Nine Fabulous Staples Every Woman Should Own

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If you’re like most women, you enjoy checking out the new trends each season. And if you should happen to fall in love with a new of-the-moment outfit, you may even decide to take it home with you. But no matter how much you love wearing your more on-trend purchases, one thing is clear: Sooner or later you will likely end up returning to your tried-and-true closet staples. By staples, I’m referring to your beloved foundational wardrobe elements—the attire and accessories you wear and buy over and over again.

Why do we love these perennial pieces so much? Because they make us look and feel great whenever we wear them, and because the elements of classic style don’t change much over the years. Certain fashion basics have been around practically forever and look universally flattering on women of all ages, shapes, and sizes.

The bottom line is this: Trends may come and go, but the classic staples in your closet will keep your style timeless, classy, and true to who you are. Keep reading to learn about some of my favorite fabulous staples every woman should have in her closet.

Sleek black trousers. Whether you choose a straight, slim, or bootcut style, well-fitting black trousers are a timeless wardrobe essential. Why? Because they go with everything and they look great on a woman’s figure. So if you don’t have a good pair of black pants already hanging in your closet, get one soon. You can wear them to work with a shirt or blouse topped with a blazer, or dress them down with a tee or sweater for a more casual approach.

A leather jacket. A well broken-in leather jacket is the perfect outerwear for chilly fall days. Depending on the style of leather jacket you choose (styles range from bomber, moto, blazer, cropped, asymmetrical, etc.), your finished look can be elegant, edgy, or somewhere in between. Either way, you can wear your jacket with everything from skirts and dresses to denim and trousers. And by the way, if you prefer not to wear genuine leather, there are plenty of well-made (and very convincing!) faux leather jackets available today.

Jacket from Nordstrom.

The perfect blazer. A structured blazer in a neutral shade like black, navy, or charcoal can complete a number of different looks in your closet. Try pairing it with work-appropriate separates to create a smart office-ready look in no time. Or wear your blazer with jeans and a top or pair it with a simple dress for a different look.


Blazer from Blooomingales.

A gold necklace. While different types of gold do go in and out of style every few years, gold jewelry itself is very much here to stay. That’s great news, because a simple gold necklace adds the perfect touch of interest to any outfit. And with three different “shades” of gold popular today—yellow, white, or rose—you can choose which color you want to wear depending on your unique coloring and preferences. And keep in mind that while yellow gold is definitely back in style and looks flattering on many skin tones, don’t worry if you’re not yet ready to wear it. White gold and rose gold are beautiful alternatives.


A white collared shirt. Wearing a crisp white collared shirt helps you look put together in no time flat. The secret is finding one that fits you perfectly, so invest the time and energy into trying on several until you find a style that’s right for you. Once you’ve got the perfect shirt, you can tuck it into a pencil skirt or trousers for a sophisticated work look, or throw it on with jeans and heels or boots to create a head-turning ensemble.

 A dress it up (or down) dress. A versatile dress that can be worn during either the day or night is a must-have for all women. Look for a style that’s conservative enough to wear to work but can also be styled for a dressier evening look. You can often achieve this effect nicely with a classic sheath, A-line style, or wrap dress. Hint: When in doubt, choose a black dress. This color choice is classic, classy, and flattering on everyone!

Dress from Neiman Marcus. 

Animal print anything. Yes, that’s right! Believe it or not, animal print is a timeless neutral that adds unexpected flair without overpowering the other elements of your ensemble. To experiment with animal print, try a leopard or tiger print in either camel/brown or gray/black. These colors accent most outfits very nicely. Start off with an animal print scarf—it’s a great accessory for everyday wear. Once you’re comfortable with that, take a walk on the wild side by carrying a fun printed tote.

Scarf from Barneys Warehouse. 

 A great boot. You can’t go wrong with the timeless style and comfort of a great boot. Whether you prefer an ankle boot or a knee-high style, choose one that can be dressed up or down. For casual days, boots look great with skinny jeans and leggings. Or, they can be worn with skirts or dresses for a more dressed-up look.

A bag you can carry every day. Every woman needs a bag that’s perfect for her busy life. It should be large enough to carry all of your necessities—keys, wallet, tablet, etc.—without being so large that it becomes a burden. Whether that’s a tote, a satchel, or a bucket style depends on your needs and preferences. No matter what style you choose, look for a well-made bag composed of high-quality materials.

Handbag from Senreve

Even though these staples are your most reliable workhorses, it doesn’t mean they should be seen as tired or boring. On the contrary, these pieces are the building blocks of a great wardrobe because they fit and flatter you so well. (They are called classics for a reason, after all!) In fact, with such solid standbys already in place, you have a chance each day to mix and match your clothes in ways that feel endlessly fresh and exciting.


  • Marla Tomazin, Certified Image Consultant, established her image consulting business in 1990 with the goal of helping clients identify an authentic image and develop its effective expression. Marla utilizes her abilities in evaluating body shape, movement, and coloring as well as synthesizing optimal cuts, lines, colors, and textures. This results in balance and proportion that accentuate attributes and conceal flaws. Marla has appeared on numerous TV and radio stations and programs. Visit

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