Wardrobe Essentials for Today’s Woman

I’m sure we’ve all picked up a magazine in the past 10 years and read an article about the top five items EVERY woman should have in their closet. The list usually consists of a white collar shirt, basic black pumps and a brand name handbag. These are known as classic pieces. In other words, they are fashion items that never go out of style, so making a sizable investment in each item was not only accepted, it was warranted! I will admit, there was once a point in time when I tried to make sure that I had every item in my closet. That was the old me. The new me often rebels against society’s norms…check out my Down with Corporate Suits and An Open Invitation to Judge Me blogs for proof.

Back to the list. It think it was relevant for the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s everyday woman. Women back in those days had more traditional roles…worked traditional 9 to 5 jobs, blah, blah, blah. Today’s woman looks and operates completely different. Today’s woman comes in many different shapes, sizes and hues, and they wear so many hats…entrepreneur, mother, leader, influencer, wife, innovator, sister, boss, friend, activist, blogger, etc. You get the picture. Today’s woman needs flexibility not only in her professional and home life, but in her closet too. Today’s woman wants an outfit that will take her from the school carpool lane, to a client meeting at her WeWork office space, to lunch with her business partner, back to her home office for a conference call over Zoom, and then to the soccer field to cheer on her child star athlete.

All this to say that I think that the essentials list of yesteryear badly needs an update, so here’s my advice.

1. White collar shirt OUT/Blazer IN

What can one say about blazers? They are the quintessential article of clothing that classes up any look in a matter of seconds. And there are so many different variations. From the classic, structured black blazer to a boyfriend style in Heather gray. Historically blazers were always paired with a matching pair of pants or pencil skirt. Today blazers are paired with everything from stretch pants, to joggers to jeans. Tip: Invest in one structured blazer and a more casual style like a boyfriend blazer. Also, try fun prints and colors like this yellow one from my fave J.Crew.

2. Basic black pump OUT/Casual shoe IN

Read my lips…I’m not saying you need to throw out your pair of black pumps. You might need a pair one day when you attend a funeral or go on a job interview. Pumps have a purpose, but they’re not practical for everyday wear. What if you’re a city dweller and depend on subways and Uber’s to get around? Or what if you’re a suburbanite like me who drives barefoot because you’re afraid your heel may get stuck under the gas pedal (don’t judge me)? Heels look amazing and add an extra layer of sophistication to any look, but today’s woman needs practicality. Casual shoes are not only functional, they are extremely fashionable and will take you from a business meeting to the after school bake sale without having to change in the parking lot. Tip: Consider purchasing a pair of causal shoes from Keds. You’ll thank me later.

3. Brand name handbag OUT/Crossbody bag IN

Can I just say that besides dresses that have pockets, crossbody bags are my favorite fashion invention? There are so many benefits to wearing a crossbody. They keep your hands free and even if there is no scientific evidence to back this up, I feel like they are better for your back and shoulder alignment. Crossbody bags tend to be smaller, which means you can’t cram all of the junk you would carry in a normal sized bag. And…crossbody bags deter thieves! How Sway? Think about how the bags sit. The crossbody sits diagonally across your torso instead of vertically on your shoulder like a regular handbag. It is much easier to steal a bag that is just sitting vertically on your shoulder versus one that it is sitting on it diagonally. Boom! I’m sure I’ve just blown your mind! Tip: Trade in that handbag for a crossbody and see how your life will change. Your shoulders and back will thank me.

4. Jeans OUT/Stretchy, casual pants IN

So, I think it’s been almost two years since I’ve worn a pair of jeans. Isn’t that crazy? So what do I wear you ask? I found the most amazing pair of pants at my Holy Grail J. Crew Outlet almost three years ago and I haven’t gone back to jeans since. They are super stretchy, but the fabric is thick, so they don’t look like thin leggings. They have four pockets and come in black and blue. I have two pair in each color and am on the verge of buying two more. They are so comfortable. I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to jeans. And don’t get me wrong. There are some really comfortable jeans out there, but nothing compares to these pants. I wear them all the time. They are perfect if you are doing a lot of moving around, getting in and out of the car, going from meeting to meeting or even going to the grocery store to pick up dinner. They are the perfect pair of pants for any occasion. Tip: Find the perfect pair of pants with a great amount of stretch and quality fabric that will take you from point A to point B, and all of the points in between.

Now that I’ve shared my updated list, what do you think? Do you have most of these items already? Are there items I missed? I’d love to hear your feedback, good or bad, so let’s get a discussion going. What’s the one go-to item in your closet that you can wear for any occasion? Let me know in the comments section below.

shannon b.


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