My 10 Wardrobe Essentials

Women's Fashion, Essentials,

Let me just say I have major tomboy style. Yes I wear pink and I wear cute dresses, but I feel the most “me” when I am wearing my “uniform” as I like to call it; blazer, white v-neck, dark skinny jeans, and my boots (oh my boots!). These are my staples and essentials in my closet. Like I said yesterday with the Imogene and Willie post, I believe in investing in essentials. They will be the base of your wardrobe and will always come together perfectly, and if you buy pieces that are good quality, well made, and are head over heels for you will wear them till there are holes in them then buy two more of the same. ha. Men can do this much easier than women even though we have so many options for shopping, but to find a good piece you can invest in is a true hunt. Once you find that piece you will really love it forever so don’t feel bad if you kill your clothing budget for the month on a classic boot.

So I thought today instead of Art to Outfit I would break down my personal essentials to my wardrobe. I am no stylist just a girl who loves clothes, a good bargain, and an eye for keeping it simple. Let’s do this.

 Women's Wardrobe EssentialsChambray from Old Navy but suggest J.Crew’s

1. The Chambray
If I could I would have 40 of these in my closet. I wear my chambray everywhere from camping to with my favorite sequins. It is a powerful piece to have in your closet and I thank the man above for J.Crew showing us it is cool all over again. Buy a good one. Think Madewell or J.Crew and drop $100 they wear like iron and you will love it the more it breaks in.

10 essentials for your wardrobe, women's fashion, inspiration

blazer from J.Crew

2. The Blazer
I have red velvet, pin striped, black, orange tweed, and every other color possible. I have a thing for going to Goodwill and hunting down blazers, having them tailored and tossing them around like they are a cardigan. In my mind a blazer can make any outfit “work” attire. One morning I had a meeting after working till 4AM. I rolled out of bed and had on this kelly green t-shirt of my husband’s that said “Cheers Dublin!” I pulled on my jeans and threw a blazer over, top knotted my hair, and put on glasses and off to the meeting I went. The blazer is a magical mystical beast in your wardrobe.

women's wardrobe essentials, fashionwhite top from Topshop

3. The White Sheer Top
What I love about white is how simple and fresh it feels, but the power it can have can make all the difference. Find one you can wear under, over (yes over), and on it’s own. Wear the right undergarment. It will get you through girl’s nights out dancing and even out shopping at the Farmer’s Market. Wear it with jeans or tucked in to a favorite skirt.

women's wardrobe essentials, fashiondress from Anthropologie

4. The Dress for Any Occasion
I know this is hard but buy a dress or two you can wear for almost anything. A good wrap-esque dress like this Anthro one can do just that. Usually one that does not wrinkle easily is great for traveling. I have a couple dresses that go with me everywhere when I travel. You can toss that blazer over for the office, wear it with a bold necklace and heels for a wedding, or just simple with flats or sandals for a day of running errands or heading to the beach.

essentials for a woman's wardrobeboots from Frye

5. The Boots
I know not everyone can wear closed toed shoes so many months of the year like I can in the north, but I suggest breaking the bank on a good pair of boots. I bought mine in camel colored leather so I can wear them with black or blue. These guys above are the exact ones I have and after 3 years I am finally getting them buffed up and repaired at a boot store (yeah you can do that!!). If you buy boots that are good quality they will become like a good pair of slippers and wear like iron for you. Mine have been EVERYWHERE! I have worn them in a foot of snow in Salt Lake and in the hills of Austin. Take care of them and they will take care of you.

women's wardrobe essentials, fashion

skinnies from Anthropologie

6. The Dark Skinnies
I admit to owning boot cut jeans, mostly for those days I am out in the garden or relaxing. Let’s admit it, finding skinnies that work is not an easy task. I am a fan of Gap personally. I have tried tons of companies but Gap always fits me right. But when you find a pair buy two or three. I hate jeans with elastic in them, I don’t think they flatter my athletic legs or hold shape well. So I look for sturdy denim with no stretch in a midnight wash. These guys go well with your Chambray as well…yeah denim on denim is cool in my book.

Women's Wardrobe Essentials, Fashionnecklace from J.Crew

7.  The Statements
Every season I find a few pieces that are in trend that season. These take my essentials to the next level. Maybe it is a chunky necklace or a new scarf, but whatever it is it is bold and brings in some kind of contrast whether through pattern, texture, or color. It will make all the difference in taking your essentials into each new season.

heels from Madewell

8. The Leopard Heel
I swear Leopard is one heck of a powerful print. No matter what I find that every season I can still pull out my leopard print to find it classic, simple, and an essential to my wardrobe. I personally only like it on my shoes and no better of a place than on your heels. Rock this for a night on the town with your white top and dark skinnies. Everyone will think you look classy but with some serious edge.

Women's Wardrobe Essentials, FashionFind this tee at Madewell

9. The V-neck tee
I have every color v-neck. I own about 10 white ones and it is honestly a little disgusting how many I have. I love the tissue tees from J.Crew personally. The weight and drape of them is perfect. The reason for the v-neck is they are perfect for layering and makes a normal tee feel more feminine as it draws your eye down your body rather than stopping right around the neck. You also can layer on some necklaces with any good v-neck.

Women's Wardrobe Essentials

bag from Madewell

10. The Stripes
If I had a dollar for every striped item in my closet I would be pretty rich. I love stripes in any direction and any way. Stripes are classic but compliment almost any other pattern. Wear them with polka dots, florals, ikat, or anything your little brain can dream up. You will find that buying great striped pieces will carry you through season after season of patterns and layering.

Hope you all are inspired to bring in some new essentials to your wardrobe to give your closet a good base for building on every season. Happy Thursday my dear friends!


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  1. Its a good classic list that appeals to every body type too so I appreciate that! I’ve also heard great reviews about Calvin Kleins Curve jeans so that will my next ‘investment.’ also, J.Crew is where it’s at!!

  2. I full agree, especially with your v-necks, dark jeans, and blazer! This is actually a series I’ve been focusing on at my blog (Wardrobe Staples), though I love seeing the top ten all in one post. It’s always nice to see what other people pick!

  3. OMG- where have you been all my life? This is the perfect list- and I love all your little side notes and suggestions. I agree 100% with everything you said- and would only add a fabulous scarf as a must have. I am your newest follower and will be back tomorrow!