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Chelsea shares the clothing items she gets by far the most use of, and which make up the basis of her everyday wardrobe (in her professional and personal lives). To see what items she tossed from her closet, check out this video: https://youtu.be/zG75m908_Gg.

Get a fun winter coat: https://www.racked.com/2017/11/3/16577514/silly-coat-faux-fur-fun

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Hey, guys.

It's Chelsea from The Financial Diet. And this week, I wanted to do a bit of a companion video to last year's video about my anti-haul, a.k.a. the items I was getting rid of in my wardrobe.

You guys really seem to like that video. And, of course, I'll link it to you in the description. But I also thought it might be interesting to do the flip side.

Because as much fun as it can be to look at all the kind of bad stuff I'm getting rid of and making fun of it, it's way more productive I think to talk about the items that we get a ton of use out of. Building a professional wardrobe is one of those big steps into adulthood that can completely change your confidence and your self-perception. But it can also be really expensive and overwhelming.

And while sometimes you're going to have to settle with wearing the stuff that you took with you from teenage or collegehood and/or the fast fashion items you might have in the back of your closet that you don't really like, you can also make it a point to look at the items that have gotten the best cost per use, figure out why they're so versatile and useful, and make them the basis of your wardrobe. These are the kind of items that you should buy in many colors, replace when they get old, and build the rest of your versatile interchangeable items around. This past weekend, I did a bit of a Marie Kondoing on my wardrobe.

And it was a good time to remind myself that these are the items around which I can really start thinking in terms of outfits, not just in terms of a bunch of bullshit that I have in my closet. So without further ado, I want to share with you guys my best wardrobe purchases and the basis of my 2019 wardrobe. So first, I'm going to start with my tops.

And something I should say before I show any items at all is that I have started doing something with my wardrobe, pretty much years ago, where I realized that all my stuff, as I talked about in that anti-haul video, used to be really like super fuffy and overly colorful and didn't really go with one another and didn't do me any favors. I do something, which I called at the time #neutrallife, where I basically just started buying all of my clothes in neutral colors like black, navy, white, cream, et cetera because, A, they're basically guaranteed to always be in style and work with my skin tone, but also be they all go with each other, so I can make way easier combinations. So you will see throughout all these items that that is basically all I own.

And although I do have a few colorful items, they are not the basis of my wardrobe, and they are not amongst my most useful purchases. And so the tops. So the first item I have here-- and I would ask you guys to forgive me that everything may indeed have a thin coating of Mona hairs on it because I usually have to lint roll myself.

I have two lint rollers right by my door that I use basically every time I walk out. And it's still not enough. But so probably the most useful and versatile top that I own, and I try to buy it in every color within the neutral spectrum, is just a crew neck sweater.

This one is from Uniqlo, and I love it. And this one's navy, which I probably get the most use out of. But I also have it in black and white.

And the thing I love about crew neck sweaters when they're fitted like this is that they're nice and conservative in terms of being high-necked and long-sleeved. But they also give a nice shape to whatever you're wearing. I don't really like sweaters that make me feel like the Abominable Snowman.

I like sweaters that are more fitted to my body. And the crew neck one is great. I often wear this with a button down shirt, which brings me to my next point-- my white button down shirts.

Now I probably have had 100 white button down shirts in the past few years. I have so many of them. This is the one that is-- let's be honest-- a little bit on its way out.

It's getting dingy and gross. This one's from Banana Republic, but you can buy it anywhere. I find that tight, button down shirts often when you are standing to the side or leaning over give you that awful little like thing between the buttons where it opens up a little bit.

But a white, button down shirt is probably the number one biggest go to that I have. And I find that any capsule wardrobe, if you want to call it that, or any sort of foundation for your wardrobe should contain at least one of these because you can do so many things with it. Just make sure to maintain them well.

I obviously wear deodorant, so it's easy to start getting the stains. But there are pretty good solutions-- DIY solutions-- to getting the stains out of them, which I'll link you to. And my last top that I get by far the most use out of is my black turtleneck.

And actually, cost per use-- this one's got to be pretty close because I've had it for about six years. And I've worn it steadily every single winter a dozen times at least. So I'm also-- similarly to blouses-- I feel like turtlenecks have kind of fallen out of favor.

But I really like them for multiple reasons. And probably the biggest one is that when they're fitted like this, they can really be great for nighttime or daytime. I feel like a nighttime turtleneck moment is very striking, and not enough people do it.

But also, you feel very comfortable and cozy. I'm someone who dresses pretty conservatively on the whole, not because I'm slut shaming or whatever. It has nothing to do with that.

It's more the fact that I used to dress in a way that was pretty immature, made me look younger than I was. And I feel like if you always dress a little bit older than you are, A, your clothes are way more likely to stay in style because they're going to be pretty classic. But also, B, you're going to be taken a little bit more seriously.

You look a little bit more put together. Obviously, making these videos, I'm pretty casual. I'm in my own home.

I don't want go crazy on my outfit or whatever. But if I'm going to any kind of meeting or anything important, I always want to make sure to project the air that I really take myself seriously. And a turtleneck is an extremely easy, easy, easy way to do that.

And the next category is just one item, but it's always worth mentioning. And that is a little black dress. This is my number one go to dress.

I wear it absolutely constantly. It is miraculous that it is not more damaged than it is. This, as you can see, is, I think it's called a tennis neck dress.

I don't know. It's the one with the high neck and open sleeves. But the great thing about it is you can easily put a little sweater or cardigan over it.

And it can be worn pretty much year round. But obviously, it kind of works best in summer. The thing about a black dress is it's not just a cliche, like it truly is probably the single most versatile item that you can have in any given wardrobe.

I would recommend-- this one's a little bit on the shorter side because I own my own company, so I can go to work naked if-- I'm kidding. I would get sued. No.

But I don't have a professional dress code at my office, so I can wear a dress like this, and it's fine. But if you do, I recommend when you're getting your little black dress to make sure that it's appropriate for office wear so that you can wear it both to the office and outside of it. But if you have a bit of a more flexible office, a dress like this is fantastic.

Little cardigan, like I said. Can't go wrong. And next category we have is bottoms.

And I would like to quickly make a note here that just because something is a foundational element of your wardrobe does not mean that it is basic and boring. Probably my favorite pair of pants-- these are, I believe, quelle surprise, Banana Republic, like every other item I own. I own an extraordinary amount of Banana Republic primarily because there is a Banana Republic outlet like a stone's throw from my home but also because it's great.

It never goes out of style. It all matches with each other. And although some of it can be quite conservative and drab, I have to say stuff like this is, to me, one of the most versatile things that you can own because I feel like, often, we default to thinking the bottom half of your body has to be super basic and boring, and the top half gets to be fun.

But when you have a great pair of printed pants, all those boring shirts in your capsule wardrobe suddenly look really cool and funky and interesting. Plus, it's great because you can wear this with cute heels and a little necklace, or you can wear it to the office with a pair of flats. And yeah, so I'm a huge fan of the printed pant.

I probably have like four or five different printed pants that spice up my life. But these are definitely the ones I default to the most. They also fit great.

That's the thing. A lot of people just wear jeans, but, often, trousers fit way better and look way better. But speaking of jeans-- speaking of jeans.

So one of the number one things-- so I would say I do probably 75% to 85% of my shopping at outlet stores. And usually, that's like TJ Maxx, Marshall's, all that kind of stuff. We are lucky enough in New York City to have a Bloomingdale's outlet.

It's actually pretty close to my apartment. And I have taken to getting my jeans there. I am someone who doesn't love jeans that much.

I don't wear them very often. But I still wear them enough that I should invest in a decent pair of jeans. Not only are they extremely neutral and you can wear them with everything, they're also the kind of thing that if you do buy them of good quality and they do fit you well, they can literally last for years.

And plus, you can wear them several times between washes. But PAIGE jeans, I have found to be both kind of flexible and stretchy and giving but also pretty structured and nice quality. I typically will grab a medium wash because they go with basically everything.

I really don't like super dark or super light wash jeans. But whatever wash you get, I do feel that, especially if you're shopping at an outlet store and can get them at a decent price, jeans are one of the places you should probably invest a little bit of money if you can. I believe these jeans were originally like $200, and I ended up getting them for $70 at the outlet store.

So this skirt is pleather, or I guess fake leather or whatever, faux leather. It is essentially indestructible. It's waterproof.

You can not do anything to damage this. And it is extremely versatile. It is A-lined, so you can wear it with basically any kind of top.

It's pretty fitted but still not like suctioned to your body. And it's also sturdy, but you can still wear it in summer because it's not super heavy. And I weirdly kind of enjoy a little bit of leather in summer if it's not too hot.

I highly recommend for anyone who's looking to build a kind of foundational wardrobe get at least one black A-line skirt. A-line is probably the most versatile of all the shapes. And black-- can't go wrong.

Next, I would like to move on to jackets/outerwear. Now, first up, I must start off with perhaps the biggest unsung hero of my entire wardrobe. Now if you think that getting a cute versatile skirt that you can wear as a 30-year-old at Abercrombie and Fitch is unexpected, this denim jacket is probably the item that I have owned and consistently worn for the longest amount of time.

And it is from Chico's, and I got it 12 years ago, I think, 12, 13 years ago. This thing is perfect. It's like a little bit fitted and stretchy but still pretty structured.

The denim is a great wash. I should also note that I have a ton of wooden hangers. The best place by far to get wooden hangers is like a thrift store or a Goodwill.

They'll usually have a huge box of them. And you just grab a bunch for like $0.10 each. Next, and this may indeed be the crown jewel of my bargain hunting life, this Lucky Brand denim jacket was originally like $450.

It was mislabeled at a Marshall's for $49. I went up to the cashier, and I was like, is this right? And she was like, no.

But you can just, I mean, I'm not-- it's not my jacket. You can just have it for that price. She did not give a shit.

And honestly, rightfully so, what is it to her that they mislabeled a jacket? But so point is it was completely mislabeled. It was supposed to be labeled for $249, but I got it for $49.99.

And it is beautiful. And I know I'm going to get screamed at for this, but it's real leather. But this is the jacket.

I mean, it's going to last forever. This is the jacket that I'm probably going to die and be buried in. And honestly, at that price that I got it for, it's going to be hard to beat that cost per use.

But I will say generally speaking that a cropped black leather jacket is probably the number one most versatile kind of everyday jacket that you can get in terms of you can wear it indoors, you can wear it outdoors, you can push up the sleeves-- have a little greaser moment. I don't know. It's very useful and practical.

And mostly, I just want to put it in a museum and frame it because that deal baby. Lastly, and this is the newest item that I'm showing here today, but I think it's a very important thing. One of my favorite writers who's actually a contributor in the TFD book, Amanda Mole, wrote a really great article about how when you live in New York or any kind of cold city in the winter, your coat is going to be 99% of your outfit most of the time.

That's what most people will see, so have a fun coat, have a coat that you enjoy. Now her version of this because she's a very kind of bold fashion forward person is like a yellow, fur jacket, which I think is very cool, but that is not my journey. So my version of a fun coat was I got a plaid coat.

Is this plaid? I don't know what this qualifies as-- kind of plaid, kind of houndstooth. I don't know what this is.

But you can see it. You have eyes if you're watching this. And then, it has a little tortoiseshell buttons, which I like.

But anyway, so this jacket, I wear quite a lot. It's actually quite heavy. It's much heavier than it looks.

It's nice quality. Definitely needs to hit a dry cleaner soon. But it really makes even just like a black on black on black outfit feel instantly more interesting.

And it should be noticed-- those eagle-eyed viewers might notice-- this is a Club Monaco jacket. I basically never, ever, ever shop at Club Monaco, even though I love it because it's just an expensive store and I think kind of overpriced for what it is. But I got this-- they were having like a-- I forget what the holiday was-- but they were having like a one-day sale.

And I got this. And it was more expensive than I will typically spend. But I will say on a winter coat that is one of the few areas where-- if I buy one winter coat every year and I'm going to wear the hell out of it and it's going to be facing the elements and stuff like that, I do not mind spending a few hundred dollars on a good coat.

And this one is definitely one where putting on my coat doesn't make me feel like I'm covering up and ruining my outfit. It makes me feel like I'm enhancing my outfit, which makes winter feel a lot more fun. And now, let's get into accessories.

Something that I've definitely mentioned on this channel before is that I basically wear no accessories. I don't really wear jewelry. I just am not an accessories person.

There you go. Point blank. But because of that, and I think especially if that's your case, the few items that you do own, you should go as high quality as you can.

And again, I'm all about outlet shopping, discount hunting. At TJ Maxx, you can get beautiful, Italian leather bags for like $60 when they go on sale there. So it doesn't have to be crazy expensive.

But you are better off getting something that is really going to suit your needs and be beautiful and usable every single day. For me, my everyday black bag is just that. So if you have seen me anytime in the last six months, you have undoubtedly seen me with this purse because I wear it basically every day.

But it is extremely functional and extremely sturdy. And it looks chic and simple and goes with basically everything. It is a Ralph Lauren bag.

I got it at Macy's. I have to say, overall, Ralph Lauren is probably my number one favorite brand. And obviously, I essentially never pay full price for it because it is expensive.

But the stuff is really great quality. It looks really nice and classic. And it lasts for a really long time.

This bag is no exception. I probably paid-- I got a little discount because I have a Macy's card. I think I probably paid like $250 on sale.

It was originally maybe 300, which is much, much more than I would typically spend for a bag. But I was like, listen, I'm going to wear this literally every single day. I put my laptop in it.

I probably already worked this cost per use down to $2.00. And it's only going to get lower from there because I'm going to continue wearing it. So I'm definitely someone who is not at all about the accessories.

So when I do get one, I try to go quality. Now, last on the accessories. This is where it's going to get a little embarrassing for me because these are the shoes that I wear to their death.

I am someone who if I like something, I will wear it until it's literally falling apart on my body. So know that I'm doing this to be honest but that some of these either desperately need to go to the cobbler or be replaced. But these are the shoes that I definitely get the most use out of, that I enjoy the most, and are definitely the best cost per use.

First up is actually a pair of summer shoes. These are actually the shoes I got married in. Yikes.

Going to have to take these to the cobbler. But I wear the ever-loving hell out of them. I love them so much because they're extremely comfortable and walkable, yet they make me super duper tall, which is all I have ever wanted in life.

They're cork, as you can see, and super neutral on the strap, which is perfect because I can wear it with literally everything in summer. And because they're basically nude and they're just like one continuation of your legs, it makes your legs look super tall. It's great.

They're great. They're like optical illusions. But, yeah, they definitely need to see a cobbler soon.

On both of the strappy train and the Ralph Lauren train, we have these shoes. They're like little Mary Jane leather shoes. They're, I think, really beautiful.

They're a color that I really. Now these have been to the cobbler many a time. And I'm going to keep bringing them until there's no shoe left to cobble.

Honest sakes, I love them so, so much. But they are really great. I wear them all the time in basically spring through fall.

And they're, yes, high heels but incredibly comfortable to walk in largely because of that strap. Plus, they're that really super neutral, coppery, leather color, so they go with basically everything. Love these.

Ralph Lauren. Can't go wrong. These were actually from, I believe, my mom got them.

But I think she got them at a Marshall's. So there you go. Now this is what's really embarrassing.

I'm honestly humiliated to even pull these up on camera. So these-- I'm not even going to bring them up to camera. But let's look at the bottom.

Let's look at the front. It's like completely falling apart. The little strap things coming off of them.

I absolutely adore these shoes-- clearly have loved them a little too hard. And they're going to have to go, and they're definitely getting replaced. I love black loafers.

I wear them so much. They're so comfortable. They go with everything.

They're professional, but they're not stuffy. They're great. I absolutely love black loafers and can't recommend them enough.

Although these do look rightfully, extremely beat up, I have worn them on a near daily basis for like four years. So honestly, they're doing pretty well by those standards. Lastly, and again yikes, I did not anticipate these being on camera-- black ankle boots, plain black.

I think when it comes to boots, especially black winter boots, the more plain that you can go, the better. I looked at some of the ankle boots that had kind of interesting embellishments on the heel or were multi-tonal or whatever. But these, man, they go with everything.

They're so comfortable, so easy to walk in. I'm a big heel person generally, so I don't mind a heel so much. But even if you're not that into heels, these are super easy to walk in.

These are Aldo. I know some people don't like Aldo. Some people, it doesn't fit them very well.

But I always have good luck there. So there you go. So those are just my items that are my best purchases.

They're the most versatile. I use them the most. I love them the most.

They have the lowest cost per use. They are just generally awesome. And they build a great foundation for my wardrobe because I can swap things in and out with them and always know that they'll anchor the outfit and make me feel like myself but the kind of self that I like to be.

The point is to find something that makes you feel comfortable and confident so that your clothes can become an afterthought and really just let you shine and do your best. Like it or not, we live in a society where we have to wear clothes. And for most of us, we work at jobs where what we wear has at least some impact on how we are perceived and how we interact with others.

Plus, it usually has an impact on how we feel about ourselves. So if that is going to have to be a category of your spending, make sure to spend it on things that are going to be worth the money. And even spending a little more for something upfront if it means you get way more use out of it will end up being a better deal in the long run.

I'm a huge fan of outlet stores, factory stores, discount stores, et cetera. But I also love a good thrift shop, consignment shops. I try as hard as I can, particularly with clothes, to never pay full price because it's so easy not to.

At the very least, I always make sure to scan for coupon codes before I go to any checkout. So that's the base of my 2019 wardrobe after a serious wardrobe cleansing. And I wish you the same clarity in your wardrobe journey this year as well.

So as always, guys, thank you for watching, and don't forget to hit the Subscribe button and to come back every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday for new and awesome videos. Bye.