Whether you’re making use of holiday gift cards or getting a head start on spring cleaning, it’s never a bad time to clean out, organize, and revamp your wardrobe. I’ve put together a list of both casual and formal closet essentials. Most of these (like jeans or a nice handbag) are the pieces you can splurge on. Regardless of your own personal style, these crucial items act as a foundation for any fashionista’s wardrobe.



White tee – Everyone needs a plain white tee. Enough said.

Collared blouse – Either alone or under a sweater, this is a slightly fancier version of the white tee and can add a level of interest to a regular outfit. Here I chose a bit of a more glam top, but you can get one plain or with studs or lace, depending on your style.

T-shirt dress – This comfortable, easy, yet stylish piece can easily be dressed up or down for any occasion.

Staple jacket – Whether a jean, leather, or furry jacket, everyone needs their go-to extra layer.

Sweater – For those colder days, a basic sweater.

Crop top – The crop top isn’t for everyone, but I felt it necessary to add to the list. This piece can be worn on so many occasions in so many ways, either with high-waisted jeans, skirts, shorts, or as a layering piece, etc.

Jeans – Just like the white tee, everyone must own a nice pair of jeans that fit just right.

Shorts – Denim shorts are a must for hot days by the pool and picnics in the park.

Boots – I love boots. If I could wear them everyday, I would. They go with basically everything and add a level of sophistication to any outfit.

Sneakers – Unfortunately, boots are not always the most convenient option. For days with a lot of walking, or if you’re just feeling more casual, you need some sneakers!

Sandals – Boots are also not best for 90 degree weather. For those situations, everyone should have the option to grab some sandals.

Bag – Nothing makes an outfit like a nice structured handbag. Pick something that fits all of your stuff but isn’t outrageously large and matches the bulk of your wardrobe.


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Solid top – This is your go-to top for pairing with any skirt or pants. I chose a black crop top because I don’t mind a bit of midriff. But if that’s not for you, that’s fine! Just find something versatile and flattering for you.

Statement top – For more glam-y parties, it’s always useful to have something a bit sparkly and bold!

Blouse – For more professional events, it is important to have a blouse that can be paired with nicely tailored pants.

Pencil skirt – The classic pencil skirt is probably my top formal essential. It is flattering, a bit flirty, and goes with almost anything. Recently, long calf length skirts have been in style (which is what I show here), but choose anything that is right for you.

Dress – Really, this should be multiple dresses: one more formal (like the one above) and another for your girls’ night outings (like a lbd).

Jacket – Generally, you can get away with using your staple jacket from the previous list, but on some occasions you will want something more formal or dramatic.

Heels – I don’t care what anyone says: Walking in heels is an empowering thing, and I think everyone should own a pair. What type, color, or height is completely up to you; I went with a nude sandal with a chunky heel.

Statement necklace – Without having to buy a new dress, glam up one that you already have with a statement necklace. Necklaces like the one above can turn any lacking outfit into an eye-catcher.

Bag – Usually when going out, you won’t want to lug around such a large bag. I suggest getting a smaller purse to fit your phone and wallet for formal events.


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