Every Woman Should Own...

Do you ever look at your closet, full of clothes you’ve been curating for years, and think “I have nothing to wear!”? If you never have this problem then you probably have a well-balanced wardrobe full of basics and staples – or your own personal stylist. Either way, kudos to you! You can skip this post entirely!
But if you’re like me, and most other women out there, you can probably relate to that feeling of dispare when you ransack your closet and somehow still can’t imagine constructing a flattering outfit.
The frustrating part is that men have no trouble throwing outfits together! Why? Because men don’t buy impractical clothes. They buy things they know they can wear with everything they already own.
I know, I’m describing a boring shopping philosophy that goes against every trend I’ve reported on, every outrageous pair of shoes I’ve suggested you buy, every glorious neon handbag I’ve ogled in a Nordstrom window… But it’s just the plain truth that before you can seamlessly incorporate trends and fun pieces into your wardrobe, you need a wardrobe full of basics.
So to help us all get dressed for any imaginable occasion, I’ve put together a list of clothes that I believe every woman should have some variation of in her wardrobe. If she owns clothes like these, and the proper “basic” accessories (the accessories edition of this series is coming next!), she should have no problem getting dressed for any occasion or finding something to wear with everything else she owns.


  • 1) Tailored white blouse (recommendation here and here)
    2) Silk or chiffon blouse (recommendation here and here)
    3) Chambray shirt (recommendation here and here)
    4) Flannel shirt (recommendation here and here)
    5) Striped top (recommendation here)
    6) White and gray V or scoop neck tee shirt (recommendation here)
    7) Basic tank tops
  • If you work in a formal office, you’ll want to add more blouses to your collection than what I’ve suggested here. If you’re working at a more casual office, or you’re a student, load up on tee shirts and tank tops that you can layer with cardigans and jackets (like those shown below in Outerwear).


  • 1) Dark-wash skinny jeans (recommendation here)
    2) Black pants (recommendation here)
    3) Dark-wash trouser jeans (recommendation here)
    4) Black leggings (recommendation here)
    5) Pencil skirt (recommendation here)
    6) Pleated or a-line skirt
  • For a formal office, you’ll want doubles of numbers 2 and 5. And you’ll probably want a couple more pairs of slacks (because trouser jeans won’t quite cut it.) If you’re in a casual office or a student, you probably want to own more jeans than what I’ve suggested here.


  • 1) Neutral and colorful cardigans (Recommendation here)
    2) Black or brown leather jacket (recommendation here)
    3) Black blazer (recommendation here)
    4) Peacoat (lots of recommendations here)
    5) Trenchcoat

  • Choosing a flattering peacoat or trenchcoat:

    If you’re tall or have wider hips: Look for a pea coat that sits above or right at your hips. Longer pea coats will elongate your torso and emphasize your hips.
    If you’re shorter or have narrower hips: Look for a coat that hangs past your hips and above your knee. This will add length to your body and give you some curves.
    If you’re busty: Look for a coat with minimal detailing at the top. Avoid double breasted styles, because those will emphasize your chest (and likely be too tight).
    If you’re flatter chested: Look for a coat with more detailing at the top, such as large flaps, buttons, ruffles, etc.


  • 1) Conservative, semi-formal black dress
    2) Cocktail-style LBD (recommendation here and here)
    3) Comfortable maxi dress
    4) At least two casual sundresses
    5) Dress you could wear to a summer wedding (recommendation here)
    6 & 7) At least two dresses (that aren’t black!) that you could wear to a winter wedding, holiday or cocktail party (recommendation herehere,here, and here)
    8) Two “Vegas dresses”/ party dresses/ New Years dresses(recommendation here)
  • You can probably tell that I’m a big fan of dresses. Maybe you don’t need as many as I suggested here. But if you follow this list, you’ll have something to wear for pretty much any occasion. And for basic dresses on a budget, check out Dorthy Perkins, ASOS, Shopbop, and ModCloth.
    A wardrobe without basics is like a home without a foundation, it’ll crumble before it’s even livable. Or wearable. Whatever! You get the point. Of course, we can’t forget about shoes, handbags, scarves and jewelry – which is where my next post about basic accessories comes in. Stay tuned!


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