At StyleBakery, we often talk about how important it is to own a core set of wardrobe basics to form the foundation of your wardrobe. Considered investment pieces, they are timeless classics that easily mix with trendier items for a fresh update each season.
We've updated last year's list to reflect our top 10 basics that every well-dressed woman should own. Missing something? With the multitude of sales this time of year, it's the ideal time to round out your closet. Check back over the next two weeks as we offer some well-priced suggestions to get you started.
1. Pencil Skirt
Pencil skirts are not only a classic, they also manage to be a "trend" virtually every year. This sexy, yet sophisticated, style can easily transition from work to play, depending on what you pair with it. Scour the racks for a style that fits your waist properly and gives enough room around your hips without bunching across your thighs.
Nothing pulls a look together faster than a blazer. Whether you prefer yours to be short and tailored or long and slouchy, a chic blazer is a wardrobe mainstay. Wear yours with everything from a mini to a feminine dress or a pair of jeans.
3. Trench Coat
Every year, the trench manages to make its way onto everyone's list of top 10 trends, making it the rare combination of a classic and a trend piece. A worthy investment, look for good quality trenches that are tough enough for a sprinkle, yet stylish enough to wear with a dress for a dinner date or suit for an interview.
The ultimate layering piece, a cardigan can replace a jacket when worn with a dress or provide an added layer to beat the chill. Unbelievably versatile, the cardigan is always in fashion, whether your style is sophisticated and refined or urban and edgy. To get the most from your cardigan, look for cotton or lightweight wool or cashmere in a length that hits somewhere mid-hip.
5. Feminine Blouse
When you consider the many possibilities of a pretty feminine blouse, it's the perfect choice for this list. Whether printed or plain, a pretty top is ideal for layering under a suit or cardigan, pairing with jeans or a skirt, or even layering over a thin turtleneck. Have at least one in your wardrobe to add an instant feminine touch to any look.
6. Little Black Dress
No wardrobe is complete without the perfect, figure flattering, little black dress. Classic, chic and timeless, the LBD is the answer for "what to wear" to almost any occasion. Dress it up with statement jewelry and heels, or dress it down with a jacket and boots.
7. Dark Jeans
Whether you prefer skinny, straight, or boot cut styles, every girl should own a pair of super flattering un-distressed dark jeans. Dark denim is far more sophisticated and timeless than lighter or specialty washes and can be worn during the day with a t-shirt or dressed up for evening with a dressy top and heels.
8. Classic Pumps
At once ladylike and sexy, classic pumps in black or another neutral are a must-own. Not only are they the perfect accompaniment for a dress or work trousers, but they also look great with skinny jeans. With variations ranging from platform to peep toe, there's a style for every personality and budget.
9. Statement Necklace
For several seasons now, the statement necklace has been at the forefront of fashion. As most trends do, its popularity is destined to fade at some point. If there is one lesson learned, however, it's the transformative power that a stylish piece of jewelry can have on your whole look. A bold necklace can take even the most basic t-shirt or simple LBD to a whole new level of style. If you're looking for something timeless, skip the big trends (like a bib necklace) and opt for a necklace you'll want to wear forever, whether statement necklaces happen to be "in" or not.
10. 24 Hour Handbag
It's hard to limit the number of shoes you own, but it is possible to have just one primary handbag. The 24 hour handbag must be chic (of course), timeless and versatile. Invest in the right one and it will be part of your wardrobe for years. Neutrals are the obvious choice, but don't discount a great red, purple or even mustard yellow bag. Select a size that holds all your necessities in a style that you can carry to the office, out to dinner and shopping on weekends.