Nothing says regret like the things we wore 10 years ago that are so bitterly tacky and outdated now. One of my infamous outfits from circa 1998 was my ballet leotard paired with a butterfly print sarong, straw hat, red tights, my tap shoes, and a rainbow colored xylophone. Yes, you read that right, a xylophone. In my defense, I had watched a kid’s tv show that day about being and dressing for yourself. Boy, did I ever. In all seriousness though, there were outfits we all wore that were trendy at the moment but now we would like to burn the evidence that we ever wore them.
However, there are some things worn by some people that never go out of style
. Sure, over the years how they were made and fitted changed, but in most aspects it has remained in tact. These articles of clothing are called “staple pieces”
and they’ve been in every well-dressed woman’s wardrobe for years.I’ve created a little visual for you to follow along with as I explain exactly why these pieces are so important and useful! Enjoy!
The top left-hand corner showcases a gorgeous trench coat! It’s a throwback to Breakfast at Tiffany’s when Audrey Hepburn is drenched in the rain looking for her cat. Ever since then, it’s been a classic piece and here’s why: it matches everything, has multiple uses, and can be dressed up or down. Burberry makes a stunning one (with a stunning price) and every year these lovely coats can be seen in places like Overstock.com and New York & Company. Invest in a decent one! Find one in either this classic tan color or a navy blue!
Next we’re moving on to the Little Black Dress, a staple made famous by Coco Chanel! Unfortunately it’s also a staple that has been hijacked by the clubbing scene and all those who come with it. This is a classy piece for any professional woman and even their younger counterparts. Please, for the love of all things Coco Chanel do not choose an LBD that’s too short, too tight, or too revealing! This dress should be worn for evening dinners, cocktail parties, or night time events that do not involve bouncers or 16 year olds trying to get in. Mod Cloth has several options in all shapes, sizes, and budgets.
Oh look where we are! A navy blue blazer. My how classic! Boring you say? Oh how wrong you are! This is the staple that can be worn to work, school, dates, lunch, brunch, church, to the park, and so many other places! It isn’t meant to be worn by itself; it’s meant to be accessorized and made stylish by the top and jewelry you pair with it. Find a good one. The one pictured above is from Ralph Lauren. However, you can find a decent one at Target. It may not last forever, but it will last until you can afford another one.
My favorite thing to pair with a blazer is a great pair of dark wash jeans. My favorite brand is Lucky Brand but I paid through the nose for them. It was worth it in the long run but I understand it can be pricey! I found some that are a bit cheaper and still good quality at New York & Co (bonus: they’re having a buy one, get one sale right now). I prefer a skinny jean but straight leg is great too. Avoid boot cut unless you’re into baggy in the calf and slightly too long in the leg.
Another thing you can wear with that great blazer is a pair of shorts! No, not Daisy Duke shorts, more like the J Crew style. I have so many pairs of shorts but the ones I get the most use out of (and look the classiest) are my chino style shorts like the pair above. You can find similar ones at Target, but the best come from J Crew. I get them on sale every August and save them for the next summer because it saves about $20.
Moving on to pencil skirts now! I love these for so many reasons but mainly because I can wear it to work with pretty much anything on top (sometimes I don’t even need to iron mine but don’t tell anyone!) My favorite ones come from Banana Republic. Yet again, they can be pricey. My solution for savings? Go to their factory store and browse the clearance section. I found a great navy blue pencil skirt for only $10 one time! I suggest finding one in either a cream color or a black.
Cardigans are a lovely thing to pair with just about anything. Buy them in a grey or black and then a red/orangey color for some zip. To get a really good quality cardigan you’ll be needing at least $40. I’ve made it through life with a few from Forever 21 and Old Navy. I can’t say the quality is stellar but it’s good enough for a lower budget.
A cardi looks great with a buttoned up oxford shirt underneath (and guess what? It goes with that blazer again). The best ones I’ve come across are from Ralph Lauren. Once again, head to the factory store and browse clearance. My blue oxford came from the clearance rack and it looks amazing for only $22. If you aren’t near a Ralph Lauren store, then check out Old Navy, they usually have some.
Last but not least, t-shirts. Everyone can rock these and they are the one item that we wear all the time. Get them in neutral colors for the most versatile wardrobe. A good brand of t-shirt I like is Zara but Old Navy can make a good one too. Check to make sure it isn’t too see-through. No one wants to see your bra when you’re walking down the street. At least I hope not.
To finish out this staple piece series tomorrow I will be covering staple accessories and a few other items! Check back for this grand finale!