Lately I've been getting a few requests, here and in "real" life, to do a post on what my "Wardrobe Essentials" are. Given that my SIL was in town this weekend, I figured this was the perfect opportunity for us to play dress up. Here are the 15 things I that I believe are essential to my wardrobe and the way that I style each piece. I hope you have as much fun looking at each outfit at them as we did shooting them. Talk about a great way to clean out your closet!
1) A Boyfriend Blazer.
This is my number one "must have" for any wardrobe. This is my "go to" piece about 300 days a year, and I simply cannot remember what my fashion life was like before this became a staple in my wardrobe. I love the versatility of a good blazer. I have shown this one dressed down two ways and dressed up two ways. Blazer by Zara.
2) A Trench.
What is not to love about a trench? It's timeless, classic, covers all sins, and is actually a pretty functional piece. I love that you can wear a trench over pretty much everything you own and it never goes out of style. I have one with a removable warmer built in the back which gives me about 9 months of use out of it. Tan is a classic, but I prefer black because it has the ability to be dressed up or dressed down. Trench by Burberry.
3) Nautical Stripes.
As you have already seen I love me some nautical stripes. As in love. I definitely don't consider myself "preppy" but this is one prepster item that I wear year round. I will always chose something with stripes over a solid color any day of the week. I love how it adds just a little something to a basic outfit (as shown above) but you can also add other patterns or texture to funk up an outfit (as shown below). Nautical shirt by A.L.S.
4) A Printed Silk Blouse.
It is for the same reason I like a nautical shirt that I like a printed blouse. A great blouse can take you from drop off at school, to work, to a night out with the girls, with just a quick change of accessories. This is another of my "go to" items. Here I have shown them with a tuxedo jacket, leather jacket and, of course, with a boyfriend blazer. I realize looking at them now I have jeans on in all the pictures, but a blouse like this also looks amazing with a pencil skirt, tights, and a great pair of heels. The first is by Joie, the second Vera Wang Lavender Label, and the third is by Parker.
5) The Shirt/Dress.
I am a huge fan of the shirt/dress. And by shirt/ dress I mean a garment that doubles as a shirt AND a dress. I love a good deal and anything that can be worn more than one way is a must have in my book. Here is a dressier version of the Shirt/ Dress, by Parker.
And here is a more casual version. The first tunic is by Josh Podol, and the summer dress is by Vanessa Bruno.
6) The Maxi Dress.
Oh how I love a good maxi dress in the Summer. This is my uniform the minute the temperature hits 75 degrees. I know that this style is usually covered with some sort of print but I prefer my maxis to be basic so I can really accessorize the look. This top dress (my favorite) is by Velvet and the others are Gypsy 05 and Melissa Obadash, respectively.
7) Summer Whites.
Speaking of Summer, what is better on a hot day then a classic white dress? Um nothing. That is why a white sundress is definitely on my list of essentials. Bring on the heat! The first dress is by Miguelina, and the second is Milly.
8) Prints, Prints, and Prints.
I love printed dresses. Hell, as you have seen I love printed anything. While going through this project I found that I considerable part of my wardrobe is made up of printed dresses. I think I love them so much because they are just so easy. The pattern says it all, so throw on a cuff or a great pair of flats/ heel and an outfit is made. Clockwise from top, Love Shop, Parker, Calypso, and MM Couture. Denim jacket by Gap.
9) A Basic Sheath Dress.
I think every wardrobe should have at least one basic sheath dress. The reason being that they are just so versatile. I chose one made of navy taffeta and it can easily transition from day to night, and with some tights from winter to summer. Year round wear? Yes, you had me at hello! Dress by Calypso.
10) A Long "Chunky" Sweater.
This is the one item that they majority of my wardrobe consists of. Sure I live in New England, and warmth is a must, but I also have to admit that I also just love wrapping up in something that is both warm and stylish. For me I find that the longer the sweater is, the more I wear it. They make dressing for winter just so easy, all you need is a pair of jeans, boots, a good scarf and a stylish and weather appropriate outfit is made. Here are three of my favorites. The first is Jameson, the second is Vince, and the third is French Connection.
11) The Boyfriend Jean.
Jean by Current Elliot.
12) The Skinny Jean.
If the boyfriend jean is my new mistress, then the skinny jean is my partner for life. I say this because these are the only two styles of jeans that I wear, and if I had to chose one to say forever and ever to, it would absolutely be the skinny. This style is just so damn flattering, and it really is so on almost everyone. A lot of my girlfriends were afraid to try the skinny thinking that it would just make them look bigger, or that they are made for only model skinny girls, but for this jean that is just not the case. They are called skinny because they actually make you look skinny. The cut hugs the body so all you see is the natural silhouette and when they are under boots all you see is the leg, not that bulky fabric. Oh skinny jeans, will you marry me? Clockwise from top left J Brand, Genetic Denim, and MIH.
13) A Great "Go Out" Top.
Admittedly, I don't "go out" all that much, but when I do it is quite the event. Over the winter I realized that I didn't have any tops/ separates that could be both (really) dressed up and also dressed down. I quickly remedied that and found a great top that I could wear out with my girls, but that could be worn in my every day life. The first is an outfit that I wore out with my hubby, and the second with a turtleneck under to an event at my Little Man's school. Top by Gryphon.
14) A White Shirt.
I know most "experts" say that this is an item that every woman must have in her wardrobe and I have to say I agree. There is nothing better than a classic white shirt. It is timeless, seasonless, and can virtually guarantee that you will be appropriately dress wherever you chose to wear it. For my white shirt I chose this longer tuxedo style. I have worn this shirt everywhere, from a George Michael concert (with leggings and some funky jewlery) to my little mans first birthday party. Yes, you really can't go wrong with a classic white shirt. Shirt by Elizabeth and James.
15) A Killer Party Dress.
My last "essential" would have to be a killer party dress. Just having these in my closet makes me feel prettier. No, I'm not kidding. I love knowing that I could be invited anywhere at anytime and have the perfect dress for such an occasion. I fell in love with, and bought, the first dress without having a specific event in mind and at the time my concern was not having anywhere to wear such a dress. Well, 6 months later I have already worn it 4 times. I am so happy that I bought the perfect dress when I found it, rather than waiting until I had an event and having to shop under pressure. The second is on loan from my SIL and I am just waiting to break that baby out. I love a LBD with a twist, and the detailing on this one really makes it special. Dress on left Adam, right Jill Stewart.
So there you have it, my 15 wardrobe essentials. Are there any "must haves" I'm missing? I would love to hear what you all consider your essentials!
Coming tomorrow.... the shoe edition!