Posted September 28, 2012 - 2:18pm by Monique
If you were able to join us at the Style, Wellness, and Fashion Brunch during Swedish Covenant Hospital’s Wise Woman Week, then you already have an idea of what 15 items should be in every woman’s wardrobe. It seems as if everywhere I have turned since the event, I have seen list after list of essential items; from work wardrobes to classic pieces. Since we are at a wardrobe transition time of the year, I figured the present was as good of time as any to take inventory of our closets and make sure we have our bases covered before determining our fall/winter shopping list.
Depending upon who you ask, you’ll get a different answer of what essential items you should have due to different tastes and styles but there are always a few items that make almost every list: flats, a structured blazer, and trenches. In addition to the list from last weekend’s event, I thought I would share a couple of others today that I feel are right on the mark. The most important thing about the essentials list is that these items should have a great fit and work best for you. With that being said, my essentials list is really a combination of items taken from the lists below (as well as from the list from Sararose Krenger of Stix and Roses) that I know reflect my style and work best with my shape.
Currently, Lucky magazine has a special edition on the newsstands titled The Ultimate Style Guide. This edition includes a list of the 10 classic pieces every woman should have. The pieces in their list include the following:
• Boot-cut jeans
• Striped tee
• Army jacket
• Slouchy cardigan
• Motorcycle boots
• Ballet flats
For the most part, these are classic pieces you should have in your wardrobe. If motorcycle boots aren’t your thing, I would suggest substituting a great pair of riding boots. And I would personally replace a slipdress with the classic LBD (little black dress). If you aren’t digging the idea of an army jacket, invest in a great structured blazer instead (confession: blazers are an obsession of mine). I love a good blazer because they can be worn with ANYTHING. Now, my mom loves to tell the story about the middle school chorus concert in which she purchased a beautiful navy wool blazer to go with a navy and hunter green plaid pleated skirt. I refused to wear it (but of course lost the battle) and don’t remember wearing it after the concert. What an epic fail on my part. I should have listened to my mother…she’s usually (ok, always) right. Years later, I’m still regretting not listening to her (but better late than never, right?)
Since we’re talking about the versatility of blazers, let’s focus on the essentials one should have in a work wardrobe. Today’s work environments differ greatly from organization to organization and it can be difficult to know how to dress. My first professional experience was with an organization where the dress code was suits that had matching jackets and pants/skirts. Leaving that environment and entering into a more casual was a transition for me (but a good one). With more work environments becoming more casual, it’s important to keep in mind that whether you are in jeans or a suit, you need to keep you’re look polished and clean. You only get one opportunity to make a first impression and should remember that each day when getting ready. Back to the essentials list: this list comes from Emily Schuman, writer of the Cupcakes and Cashmere blog. To me, her list encompasses the basics of a business casual work environment (but if you’re in an even more casual workplace and want to dress to impress, by all means go for it!) Her list includes the following:
• Classic bag
• Pencil skirt
• White button-down
• Trench coat
• Dark skinny jeans
• Skinny belt
• Ballet flats
• Statement necklace
• Shift dress
• Printed blouse
If you’re looking to build your wardrobe, these lists are a great starting point to give you guidance. Style should be an evolution so if you try an item and it doesn’t work for you, try something else. Eventually, you too will know what items should be on your own essentials list making shopping trips much easier.
Are there any items you feel are missing from these lists? If so, feel free to share your essential items in the comments section.