21 Shockingly Easy Wardrobe Basics for Women

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Wardrobe Basics for women

It’s Fall and it’s time to revamp our wardrobes. I put away my summer clothes and clean out our closets while we are at it. During Fall and Spring, I always purge clothes I’m just not going to wear anymore. And I insert new apparel for the next two seasons. It gives me an excuse to add a few more select pieces to my wardrobe basics for women. Then in the spring, I purge again.

Adding Wardrobe Basics to Your Closet

I have a new habit. It’s called shopping in my closet. I add wardrobe basics that are missing but are necessary for a well-rounded wardrobe basics collection. And just now I realized I need to add some essential items to my closet like a little black dress. I rarely go out anywhere fancy. But my fiance does have to go to events and I will need a dress for those kinds of occasions. 

When I was in high school and college ( and a little after) I followed a lot of trends and bought a lot of disposable, fast fashion. But that didn’t last long in terms of quality and well seasons. After that season I was done with it and off it went to the donation pile. If it wasn’t already in shred or had holes. As I get older I am more selective with my clothes only adding a few new pieces at a time.

Everyone needs basics to build upon. You aren’t going to be over the top. But basics give you a good base to start your outfit with. And then you can add those other pops of color or texture your outfit needs. Plus you can add a few of this year’s trendy items you could not live without. My closet has become very streamlined. I don’t just buy one time shirts anymore.

When you think of your closet you should think about what you need. Then pass on most of the current season’s trends. Think about adding classic and timeless quality pieces that should last you several years if well taken care of. And timeless doesn’t have to mean expensive—you can find me in the sale rack all the time.

P.S. We won’t include jeans or pants on this list. Since they are so many varieties and styles to choose from for your personal style. But check out my guide on all things jeans for added inspo. And we skipped coats and sweaters since this is basic list. Now check out our list of 21 essential wardrobe basics for women of everything needed for quick fashion choices that never fail to deliver. It may take a long time to make your collection of good basics. But, when you do you, will be happy to add to your basics to your other favorites like that colorful purse or cool leather jacket.  It’s time to pick a few clothing items that never go out of style.

Everyday Wardrobe Basics For Women

Wardrobe Basics T-shirt

white T-shirt wardrobe basics

Who doesn’t love a crisp white (from Everlance) or black T-shirt, no graphics just a basic tee. It’s the quintessential item everyone must have in their closet. It can be dressed up with heels and dressed down with a pair of white sneakers. Get a few you T-shirts love, since you will probably wear them out

Classic Button-down Shirt with a Twist

classic button shirt wardrobe basics

Everyone needs a classic white button-down shirt in their wardrobe basics. The classic white button-down can take you everywhere from a more formal setting (eg work) to a more casual day out running errands. The button-down shirt makes you look more put together and we love one that has just a little something special like puffier sleeves or different colored buttons.

Wardrobe Basics Hairpins

hairpins wardrobe basic

Hairpins were all the rage this summer and going into fall we expect to see the trend continue until its hat season. But hairpins took over Instagram (we love the Justine Marjan and The Sincerely Jules pins) this year and we love the classic pins that can be taken into next year. While hairpins are not particularly necessary then add a fun pop to an outfit.

Small Black Purse 

small black purse wardrobe basic

We are all here for all those colorful purses on the market these days and we love a pop of color in the accessories department. But nothing beats the basic small black purse —think the classic black Chanel purse with chain link but I love to shop at places like TJMaxx for cute purse options for cheap. This is a must-have wardrobe basic for women.

Wardrobe Basics Aviator sunglasses

aviator sunglasses wardrobe basics

I wear glasses on an everyday basis. But for those special occasions, I break out the contacts I love a great pair of aviator sunglasses. Don’t get me wrong I love all those different shaped sunglasses. I even fell in love with a cute pair of square sunnies, but aviators are classics. I have a pair of the Quay Desi Perkins.

Wardrobe Basic Trench

Classic Trench wardrobe basic
Free People

The trench is a classic piece in your closet, especially for fall and spring. For the months we need a light jacket to get through to the next season.

The classic trench is usually khaki-colored, but black is equally as classic and chic. I have a very fun purple print trench from an old Target diffusion collection. I still love it to this day. But it can’t take me everywhere.

FYI: If the trench is not for you then consider a cozy long cardigan.  

LBD or Little Black Dress

black dress wardrobe basic

Ok, I have a confession I am not a dress kind of girl. I will still wear pants to almost every occasion. But still there have been times when I really needed a little black dress. And all my problems would be solved. This dress isn’t that little and leans to the longer side. But it’s chic and can take you to different events.

Shoes Needed In Your Closet

Black loafers

Black Loafers wardrobe basic

Black loafers will take you anywhere from a board meeting to the park with the kids. They are the perfect versatile shoe for looking chic and put together, but you may not have tried that hard! Look for a pair of stylish loafers that go great with work pants and jeans for a dinner date.

Ballet flats In A Neutral Color

nude ballet shoes wardrobe basic

Ballet flats don’t actually look like ballet shoes right, they are just a pair of flat shoes that are cute. Look for a pair with some support since these to run around town in, but not made for hardcore walking. We love these Valentino pair although totally out of the budget. Look for compy pointy toe flats for the weekends.

Low White Sneakers

white sneakers wardrobe basic

A pair of basic white sneakers are essential in our closet–dressed up or down for places that allow sneakers. Not necessarily for work unless your work at a creative place that allows that kind of wardrobe basic. Don’t you just love a pair of white sneakers and skinny jeans to run to the supermarket. Or amp it up and put on a pair of faux leather pants and a white tank throw on a trench. And you are super casual cool!

Nude Heels

nude heels wardrobe basic

Pick up a pair of nude heels on special occasions when you need to dress up. There are those days when we need to put away our white sneakers and put on a pair of heels. Of course if nude isn’t your thing then pick up black shoes and consider a lower heel.


sandals wardrobe basic

Its still summer somewhere right. We all need a pair of good quality slides. Not the ones that you wear around the house, but something that can be seen out in public. I love this sparkly this pair of sandals/slides. But you could also pick up a pair of neutral mules.

Strappy heels

strappy black heels wardrobe basics

Going to a wedding or a formal event? You will have to go to the back of your closet and pull out those strappy heels. The ones you may have forgotten about. I love this super simple wardrobe basic strappy heel. Just the right about of sexy.

Fun Black Boot/ Black Ankle Boot

black combat boots wardrobe basic

And for fall and winter, we all tend to grab our trusty black boots. The ones we would wear every day if allowed. This is where you can have the most fun. I have a pair of black combat boots I can’t wait to take out of hiding from my closet. I almost ran them into the ground last year and considered picking up another pair just in case. You could also pick up a pair of short booties to pair with skinny jeans.

Accessories To Add To Your Wardrobe Basics

Scarf (doubles as hairband)

scarf wardrobe basic

Ok, so I’m not the biggest scarf person, mainly winter scarves for NYC winter. But lately, there has been an explosion of scarfs on Instagram —but not around your neck instead try them in your hair and the look is so very Parisian chic! I love how celebrity hairstylist Justine Marjan incorporated a scarf into the beautiful bun. So fun!

Reversible Belt

reversible belt wardrobe basic

I’ve never actually been the biggest belt person, but they can definitely pull an outfit together.  I’m not usually a label person, but the Gucci belt is a favorite look of mine. But I would suggest getting a reversible black/brown belt that can easily transition for different outfits and looks.

Delicate necklace

delicate necklace wardrobe basic

A few delicate necklaces are key to making a look go from boring to chic in just a few snaps and you don’t have to invest a fortune on jewelry, I love simple things that don’t break the bank.

Statement bracelet

bracelets wardrobe basic

Statement bracelets are a cool way to add color and texture to your outfit. I’ve never bought an expensive bracelet in my life, I just pick up cute ones from places like Forever 21.

Fun rings

big rings wardrobe basic

Just like the bracelet rings add an unexpected to an outfit. From small delicate rings to attention-grabbing monster rings to add sparkle to your essential wardrobe basics for women. I love costume jewelry but beware of the dreaded metals that turn green.

Stud earrings 

stud earrings wardrobe basic

When I was younger I loved hooped earrings (maybe it’s all JLo’s fault). Now I almost exclusively wear stud earrings. They are more versatile and go with almost any look. I have a pair of stud earrings that I wear every day. I don’t worry about matching anything in particular.

Everyday watch

everyday wardrobe basic watch

Its true almost everyone has access to the tie on their smartphones. But you can wear a watch more like an accessory and less like a necessity.

Wardrobe Basics for Women

So tell me do you have these items in your closet or is it a work in progress like me?

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