Now you probably already have noticed that I am a “list” girl, I have created many wardrobe lists for myself in the past based on books I have read, and I continue to edit and tweak as I gather new ideas. The first few authors that come to mind are Tim Gunn and Nina Garcia, but I know there have been many more. So using them as a guide, below are my top 10 Wardrobe Essentials that I have found are the most versatile, functional and most importantly, have the ability to allow the beautiful woman that is wearing them to shine.
TrenchBegin by purchasing a classic khaki trench which can be paired with jeans, dresses, skirts for either day or evening. The flattering classic belt tie is a wonderful feminine component as it cinches your waist and displays your figure. Once you’ve included khaki, feel free to include colors (red, yellow, green, prints) or other classic tones (black, white or navy). One of my favorite go-to outfits is my dark denim straight leg jeans, ballet flats, a blouse or classic t-shirt and a trench. Viola! I’m ready for just about anything.
CardiganVictoria Beckham demonstrates one of the many ways to incorporate a cardigan into your wardrobe. Whether with a dress, skirts, jeans or dress pants, a cardigan can be dressed up or down depending on the situation. Other options include pairing it with a beautiful camisole or sleeveless blouse that shimmers. Let it fall by your sides, or wrap around a belt to look more cohesive.
Dress PantsA pair of well made dress pants in camel, black, gray or tweed are a wonderful way to bring the element of mixing and matching to your wardrobe. There are many different styles to choose from depending on where you want it to hit on your waist and how you want your leg to look. Wide leg, as shown above has the effect of elongating your leg when paired with a slim fitting blouse and belted waist. A slimmer leg can also pull off a very professional look when paired with a cardigan and blouse. Heels look wonderful when dress pants are worn, so don’t forget to grab your favorite pumps.
There are many different types of jackets that you can include in your wardrobe, but a short leather jacket is a versatile piece to have on hand. Paired with jeans for a weekend outing or a casual dress ensemble, it truly allows you quite a bit of freedom when pulling together casual, yet stylish outfits. Black, brown, camel or even jewel tone leather jackets are all options to consider. Always make sure it fits well through the shoulders and the sleeves hit just below your wrist bone.
White ShirtDiane Keaton is a perpetual reminder of the seemingly endless ways a white collared shirt can be worn. With skirts (knee length or full), jeans or dress pants, this is one of the ultimate versatile items to include. Now, if you’re like me, and you don’t necessarily wear the classic long sleeve, button up design, don’t forget the many other different styles, for example, the beautiful asymmetrical neckline and capped sleeve Caroline Herrera look above. Layer and accessorize as necessary.
BlouseDepending on your taste and lifestyle, you will gravitate toward different styles of blouses. Whether they be long sleeve, short sleeve or sleeveless though, you will want to have a few in your closet. Again, pair them with jeans and skirts, layer them with cardigans or jackets, and have the peace of mind knowing you can wear them to work or out on a date.
A Nautical TopMany essential wardrobe lists don’t include a nautical top or sweater, but if you’re someone who tends to choose casual over dressed up, you will want to include this item. Worn by itself, with a pair of ankle jeans and flats, one’s style factor rises immediately because it looks so effortless, but at the same time so creatively done, when in reality it is simple. In chilly instances, a trench, or short sleeve cardigan look just as chic.
Little Black DressAgain and again, the little black dress is listed as one of the must have items and truer words have never been spoken, whether you choose to purchase a black sheath dress, black wrap dress or a beautifully short cocktail dress, you are set to look amazing. Always be on the lookout for one that calls your name. You never know when you’ll come across something you can’t imagine not having in your closet for those unplanned, last minute occasions.
Wrap DressDiane von Furstenberg has me hooked and for a very good reason. The wrap dress again is an item with legs, in other words mileage, when it comes to getting your cost per wear. You will find that a wrap dress can be worn in so many different settings and can be accessorized different to meet your needs. Be sure to include one, or two, in your closet.
Click here to see a list of the 10 Essential Shoes Every Woman Should Have. And please do share what your essentials are, as I’m always looking for new ideas and reasons to shop (okay, I probably have enough reasons to shop, but one more won’t hurt :) ).
*Click here to find out where to shop for these items on a budget.