How many of you walk into your closet brimming with clothing and say with exasperation “I have nothing to wear!” As a Stylist it is my job to find treasures in your wardrobe and discard those items that hold you back. Fall is the time for renewal. Let’s all adopt the “less is more” mantra. Having fewer pieces in your wardrobe that truly work for your body type is so much more important than having a wardrobe filled with the latest trends or even fashions from 3 seasons ago that just do not work.
Many clients ask me two key questions:
- What are the basic items I need to have in my wardrobe?
- And…. Where do I begin????
My simple answer is, start with quality staple pieces that can be paired with each other to create an active wardrobe, which can transform from day to night with simple additions.
I am a huge proponent of accessorizing an outfit. Accessories serve so many purposes from glamorizing a look to shifting the eye toward our best features. It’s not surprising that 3 of my top items are an accessory.
Here are my Top 10 Wardrobe Must-Haves for Women:
- Structured Black Blazer – From savvy office to nighttime chic this staple item works for nearly all body shapes.
- Black Skirt – Like the blazer, a great black skirt pencil, flair, A-line (depending on your body type) can be mixed and matched with a variety of shirts – prints, stripes, ruffles and solids. Have fun!
- Black Pants – Black pants can be the ultimate de-emphasizer. If you carry your weight in the hip and thigh area, select a pair that is more of a straight leg versus skinny. And like the black jacket and skirt is a basic starting point or foundation of your look… I think you get it!
- LBD – Little Black Dress – Sexy, slenderizing, sophisticated, whatever look you are going for you cannot go wrong with the LBD!
- Dark Wash Jeans – Dress up or down – enough said!
- Crisp Solid Blouse – My ultimate suggestion is the gorgeously tailored white blouse. But if white is not your color (as unfortunately it is not mine!) go for cream or another solid tone. I recommend solid because it is much easier to accessorize and provides more matching options than a print. A blouse with a bold stripe, while hip, might be trickier to pair with other items in your wardrobe. A solid offers greater flexibility.
- Fabulous pair of Shoes – Go bold here! Watch your confidence exude in beams of light when slipping into that perfect pair of shoes.
- Colorful Scarf – My favorite focal point! This instant eye catcher, neck warmer, color popper can be worn in so many ways any season.
- Figure Flattering Undergarments – An absolute must! Invest in a great bra. If you can only afford one go with a nude bra.
- Structured Handbag – Like shoes, a handbag is all you need to add some color and personality to an outfit. Curvy – select a more structured bag with straight lines. Athletic build – have fun with a slouchy bag.
Gentlemen your wardrobe matters too! You should make yourself and your appearance a priority. If you don’t love shopping, I suggest you invest in timeless pieces. This list creates a solid foundation to build upon.
Here are my Top 10 Wardrobe Must-Haves for Men:
- Navy Blazer – Conservative, classy, coiffed! If you have the budget, invest in a higher quality fabric. Pair with khakis, grey pants (dark or light), dark wash jeans and you have a polished look for a client meeting or date night dinner!
- Khaki Pants – The standard pant for the business casual look. I even suggest owning 2-3 pairs. When you don’t know the dress code – opt for khaki’s over jeans!
- Crisp white shirt – This interchangeable shirt is so versatile. Wear with a suit, khakis, and denim. Pair with sweaters, vests, jackets. The caveat, keep it ironed and white!
- Stylish Overcoat – This is an important investment. Select a jacket that not only keeps you warm but makes a statement too.
- Leather Belt – Please toss all old belts that are frayed! Stick with the basics of brown and black. A worn-out belt can stick out next to a polished look.
- Polished Shoe – Note the word “polished.” Someone told me once you can size a man up by looking at his shoes! Command attention gentlemen!
- The Watch – A man’s classic accessory!
- Socks – Now is the time to add some jaunty fun to your look. Invest in stripes, argyles, plaids or animals! My husband has a pair with glasses on them! This truly adds an element of surprise to an otherwise conservative look.
- Dark Wash Jeans – Like the ladies – dressing up or down – do it in dark wash!
- White Undershirt – As important as a bra is for the ladies, a t-shirt is equally functional. Something has to smooth the chest hair and absorb your sweat! Yes – I said sweat. In my opinion an outfit is not complete without one.
- * I know this is a top 10 list, but I would be remiss if I did not suggest the investment in a “tailored” suit. I’ve met so many clients with ill-fitting suits. Jackets too long. Pants too short. I suggest a custom navy suit. Navy is a power color! Wear to interviews, important dinners or upscale affairs. If this is not in your budget right now the aforementioned blazer is a must.
There you have it! Print this article. Bring this list into your own closet. Are any of these pieces missing? If so, then use this article as a “shopping guide” to invest in the basics! You can also hire me to help!