It’s a familiar scene: A harried woman stands in front of her closet, surveying the clothes, wailing to herself, “What do I wear?” While such behavior may seem a bit extreme when you’re getting dressed to run a few errands, the absence of appropriate attire is a legitimate lament when an invitation to a black-tie wedding arrives or you get a call from a headhunter. With these wardrobe essentials on hand, though, you’ll always know what to reach for. Here are 10 must-have fashion items for every woman’s wardrobe.
1. Trench Coat
Because we all want to have a “Breakfast at Tasha’s” moment and you can’t possibly look for your run-away kitty in the rain with a dreary old puffy jacket on. Seriously though, trench coats are so chic and versatile that you can wear them to that snazzy black tie dinner or elevate a casual weekend look by throwing one on over jeans and Toms. Another pro? They’re perfect for all kinds of weather. Those of us living on the East Coast may have to swap it out for our North Face come January but you’ll wear your trench through spring, summer and fall.
2. Little Black Dress
I’ve got two words for you ladies, Coco Chanel! This legendary woman has never put a fashion foot wrong, so take a leaf out of her book and stock up on a few Little Black Dresses. There are loads of options out there right now so I’d advice going for something casual like a summer maxi and another more dramatic piece that’s cocktail party appropriate. Tight on cash? Opt for a wrap that will be able to take you from day to night, office to party with a simple change of accessories.
3. White Shirt
Nothing says “This girl has got her act together” quite like a white shirt. While fabric choices are limitless I’d recommend opting for a soft silk which will seamlessly take you from office to bar. At work, you can wear it under a sweet sweater or blazer. At play, you can open up those top buttons and reveal a little lacy lingerie – there’s nothing sexier. You don’t have to be as stiff as the woman in the picture, but the cut and shape of her shirt is ideal.
4. Dark Wash Jeans
Like any true staple, these guys can be totally dressed up with a silk blouse and heels or simply worn with your comfiest ballet flats for kicking around town and running errands. Oh, but there’s one more reason why us gals should always opt for dark denim; it’s much more flattering, especially if (like me) you got a whole lot of boo-tay. Seriously, pear shapes take note!
Seasonless, timeless and ridiculously chic. You can wear yours with just about anything! While I have to admit I’m a bit obsessed with investing in blazers of all different shapes and colors your best and most versatile bet is a slim fit navy or black blazer. Work that sexy “woman with a mission” look by wearing it over a bra with a pair of skinny black pants a la Olivia Wilde or simply throw it over a striped top for Parisian chic.
6. Statement Necklace
I love a good statement necklace. You know why? It looks great with that LBD we were talking about and it elevates a boyfriend jeans and plain white tee combo like you wouldn’t believe. Besides, every gal loves a little sparkle!
7. Classic Pump
Every lady needs a go-with-anything pair of pumps. To make sure you’re getting some real bang for your buck, choose a closed-toe pair – no one wants to see toe cleavage at the office or worse still, an interview. Believe me, the real sex appeal comes from the height so you’re not sacrificing anything when it comes to cruising time. Black, navy and nude will make for some seriously versatile options but once you have these you should start considering leopard print i.e. the modern girls neutral.
8. Little Black Bag
The little black bag or a clutch is the accessory world’s equivalent of the little black dress. Simply put, you need one.
9. White Tee
Like chocolate, bacon or cheese, you slap this one on top and it makes everything better. It may sound crazy but don’t be afraid to spend a little extra here. Forty dollars for a plain white tee is somewhat extravagant but if you opt for a good quality fabric and take care of it you’ll wear it with everything including blazers, denim cut offs and suede booties – for years!
10. Chic Flats
Methinks this one needs no explanation! Flats are chicer than sneakers (I know those multicolored Nikes are amazing and I love them too but not everyone can pull off the look and not every establishment allows for sneakers!) and way more comfortable than heels. Plus, Chanel makes them!