While every woman has different requirements from her wardrobe, there are some basic clothing items that every woman should have hanging in her closet. Whether you work on Wall Street, program computers or spend your days at the toddler park, consider these essential items.
1. The perfect pantsuit: A pantsuit in a neutral shade and made of a medium-weight fabric is one of the most versatile items any woman can own. It inspires confidence in the boardroom, yet it can go shopping or to dinner with equivalent ease. While a classic suited skirt is timeless, the pantsuit is more comfortable for most women. It does not require panty hose and is a confident and powerful look. Traditionally cut pantsuits in colors like black, navy, grey and taupe all work with a variety of blouses and accessories. Wear a tank-style shell, a blouse or a sweater under the pantsuit jacket to create a variety of different looks and moods.
2. The thigh-length trench: One of the must-haves for the in-between seasons of summer and fall, a thigh-length trench can be worn over casual and business attire. The trench provides coverage from rainstorms and wind, yet is not long enough to be cumbersome while walking, sitting or driving. Choose a neutral color for a trench that will last season after season or opt for a trendy color to spice up an otherwise plain wardrobe. Eye catching choices like lime green and watermelon pink are sure to please for those who want something a little different.
3. The little black dress: This advice has become a clichÃ?Â© only because it is so true. A well-fitting dress of good quality can be worn to nearly any occasion. Select a black dress of a woven fabric (stretchy dresses will not hold their shape year after year) in a flattering and classic cut. If there is only one piece of designer apparel in the closet, this should be it. It can be worn alone or accessorized to dress it up, down and all around the town. Lined, dry clean only dresses will hold their shape better and resist fading over those that are washable.
4. A white collared shirt: Ordinary? Yes, but also incredibly necessary. For the outfit that only goes with certain colors, for the neutral suit for the stodgy business meeting or topping the comfortable jeans, the white collared shirt is the most in-demand item in a well-dressed woman’s closet. It is the solution when all else has failed her and it never goes out of style. Find a shirt in a crisp cotton and do not let the laundry spare the starch. The most versatile of the white collared shirt will have long sleeves, button up the front, have a medium sized collar and tuck in smoothly and neatly to any slacks or skirts.
5. The straight skirt: As wonderful as the pantsuit is, there will be days when a skirt is de rigueur. A straight skirt of a medium length is flattering on nearly every body type. The skirt should be fitted, without being tight and should hang straight past the curves of the hips, skimming over the thighs. The skirt’s fabric should be heavy enough to prevent clinging or display of unattractive lines, bumps or bulges. Select a skirt that zips closed and avoid elastic which may gather unattractively, pleats which may emphasize heaviness and buttons which may gap. A neutral color that can be topped with the jacket from the pantsuit will provide umpteen opportunities for mixing and matching.
6. The twinset: A sweater twinset is a cardigan sweater with a matching sleeveless sweater or shell. This casually elegant attire is a perennial and looks in place nearly anywhere. Wear the twinset with the pantsuit for business or the straight skirt for lunches out. The twinset is perfect for creating a finished outfit without the formality of a jacket or suit. Top it with pearls for a look that even a mother-in-law would love.
7. Comfortable pants: Whether jeans or chinos are the pants of choice, every woman must own at least one pair of comfortable pants. Confident that they allow her to move, do not make her bottom look too big and will let her engage in active pursuits, the comfortable pants are like a salve on a burn. They can comfort, sooth and empower the woman that they fit so well.