The Only 10 Items You Need In Your Wardrobe

When shopping for new wardrobe pieces, there's something to be said for really trendy clothes or accessories. It's fun and a little exciting to snatch up something everyone wants to wear at the moment. Unfortunately, the problem with buying only trendy items it that they'll eventually become less popular or start to seem dated, and you'll stop wearing them. This is why, when it comes to building a great wardrobe, you need to invest in some basic pieces that will never go out of style


Classic clothing items are an essential part of putting together a closet full of endless outfit options. Something simple, like a white button-down shirt, can be worn so many different ways throughout any season. Filling your wardrobe with items like this ensures you'll always have something chic to wear. That doesn't mean you have to give up shopping trends forever, though — you can definitely still purchase a few fun items whenever you feel like doing so! But there are some classic pieces that you absolutely have to have in your closet, no matter what. In fact, some might say these are really the only items you need in your wardrobe.

A white T-shirt

It might sound boring, but stylists almost always agree that a white T-shirt is a key piece of any wardrobe. Celebrity stylist Karla Welch told the Today show that a white tee is her favorite wardrobe staple because of its versatility and layering potential. Welch said, "It can be used as part of almost any look — [the options are] really endless." She suggests pairing it with anything from girly skirts to blue jeans. 


Stitch Fix stylist Anne R. spoke about how a white T-shirt is one of her favorite wardrobe essentials as well because it's a piece you can wear at any time of the year. Her advice? "Put your white tee to work. It anchors statement pieces like printed shorts, colored denim and layers perfectly under sweaters." You don't need to buy a lot of them either — Welch encourages people to wear the same one over and over to really break it in and make it their own.

A fitted blazer

A blazer that fits you well has the power to make any outfit look more put-together and to act as a great layering option when you don't want to throw on a cardigan. Philadelphia-based personal stylist Susan Padron shared with Fairygodboss that she thinks they're a must-have for any working woman out there. Padron said that "adding a blazer to an outfit [offers] structure, defines your waist, and elevates an outfit immediately." Padron says you can wear it over anything, whether it's a suit, a dress, or a graphic tee. 


Blazers aren't only great for the office — they can make a casual outfit look more chic. Sarah Nearis, assistant stylist at Jamie Mizrahi Styling, told Who What Wear that blazers are "a chic staple that will add a kick of sophistication to any look." She added that they can also act as a light jacket "to transition from day to night." 

Black pants

Every woman should own a pair of black pants that fit well and feel comfortable. They're a great alternative to a dress, and they can also work as a nice substitute for jeans. Mary Lou Andre, author of Ready to Wear: An Expert's Guide to Choosing and Using Your Wardrobe and a wardrobe consultant in Boston, told Real Simple that she thinks "black pants are timeless." Andre also noted that you might want to spend a little more on a well-made pair since "the wear and tear on them is typically greater than on most wardrobe items." 


The two best things about black pants is that they can be worn multiple times in one week without anyone realizing, and they can be paired with pretty much everything. For this reason, Stitch Fix stylist Jennifer M. would apparently agree with Andre's sentiments, as she said, "Don't be afraid to invest in these. A great pair will stay in your closet for years and years."

A little black dress

It's not just a cliché: A little black dress can be an essential part of every woman's wardrobe. The dress should be something that isn't too fancy or too casual so that it can be worn as much as possible. A black dress doesn't only have to be worn with heels — you can dress it down with boots or even sneakers, and you can even layer it with a blazer, cardigan, or a turtleneck. 


Stylist Sarah Nearis told Who What Wear that a little black dress works in pretty much any situation, calling the closet staple, "The perfect go-to for any cocktail event or just a safe bet if you're unsure of attire." And stylist Andria Bush, who works for the office of Cristina Ehrlich, informed the site that the dress doesn't even really have to be black. She said the term "little black dress" can "apply to a dress that makes you feel your best self as soon as you put it on." Basically, it's worth investing in a nice, solid-colored dress that can go from day to night. 

A leather jacket

When it comes to jackets, everyone should have something a little more stylish than a raincoat and puffy parka made for cold weather. A comfortable leather jacket is a great way to add a little bit of a tougher vibe to anything you're wearing, whether it's real leather or a vegan version. Sarah Nearis told Who What Wear that a black leather jacket is one of her favorite clothing items to own because "it adds a hint of edge to any outfit and is so versatile." Giving advice similar to her wise words on finding a little black dress, Andria Bush added the reminder that the jacket doesn't need to black, saying, "It can be fitted, oversize, black, green, tan, etc."


Celebrity stylist Micaela Erlanger echoed the same thoughts when speaking to Forbes, saying, "No comment needed, every woman needs a statement moto." She loves that you can wear this type of jacket with anything from a fancy dress to a simple pair of jeans. 

A versatile scarf

A chic wardrobe is comprised of more than just the right clothing items — it also includes accessories that are versatile and cool, no matter what they're worn with. One of those must-have accessories is a scarf that goes with everything. Celebrity stylist Monica Rose, who's worked with the likes of Chrissy Teigen, Kendall Jenner, and Gigi Hadid, told Refinery29 that she loves to always have a silk scarf on hand, saying, "Sometimes my outfit is so boring, and I'll put a cool scarf on and feel so cool. You can turn it around and wear it as a choker, knot it, tuck it, or add a necklace." 


Another option is a larger scarf that can double as a shawl worn around your shoulders, which is just as versatile as a silk scarf but in a different way. Sseko stylist Shanda Spink said to Ladders, "You can wear it as a casual shawl, tie it up as a scarf, slip it off the shoulder, tie the corners together to make a wrap top, you can fold the sleeves up for a vest effect ... let your creativity take over!" Of course, it's also ideal for staying cozy on a chilly day outside. 

A knit sweater

A basic, simple sweater can be worn throughout most of the year, and can be paired with everything from dressy skirts to jeans. They can also be layered over dresses to give the piece a fresh look. Stitch Fix stylist Anne R. suggested choosing "minimal patterns and neutral colors so you don't have to put much thought into how it will work with the rest of your look." 


Celebrity stylist Natalie Saidi, who's worked with Vanessa Hudgens, told E! News that sweaters are a must-have for winter. She said, "I love oversized sweaters so much," adding that she loves to pair them with jeans for a casual vibe or thigh-high boots for something sexier. Saidi also said that no one can go wrong with something easy like a thin turtleneck, explaining, "It can be dressed up with a leather pencil skirt and heels, worn during the day with jeans and ballet flats or to the office with a blazer and slacks. It's just a nice non-bulky layer."

Good jeans

Jeans are so much more than just a casual staple. They can be quickly dressed up with heels and an embellished shirt, but they can also just as easily look more professional with a fitted blazer and a button-down. And, of course, they can be super comfortable with sneakers and a sweatshirt. Stylist Kendall Farr, who is also the author of The Pocket Stylist: Behind-the-Scenes Expertise from a Fashion Pro on Creating Your Own Look, told Real Simple to "splurge on one or two good pairs." Farr suggested a dark wash that is a bit stretchy and something with a shorter hem for flat shoes.


The key is to buy a pair of jeans that fit you well, feel good, and will last for a long time. Stylist Jocelyn Garrity of The On Call Stylist advised having your jeans tailored to make sure that they fit exactly the way they're supposed to. This will make them look and feel better, and will ensure you'll have them for years to come.

A basic handbag

Another accessory to keep close is a handbag that looks chic but actually functions in a helpful way. Don't pick out an expensive bag with no pockets or compartments, or something that can barely hold your phone and keys. Stylist Gath d'Silva of The Jacket Maker told Fairygodboss, "It's best to choose [a handbag] that is not only big on design, but also serves a functional purpose. The size of bag you choose should also match the type of job and work environment you're in." 


Jennifer Rosson, personal stylist for Style Your Life, also suggested buying something chic that fits your lifestyle. To Fairygodboss, Rosson said the right handbag "elevates any look and it makes you seem like you have your stuff together (even if you don't)." She added that she thinks a handbag is worth spending more on, saying, "Because you use your handbag every day, you can spend more on it and still get great cost-per-wear value."

Comfortable heels

As far as shoes go, you really can't go wrong with at least one pair of classic heels that are actually comfortable and that can be paired with all different colors and types of outfits. The On Call Stylist stressed the importance of picking out a pair that you truly don't mind wearing, saying, "Go to is the key word for this piece. You do not want heels that you hate wearing. ... Your heels have to be comfortable and cute." 


You should also focus on picking something in a neutral shade so that they can be worn as much as possible. And keep it simple — no crazy patterns or materials. Stylist Maita Bello of Qurator Studio told Preview one wardrobe essential is, "[A pair of] black or nude single-strap heels that can go from day to night." Pro stylist Mel Muoio noted to Chicago Woman, "One of the biggest and smartest investments is quality shoes." Consider spending a little more money for shoes that will be able to withstand daily wear and tear.