Do you ever feel like your wardrobe keeps growing, but you can never put the right outfit together? That may be because you’re missing the basics.
Here are 17 articles of clothing every woman needs in her wardrobe:
- Black pants. These, like rice and pasta, are a staple. You need at least one pair, but two would be better. They should be the first thing you reach for when you’re in rush to get ready for a business meeting, interview, media engagement, or professional photo session. They take your from workday to evening engagements perfectly, and there’s no matching dilemma.
- Black, nude, and white camisole. Camisoles are a must, and it’s great to have a variety of colors, but black, nude, and white are the most crucial. They are perfect for many reasons. You can ride to work in comfort until it’s time to put on your sweater or jacket. You can get away with that sheer blouse you love. Your skirt suit doesn’t need alterations for the barely-too-low cut of the jacket. Layering them in different colors gives you a great weekend look when paired with jeans or shorts.
- Granny panties. There are times when they are the perfect choice. The panties that hold your entire butt – no spillage – and help to keep your tummy tucked make some outfits look much better. Fitted pants, body hugging tops, and streamlined dresses look far better without pucker and lines.
- Black or navy blazer. If you can, get both colors. You have far more options when you’re wearing a blazer. Tank tops, camisoles, and tube tops aren’t off limits for work when no one can tell that’s what they are, and – let’s face it – no one cares. Black works well for the office and other professional engagements. Navy can be a lifesaver when you’re dressed for casual Friday, but a meeting is sprung on you at the last minute. Blazers also make it easy to go from work mode to party mode. Layering makes everything flexible and easy.
- White collared button-down shirt. There is nothing more professional than a white shirt and black blazer. It’s the perfect duo for interviews and business meetings. A white button-down shirt can be dressed up or down, accessorized with jewelry, belts, scarves, and ties.
- Neutral-colored cardigan. It’ll do the job of a blazer, but with less weight. Cardigans are great options for spring and summer that allow you to show off some of the things you would normally wear at social outings. Let your tops do double duty by layering as needed.
- Perfectly-fitting jeans. The jeans that fit you perfectly can be far different from the pair that works for your co-worker or your best friend. Spend some time trying on different cuts, and take a friend with you to help you decide on a pair. Your perfect pair will be comfortable while accentuating your best assets and minimizing the features you’re not excited about showing off. They can work for casual Friday just as well as an evening at the neighborhood bar. They fit, they wash well, they don’t have holes, and they impress your anti-jeans grandmother. You may even want two pairs.
- Pencil skirt. It’s one of the simplest articles of clothing that gives the most put-together look. There’s no need for a blazer here. With a pencil skirt, even your professional sleeveless blouses work well in the office.
- Black and brown belts. As much as you may hate them, you have to admit that they help some outfits to look extra polished. Remember that your belt should not be keeping your pants on. If it is, you’re buying the wrong size pants, or need to see a tailor. You belt should add a touch of class, so be discriminating as you choose between buckles.
- One-piece swimsuit. Sure, your body is amazing, and you love flaunting it, but it’s not always the best thing to do. It’s a good idea to have a one-piece swimsuit you love in your collection. It’ll come in handy on work fun days, beach picnics with your new boyfriend’s family, fun slides, and the triathlon you spontaneously decide to participate in. There are some times you simply don’t want to risk losing your top or end up being the most revealing in photos that surface later on.
- Flexy flats. They aren’t always the cutest, but you can usually find a decent enough pair of these shoes that roll, bend, or fold to fit into your purse. You just never know when you’ll need to kick off your heels to run through an airport or drive like a maniac to make it to your next appointment. Who knows when you’ll have a day at work that demands walking up and down the stairs and hallways, moving files around? It’s best to have a backup plan to your Manolo Blahniks.
- Convertible bra. No matter how cute you think the pattern is, exposed bra straps simply aren’t scoring you any points. Between tube tops, tank tops, halter tops, and racerbacks, bra straps need to go in a lot of different directions. Invest in a bra with adjustable straps. When your clothing allows you to show a little skin, that’s all that should be exposed. Bras are still underwear.
- Leggings. No matter what anyone tells you, they are not over. They will never be over. The continue to make life easy for women who can’t stop buying short dresses or long shirts. Leggings save you from having to bulky pants under those tempting dresses and shirts and protect you from indecent exposure. That’s a win!
- Summer dress. On warm days, you’ll long for something easy to throw on when a friend calls to invite you out with little time to spare. You don’t even need to set up your ironing board. You can toss a summer dress on the bed and give it a 60 second run-over with an iron on low heat. That summer dress will get you out the door in minutes to get some vitamin D and a sweet little tan without much fuss.
- Decent shorts. They can be short, but not too short. They may be a bit distressed, but they don’t look like you’ve owned them since the ninth grade and did military training in them for weeks. Sure, you have a certain style, and your shorts collection is consistent with that, but you need one exception. These shorts are for playing catch with your nieces and nephews in the car, competitive volleyball games with your core team at work, and the ladies’ lakeside retreat your mother drags you to every year.
- V-neck vest. Every woman wants to be a bit preppy from time to time. A v-neck vest does the trick every time. Simply pair it with a collared shirt and your choice of pants or skirt. Solid colors are fine, but this is where you can have a little fun with patterns, especially since you’re likely to wear the vest over a solid-colored shirt.
- Lightweight scarves. Choose vibrant colors, prints, and patterns. Scarves add personality to otherwise boring outfits through every season. Whether tied around the neck, worn over one shoulder or both, in your hair, beneath the collar of a shirt or jacket, or as a belt, they bring out the creativity in you.
With these wardrobe basics, you can dress for work and after-work events without much hassle. Mix and match tops and bottoms, use cardigan and jackets for versatility, and add scarves and belts for flair. While the basics may seem a bit dull, remember it’s up to you add splashes of personality.