This post was written by Gabriela Hirschler with additional information by Gabriela Rangel, Anjali Chatterjee, and Beth Anderson.
Do you have a closet that looks full but still feels empty no matter how many new things you buy? You probably have items that you wear every day but also things that you have literally never taken off the hanger – and may even have the tags still on them. Even with so many clothes, you feel like you never have anything right to wear. This can be fixed with just a few essential additions to your closet. These wardrobe essentials will let you mix and match to your heart’s content and save you time picking out your outfit each day. Having these essential pieces in your closet lets you better express your unique style and ensures that you always have the perfect outfit for any occasion. All these wardrobe essentials fit perfectly with my capsule wardrobe philosophy. You can’t go wrong by adding these important pieces!
1. Leather Jacket
A leather jacket is one of the most versatile jackets you could own. Dress it up with a dress or a nice blouse or dress it down with jeans and a t-shirt. You can’t go wrong with the classic black leather jacket, but if you’re looking to mix it up a bit go for another color: beige, gray, green or pink. If you’re feeling really daring, purchase a bright red or blue one to make a bold statement. Statement pieces can seem intimidating and more difficult to style, but are worth the risk because they make any outfit pop. Leather jackets are a staple item that will never go out of style. They make both a vintage and chic addition to any closet.
Nothing showcases your style quite like your go-to pair of sunglasses. You can have several pairs, but every woman should have her favorite style that is recognizable and associated with her. Whether you identify with a classic pair of aviators or a bold pair of square lenses, you will always feel confident with your signature pair. Choose wisely, making sure that you pick a pair that works for your face shape. Then, toss them on to complete any outfit.
3. Ankle Booties
Like leather jackets, ankle booties are great for so many different occasions. Wear a heeled pair with any kind of dress – sundress or a party dress, the choice is yours. They look great with jeans as well if you’re going for a casual outfit. Whether you enjoy neutrals like nude and black, or like to venture out with some fringe, booties are a must have for every closet. If heels aren’t your thing, flat ankle booties are just as cute and twice as comfortable! With heels or without, booties are perfect year round.
Jeans are absolutely necessary in any closet. Grab a pair of light jeans with a striped tee for an effortless look, or wear a dressy tunic with some heels for a more sophisticated look. Similar to light jeans, dark denim can easily be dressed up or dressed down. Dark jeans are great for a night out or a casual day at work. The styles of jeans are endless, whether you prefer skinny, boyfriend, or ankle jeans, the outfit possibilities are endless. Ripped jeans are the new skinny jeans, everyone needs a pair. Go for a light denim boyfriend pair to wear with a casual top and sneakers or some black skinny ones for a sleeker look. A number of rips can vary from one on each knee to throughout the legs, it’s up to you. The best part about jeans is you can look and feel great – you don’t have to sacrifice style or comfort with a pair of your favorite jeans!
5. White Sneakers
You may already have a pair of running shoes to workout in, but having a pair of casual sneakers is always a good idea. These are the perfect shoes to throw on with a casual t-shirt and jeans. Though black matches everything, a white pair can brighten up an all-black outfit or go with any other color. There’s nothing like a pair of white sneakers to polish off your favorite outfit. White sneakers have always been in style, but with the recent comeback of Adidas’ Stan Smith pairs, they are a must have for every woman.
6. Cashmere Sweater
During the winter months, I love to throw on a soft cashmere sweater, jeans, boots and my coat for an easy yet put-together outfit. In the summer, it’s great for those times you’re dealing with extremely cold air-conditioned buildings. Whether you need an extra layer with a peacoat and jeans, or you need a more polished look with a skirt, the cashmere sweater is sure to complete any outfit. You can’t beat feeling cozy while still looking good – it’s a win-win.
7. White Tee
No wardrobe is complete without a classic white t-shirt… or several. These go with just about anything. Literally. Simple and understated, it’s impossible to go wrong with them. Pair with jeans, skirts, shorts, doesn’t matter! They look great under a trenchcoat, a jean jacket, or even all by itself with a pair of dark jeans. Dress up a tee with a chunky necklace, or a simple layered gold necklace. Prices can really vary depending on quality and designer. If you can, opt for a couple good quality shirts that are worth the splurge and will last longer. I always advise replacing these each season. The white just doesn’t stay crisp after multiple washings.
Flannels are a fall essential. With a variety of colors and patterns to choose from, you can choose one that fits your personal style. Wear them with a t-shirt and jeans, with a casual dress, or just around your waist as an accessory instead of a light jacket. During the summer months, flannels are a great outer layer that you won’t overheat in. My favorite flannels revolve around my base capsule collection in classic neutral colors such as ivory and grey.
9. Nude Pumps
Nude, like black, goes with any color. A pair of nude heels are great for work, going out at night, and daytime events. Pair them with jeans and a nice blouse, dresses, skirts. You get the picture. Nude heels can be worn with an outfit full of color, or with a simple dress. And as an added bonus, nude heels are known to make your legs appear longer and leaner.
10. Little Black Dress
And of course, no wardrobe is complete without an LBD in it. The classic, the beautiful, the absolutely necessary LBD! Long or short, with one shoulder or intricate detail on it, you can never go wrong with a little black dress. A little black dress is adaptable, no matter what the event. Whether you have an extravagant event to attend or are going out for a drink after work, a LBD will become your go-to. The best part is, there’s a LBD for every woman out there, no matter what figure you have or what your style is. Remember to choose a fabric and style that you always feel confident in. It may take a little while to find your perfect little black dress, but when you do, it’ll be absolutely worth it. You’ll finally be able to say goodbye to the days standing in front of your closet trying to figure out what you’re going to wear!
Though creating your ideal closet seems complicated, these central pieces are the perfect way to start. Having these wardrobe essentials allows you to maximize the options in your closet all while looking amazing. With them, you can wear an outfit you love and feel great in every single day. While these pieces are definitely important, everyone has personal favorites. What are some of your favorite pieces in your closet?
Check out my ebook “How to Curate and Cultivate Your Dream Wardrobe” to learn more about building your perfect closet. My 168 YEAR-ROUND OUTFITS EBOOK will show you how to start a basic wardrobe with essential classic pieces to make year-round outfits.
Don’t forget to leave me a link to your personal style Pinterest board in the comment section below. I can’t wait to see it!
Get Free Resources!
Are you ready to build your dream wardrobe? Join 15,000 others just like YOU. Sign up for my newsletter and gain access to my library of free resources filled with tons of checklists, worksheets, guides, and more!