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not-so-basic basics - the top 5 wardrobe staples I wouldn't want to live without

I am a firm believer that if you have a handful of quality staples in your wardrobe - you can then throw in some fun and inexpensive costume jewelry, a second-hand sweater, heck I'll even throw in a top from Forever 21 every now and again, and you can STILL look like a million bucks.

Here are my 5 wardrobe staples - and my favorite item in each category currently available to shop!

1) Classic Black Heels

I had my last pair of black leather heels for 8 years.... I repeat... 8 years! Not because I'm cheap and didn't want to buy a new pair... but because I loved them THAT much and they held up THAT well. But by that eighth year they had seen better days so I traded them in for a pair of classic Cole Haan leather pumps (the 'Bethany' style pictured below - I'm also linking to the very similar 'Amela'). I love these things - they go with everything, heel height is perfect and they are actually comfortable (which if you're anything like me, and whine about heels within 20 minutes of putting them on, this is absolutely necessary!)

2) Dark Wash Jeans That Feel Like PJ's

Obviously jeans are a wardrobe staple... heck, they are a LIFE staple. And with all the amazing hybrid jeans and jeggings on the market, I can't stand scratchy denim anymore. Thus... AG Jeans are my GO TO jean choice. Yes, they are a little pricier than what you might find at Old Navy, BUT they are so worth the investment. I've owned the same two pairs for years and years and not only is the wash on them still nice and dark, but they just get softer over time. And so...the Pajama-Jean is born! I am wearing the "legging" style in size 27 below.

I buy them at Anthropologie or online on the AG Jean website -- click here to shop!

3) Quality Leather Bag (diaper bag variation if you have little ones)

This is another item I am happy to splurge on. But now that I have a baby, all the pretty bags I've collected over the years don't really fit the bill (or the diapers... heh mom-jokes comin' in fast). I recently got my first genuine leather diaper bag from Baby Joey. This purse was designed by a California mom looking for a luxury bag, designed with moms in mind, as a stylish alternative to the bulky diaper bags we all (begrudgingly) get used to lugging around. My favorite part of this bag is the zipper compartment at the bottom that fits diapers and wipes, so they don't take up valuable real estate in the main compartment!

This bag is brand new to the market so you can pre-order HERE for 20% off the retail price (yay)!

4) Classic Tee (that clings to all the right places)

I'm a stickler for a good classic tee - and no surprise that Target comes through on this wardrobe necessity! I own this tee in about 5 colors. It is so soft... flattering without being skin tight, with a nice neckline that is feminine and modest all at the same time. I am actually wearing it in 'olive', as I write this! I'm wearing the jeans too... I'm basically just describing my current outfit in this blog post. Here's a link to my favorite basic tee!

5) Tailored Blazer

I LOVE a good blazer! When I was working in the corporate world, this was an obvious item to own and wear weekly, but now that I'm not rockin' pencil skirts every day, I LOVE throwing one on over a t-shirt or tank, for lunch with a girlfriend or a night out with Jordan. It instantly classes up any outfit and is a closet must-have in my book! The blazer I'm wearing here is from Zara -- it was from last season so here is a similar one!

My quick and dirty tips for shopping and caring for a blazer:

  • H&M and Zara are my two go-to stores when shopping for this item. They always have them... they usually have fun patterns and the cut is typically flattering (no boxy blazers please!). Oh and the price is right!

  • Make sure the shoulder seam hits the end of your shoulders. If it hits before and/or won't button, it's TOO SMALL! If the seam extends past your shoulders... you guessed it... too big!

  • Once you find the right size, don't be afraid to get it altered if the sleeves are too long or too short. Getting alterations is another great way to keep your wardrobe looking top notch and like it was made for you.

  • Get it dry cleaned. No ifs ands or buts on this one ladies... the dry cleaners will keep your blazers looking perfectly pressed, just like new.

So that's it! My 5 not-so-basic picks for the basics we all know and love. Hope this gave you a few ideas for items in your closet that are due for an upgrade!


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