I am not a stapley person. I know you know this about me, if you’ve been following me for any amount of time, but I resisted staples for years, fearing that they were a slippery slope to a boring basic wardrobe. I felt like staples were something the fashion industry told us all we had to have, and being the style rebel that I am, I refused to buy them.
Simple pieces that work with everything in your wardrobe? Who needs them.
The truth is, I needed them.
My wardrobe was broken. Nothing went with anything else.
The truth is most of us fall into one of two camps when it comes to our dysfunctional wardrobe.
We are either all basics, all the time. Or we are all fun and no function.
Wardrobes need both!
When I first started exploring the idea that my wardrobe was broken and could maybe-possibly use some staples, I explored the internet for inspiration images of outfits that I loved, and these are the 5 pieces that showed up the most often. Yes, they are (yawn) basic, on their own. Until you infuse them with your own style.
Each of these 5 pieces shows up in so many outfits, and can be worn so many different ways, that it’s hard to imagine a fully functional wardrobe without them. You might not want these items exactly how they appear here, or in the same version/style that you see on Pinterest or Instagram, but your own version of each of these is, dare I say, almost mandatory.
And I don’t use that word lightly.
So here, 5 of the stapleyest-staples you’ll ever see, and why you should consider finding your own favorite version of each. I’ll be doing a separate video, including specific recommendations, on all 5 of these, but you can find my faves in this catalog.
A button-down is great because it also serves as a layering piece and can be worn multiple ways, but your version can be white or ivory, crisp or drapey, plain or a little fancy (just not so fancy that it’s no longer a staple). It can be basic or bougie. You get the idea.
Dark Neutral Pants
I want to say black pants here because they are most common, but choose your favorite and most flattering dark neutral for this staple. It can be navy, chocolate, or charcoal. (This is why it’s important to pick those wardrobe neutrals!) These versatile pants can be paired with a blouse for business casual, worn with a jacket for a more corporate look, or styled casually with a tee and sneakers on the weekend.
And yes, the same pants can fill all of these roles! (More to come on that in my dedicated black pants video).
A classic tee is a versatile piece that can be layered or worn on its own, and ideally you want one in your light, medium and dark neutrals. Choose a crew, scoop or v-neck, whichever is most flattering, because these tend to work better when layering, Everyone will have their own requirements, but a tee should be fitted enough to flatter and boxy enough to not show every lump and bump. And when it comes to a white tee, you want it to be opaque.
Here, outfit ideas using a white tee.
Denim is a daily staple for many of us, but a large percentage of women still haven’t found jeans that they love, or still consider denim uncomfortable and hard to wear. However, with the current crop of jeans in every shape, size, and fabric, there truly is a perfect pair for every woman. Brands like Mott & Bow, Kut from the Kloth, and Wit & Wisdom are making denim for those who might not have loved denim in the past, while trend-driven brands like Paige, AG, Moussy Denim and Mother continue to innovate. Plus, denim blue is a great neutral for almost every wardrobe.
Here, outfit ideas featuring jeans.
A jacket/completer piece is the final touch in many of the cute outfits above, and there is an option for every lifestyle and personal style. A jacket, in this case, can be a cardigan, a casual topper like a utility jacket, something edgy like a moto jacket, or my personal fave, the blazer. A well-fitting blazer is a chic addition to many of these simple looks, and can elevate the most basic pieces.
Here, outfit ideas for blazers.