A wardrobe is built on a foundation of basic pieces. When your closet is filled with the right basics it simplifies your style and your morning routine. Imagine never worrying about confronting a closet-full-of-nothing-to-wear ever again.
In this feature we’ll discuss pieces that bring style and ease to the task of dressing for daily life. “Wardrobe Essentials” will cover the basic wardrobe elements–blouses, skirts, blazers, etc.–and be updated every few months with new pieces in a variety of price points (as well as petite, tall, and plus sizes). Think of these posts as a guide for figuring out which items of clothing should form the core of your closet.
The six blouses above are the styles that I find to be the most versatile and the most work appropriate. I have at least one of each of these in my closet right now. If your personal preferences run to another style, swap that one in for the blouse you like the least. But I’ve chosen these six because they’re the styles that I think flatter the majority of body types.
Silk Tees. This tee is from the indy brand Cuyana, whose slogan is “fewer, better.” As a result, their silk tees come in a fairly substantial 3-ply weight. The lighter colors will be just slightly sheer, the darker colors will be completely opaque. I own two of these, and they’re the thickest real silk tees I’ve found.
For something under-$100, Brooks Brother silk, scoopneck blouses are currently on discount. This Pleione drape neck tee and this Gibson ruffle sleeve tee are also worth a look. Vince Camuto also makes a similar top in a variety of colors every season.
Tie Necklines. I love the look of a tie neck under a suit jacket. I never tie the ends into a bow, just a simple knot like above. I also love the softness that a tie neck blouse gives when layered under a v-neck sweater.
Bold Prints. It’s not secret that I love animal print. So when I saw this Boden blouse in the navy and black leopard, I had to have it. A blouse with a bold print breathes life into simple pieces or brightens your mood on a dreary day.
This brushstroke print blouse from Talbot’s is a more subtle option than the leopard. I also like this abstract floral print from NYDJ. This geometric print blouse from Preston & York is also worth a look.
Button Ups. These flowy placket blouses are flattering on every body type. They look great tucked in or untucked, and can be worn casually or to work. Just remember, that when you wear a voluminous blouse on top, you need a slimmer, sleeker piece, like a pencil skirt, on the bottom.
Layering Tanks. When I buy a tank to wear under blazers or sweaters, I prefer a wider strap. Those flimsy spaghetti straps are not for me. I don’t like when my bra straps show. It’s not because I think it’s inappropriately sexual, it’s because I think it looks sloppy. So a little extra fabric conceals that.
Wrap Fronts. A wrap front blouse is my go-to top for post-vacation, been-eating-for-a-week wear. It conceals, it slims, and it looks effortlessly stylish. But same rules apply as with a placket blouse, keep your separates slim when wearing this voluminous blouse on top.
*original image found here.