Let’s Talk Wardrobe Basics

So about a month ago a good friend of mine asked if I could do a post on some basics that she could add to her wardrobe. So today’s post is all about what I think are some basic pieces that every wardrobe should have. They’re all versatile and can be worn any time of year. Many of them can also easily be dressed up or down depending on your needs. So without further ado here are my picks for the 10 basics that should be in every closet

  1. A Simple White or Grey T-shirt
One / Two / Three / Four / Five / Six

The first item is either a white or grey t-shirt. You can find an inexpensive one at Target, or try places like Nordstrom for one that might be of a better quality. A white or grey t-shirt is such a great basic piece. You can wear it by itself, or style it with a blazer or a leather jacket for going out and even add some great statement jewelry. I would say you could also do this with a black tee as well. The point here is you want something simple that can be mixed and matched with almost anything else in your closet.

I have number 6 in a few different colors and really like it. It can be a bit scratchy feeling though so keep that in mind!

I like that numbers 1 and 3 have slightly longer sleeves. Sometimes I’m not a fan of where the short sleeves hit my arm, so having them be a bit longer is nice.

2. A Striped Shirt

One / Two / Three / Four / Five / Six

As you could probably tell from my Mixing Print post, I love striped tops. You don’t even have to mix them with anything and you still get a great outfit. I think I own about 6 striped tops and I love them all. You will never regret owning a great striped top. If you tend to shy away from striped tops because you’re worried they’ll make you look wider across the middle here’s a tip: stick to thin stripes. Wider stripes can sometimes make even the skinniest girl look wider then she actually is. Thin stripes however have a magical ability to nip you in at the waist. 🙂 Also, I’ve picked some turtlenecks here but if you’re a hater of turtlenecks (unlike me) then feel free to stick to crew, v, or scoop necks.

I own number 1 and love it! It’s form-fitting without being too snug.

2 is a good option if you want something other than black & white. I also love the different stripe sizes on 5!

3. A Lace Top

One / Two / Three / Four / Five / Six

So some might disagree with me that a lace top is a basic piece, but I’ve found the ones I own to be very versatile. You can easily style them more casually or dressier depending on the situation. I’ve got two white lace tanks, a black tank, a red tank, a blue tank, and two white tees that are lace and I wear them all the time! Plus, they’re a nice piece to have if you plan on going out after work. Pair it with a blazer for the work day and then swap that out for a moto jacket for drinks. Easy peasy!

2 and 5 are very similar to the tanks that I own.

I love the fun bib detail on number 3. It’s similar to a top I had in college and loved!

1 is from dressbarn. Almost all of their garments come in regular, plus, and petite so they fit a wide range of body shapes.

4. A Chambray Shirt

One / Two / Three / Four / Five / Six

You might laugh, but chambray shirts have been super popular the past few years, and I don’t see them going anywhere anytime soon. They’re great when worn buttoned all by themselves, or unbuttoned and layered over a tank. I actually own three. A darker rinse one that is more appropriate for the work place, one medium rinse shirt that I wear the most, and a super light one. I usually wear these with black jeans or a super dark rinse to avoid the dreaded Canadian Tuxedo look.

Some of the shirts I’ve picked here aren’t actually linen but lyocell. This makes them a bit lighter and easier to move in. It’s actually really common that you’ll buy a chambray shirt that isn’t even chambray!

4 is still lighter than the darkest of my chambray shirts!

5. Dark Denim

One / Two / Three / Four / Five / Six

If you don’t own a pair of dark rinse jeans then stop what you’re doing right now and get some. They don’t have to be skinny, you can get straight, boot-cut, flare, wide leg, whatever you want, but get some!!! They look so much better than any light rinse jeans and can easily be worn in the workplace (depending on the rigidity of your dress code of course). Dark rinse jeans will slim your legs while also making them appear longer. Try to get some without any of the “whiskering” that’s really popular.

I’ve got a mix of high-waist, mid rise, skinny, straight, and boot-cut here for you.

6. Olive Jeans

One / Two / Three / Four

While you’re out buying your dark rinse jeans, you should also pick up some olive ones. These will be as easy to wear as your favorite blue jeans since olive is also a neutral. You might even find yourself reaching for them more often than the blue ones.

Olive can be a tricky color for some people to wear. I’ve got a few different hues of it here so you can get an idea of what they look like. 1 is a super light olive, and 4 is almost grey. Just find whichever shade works best for you and then go for it! If you’re hesitant to jump on the colored jeans train, these are a great starting point.

7. Blazer

One / Two-out of stock, similar / Three / Four / Five-out of stock, similar / Six

Blazers are amazing. They are a great finishing piece for almost any outfit. You can wear one to the office and then leave it on for going out with the girls later that night! It’s always a good idea to have a nice black or grey one to wear for work or for interviews but don’t let that be the only one you own! A blush colored one is great in winter, and anything jewel-toned is perfect for fall. If you have a heavier weight blazer you can also wear it instead of a jacket on cool days.

I own two that are very similar to 4. They’re all the same brand and so comfortable! You feel like you’re wearing a sweatshirt not a blazer.

5 is velvet which is just awesome. It’s a slightly dressier option that works for going out. I also love that 3 is a double-breasted blazer. It’s got just a little something extra that makes it stand out.

8. Ankle Boots

One / Two / Three / Four / Five / Six

I’ve said this before, but one of these days I’m going to do a post all about ankle boots. They’re great. They go with almost any outfit and can be worn all year-long. I don’t even know how many ankle boots I own, let’s just say it’s a lot.

I’ve picked out a range of heel heights here since I know some people can’t wear the super high ones.

I own number 2 from a couple of years ago and they’re super comfortable. I also own number 5. They’ve got this slit on the front that’s really nice. The only tricky thing about ankle boots is that they can chop off your legs and make them look short if you wear them wrong. The slit on 5 lets just a bit of skin peek through which helps to negate the “stumpy” look.

I really want a pair like number 4. They’ve got those cute perforations which was really popular this year.

9. Tan Flats

One / Two / Three / Four / Five / Six

I’ve got a pair of tan Audrey Brooke flats from a couple of years ago, and it will be a sad day indeed whenever they die on me. They’re nothing flashy, but I’ve gotten tons of compliments on them. A good pair of tan flats can be worn with almost anything, it’s the power of neutrals again! If you don’t like the round toe of the ballet flats, then go for a pointed toe. Those will actually lengthen the leg, while round toes make the leg look shorter. Just don’t go too pointy, we don’t want any elf shoes!

Number 6 is also by Audrey Brooke and might make a good replacement for when mine die.

I love the lace detail that’s on the back of 5!

Number 1 has a small hidden wedge in the heel. The Audrey Brookes that I have are like that and it’s sooo comfortable. That extra 1 inch or so in the heel really helps.

10. Black Pumps

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Did you honestly expect anything other than black pumps here? They may be one of the most versatile shoes ever. Just like with the dark rinse jeans, if you don’t own a pair of black pumps then you need to get some. You never know when you’ll be at a function where heels are required or when the boss from the head office is planning a visit. These guys seriously pay for themselves. You might not wear them as much as your other shoes, but you’ll thank your lucky stars that you own them when the time comes.

Just like with the ankle boots, I’ve picked heels with a range of heel heights.

I own number 2 in two other colors and it’s one of the most comfortable heels I’ve ever worn.

If you find your feet hurting with the higher heels, go for a style that has a platform. Some shoes have it built-in, and others like 1 have it built onto the bottom. The platform helps to distribute the weight a bit more evenly across the ball of your foot.


And that about wraps it up! Phew, this was a long one guys. I hope this gave you some ideas on building your wardrobe and how basics can really become a staple in your closet. Are there any basics that you would add to my list? Let me know!


2 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Wardrobe Basics

  1. I love this post! I like all the layering options, and how all of these looks can go from work, to casual, to a night out, just by changing 1 or 2 pieces.

    I also like that you included shoes, they can really pull a whole outfit together.


    • Yeah! That’s the great thing about these basics. You can easily make a number of outfits using a combination of these 10 items, and you can easily add items that aren’t featured here to switch things up! For example: a chambray shirt is great when layered over a dress or tucked into a pencil skirt. You can think of these pieces as the building blocks of your closet and then expand from there!


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