Building a truly well-rounded wardrobe isn’t quite as simple as buying a good pair of jeans and some white T-shirts. (Though, both are important.) The process takes time and lots of trial and error. But once you’ve put in the work and gathered a balanced array of classics and statement pieces, you’re pretty much set for life—with room for a few strategically selected additions as the years go on, of course.
No one knows the power of a finely manicured wardrobe quite like Los Angeles– and NYC-based stylist and fashion editor Alexis Badiyi, whose been developing her own vintage- and menswear-inspired clothing collection for years. “I collect my wardrobe over time and invest in pieces that have longevity and quality,” says Badiyi, noting that she uses a “loose 80/20 rule” when it comes to her closet. “Eighty percent are classic pieces that I know fit well … and can be worn season to season.” The remaining 20% is made up of trendier alternatives that complement the current moment in time.
According to her (and her expertly crafted Instagram mirror selfies), you don’t need a ton of items to create good outfit after good outfit. Right now at least, she’s really only counting on nine, all of which she lays out ahead.