A search for “style” or “great wardrobe” brings up dozens of websites that all say the same thing: what every woman needs in her wardrobe is a white shirt, great-fitting pants, a knee-length skirt, a little black dress, and a great pair of jeans. Most will advise a woman to spend the time and money it takes to get the best—the best fit and the best quality in her budget. That’s because, regardless of personal taste, current fashion fad, or even season, these five pieces are the workhorses of a woman’s wardrobe. Okay, the little black dress depends on how social she is, but even the dress is no slouch when it comes to versatility.
The most versatile of tops, a blouse fits in just about any place. Why white? While no single color co-ordinates with all other colors, white and black come the closest. White is recommend for a top because its brightness draws the eye to it, and most women want less attention on their legs, hips, and derriere. In a pinch, a woman can toss a white blouse over black pants and know that she looks right for most occasions.
-Classic: partnered with other basics, it gets personalized by jewelry. A chunky necklace gives a more dynamic effect. A slim pendant and earrings creates a more classy air.
-Edgy: Worn over leggings or a frilly skirt, fashionistas are cinching tops at the waist with a wide belt.
It’s pretty obvious that fit determines how well pants will look and feel on a woman, and therefore determines how often, or whether, a woman will wear them. But the importance of fit goes beyond even that. Fit determines how a woman feels about how she looks, and therefore influences what she is willing to wear with them. In order to be a true key piece, pants must be great fitting.
-Trendy: Topped with a tunic or blouse the season’s cut and color, like the hanky-hem tunic in a bold graphic print.
-Eclectic: Worn with a tee-top or camisole and a contrast-colored scarf as a belt.
Today, skirts are worn in about every length. Why do experts specify knee length? Because it’s the most versatile. It’s appropriate for an office, for a party, or even for a stroll through the shopping district.
-Classic: Partnered with a matching blazer and complementing blouse, the accents make it fresh, like jewelry, a bright scarf, or unusual pumps and handbag.
-Ultra-femme: Topped with a blouse cascading in ruffles. Or, if the skirt has ruffles or flounce, worn with a fitted top.
Although cuts come and go in the trends, jeans are wardrobe staples and like all pants, the better the fit, the better the style options. Jeans come in many styles and colors now, but traditional denim is the best bet for versatility.
-Cas: Worn with the white shirt and trendy preppy vest.
-Glam: Paired with black patent pumps and a sequined top.
Little Black Dress
Thankfully, it no longer needs to be little, or even black, to count as the little black dress. It’s just important that it not only looks great alone, it looks adorable layered too. A solid color and contemporary, but not faddish, cut are the keys to making it versatile.
-Cas: If sleeveless, worn over the white (or other color) shirt. Or, layered under a preppy sweater..
-Trendy: Worn with a pencil belt either at the natural waist or empire waist.
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