5 Basics for a Not-So-Basic Wardrobe

When I first moved to Colorado from California, I didn’t have any friends and I had a lot of time. So, I spent hours at the library using their internet, borrowing their music CD’s, and checking out stacks of different types of books. (Shout out to public libraries! And also to having friends now.)

Those were the fateful days I found biographies and photograph collections on Audrey Hepburn and my fashion fate would be changed forever. At that time I had not known much about Audrey Hepburn or watched any of her films, but thus began my life-long infatuation with her and her style, and my increased understanding and love of fashion.

I’ve picked up some bits and pieces of fashion knowledge in my years of poring over every picture I can find of Audrey, and in studying the crazy and fun world of fashion. So I wanted to share a few little nuggets of advice, and give you some awesome ideas for foundational pieces that you can build your wardrobe around.

The first nugget is to build a versatile wardrobe. Find timeless and classic pieces, and then build your style around those things! It will help you to get the most out of your clothing when you find staple items that go with everything and will last you a long time. It is worth investing in and paying a bit more for versatile items you’ll use often and that won’t go out of style, so you can wear them until they fall apart instead of until the trend is dead. Find your basics, then accessorize and express yourself around them. When you have a good starting point, you can play with styles and color schemes to make it vintage, girly, boho, edgy, or whatever your vibe is.

Here are 5 basics for building a solid wardrobe:

(Just a note. I don’t make any money from these links, and none of these companies have paid me to endorse them. These are just a few companies I have loved clothing from, and the items shown were helpful for this post.)

1. A great-fitting pair of jeans. There is just something about a favorite pair of jeans that can make a girl radiate confidence. Choose a pair that you feel comfortable in, that hug the right places, that go with everything, and that make you feel your best. There are so many varieties and fits, find one that feels “you.” When you get a darker wash, it makes them super easy to dress up with a blazer and heels or dress down with a tank and sandals. Dark wash also tends to be more slimming and leg-lengthening. Light wash will tend to look more casual.

jeans 4
From Everlane here.

jeans 1
From H&M here.

jeans 3
From H&M here.

2. An amazing basic tee. This is a t-shirt in a solid neutral color that goes with most pieces in your wardrobe. You want it to fit well, to have a comfy neckline, and to be able to be used on its own or for layering. You can tuck in the front and wear it with flats for a casual look, or you can pick some statement jewelry to wear with it if you want to dress it up.

basic tee 5
From Piper & Scoot here.

basic tee 4
From Old Navy here.

basic tee 1
From Madewell here.

3. Little Black Dress. Oh, the LBD. One of my favorite wardrobe staples! So many styles and fits to choose from! You want this piece to be your go-to. You want to feel comfortable in it, and to love the way you look and feel in it. It can be semi-formal, but to be a great multi-use piece it still needs to work for that quick dinner date with a friend. It is worth hunting for one that is perfect for you. You’ll get a ton of uses out of it if you hold out for the right one.

lbd 5
From Piper & Scoot here.

lbd 1
From Modcloth here.

lbd 2
From Modcloth here.

lbd 4
From Free People here.

4. Ballet flats. Most people think ballet flats can only work for those with a certain type of style. But, friends, there are so many varieties of ballet flats! You can find everything from scallops, metallic, or tweed to rhinestones and sparkles. And they come in tons of colors like black, blush, or burnt orange. If sweet and simple is your thing, go for a solid straight-forward shape. If you love making your shoes the main event of your outfit, opt for a printed or textured flat.

balllet flat
From Kohls here.

ballet flat 2
From Modcloth here.

ballet flat 3
From Modcloth here.

5. A versatile skirt. Pick your favorite fit and cut that makes you feel like a million bucks! There are a ton of options like a-lines, pencils, tiered, pleated, waist-high’s, and maxis. Experiment with textures! Velvet, tulle, tweed, or leather can take a skirt and make your whole outfit! You want to be able to wear it with multiple tops to create multiple different outfits. If you’re a printed bottom girl, wear it with your solid-colored tops. If you like shirts with patterns and pizzazz, get your skirt in a solid color to let your tops do their thing.

skirt pencil black
From H&M here.

skirt a line
From Piper & Scoot here.

skirt tulle
From Free People here.

skirt pleated
From Modcloth here.

skirt tweed
From H&M here.



Take this and make it your own! Once you have the basics, you can play around with colors and styles to build a wardrobe you love. Keep it simple. You don’t need a ton of clothing. Just pick a few great items and build around that. When you have amazing basics, you can put together so many different looks with minimal pieces.

Happy hunting! Stay tuned for some more awesome pieces I love in my next post!

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