Your Core Wardrobe:
10 pieces every woman should have in her wardrobe.
Anytime you’ve learned something new, you’ve most likely started with the basics and worked your way up to the most complicated. The same is true for your wardrobe. You should start out with the basics then you can add all of the trendy fun items to spice things up. I have a closet full of trends that work for me, but I also have a core wardrobe that I can go to at any time to pull myself together and I don’t have to think twice about it. We should all have those items. You’ll have to start slow, but you can do it. I’ve put together a list of the 10 items every woman should have in her wardrobe. There are many more basics that a woman should have, but I’m only sharing 10 for now. I’ll share many more items in later posts. So, let’s get started.
- Black pants.
Odds are you’re already familiar with the magic of a great-fitting, figure flattering pair of black pants. A true wardrobe staple, black pants are right for almost every occasion and never go out of style. Such an essential piece is worth the initial investment and a trip to the tailor to insure the perfect fit.
Shop for a pair that can fluidly move between work and play. A leg opening that isn’t too flared or too skinny will ensure that your pants won’t look outdated in a year or two. Select a length that works with a 3 inch heel for optimum versatility (unless you only wear flats or 5 inch heels, of course!) Also, be sure that the pockets lay flat on your body for a slim look.
- Dark wash jeans
Dark denim is far more sophisticated and timeless than lighter or distressed washes and can be worn during the day with a t-shirt or dressed up for evening with a dressy top and heels.
For most women, a mid rise or high rise style is best along with back pockets that are centered on your rear and not patch pockets which can add bulk. Generally, a slight boot cut style is the most flattering silhouette. When looking for a classic style, avoid jeans with additional stitching details or bright threads.
My advice? Try on as many pair as necessary until you find the best fit for your figure and this may take some time.
- Knit Cardigan
The ultimate layering piece, a cardigan can replace a jacket when worn with a dress or provide an added layer to beat the chill. Unbelievably versatile, the cardigan is always in fashion, whether your style is sophisticated and refined or urban and edgy. Wear the cardigan alone with a scarf or layer it with a t-shirt or button down; add a wide or skinny belt at your waist over the cardigan to define your waist and add a pop of personality – the possibilities are many for this wardrobe essential.
To get the most from your cardigan, look for cotton or lightweight wool or cashmere in a length that hits somewhere mid-hip.
- Versatile Dress
Everyone simply must have one of these in their wardrobe: a versatile jersey or silk dress that can be worn year round, day or night, work or weekend. Whether it’s colorful or neutral, printed or solid, short or maxi, the important thing is that it fits you well and can adapt to the occasion.
Ideas: wear it to work with a cardigan and pumps, on a date with statement jewelry and sexy heels, to weekday brunch with flats and a lightweight scarf, in the winter with tights and knee high boots, in the summer with sandals.
- Little Black Dress
The little black dress has been synonymous with style since Coco Chanel made it famous 80 years ago and Audrey Hepburn helped make it a classic with her choices in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Still relevant today, the little black dress is your wardrobe’s secret weapon – the one you pull out when you need to look sophisticated, sexy, elegant, chic… Choose one that works for a multitude of occasions with a strategic change of accessories.
- Knee Length Skirt
The pencil skirt doesn’t work for every body shape, but when you find one that fits it can be seductive, sexy and sophisticated and of course, a classic. Scour the racks for a style that fits your waist properly and gives enough room around your hips without bunching lines across your thighs.
An alternative to the pencil skirt is a knee length style with a slight A-line silhouette. Universally, this is the best shape for most women. It defines the waist and easily hides a myriad of problem areas (butt, hips and thighs) by giving a little extra fabric to cover those areas. Petite women should avoid full A-line skirts as it is too much fabric and only adds bulk. Shop for slight A-line, not wide, styles.
- A Good Suit
A suit may not work for everyone’s lifestyle, but it’s a good idea to have at least one in your wardrobe so you’re ready for the unexpected job interview or other conservative affair.
While everyone may not have a reason to wear a full suit often, you can easily wear the pieces as separates. A suit jacket can add polish and sophistication to a button down shirt and jeans and it can replace a jean jacket when you want a piece that has more elegance. You have endless options to pair with the jacket, pants or worn all together whether it be button down shirts, ultra-feminine tops, camisoles, sweaters even t-shirts.
Look for a classic neutral color in an all-season fabric. Bring it to your tailor to ensure the perfect fit. And always remember to launder both pieces together to ensure that one doesn’t fade faster than the other.
- Feminine Blouse
Not the obvious choice for a list of basics, until you consider the many possibilities of a pretty feminine blouse. Whether printed or plain, a pretty top is ideal for layering under a suit or cardigan, pairing with jeans or a skirt, or even layering over a thin turtleneck. Have at least one in your wardrobe to add an instant feminine touch to any look.
- Trench Coat
A coat is an investment piece, so don’t shy away from a higher price tag. You want a well made, good quality trench that is tough enough for a downpour and stylish enough to wear with a dress for a dinner date or suit for an interview. Look for a trench that has a hem that hits somewhere between mid-thigh and knee, you’ll be able to wear it with more in your wardrobe.
A trench with a removable liner is even better since you’ll be able to wear it during the colder months. Avoid all the bells and whistles of a trench that may have too many zippers, buttons or a bright pattern. A belted style is far more flattering. A good trench in a neutral or classic color should last you 3 years or more.
- Great Handbags
It’s hard to limit the number of shoes you own, and it is hard to limit the number of handbags you have as well. You must have at least one chic handbag, a timeless one and one that is versatile. Invest in the right ones and they will be part of your wardrobe for years. Neutrals are the obvious choice, but don’t discount a great red, purple or even mustard yellow bag. Select different sizes so that you’ll have a bag for different occasions. Have one that you can carry to the office, one that you can take out to dinner and one for shopping on weekends.
Since the goal is to invest in bags you’ll use for years, be sure to avoid any super-trendy details like studs, ruffles or excessive hardware.
More basics to round out your core wardrobe: flattering t-shirts, tank tops to layer with everything, white button down shirts, comfortable ballet flats and classic black pumps. These are just a few of the basics that you must have in your wardrobe. It is important that before you invest in trendy items, you have your basics in place. Your basics are your go-to items. They won’t let you down and they are easy to grab, throw on and accessorize with little thought. Some of you probably already have these items in your closet. If so, good for you!