Getting dressed should be easy and enjoyable. But if you stand in front of your full closet and struggle to put an outfit together, the chances are you’re missing some essential basics. These staples are the backbone of a well-curated wardrobe that makes it easier to get dressed and saves you money and in the long run.
They’re the workhorses you reach for again and again because they’re versatile and always look stylish. Each woman’s lifestyle will determine the essentials she needs in her wardrobe, and these nine are a great start.
A wardrobe essential should:
- go with everything in your wardrobe
- be the best quality you can afford so it lasts for years
- look great on you
- be a timeless style
Dark Wash Jeans
Whether skinny, bootcut, wide-legged, straight, or pull-on, a dark wash jean is a powerful player in a casual wardrobe. These are the jeans that make your butt look fabulous, are comfortable (think stretch), and you feel fantastic when you wear them. Zipper closure is dressier than button-up, and pull-on is more casual.
This can be cotton, cashmere, silk, wool, or any fabric that is thin and smooth. V-necks are universally flattering, but any neckline works here. It’s a smooth knit that slips under a blazer or denim jacket. It looks great with a skirt, jeans, or pants. Neutrals like black, gray, navy, cream, brown, taupe are the most versatile.
A slim black pant to dress up or down. The shape will depend on your silhouette and the fabric will depend on your lifestyle. I’m a huge fan of ponte knit or the crepe knit from Eileen Fisher. It’s the one garment that goes in my suitcase every time I travel…unless it’s already on my body. They don’t wrinkle and come out of the dryer looking brand new. A versatile black pant will take you from day to evening with a quick change of accessories and always look polished. If black is not your color, navy, charcoal, or deep gray will work just as beautifully.
Depending on your lifestyle, this could be a classic blazer or denim jacket. A blazer is the perfect completer piece to polish a simple outfit. Knit blazers have more give and can be more comfortable but still give the same look.
A Classic Flat
Depending on your style, these could be simple ballet flats, classic loafers, or driving mocs. The options are endless, and the point is to have a totally comfortable (non-athletic) shoe that will take you everywhere, in comfort.
Perfect White Tee
White tees are available at all price points but there is a difference in quality. The one thing to know is that no matter what you pay, a white tee that is yellowing around the neck or underarms needs to be replaced. An upscale tee, dark denim, and a blazer is a classic look that’ll take you anywhere. Choose the most flattering neckline for your silhouette and if you find the holy grail of white tees, stock up.
White button-down shirt
A crisp white shirt is invaluable. Worn open over a bathing suit, tucked into jeans, over skinny pants or tied at the waist over a dress, the options are endless. You can’t go wrong with a classic white shirt.
FYI- Five wardrobe essentials you may not need in your wardrobe.
Little Black Dress
If black isn’t your thing, any deep neutral will work. Red will even work if that’s a signature color for you. The point is this dress is a chameleon in your wardrobe. It’s neither dressy or casual and changes with the accessories you add. Here again, ponte or a flat knit is a great option. Pair this with white tennis shoes and a denim jacket, or with heels and pearls. Versatility is vital here so get one with minimum details.
In back, brown, red, navy…your wardrobe needs a quality handbag that works with everything you own. This is the bag that can dress up a casual look up because the leather is just that nice, or the style is just that classy. Few of us can afford a bag to match every outfit, (and who wants to switch them out all the time?) so invest in one that will go with everything.
Do you have the quality basics you need for your wardrobe?
Thanks for reading and remember to wear what makes you feel confident.