top 10 wardrobe essentials - little black dress

Top 10 Wardrobe Essentials: By Pauline Saltzmann, Fashion Stylist

How many times have you said, “I haven’t a thing to wear?” I used to say it all the time until I figured out that having a few key pieces made my day-to-day dressing relatively easy.  These top 10 wardrobe essentials are a great foundation to build upon.

1. The Blazer – Top 10 Wardrobe Essentials
Maison Marginal Blazer - top 10 wardrobe essentials

A structured, tailored blazer is a classic trend that never gets old and looks great on every figure. You need at least two types of blazers, day and evening.  Wear with jeans, shorts or a skirt. Throw on over your cocktail dress or pull your office look together. The blazer is the answer. Make sure it’s a perfect fit that accentuates your waist line. I prefer the length of the blazer not to go past my hips.

2. The Little Black Dress – Top 10 Wardrobe Essentials

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Thank you Coco Chanel for this versatile design. The “LBD,” as it’s referred to, is essential to a complete wardrobe. It’s a “rule of fashion” that every woman should own one.  It will get you through the tough times.  Keep the style as simple as possible so that it remains timeless and doesn’t become dated after several years.  It’s a blank canvas for accessorizing. Dress it up or down or not, it’s stylish on its own.The LBD by Celine in this post is my own from several seasons ago and is no longer available for purchase.  I adore this dress and know it will take me through the years to come.

3. Dark Denim – Top 10 Wardrobe Essentials

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When it comes down to jeans, it’s all about the fit and wash.  I prefer a dark denim because it’s more versatile. It works for a wider range of events/occasions. As for fit, you will probably have to try on many, many, MANY pairs before you find the one with your name on it.  Yes, daunting task, but there is just no way of getting around it.

4. Classic White Shirt – Top 10 Wardrobe Essentials

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Although it can be a bit difficult to find your perfect classic white shirt, when you do, know that there are so many ways to wear it.  If your chest is on the larger side, go with a popover.  J. Crew has a great affordable selection.  If you want your chest to appear larger, choose a shirt with more detailing on the front.

5. White Tee – Top 10 Wardrobe Essentials

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In 1955, James Dean soared to iconic status in “Rebel Without a Cause” rocking nothing more than a white t-shirt and leather jacket.  Yes, the white tee deemed the opposite of fashion has become a fashion must-have!  I will invest a few extra $$ for just the right textured tee. Some of my favorite t-shirt brands are Adam Lippes ($95), J. Crew ($30), Alexander Wang ($90), Enza Costa ($130), Uniqlo ($15), Levi’s Vintage Clothing ($90) to name a few.  Wear with jeans, leather pants, denim jacket, slinky slip dress, polished pencil skirt, layer under a sweater or just about anything else you can think of . You can never go wrong with this trusty tried-and-true staple.

6. Pumps – Top 10 Wardrobe Essentials

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Every girl needs a great pair of pumps that cost way too much and you will regret purchasing one day. Heels are a strong must-have. You should own a pair in a neutral hue like grey, black or one that matches your skin tone. It simply takes your ensemble to new heights (pun intended) as well as from the boardroom to the lounge for cocktails.

7. Scarf – Top 10 Wardrobe Essentials

Paris Love Lock Scarf

The scarf can be an accessory that completes your look from head-to-waist. Tie it around your head or neck, or use it as a belt. Click here to redirect to the post where I describe my favorite ways to wear a scarf!

8. Ballet Flats – Top 10 Wardrobe Essentials

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Who doesn’t love a great pair of ballet flats? I am partial to these flats in a leopard print. Wear it with jeans & button down or a dress. It’s chic and your feet will thank you.

9. Striped Shirt – Top 10 Wardrobe Essentials

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A friend of mine paired her navy blue Chanel Jacket with a striped shirt and jeans and I thought, “it doesn’t get any better than that!”  I’ve since come to admire the striped shirt and find that it works perfectly with an array of separates.  It looks sophisticated with a sexy pair of leather pants or pencil skirt. It mixes well with solids and if you are daring like I am, pair it with florals. Try the Breton striped tee

10. Oversized Sunglasses – Top 10 Wardrobe Essentials

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It’s all about the coverage and it looks sexy and mysterious. Celine and Karen Walker are a couple of favorites.