Don’t we all want to clean out our closet, know how to invest in quality pieces that stand the style test of time, and learn how to style the more ‘trendy’ pieces in our wardrobe? Enter my 11 Closet Essentials. I’ve been working on this extremely edited list for myself over the past year for all of those reasons, and I am so excited to finally share it with you. Basically, as I have dug through the labyrinth that is my own closet to get dressed every morning, I have worked through the closet conundrums and styling saviors so that you don’t have to. I have freed you of that time you waste in the shower thinking about what to wear today (anyone else do that or just me?) and provided solutions for what to do when you see those amazing pink peony printed palazzo pants that you just HAVE to buy but have no idea what to wear them with. Well, the solution is simply 2,3,5, or 10.
For each of the 11 items (2 are seasonal), I have shown how other people have styled them and what to look for in shape and details that make it essential. These are items that you should consider spending time finding the right one; the one that makes you feel amazing and fits impeccably, even if it costs slightly more than what you are willing to spend. I have invested in most of these pieces and while initially panicked that I wouldn’t be able to pay rent that month, they were by far my smartest purchases. In a future post I will be highlighting my splurge and save picks for each essential, so if you want to weigh in, send me your thoughts!
For even more inspiration, be sure to check out my pinterest board here and follow along for constant inspiration on ways to update your look. The best part about these 11 pieces is that not only do they make the more ‘trendy’ items in your wardrobe easier to style, you can basically interchange them with each other in any combination when you are short on time and JUST. WANT. TO. KILL. IT.
1. Leather Mini Skirt
Look for: Small details like zips or pockets. Lightweight leather for movability. Hitting at waist.
Why?: A leather skirt plays to the cool girl in all of us, but can easily be styled in a professional, demure or casual way as well. I have had my leather skirt for almost a decade (can’t believe I’m old enough to start saying that now) and I wear it at least once a week. It goes perfectly with every statement blouse, sweater or jacket.
2. Chambray Blouse (to be alternated with a Black Turtleneck in Fall/Winter)
Look for: 100% Cotton, pale blue, very lightweight
Why?: I call it the J.Crew effect. Basically pairing a chambray blouse with anything dressy, sparkly or work appropriate instantly chic-ifies your look. It’s the whole juxtoposition of casual and dressy.
How I wore it: Guess I haven’t posted one in a while but now I have some homework! I am wearing one today as I write this so check out my instagram for that look.
3. Striped Long Sleeve Tee
Look for: Black and white stripes, Crewneck, slightly dropped shoulders for a little more slouch, full length sleeve for layering or pushing up
Why?: You must be living under a rock if you haven’t seen 5238901 ways to wear striped tees. But I guess… thanks for reading my blog??
4. Black Cashmere Sweater
Look for: Doesn’t have to be cashmere, but you will regret it if you don’t :), buy one size up for slouchyness, crewneck shape
Why?: A black cashmere is what business casual wardrobes are made of. But they are also the perfect classy layering piece for your statement bottoms, which can also be worn with #5
How I wore it: one of my other work staples, you will see this more on my instagram than on the blog, but good to know I need to post something soon!
5. Grey Sweatshirt
Look for: Buy one size up for slouchiness, look for superlight weight, mid-tone grey, crewneck
Why?: I live in my grey sweatshirts-and not to the gym. Since I have a penchant for pencil skirts I find that the perfect counterpoint to their dressiness is a slouchy grey sweatshirt.
How I wore it: Check the insta
6. Black Leather Pants
Look for: Leggings or less detailed leather pants are best for versatility. Buy one size down if possible as they stretch. Make sure you hem to the correct length to avoid bunching!
Why?: Black leather leggings are not just for winter- they are actually pretty lightweight and work for transitional temperatures as well. The leather shine makes any leg look longer and slimmer and gives you instant Catwoman confidence. I should know, I made the first move with my fiance wearing a pair!
7. Black Leather Jacket
Look for: Totally up to the you! I prefer a more traditional moto shape with hardware details and a ‘lived-in’ sensability, but if you prefer a more work appropriate style, avoid metal hardware. Length must hit at high hip.
Why?: Everyone you have ever wanted to be owns one. Literally everyone. So just open that checkbook and buy one, and put it on over everything. I promise.
8. White Skinny Jeans (to be alternated with Black skinny jeans in Fall/Winter)
Look for: They do not have to be as stretchy as other colors of denim, so look for heavier weights so that pockets are not visible. Paige and Gap are my faves. In fact, buy 2 white pairs because you WILL spill on them.
Why?: White is right. With everything. For every occasion. Once you go white you will not be able to remember anything else you had in your closet.
9. Distressed Boyfriend Jeans
Look for: Mid-tone wash and as much distressing as is appropriate for your life. make sure the cuffs are adjustable, sounds silly but you want to be able to play with them, nothing too precise
Why?: When I fly home from a summer vacation and my legs are burned, what do I wear on the plane? Distressed boyfriend jeans because the plane is freezing but my legs hurt so bad I can’t possibly pull something tight over them. And they look cute with heels and flats.
10. White Slouchy Tee
Look for: A U-neck or wide crew is the best. Longer short sleeves and an elongated body. Anything too shrunken will appear cutesy and 90s. Normcore is over people.
Why?: Do I really need to say? A white tee makes anything stuffy seem, less, well, stuffy.
How I wore it: Check the insta, duh!
11. White Blazer
Look for: A longer shape and sharp lapels. make sure it nips in at the waist. I prefer double-breasted but to each her own.
Why?: It’s your spring/summer topper. It boss-ifies any casual look and adds polish to the sloppiest of tattered jeans. You can wear it to a summer wedding. Trust me, you need it.
Once you feel comfortable mixing and matching these pieces, the next step is investing in different colors! Pick a theme at a time, such as a red stripe skirt, red blazer, or camel leather skirt and camel cashmere.
All pictures from Pinterest