The Perfect Ten: How to Create a Functional Closet

How many times have you looked into your closet and thought, “I have nothing to wear” If you hear yourself uttering this statement more often than not, you have a dysfunctional closet. It is probably missing several key pieces that allow you to easily transition from one outfit to the next. It’s time to stop the insanity and get a functional closet.

The Perfect Ten, ten classic pieces that should be in every woman’s wardrobe, is the best remedy to a dysfunctional closet. It’s truly amazing the number of outfits that can be made when these ten items rest in your wardrobe: at least 32 different combinations. Along with your signature item, the majority of your shopping dollars should be spent on classic, well made versions of these items that fit your personal style.

The Ten Things Needed for a Functional Closet

Black Suit—Purchase at least one basic two- to three-button black jacket with either matching black skirt or black pants. Make sure it’s made of a lightweight, seasonless material like gabardine or rayon and contains a small amount (no more than 5%) of spandex/lycra to ensure a quality fit.

White Dress Shirt – -This is an important closet staple and can be both trendy (wear underneath your favorite t-shirt) and classic (wear with a business suit). Head to stores like the Gap The Perfect Ten: How to Create a Functional Closet for high quality, basic cotton shirts well under $50.

Plain Black Pumps—Make sure your closet has at least one pair of 1- to 2-inch plain black pumps that takes you from the office to dinner. Use shoe jewelry from stores like Torrid The Perfect Ten: How to Create a Functional Closet to change the appearance of your shoes without breaking the bank.

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A Pair of Great Fitting Jeans—Every closet must have at least one pair of great fitting jeans. Two are even better. Discount leader Target.com offers a custom jean service.

Black Dress—A closet staple, the “little black dress” should be made of a sturdy but lightweight fabric like a cotton/rayon blend. Avoid heavy wool fabrics that counteract the slimming effects of the color and limit wear during the warmer seasons.

Three Spandex T-shirts—Purchase three cotton/spandex shirts in the following colors: black, white, and another, brighter color (that suits you well). These shirts help stretch your closet and are perfect for layering as well as wearing alone. The Perfect Fit stretch t-shirts are the best.

Tote Bag—One of these bags serves double duty as a briefcase during the week and a shopping bag on the weekend.

Sneakers—You’ll need one pair of sneakers that can be worn both for workouts and casual activities like shopping.

Trench Coat/All-Weather Coat—A classic trench coat can be worn as an all-weather coat and a dress (make sure the buttons of the coat extend to at least 3 inches above your knee). Look for coats with a removable lining to increase usage.

Khakis/Chinos/Brown Pants—A weekend staple, chino-style pants add diversity to your outfits.