with Susan Wagner
The Working Closet is your source for the best of what's hip and fresh in fashion and beauty. Susan Wagner keeps you up-to-date on trends and offers tips and tricks for making everything in your closet truly work for you.
You can also catch Susan over at Working Closet.
I recently read an article in In Style magazine about The Fab 5 pieces every woman should have in their closet. I can’t disagree - they listed five classic, go-to items, but I think some could be open to interpretation.
Let’s interpret, shall we?
The five items listed were:
1. Little Black Dress
3. White Button-Front Shirt
5. Black Suit
Do you have all five of these items in your closet? It’s true, with the right accessories, these articles of clothing can get you through almost everything, but I’d like to add some food for thought. Before we start, it’s important to point out that these are the types of items that you should expect to spend more of your fashion budget on due to their longevity in your closet.
1. A black dress. Indeed, a black dress is super versatile, but what about other neutral colors such as navy, gray or chocolate brown? These colors are just as versatile as black, but aren’t as expected. For example, this classic silhouette could easily take you from day to night.
I personally own this dress and I love it. You can throw it on with a pair of flat sandals for a casual look or dress it up with strappy heels as shown in the photo. It is made of a very forgiving jersey knit (which is a breeze to pack and care for), and I’ve seen it look fantastic on completely different body types.
2. A cardigan. Hoo boy, cardigans are a MUST, and not just for colder months. If you live in a cooler climate, cardigans can be a year-round staple, but are also a lifesaver in warmer climates when you are being sabotaged by freezing cold air conditioning during the summer months.
A great option for the current season is this elbow-sleeved sweater from The Gap. If you are the type that steers towards neutral colors, a cardigan is a great way to add a punch of color to your outfit. This particular cotton/cashmere blend sweater comes in several colors.
3. A white button-front shirt. I love the IDEA of a white button-front shirt, but I must admit, I do not own one for several reasons. First off, I don’t have the time to perfectly press a button-front shirt, and repeated trips to the dry cleaner usually make the white dingy over a relatively short period of time. Call me picky, but If I am going to wear a white shirt, it needs to be BRIGHT white. (Also, I HAVE A TODDLER. Potentially disastrous.)
Button-front shirts are a classic staple, but if you shy away from the maintenance of white, why not try a subtle pattern or color?
Pair this shirt with slacks for a classic and tailored look, or wear it with jeans, sandals and a chunky necklace for a more casual ensemble.
4. Jeans. I could write a thesis on jeans (I just might in the future) because this is the one item with the most mileage. Susan wrote an excellent jeans primer here. I strongly believe that a designer pair of jeans are a great investment - sure, they can be expensive, but they can last for years and years. Some fantastic brands of higher-end jeans are Joe’s Jeans and J Brand. Joe’s Jeans makes a great style called the Petite Provocateur for shorter women that usually don’t need to be hemmed, and J Brand is known for making your legs, hips and derriere look AMAZING.
However, Gap’s Long and Lean jeans are a fabulous, less expensive option.
Of course, finding the perfect pair of denim is a highly-personalized process which can mean hours in the dressing room. (I know, I know. Who has time for that?) It’s so worth it, though.
5. A black suit. I would love to know, how many of you are required to wear suits on a frequent basis? For those who must, I can’t say enough about J. Crew’s gabardine suit.
It’s appropriate for year-round and the classic lines will never go out of style. Sure, a $370 price tag might create a lump in your throat, but if you break down the cost in relation to the times worn, you might be surprised. (For me, it broke down to less than a dollar per wear.)
For less expensive suits, Ann Taylor Loft has some great options.
6. If I could make one addition to the list, it would be a piece of statement jewelry. Whether it be a delicate chain or a bright and chunky bracelet, the addition of an accessory or two really pulls an outfit together.
If you are on the lookout for reasonably priced jewelry, please check out Etsy. (Honestly, look at HOW MANY options are available when I search for “chunky necklace”.) And the best part about Etsy jewelry? They are handmade, unique items that you won’t see on on everyone else.
What about you though? Are there any pieces not mentioned that make your Fab 5? Do tell.
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