Archive for August 26th, 2008

Fashion 101: Your 10 Piece Foundation Wardrobe

We’ve gotten a lot of questions from recent college grads (and some not-so-recent college grads) about building a wardrobe from the ground up.  The situation?  You already have jeans, tees, and plenty of weekend wear.  But the foundations of a chic wardrobe?  Maybe you need some help.  You’ve come to the right place.  Here’s a 10 piece skeleton wardrobe from which to build upon:

The Business Suit
Classic Blazer and Trouser
Classic Blazer and Trouser | $198 and $98, respectively, at Banana Republic

School’s over, and you’re off to work.  Keep a pant suit or a skirt suit around for interviews - and buy multiples if your office is business formal.  

The Perfect White Button Down Shirt

Solid Kelly Shirt
Solid Kelly Shirt | $54 at J Crew

Fit is key for any garment, but it’s especially important for your foundation wardrobe.  Start your button-down shirt collection with a crisp white shirt, and then build out your shirt wardrobe with patterns and colors.

The Going Out Top
Solid Silk Elizabeth Halter
Solid Silk Elizabeth Halter | $88 at J Crew

The ideal top is a stunner that can seamlessly travel from work to cocktails.

The Knee Length Skirt
Pencil Perfect Skirt
Pencil Perfect Skirt | $69.50 at Martin + Osa

An a-line skirt is universally flattering, but feel free to choose one that works for your figure, your personality, and your lifestyle.  I personally have a collection of pencil skirts hanging in my closet.  I love the hourglass shape they create, especially since I’m shaped like a boy.

The Perfect Fit Trousers
The Perfect Trouser
The Perfect Trouser | $54.50 at Gap

How do you know that the fit is perfect?  It should be fitted but not tight at the waist, and it should drape nicely, with a slight flare from knee to foot.  Have your trousers hemmed to a length that works with leg-lengthening heels.

The Go To Evening Dress
Sleeveless Origami Knit Dress
Sleeveless Origami Knit Dress | $150 at Banana Republic

Because you never know when an emergency party situation will come up.  Keep a great evening dress in the back of your closet for spur of the moment dress up occasions.

The Go To Day Dress
European Collection Wrap Dress
European Collection Wrap Dress | $78 at Gap

Because a dress is a great alternative to jeans and a cute tee for weekends, and dresses spice up your work wardrobe.  Need some inspiration?  Try a shirtdress, a wrap dress, or a sweaterdress.

The Wear Everywhere Sweater
Tartine Cardigan
Tartine Cardigan | $88 at J Crew

Perfect for breezy mornings and cool evenings–and for times when the AC is turned up too high at work.

The Tailored Blazer
Two Button Cotton Blazer
Two Button Cotton Blazer | $104 (sale) at Martin + Osa

A simple, sophisticated look?  Pair your tailored blazer with your crisp white shirt and jeans.  Substitute a tee or polo under the tailored blazer for a younger, more playful look.

The Trenchcoat

Classic Puff Sleeve Trenchcoat
Classic Puff Sleeve Trenchcoat | $150 at Banana Republic

The trench is my go-to coat–so much so that I have a trench collection.  The trench is so versatile and yet so chic.  And it works for all of those times when a blazer isn’t just right.

What are your go-to wardrobe pieces?  Tell us, what else would you recommend to build out your foundation wardrobe?

10 comments August 26th, 2008

Issac Mizrahi Liz Gladiator Sandals

Issac Mizrahi Liz Gladiator Sandals

Bronze snakeskin sandals provide a chic foundation to any summer outfit.

$24.99  at Target.

5 comments August 26th, 2008


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