Updated: Jul 28, 2019
THE one question I see people asking regularly is “what are my top 10 wardrobe essentials?” But before I answer that question with what I believe is the best possible answer, I want to touch on some sub-questions that usually respond to the initial question. Do you mean top 10 pieces for summer? For winter? Do I get to include shoes and accessories? Are the wardrobe pieces for work or rest or play?
Obviously there is no definitive answer to match the lifestyle and personality of every woman; however, depending on the variables of which I mentioned above, it is possible to compile several lists of essential pieces for the modern woman! Those lists may differ in color, climate, and dress code/ occasion, but ultimately, I have a base list for all you style gurus (and wannabe style gurus) out there.
I should also clarify that my list is not about restricting yourself to ONLY 10 wardrobe pieces – not in the least. It’s simply an idea and compilation of pieces that can only be defined as essential for every wardrobe all year round. These are the pieces that you cannot (or should not) live without, and what can form part of an outfit for every day of the year!
Hypothetically speaking, could I live with just 10 clothing items in my wardrobe? I’d like to believe I could, but the honest answer is absolutely not! After all, I am a style and fashion guru. But come to think of it, there are only about 10 pieces I continue to fall back on time and time again– and oddly enough, these pieces tend to be staples in an abundance of womens’ lifestyles worldwide. These core essentials are the backbone of my wardrobe and thus form my signature style. They are my trusted loyal friends who never let me down, even when I’m having a fashion crisis!
So do those 10 pieces make my wardrobe essentials list? Absolutely they do! And a little word of advice: ALWAYS chose quality over quantity.
Please note: Any photographs in this article merely represent and indicate a style rather than an actual brand or product.
Your wardrobe pieces don’t have to be black. Or navy. Or white. Or any other color that the internet says. Choose your base color, and then find a palette off of that in which to build up your own essentials list. Your own personality will thank you! Also, I would highly recommend investing a little more into these pieces because they will become your wardrobe workhorses, and will, therefore, need to stand up to plenty of daily wear and tear (whether that be at work or at play).
Crisp White Tee:
Start your outfit off with a clean slate. This staple white tee is versatile, cool, and a piece that you can wear any day of the year. Dress it up with a trendy blazer or jacket, and down with a pair of your favorite jeans + comfiest sneakers! It anchors statement pieces like printed shorts, colored denim, and layers perfectly under sweaters.
Little Black Dress Really no explanation needed. Go for an LBD with a high neckline and a semi-modest length for maximum versatility from day to night. But if that look isn’t you, you can’t go wrong as long as you keep adaptability and your own personal style in mind! The first step to finding your perfect LBD? Know your body shape, then pick your silhouette!
Little Black Dress:
Really no explanation needed. Go for an LBD with a high neckline and a semi-modest length for maximum versatility from day to night. But if that look isn’t you, you can’t go wrong as long as you keep adaptability and your own personal style in mind! The first step to finding your perfect LBD? Know your body shape, then pick your silhouette!
Dark Wash Denim:
Jeans that never go out of style? Dark wash denim. Perfect for dressing up or down, this denim (whether in the form of jeans or a jacket) in an ultra dark rinse will be your bread and butter for every season and every shape. My personal styling tip? Wear with anything that makes you feel amazing!
Slip-on sneakers have hit a critical mass, solidifying their place on my wardrobe essentials list. Comfortable enough to walk miles in, but way sleeker than chunky dad sneakers or those gross yard shoes you have, these shoes give any outfit an extra dose of cool. Pair with your favorite pair of jeans or even that new wrap dress for some fashion versatility!
A classic pair of nude or black pumps will never fail you or your outfits. They’re the perfect shoe option to wear for your 9-to-5, happy hour, or a weekend date night. Try pairing them with jeans for a casual, yet sleek and sexy vibe! I’ve learned from personally experience that pointed-toe styles are magical when it comes to making your legs appear longer, more toned, and sleeker.
Borrowed from the boys (but in better prints & colors, duh), the button-up shirt always strikes a balance between looking casual and appearing polished. Wear it with jeans or a pencil skirt depending on where you need to be! You can even use it as a base to put a sweater over during the colder months. Take this staple up a notch by choosing one in a luxe material like viscose or silk.
Wrap / Casual Dress:
The most universally flattering dress of all, a wrap dress looks ah-mazing on every woman and body shape! Really. Don’t believe me? Head on out to your local boutique and try one on– you’ll be happy you did. Pair your new wrap dress with pumps for a dressy occasion, or simply dress it down with some fashion sneakers (one of my personal favorite style choices). Can someone say fashion + comfort?? #YAS
Hopefully I’m not the first to tell you this, but layers are your friend! A fashionable blazer is one of those essential wardrobe items for a working woman and beyond. It can easily render the most unexpected outfits fabulous, even if you’re wearing a graphic tee underneath!
The perfect knit sweater works with everything– from a pair of distressed boyfriend jeans for the weekend to a pleated, feminine skirt for a night out. If you find one you like, get it in every color. You’ll thank me later! Look for a style that you will reach for in a hurry. This means minimal patterns and more neutral colors so you don’t have to put too much thought into how it will work with the rest of your look.
The ankle boot is the shoe for any season. They are way easier to slip into and pack than their taller sisters (we still love you, knee highs)! Go for a peep-toe or lace-up style in the warmer months, and stick with the closed-toe style when its a little cooler outside. Experiment with heel tights to land a totally different vibe with your ankle boot. My favorite way to wear mine is to pick a closed-toe style with higher heels and pair them with skinny jeans!
As you add to your closet over the years, don’t be afraid to dabble in new trends that you fall in love with! Wardrobe staples like these will play the supporting role to those star-studded pieces that you sprinkle in each season.