By Real Simple
Updated August 22, 2012
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Credit: George Marks/Getty Images

It’s a familiar scene: A harried woman stands in front of her closet, surveying the clothes, wailing to herself, “What do I wear?” While such behavior may seem a bit extreme when you’re getting dressed to run a few errands, the absence of appropriate attire is a legitimate lament when an invitation to a black-tie wedding arrives or you get a call from a headhunter. With these wardrobe essentials on hand, though, you’ll always know what to reach for.