Ladies, if you are looking to build a wardrobe that works for you, there are some basic items you’re going to need to have. These are the pieces you will use as your go-to when you have a surprise event or to use to mix-and-match your way to a fabulous look. If you make smart purchases, they should be able to do double-duty and go from day to night with just a few modifications. These pieces don’t necessarily need to be incredibly expensive, but I have found that certain items are worth the money you spend on them. My general rule of thumb is if the item is trendy, the cheaper the better. If it is a classic piece, get something durable and well made.
The first thing every woman needs is a great little black dress. I recommend this not be too revealing (or invest in some sort of cover up in case the occasion warrants), flattering and simple. it will be more versatile that way. Then accessorize as you see fit for the function you’ll be attending: a beautiful necklace, some great heels, a sparkling clutch. Something to punch it up and that you can change up whenever you want. This will help you get more for your money. I have to say, though, that I do know some people who don’t have a LBD, they have a little red dress. Or maybe navy blue. Or something. If you’re the type of person who can pull that off, go for it!
Another great item is a pencil skirt. While these are supposed to be universally flattering, don’t just buy the first one you see. Find something that hits at a length that is work-appropriate but can be dressed up or down with blouses and accessories. You’ll be surprised at how often you end up wearing this. Same goes for a good, well-fitting pair of dark colored jeans. They need to be nice enough that you can wear them for casual Friday, and also cute enough to wear on a casual date night.
You also need a minimum of two pairs of nice shoes: a neutral flat that is comfortable and cute, and a pair of neutral heels. If you can rock a super high heel and it is work-appropriate, go for it. If not, then I recommend a kitten heel. You want something that is going to look equally as great with that LBD and pencil skirt as they will with a cute pair of jeans. Whatever you choose, make sure they’re comfortable. Also, if you can, find a cobbler. Your shoes will last a lot longer if you’ve got a friend who can repair a heel or refurbish a worn sole. Personally, I think a great strappy sandal and a cute pair of boots should also be closet staples, but you can probably survive without them.
You’re also going to need a couple pieces of rockin’ outerwear: a great trench coat is a good one, because who wants to get wet; a denim jacket that doesn’t look like you stole it from your roadie ex-boyfriend; a great blazer; and a buttery-soft leather jacket. You may not think you need all of these (and maybe because of the weather a leather jacket doesn’t make sense, or it gets so cold that you’d wear the denim jacket two weeks a year). If you only get one of these, get the blazer. Even if you don’t work in a business-attire office, you never know when you’ll need it—as a coverup for your LBD on a cold night, added to a cute blouse and your pencil skirt for a job interview or for a fancy dinner, or even just to make that sexy top you want to wear on your date right after work a little more office-appropriate. Get one that is flattering to your silhouette, and then bring it to a tailor to ensure a great fit. A great jacket is going to add variety to your wardrobe and give you more opportunities to dress something up or down.
I hope I’ve inspired you to invest in some great pieces. If you’ve had success with certain brands or styles, let me know in the comments!