47 CLOSET ESSENTIALS Every Fashionable Woman Should Have
Make your closet more fashionable year after year by investing in these must-have clothing and accessory items.
In this blog post you will find every basic you need to complete your closet.
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Table of Contents
1. What are closet essentials? And why do I need them?
A closet essential is basic clothing pieces that are the foundation of any great outfit. They have a timeless quality to them and are very versatile because they can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion and what you’re wearing.
An example of a closet essential is a simple black dress. You can wear it to the office, out on date night, or even to a funeral.
While we all love trends, no closet is complete without essentials. They serve as a foundation on which to build throughout the year by adding seasonal and trendier pieces, or alternatively you can use them entirely on their own as your year-round wardrobe. These are things that will change from season to season and will be the basis for most of your outfits.
There are many different types of closet essentials, but the following are the most common:
2. Closet Essentials List
• tees both short and long sleeve in neutral colors
Classic tees are a closet staple. One of the easiest items to dress up or down. It’s better to have these shirts in a variety of neutral colors, sleeve lengths and necklines. But a great place to start is with a classic white, black or gray tee.
• Striped tee
A striped tee is a classic that is just so chic. Perfect to wear throughout the year. So grab a short sleeve one, a long sleeve one, or both and you are good to go!
• white button up
White buttons up are a staple items no matter the season. They are perfect for layering under a sweater or crop top.
Bodysuits are a great foundational piece. They are so versatile! They can easily be worn with skirts, pants, under blazers and kimonos. Added bonus they are already tucked so you don’t have to worry about how to tuck it.
• Tanks & Crop Tops
Tanks and crop tops are great pieces to always have in your closet. They can be dressed up and down. Good to have them in a variety of colors, fabrics and necklines.
• chambray shirts
Chambray shirts are another yearly closet staple that are classic and timeless. I love to dress up a chambray shirt. The outfit combination possibilities are endless.
• turtleneck & Mock necks
Turtlenecks and mock necks are great to have in your wardrobe. You really just need a quality turtleneck/mock-neck in black and white. They are great for the spring, fall and winter seasons.
• sweaters & cardigans
Sweaters and cardigans are perfect for adding a cozy feeling when you need extra warmth in your wardrobe. Great for spring, fall and winter.
pants and jeans
• Blue Jeans
Blue jeans are a staple that will always be needed. There are so many different cuts and styles. A great place to start is by having a dark wash and a light wash. A dark wash comes off as more polished and light wash more casual. I won’t say you should have one fit over the other as this is based on personal prefence and body shape. My personal preference for jeans are high waisted skinny jeans. I also love a good wide leg jean.
• black & white pants
Black and white pants are a must. They are the easiest neutrals to work with because they go with every color and pattern. And they can be worn year round.
Trousers are classic and chic. They make any outfit look polished even if you pair it with a basic tee. You can’t go wrong with a great pair of fitted trousers.
Having a few quality pairs of shorts in your closet is a must. Jean shorts are great for the spring and summer. Leather shorts are perfect for fall and winter.
• Mini • midi •maxi
Skirts are so versatile and great to wear all year long. Having a few in neutral colors (black, white, beige or gray) and different hemlines will add so many options to your outfits.
•LBD & LWD
There’s a reason little black dresses are essential and that’s because they are so versatile. You can wear them to work, out on a date…and to drinks with the girls.
The little white dress is also a great staple to have. Perfect to wear in the spring and summer and great for sunny beach vacations.
Another classic essential that you can wear all year. You can easily layer this over a white tee, wear alone or under a blazer. The are so many ways you can wear this versatile piece.
• floral dress
Having classic but simple floral dress with a clean silhouette is a staple you can incorporate year after year.
• leather jacket
A classic leather jacket will never go out of style and will have so many possible uses in outfits. They instantly add the right amount of edginess to any outfit.
Blazers are a closet must have. They can take any outfit and make it look so polished and chic. Perfect to layer over a dress, trousers and jeans.
• cargo jacket
Cargo jackets are warm and versatile and can help pull together an outfit. The perfect combo of fashion and function.
• trench coat
You can never go wrong with a trench coat. They are a staple that is good all year round. You can opt for lighter weight trench coats in the spring/summer and heavier weight trench coats for fall/winter.
• anorak or rain jacket
These jackets are perfect for those completely expected rainy weather days.
• jean jacket
Jean jackets are just so versatile and are great for layering over basic wardrobe pieces.
sweatsuit & athleisure
Sweatsuits are great for days where you just want to be comfy and relaxed. Perfect for running daily errands and hanging out on the couch binging tv shows.
Athleisure: comfy + chic…the perfect combo for any day of the week.
Swimsuits are a closet must. Finding a great quality swimsuit that you can wear year after year is a great investment into your wardrobe.
Whether you choose a classic one piece or a bikini. Get what you know you will wear over and over.
Pajamas are just so comfy and perfect to put on after a long day of work and life.
• neutral bags
Structured purses in neutral colors go with any outfit.
Sunglasses are the perfect addition to any stylish outfit. And a must year round to protect your eyes from the sun.
Dainty jewelry can be worn all year and for any occasion. Dainty rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings are great accessories to add to your closet. Metal color should vary depending on your skin undertones.
Hats are another accessory that can be worn year round. Classic styles and colors will always be in style.
Belts are a great addition to have in your closet. Perfect combo of fashion and function. They can complete any outfit.
Scarves have a multitude of uses, you can use them as a hair tie, neck ties, purse decor, and even wear it as a top. There is no limit to what you can do with a scarf.
Socks are essential for protecting your feet from rubbing in your shoes, they are are great for absorbing moisture for the health of your feet and shoes. Great for keeping your feet warm in the fall, winter, and spring.
bras & panties & shapewear
What you wear under your clothes matter. So make sure you get appropriate fitting bra and panties for your outfits. You can’t go wrong with seamless panties.
Shapewear is great for enhancing your body’s curves and giving you support where it’s most needed.
• black boots
Black boots are classic and go with every outfit. From combat to ankle they are very versatile and much needed for a complete closet.
• fashion flat
Flat sandals are perfect for those days where you will be on your feet for long periods of time. Invest in a good leather pair and you are sure to have a shoe that lasts.
• all white sneakers
You just need all white sneakers year round! They are perfect for pretty much any outfit.
Mules are timeless, classy and effortlessly chic. They give any outfit an elegant touch.
3. Tips for Buying Closet Essentials
you don't have to buy everything
Whether you are just starting out or you are upgrading your closet, the process takes time. You don’t need to spend all your money or buy all of the items on this list. Buy what you like and know you will wear. This list is more of a guide to help you when you do go to build a complete wardrobe. You will know what items to look for and what items to skip.
A great and more affordable way to add essentials to your closet is to shop for them secondhand. It’s a great way to get more bang for your buck and to fill in gaps in your closet.
Pretty much ever blazer I own was bought at a thrift store. Like this beautiful beige blazer that I bought for $4.86.
opt for quality over quantity
Essentials are the pieces you want to last year after year. So make sure to buy pieces that are made to last. You do not want to have to keep rebuying basic items for you closet year after year.
fill in gaps first before buying duplicates
Use this list to fill in the gaps in your closet first before you buy duplicate items. And what I mean by duplicates would be buying a well fitted white button up and then buying an oversized white button up. Or buying two pair of dark washed jeans in two silhouettes. You want to fill in the gaps first and then add in more similar items.
buy items you know you will wear
I listed that jean jackets are a closet essential but I do not own one. And that is because I just don’t find them to be my style and I know I wouldn’t wear it often enough to justify having it in my closet. I make it a rule to buy items I love and will wear.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the different fashion choices you have in your closet. With a little preparation, however, it is possible to build a versatile wardrobe that will make getting ready in the morning much easier. Use these 47 essential closet pieces to develop a basic foundation for your wardrobe and create outfits with ease.
Download the checklist so you can easily refer back to it when you are looking through your closet and going shopping.