Tops & Bottoms: The Perfect Wardrobe Ratio

Thu. February 9, 2012 12:00 AM
by Stephen Young

Are you a top or a bottom? Kicking off my first article for GoPride.com's new fashion column, OUT STYLED, I wanted to make a statement. So I decided to go there. Rather than placing a label on yourself, why not be verse? The ideal wardrobe should include a specific ratio of basics to bolds, colors to neutrals, and of course tops to bottoms.

Speaking from personal experience, you have to start with the basics. Every closet should include blacks, browns, navys, beiges, and whites. Having a go-to pair of black denim, dark-wash navy denim, light-wash denim, and khaki pants will fill out your bottom essentials. From there you add your bolds. Trends fade, so spend your money investing in the basics. When it comes to your bold bottom choices, shop trendy stores for whatever you're craving that season. Right now, I'd suggest red. It's the color of the season, and it looks great on almost everyone. And don't be afraid of pattern! Patterned pants, although less practical for everyday applications, make a fun and exciting statement in the right look. Use these tips to similarly cultivate your tops collection. Great solid button downs, T-shirts, and sweater are perfect for long term use. I find myself buying more and more tops with a trendier style more often, because it's easier to mix-n-match with your great basic bottoms.

When it comes to color, I'm definitely not shy. I love to pop a great basic look with color because it's unexpected and just plain fun! But really, every great look needs a touch of color. Speaking of basics and bolds, color can be a bold, but it can also be a basic. A great pair of army green cords, or maroon trousers can be worked into a variety of looks easily, without making color choice a loud statement. I suggest saving the bright colors selections for your accessories and tops. These are important pieces for any perfect wardrobe because they allow you the flexibility to edit your basics into a variety of looks without getting too receptive or boring.

Now there is no exact number I can suggest to achieve the "perfect" wardrobe, but in my closet, I would say my tops to bottoms ratio is about a 70/30 split. A variety of tops allows me to layer pieces, edit by season, and appropriately dress up or down for specific occasions. Next time you step into your closet, or out of it if you will, think about if you have the basics covered. Once you have both tops and bottoms basics, find those pops to make your wardrobe perfect for you.