The Not-So-Basic Wardrobe

Over the years several stylists, designers, and authors have published a varied list of basic pieces every woman should have in her wardrobe. These lists can be made up of any number of clothing items and accessories, but generally range between ten and one hundred. Now, a hundred different items might seem quite extensive to you and I would agree.

So what’s a girl to do when she is neck deep in basic pieces and has lost all sense of her personal style?

The answer: Keep her head above the proverbial sea of basics and follow these tips on how to choose pieces that will create a style that is truly her own.

The Classic White Blouse

This is no doubt on just about every list of essentials ever created. However, a white blouse doesn’t have to be the standard long-sleeve oxford with eight buttons and a stiff collar. Try on different shapes and fabrics and as a matter of fact it doesn’t even need to have buttons—or sleeves.

Black Pants

The key to a good pair of black pants is finding a silhouette that is appropriate for your body shape (trousers, boot cut, skinny etc.). This may require spending hours in the fitting room at your favorite store, but looking your best is worth it.

If you need more direction concerning your body shape pick up a copy of one of my favorite books on the subject: Dress Your Best: The Complete Guide to Finding the Style That’s Right for Your Body by Clinton Kelly and Stacey London.

The Little Black Dress

When wearing your favorite LBD steer clear of the monochromatic gothic look and pair it with not-so-basic accessories. Try colored or graphic tights, a pair of funky shoes, a belt, or better yet—why not all three?

The Trench Coat

The trench coat has always been my favorite basic item…because who doesn’t look good in a trench? If you love the classic beige color, like I do, try finding one with bold embellishments like this Burberry trench worn by actress Emma Watson.

The Pencil Skirt

Thanks to technology and designers made of true genius you can say goodbye to the knee-length black pencil skirt and hello to leather, graphics, and sexy slits.

The Blazer

A blazer is generally associated with a three-piece suit designed to wear to the office. However, worn as a separate a blazer is a great piece to have for any occasion. Next time you’re invited to an outdoor event skip the shawl, heavy coat, or cardigan and grab your favorite blazer instead.

By Kristianne Young

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