Basics every Woman needs to have in her wardrobe

17 Jun

1. A well-fitting blazer or jacket. This should preferably be in black, but a tailored tweed in neutral colors will also do. Well-fitting means that the buttons should be able to button up. (This should really go without saying, but I’ve seen so many women wearing ill-fitting jackets that it had to be said). If you’re in between sizes, get the larger one and get it tailored. The signs of a good jacket are tailoring details – think darts; and enduring fabric (this means no “poly-fester”). A blazer will do you many favors: it dresses up an outfit; it makes you look more ‘put together’; it hides flaws (particularly for those of us with a less-than-flat tummy); and it gives you power and authority. You can wear a blazer over a skirt, shorts, jeans, or formal trousers.

Perfect Black Blazer, as seen on Chiara from The Blonde Salad

2. A leather purse, preferably in black or cognac. If you’re vegan, faux leather or another material is fine, but make sure that it looks expensive. A leather purse, in my experience, will last ten times longer than synthetic materials (exceptions are jacquard and canvas, but they get dirty easily and can look tacky). If you have one expensive (or expensive-looking) purse, that’s really all you need. The purse should be large enough to hold everything you need, but not so large that it overpowers you. A classic shape is good, as you want the bag to last you more than just one season. If you have the extra dough, you can also fork out for a smaller evening bag – which can be more quirky and eccentric (think: prints, sequins and embroidery) than your classic day bag, if you wish.

Of course you don't have to buy the Hermes Birkin bag, but just so you get the idea of a classic color and shape ๐Ÿ™‚

3. A pair of cute, comfy ballet flats. Preferably ones you can walk ten miles in without blisters. Let’s face it, girls: heels are great but certainly not practical for every occasion. An ideal flat will be in a neutral color, but still have some character (think texture, or an interesting detail such as a buckle or a chain).

Ballet Flats: comfy+cute

4. A dress that makes you look your best. This can vary depending on your personal style, the climate you live in, and your lifestyle, and can run the gamut from a chic LBD (little black dress) to a bohemian maxi dress. Both can be dressed up and down (up: heels and more skin; down: flats or sandals and a denim jacket). Try on a variety of dresses to see what colors and shape suit you (and be sure to look at my post on Dressing For Your Body Type).

The classic LBD

5. A pair of jeans that look great on you. A dark wash is the most chic (and figure-flattering) option. This means no whiskering, tears, acid washes or patches. A mid-rise jean (that fits you at the navel) is best for people with a less-than-perfectly-flat stomach. High-rise jeans tend to look dowdy (and create an unflattering ‘pouch’ when you sit town) while low-rise jeans tend to be a little tacky (no one needs to see your underoos when you sit down).

Dark wash jeans: comfy and classy

6. A blouse or shirt in a color that suits you. Notice I didn’t say t-shirt. This needs to have tailoring details similar to the blazer. No knits or ‘poly-fester’. This should ideally be in cotton or silk, or a good blend (i.e. cotton+spandex, or silk+lycra). Jewel tones are flattering on most people (think: emerald, fuchsia, saffron, royal blue).

A silk blouse such as this one can be very versatile. The V-neck lengthens the neckline, and the ruching at the waist detracts from the tummy area, both of which are very slimming!

7. A pair of sunglasses that suit you. Sunglasses, however inexpensive, can scream TACKY! or chic! in an instant. My advice: Don’t go shopping alone, and don’t (necessarily) follow the trend. Take a brutally honest friend with you, preferably one with infinite amounts of patience as you try on many, many glasses. Many online guides show what sunnies suit your face shape, but I’ve found they’re not always accurate. Best to try out a few. Surprisingly, aviators tend to suit most face shapes, in my opinion.

Gold sunnies tend to suit most skin tones.

8. A pair of trousers. Ideally, these should be in a heavy-weight fabric, like a tweed or a wool-blend. Black (or patterns with a lot of black, like herringbone or tweed) are best. They should look expensive, and fit beautifully. I would suggest something that fits snugly at the waist but tapers straight down. The silhouette is flattering for straight as well as mighty-curvy figures.

Straight black or gray pants. Nothing to it!

9. A pair of high heels, for a bit of “va-va-voom. These don’t have to be as comfy as your ballet flats, but you should be able to walk in them without cringing. Nothing detracts from your ultra-chic look as much as trying to awkwardly balance in heels you tried on for a moment at the shop. Your goal is to be able to walk at least two blocks in these shoes. Simple rule: the thinner the heel, the more practice you need to walk in them. Try not to get ultra-blocky heels, though, as they add bulk (bulk=weight!) to your lower half, and can make your whole outfit look dowdy. Your heels can be in a neutral color, or add a POP! of color to your whole outfit. Just make sure, as with the ballet flats, that if you choose a neutral color, that there is some interesting detail on the shoe. Also remember: while ankle straps offer support, they cut off the line of the leg, making you look shorter/stockier (read:fat). Shoes in a nude color (one that matches your skin tone, of course) have the opposite effect: the lengthen the leg line, making you look taller (=slimmer). Thanks to Stacy for these awesome tips!

Classy red heels can add mileage to even the most boring outfit!

10. Great foundational garments. If you haven’t been for a bra fitting lately, DO IT. Apparently 80% of women are wearing the wrong sized bra, which leads to discomfort, poor posture, and of course, ill-fitting clothes. If you think you need a Spanx, don’t be ashamed. Half the women you see on the red carpet are wearing one. It smooths you out, and helps you feel less self-conscious. Voila, trรจs chic!

Spanx...Much better than pushups


7 Responses to “Basics every Woman needs to have in her wardrobe”

  1. Miri June 27, 2010 at 8:18 pm #

    Nice selection!

  2. jemina June 28, 2010 at 3:12 am #

    WOW, this is a MUST READ for every gal, love love love this post, XOXO

    • rethinkingpink June 29, 2010 at 12:55 am #

      Thanks so much, Jemina! Stay tuned for the next one! xoxo

  3. Vane June 29, 2010 at 2:16 pm #

    I’m 100% agree with you. The LBD that you choose is amazing!

  4. Jessica Eligh July 8, 2010 at 1:45 am #

    i complete agree, especially with the sunglasses and “va va voom” shoes, people always underestimate a good pair of shades and rockin heels.

    love the blog keep it up! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Jessica Eligh July 8, 2010 at 1:45 am #


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