Ever had an idea to wear a certain outfit, but realized that you were missing a few wardrobe basics?
Outfit inspiration ruined (LOL)!
To ensure that this does not happen again, below is a list of 21 wardrobe basics every woman should have in her closet.
I recently purged my closet and I’m glad I did because I realized most of the clothing I had, I didn’t wear. So, I donated a bunch of clothes to the Goodwill, but the wardrobe basics, I kept.
Clothing essentials you will want to keep in your closet because they are classic pieces that will never go out of style.
Therefore, let’s take a trip to your closet and check off the list of wardrobe basics you DO have. For the items you’re missing…sounds like a reason to go shopping to me!
Be sure to check out the engaging video at the end of this post and see examples of the wardrobe basics to have in your closet.
*This blog post contains affiliate links. A widget off all the wardrobe essentials collection are included at the end of this post. If you click on any of the links and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission.
1. Trouser Suit: Most capsule wardrobe lists will have a blazer and a pair of trousers as separate items, which
is fine. However, I think it’s important that these separates can be paired together to make a complete suit.
Every woman should have a suit in her closet.
That means having the suit blazer, as well as the suit pants.
You never know when you have to go to court, a funeral, a business meeting, or on a job interview.
2. Black Skirt: Pencil skirts are very sexy and are great to wear at the office or with a nice blouse to go on a dinner date. Plus, if you have a blazer and a pair of trousers to make a pants suit, if you also have a pencil skirt, now you have a skirt suit.
If you have a short skirt that’s fine too, but as long as it looks tasteful and it does not ride up your legs to reveal your other cheeks.
3. White Blouse/Collar Button Shirt: A white button shirt is a classic wardrobe basic to have and it looks great under your suit or worn with a pair of jeans and booties.
Additionally, in case you have to go on an interview, but you don’t have a complete suit, a white button shirt with a pair of dark trousers or a pencil skirt is suitable to wear that will still make you look professional.
4. Dressy Tank Top/Camisole: When a white button up shirt is a bit too warm to wear under your suit due to the weather, a dressy tank top, camisole, or even a sleeveless top will work perfectly.
Dressy tanks and camisoles look very chic, so you definitely want to stock up on a few.
I have no idea why, but right now I’m obsessed with them!
5. Long Sleeve T-shirt: Can’t go wrong with a long sleeve T-shirt. The Gap comes out with them all the time and I think it warrants a spot on the list of items to have in your capsule wardrobe.
I love the fact that a long sleeve T-shirt is lightweight, which makes it easy to pull over a fitted T-shirt or a tank top if it gets a little cool outside.
No need to carry a jacket. Simply tie it around your shoulders, waist, or roll up to place inside your handbag.
6. White T-shirt: A classic white T-shirt can be worn during any season and it is one of the most versatile pieces of clothing to have.
Although…a white T-shirt can get a bit dingy after a few washes.
No worries! Simply purchase 2 or 3 white T-shirts at a time.
They are relatively inexpensive, and you can find good deals on T-shirts during the spring and summer months. While you are at it, grab a black, grey, and navy T-shirt too to have as part of your wardrobe basics.
7. Little Black Dress: A little black dress will always be a classic and it’s perfect for an intimate dinner date, a play, or a cocktail party.
Sadly, I admit…I don’t have one.
Shame on me, right?
Well, guess it’s time to hit up the mall or do some online shopping.
8. Wrap Dress: I always wanted to have a wrap dress since it’s one of those wardrobe basics, and now I am glad to say that I have one. Lucky for me, I was able to snag a navy wrap dress for $10 at a local boutique that was going out of business.
They’re so sexy.
However, in case you don’t have a wrap dress, but you have a floral dress, you can use this as a substitute since many capsule wardrobe lists will usually mention having a floral dress as a wardrobe basic.
9. Sweater: If you have a cashmere sweater…ahh suki, suki…you fancy! Give yourself a check for that one.
I don’t have a cashmere sweater…yet.
However, in case you don’t have one either, that’s cool. A stylish looking sweater that has been well cared for works just fine as part of your capsule wardrobe.
10. Cardigan: I used to have a bunch of these when I worked in an office, but now I only have one cardigan in black. I was going to give it away to the Goodwill, but it’s a wardrobe basic that’s good to have in your closet.
Cardigans are great to wear at the office, but they can be worn casually as well. If you have a cardigan with a matching camisole too, give yourself a thumbs up.
11. Denim Jeans: Having a pair of denim jeans in your closet is as basic as they get. Best of all, you don’t have to spend a $100, $300 or more to find a good pair that suits your shape and body.
Therefore, whether it’s a straight leg, boot cut, high waist, or ripped jeans, focus more on a pair of jeans that fits you well and that’s within your budget, instead of worrying about the brand name that’s stitched to the label.
12. Black Jeans: I used to have black jeans and I really need to get another pair.
They simply look great on, they make you look thinner (always a plus), and they go with just about anything.
So, if you don’t have black jeans, consider buying a pair. Again, concentrate on purchasing jeans that look GREAT on you and worry less about the brand name.
13. Camel Trench Coat: This is definitely considered a staple item on the list of wardrobe basics to have in your closet, but I’m on the fence about whether or not every woman needs a camel trench coat.
Yes, the camel trench coat looks very sophisticated with a work outfit, a pair of jeans and a T-shirt, or even over a cocktail dress (although I much prefer a wrap coat), but if you live in a warmer climate, chances are you may not have a need to own one.
I have a coat similar to a camel trench, but now that I live in CA, I don’t wear it. Still, I am going to keep it because of its classic style.
Accordingly, if you don’t have a trench coat, consider purchasing one as part of your closet essentials.
On the other hand, if you live in a climate where it’s not necessary to have a trench coat, then I say pass on this item.
14. Denim Jacket: For those cool fall days or spring nights, a denim jacket certainly comes in handy.
I personally don’t have one, but I have been meaning to get one for years.
It’s a classic lightweight jacket that’s convenient to have and it works nicely over minimalists, as well as trendy outfits.
15. Black Biker Jacket: This is a popular item that you will often see on a list of wardrobe basics.
Sometimes you will read that you should have a “real” black, leather biker jacket, but I say otherwise because depending on where you live, you might not ever use it.
I have a faux leather biker jacket and it’s in brown because that’s the color I wanted to get. Plus, it works well for someone like me living in LA.
Besides, people in southern California don’t wear leather jackets like that and so, it didn’t make sense for me to make such an investment when I was looking to buy a jacket.
Still, the biker jacket is pretty cool to have.
Therefore, if you live in a climate where it warrants having a real leather jacket, absolutely add it to your wardrobe.
Otherwise, if you live in the southern part of the country where it’s usually warm, a faux leather biker jacket either in tan, brown, or black will work just fine.
I’m giving myself a check mark for the biker jacket.
16. Black Pumps: Nothing makes a woman look more like a boss than strutting a pair of black pumps.
Oh…and how I love the way black pumps elongates my legs!
Besides, you never know when you have to give a presentation or need to make some boss-like negotiations. So, if you don’t have a pair, be sure to get some ASAP.
17. Flats/Ballet Flats: Pumps are seriously sexy, but sometimes you don’t always want to wear high heels; especially to work. In that case, a pair of ballet flats will give your feet the much needed break they need.
Personally, I like pointed toe flats.
Either way, whether you like the pointed toe or the ballet toe, a pair a flat shoes is a necessity to have as part of your wardrobe basics, but also part of your shoe collection too.
18. Booties (black or brown): Ever wore booties with a pair of shorts or a skirt?
Booties can come in a flat, block, or high heel, but whichever style you choose, I think they match with just about any outfit.
Although they are ideally worn during the fall/winter season, booties can also be worn in the spring/summer season too.
If you never matched booties with a pair shorts before, I say try it!
It’s a popular look here in CA that’s truly fashionable.
19. Riding Boot: Do consider having a pair of riding boots as part of your wardrobe basics and if you can make the investment, buy real leather.
I have a pair of faux leather riding boots and quite frankly, they look cheap. Then again, that’s just my personal opinion.
Still, if you are looking to learn how to build a classic wardrobe, a pair of riding boots will almost always make the list. Hands down, riding boots are stylish and they look stellar with a fall outfit.
Dreaming of an oversized sweater, infinity scarf, denim jeans, and riding boots yet?
I say it’s worth the money to spend $100-$200+ on a pair of real leather riding boots. Another item on my list that I need to get.
20. Tote Bag: I am not the kind of girl who’s big on handbags, but I knew I needed to have a tote bag with a classic and professional look.
Sure enough, I use it whenever I go on business meetings or on business-related appointments.
Designer tote handbags are awesome to have, but if you are in the process of learning how to build a capsule wardrobe, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on a tote bag right now; especially if you don’t have the funds to do so.
I say invest the money on your closet essentials first and when you have the extra cash, then splurge on a designer bag.
21. Evening Bag: You have the lovely cocktail dress, the perfect cocktail shoes, but wait a minute…you don’t have the evening bag to go with the put-together look.
Usually when going out to dinner to an upscale restaurant or to a special event, you’re not going to drag a huge tote bag with you. Even a small satchel won’t quite fit.
What one needs is an evening bag and like the tote, you don’t have to spend a lot of money just to buy a designer evening bag.
At least not yet.
Evening bags from your local discount store like Marshall’s, TJMaxx, or Ross carry a nice, affordable selection that will work perfectly for special occasions.
When you are ready to purchase a designer bag, an investment piece from Louis Vuitton, Gucci, or Prada will be well worth the price.
Artist: Dan Henig
Genre: Dance & Electronic | Happy
Artist: Dan Henig
Genre: Pop | Inspirational
Artist: Dan Henig
Track: Pluck It Up
Genre: Pop | Bright
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*I wish to be transparent with my readers/viewers. Some on the links in the description contain affiliate links. If you click on the link and then go on to make a purchase, I will earn a small commission.