If you look closer at the concept of staple garments, they are obviously not designed to stand out. Naturally, fur coats are not staples, neither are western shirts, for example. These kind of garments are, if you like, bonus pieces that help paint your own personal picture of who you are. No, staples are plain and, well, basic. They go with most things because the fit is neutral and the colour palette is sombre. Neutral and sombre can be perceived as negative words, meaning bland and beige, but a good staple goes above and beyond. What it lacks in ‘personality’ it makes up for in quality and fit. It’s even more important for these wardrobe pillars to be well-made out of the best possible fabrics then their statement cousins. If it’s not impressing you with its durable fit and supreme fabric after a year of tough wear, what’s the odds you’ll keep that white cotton shirt?
Shirts, especially the causal and relaxed type, are perhaps the ultimate staple. They are versatile, they can be worn dressed up and down – just tuck it in or leave it out. Do you button all the way up? If not, how many do you leave unbuttoned? Do you use the button-down buttons? Some clever physiologist could write books on how you wear your shirt and what it says about you. Stripes or plain, rounded or cutaway collar?