities?

Ciao for now 💋


  1. Stacey Mac

    Love this blog. I was just explaining to my cousin that you have to always have a good black dress, slacks and a good button down in your closet. My staples are a cardigan, black slacks, black pencil skirt and a good pair of loafers. I LOVE red, but for some strange reason I don’t buy a lot of it. That will change this fall.

    • I remember you and your love for red! The photoshoot you had in my then suitors car because of the red interior! That was such a fun night. Get a pair of red shoes this fall!!!

    • Millicent

      Bonjour Jessie! 1st you are an amazing writer! 2nd yes we were separated at birth 😉 3rd Thank you for sparking in me what I have always loved staple pieces, yet I NEVER buy them anymore. I feel like I did a much better job in my 20’s amd 30’s now I am trash, whomp.whomp. let me not be so negative on myself. So I have gone down the rabbit hole of your blog. I normally dont even get on social media on Sundays but today I did and your post sent me here. (not this particular blog) but here nontheless. lol. I would love your shoe suggestion as well. I am also looking forward to you opening your vintage brick and mortar shop. Makes me made I sent my bloomingdales coat to thredup and they didnt even sell it it for sure is vintage by now. sigh . . .

      • I thank you so much for spending time with me! Oh la la! Shoes! Ok, I will certainly do a post about shoes.

  2. M.allen.h

    I love reading your blog! I have a small closet…Navy Blue and black (uniform) EVERYDAY. Do you have any suggestions on a good bag that’s would fit a more masculine profile?

  3. Phoenix

    THANK you for being honest about the CLs! They are notoriously uncomfortable for us girls with….more practical feet (in my efforts to be more elegant, I will stop just short of my usual nickname for them, my “grape stompers”). I’d love a blog about what to look for in a quality shoe that stands the test of time.

  4. Jay

    Hi there! This list has to be one of the best that I’ve ever read. It’s comprehensive while allowing the wearer to determine what’s gonna work best for them. Thank you for sharing.

    • I thank you so much for your message! I try to be as realistic as possible. No two people are alike; we need the freedom to develop our style…we may need a bit of guidance along the way, but hey, we’re still our own people.

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