I’ve always had an appreciation for a well made, high quality piece of clothing. The attention to detail, the feel of the fabric as I run my fingers across and check the stitching. I enjoy the process of flipping the tag to read the fiber content and care instructions regardless of whether or not that piece comes home with me. To other people this may seem tedious- time consuming and unnecessary, but to me… to me it means this brand cares about their craft, their design, and their customers. And that’s enough to enjoy and appreciate regardless of whether I make the purchase. But if it fits… if it fits that’s the icing, the frosting, the cherry on top.
Over the last few years I’ve created a wardrobe that I’m happy to wear over and over again. I’ve collected pieces that I’ve preserved and can pull out each season to pair with new seasonal items. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve also become more particular about the clothes I add to my wardrobe.
I ask myself, can I wear this with my existing wardrobe and will I wear it multiple times? If the answer is no, more than likely I won’t buy it. There are exceptions but that’s when I’ve already fallen in love with a piece and usually that’s because it’s unique and I just have to have it.
As we get older we don’t have as much time to rummage through the racks for new clothes as often. Our finances are split between more responsibilities so buying clothes isn’t always at the top of the list. Having these staple pieces in the closet can be a life saver. Staple pieces are timeless, work with most of what you have in your closet, and if you invest in good quality clothing, they will last you for years to come.
You’re extending your wardrobe with quality, timeless pieces that will all match. Investing in the quality of your wardrobe is just as important as investing in the style of your wardrobe. Quality pieces will be loved and handled with more care than something you pick up to wear for a single event because you’ve succumb to fast fashion.
I’m more careful with my quality pieces because I don’t want to ruin them too quickly. I invested good money, so I want it to last as long as it can. That means treating it delicately and removing stains right away. It means placing it on a hanger when you take it off so it doesn’t wrinkled at the bottom of a pile of clothes. It means being careful not to overstretch necklines and other parts. I hand wash and hang dry certain pieces if my laundry basket isn’t full so that they don’t sit at the bottom of the basket for weeks. Trust me, if you love your clothes, they’ll love you right back, and more importantly- they’ll last.
Here is my list of the 10 staple pieces every woman should have in her closet for a timeless wardrobe.
Trench coat: a classic beige color, double breasted, belted at the waist trench coat will serve so many purposes. If you get one that has a removable lining, you can wear it for cold or warm weather.
A classic trench coat will go with any outfit and will make you look put together. It will make any rainy day outfit chic. Just watch the ending of Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
|Double breasted trench coat.|
Pea coat: a fitted pea coat for the fall and winter season will keep you warm and stylish. You can throw it over anything you’re wearing from formal to casual. I personally like a long one below the knees.
Grab one in a color you love! It doesn’t always have to be black (even though that’s a classic). And if you buy one size larger, you can layer underneath.
Tip: Buy your coat in January, stores are getting ready to release their Spring collection so off season items are on sale. I buy my coats off season because they rarely change much in terms of style.
|Camel pea coat with boots.|
Fitted jeans: A well fitting pair of jeans can make you feel great about your body! Lifting your booty, extending your legs, and pairing well with pretty much any top. But finding that well fitting pair of jeans can be very discouraging because they all fit so differently. It does take some trial and error!
Don’t give up though- once you find them you may not need to buy more for a while. I myself am still wearing jeans from 5 years ago because they’ve lasted that long and it’s hard to go out of style.
Tip: If you have a pair of jeans that are long you can snip it and tear the excess off. This will leave you with a raw edge hem that is very in style now. No need to sew it back up! I did this for my sister with a pair of my outgrown jeans and she loves it!
|Cropped fitted jeans with raw hem worn with a silk blouse.|
Wrap dress: I love a good wrap dress. It’s elegant, professional, and casual all at the same time. If it’s black, even better! It can double as the little black dress. But really any color and print will be flattering.
You can dress it up or down with your choice of shoes and accessories. A wrap dress will always fit you and hug the right curves. Thank you Diane von Furstenberg for introducing this oh so flattering jersey number.
I have a black wrap dress that hits at the knees. I’ve worn it to a work function, second date, dinner with girlfriends and lent it to my sister to wear to a conference.
|Black wrapped dress under a tweed jacket (sadly, I lost this jacket).|
White button down: A classic white button down top is the second easiest thing to wear after a pair of well fitted jeans.
I have a thing for white button downs; I probably have 6 off the top of my head, ranging from a work one to more playful ones with embroidered collars and cuffs to a sleeveless with an open back.
It’s great for a work day, interview, or even a weekend brunch with a pair of boyfriend jeans.
|Cotton asymmetrical button down shirt (cropped in front, long in back).|
Cashmere sweater: sweater weather calls for cozy and soft yarns against your skin. A cashmere sweater will elevate any look.
When I need to be a little dressy but don’t want to actually dress up, I will wear a pair of black trousers and a cashmere sweater (this was my uniform for work when I had an 8-5). But really, you can have fun and pair it with anything.
|Cashmere crew neck sweater under a thrifted houndstooth dress.|
Black Trousers: Black trousers are versatile and so important to any wardrobe. I prefer trousers that are fitted, almost like tights but much thicker. I also like them to be slightly cropped around the ankle, this style is reminiscent of Ms. Audrey Hepburn (you can guess she’s my personal style icon).
They are easy to wear and so comfortable to be in all day. The great thing about these is they can be professional or casual. I wear them everywhere and with everything.
|Black trouser with a Shell N wool jacket.|
Cardigan sweater: I carry a cardigan with me almost everywhere I go. A cardigan doesn’t have to be the last thing you think about when planning an outfit. You could plan your whole outfit around a cardigan.
Don’t think you need to get a solid color basic cardigan just to keep warm. A cardigan can give so much attitude to your outfit. Find a classic one with unique details for functionality and style.
They can add a cool vibe to any outfits while adding layers for a more complete look.
|Lambswool over-sized cardigan.|
Fitted Blazer: A fitted blazer may scream 8-5 but that doesn’t have to be the case. A blazer can add a cool touch to any outfit. Throw it over fitted or loose fitting jeans for a fun vibe or over shorts for a vacation/weekend vibe, or dress for a laid back brunch vibe.
Great for keeping the top half of your body warm but also adding an extra touch of coolness and femininity.
And of course you can wear it to the office too.
|White linen blazer over a silk top.|
Silk Blouse: A silk blouse in a nice color or print will make you feel luxurious and ready for anything from the office to a dinner date. It can dress up any jeans or black trousers for a well put together look without the extra effort. It can also be worn under a blazer and cardigan to change things up a little.
Silk can be more difficult to care for but they do last a long time if you treat it well.
|Silk blouse with decorative neckline and puffed sleeves, really love the details.|
Extra tips for building the classic wardrobe
Don’t get everything in black. That’s boring! Having staple pieces doesn’t mean they have to be boring. Fit your staple pieces to your style but be mindful that they’re rewearable and versatile.
It’s easy to say invest in your wardrobe but I get it.
That costs money.
But think about how many clothes we buy on a whim because it’s “cheap” and wear once. That adds up too. Add that up and see how much you’re really “saving”.
A smart shopper is one who is conscious of what they are buying and makes use of what they have. Mix and match the pieces you have in your closet and you will find that these pieces will go a long way.
Also, resell your clothes if you’ve outgrown them size wise or even style wise. You can sell them online and on an app so easily now and people will buy them!
I’ve sold a few of my gently used clothes on eBay before. I even had one girl who fit my size well and would buy from me directly. Your quality staple pieces will last well beyond your use and into the next person’s life.
What staple pieces do you have in your wardrobe that you swear by?
Remember everyone, be slow. Be fashionable.