My wardrobe staples

wardrobe staples, basics, clothes, fundemantals, every girl should have, closet, outfits, savings, closet cullI’m not exactly what you’d call a fashionista. I’m not out of style by any means, but I don’t buy clothes solely to keep up with the latest trends. Instead, I like to build a smart, versatile wardrobe around classic staples that won’t go out of style…then I add fun new accessories like jewelry and shoes each season to keep things fresh and trendy.

I thought today I’d go through what my staple wardrobe pieces are to give you an idea of how to build a simple wardrobe of your own that can save you tons of money in the long run, since you’ll only have to update your accessories:

Button-down shirts. I am addicted to button-down shirts as my go-to work gear. Yeah, they’re a pain because I have to iron them to keep them looking crisp, but they automatically put me into “professional” mode when I put them on. I have a variety of colors (white, light blue, pink, cream, etc.) in both short and long sleeves.

Nice pants in neutral colors. I have a nice pair of black pants, brown pants, and gray pants for work (or other dressy occasions). They fit me great no matter what top I wear with them, and since they’re neutral, I can wear pretty much any top I want, winter or summer!

Skirts in neutral colors. Just like with the pants, I have a few go-with-anything skirts in simple A-line cuts that I can either wear to work, with cute heels for a date night, or dress down with sandals and a tee for running around on the weekends.

LBD. I do believe that every girl deserves one timeless, super-flattering Little Black Dress in her wardrobe. Mine has seen me through holiday parties, weddings, funerals, and everything in between for three years now. (And if you’re the kind who hates wearing the same thing twice with the same group of friends? I can tell you no one has ever yet caught on that my LBD (which I dress up differently for each occasion) is the same dress.)

High quality tees and hoodies/sweatshirts. I know, “high quality” isn’t usually the first thing you think of when you think of the kinds of clothes you tend to lounge around in when you’re not leaving the house. But I’m the kind of person who likes to be as comfy as possible when I’m kicking around at home or running errands, so my tees and hoodies get a lot of wear. And buying the good kind (like sturdy, stretchy fitted tees that don’t get stretched out and don’t start to wear around the edges) are a smart investment for me.

One or two killer pairs of jeans. I have two pairs of boot cut jeans (the cut I look best in) in different dark washes, and I always feel fantastic in them. Just like everything else in my wardrobe (well, except for the tees and hoodies!), they can be dressed up or down depending on what I wear them with. Add a dressy top and boots for drinks with the girls, throw on sneakers and a tee for an errand day.

Having a “minimal” wardrobe is perfect for me not only budget-wise, but because I love just being able to get up and go in the morning…and when your whole wardrobe is made of matching pieces that can all be combined with each other, I can practically stick my hand in the closet and pull out an outfit without even thinking!

What are your wardrobe staples? Could you minimize your wardrobe for maximum ease and savings?







    • So I’ve heard! I have yet to give in to them, though…I feel like I’m the sort of person who’d wind up wearing them everywhere because they’re so comfy. It’s a slippery slope. 🙂

  • Where do you find button down shirts? I’m tall with long arms and broad shoulders but relatively slim around the middle and I have never found a good button-down shirt that fits me well in the shoulders, arms, and waist (and doesn’t pop at the bust) – usually only one of those fits OK, and then the rest looks ridiculous (and the tails are usually too short, so they pop out if I try to tuck it in to neaten it up, too. I may have to eventually just pay through the nose for them or find a tailor – but where did you find yours?

    • Kristin,
      Tall Girl Shop and Lands’ End might be able to help you find the right fit. And then a good local tailor can take them in a bit for you around the waist. Probably your best bet.

    • I am with Grey on this one…a good tailor (as Stacey and Clinton from What Not to Wear will tell you) makes all the difference in the world, especially if you’re investing in pieces you plan on having for a long time.

      My issue is with pants…I’m a little wide in the waist but petite, and it’s not always easy to find pants that fit my hips that I’m not stepping all over. My tailor is my BFF when it comes to my wardrobe. Button-down shirts can be especially tricky to fit anyone “just right.” I personally tend to look for once with darting or princess seams because that makes them fit better when you’re not…err…big chested. 🙂 My personal rule is always to find a piece of clothing that fits whatever the widest part of me is and then have my tailor take it down where needed.

  • my wardrobe consists of classic items, much like yours. I was lucky to discover that H&M has the perfect button down shirts for my body (which is ver, very rare), AND it`s quite cheap.

    • I have some friends who adore H&M. I’m more of a GAP girl myself, although in my wildest dreams I like to imagine I can afford Banana Republic. Their stuff is so my style (and I’m assuming high quality given the prices!)

  • I’m all about the classics too! Quality and timelessness.. Pearl earrings, my durable Longchamp tote, dark matchstick jeans, Nordstrom tanktops (i wear them every day as undershirts!), J.Crew vneck t-shirts, J.Crew Tippi sweaters, a pair of brown and black flats that I LIVE in, and Express columnist pants for work. I often use scarves to dress up my classic looks and a touch of color!

    • Ooo, scarves! I hadn’t considered that accessory but I think I will definitely have to add it to my wardrobe. 🙂

  • I would also add neutral-colored, comfortable mid-range shoes. I have made a lot of shoe-buying mistakes in the past with too bold (not versatile enough), too cheap (fall apart), or too ambitious (heels!) shoes – no more! Classic and quality is the way to go, which doesn’t mean paying a million bucks – Macy’s regularly has great shoe sales.

    • Good addition! I often check out DSW and Famous Footwear when I’m shoe shopping. And I definitely agree: go for comfort and long wear whenever you can!

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