Style Lesson: Wardobe Basics

| January 10, 2011 at 9:05 PM

Every fashionista has been in a situation where she had “nothing to wear.” This is a common complaint among women of all ages, and all of this can be avoided by one simple maxim: when in doubt, go basic. Building a classic staple wardrobe is going to be the anchor that keeps your style ship safely moored. No longer will you have to survive, lost adrift in a sea of latest trends and disposable fashion. Instead, trendy clothes and accessories will find a home in your wardrobe and can be worn in a seasonally appropriate fashion; however, they no longer have to make up the entirety of your wardrobe.

Every basic wardrobe needs the following:

1. A well-tailored black jacket

2. A basic white Oxford button down

3. A great pair of jeans

4. A tailored pair of slightly wide-leg black trousers

5. An oversized cardigan

6. A little black dress

7. A camisole in a pretty jewel tone

8. A black pencil skirt

9. A trench coat

10. Hanes plain white tees

11. Ballet flats

12. Classic pumps

13. Classic tall boots (brown and black)

14. A timeless handbag

15. A peacoat

16. Belt

Now this is basic stuff we are talking about. The flair you bring to these basics is your own. You can opt for a bright red peacoat or a turquoise skinny belt. The idea here is that you always have these things at your disposal and that you can mix and match them for multiple outfit options when you’re in a bind. All of these basics can be paired together in different combinations. Just experiment with them and have your daily “looks” worked out ahead of time for moments like when you’re running late for work, or you’re stressing out before a major interview.

There is also a short list of auxilary staples that make getting dressed fun and simple. These aren’t your hardcore basics like jeans or a little black dress, but they will help round out your closet essentials:

1. A watch

2. Simple earrings (pearls, diamond studs, small gold hoops, etc.)

3. A piece of statement jewelry (bold cuff, bib necklace, etc.)

4. Jackie O style sunglasses

5. Gloves

6. Silk scarf or cashmere pashmina

7. An elegant clutch

8. A vintage rock and roll t-shirt

9. Black and white striped shirt

10. Classic tote bag

11. Skinny Jeans

12. Loose tunic top

13. Animal print coat

14. Fancy cocktail dress

15. Light cotton summer dress

16. Leggings and tights

17. Vest

All kinds of trendy items can be bought and worn in combination with your wardrobe staples. A plain white Hanes t-shirt can be paired with skinny jeans, aviator sunglasses, a crossbody bag, and hippie vest for an every day casual look. Or you could pair the tailored black jacket with jeans (tucked into tall boots) and an oversized rock-and-roll triangle top for a hipster look. Having a wardrobe foundation comprised of quality basics doesn’t limit you. In fact, it makes getting ready just that much easier!

Every wardrobe needs to contain at least one timeless handbag that goes with everything. We have hundreds of such options at Bag Inc, but these are a few of our favorites:

13 Comments Add a Commentcomment

  1. Elena says:

    Thanks for this style lesson! I found many useful info!

  2. Jade C. says:

    I completely agree with everything on this list – I actually found myself nodding to each entry. I think you could add a pair of cute ankle booties to the list as well.

  3. Brianna Beers says:

    I love your handbag picks! Good choice!!

  4. jill says:

    I agree 100%! Gotta get more white tees…

  5. Kara Sanders says:

    So true

  6. Irene says:

    Agree, go basic!

  7. margherita says:

    i totally agree 🙂
    i guess i’m gonna read your blog everyday

  8. Tina Renee says:

    I need the Jackie O glasses and Animal print coat! Great suggestions!

  9. Mamavalveeta03 says:

    I have all of the basics, but I think I’m too old for the vintage Rock ‘n Roll tee. As I always say, “If you wore it the first time around, don’t wear it the next time it comes around!”

  10. Ning Ning Yang says:

    I have all the basics (and I’m only 18!), but I personally think animal print coats are passe — I went with a small-print leopard cardigan instead of a full-blown coat (just a little too wanna-be-hip-hop for me, I guess).

  11. raol says:


  12. Burcin says:

    These are some great tips! I’m a student and live on a budget. I can’t afford to keep buying new clothes but still want to look fashionable. It’s so true that some basic pieces will go a long way!

  13. Vanessa S says:

    Great post!! I agree with all of the above!!

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