It’s that time of year where Nordstrom has ridiculous sales! So, now more than ever is the best time to snag your classic, timeless pieces! I’m big on keeping things simple, especially when it comes to my closet. My essential goal is to have a great foundation with a few standout pieces. If you’re looking to build a solid, every day wardrobe that can stand the test of time, then this is for you!
At least once a year, I go through my closet and donate a ton of clothes I no longer wear. I believe in wearing everything I own. If there’s something that I didn’t wear that season, it gets donated! So, if you are also on the cleaning path, then this is a great guide on what to keep and what to toss.
Also, be warned: I use the word “great” and “I love” and “addition” too many times in this post! Ha! Be sure to check out those descriptions for some sprinkled goodness!
Office sheath: Obviously, a classic sheath doesn’t have to be limited to just the office. In a previous post, a great plaid one snuck into the mix. Black is my preferred color to go with because it can easily be dressed up or down. However, any color works great for this timeless silhouette! A sheath doesn’t have to be plain! You can also opt for this beautiful lace one (and it’s on sale!). While it might not be a first choice for an office, this floral sheath is the perfect way to welcome in the summer and spring months. If you love florals, but want something monochromatic, this one is insanely gorgeous.
Fit n’ flare: These dresses are universally flattering. It’s hard to go wrong with a fit n’ flare…which just makes me want to buy them all! I am in serious love with this striped one! I love when designers use two different kinds of stripe to create a great contrast! This one can easily double as a LBD and has beautiful lace detailing. And, this one is a long sleeve simple version for those chillier months!
Cocktail/Special event: Weddings, fancy evenings out, engagement parties, holiday events, the list goes on! Everyone should have at least on special event outfit in their arsenal for these days. To keep it simple, opt for a classic black dress. However, there are SO many options out there! If you’re not a dress person, this jumpsuit might be more your speed. Let’s talk sequins, as in this sequin dress is definitely a possibility! If you already have your favorite LBD, then try a LRD (little red dress) like this one to mix things up. Last, but not least, lacey numbers like this one are always a good idea.
Weekender: I like having at least one casual dress in my closet that’s super comfy. Usually, it’s flowy and looser, but some stretchy bodycon dresses can also make a great addition. This one from French Connection has a pretty detail. It’s the perfect weekend dress because it’s comfortable and looks effortlessly put together. I also really love this floral shift for the warmer months! I’m a sucker for Lilly Pulitzer’s fun and bright dresses. This one looks like something straight out of tropical paradise. Going with the off the shoulder trend, this one is a simple yet wonderful casual weekend dress.
White button down: The key for some of these pieces is to make them more interesting. I included your basic white button that can be paired with anything, but that’s not the only option! This one is more of a casual weekend boyfriend button down for an instant “cool” effect. A sleeveless version is great for the spring and summer months when you still want a button down, but you want to remain cool. And, finally, this one has a shoulder cutout for when you want to stay on trend!
V-neck tee: I prefer v-necks over crew cuts any day! They’re the most flattering t-shirt. If you’re busty, welcome to the club. Some v-necks cut too low for my preference, so it can be a challenge to find a happy medium between not too high cut and not too low cut. If you’re looking for the same effect without it being a “boring” tee, then check out this one (short sleeve version) and this one (long sleeve version)! I tend to prefer a white, black, and/or navy v-neck as they’re the most universal.
Striped top: Let’s just ignore that age old saying “horizontal stripes make you look bigger”. It drives me insane! Especially because I love striped tops for their easy-going nature. Anyone could pull them off! The key is to get a looser fitting, more casual top instead of something that hugs the skin. However, I’ve seen some fantastic bodycon striped tops and dresses! I fell in love with this one from J. Crew because it’s a sassier and more fun twist on a classic! This peplum version would also be a great addition to any closet.
Sweater: Cable knits have taken over my Instagram feed and my closet this time of year! I can’t get enough of cozy sweaters. It’s something you can throw on on those days when you want to be comfy and put together. This v-neck has a simple back cutout that lends something extra. I love this turtleneck addition by Madewell. It has such great texture! Of course, if you’re looking for something pink, this one is an absolute must!
Classic jeans: I looove Levi’s. I’ve tried so many different brands of jeans, you guys. I don’t know what Levi’s do to their jeans, but they’re terrific! They’re long-lasting and hold their shape pretty well. My only recommendation is to go down one size than what you usually buy as they tend to run a bit on the bigger side. I tend to get their skinny jeans, but I’ve also tried their straight jeans before and they’re really flattering. Other great options: these distressed jeans, these comfy relaxed jeans, and these black denim jeans.
Fitted black pants: Fitted black pants are great for those days that you want to wear pants, but don’t feel like putting on jeans. Or, for when you want to wear pants for an occassion that you shouldn’t wear jeans for. I prefer ponte pants because they tend to be more durable and very stretchy (thus making them comfier!). I always try to find ponte pants that have pockets (like these) or pseudo pockets. These types of pants are tricky to find, but when you do, they’re a keeper!
Pencil skirt: Pencil skirts are just for the office or formal affairs! There’s some beautiful versions, like this one from Ted Baker (which is 60% off!) or this one from Alexander McQueen (also 60% off!). I also love the laser cutout trend, like this one. As you probably already noticed from this post, any striped version definitely makes the list!
Flowy skirt: Just like the weekend dress, you want a skirt that you can throw on with a t-shirt and look chic. Circle skirts are great for this as with skirts that hit just above the knee, just below the knee, or right at mid-calf. This polka dot one would be easy to pair with a plain white tee and walk out the door! A pleated skirt would also work quite well. And this pattern skirt is just subtle enough to blend in well with any wardrobe.
Camel/Trench coat: Trench coats are one of the most flattering pieces you can own because of how they cinch at the waist. Though it’s tempting to scrimp on a trench coat, these are a clothing item where if you spend a little more, they can truly last a lifetime. Of course, this trench by Burberry is always going to be at the top of the list of classics. It’s the one shown above! Here is the shorter version of that same trench coat. If you love the style of Burberry, but the price point is way too high, then check out this alternative.
Leather jacket: Confession: I’m a leather jacket enthusiast. One of my favorite leather jackets is from Theory. Unfortunately, they don’t sell that particular one any more, but this one is close. I have a black leather jacket and a brown leather jacket. I use both probably equally as much. I love a good leather jacket with a quilted sleeve, like this one. Also, having a leather jacket that will contour to your body and look tailored is a must! My brown leather jacket from Florence does that. Here is one that is pretty darn similar to my Italian leather jacket.
Denim jacket: A denim jacket is something you can throw on and forget about! I’ve recently been loving denim jackets with embroidered details on them, like this one and this one! Of course, you can always buy a denim a jacket without embroidery and do it yourself! I’ve also been liking the winter vibes with the denim jackets lined with shearling, like this one.
Cozy cardigan: For some reason, when people recommend what to add to a capsule wardrobe, I see this guy get left out quite a bit. I’m a sucker for a big, cozy cardigan. In fact, I even made one for myself because I love them so much. This one with a shawl and a beautiful maroon color will definitely stand the test of time. I’m obsessed with Free People’s cozy oversized cardigan. If you’re looking for something more practical and less snuggly, this black cardigan would fit the bill (and it’s under $50!).
Nude heels: If I had to choose one pair of shoes to own the rest of my life, it would be the nude heel. A nude pair of heels can be paired with anything. It’s the perfect addition to a casual outfit to dress it up. It’s a shoe that you can wear with any dress or occasion and it will always be appropriate. I prefer pointed toe heels as they elongate the leg, but if you’re looking for something fun, these are cute and have a scalloped edge! Now, I love Louboutin as much as the next girl, but sometimes, it’s not feasible. These are a great alternative! Also, these from Nine West will last a lifetime and they’re also a great alternative. And, there’s also this sandal alternative to the nude heel that’s great during the spring and summer months.
Riding boots: Over any other boot out there, riding boots have been a ride or die for many people, including myself. Just like the leather jackets, I have two pairs: brown and black. These brown riding boots by Tory Burch are a classic and favorite for a reason. And, of course, here is a black alternative to those brown riding boots. These over-the-knee riding boots are a fantastic modern twist on a good staple. On a completely random side note: Tiffany blue Hunter boots anyone? Because those definitely need to get in my closet!
Ballet flats: While this may not be your usual addition to a capsule wardrobe, these glittery smoking flats are beautiful! I would definitely wear them daily (hi, sparkles). These flats have made their way into many closets and are easily one of the most beloved pairs of shoes out there! You can also add a pop of red to your wardrobe with these bad boys.
Strappy sandals: It’s been a trend recently (especially in Arizona!) to get into these Birkenstocks. Completely understandable as they’re ridiculously comfy and long-lasting! Another great option for a sandal is a wedge, like this one. They give you the height of a heel and the casualness of a sandal. And, surprise surprise, Tory Burch has yet again taken over the shoe world with this classic.
Watch: One of the things I brought to college with me was a watch, which was surprisingly useful. You never know when you’ll find yourself not able to take a sneak peek at your phone (i.e. meetings, church, special events, etc.). But that doesn’t mean that you have to be stuck with your dad’s watch. If you’re looking for something with a bit more color, this rose gold watch is beautiful. This one lends itself an airy and earthy sense while maintaining simplicity. Can we really talk about watches without throwing this one by Michael Kors into the mix? I think not.
Cozy scarf: I’m a huge fan of big, knit scarves, like this one. Over the last couple of years, blanket scarves have really blown up and I can see why. They’re warm and can double as a fun poncho. This one and this one fit the bill of great blanket scarves. For my 19th birthday, I was gifted this cashmere scarf from Burberry. It’s still like new 6 years later!
Belt: A belt is wonderful for those dresses and tops you want to cinch at the waist. They also work wonderfully for flowing dresses. I like to add smaller belts, like this one and this one, as they don’t overwhelm the piece I’m wearing, but rather, draw it together. You can also add pops of color with your belt, like this one, when you want something more subtle. You can also add a bit of shimmer and glam with this lovely one.
Sunglasses: A good pair of sunglasses can take your outfit from “meh” to “stellar”. However, be sure to buy according to your face shape! There’s so many fun shapes of sunglasses out there now. It’s definitely worth trying on the pairs before buying. If you’re buying online, then go with a shape you know looks good on you. Plain black is always a classic, but I love tortoise shell glasses like these. Or, for all you pink lovers, these rose colored glasses are great. And then, there’s these classics that I believe to be incredibly flattering on nearly everyone.
That’s all folks! These items are sure to at least get you a great wardrobe foundation! For those of you who think you may have most of the clothing items, I included some gems in the description to spice up your wardrobe! Or, if you’re just building, go for those spunkier pieces anyway!