The 10 Stylist-Approved Basics You Need in Your Wardrobe

If you're feeling completely and utterly stuck in a style rut, that means it's time to reevaluate your wardrobe basics. Instead of trying to gasp for air as you frantically chase the latest trends, take a peek in your closet and check to see if you have the items needed to build the foundation of a killer outfit every time. So which wardrobe basics are the most important? Which pieces should every woman have in her closet? What will you need to live a fashionable yet stress-free life? We'll let a few celebrity stylists handle this one.

Ahead read up on the 10 wardrobe basics celebrity stylists think every woman should have in her closet. It came without surprise that over 80% of the answers they gave overlapped with one another. What can we learn from that? That when it comes to building up a foolproof closet, you really only need a handful of items. Ready to shop the pieces that will save your outfit every time?

Andria Bush, office of Cristina Ehrlich


(Image credit: @collagevintage)

1. Leather Jacket: "It can be fitted, oversize, black green, tan, etc. I don't care about the style or colour—everyone needs their perfect leather."

2. Jeans: "High-waist, skinny, boyfriend, cheap or expensive, everyone needs that go-to pair—the pair that you will forever continue to repair until they've been repaired so many times they're now a totally different jean but still your fave."

3. Oversize Blazer: "Find the structure and shape that fits your shoulders and your frame so you don't drown."

4. White Button-Down Shirt: "Steal your dad's or your man's, but you need to find one somewhere."

5. Sunglasses: "Please not the 'too small for your face' kind. A pair that complements your face shape and highlights your cheekbones. My favourites are Ray-Ban—no need to reinvent what's been working for years."

6. Classic Sneakers: "To be honest, these are the new heels and can go from day to night. Bet you didn't know that Greta Gerwig wore Vans with her Vanity Fair Dress. Something to think about…"

7. Little Black Dress: "So cliché but so necessary. It doesn't need to be short and tight (we are all past that trend), and the colour also doesn't have to be black—this term should apply to a dress that makes you feel your best self as soon as you put it on. Again, find what's right for your body and knock them out!"

8. Great Handbag: "Whether it's an oversize tote or crossbody, you need the perfect bag. We all have our baggage, so find something cute to put yours in!"

9. Black Pumps: "And by pumps, I mean comfortable stilettos. Anything lower than three inches is unacceptable, and you should just pop on a pair of flats or tennis shoes at this point."

10. Vintage Tee: "Okay, what does it not go with? Seriously, I'll wait for an answer…"

Sarah Nearis, assistant stylist at Jamie Mizrahi Styling


(Image credit: Collage Vintage)

1. Jeans: "Your favourite go-to piece of denim. Every girl has a favourite jean whether it is a high-waist skinny or a light-washed boyfriend. I live in the J-Brand Maria and probably will until the day I die."

Related: The 19 Pieces Worth a Second Look at H&M Right Now

2. Little (or Midi) Black Dress: "The perfect go-to for any cocktail event or just a safe bet if you're unsure of the attire. You can never go wrong with black, and it's always better to be overdressed in my eyes."

3. Flats or Loafers: "Walking in heels every day is painful and just pure punishment. My grandmother swore by Italian leather flats her whole life, and I never met anyone who looked chicer than her. I love Everlane shoes because they are 100% Italian leather and are perfectly priced."

4. Blazer: "Whether fitted or oversized, the blazer is a chic staple that will add a kick of sophistication to any look. They are a great light coat option to transition from day to night."

5. Leather Jacket: "A little black leather jacket is one of my favorite pieces to own because it adds a hint of edge to any outfit and is so versatile. You can throw it over a slip dress or pair with a tee and jeans and be on your way."

6. Black Pumps: "Whether you are someone who wears heels or not, you should always have a pair of black pumps in your closet. It all comes down to finding the right pair that is comfortable for you, but a heel will always make you stand taller and put a little pep in your step. If heels are not your favourite, opt for a thicker or chunkier pair of block heels for more support."

7. Basic T-Shirts: "This is a universal staple for both women and men. Having a handful of white and black tees is a must. It's a perfect layering piece and can be worn with jeans or an embellished skirt. My favourite tees are by Mother denim. I wear them to work, out for date night, and to bed because they are so cosy."

8. Classic Purse: "Having a go-to tote or crossbody is crucial for any woman to have. I recommend black or camel leather bag because they go with almost anything and will never go out of style. Splurging on a nice bag is definitely an investment piece, and if you treat it well, it will last for years to come. I am loving The Wolf Gang bags right now!"

9. Silk Blouse: "From a classic button-down to the infamous pussy-bow, this chic staple is elegant yet simple and perfect for the workplace to social outings."

10. Black Dress Pant or Pencil Skirt: "For the dressier occasions, it is always smart to have a go-to black dress pant or favourite pencil skirt to go to. It is the perfect sophisticated staple and the perfect blank canvas to dress up by adding a fun blouse and accessories."

Emily Sanchez


(Image credit: Collage Vintage)

1. Commando Thong: "An undie that ensures no VPL is a must."

2. Natori Bra: "Natori's bras are comfy, feel luxurious, and yet they kind of disappear. Exactly what you want in an undergarment. Pick nude for everyday use and save black for darker colours."

3. Nippies: "I love that it's no longer so taboo to see a bra anymore. Now an exposed bra can be a chic part of an outfit, but sometimes going braless is the right thing to do. In those cases, these amazing, thin little covers stick and hold for repeated uses."

4. Festive Dress: "I love this Rouje dress with polka dots, a frill at the hem, and a sexy sweetheart neckline. A dress that works with sneakers during the day and a chic stiletto at night is definitely something you need in your wardrobe."

5. Denim: "The best thing about denim is you can really wear it day in and day out. I love to pick a super-trendy pair every season, really wear them to death, then purge them when the trends change. Keeps my wardrobe feeling fresh and new every few months."

6. Day Bag: "I'm no minimalist, but I think a bag is the one place to streamline. I love a petite bag to help you edit what goes inside. I've yet to go anywhere and have someone not remark how cute my Carolina Santo Domingo bag is."

7. Striped Top or Sweater: "I firmly believe in a simple striped top. They are great with jeans and a brogue for a clean, French look. I also love a stripe mixed with really any print (leopard is my pick). Mix prints and go. It really is that easy!"

8. Day Heels: "My job has me running around nearly all day (usually while carrying garment bags and accessories). I'm also really petite, so I love a height boost while still being able to move around. I love a little block heel for the day. Something about even a three-inch heel makes you feel chicer and more confident."

9. Perfect Studs: "I feel that jewellery should be easy and versatile while still beautiful and luxe. These tiny studs have just enough colour and sparkle that I never get sick of them!"

10. Go-With-Everything Heels: "These Gianvito Rossi Portofino sandals go with everything. Trust me—I have tried them on every client with hundreds of different looks! If you could only own one pair of heels, you'd be set with a pair of Portofinos."

Alyssa Sutter


(Image credit: Collage Vintage)

1. Nude Pumps: "A nude pump is going to be your best investment for years to come. Find a nude colour complementary to your skin tone and in the material of your choice. Even though a black pump may seem like the better option, a nude pump looks very chic with every colour."

2. Tailored Blazer: "Another investment piece for your closet is a tailored blazer. A blazer makes for the perfect outerwear item for any occasion and any season. The key to the longevity of the blazer is having it tailored to your body. I personally love to push up my jacket sleeves for a more relaxed feel."

3. Classic Tee: "The ultimate wardrobe staple is the classic white tee. Whether you are pairing it with denim or a silk skirt, your go-to tee can take your look from sporty and casual to edgy and cool."

4. Skinny Black Jeans: "You can't go wrong with skinny black jeans. A good pair of black jeans is a great way to achieve a more elevated look while staying comfortable."

5. Silk Button-Down Blouse: "A button-down blouse in silk is a must-have. The silk material keeps this classic silhouette feminine and effortless."

6. Hoop Earrings: "A pair of hoop earrings in gold is the perfect transitional piece of jewellery. Petit Moi's Threaded Hoops are a game changer, as they can be worn all day long. Hoops are so versatile since they can be worn with jeans and a tee or paired with a dress for a night out."

7. Black Boots: "Your year-round boot is a black Chelsea boot. You can wear them in autumn/winter or paired with dresses in the spring/summer. They will never go out of style."

8. Nude Seamless Thong: "Every woman needs a nude seamless thong. There is nothing chic about pantie lines… Run, don't walk, and get a pair of Commando’s."

9. Minimal Sandals: "A clean, minimalist high-heel sandal is the best alternative to your classic pump. This style can be worn with any silhouette and every occasion. I suggest finding an option with thin straps such as the Stuart Weitzman Nudist."

10. Slip Dress: "Even though a slip dress may not seem like a key wardrobe item, it definitely is. A mini or midi-length slip dress is going to be the most versatile. It can be worn on a summer night with a stacked heel or paired with a blazer and sneakers for a fall afternoon."

Next up, shop the shoe trend our readers can hardly ever agree upon (but we still like anyway).

Lauren Eggertsen