How do I recommend clients build their wardrobe? Start with the basics. If you’re serious about having a quality wardrobe I advise clients that it is a process, and it takes a little time. We begin by purchasing the highest quality for your budget. I help clients find the essential pieces that will stretch the budget by multi-tasking. I also make recommendations about where to spend a little extra and where it doesn’t make sense to spend more.
The look and feel of quality jeans is most often worth the higher price tag.
A white blouse can be worn with most anything, and can be dressed up or down as shown in the picture above. I advise clients to “pop the collar” (it frames the face nicely) and push the sleeves up to give the blouse a current look.
These nude pumps will go with virtually any dress, and will elevate the look of jeans. They can be worn year round. While I love the Manolo Blahnik d’orsay pumps pictured here, the Sam Edelman and 9 West pumps are a great look for the price.
Again, purchase the highest quality you can afford when buying a handbag. I like a neutral such as these cognac or grey bags. Although I don’t think most anyone would be purchasing the Hermes Kelly bag (pictured top left) if you’re just starting out with wardrobe essentials, I couldn’t resist showing one of my all time favorite bags!
Boots are essential if you live in a climate where you have cold temperatures in winter. If your personality and lifestyle (and feet) call for heels then I recommend purchasing heels. If your lifestyle is more casual or your feet can’t wear heels constantly then I suggest opting for a low heel such as the ones pictured above. They are casual yet nice enough looking that they could be worn with dress pants if needed.
These ballet flats can be worn with jeans or skirts. Some prefer a bit of a heel, either because it is more comfortable for the foot or because they like adding a bit of height when possible. If that is the case, a shoe such as the nude low wedge pictured above provides a little height yet is low enough to be very comfortable.
A V neck t-shirt can be worn with jeans or skirt, on it’s own or with a sweater or jacket in cooler weather.
These blazers are perfection. I prefer a one button blazer such as these. The angled pockets and curve of the front hem combine to make the most amazing blazer. These can be worn with a sheath, jeans, a pencil skirt or with dress pants. If you don’t already, try wearing your jeans and tee with a blazer similar to these rather than reaching for a sporty athletic jacket. Your look will be elevated immensely.
Depending on your personality and lifestyle a leather jacket may be your essential jacket. Typically a quality leather jacket such as the brown one pictured above is worth the investment; however, there are some great options that give the look of leather without the price tag, such as the black one above.
A great sheath can be dressed up or down and worn to everything from a wedding or funeral to a luncheon or cocktail party.
Diamond studs can be worn with everything. The topaz and diamond earrings pictured above are a great way to get the look of a diamond without the price tag of a solitaire diamond. If diamonds aren’t in your budget try a pair of gold hoops. The ones featured here are versatile because charms can be added giving you a multitude of looks.
A versatile necklace is another essential piece. My incredibly talented friend, Tricia Thacker, owner of Patricia Marie Fine Jewelry, has a smart way to give the look of a necklace that is more “significant” than the price tag. This oxidized silver chain with a gold clasp is reasonably priced and you can change the look with a variety of enhancers. The one pictured above goes with most everything from dressy to jeans and tees.
A classic trench pairs just as well with jeans as it does with a dress. Depending on your coloring I recommend choosing a traditional color such as tan or black.
Many folks think black pants are a wardrobe staple. I prefer grey pants as the first pair of pants to purchase. Virtually all colors look good with grey, and it looks very nice when paired with neutrals such as cognac, brown, or navy.
A v-neck sweater can be worn with jeans as well as a pencil skirt. Add a nice necklace and elevate the look of the sweater or keep it casual with jeans and ballet flats.
Which leads us to the last item in my list of wardrobe essentials. A grey pencil skirt in a year round fabric can be worn with the white blouse, v neck sweater or tee. The blazer or leather jacket works with any of the essential tops. Pair it with ballet flats or nude pumps. As your wardrobe grows a grey skirt looks great with an animal print shoe such as the one pictured above.
The term pencil skirt refers to the shape of the skirt (of course!). I mention this because many skirts are simply straight skirts. A pencil skirt is much more flattering and I always look for this rather than a straight skirt. Perhaps I’ll say more on that another post!
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