Ten Must-Have Wardrobe Staples

Wardrobe staples are basic items you can wear from one year to the next without them going out of style. And if you buy good quality items, they will last for years.

“Essentials like these serve as the foundation to have in your closet and are the building blocks to create the perfect wardrobe”, according to Ann Taylor Style Director Andrew Taylor. “Once you have these essentials in your wardrobe, you can create different looks and incorporate other styles from your wardrobe to suit the occasion,” he adds.

Regardless of where you shop, here are ten wardrobe staples you might consider adding to your closet if you don’t already own them. Of course, these are only suggestions because not every woman lives the same lifestyle but these are pretty basic.


A good pair of basic black pants can pretty much go anywhere for any occasion. They can be dressed up with an elegant blouse with heels, they can be worn to work or throw on a t-shirt and add some flats and you have a great casual outfit that works in warm weather. In the colder months, you can pair them with sweaters and layers. Straight legs are slenderizing and with a length can easily be worn with heels or flats.


Just like black pants, a basic black skirt can take you anywhere from work to play to a night out. When you stick with neutral colors for your bottom-half staples, you can easily update your look with trendy colors and patterns in tops, jackets and scarves. A length that actually works well for most women is one that touches the top of your knees.


Basic tank top colors like white, black and grey can be worn with anything. Tanks in trendy colors can be incorporated into your wardrobe as well. You can also find the right neckline for your body with scoop, square or V neck tanks. Wear it out under a semi-sheer blouse or sweater, wear alone or layered with another tank, under a blazer, with shorts, skirts, pants…


A structured blazer can class up just about anything, so throw it over a flirty blouse or a tee paired with jeans. Love this bold, collarless style…the store also sells a brand called XOXO that’s a one button basic blazer for $ 15.00. Blazers come in so many different lengths that it’s easy to find one that works best for your shape.


The perfect pair of jeans will never go out of style. Sometimes you just have to try on a lot of different styles to find the one that fits you perfectly and showcases your assets. The dark wash is season-less and can be worn dressed up or down. And once you find that “perfect fit”, why not buy a pair in the dark wash and one in a lighter hue. *Stick with plain, un-embellished pockets for a cleaner, more versatile look.


Did you hear? You CAN wear white after Labor Day….if it’s the right texture and material. These pants are perfect for wearing year-round and figure-flattering for athletic and curvy physiques alike.


A cardigan is perfect to wear alone or layered with a favorite piece. Again, very versatile because it can be worn with anything! Pick a neutral tone you can add color to with accessories or choose a shade that flatters your skin tones.


I love little black dresses that are simple and classic looking. When you choose a dress without rhinestones, ruffles or other embellishments, you can create many different looks that you can wear year after year and make it look new.


Buy a tote bag with a structured style that holds its shape for years of use. According to Marie Kojitani, Zappos.com style editor, “A large tote can hold everything for work, while still being fashionable and functional.”


A pair of simple ballet flats can take you from the office to an evening out (when you don’t feel like wearing heels). Find a pair that are comfortable yet feminine.

Honorable Mention

And one item that wasn’t on this list that I think every woman should have in her closet is a pair of basic black pumps in whatever heel height that works for you. Need something to wear with that little black dress for dressy occasions!

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