11 Wardrobe Must-Haves Every Woman Needs in Her Closet
White Button-Up Shirt
Behold, the foundation of effortless style. A classic, white button-up shirt is a perennial must-have for pretty much any occasion. Tuck yours into a pleated metallic skirt and add statement jewelry for a holiday party, or pair it with your fave jeans for weekend errands.
To buy: Everlane The Clean Silk relaxed shirt, $98, everlane.com.
You’ll start to notice a theme as you read on: Layers are your friend. A well-tailored blazer is one of those essential wardrobe items for a working woman—and beyond. It can easily render the most unexpected outfits office-appropriate: Even if you’re wearing a graphic T-shirt underneath, a neutral-hued blazer will make you look and feel amazing (just check the office dress code before pulling this move).
To buy: Ann Taylor The Hutton blazer in Ottoman knit, $169, anntaylor.com.
When it’s April, but the mornings feel like February and the afternoons remind you of August—that’s when your jean jacket really comes in handy. Throw this casual, lightweight layer over anything—a breezy sundress, a cozy turtleneck, a T-shirt and leggings—for an instant outfit upgrade.
To buy: Levi's Ex-Boyfriend Denim Trucker Jacket $90, anthropology.com.
We know, the word “trousers” sounds a little dowdy, but hear us out. Whether you prefer them wide-legged and high-waisted or cropped and slim-fitting, a sleek black pants are the perfect baseline for a polished outfit. They come in handy for anything from job interviews to formal parties you have no idea how to dress for.
To buy: Eileen Fisher washable-crepe straight-leg pants, $168, neimanmarcus.com.
A slightly edgier wardrobe staple, the leather jacket has quite literally never gone out of style. If all you have on is a white tee and jeans, a leather (or faux leather) jacket is all you need to head out the door for dinner and drinks.
To buy: Express (Minus the) Leather quilted Moto jacket, $148, express.com.
Nothing beats a flattering, versatile pair of skinnies. But, honestly, they don’t have to be pencil-thin; just make sure you own a pair of jeans you adore. Not into super-skinny jeans? Try a tapered or straight-leg cut for a similarly chic and multi-purpose purchase. Shoot for a simple, darker wash that can take you from day to night without having to think twice.
To buy: Madewell high-rise skinny jeans, $135, net-a-porter.com.
Striped Long-Sleeve Tee
Beyond the plain white shirt, you’ll be surprised how much wear you get out of this simply patterned staple. Layer a striped T-shirt under a blazer or jean jacket, or tuck it casually into a pair of jeans for Sunday brunch. Worried horizontal stripes won’t flatter you? Go for a thinner stripe.
To buy: Halogen Ballet Neck tee, $39, www.nordstrom.com.
White kicks are as close to non-negotiable as wardrobe basics come (some favorites include Vans, Converse, Adidas or Keds). Be they slip-ons or lace-ups, fashionable or functional, a pair of fresh white sneakers won’t go unworn. But don’t stress about scuffing them: Here’s how to keep white sneakers clean.
To buy: Converse Foundational Leather Jack Purcell Low-Top Oxford Sneakers, $70, saksfifthavenue.com.
Whether you typically wear heels or not, do yourself a favor and invest in a quality pair of black pumps. You never know when you’re going to need them. Finishing an outfit with a classic black heel streamlines your look and makes you feel crazy-confident. They don’t need to be 5-inch stilettos or $700 Louboutins—just make sure they’re neat, clean, sturdy, and flattering.
To buy: J. Crew Elsie suede pump, $245, zappos.com.
Floral Printed Blouse
It may be counterintuitive, but a flowy floral-print blouse is actually an impressive wardrobe cameleon. It adds color and dimension to your work-week rotation, but it’s always ready for a saturday night out.
To buy: Yumi Kim Back To Back top, $188, shopbop.com.
Little Black Dress
What’s a list of closet staples without this timeless piece? To get the most wear out of your little black dress, go for the simplest silhouette you can find (or the one you know makes you feel like a million bucks). As for fabric, opt for seasonless material such as lightweight wool, silk, or synthetic blend.
To buy: Norma Kamali long-sleeve side draped dress, $150, shopbop.com.