Last Monday, we talked a bit about the essential items every woman should have in her makeup bag. This week, it’s the closet’s turn. Before we start talking about the essential items every woman should have in her closet, I want to take a moment to point out something I feel is very important. Fashion is a very personal thing. Your fashion choices make a statement about who you are and how you want the world to see you. The list I’m about to offer is really just a basic outline of what every fashionable woman should have in her closet. If you hate wearing skirts, don’t wear them. While there are skirts on this list, you should never wear anything you’re not confident wearing just because it’s fashionable. Okay, with that out of the way, let’s get started.
Two T-shirts (One Black, One White)
Classic, comfortable and versatile, t-shirts should be a wardrobe stable in even the most fashionable woman’s closet. The classic black or white t-shirt can be casual or dressy depending on what you choose to pair it with. It’s important to have something in your closet that you can just throw on when you’re feeling like rocking a less high maintenance look and a well fitting t-shirt can offer you just that.
Two Tank Tops (One Black, One White)
Tank tops are sexy, casual but easy to dress up using the right accessories and the right complimenting clothing choices. I personally have a rainbow of tank tops in my closet because they’re convenient and versatile. You don’t need tank tops in a wide array of colors, although it doesn’t hurt, but every woman should have at least one black tank and one white tank in her closet.
Crew Neck Sweater
I love crew neck sweaters. They compliment any body shape, they’d comfortable and they’re good for casual to semi-formal occasions. While I would say every woman should have at least one crew neck sweater in black or white, I’d also suggest stocking up on a few more colorful ones as well. Basic crew neck sweaters tend to go on sale fairly often, so building up a decent collection in a variety of colors shouldn’t be all that expensive.
Classic White Button Up Shirt
The white button up shirt is a classic for a reason. It’s simple but versatile, working for nearly any occasion depending on what you choose to wear it with. I have a few different variations of this basic wardrobe staple. Add a few different materials and a few different cuts to your wardrobe so you can take full advantage of this classic clothing option.
Who doesn’t love a good cardigan. I like to think of cardigans as the mac and cheese of women’s fashion. Cardigans are comfortable, warm and perfect for casual occasions, semi-formal occasions or just lounging around in the house on your day off. While every woman should have at least one cardigan in their clothing arsenal, I’d like to go a step further and suggest a variety of colors and materials.
Two Pairs of Classic Dress Pants (One Black, One Grey)
Stylish, classy and mature, dress pants should really be style staples in any woman’s wardrobe. While I freely admit I don’t wear dress pants on a regular basis, when the need arises, I have a wealth of options to choose from in black and various shades of grey. Instead of buying a variety of different colors for this one, stick to basic black and grey until you decide whether or not this is a look you want to play around with on a regular basis.
I love everything about tweed pants. Perhaps most of all, I love the fact that they’re always in style but are so versatile anyone can find a nice pair of tweed pants that compliments their figure. Always a classic for business attire, they’re really catching on in more casual settings, adding a touch of class and sophistication to even the most casual outfit.
Another classic that’s making a comeback in a big way. Sometimes with fashion it can be difficult to stay up to date. You’re either ahead of your time or just behind the trend. Khakis do go out of fashion every now and again, but if you have a pair ready and waiting in your closet, you can pull them out and slip them on the next time they come back in style.
No woman should be without a pair of well fitting jeans. I don’t care if they’re wide leg, boot cut, flare leg, or skinny. If they fit you properly, they’ll work. Jeans are the perfect combination of comfort and style. While trends in denim may come and go, if you stick with comfortable jeans, avoid bold embellishments and choose a pair that fits you in right, your jeans will never go out of style.
I am not a big fan of capris, in all honesty. I don’t like the way they feel and I don’t really love the way they look on me. With that said, I have several pairs of capris in my wardrobe because I can’t deny how versatile they are. I’ve worn capris as business attire. I’ve warn them to semi-formal parties and I’ve warn them to hang out with friends on the beach. Capris are a hot look for summer, of course, but they also work year round in the right setting. Worth having, even if you don’t love the trend. Look for a sale and pick up a pair or two just in case.
Classic Black (or dark grey) Skirt
I’m not a skirt person. I generally either go full on dress or stick to pants but there are some types of skirts I make exceptions for. A classic black skirt is one of them. I also own a few basic skirts in dark grey. The key to the classic skirt’s appeal is its simplicity. It is what it is and it makes a fantastic foundation for a standout outfit if you pair it with the right top, shoes and jewelry.
The wool skirt is my favorite of all skirts (aside from the sarong, but I’m not sure that really counts as a skirt). It’s classic, timeless and elegant but still fun and youthful. The wool skirt also offers a lot of options but when I suggest sticking with knee-length or mid-length darker colored wool skirts until you’re sure you like the look. Really great wool skirts can be a bit pricey, so it’s best to stick with a color and style you know will go with just about anything and expand from there if you wish to.
Short, long, wide pleats, thin pleats – doesn’t matter. Every woman should have at least some kind of pleated skirt in her closet. While the plaid, pleated mini-skirt is a necessity for any school girl inspired looks, longer, solid color pieces shouldn’t be ignored. There is something very sexy and flirty about the gently pleated black skirt in the photo above that I just absolutely love.
For a long time, it seemed the pencil skirt was over but it’s really made a comeback in recent years. While I like to clean out my closet at least twice a year, I always try to keep at least one piece from an “out of style” collection just in case. The pencil skirt is a great example of why. It is a great look with a button down shirt even when it isn’t technically in fashion and with something as classy as a pencil skirt, it’s never long before it’s all the rage again.
Floor Length Skirt
Dramatic, elegant and flattering for any body type, a full length skirt is an absolute must have for every woman. While I prefer floor length skirts that are a bit more wispy and billowy than the skirt in the photo above, it’s hard to argue with this one’s beauty. It’s sophisticated and classy, perfect for any special event.
Classic Little Black Dress
Did you honestly think I would even conceive of doing this list without putting the little black dress on it? Well, okay – I’ll confess. I did consider chopping this one off in favor of the sarong (because I am a woman with a serious soft spot for sarongs) as I’m sure there are few women out there who don’t know how important the little black dress is. I just couldn’t do it though. No fashionable woman’s wardrobe is complete with the little black dress. It’s really as simple as that.
Simple Dress with a Bold Pattern
A bold pattern, even on a simple dress, makes a bold statement. It’s a look that says you’re confident and self-assured. It’s a look that says you want to stand out. It’s not exactly something you’re going to want to wear every day but there are definitely times when a dress with a bold pattern is called for. Two quick things about choosing this wardrobe staple:
- Make sure you choose a pattern that flatters you and that is comprised of colors you can work with.
- Make sure the cut of the dress suits your body type.
Those rules are important. Make sure you follow them. If you choose an ill fitting dress or a print that doesn’t work for you, it’s going to draw attention to you but for all the wrong reasons.
The sun dress in the photo above is stunning. It’s simple yet classic. It’s flattering to most body shapes but looks super comfortable. It’s everything that is appealing about a sun dress and more. Sun dresses are casual, sweet and demure – perfect summer attire and a must have clothing item for any fashion conscious woman. The only time sun dresses are out of style is when they are out of season.
A cocktail dress should be fun and flirty – the perfect dress for a party or a night out on the town with some friends. Even if you don’t go out often, it’s a good idea to have a cocktail dress stowed away just in case the need for one arises. Remember, a cocktail dress isn’t an evening dress so it doesn’t need to be especially fancy. The dress in the photo above is perhaps a bit on the more formal side but it should be enough to give you the basic idea.
Cocktail dresses tend to be longer and a little less formal than an evening dress so just because you have one does not mean you have the other. A fashionable woman should always have at least one evening dress in her closet that she can wear to a formal event if such an event arises. Let’s clear up a common misconception though. An evening dress does not have to cost you an arm and a leg. If you know how to sew, you can probably even make one yourself. You probably aren’t going to the Academy Awards and if you are, you can probably afford something elaborate. For the average woman though, an evening dress can be much more simple.
Now I want to be clear. While I love the fitted jacket in the photo above, this is not what your fitted jacket has to look like. It doesn’t matter what material it is or even what color it is. A nice fitted jacket paired with the right outfit can produce an incredible look. I wouldn’t recommend stopping at one though. Get a few different styles, colors and materials if you want to be ready for anything.
Stylish Winter Jacket
As with the fitted jacket, the stylish winter jacket doesn’t have to be like the one in the above image. It can be any length, color, style or material. The important part is just having a winter jacket that does its job but looks good while it is doing it. A stylish winter jacket needs to look good but it also needs to be functional and comfortable so you can feel as good as you look.
People like to say that denim jackets are out of style. I like to disagree. I love denim jackets. They’re comfortable, casual and compliment a surprisingly wide variety of outfits. Looking to dress down your little back dress for a more casual look? Throw on your denim jacket. If you’re worried about the jacket looking too dated, choose something without a lot of embellishments.
A pea coat is a classic, beautiful and practical addition to any fashionable woman’s closet. They’re a casual but still sophisticated option that makes a great statement in fall or winter. Pea coats say you are practical but fashion conscious, marrying the two qualities together in one garment. More than that, a pea coat is something that will never go out of style as long. An absolutely classic that is a classic for a reason.
Oh the trench coat. Fashionable, alluring and mysterious. The trench coat is a fashionable outer wear option that has endless possibilities. I personally have long and short trench coats in a wide range of colors. Offering a trendy retro feel, a trench coat in any color is a great option for over an evening dress, a cocktail dress, a business suit or a whole host of other outfits. Plus, they’re functional.