You wake up, your phone’s buzzing, you stumble across to the wardrobe, open the doors and then it happens.
You have nothing to wear.
Now to the casual onlooker it would look like your closet is full.
But they’re wrong.
None of it matches, your shoes won’t go with anything and your old faithful top is still in the laundry.
Round about now you’re wondering if it can be revived with some deodorant. Probably not.
So instead you end up wearing something mismatched and itchy that has you second-guessing yourself all day long.
This used to happen to me at least twice a week. Always opening my closet with the best intentions only to settle for the same old familiar items or to create some mismatched monstrosity.
Something had to change. I took a cold hard look at my clothes, worked out what I really needed and now I always have something to wear.
Don’t worry, I’m not asking you to completely overhaul your closet and create a capsule wardrobe. But if you invest in a few essential pieces then you can upgrade your everyday style game in an instant.
You may find that you already own some of these items. If so, congrats! By focusing on these 10 essential pieces you can effortlessly look and feel more elegant.
1 – Black Dress
There’s a reason Coco Chanel is an international style icon. She introduced us to staple pieces such as the ‘Little Black Dress’ or ‘LBD’ – a simple, elegant item that can be dressed up or down to suit any occasion.
If you’re only going to invest in one item on this list then it should be a little black dress. Pair with a casual blazer and pumps for a sophisticated smart/casual look or style with vibrant heels and matching accessories for a head-turning, elegant evening attire.
When picking an LBD keep it simple – opt for a figure-flattering style such as an A-line or sheath dress and invest in a classic fabric such as cotton that will stand the test of time.
Choose wisely and the right LBD will keep you looking and feeling elegant for many years to come! Here are some classic LBD options to get you started:
MUXXN Sleeveless Slim Business Pencil Dress ($29.99)
VfEmage Elegant Patchwork Bodycon Dress ($33.99)
Grace Karin Sleeveless Cocktail Swing Dress ($27.99)
2 – Blazer
I haven’t found an outfit yet that can’t be improved by a blazer.
Pair with a T-shirt, jeans and sandals for a classy smart/casual look, dress with a crisp white shirt, matching skirt and heels for a no holds barred business attire or style with a cocktail dress, heels and matching accessories for a killer evening look.
The possibilities are endless!
When choosing your statement blazer, you can’t go wrong with classic fabrics such as cotton and singular versatile colors (think black, navy and grey). Aim for a blazer that hits around your hips to elongate your frame and emphasise your best features.
Oh and keep the built-in embellishments on your blazer to a minimum – that’s your accessories’ job!
Not sure where to start? Here are some ideal blazer options:
Zevrez ¾ Length Ruched Sleeve Blazer ($25.99)
Urban Coco Open Front Blazer ($28.86)
Tailloday Roll Sleeve Blazer ($28.99)
3 – Tank Top
Did you ever hear the adage ‘You can’t build a great house on weak foundations’?
This saying is just as true when it comes to personal style.
After all, I wear tank tops practically every day under blouses. Just because they’re not the most glamorous item of clothing in your wardrobe doesn’t mean they don’t deserve special attention!
I always have two black tank tops and one white tank top on the go – all with scooped necklines. They go with any shirt or see-through blouse and can make or break your silhouette if they look tired or don’t fit properly.
Listed below are three great tank top designs that will stock your wardrobe with super solid foundations:
Ruxia Cami Tank Tops With Adjustable Straps – Pack of 3 ($14.99)
Active Products Tank Tops – Pack of 4 ($18.99)
Attraco Cotton Camisole Tops – Pack of 2 ($17.98)
4 – Blouse
Once again, blouses are an incredibly versatile item that can be worn with smart pants and skirts to the office or paired with jeans for social gatherings. Lightweight and breezy in summer and a staple item that can be layered with cardigans and sweaters in the winter. What more could you ask for?
Here are some brilliant blouses that will quickly take pride of place in your closet:
Camila Crushed Linen Button-Down Shirt ($59.90)
Verdusa Striped Button-Down Blouse ($19.99)
FISOUL Long Sleeve Cotton Blouse ($18.99)
5 – Short Sleeve T-Shirt
I don’t know where I’d be without my staple black T-shirt. Meeting up with friends, working out, doing the groceries, even using it as spare PJs – me and my little black tee have been through a lot together and we’re still going strong.
You may scoff at the idea of spending more money on a T-shirt than a skirt but think about it – which one do you wear more? Which one has to stand the test of time?
For me it’s the T-shirt all day long.
So listed below are three high quality T-shirts that will bolster your wardrobe and ensure you look stunning at home, running errands and at social gatherings:
Vafoly Raglan V-Neck Striped Baseball T-Shirt ($24.99)
Daily Ritual Classic T-Shirt ($20.00)
Vafoly Round Neck Plaid Chiffon Back T-Shirt ($24.99)
6 – Long Sleeve Shirt
Much like a trusty tee, long sleeve shirts are a great foundation piece that can be paired with all manner of blazers, trousers, skirts and accessories.
Most of all, long sleeve shirts are a great transition piece for in-between seasons; keeping you warm in autumn, a great layering item in the winter and then an ideal way to stay cool as you go into spring. Once again, here are some great long sleeve shirts to choose from:
2LUV Long Sleeve Tunic Top ($29.99)
Polo Ralph Lauren Long Sleeve V-Neck Shirt ($43.50)
Emma’s Closet Long Sleeve Top ($21.99)
7 – Jeans
First made famous by James Dean in the 50s and then by Marilyn Monroe in the 60s, jeans have become such as staple item of our everyday wardrobe that I wondered whether to even mention them on this list – everyone already has a pair!
So I’ll keep it quick – when shopping for jeans, buy a pair that flatter your figure. Try on plenty of sizes to ensure they feel comfortable on your waist, hips and thighs. Don’t worry too much about hemlines – if they’re a little long simply roll them up to create a chic cropped look.
As a rule I have three pairs of jeans; a black pair to dress up for work or evenings out, a casual blue pair to wear running errands and a smarter blue pair for social gatherings. Here are some classic jeans options that we all know and love:
Levi Strauss & Co. Signature Gold Label Straight Jeans ($24.99)
Levi’s Slimming Skinny Black Jeans ($47.99)
Levi Strauss & Co. Signature Gold Label Modern Stretch Jeans ($21.99)
8 – Black Skirt
You can never go wrong with a black skirt that fits your frame.
A black skirt is the cornerstone of business attire and will look fantastic with a button-down blouse, blazer and heels. Similarly, you can pair your black skirt with a colored sweater or blouse and matching shoes for effortless smart/casual chic.
So what style do you go for?
Personally, I think a pencil skirt looks amazing for business attire. Similarly, A-line skirts will flatter any figure – elongating your frame and creating a stunning hourglass silhouette that is truly timeless.
Still not sure? Then here are some black skirt options that will never go out of style:
Pretty World Midi Pencil Skirt ($18.99)
Dani’s Choice Midi A-line Skirt ($19.90)
Lark & Ro. A-line Side Button Skirt ($45.00)
Chigant High Waist Flare A-line Skirt ($19.99)
9 – Sweater/Cardigan
Lightweight sweaters and cardigans are brilliant layering pieces that work well under coats in the winter. They also come in handy on cool summer nights and can add a pop of color to any outfit.
Investing in a stylish sweater or cardigan in a classic fabric such as cotton and cashmere will add an air of sophistication to any outfit.
Bet you never though knitwear could be a head-turner!
So here are some chic sweaters and cardigans that will never let you down:
Cashmere4U 100% Cashmere Open Cardigan ($178.00)
High Style 100% Cashmere Crew Neck Sweater ($89.99)
Lark & Ro. 100% Cashmere Cardigan Sweater ($54.50)
Longming Cashmere Wool V-Neck Pullover Sweater ($27.97)10 – Coat
Last but by no means least is your coat. Often the finishing touch to your outfit, your coat is the first item of clothing that people see. So it’s important you make a good first impression!
I’ve said it so many times but you can’t go wrong with classic fabrics such as cotton, tweed, jacquard, cashmere and wool blends. They are classics for a reason and investing in a high quality coat will pay dividends. Not only will you look great and feel warm, you’ll save money in the long run!
Take it from someone who learned the lesson the hard (and expensive) way buying and replacing cheap coats…
To avoid falling victim to the same mistakes, here are some high quality coat options that will continue exuding class and elegance for many years to come:
World Clan Wool/Cashmere Double Breasted Camel Coat ($179.99)
Carmonoudi Pure Hand Cashmere Overcoat ($138.99)
Tommy Hilfiger Wool Blend Military Coat ($101.43)
So what do you think of my list? Any items you think I should add? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!