stripe top and black pointed flats

The Holes in My Closet, Revisited

Last year I did a post about the ‘holes’ in my closet – i.e. the clothing items I feel I can’t possibly live without, if I want my wardrobe to be “complete”. 

(Which I DO, by the way. I have a feeling that’s probably NEVER going to happen, mind you, and that there’ll always be SOMETHING I need/want, but hey: I can give it my best shot, huh?)

Well, it’s been a while since that post, so I figured it was time for an update. Here, in no particular order, are all of the items I’ve decided I absolutely must have in order to fill the holes in my closet: no one tell Terry, OK?

capsule wardrobe basics

shoes; top

01. A black tuxedo jacket

So, I’m not going to lie to you, this item is totally inspired by one too many episodes of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, in which Kim wore a structured dinner jacket over jeans, dresses, you name it. (Well, mostly just over jeans and dresses, but still: if it’s good enough for Kim K, it’s good enough for me…) This one is pretty much perfect – so much so that I ordered in it both available colours the second I saw it, only to end up returning them both, because the fit just wasn’t quite right on me. It was one of the hardest decisions of my life, seriously.

02. Silk camisoles in black and white

I need these to wear with that tuxedo jacket I don’t actually have, obviously. Luckily these are much easier to find, and I’ve identified a couple of contenders: this one, which keeps selling out in white before I can get to it, and this one, which I’ve so far resisted ordering, because the first one I linked is cheaper. I’m like that.

03. Silk tea dress

Honestly, this doesn’t even have to be silk: it just has to be a tea dress. Not just any old tea dress, though: the reason this particular closet hole is proving particularly hard to close is that no one seems to be making exactly the kind of dress I’m after. I dunno, I feel like a classic tea dress should be the kind of thing you’d be able to find absolutely everywhere, but all of the ones I’ve found are either too long (You all know I love me a good midi, but for some reason I feel the length is quite frumpy on me in this style of dress), or too short. I want to find one that hits on, or just above the knee, and I’ll search to the ends of the earth if I have to. Well, to the ends of the internet, anyway. (I think the issue I’m having with this one is that I actually don’t want it to look too “retro”, and most of the ones I find have a real ’40s land girl’ look to them: which is awesome, if that’s what you’re looking for, obviously, but for once in my life I’m actually after something a little more modern. ARE there modern tea dresses? I will do my best to find out…)

04. Other casual dresses

I’m being very vague about this one, because not even I really know what I’m after here, but … dresses. That are relatively causal. Most of the dresses I have right now are dressy dresses, so while I COULD wear them to work from home, I wouldn’t, because they’d get all creased and ruined, and I’d spill coffee on them, and WHERE ARE ALL THE CASUAL DRESSES? I mean, SERIOUSLY.

(It’s possible that the tea dress described above would fulfil my criteria here. We’ll never know, though, because I can’t find it, either…)

distressed jeans


05. Black scuba midi skirt

I know it seems like I have tons of black midi skirts, and, well, I DO, but none of them are quite right. The closest to being “quite right” is the Collectif skirt I featured in this post, but while I love the way it looks, the fabric is the kind that creases easily, and gets covered in lint the second you put it on, and that puts me off wearing it very often. What I’m looking for is a skirt in scuba fabric – which I love, for the simple reason that it DOESN’T crease easily, or get covered in lint. This one might just work. And I might just find out, sometime soon.

06. Cropped cardigans

This one is a simple matter of “re-stocking”, rather than embarking on an endless search. I LOVE my collection of Hell Bunny ‘Paloma’ cardigans, but unfortunately for me, I love them SO much that they’ve all been worn and washed so often now they’re looking a little the worse for wear. I really need to get round to replacing them, but because re-purchasing items you already have isn’t nearly as much fun as buying something shiny and new, I keep putting it off. I’m also thinking of trying out Lindy Bop’s ‘Bouvier’ cardigan, as an alternative: it looks like it’d be the perfect fit, but there’s only one way to find out…

07. Sweaters. Lots of.

I don’t know why, but sweaters are one of the things I always seem to need more off: possibly because I’m fairly fussy with them. I ideally like them to be as fitted as possible, for a retro-inspired look, but most of today’s styles are slouchy and over-sized – which, on me just looks like the WRONG size. Most of the retro-reproduction brands, meanwhile, tend to make their sweaters with elbow-length sleeves – which I buy , but then don’t ever wear, because I’m just too damn cold. It’s a hard knock life, for sure.

how I'm attempting to fill the holes in my closet

08. Leopard print pointed flats

I feel like my insistence on the “pointed” part of this requirement is possibly what’s making it so difficult, but I’d be willing to compromise on that if I could just find the pefect pair of round-toed flats, either. I can’t though, and trust me, I’ve tried – oh, I’ve found plenty of pairs of shoes that meet the general description, but none that make me say, “YES! Those are my new shoes!” And so the search continues: possibly forever.

Still searching…

Finally, I did find quite a few of the items on my last list, but there are a few I’m still looking for. (And now I really regret not calling this post, “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.” Ah, well…)

Full white skirt

Tan knee boots

Red pumps

Tan shoulder bag

Aaaaand,  I think that’s it!

As with my previous post on this subject, none of these items are things I need URGENTLY: they’re just things I’d like to pick up, if I found them at the right price – so it’s kind of a rolling shopping list, basically. Got any holes in your closet you’d like to tell me about?


Liked this post?? Take a second to support Amber on Patreon!
  • Hana


    When you find the leopard print flats, I will follow you and buy them asap – I’ve been looking for the exact same flats forever too!

    March 7, 2016
  • Linda Cunningham


    Woolovers are good for cropped cardigans. And I’ve got a couple of good casual dresses from Hush.

    March 7, 2016
  • The Other Emma


    I always struggle to find good quality basics. It’s easy to find the stand-out one off items but the things you can pull out time after time are elusive (or I am just too cheap to spend good money on everyday clothes but have no problem buying that dress that will do when I get invited to a tea party on the lawn of a stately home in a summer that we never have…………………………)

    March 7, 2016
  • Claire


    Boden do nice cropped cardigans, they can be a bit pricey but if your going to get the wear out of them then why not πŸ™‚
    The tea dress is an elusive beast I’m in the same boat, I might get a pattern and have a dressmaker make it up.

    Love this blog by the way

    March 7, 2016
  • WANT that tuxedo jacket!

    I could probably use some of all of these items in my wardrobe πŸ˜‰

    March 7, 2016
  • What exactly is a “tea dress”? A nice dress you would wear out to dinner? Or do you get dressed up and go to tea parties (that sounds like something that would be on one of your stereotypes about Scotland posts)? πŸ™‚

    March 7, 2016
  • I’m currently trying to stop a panic attack over the longevity of my Paloma cardigans… They aren’t allowed to die… Maybe I’ll just never wash them. It wouldn’t be too gross in the winter, surely… I’m only half joking. I’m also on the hunt for casual dresses, but no luck so far… Don’t really know what I’m looking for here, either!

    March 7, 2016
  • Karlie


    I need leopard print flats also. I went to wear mine this morning and the inside lining feel out; they are officially done but I haven’t been able to find any I like.

    March 7, 2016
    • Judi


      buy some leather insoles and glue them in – a proper shoe glue should give you at least another 3 months of shoe life!

      March 8, 2016
  • Now I want all of these things as well! Have you looked at Nordstrom’s BP moveover flats for leopard? I know they used to have that print, but not sure if they still do. Good luck in your hunts!

    March 7, 2016
  • Kate


    I have a deep love of Sam Edelman’s Felicia flat. It comes in a ton of colours, pretty sure there’s a leopard in there. The leather is buttery soft and I can go all day in them. As for what’s missing in my closet? A classic Breton! Apparently plus size girls aren’t supposed to wear them. I don’t get it. They have endless amounts of plus size striped tops but no classic Bretons. I really wish Boden or Joules would do some bigger sizes. πŸ™‚

    March 7, 2016
  • Well, should I write down my list? Got inspired by you. And you are right I need a new pair of flats. Girls, share the tips and places where to buy those.

    March 8, 2016
  • Emily Tan


    Hi Amber, like you I’m nuts about cropped cardis and was gutted with New Look stopped making them. Then I found Doll Me Up. Its Tootsie cardigan is the same cropped cardigan as Modcloth (theirs is called Dream of the Crop) only in more colours, at a lower price, and with far more reasonable shipping. I’ve ordered umm… about 6 from them. Can’t live without them as I’m a short-torsoed dress girl.

    Casual dresses – I adore Uniqlo’s Sleeveless Cotton dresses. They come out with them once a year in summer and the cut is super flattering the material is comfy and they’re my go-to travel dress (

    As for Tea Dresses have you looked up “Yumi”? Their selection is driving me batty with desire. Also. SILK.

    March 8, 2016
  • Emily Tan


    Oh also, just discovered these silk-loving people based in Hong Kong with free international shipping (Sorry about the spamming am nuts about silk dresses as the weather here can get very very hot):

    Not free shipping, but checkout APAC’s ‘Everlane’: The silk trapeze dress is to die for

    Correct link for UNiqlo dress:

    March 8, 2016
  • I have quite a few holes to fill. Stripey tops, casual dresses, dark grey distressed jeans, comfortable slouchy tees in spring color’s, the prefect distressed boyfriend jeans, sweaters, hi top shoes in all the color’s because I hurt my ankle, and the perfect black and white or navy and white striped tee shirt dress that hits just below mid thigh and has short but not cap sleeves.


    March 8, 2016
  • Lucie


    Hi Amber, thanks for this post. SΓ©zane sells nice and pointy leopard print flats:

    March 8, 2016
  • I bought a cropped cardigan from Pure Collection a few years ago (UK based but they ship the US). It’s great for petite ladies with long torsos — the length and width of the ribbing at the bottom are what make it so flattering.

    I’m still on the hunt for a great tea dress too. The length always seems to engulf me in those sorts of silhouettes though!


    Ashley || Sed Bona

    March 9, 2016
  • Ginger


    It is totally your fault that I’ve ordered two Paloma cardigans. They’re coming to me from the UK and I paid through the nose, but wow, they’re exactly what I’ve been looking for. No one else makes cropped cardigans with long sleeves!

    Black skirts do pick up lint easily! It’s very annoying. I hope the scuba knit works for you.

    I could have written your paragraph on sweaters! The retro lines make such cute ones, but short sleeves are useless. If it’s cool enough to want a sweater, my arms will be cold. I hope you find some good ones.

    March 14, 2016
    • Ginger


      Aaand the Paloma cardigans have arrived and they are every bit as awesome as you said! I am SO excited. Thank you so much for mentioning these! I have them in navy and red and could find a use for every other color they have as well. Plus white, which they don’t have (boo). Thank you!

      March 16, 2016