Be timeless and modern with these 11 classic wardrobe essentials you need to own!
Every outfit needs a staple piece to anchor it. No matter your style—classy or edgy, feminine or casual—there are certain classic wardrobe essentials and basics that work for every look.
Besides, don’t you want more room in your closet? Isn’t it curious, whether you are living in a small studio in NYC or a three-bedroom in the Midwest, a woman’s closet never feels big enough. Owning a few key essentials can help you minimalize your closet while stepping up your style.
So here are my 11 wardrobe essentials you need to own that will make your everyday-style simply chic. You could be heading to work, to the gym, or to a party, these fashion must-haves will be your ultimate go-to pieces for every occasion.
1. White Tee
There’s nothing more versatile than the classic white tee. You can throw it on for everyday use like working out or running errands, you can wear it underneath a blazer for a casually professional look, or you can spice it up with your favorite accessories for a night out on the town.
Go for a high-quality white t-shirt, like you would find with Vince. You can easily buy a bunch of cheap white tees, but you’ll only get a few uses out of them before they start to show wear and tear. You’ll waste your money and add more textiles to growing landfills.
A high-quality white tee is the ultimate wardrobe essential because it will be in for the long haul and won’t pill or lose its shape.
2. Denim Jacket
Jean jackets are the easiest layering piece that you can grab on your way out the door. They’ll pair with any outfit, and they function beautifully in every season—warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Have you ever noticed your denim jacket grows with you? Most jean jackets are loose and relaxed, creating a casually gorgeous look.
Plus, denim is a sturdy fabric, so it’s perfect as a travel partner jet-setting the world or across the city. Perfect for only the most adventurous and independent ladies!
Don’t feel like carrying your jacket?
Wrap it around your waist for a ‘90s throwback or throw it over your shoulder for an instant confidence-booster.
3. Hoop Earrings
Hoop earrings have been a staple accessory for almost a century, but their style has evolved through the decades. Hoops are a vogue basic that can completely change the look of an outfit. These statement pieces turn a simple tee shirt and jeans into a dressed-up ensemble fit for any occasion.
Gold and silver will always be fashionable. Whether you’re going for vintage style or modern geometric, a quality metal can instantly update your aesthetic. We recommend having one pair of gold hoops and one with silver, which can be your go-to pieces when you’re looking to spice up any outfit.
4. The LBD
The little black dress (LBD) is classically simple, and it flatters every body type. Black never goes out of style thanks to its effortless elegance. You could wear the same gorgeous LBD every night for a week, transforming your look with different accessories and shoes.
What’s the best kind of LBD to add to your wardrobe essentials? Any dress you feel comfortable in! We at Current Boutique particularly love a black dress with short sleeves, because it can look appropriate in a board meeting or out with your girls.
Browse our favorite little black dresses for under $100!
Travel tip: Always travel with a little black dress! It’s versatile and easy, and it looks great in vacation photos.
Pumps are professional and refined, and they’re perfect to lengthen and slim your legs.
I especially love pumps because of their comfort. You get the sultriness of the stiletto, while the platform base adds support for your strut. Active, powerful women need a shoe they can move in—and platforms are perfect for the job.
You’ll want two types of pumps in your closet. Black pumps are sophisticated and easy to care for, so they’re perfect for work or nighttime. Nude pumps are versatile and casual, enriching just about any attire.
Check out these tips and tricks for walking in heels!
Care tip: Choose patent pumps. They’re easy to wipe off and shine up.
6. Dark Denim
Denim trends are always changing: light-wash jeans come and go and ripped jeans are in then out then in again. But dark denim has always remained a staple in the denim world.
Dark denim pants are an easy go-to no matter what’s trending. A pair of dark-wash jeans pairs well with a tee, blouse, or blazer to create just about any look you’re going for.
What denim fit is right for you?
Opt for mid-rise dark denim when possible. Mid-rise slims your waist and emphasizes the butt, and it’s a good middle ground between high- and low- waist cuts that come and go with the seasons.
The main types of cuts are skinny, slim, straight, boot cut, and relaxed. Go with the style that you feel most comfortable in. Slim and straight styles are usually more timeless, but it’s up to your personal style!
Fit tip: Not sure if your jeans fit? They should feel comfortable on your hips without a belt, and you should be able to pinch about 1 inch of fabric on either side of the thigh.
7. Cashmere Cardigan
Cashmere is one of the most valuable fabrics to have in your closet. It’s made from the softest type of wool, making it one of the most luxurious wardrobe essentials on this list.
They say clothes make the woman. If you want to feel powerful and confident, you have to dress with panache. Throwing on a soft cashmere sweater will instantly brighten your spirits and put you in a wealthy, ambitious mindset.
Plus, cashmere is one of the warmest fabrics. It’s thick enough to protect you from the cold in even the toughest climates, but it’s light enough that you won’t look or feel bulky. And cashmere will actually keep its shape for years without stretching for fading. Check out more cashmere fun facts here.
Color tip: Opt for a neutral color that you can throw over any dress or blouse for a warm, luxurious aesthetic.
8. Striped Tee
Stripes are an underrated wardrobe essential that work just as hard as the LBD or denim jacket. They’re a neutral pattern that mixes well with other prints and solids. Stripes can create a look that’s edgy or classy, skater or surfer, youthful or ageless.
Choose a striped shirt with neutral colors like beige, white, and black, which work well with any pants (including dark denim).
Check out our classically-trending prints and stripes here.
Do horizontal stripes make you look bigger?
Sometimes. Lots of thin horizontal stripes can make you look wider because of the way they draw the eye across your body. But thick, bold stripes won’t add any weight—they can even make you look slimmer!
Besides, it’s not the pattern that makes the woman—it’s the confidence!
9. Trench Coat
The trench coat is a chic fundamental. It always looks polished, whether it’s thrown over jeans, a maxi, or a pair of sweats. Plus, it does its job at protecting you from the elements with style and beauty.
How do you choose the right coat for your closet?
Take specific note of the length, buttons, and collar. These are the basic aspects of a trench coat that determine its look. Search around—the right trench coat will pop out to you!
We personally like a nude trench coat because it lightens any outfit, and it works well in both summer and winter. You might not want to wear a black overcoat in the heat.
10. Black Blazer
A black blazer is the perfect piece to pull your outfit together. Pair with a pencil skirt for work, a crop top and jeans for a shopping spree, or a red dress for a night on the town.
Plus, every body-type looks good in a black blazer. The wider shoulders and tapered waist create a slimming look that will make you look as confident and powerful as you feel! The blazer is the ultimate in chic basics.
Fit-tip: A classic blazer should fall just above your waist. But we also love the look of an oversized blazer, which can add a new dimension to your look.
11. Investment Bag
An investment bag is not just a wardrobe essential, it’s a life essential. A quality bag not only instantly upgrades your outfit, but it can also make your life more accessible. Plus, it will last for years without ever going out of style, saving you money on other bags you’d just through away.
Our favorite part about an investment bag is that you’ll bring it with you everywhere. It stores all of your goodies—and all of your memories! You can even hand down your experiences to others, since the value of the bag will last for decades.
What are your wardrobe essentials?
How many of these wardrobe essentials do you own?
It’s time to show off your timeless style. Share this article with a picture of you in your favorite classic piece!