Wardrobe basics…what’s that? These are the pieces that help your wardrobe function well together. I know it’s not exciting to shop for but they are the foundation pieces that will be the ‘bones’ of your closet and the best place to start building your wardrobe, is with wardrobe basics.
This isn’t an area I would scrimp on because you will wear them a lot and you do want them to stand up to that while continuously looking great in the process. With that being said, stay within your budget and get the best value you can afford. At the end of the day, you don’t want to feel stressed out about going over your budget!
This list is comprised of the most functional pieces that I find will be the most worn and functionally helps to pull your looks together.
- Button Down Shirt
- Chambray Shirt
- Jean Jacket
- Leather Jacket
- Dark wash jeans
- Dress slacks
- Little Black Dress (LBD)
First on the list is cami’s because of their versatility. They can be stand-alone pieces, worn with jeans, shorts, skirts, pretty much any type of bottom that you can think of. They are wonderful to wear under any type of outer layer ie: blazers, jackets, low cut dresses or tops. Sticking with the basics, I recommend the neutral ‘must haves’ in white, ivory, navy, grey or black. Although they come in a variety of colors and will expand your wardrobe outfit possibilities exponentially. When shopping for cami’s, you should consider the drape of the material. For the most functional, you ideally would look for one that will flow with you through the day, skimming nicely over bumps and curves for an effortless look.
There are SO many options out there but for a good functioning basic, opt for a white or black in a short and long sleeve cotton t-shirt. They are worth their weight in gold, go with everything, and great for everyday wear. Stand alone or layering, you will find yourself reaching for these often.
3. Button Down Shirt
A crisp, white button down is another basic everyone should have in their wheelhouse. They are phenomenal at dressing up the most casual outfit but function very well in the casual realm as well. You may have to try on more than one to find your perfect fit and cut. Just remember when shopping for one, find your best fit in the shoulder and bust area and the rest can be altered easily if need be.
4. Chambray Shirt
Very similar to the white button down from above but because they are borrowing from the denim family, just like jeans, it will go with everything. I love them because you can use them to layer over dresses and tops, tie them up at the waist, and tuck them into skirts or pants, easily bringing in a casual element to your wardrobe.
Even if you don’t work in an office environment, you still need a basic blazer. Opt for a classic black blazer if you are only adding one to your wardrobe. They look great with slacks, skirts, jeans, dresses, even shorts and you’ll be amazed at how often you end up reaching for it.
6. Jean Jacket:
Opt for a mid-range between dark and light wash for the versatility. I say this because it will look great with dark wash jeans and equally fab with light wash. Also one in white is another great option. Nowadays, you can get them in an assortment of colors but remember, we’re talking about basics.
7. Leather Jacket:
Another wardrobe staple is the black leather jacket. The moto style is all the rage at the moment but it really never goes out of style. They are wonderful at bringing an edgy feel to your wardrobe. When shopping, get the best quality you can afford. I consider this piece and investment piece because with proper care, you will have it forever!
8. Dark wash jeans:
The most important thing is the cut and the fit which greatly depends on your body type. Dark wash will give you a more polished look and can easily be dressed up or down. Find the best rise whether it’s high, low, or mid-rise with no distressing or fading and opt for either a boot cut or skinny to get the most use from them. Now if you struggle with finding a cut for your body type, you should check out my ‘Body Type Styling Solution’. With the information you will gain from this solution, you will never struggle again with finding your perfect fit and cut.
9. Dress slacks:
Basic black dress slacks will give you the most wear factor because they will seamlessly go with everything and again, can be dressed up or down. Follow the same guidelines that I mentioned above and you won’t go wrong.
A black skirt is a great functional basic. Opt for a pencil (my personal fav) or an A-line with a length just below the knee. It will go with everything and it’s easy to dress up with a beautiful top and blazer or dress it down with a Tee, jean jacket, and tennis shoes.
11. Little Black Dress (LBD):
Last but not least, the little black dress. There are literally so many options out there so consider the elements that will work best for you. You can find them ranging from body-con to completely relaxed. Finding and considering the best elements that will work for you is super important and will vary with every woman. My LBD is a ‘fit & flare’ style with ¾ sleeves, v neck and the hem sits just below the knee and works beautifully for me. It’ perfect for date nights to funerals and will afford many looks by changing up accessories. You can go from sexy to classy in seconds.
Now if you haven’t picked up on it, cut and fit are crucial to the way a piece will look on you so remember cut and fit, cut and fit, cut and fit….got it?
Okay, now let me blow your mind just a little. If you only purchase 1 each of these 11 items in your closet, and nothing else, do you know how many outfit options you will get with just 11 pieces…? Wait for it……
Over 50+ outfits!! Yes, that IS right! 50+!
And when you add in accessories (shoes, handbags, jewelry, scarves, etc.) the number of different outfit looks have *BOOM* doubled, tripled, even quadrupled!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and let me know have you ever given much thought into you’re basics?
Till next time,