1. Black Pants ...
|via the Limited, aka Chez Black Pant.|
... even though I rarely wear them, sometimes you just need a pair of pants. They are one of the most versatile items you'll find in your closet. And I would argue the same goes for a black pencil skirt, which of course is my personal preference.
2. French Cuff Dress Shirt ...
|via Banana Republic|
... a tailored button-down is almost as versatile as your black pants. Hell, even wear them together. Or with your pencil skirt. Or with jeans. Or whatever!
3. Black Pumps ...
I wish I had these instead.
|Pour la Victoire, via Zappos|
... Glorious. I would wear them every day and possibly sleep with them under my pillow too.
4. Day Dress ...
... On our recent trip to Nashville, my friend Sarah and I spent a good amount of time drooling over the perfect lady dress we stumbled upon while her hubs was shopping for ties. We both had visions of hosting power luncheons and running meetings wearing a dress like that.
That's the beauty of a gorgeous, tailored dress. It's feminine, easily accessorized, and perfect whether you want to be a university first lady or if your sights are set on corporate management. Or going to a cocktail hour or a charity event or teaching a class or sitting in a cube, whatever! A dress like that can go anywhere with you - that's the mark of a perfect day dress. At least in my office, black pants (see above) have taken over most wardrobes, but I think a dress like this can actually be just as, if not more, empowering and polished. Long live dresses!
5. Black suit ...
|separates via The Limited, aka Chez Black Suit|
... a black suit is pretty much a no-brainer, right? You can wear the pieces on their own or together. They can be dressed up or dressed down. I don't work in an office that requires a suit on a regular basis anymore, thankfully, but I like knowing I have one in my closet. You never know when you'll get an interview for that big opportunity, or to lead that big meeting, or any other event that makes you want to look and feel like a grown up. A suit will always make you feel put-together (even in a messy bedroom).6. Evening Dress ...
... Le sighe. I wish I had more reasons to wear fancy, lovely, pretty dresses. They are my absolute favorite.
Someone invite me to a wedding, STAT.
7. Dressy Jacket ...
Jackets are back in this season. *cue chorus of angels*
... I have loved this look since I was a major bar-hopper in and after college. There is something so classic and modern and put together like a girl in a nice pair of jeans and a jacket. It can be sexy, it can be sophisticated, it can be off-beat, or it can be completely ladylike. I recently bought a bright red jacket and I can't wait for it to be cool enough to break it out. I am still irritated that I got rid of the pink blazer that used to be part of my weekend uniform. A sleek Chanel-esque jacket is at the top of my must-get-soon list. I will gladly wear jeans if it means I can put a blazer on with it.
8. Evening Clutch ...
I have a thing for clutches lately. I want all of them.
|via Tory Burch|
Goodness, I just love Tory Burch bags.
|via Kirna Zabete for Target|
... And Target comes through if you're on more of a budget.
... And you can't stop at just one.
...I'll be honest, I didn't agree with this one at first. But then, as it seems to so often happen in our lives, we got invited to a wedding. None of my shoes made sense with the dress I wanted to wear, and I was kicking myself for discarding all those pairs of "just buy some strappy silver shoes" from my bridesmaid days.
I never did find a pair of silver shoes I liked for that wedding. I wish I had seen these.
But I don't think the list ends there. This list is a great start to any wardrobe, but I think there are a couple more nice-to-haves, at least in my world.
- Cardigans in every color ... sad to say, I wear one almost every day. The more the merrier.
- Pearls ... I got my first string of pearls when I graduated from high school and they spoke to my little yuppy heart. Like the little black dress of jewelry, pearls are all-occasion. Every body loves the girls in pearls, as those Kappas used to say.
- Ballet flats ... I love me some heels, but sometimes flats are so much more practical and comfortable. Black patent ballet flats get a lot of mileage in my life. One of these days I'll even get a pair that cost more than $20.
- Opaque tights ... for those of us who refuse to wear pants 90% of the time, tights are an absolute must-have as the weather turns cooler. I am one of the minority who find them to be more comfortable than even bare legs. I have the best luck with Target's Merona brand. They are the perfect opaque and hardly ever run.
- Boots ... it just wouldn't be fall without them. I struggle to find tall boots that fit my calves, so I treasure the few pairs I have. Black high-heeled boots are completely appropriate in my office (I know not in all workplaces) and I really love the flat boot styles that have been out in recent seasons too. I like boots enough to break a personal rule and buy a pair of skinny jeans. I'm still trying to decide if I can pull that off or not. Jury's still out, but the boots are in!
- Statement necklaces ... since I wear a headset most of the day, I have really gotten away from all those chandelier earrings I used to love so much. Instead I tend to wear long strand or brightly colored necklaces. I mean, who doesn't love the so-hot-right-now JCrew bubble necklace? I know I love mine, even though it's like an outfit in and of itself.
- Red lips ... I am on the hunt for the perfect red. Thanks to twitter, I have some recommendations to track down (Nars and Mac are major favorites). I can't wait to make a red lip a regular happening in my life.
And also these. I must have these.
|via Seychelles (my favorite!)|