alright guys, getting ready for a long post! but just know for as long as it takes you to scroll through, it took me days more to actually write it! but i’ve been wanting to share these ideas with you all for so long, and i am so thankful to you for reading my blog, so that makes everything worth it!
over my years of blogging, especially my What I Wore posts, my readers would ask me what closet staples suggestions i have. after promising a post for so long and never delivering (sorry!), i finally have pulled it all together. now this isn’t a completely comprehensive post, but more focussed on fall/winter basics and not including summery dresses, shorts or sandals. maybe that will be another time. or year…
as fun as new fashion trends are, having a good foundation of basics is so important. when your closet is based on classic basics, getting dressed each day is just easier. you can add a newer trend into your wardrobe without having to BUY ALL THE THINGS to go with said new trend.
so here we go, my list of classic closet staples:
white oxford: the white button down is the most classic of all the basics. it looks great on everyone, whether you choose a looser boyfriend style or fitted. it can be tucked in, front tucked, untucked or even tied in a knot at the waist. get one. wear it all the time.
chambray shirt: i tend to prefer a more fitted chambray shirt, but i have been loving the new looser tunic style, too. wear this shirt with contrasting denim, black skinnies, or white jeans. wear chambray buttoned up or open with a tee underneath. wear it tucked into a floral skirt. i prefer to wear my chambray shirt with sleeves sloppily cuffed or open under a chunky cardigan with a v-neck tee.
gingham button down: same great qualities as the white oxford, but kind of like it’s cuter cousin ;) its great for the days you need a print. p.s. this looks super cute with a leopard print belt or flats.
grey v-neck tee: i’ll be honest, i basically live in this tee. i also keep black & white v-necks in steady rotation. this neckline is flattering on everyone, unlike the crewneck (it has its place, but its not for everyone). pair this with a baseball hat = perfect. pair it with jeans and a chunky rhinestone necklace = date night! wear it all day at home with leggings then sleep in it and wear it again the next day! oh, thats just me, never mind… #badadvice
plaid shirt: i’d love to say the flannel shirt has always been a classic, but i think it got a bit of a bad rap during the 90’s grunge period. but the plaid shirt game is strong and back for everyone, whether you’re wearing doc marten’s and heavy eyeliner or not.
cozy cable knit cardigan: most winter days you can find me home in leggings, a loose tee, fuzzy slippers and a thick chunky cardigan. basically a modern day housecoat, if you will. these cozy sweaters pair great over any of the tops listed above, and are best with something fitted on the legs. skip the boyfriend jeans with this one, unless you want to look too much like your boyfriend ;)
grey sweater: so here’s something i’ve decided as a woman in her 30’s with kids: fitted sweaters are overrated and are not my friend. but each of these sweater options, while loose, can still look great and really put together. again as with the cozy cable knit cardigan, pair these loose sweaters with something fitted on bottom, like skinny jeans and ankle boots. i have the sweater on the left and its a favorite.
olive field jacket: while the above options are all lightweight, the thicker parka versions (even with fur trimmed hoodies) are great, too. these lightweight options are great for layering. throw it over a t-shirt when theres a little chill to the air, or layer it over a sweater on the colder days. its nod to the military lends this classic jacket a little edgy coolness.
black dress: everyone needs at least one LBD. these 3 options all vary greatly, and work for all different occasions. i think the loose shift dress in the middle is the most versatile – it works for a cocktail party and a funeral. i really believe a great fitting little black dress is worth investing in because it will prove to be so useful for years of occasions, parties, and celebrations.
neutral boyfriend cardigan: i love a longer length in a cardigan, especially if you want to wear it with leggings (cover the buns, ladies!). this works over an oxford with jeans, even over the little black dresses with boots. this is great for the days when you don’t need a thick layer for extra warmth.
graphic tee: a good, simple graphic tee is so versatile! beyond just wearing with jeans & converse, add a rhinestone necklace! or wear with a pencil skirt & heels. layer a plaid flannel over it. wear it with leopard print flats. so many variations, so much fun!
skinny jeans: ladies, get yourself a good pair of skinny jeans! get a pair with a nice classic wash, not too dark or too light. they go with everything! i have several pairs of skinny jeans: cropped, distressed, dark wash… but my standard wash pair is my most worn and never goes out of style.
black skinny jeans: dressed up or dressed down, these are a casual and modern alternative to black trousers. on those days when i can’t decide what to wear, i always go to black skinnies with a chambray shirt and leopard print flats – comfy, casual, and stylish.
while skinny jeans are great with any pair of shoes, there’s no other cut of jeans that can flatter quite like a good fitting pair of bootcut or flare jeans. to me, the key to a flattering cut is a good fit around the buns and thighs, and not tight still at the knees. length is important too with these pants, but that all depends on the shoes you wear. main tip: the jeans need to at least touch the top of the shoe, and not quite touch the ground in the back – no floods!
ankle boots: like skinny jeans, i swore i’d never own a pair of ankle boots. i hated how they looked, and they very rarely looked decent. but over the years i am not only getting more comfortable with them, but am figuring out exactly how i like to wear them. only with skinny jeans (i haven’t figured out how to style them with a skirt or dress yet), and a little bit of ankle needs to show.
leopard flats: when i wear leopard flats, skinny jeans, and a white oxford, a little part of me feels like audrey hepburn. who doesn’t want that? i love that leopard is both a classic print, but also still kind of sassy.
black pumps 0r wedges: ok, i hate wearing heels. well, my feet hate them. but, they totally kick up your style a notch or 2. wearing a little black dress with heels is so much more flattering than flats. jeans with heels – so fun! so here’s my thoughts on the shoes above: i own those wedges. i love them! and actually, they are pretty comfortable. and those kitten heels, i really want them! i’m still not quite grown up enough to not wobble in tall heels, but those kitten heels sure are super cute. and anything with an ankle strap is flattering. period.
tall boots: i really wanted to keep all the options on this list affordable, so i did. but i have to be honest i don’t own a pair of inexpensive tall boots. here’s the deal, i have disproportionately narrow calves for the size of my feet . so every time i try on boots, i struggle to find a pair that actually fits my calves. i love to use zappos for finding the perfect pair (i don’t have a ton of shopping options close by for boots) because they offer free shipping both ways. so i ordered a bunch until i found just the right fit!
white converse: the best of the best of all white tennies. i wear these things to death. several times a week. my favorite part: i toss them in the wash with some bleach to brighten them back up, even for a short cycle in the dryer. since i’ve been asked before, if my ankles are showing with these (in shorts or cuffed pants), i either go sockless or wear the little slip on socks that don’t show. but since i wash the shoes once they get too dingy, they don’t really get stinky.
nordstrom chuck taylor low sneaker
so there it is! slowly add these staples into your wardrobe all the time then the morning hustle to get dressed will be so much easier! do these basics feel boring to you? mix it up with accessories, like earrings, statement necklaces and scarves.
do you have any other items you’d add to the list? please share!