10 Wardrobe Essentials Every Woman Must Have
Being chic isn't about having the most expensive handbag or wearing the latest trend
It's about being true to who you really are and feeling comfortable in your own skin.
Real style comes from within. It is having the confidence to get organized, being a ruthless editor and trusting your own creativity. If you feel great, then you'll look great - whether your outfit cost $100 or $1000. Ultimately, be true to yourself.
With that said, there are ten items that I believe every stylish woman worth her fashion salt should own. These are the items that will carry you through season after season and never let you down. They are the classic must-haves that will serve as the backbone of your wardrobe.
Trends will come and go, but these are the items that will loyally serve you year after year.
The Little Black Dress - Channel your inner Audrey. This timeless piece can take you from the office to an evening on the town with the switch of a few chosen accessories. A simple, yet sophisticated black dress will also serve as the perfect backdrop to a killer pair of colorful stilettos or a statement piece of jewelry.
Classic White Shirt - This perennial favorite will never go out of style. Paired with denim or a slim pencil skirt, the button-down white shirt exudes elegance.
Denim - There is a very good reason that Yves Saint Laurent once mused that he wished he had invented the blue jean. A well-fitting pair of jeans (preferably dark denim and boot cut) flatters most body shapes and can easily be dressed up or down depending on one's mood. A great pair of jeans can be accessorized a million and one ways with what you already have in your closet.
Cashmere Cardigan or Crewneck - A basic necessity for chilly restaurants and in-flight cabins.
Ballet Flats - I love a 4″ stiletto just as much as the next Louboutin-loving girl, but it's my ballet flats that I turn to time and time again for ease, comfort and weekend casual. There's a certain insouciance to the ballet flat that says, "clearly I know my way around the fashion block, but I just don't have to try so hard to look fabulous."
High Heel Pumps - Whether peep-toe or classic, stiletto or chunky heel, a high heel pump in a neutral color (black, brown, navy or gray) will work well with all of your other wardrobe essentials.
Pencil Skirt - Much like the LBD, this item will take you from the boardroom to cocktails in style. Easily paired with a classic white shirt or cashmere crewneck.
Black Pants - Look for a slim fit and make sure the hem falls just an inch or so above the floor. You don't want your pants dragging along the floor as you walk. And unless you are 6′ and very thin, avoid too many pleats or pockets, as these tend to add bulk where we really don't need it.
Blazer - Find one with a proper, fitted shape. Your jacket should follow the silhouette of your body and accent the hourglass curve at your waist. It is also a perfect piece to pair with the pencil skirt, black pants and white shirt. Or make it casual with a pair of jeans.
Trench Coat - This is one of the classic pieces that also seems to always be on trend. While Burberry is probably best-known for their trench, there are many other brands such as Theory, Kenneth Cole, Tahari, DVF and Tory Burch who have created their own version of this timeless staple. The trench coat has come to the rescue of many a "bad wardrobe" day.
Great style is having the discipline to invest in just a couple of beautiful statement pieces each season and then mix these in with your ten wardrobe essentials. As Coco Chanel so eloquently said, "Elegance is refusal." It's not about constant acquisition; it's about working with what you have in a confident and creative way.
Only keep those pieces that make you feel really good. Play to your strengths: If you have great legs, wear skirts. If you have an hourglass figure, cinch your waist with fabulous belts. If you have beautiful skin and piercing blue eyes, wear accessories that draw attention to your face.
Now that's great style.
© Liz Dennery Sanders 2009
About the Author
Liz Dennery Sanders is the CEO of Dennery Marks Inc., a nationally acclaimed brand strategy and celebrity outreach firm, and SheBrand, a company dedicated to empowering other female entrepreneurs and small business owners to embrace success and create more money and freedom in their lives. For a FREE report, "101 Ways To Build A Powerful Personal Brand and Attract More Clients" visit http://www.shebrand.com.