I am truly a basics girl at heart. My closet is full of them. I’ve also never been big on following current trends or conforming to the style “norms” at the current moment.
Sure, they have an little influence on what I buy and if I like the trend I’ll buy a few select pieces but I definitely do not do a full closet makeover every time there is a new trend around.
Trends also come and go but there are definitely wardrobe essentials that’ll last a lifetime. It’s all about the basics that bring your outfit together without having to spend extra time worrying about what to wear.
When you think about wardrobe essentials you also have to think about quality and not quantity. You really don’t need 5 different black jackets in your closet if you only wear one or two. Or if you know that one of them fits the best out of all of them and you find yourself reaching for that one over them all.
Instead of picking up random pieces that are cute, on sale, and will probably go out of style in a few months, consider the outfit you might wear it with instead.
Your closet should be a curated collection of your absolute favorite items that make you happy every time you walk in to get dressed. This way you’ll actually wear what you own and getting dressed every day won’t be so stressful.
My favorite way to curate my closet every year (or you can do it every 6 months if your prefer) is the reverse hanger trick – which you can read all about here. I’ve been doing this for a few years now and it is the best way to keep everything under control while also seeing throughout the year what I actually wear. It gives me a great mental gauge for when I’m shopping so I know what works and what doesn’t.
Pieces like what are on this list are timeless, basic pieces that that you need to create an amazing, classic wardrobe.
So let’s get to it… my list of must have wardrobe essentials that every woman needs in her closet.
When can’t you wear a basic t-shirt? Start your outfit with a clean slate and the staple that is so versatile you can wear it any day of the year. This should be a staple in every woman’s closet.
Pair it with your favorite denim shorts and sandals or elevate it with some dark wash jeans and heeled booties. You could even knot it over a midi skirt with pumps or make it edgy with combat boots and a leather jacket. The possibilities are literally endless.
Depending on where you want to wear it, a classic button up can look dressy or casual. Button for more polished look and unbuttoned for more casual look. Even slouchy boyfriend styles can be dressed up or down.
A perfect knit sweater goes with anything – a pair of skinny jeans, boyfriend jeans, black trouser pants, a pleated skirt. Look for one that you can reach for in a hurry without too many patterns and neutral colors. This way you don’t have to think too much about the rest of the outfit.
My favorite one actually came from American Eagle and I love it so much.
Quality Dark Wash Skinny Jeans
These jeans never go out of style and can be the foundation for every outfit. Perfect for dressing up or down these are the workhorses of your closet in any season.
See here for my three favorite denim brands.
Now, I’m not talking jeans here… but black trouser type pants.
Personally, I love my skinny, cropped pencil pants the best and feel like they elongate my legs. Find a style that fits your silhouette and these pants will be your go-to.
Little Black Dress
This really needs no explanation. You hear this from everyone, everywhere. It’s the ultimate “I don’t have anything to wear” piece.
When picking your dress go for something with a slightly higher neckline and a semi-modest length for maximum versatility. Add a jean or leather jacket for a more casual or edgy look.
Knee-Length or Midi Skirt
This skirt is versatile enough to be casual but also appropriate for work settings, formal events, or even happy hour with the girls.
This classic layering piece works year after year and can be worn with just about anything. A medium-to-dark wash is my favorite and I feel is most versatile.
Structured outerwear is something you can always count on. Look for a piece that you can layer with any top including your crisp white tee, graphic tank, or satin camisole.
This is right up there with a great jean jacket. A leather version can give your simple tee and jeans a little boost of edge and you can also wear it with your black pumps for an edgy sophisticated vibe.
Cardigans are my favorite and I have one in just about every color and style you can imagine… #notsorry. I love them because they can be styled to look any way you want them to depending on the rest of the outfit.
Classic Black Pumps
A pair of classic black pumps will never fail you or any of your outfits. It’s the perfect shoe to wear to work, throw on with your skinny jeans for happy hour with the girls, or date night weekend in your little black dress.
I’m still on the hunt for my favorite pair.
I have really gotten into ankle booties lately and I am loving all the different styles they have. However, I feel like a great black or cognac pair would be the most versatile. You could always go for one of each color and peep toe and non for the different seasons.
Also, ankle boots are way easier to pack than regular boots.
What do you think? Are there some essentials you think I missed and should be included?
As you add to your closet over the years, don’t be afraid to dabble in the new trends that come along, like I do. Wardrobe staples like these play the supporting role to those other on-trend pieces that you sprinkle in throughout the year.
Honestly, I am still working on finding some quality and favorite wardrobe essentials. I’m also not going to lie and say that I’m not tempted by that cute over-sized sweater that my favorite fashion IG account just featured.
However, now that we just bought our forever home, I want to try and be more intentional with the purchases I make for my closet (and many other areas of my life) as well. Also, just because it looks great on her, does not mean that it will look great on me.