12 Wardrobe Essentials You Need To Have In Your Closet - Art in the Find

12 Wardrobe Essentials You Need To Have In Your Closet

Posted on: Thursday, January 17, 2019

Let’s face it, figuring out what wardrobe essentials you need can be challenging.  Because there is just so much stuff out there.  So it’s important to know which pieces you need to have to start building a good wardrobe.  Whether it be a minimal wardrobe, a capsule wardrobe, or a wardrobe filled with your favorites, here are 12 wardrobe essentials you need to have in your closet.

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12 Wardrobe Essentials You Need To Have In Your Closet

Maybe you have a closet filled to the brim with stuff.  You, like many women, look into it everyday and say, “I have nothing to wear.” What that says to me is that you’re overwhelmed with what’s in there.  That you’ve been purchasing things without knowing how they’re going to fit into your lifestyle.  You saw a piece, you thought it looked great, but now don’t know how to wear it or if you even needed it in the first place.

So let’s get you back to the basics.  Let’s start by itemizing the pieces to make sure you have the wardrobe essentials to get you dressed everyday.  Even if it’s pulling together a 5-minute-run-out-the-door outfit, here are the wardrobe basics you need to do just that.

 

1 || Dark Wash Well-Fitting Denim |

For every woman, denim fits differently.  But you have to find a pair (or 2!) that works for your body type!  Skinny, wide-leg, high waisted, you name it.  The cut and style will vary depending on your body shape.  But it’s important to have a basic, clean pair of dark wash denim (with no frills, no trendy hems at the bottom, no bedazzling on them.  Those styles will not last.)  Opt for a dark vs. light wash, which will go with everything.  And invest.  It’s okay to spend $100+ dollars on a clean pair of denim you’ll have for years!  (Think about how much wear you’ll get out of them!)

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2 || A Comfortable Flat | Opt for One Neutral and One Print

Time and time again, I work with women who have shoes in their closet they don’t wear! Why?  Because they purchased them for a specific event or they looked cute but are terribly uncomfortable.  So it’s time to get rid of those and start investing in comfortable shoes that work for you!  There are a lot of different shoes out there, from oxfords to loafers, from mules to ballet slippers, that are comfortable and cute too.  This is where you can have a little bit of style fun and opt for a color (red, pink) or pattern (animal print) to add some spice to your outfits.  Make sure you’re updating your shoes regularly.  Meaning, check for condition, wear, and comfort.  If they are wearing out, time to get rid of them and invest in a new pair.  Life is too short to walk around in worn out, uncomfortable shoes!  A few flats that I think every girl should have in her wardrobe vary from person to person.  What works for you won’t work for everyone.  But there are great options out there.

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3 || A Classic Closed Toe Heel (Height varies depending on your comfort level) | Opt for a Neutral, or Pop of Color

Whether you work in a corporate environment, work from home, or go out once in a while, chances are you have heels in your closet that you wear.  And there’s a greater chance that you have uncomfortable heels in your closet that you wear but loathe wearing them.  A classic heel ranges from the obvious high heel pump to a block heel to a kitten heel.  The idea here is to find one style of heel in any height that is comfortable for you. But you want to heel to have at least a bit of height to be able to wear with dress slacks, dresses, or even a great dark wash denim.  They can have a pointed toe (this is the most sleek) or a rounded toe.

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4 || An In-Between Shoe | Opt for a Print, Have Fun

An in-between shoe is a shoe that you’d wear when you aren’t wearing a flat or heel.  Say a great pair of sneakers, a bootie, or a mule.  These would be something that might be a little on the trendy side but you love them and love wearing them!  I think it’s important for everyone to have wardrobe staples that they love and that they have fun wearing over and over again.  These might be the kicks you choose to take with you on vacation or wear on the weekends.  Whatever that may be, it’s important to have fun in this category!

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5 || A Cardigan | Opt for a Neutral First, Add a Print Second

A cardigans can carry various meanings here.  They are meant to be a basic layer that you can add over a top or blouse, to create some interest in an outfit.  Cardigans can be cropped, hip length, long (duster cardigans for example) and they do not have to be boring!  Think about opting for a cotton blend or cashmere cardigan (and yes, cashmere will pill over time.  Take it to a dry cleaner and ask if they can de-pill it or see this video here for the DIY option.  I would recommend a couple of different cardigan options.  First, a neutral: grey, camel, white, light pink, or black.  Then a second, which can be a color or a pattern.

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6 || A Tote Bag |

I swear upon the tote bag.  This is an essential accessory that carries your life around in one fail swoop.  The tote as a purse or pocket book, however you refer to it as, is an ‘evergreen’ accessory that will not lose its timelessness.  It’s a workhorse.  You can throw your laptop in it for work, use it as a diaper bag as a mom, or travel with it.  The beauty of a tote is that you can find beautiful ones from almost every brand at every price point.  From Madewell to Chanel, from Kate Spade to Louis Vuitton, you cannot go wrong with a tote bag.  The key here is to choose a neutral color (camel, carmel, black..) that will go with any outfit.  P.S. Here are some tips to care for a leather bag

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7 || A Fit and Flare Dress | Opt for a strong color or pattern if you feel so inclined

For so many reasons, a fit and flare dress is a strong essential to have in your wardrobe.  A fit and flare dress looks great on such a large variety of women’s body types that this is one of the first recommendations when any client asks, “what type of dress should I invest in?”  You don’t have to make it a Little Black Dress or you definitely can but either way, this cut is hands down something you should seriously consider as an essential.  You can opt for a neutral or rock your favorite color or print.  Go wild with confidence here!

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8 || A Button Down Top |

Every woman should have a small handful of tops that suit their frame well.  Most women have a preferred style of top but I would veer away from including a basic white tee here because not every women wears a basic white tee and loves it.  I’ll go over necklines and fabrics, etc another time.  I am am including a button down top because it can go from work to weekend and looks good on everyone!  Here’s the caveat to that; Find a button down that works for your color and shape.  Colors that are classic include, white, off-white, blue, or black.  There are patterns in button downs that work so so well. Also, a button down can include a pop-over, which is a top that buttons only half-way down and is perfect for bustier gals.

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9 || Pull Over Sweater | Two neutrals are perfect for mixing and matching

Whether you love V-neck cashmere sweaters, cowl-neck wool sweaters, or a great cotton sweater, another essential wardrobe piece is the almighty pull-over sweater.  A great sweater can be worn alone or layered over a top to maximize the wear.  Fabric doesn’t matter as much here, as long as you love it.  Necklines also depend on your preference.  But I would say to try and opt for having at least one V-neck and one crew neck option.

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A Word About Jackets | The Essential Layering Pieces

Depending on where you live and what the temperature is (ie: San Diego vs. New York, London vs. Lisbon) you need more of one type of jacket than the other.  This also depends on the body type you have.  Petite women may prefer cropped a jacket.  Curvy women may need a hip length blazer.  The point here is to have a couple of these that work for you.  Because jackets are the essential to layering and layering is what makes a ‘meh’ outfit, a-meh-zing (get it?!?)!   Here are some of the essential jackets standouts that you want to have in your wardrobe.

10 || Hip Length Jacket |

Having a jacket that hits you at the widest part of your hips is a wardrobe essential must.  Now, where the widest part of your hips is, is different on every woman.  So it’s important to know where the widest part of YOUR hips are and find a jacket that sits right at it.  Where is that for you?  Stand in front of a full length mirror and touch the palms of your hands at the point where your hips stick out the most.  That’s the widest part of your hips (again, different from woman to woman).  Hip length jackets can fit into the same category of styles as cropped so see below for options.  It’s important to have one or two of these at the very least.  The most classic are going to be a moto jacket and a denim/jean jacket.  I’ve had my denim jacket for 15 years…

11 || Cropped Jacket |

These jackets include moto jackets, jean jackets, cropped blazers, and bomber jackets.  They are a great option for wearing over maxi dresses, dresses in general, and as a casual layering piece.  These wardrobe essentials really go a long way.

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12 || Long Jacket (Thigh, Knee, Calf Length) |

These are the style of coats that hit from the thigh on down.  Think classic trench coats, sleeveless vests (one of my personal favorites), sweater coats, utility jackets, teddy coats, you see where I’m going with these wardrobe essentials?  These are great paired with a white or striped top and denim (both essentials) and a great flat, bootie, or heel (see this post for an example).  It’s good to have one that hits at your thigh and another that hits at your calf.  The style you get is a complete matter of preference.  But with that said, the most flattering of the long jackets are clean, streamlined, and without a lot of fluff.

when it comes to wardrobe essentials, how do you know what to invest in? Wardrobe stylist conni jespersen shares her essential wardrobe pieces to have in your closet. closet must haves | womens clothes | wardrobe essentials | pieces to have in my closet | closet | clothes | women | art in the find styling

 

Keep in mind that these are the wardrobe essentials you need to put together an outfit to maximize wearing potential.  If you want to know more about figuring out what style of each piece you should wear check out this post on narrowing down your style type.  You can also download a printable wardrobe planner if you are looking to start identifying what you wear and don’t wear.   Thus narrowing down your closet to wardrobe essentials that you’ll love for years to come!  And for those of you who find it helpful to work with a list, here is the answer for you!  A Wardrobe Essentials Checklist for you to download (for free!) and check off your essentials.

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  • Avatar Maryanne

    Great list! I am happy to report that I have all of these essentials! 🙂
    I just found you via Pinterest and subscribed. I’m looking forward to seeing more! Love your style!!

    • Avatar Art in the Find

      Hi Maryanne,

      So wonderful!! Amazing for you, as a lot of people struggle to even acquire the right matching hangers! Sounds like you’re in great shape! So glad you came across my post and I can’t wait to connect with you again! xx, Conni





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