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9 Iconic Wardrobe Essentials and Where To Get Them

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There’s never just one item that every closet needs. If anything, there are at least a handful of classics — wardrobe essentials that all women should own, mostly to resolve the dreadful and recurring “nothing to wear” problem.

Read on for nine pieces no woman should do without. (Or jump to the infographic.)

1. The Little Black Dress

Nothing says timeless like the LBD. Its popularity stems from more than just its versatility. There’s something exceptional about a dress that’s available in what seems like millions of different styles. The best ones take you from work to play with ease, and can be dressed up or down with key accessories.

Try the Bobeau Crepe Wrap Dress ($29.97) for effortless style.

2. The Structured Blazer

Clean lines and timeless colors make the structured blazer a must for any well-heeled ensemble. The J. Crew Schoolboy Blazer ($54.50) is an enduring favorite available in classic hues like camel, black, and navy.  

3. The Practical Pump

Pumps earn points because they essentially pair well with everything in your closet, from the aforementioned LBD to a sleek pantsuit.

Calvin Klein’s Kirsten Pumps ($79.99) promise to become staples in no time.

4. The White Blouse

Don’t be fooled into thinking white blouses are all the same. There’s something subtly dramatic about the elegant White House Black Market Pleat-Front Blouse ($24.99). It’s perfect tucked into wide-leg trousers or a slim skirt.

5. The Pencil Skirt

They’re available in every color of the rainbow and a range of prints, too. But you’ll get the most wear out of a solid, neutral pencil skirt that you can wear with anything from a twin set to a suit jacket.

Try the New York & Company 7th Avenue Button-Accent Paperbag-Waist Pencil Skirt ($59.95).

6. The Denim Jacket

Denim jackets serve a variety of purposes. You can wear it to dress down a dress or to pair with your favorite off-duty track pants and T-shirts.

A dark rinse, as seen on this Style & Co Denim Jacket ($64), is a smart choice.

7. The Trench Coat

A trench coat is a chic addition that will keep you comfortable when you’re braving the elements. While tan is a dependable staple you can wear with anything, you don’t have to commit to basic if you prefer a little color.

This pale pink version from ASOS Design ($87) is just as enduring.

8. The Smart Tote

More than once, you’ve probably wished you owned a spacious, stylish bag that doesn’t look sloppy. While there are dozens of spendy models out there, you’ll find amazing quality even in mid-range options.

Madewell’s Medium Tote ($158) is a versatile choice.

9. The Relaxed Jean

Low-key, luxe, and perfect to wear with a blazer, a tank top, and a pair of pumps or sporty sneakers, the relaxed jean promises to become your BFF in no time. A great fit is essential.

Try Old Navy’s Mid-Rise Curvy Straight Jeans ($19.97).

Wardrobe Essentials Infographic

Collage of top nine wardrobe essentials
Spare yourself those “nothing to wear” days by keeping these nine pieces in your closet.

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Satya Paul

Monday 20th of April 2015

Just wish to say that the article is really great. Your expertise on women fashion is inspiring. Let me buy an opportunity to share a wonderful site about modern women's fashion.

Accademia di Moda

Thursday 12th of June 2014

Love the 10 essentials! There are so many combinations that you can create once you have a wonderful base!

Mary Alice

Thursday 8th of March 2007

Why is it always assumed that everyone can wear a little black dress or black suit?  I am very fair, and I look like I’m dead with black near my face.  It may be slimming, but does not work for me, and I cannot be the only one.  I also look better in an ivory blouse than one that is truly white.


Wednesday 28th of October 2015

I'm a fair, green eyed, redhead and cannot wear black or white, makes me look sick. I look best in ivory blouses and royal blue dresses instead of black.

Fashion Group

Friday 26th of May 2006

I am with the Fashion Group at Gibbs reviewing your blog.  You made some interesting comments.  We don’t get the spanded idea.  Please explain.

Best regards,


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