Wardrobe Staples for Every Woman

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I know that I do an awful lot of talking about my love for designer labels. The truth is, my obsession with designers is only really pertinent when it comes to having high quality staple items hanging in your closet.  These important wardrobe builders are the items that are worth splurging on, since they are your workhorses and can last you a lifetime if chosen well. The trendy items that go in and out of style should by no means be your most expensive items. To be completely honest, there are some items that I consider to be wardrobe staples that don’t even need to be high in price; those items are noted where applicable in the list below.

I realize that fashion magazines are always talking about 10 essential items and stress that they are all you need, but I have always had a different view on that concept. If I only had 10 items hanging in my closet, I would be doing an awful lot of laundry! And I would be very, very depressed!! So let’s go with 20 wardrobe staples.


20 Wardrobe Staples For Every Woman

If you have all 20 of my wardrobe staples hanging in your closet (with some, multiples are necessary), you will then have many different options that will always allow you to be fashionable and ready for just about any event. When you are in a quandary for what to wear or what to buy, refer to this list to decide when you should pay for the best quality items and when to fill in the blanks in your closet with less expensive trends and accent pieces.  Following these guidelines will help my marvelous Mamas work towards our shared goal of building the best wardrobe we can afford and looking fabulous every day.

1.  Blazers

Blazers look amazing paired with suiting pieces or not–which is what makes them so versatile. They enable any look to instantly become chic and classic. I wear my blazer constantly with skinny jeans, this is one of my all time favorite looks!

One of my favorite blazers of all time - a tuxedo blazer!

One of my favorite blazers of all time – a tuxedo blazer!

2.  Dress Pants

Whether you are a working Mama or not, having a pair of well-tailored dress pants in your closet is a must.

3.  Trench Coat

I just love trench coats, specifically in black or camel-colored, but whatever floats your boat! As long as you find a trench that fits you perfectly, then you can wear it forever, in whatever color, fabric, or print you like!

4. Scarves

Scarves have a way of enhancing many different looks and are in style to be worn year round. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling you to run out and buy Hermes scarves for the summer and Missoni scarves for the winter (although I can’t think of a better alternative!). But you can still get the look while saving some cash by buying the inexpensive pashminas sold on the streets of every major city. Run out and buy them in every color that they come in–you WON’T be sorry! 

5. Yoga Pants

I wear yoga pants for other activities besides yoga, so having plenty in my wardrobe is a must. I love how yoga pants fit – they always seem to hide my “bad” areas and accentuate the good ones. (I sometimes wish that everything fit like yoga pants and were as comfortable!) I highly recommend Balini Sports because of the way they are constructed and the high quality materials.

Our editor, Deborah, working her Balini yoga pants!

Our editor, Deborah, working her Balini yoga pants!

6. Classic Slinky T-shirt

With the over-sized trend here to stay for the foreseeable future, having a slinky t-shirt in your closet is a must. These curve skimming staples can be paired with pretty much anything and then made complete with a chunky belt. My favs are from LnA.

7. Black and Nude Pumps

Whether you are addicted to shoes or not, it’s important to have pumps in your closet that are both black and nude. These colors coordinate with a great deal of colors, giving you options whenever you are getting dressed. Once you make these two purchases, buying the most beautiful basics you can find, then you can get adventurous with color!

8. Oversized Designer Handbag

My handbag personally doubles as a mama bag – toting everything I need for my family and myself. Therefore, its important for me to have one really well-made, large designer handbag that I can use and love on a day-to-day basis.  Assess your own needs and then splurge on the right purse that you can love every day, too! I honestly only buy about one handbag a year, right now I am sporting my favorite Burberry (similar to this version) that was a push gift from my husband!

9. Button Down Shirt

These don’t necessarily need to be worn to the office, ladies! I pair my button-down shirts with jeans all the time to create a very classic look. (Especially whenever I am headed to the Upper East Side and feel the need to fit in – haha just kidding!) My personal favorites are the button-down bodysuits from Victoria’s Secret because you never have to worry about keeping them tucked in! Perfect for busy Mamas!

Wearing my favorite Matty M leggings while previewing the new maternity lines at Gilt headquarters!

Wearing my favorite Matty M leggings while previewing the new maternity lines at Gilt headquarters!

10. Leggings

Whether you are wearing them to the gym or sporting a sexy leather pair for a night out on the town, leggings have evolved into a closet staple. Time for all Mamas to jump on the bandwagon! I pair mine with everything from sweaters to tees to blazers. Lots of options! But make sure they fit you perfectly (not too small, and not too large!!) and that there is no  fabric see-through in overly “stretched” regions! My favorite are Matty M, they have an amazing tummy panel that I especially love!

11. Skinny Jeans

Don’t be fooled, every woman can wear skinny jeans as long as you are wearing the correct size and fit for your body type. Sometimes it takes some shopping around, but after you do, you will be happy! It’s a very European look, in a very good way! I will forever be a Levis girl when it comes to skinnies! My favorites are my Levis Curvy 529 Skinny Jeans – currently on sale at Dillards!

One of my all time favorite picture of my with toddler Branden, rocking some skinny jeans!

One of my all time favorite picture of my with toddler Branden, rocking some skinny jeans!

12. Wide Leg Jeans

Wide leg jeans are just as important as skinny jeans. They are a bit dressier and make your overall look a bit more classy. And they look great when worn with your high-heeled boots. Definitely a closet must! I love mine from American Eagle and you can see how I wear them with ease in our post 9 Tips For Styling (and Loving) Your Post-Pregnancy Body!

13. Flats

I feel like flats are an essential just as much as pumps are. We can’t wear high heels all the time, so for whenever our feet have given out on us, it’s time to switch to flats! And the truth is, some outfits actually look better with flats. My personal favs are my Tory Burch Reva Flats. These go with everything!

Reva flats and skinny jeans at Branden's fall soccer practice!

Reva flats and skinny jeans at Branden’s fall soccer practice!

14. Cardigans

I LOVE cardigans! I think they are great over-sized, with embellishments, as chunky sweaters, everything! You can pair them with simple tees and tanks tops to make every look complete and outstanding! Read more about why we love cardigans HERE.

15. Little Black Dress

Do I even need to explain this one? I suggest every fashion-forward mama has at least 2! (If you don’t own at least one, go back and read my post about the history of the “L.B.D.” and then “do not pass GO” until you have one!!!)

16. Costume Jewelry

I buy cheap costume jewelry every time I see random pieces that call out my name! Costume jewelry can dress up any look just by adding a few properly placed touches. So much fun for so little money!  (Let your man or your mother do the splurging when it comes to the real deal!) My favorite costume pieces come from Sequin Jewelry.

I will forever swear by this Express pencil skirt!

I will forever swear by this Express pencil skirt!

17. Pencil Skirt

Pencil skirts are sexy and give us a chance to show off our curves. These awesome skirts always seem to accentuate exactly the right places! I personally love jersey/spandex blend options that come from Express – they accentuate all the right places on my apple shaped body! They are fun to buy in bright colors to keep things interesting, too.

18. Cotton Ribbed Tank Tops

I think that it’s important to have a bunch of these in many different colors. These can be super cheap, no need to buy expensive cotton tanks. I wear these with everything from yoga pants while working out to underneath blazers with skinny jeans. The options are endless!  And you can keep updating your colors for very little expense.

wardrobe staples sidebar

19. Attention Grabbing Pieces

I think that its very important to have 2-3 attention grabbing pieces in your wardrobe at all times. Whether it is a sequin tank or leopard pumps or a traffic-stopping dress, use these pieces to show the world your personal style and beautiful taste.

20. Knee-high Boots

Boots are perfection to me because they seem to go with almost everything. I pair my knee-high boots with skirts, pants, skinny jeans–EVERYTHING! You should, too! (And, ya know, the other heights are pretty grand, too – ankle, calf-high, whatever. Boots are a true wardrobe staple.

Well, there you have it! Time to get shopping! And, don’t forget, adding a fabulous push-up bra to any of these options also goes a long way!  (But don’t even get me started here! There are at least 10 lingerie staples, too!  But we will have to deal with that tasty little topic another time!)

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Fashionably Yours,


Linked at: Mix it Mondays,  & Let it Shine & Monday Mashup & Style Sessions!


  1. A personal favorite of mine is winter white pants. They can be worn into spring (transational pieces save $) and seem to brighten up dreary winter days. I love all your suggestions and will be checking out my closet!

  2. i liked the content of this articles, very interesting

  3. I have most on this list, but I’m guilty of not having a good flat! I too love Tory Burch, but need to get into the store to try their flats. !

  4. Nelle Creations says:

    GREATpost! I agree with them all. Especially the slouchy tank lol

  5. It sounds like you met the basics. I was happy to have more of the essentials that I thought that I would. I don’t dress up a lot so some of the items like a pencil skirt, I do not have.

  6. I just love cardigans! I have so many. It’s rare for me to be without one, especially in the winter time. Great post! Found it through The Art of Better Monday Mash-Up.

  7. Great ideas. These would definitely help busy mums

  8. Great ideas – I have most of these. I love a good pair of jeans with a long sleeve black T…also, I have a great short black cardigan I wear all the time!

  9. I need more blazers and love pencil skirts!

  10. I love a cute pair of flats with skinny jeans!

  11. What a great list. Leggings and skinny jeans are my favorite.

  12. YES! Great list, I especially love my pencil skirts. No other work appropriate outfit makes me feel as good. Thanks for sharing!

  13. love my leggings!

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