This past weekend I rummaged through my closet and drawers to find items that I felt every girl should have. These are basic pieces that will never go out of style, are easily replaced or updated and can be combined to form at least 10 outfits.
1. Nude and black microfiber spaghetti strap top. Microfiber is a synthetic type of fiber often used to make under garments and athletic clothing because it’s soft, durable, quick absorbing, and water repellant. I highly recommend getting all of your undergarments in this material as it tends to last longer and it’s comfortable. Microfiber tops come in all sorts of colors but I’ve specifically chosen nude and black because they can be worn under shear clothing and give you clean, sophisticated look. If you’re looking to purchase this piece, I recommend Lauren Conrad’s line for Kohl’s, JCPennys and Charlotte Russe. When choosing a nude top, find one that closely matches your skin tone.
2. White top. For your white, black, and charcoal gray tops – choose a tank top (not spaghetti top) or short-sleeve t-shirt. Since, these pieces can be worn with just about anything buy a better quality top so it lasts longer. Any store you go to will have these colors – but if you’re lookingfor affordability check out Target, TJ Maxx, Wal-Mart, and Forever 21.
3. Black top.
4. Charcoal gray top.
5. Dressy top. This top should be a step up from your white and black shirts. It should have a bit of an “oomph” to it – meaning ruffles, sequins, color, design, etc. and should be versatile in the sense that you can wear it both casually and formally. I’ve chosen an earth tone colored top with some sequins and beading – I’ve worn it out to a bar with light gray harem pants and heels but also to work with a blazer and white pants.
6. Black and white horizontal stripe top. Unless, you’re going for the fat and wide look – do not buy a vertical striped top. I suggest you invest in a couple of striped tops in different colors – it’s a style that’s not going to go away for a while.
7. Button down white shirt. When in doubt, throw on a white button down, jeans, skinny belt, flats and your good to go. These shirts come in all types of materials and styles – I recommend getting just your casual white button down and if it’s see -through, put your nude microfiber top underneath it.
8. White blazer.
9. Navy blazer.
10. Skirt. Start off with a simple color – black, charcoal gray, navy, or khaki. I recommend getting one with subtle detail, i.e. an exposed zipper, pleats, ruffles, trim, etc. DO NOT get an all ruffle skirt for casual wear – it’s tacky and outdated.
11. Solid color tunic. Get one that’s made out of cotton and is slightly baggy. It can be similar to the one I’m wearing in the images below with the black leggings and scarf or one that doesn’t tie. Just keep it simple so that you can wear it in multiple ways.
12. Printed dress. Grab something that has a subtle print to it, flares out a bit, and is not too short. You want to make sure you can wear this out for a nice dinner or even casually.
13. Leggings/skinny black pants.
14. Khaki pants. Skinny or boot cut.
15. Dark, denim skinny jeans. MUST HAVE. MUST HAVE. MUST HAVE. Just like your tees, you want to invest in a higher quality pair so that they last longer. (Remember, these jeans do bleed so don’t wash them with the rest of your clothes. Instead, hand wash or wash only with other dark pieces. Wool-Lite laundry detergent for dark clothes helps these pieces stay dark for longer).
16. Jeans – boot cut or flare. ANOTHER MUST HAVE.
17. Pants – tweed or charcoal gray. Most of us resort to the black pants/cute top combo and after a while it can become quite lame. To freshen up your wardrobe I recommend investing in a pair of pants that are made out of a different color and material – this way it keeps your style from becoming mundane. (Keep your black pants – they’ll never go out of style).
18. Pants or jeans – white. Aaaahhh…the dreaded white pants! Many of you may not be too keen on white pants – as they can make one look wider than what they normally are. However, if you find the right style and fit – they’ll be the perfect addition to your wardrobe! I’ll do a whole segment on white pants, so don’t worry if you don’t know what to buy. Just keep them in mind as the Spring/Summer months come along.
19. Scarf. Find one that’s made out of a thin – airy kind of material – you want to be able to wear it year round; color is preferred.
20. Belt. Skinny and preferably in a shade of brown or tan. Color is better. Forever 21 always keeps ample amounts of skinny belts for $3 – $5. I suggest picking up a couple in various colors or styles.
21. Sling purse or clutch. Find a purse or clutch in a color that will go with everything – gray, black, brown, gold, silver or nude – this way you can use it with various outfits.
22. Nude flats. ESSENTIAL. Steve Madden makes amazing ones. They are a bit pricy but trust me – they’re worth it; they go with everything! Sometimes you can find them at Ross or TJ Maxx for a lot cheaper. The ones I have are Steve Madden and my only regret is that I didn’t get two pairs.
23. Heels. Choose comfort over pain. I recently bought the ones in the image at Forever 21 for $22.80 and they go with just about every outfit I have and are only a couple of inches tall.
24. Statement necklace. Gold or silver and preferably medium to long length. Try and find one that has beads, jewels, or a bit of color to it.
25. Nude and black bra. One of my biggest pet peeves is when women wear a white bra with a white top or black top – NO. NO. NO. Most of you are neither an 80-year-old grandmother nor a woman breast-feeding and therefore should not even own white bras. If it was up to me, I’d get rid of white bras forever – they’re extremely unflattering. If you’re unsure – just get black or nude. Wear nude bras with lighter colored clothing and black bras with darker pieces. As far as nude bras go, try to go with one that is closest to your skin tone. (I do love the occasional colored bra look which I’ll get into a little bit later).
I’m sure you guys might have some if not all these pieces but if you don’t have a piece – get it – you’ll never know when you need it. Below you will find various outfits that I put together using just these pieces. Note that this is a very minimalistic approach to style in that each outfit uses basic colors, is simple to put together, affordable and can still be spiced up in some way so its not boring.
Most of your normal retail stores will have these items. Since, these are pieces that you need long-term – I recommend spending a few extra dollars on them and getting better quality ones. Let me know if you are having trouble locating something and I’ll be more than happy to help you.
Have fun hunting!