How to Build the Perfect Wardrobe with Seven Fashion Staples

These pieces can be tweaked to match your personal style, but there's one thing they should all have in common: A perfect fit.


  • Step 1: Invest in a little black dress Invest in what fashionistas call the LBD, or Little Black Dress: A simple, elegant sheath.
  • TIP: Try a sheath dress in navy, brown, charcoal, or red, too. Just make sure it's a solid color.
  • Step 2: Find the perfect jeans Have a go-to pair of jeans that fit well and can be dressed up or down. That means no rips, studs, or fading – just a dark pair of plain jeans.
  • Step 3: Get a crisp white shirt Own at least one crisp, white, button-down shirt. Look for fitted ones that won't bunch around your hips when you tuck them in – but won't tug at the buttons, either.
  • TIP: Unless you can afford professional laundering, avoid 100 percent cotton in favor of a no-iron fabric.
  • Step 4: Have black dress pants Buy at least one pair of black, all-season pants in a basic cut that works just as well with a sweater or jacket as it does with a shirt or blouse.
  • Step 5: Stock up on white tees Stock up on white T-shirts – crew neck and V-neck, long-sleeved and short-sleeved.
  • Step 6: Get a good skirt Get a good black skirt. A knee-length, A-line skirt is universally flattering. But if you have the figure for a pencil skirt, go for it.
  • Step 7: Buy an all-weather trench coat Buy a classic, all-weather trench coat. Don't skimp on it; a well-made one will last you a decade or more.
  • FACT: Sixty-six percent of women own at least one "little black dress."

You Will Need

  • A little black dress
  • Plain dark jeans
  • A crisp
  • white button-down shirt
  • Black dress pants
  • White T-shirts
  • A black skirt
  • A trench coat
  • Professional laundering (optional)

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