There are some clothing items in this world that I can’t imagine being without. Items I rely on, that always seem to work no matter what the situation you are dressing for or how you’re feeling. If you are having a ‘what do I wear?!’ episode, they are items that can be thrown together, and always work.

Working in fashion as a personal shopper and stylist, you see so many clothes every day. This is utterly thrilling; however sometimes there is something to be said for an understated, classic outfit. With ten essential items in your wardrobe you will always have a solid base to build your outfits around.

In no particular order, the hero pieces every woman should own are the following:

1 – Black/Navy Blue Blazer

A smart, well cut blazer can be paired with jeans, smart trousers, skirts and dresses. In the past I would have always said go for black, however I think navy is more versatile as you can wear it over summer dresses, whereas black is normally too harsh for this. A slightly fitted shape rather than boyfriend is a bit more versatile.

It doesn’t have to cost the earth, but if you can afford to invest it will be worth it.

Navy blazer left: H&M, right: The Kooples


2 – A Great Pair of Jeans

A great pair of dark wash flattering jeans can take you from daytime to evening, casual to dressed up. My personal preference is a skinny cut, however bootcut or flare are flattering as well if you want to balance out wider hips. Remember the golden rule: The higher the pockets, the MORE pert your bottom will look. And darker is ALWAYS more flattering!

Left: Topshop Jamie Blue Black Jean, right: Whistles Matilda Skinny Jeans


3 – White T-shirt

A white t-shirt will go with everything and will always look cool. Topshop and Gap do great ones and are a really reasonable price. Pair with a soft leather pencil skirt and statement necklace (my favourite go to outfit). Extra points for silky as well.

Below: Essential crew neck t-shirt: GAP

Gap white t-shirt

4 – A leather Jacket

Every woman should own a leather jacket, to be slung over everything from dresses and skirts, to jeans and a t-shirt. They always look amazing, but be sure to get the best quality you can afford. It will get better with age, instead of falling apart like PU leather tends to do.

 Left: Zara


5 – Breton Stripe Top

A stripey t-shirt will go with anything! Go for a long sleeved one, push the sleeves up and wear with a silk scarf slung around your shoulders for a bit of Parisian chic, or pair with a smart black pencil skirt for office appropriate wear. Wear with jeans, leather leggings, the options are endless…

Left: The Breton Shirt Company  Right: Boden

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6 – A Trench Coat

A smart trench coat is one of the best coat investments you can make. They look amazing over ANYTHING – skirts, dresses, smart trousers, jeans, belted, undone – they are one of the hardest wearing pieces a woman can own. Buy quality and make sure it’s water resistant!

Warehouse and Gap are good for mid range. Burberry are the perennial trench coat go-to if you’ve got a bigger budget! One day maybe…(swoon)


7 – A great pair of court shoes (Nude or Black preferably)

Plain nude or black court shoes will look go with most outfits. Pointy or round toe, high or mid heel, patent or not, it doesn’t really matter as long as they are comfortable and in nice condition. Invest and cost per wear, they will be worth it. Kurt Geiger are great, as are Clarks and Marks & Spencer for comfort but also very reasonable prices.

Black Suede Court shoes – Kurt Geiger

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Nude patent court shoes – Clarks 


8 – A Little Black dress/Little PLAIN dress

A ‘go-to’ in most woman’s wardrobes, a little black dress will be a staple that you can wear on many different occasions. As a little modern twist, however, you can go for any dress which is a classic shape/cut but in a plain colour. A plain dress in a blue, red, black, emerald green etc can be worn with lots of other pieces, accessories and shoes to be transformed into numerous different outfits. Mine? A bright red dress I ALWAYS feel amazing in.

Left: Emerald green crepe shift dress – Warehouse, Right: Black cap sleeved dress – French Connection



9 – A plain vest top (preferably silky)

A vest top in a plain colour will be another one of those items that goes with everything. Silky is my material go-to, with loads of amazing versions available. They look great with jeans or tucked into skirts with a fitted black blazer they become office appropriate as well.


10 – A Black (Pencil) skirt

The well fitting black skirt will go with so much, for example the white t-shirt and leather jacket, the trench coat, the possibilities are endless.

Thank you to our guest contributor:  Sarah of Wardrobe Therapy

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