It's often times at the end of a season as we prepare for the next, that we decide to do a closet clean out. I'll be the first to admit that I have quite a few clothes, but I feel like I am good at recognizing what I don't wear. I am typically pretty good at staying on top of cleaning out my wardrobe, mostly so I can make room for more (insert the shrugged shoulders and mischievous eyes). My rule typically is that if in two seasons I haven't worn it, then it needs to be sold or donated. I think that's fair considering that often times we carry clothes throughout different seasons. If I haven't worn it, obviously there isn't a need for it anymore.
There are, however, items in your closet that are considered "staples". These are items that don't necessarily have a season to be worn, but can be worn and styled in so many varying ways. These are pieces that are timeless, they will never not be in style and they will always be pieces that can be styled with "on trend" fashion. These are also items that you can justify spending a little more money on because you know that you are going to get a lot of use out of them for a long time.
I thought long and hard about what pieces I would never discard from my closet and I came up with these fifteen staples. If you have these fifteen items in your closet, then your options for styling are endless. If you don't have these fifteen items in your closet, then consider my styling tips for each staple to determine what you're missing out on.
Let's talk pants. We all know a good pair of black leggings goes a long way! The possibilities for leggings are endless. My favorite way to style leggings, aside from with a big ol' oversized sweatshirt, is with a longer blazer and some tall black boots. This allows you to look professional and feel cozy all in one outfit. I also love leggings with a classic cardigan and some statement booties.
Black pants, specifically blank jeans are a must. I find that black jeans allow me to be so much more flexible in my teaching wardrobe. I am able to style them more like jeans but get away with it because they are black and more professional looking. I will often put together a work outfit based off of what I wore with jeans over the weekend and just simply change it from blue jeans to black jeans.
That brings us to blue jeans, clearly everyone needs to own a pair of blue jeans. However, it is the most important that you find a pair of blue jeans that make you feel your absolute best. You need a pair of blue jeans that will work with any outfit. You need jeans that are the most flexible color of blue, are the right length to be rolled or unrolled, and can be worn with any type of shoe. For me this staple denim is a skinny jean just because it's the most versatile.
A couple of really good layering items like this black and white striped tunic and basic white tunic are perfect for finishing off many different outfits. I love a white tunic peeking out from an oversized sweatshirt. I love rolling the sleeves of a jacket to show the under layer of the outfit. Black and white stripes can be worn with solids and patterns like animal print and plaid. I find a striped piece just adds dimension to an otherwise basic outfit.
When deciding on what to keep in your closet or what to consider are your closet staples, you want to keep the items that are the most versatile. You want your staple items to be so flexible, that they can be worn in countless ways. A chambray shirt can be worn layered with leggings, tied with a skirt, to complete a denim on denim look, layered with another button down, over a dress, the options are limitless. I would say that much the same goes for a basic plaid flannel; under, over, tied, tucked, wrapped around your waist, dressed up or dressed down, there are endless styling opportunities.
A basic oversized sweatshirt, on the other hand, doesn't necessarily offer an abundance of styling variations, but it does offer you something to look forward to after work in the evenings or as your weekend go-to. This item of clothing has earned it's staple title just for the pure happiness it brings to one's closet.
The outer layer, the finishing touch. I think it's safe to say that a classic denim jacket is a given and should have a standing spot reserved in your closet. A good denim jacket could last a lifetime truly, especially if it's one you love as much as I love this one. A denim jacket can be carried throughout an entire year of seasons and serve many purposes. A neutral cardigan can also do much of the same for your year of outfits. No matter my mood, be it a Monday morning or just a cold, not wanting to get out of bed kind of morning, a cardigan with leggings and some cute booties is always the answer for that. It's also the perfect piece to throw on with a t-shirt and shorts on a cool summer night. I love a cardigan for travel and mostly because it not only serves as a good blanket in a car or an airplane but because it can be worn with so many different outfits so you can get away with just bringing one.
A white blazer, or any blazer for that matter has earned a spot for me as a closet staple because it's a great go-to when you have that need for it. If you have to dress up just a touch more for work, have an important meeting, or just want to look like a boss, a blazer does the trick. I think it always pulls off a look making it entirely trendy, classy and so put together too.
Now, I have to say the shoes were the toughest part for me to nail down. It is so hard to decide what shoes are a must in the closet staple category and which ones are expendable. I think it's important to have one of every basic type of shoe; a tall boot that is perfect to wear with leggings, jeans, dresses and skirts for a more classic, dressed up look. A bootie for a more casual look with, again, jeans, leggings, dresses and skirts. A crisp white pair of tennis shoes for a super casual look and a pair of leopard flats to add something extra to a workwear outfit or a trendy bounce to a Saturday morning coffee run or afternoon of errands. I think if a closet had to be limited I would stick to more neutral colored shoes simply for the flexibility but I would also suggest keeping a pair of black shoes for a simplified look too. Ugh, shoes are so hard to limit!!
There you have it, fifteen closet staples that will keep you looking stylish, add versatility to your wardrobe and be super dependable with endless outfits and styling options.
Melissa here! I'm all about trying to stay young, happy and on trend. I have a love (borderline obsession) for all things leopard and can't wait to chat about fashion with you!
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