If you’re like me, in that you enjoy blatantly lying to yourself that you’ll cut down on the shopping this year, then this post is for you. I’ve broken down a list of wardrobe staples that are necessary for any and every closet, wardrobe, or rolling rack. In all honesty, these pieces will help you determine what items have longevity and which impulse items are (shudder) unnecessary. If you’re trying to tame the shopping in order to prevent any interventions that you see on the horizon then follow this simple list. The items are classic, wearable, interchangeable and for every occasion. This past year I finally cut down on the impulse purchases that I would only wear once and then bury in my closet. I’ve been building a wardrobe of staples, items that are in it for the long haul, and those that can be worn in a ton of different ways and styles. Try and stick to the below and you’ll find that you have this newfound thing called money in your bank account. This is what you use to purchase shoes and beauty products. I mean, save and pay off debt. Slip of the tongue. Slip of the tongue.
A scarf is an easy way to switch up your look, add a statement piece to an otherwise simple look, or to throw on top of an outfit you may have already rocked. I like chunky, cabled and oversized infinity scarves during the colder months and lighter layered looks during the rest. Anything goes. Just stop purchasing faux McQueen’s and Hermes please. Faux nothing unless it’s fur.
Paula Blanco Chunky Knit Wrap Scarf/$85/Shopbop.com
Club Monaco Nora Chevron Scarf/$90/Shopbop.com
J Crew Printed Square Scarf/$55/Jcrew.com
Basic Button Down
The button down is a classic staple. There is no way you can go wrong with this item. Unless you wear it with black pants to a fancy restaurant. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Equipment is the reigning King of the button down at the moment but if you don’t want to pay the Royal-like prices, then most cost effective pieces are available everywhere. I like button downs with a nicer fabric, a little stretch or an airy feel. Starchy and stiff fabrics are much much cheaper but if you’re investing in a wardrobe item then go for something with a higher price range. J Crew has my favorites by far.
Equipment Margeaux Blouse/$168/Shopbop.com
Boy Shirt in Stripe Poplin/$78/JCrew.com
3/4 Sleeve Stretch Perfect Shirt/$78/JCrew.com
ONE by Rails Kendra Button Down/$128/Shopbop.com
I did a post on the ankle bootie a while back, everything I’ve said still stands. It’s a staple. You can wear it all year round, with denim, trousers, shorts, skirts, skorts and leggings. Ensuring that you’re finding a pair that works for your body type is also essential. The key is to stay away from ones that cut length off your legs – this is a really common mistake and it results in people swearing off booties forever. You don’t have to have stick legs to wear them, just be aware of your shape when shopping.
Rachel Roy Lexington Perforated Booties/$325/Shopbop.com
Jeffrey Campbell Everwell Cutout Booties/$155/Revolveclothing.com
Schutz Slate Lace Up Booties/$220/Shopbop.com
Pedro Garcia Cara Gored Booties/$287/Shopbop.com
Jeffrey Campbell+Free People Storm Ankle Boot/$200/Freepeople.com
The timeless tee can come in a ton of different forms. The common denominator here is simplicity. It should be basic, comfortable, durable, interchangeable and if possible – made from a nice soft fabric that encompasses all the above. My favorite tees are from J Crew, Ariitzia, C&C California and James Perse. If don’t mind shelling out. Long sleeve, turtleneck, v neck, round neck, 3/4 length, relaxed fit or body con – whatever. Own one.
Splendid 1×1 Turtleneck/$50/Shopbop.com
Michael Lauren Hunter Long Sleeve Draped Tee/$70/Revolveclothing.com
Velvet Michelle Cotton Striped Top/$95/Shopbop.com
We The Free Breaker Tee/$70/Freepeople.com
Bobi Light Weight Jersey Long Sleeve/$30/Revolveclothing.com
The classic bag is a go – to that you can pretty much tote anywhere, wear with anything and pack with half your toiletries collection. It should be sturdy, stylin – duh, preferably structured and fairly sized. Stay away from the excessive monogramming (you know exactly what I’m talking about – don’t make me say it), cluttered add ons, and cheap fabrics. Invest in a classic bag. You will thank yourself for doing so. One classic bag is worth more than 10 random ones you buy just because they’re on clearance. Black is obviously a good color to stick with but just because a bag is bright doesn’t mean it isn’t classic.
Rebecca Minkoff Amorous Satchel/$325/Shopbop.com
3.1 Philip Lim Medium Pashli Satchel/$995/forwardforward.com
Pour La Victorie Satchel/$395/Revolveclothing.com
Alexander Wang Rockie Duffel Bag/$795/Shopbop.com
Do I even have to explain this? Leather is bad ass for a reason – it’s like putting on a game face when you’re weak and terrified inside. It’s the Angelina Jolie to your sappy ass Katherine Heigl (no offense to Katherine Heigl fans – the handful of you) and it’s like putting on red lipstick with pajamas. Yeah, pajamas. A leather jacket will easily take you from 0 to 60 in like I don’t know, however long it takes you to put on a jacket. I cannot stress how necessary it is to own. Oh, and if you don’t want to shell out then a faux leather will suffice – ain’t no shame in your game but at least you got it.
Current/Elliott The Studio Jacket/$969/Revolveclothing.com
BB Dakota Valli Leather Jacket/$495/Shopbop.com
Juicy Couture Leather Moto Jacket/$698/Shopbop.com
IRO Double Zip Leather Jacket/$1348/Intermixonline.com
BLANKNYC Faux Leather Jacket/$98/Nordstrom.com
Ohhhh, look at that – black jeans following the leather jacket. Wear the two of them together and you’re practically James Dean with boobs. The black jean is a classic. They go with everything, create a svelte silhouette and are a perfect pairings with ankle booties, minimalist sandals and moto boots. I’m loving the Rag&Bone The Leggings, the Joe’s Dorothy skinny and the Hudson motos. Zippers, ankle length, moto and a little bit of distressing are trendy but if they’re your first time purchase then opt for a more classic pair and then go nuts.
RAG&BONE/Jean The Legging/$189/Revolveclothing.com
Hudson Jeans Beth Baby Boot/$189/Revolveclothing.com
Citizens of Humanity Avedon Slick Skinny/$178/Shopbop.com
Hudson Jeans Stark Moto Skinny/$250/Revolveclothing.com
Joe’s Jeans Dorothy Skinny Stretch/$169/Nordstrom.com
Please ladies – own a pair of basic, flattering denim trousers. Jeans. Whatever. Just own at least one pair that you can wear with everything. The ankle length or cropped skinny is a perfect choice for a interchangeable jean. It’s my favorite because I can wear it with sandals, flats, and they tuck into ankle booties and tall boots with ease. If you have a problem finding the right pair of denim – call me – my starting advisory rate is $100 an hour. I know right? You can’t afford me. Your other options are to take your time trying on a sh*t ton of styles. Be aware of the different styles (basic ones), take a pair of shoes that you’ll most likely wear with what you’re looking for and ask for advice. I know many sales associates are incompetent but if you hit up Nordstrom I promise you – you will leave with a classy pair of jeans, the feeling that your time was well spent and resulted in a successful purchase, and a sh*t eating grin. At least that’s what I look like when I leave Nordstrom. And when I enter. And during. And so on and so forth.
Black Orchid Ankle Zip/$158/Revolveclothing.com
Paige Denim Skyline Skinny/$179/Nordstrom.com
AG Adriano Goldschmied The Legging/$220/Revolveclothing.com
Citizens of Humanity Ultra Skinny in Montauk/$215/Nordstrom.com
J Brand 722 Lovestory Jeans/$238/Shopbop.com
J Brand Mid Rise Capri Jean/$158/Shopbop.com
A statement necklace is like buying a new shirt. But better. This bad boy can add a little bit of “something extra” to any outfit. My favorite pairing is – duh – a basic tee. Investing in a couple of pieces will instantly transform your outfits without having to shop for clothing. I like bold and bright but simpler (but still fairly sized) pieces are hot too, plus they’re a nice starting point.
Vanessa Mooney The Phoenix Necklace/$75/Revolveclothing.com
Stephan & Co Enamel Statement Necklace/$24/Nordstrom.com
BCBC Max Azria Multi Color Floral Statement Necklace/$108/Revolveclothing.com
TopShop Large Coral Floral Necklace/$40/Topshop.com
TopShop Eagle Stone Necklace/$36/Topshop.com
Every female needs to own a LBD or a cocktail dress. Even if it’s just the one. You need a classy dress among all those last minute, one nighter Vegas purchases. Dinners, birthdays, work events, dates, family parties – what have you – the cocktail dress is a piece that you can pull out when you have told the yoga pants, sweatpants and pajamas that they’re going to their room and thinking about what they’ve done for the rest of the night. Those assholes cause some serious damage and they don’t even know it. You shouldn’t even be wearing them to begin with. The last time you did yoga is when you bent down to pick something up off the floor anyway. Just stop. The key to a cocktail dress is class. Ingrain this word into your brain when you’re shopping for a dress. Tattoo it on your forehead. Wear it around your neck (on second thought – don’t) but always, always keep it at the forefront.
Indah Sloan Web Dress/$270/Revolveclothing.com
Dress The Population Lola Long Sleeve/$200/Revolveclothing.com
TopShop Textured Crepe Drop Hem Dress/$110/Topshop.com
Tadashi Shoji V Neck Tulle Fit & Flare Dress/$198/Nordstrom.com
Studio Mermaid Dress/$159/Zara.com
RED Valentino Polka Dot & Lace Dress/$795/Shopbop.com
Pencey Ceremony One Shoulder Dress/$194/Shopbop.com
I say pretty because I have actually seen women dragging their feet around in peeling, raggedy, stained and altogether highly unfortunate looking flats one too many times. Flats originate from the ballerina style flat. Ballerinas are delicate, pretty and agile. Your sh*tty looking flats are not. Please respect the origin and recognize. Again, these are so wearable, accompany all sorts of outfits from casual denim to leather leggings and frilly skirts, and can be a cute, or sexy alternative to the stiletto. As long as you don’t wear them with – here we go – yoga pants, sweatpants and pajamas. Honestly, people still wear pajamas out. I mean, if you’re on a ice cream or tampon run, then I completely sympathize and understand. If you are dressed in any of the aforementioned garments for any other reason besides the ice cream or tampon run then you must be publicly shamed. Immediately. Like at a town hall. They still have those right? Anyway, check out my selections below…
Sigerson Morrison Haden Flats/$395/Shopbop.com
Marc by Marc Jacobs Mouse 10 mm Ballerina Flat/$220/Revolveclothing.com
McQ Alexander McQueen Ada Punk Pointed Toe Flats/$395/Shopbop.com
Prada Love Is Everywhere Flat/$390/Nordstrom.com
Sperry Everett Suede Loafer/$97/Nordstrom.com
Valentino Rockstud Ballerina Flat/$695/Nordstrom.com
alice & olivia Hilary Heart d’Orsay Flats/$240/Shopbop.com
Sam Edelman Brina Studded Flats/$110/Shopbop.com
Block Heel Ballerina Flat/$25/Zara.com
The White Tee
Oh look – it’s my Holy Grail of clothing. The reining wardrobe item that every person, man woman or child, should own. May I begin? Classic, wearable, casual, dressy, flowy, sexy, shapely, simple, polished….I mean, tell me when to stop. I won’t, but tell me when. I cannot stress how necessary a white tee is. Leave right now and purchase one if you can admit to me that you don’t own one. I’ll even allow you to go out in your yoga pants, sweatpants and/or pajamas. Really. NOT. Get a grip! Ice cream or tampons! No excuses! ANYWAY, this little gem can be styled in oh I don’t know, 926452094860 different ways. Skirts, pants, shorts, denim, leather, tweed, houndstooth, satin, velvet, you can wear it with any damn thing. I dare you challenge me otherwise.
Eileen Fisher Silk Tee/$128/Nordstrom.com
Perfect fit V neck Tee/$25/Jcrew.com
Wilt Slub Shrunken Tee/$80/Shopbop.com
Free People Weekends Layering Tee/$38/Revolveclothing.com
Pencey Standard Boy Crew Tee/$69/Shopbop.com
A blazer is another essential that can really class up your wardrobe. Oh I love basics – I’m in Heaven right now. I like the boyfriend fit with certain pairings, but a nice tailored blazer is necessary. Not just for business wear or first impression job interviews, but I feel that this is common knowledge now – a blazer is a more polished, more classy and more fitted replacement for a bulky coat or jacket. Again, all pieces in this post are ones that can be WORN WITH EVERYTHING, that’s the point of it – to offer you pieces that are long withstanding, easy to style, and wearable. The blazer is just that.
Vince Camuto One Button Blazer/$150/Nordstrom.com
Velvet by Graham & Spencer Ponti Stripes Electra Blazer/$150/Revolveclothing.com
Hatch The Blazer/$172/Shopbop.com
Blazer with gathered shoulders/$119/Zara.com
If you don’t know, now you know (ugh, so passe’ but I can’t help myself) – oversize is in. Boyfriend styling, grandpa cardigans, batwing ponchos, huge cowl necked sweaters, and insanely comfy cable knits – a must. Not only does the oversize sweater allow you to get comfortable and feel less self conscious than say, a body con top or blouse, but it is just as fashionable, flattering (if worn with a more fitted bottom), and easy to wear. I love the look, I love the warm fuzzy feelings it invokes, and I love it with pretty much every style of bottom out there. Wide and flowy for a Hippie Chic look, tailored and cropped for a classier, more polished look, or with denim or leather for a more trendy look. Purchase one. You will thank me after you realize that your food baby is disguised in a really fashionable and super chic way after that second helping of whatever you shouldn’t be eating in the first place. xo
Marc by Marc Jacobs Frieda Cabled Poncho Sweater/$298/Nordstrom.com
MICHAEL Michael Kors Metallic Sweater/$70/Nordstromrack.com
Boat neck sweater/$18/Zara.com
SHAE Oversized sweater/$180/Revolveclothing.com
Leith Oversized Pop Marled sweater/$68/Nordstrom.com
Theory Audrin Oversized V neck sweater/$240/Revolveclothing.com