To begin my New Year quest in search for the perfect wardrobe, I must purge myself of the frills and get down to the basics. This is where many people realize that their wardrobe, albeit bursting at the dresser seams, is lacking in substance. How many times have your eyes turned glassy as you stare blankly into the chaos that is your closet, only to declare that you have nothing to wear?! This is precisely the reason why every solid wardrobe needs to have the fundamental basics. This way, when all else fails, you always have something to fall back on. Think of these basics as the core bones of your wardrobe body and once the bone structure is solid is when we can start fleshing it out…and this is where the fun really begins! But before we get to that…

Here is my selection of the essential items that I will need to start my 2010 wardrobe:

(Please note that I am not creating a corporate-friendly wardrobe, my focus is on fashion…and by “fashion” I mean, anything that pleases my senses! With that said, this list of the basics will be a good starting point for anyone, upon which you can build on to suit your daily needs)


1. Boyfriend blazer (black/charcoal): this modern take on the classic blazer puts function and fashion on level playing grounds. This piece is easy to wear as it can be paired with virtually anything…add some edge to a flirty & feminine sundress, polish up a distressed pair of jeans & faded cotton tee, or wear it in lieu of a long sweater over leggings and booties for a chic look that’s comfortable too!

2. Dark wash denim jeans: invest in a nice pair of dressy denim that fits like a glove and you will wonder what you ever did without them. Opt for a classic fit (slim/straight leg or boot cut) in order to ensure that your investment lasts longer than one season, your bank account will thank you considering that a nice pair of jeans these days are not priced for the light-hearted!

3. Plain v-neck tees & tanks (black & white): these simple tops are an essential layering piece. A crisp tee can also stand alone when paired with your favorite jeans, cute flats, & some simple jewelry for that clean, no-fuss-but-always-stylish look

(think Cameron Diaz or Jennifer Anniston). Please note that I chose v-neck over crew neck as the former is much more universally flattering and v-necks have a flirty factor!

4. Ballet flats or casual kitten heels: thank goodness that there are so many adorable flats to choose from these days…longevity in heels is a rarity!

5. Long cardigan (black): the black cardi is one of those timeless items but the modern version is longer and looser which accommodates for leggings and tunics.

6. Leggings (black, full length): love it or hate it, leggings are still kicking around even after repeated predictions of its extinction…why? Simply because they are so comfortable and they pair so well with the other popular styles of today (long and loose tunics, oversized blazers, etc.) and tuck in so nicely to boots! If you want to ease away from leggings but cannot bear to do it cold-turkey, try this season’s answer to this dilemma: “jeggings” (jeans + leggings = jeggings) or there are still, of course, skinny jeans. From personal experience, I’d say the most forgiving of these three options are the leggings. Skinny jeans and jeggings are definitely not for the every-woman.

7. Scarf (any color!): a must have accessory for any and all outfits. Whether you want to be warmed and soothed by long cashmere or add a punch with a small silk Hermes, a scarf adds oomph and polish to any outfit.

8. Flat & casual boots (black/brown leather): perfect to wear over leggings/jeans for a casual but put-together look.

9. Classic trench coat (khaki/navy/red): nothing can add instant sophistication like this piece can. Burberry is the hands-down leader in this department.

10. High-waisted skirt (black): a perfect way to even out this season’s romantic ruffle tops is to tuck it into a tailored skirt. The high-waist detail makes a bigger fashion statement than the classic pencil skirt. Just because these are “basics”, it doesn’t mean they have to be conventional…fashion should inspire imagination, not remind you of your 2 o’clock conference call.

11. Pretty blouse (any soft or neutral color): a touch of femininity is a beautiful thing.

12. Heeled dressy boots (black/brown leather): these are for when your riding boots just wont cut it. A pair of dressy boots can instantly transform your day dress into an outfit that is ready for a night on the town.

13. Leather jacket (black/brown/red): add some edge to your wardrobe. Look for a fitted leather jacket (remember, leather stretches at least a size or two). For those times when your trench coat seems too “upper eastside” for the occasion, you can throw on a leather jacket over the most basic outfit in order to instantly add that “cool” factor. Don’t be afraid to pair opposites together such as a feminine lace ruffle dress with a studded motorcycle jacket~ you’ll be delighted to see how well they balance each other out!

14. Little black dress: Audrey Hepburn. Need I say more?

15. Pearl necklaces (long strands): Coco Chanel. Ditto.

16. Classic close-toe pumps (black/brown/nude): for work, play, and everything in between, these shoes will be the most worn pair in your shoe closet.


17. Black trouser/dress pants

18. Knee-length wool coat (black or beige)

19. Classic white button-up dress shirt

20. Basic accessories: midsize purse, gold/silver watch, sunglasses, assortment of hosiery

So there you have it. These 20 items will be good building blocks for fabulous style!

xoxo, Nahri.

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