#FWIS Friday: 21 Wardrobe Essentials for the 21st Century


Photo: My feet enjoying a Parisian morning. Check it out on my Instagram: @stephieirwin.


Hello friends!

Of all commonly-used blogging topics, “wardrobe essentials” seems to be the most repetitive .  Although Nina Garcia almost nails it in her BIBLE The One Hundred, the 100 items she features (and the best places to buy them, naturally), are overwhelming and don’t consider millennials that effectively. I do use her book for reference, and I recommend reading everything she has ever written (since she is Nina Garcia after all).

However, the main issue I have with “wardrobe essential” lists is that they are tailored towards a stereotypical girl from an earlier era. In this “earlier era”, girls seem to be homogenous and detached from technology & fitness. After all, if you’re a 20 something in university, the odds that you’ll end up wearing a strand of pearls or a Gucci clutch are slim to none (unless you go to St Andrews hehe).

So why am I, a sneaker blogger, making this list? Well, as Justin Trudeau recently said, “because it’s 2016” — that’s why. This list may seem lengthy, but it’s a complicated world we live in — ok?


21 Wardrobe Essentials for the 21st Century 

  1. Professional-looking phone case

After buying a phone case with Drake’s face all over it, I came to the realization that I should probably have a professional looking phone case for job interviews or “meeting the parents” type situations. Lately, I’ve been loving this one. 

     2. Stylish Black Backpack

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you probably know that I wear my MCM Duke backpack pretty much everyday. It’s a massive splurge, but if you ever have the opportunity to get one, it will change your life (especially when you’re attached to your laptop and need to stay organized). If you don’t wear leather, be sure to check out this mid-priced option.

    3. Jeans: Stacked Skinny Jeans (Black & Dark Wash) & 1 baggy pair

I LOVE the TopShop tall jeans. Since they’re a 36 inseam, they actually hit my ankle. Whenever I’m not in the mood for super tight jeans, I opt for my mid-wash A.P.C pair (seen in photo). Although I used to be a dark wash purist, I have realized the merits of a “vintage” jean paired with Converse and a white button-down.

4. Vintage Black Leather Jacket 

Personally, my black leather jacket has been through so much that it looks vintage due to improper care. Thankfully, I love this look. To get it right off the bat (without enduring rock concerts in the rain), vintage is a cheaper option that’s  already worn in. The more destroyed, the better. Urban Renewal usually has some options that aren’t exorbitantly priced too.

5. Souped-up Converse 

Whether you dig leather (like me), or prefer non-leather (check out the Chuck II’s), Converse just keep getting better. This isn’t an advertisement. However, if they wanted to send me free stuff I wouldn’t object. Just don’t get the high tops. They’re impossible to put on.

6. Oversized Flannel Shirt 

There are probably 100000 ways to wear a flannel shirt. The larger it is, the more options you have. Most of the time, I attempt to channel my inner Pia Mia and wear it around my waist. Roots Canada makes the best flannels. Ever.

7. Asics Gym Leggings 

The only gym leggings you need. Trust me. Buy them in every colour.

8. Cross Trainers 

Unless you do one specific workout every time you go to the gym, GET PROPER CROSS TRAINERS. The last thing you need is to sprain your ankle (like I have… twice).

9. Fit Bit 

So you actually know how far that run was. Turns out, I can run further than I thought :).

10. “Nicole Richie Sunglasses” 

For days where you just can’t be bothered. The more obnoxiously large, the better. THESE are a staple for me.

11. HUGE scarf 

To cover your face on said says. It should be around the size of a blanket. It will also make you feel like a Rick Owens model. To see what I mean, click here. 

12. Pleather Leggings 

The warmer alternative to a dress on a night out. Also great during the day with a massive sweater.

13. THE perfect teeshirt 

Kit & Ace (even if you’re a boy). Machine washable cashmere blend teeshirts. Great for those who hate dry cleaning bills.

14. Vans socks 

Socks that will keep your feet clean no matter what shoe your wearing. Nobody wants to see your socks. At all. Unless they’re Happy Socks, of course.

15. Tee Shirt from a band you actually listen to 

If you actually listen to the band / artist, you will seem 10x cooler when you pass it down to your kids.

16. Oversized high-quality headphones 

Just to let everyone on the street know you’re anti-social but have a great taste in music. These are mine. Feel free to listen to my SoundCloud here. 

17. Thin Brandy Melville Hoodies 

I usually wear them just as a top, but they are a staple for layering under leather jackets. Hoods are also great for hiding your face in the library :P.

18. Night out bag (that can actually fit your phone). 

Something similar to this. 

19. SUPER warm preppy grandpa cardigan 

Get it at a vintage store and wear it with leather leggings and Vans.

20. Beanies 

The bigger the beanie is, the better. Usually from Boro or Urban Outfitters. Usually worn with braids.

21. Spanx black tights 

The only tights that don’t fall down. Opaque and not sheer.


Thanks for reading this post!  I will probably make a top 5  trainers post as well — stay tuned for that. Comment below if I’ve missed anything fashion item you can’t live without. See you this Tuesday <3. 


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