Although fast fashion has taken over society, quality pieces are more important in your closet. Investing in key staples will do more for your wardrobe than an incessant purging of cheap, trendy clothes. It’s not to say that a few “in-season” items should be banned from your shopping trips, but good quality garments should make up at least 60% of your closet. This allows for a very versatile wardrobe in which mixing and matching is at its finest. A cyclical shopping trip to H&M and Forever21 isn’t necessarily the best when transitioning your wardrobe from obvious college student budget to a full blown career woman. Determining your style that sets you apart from the norm is something that should be taken seriously. After all, your image is the first thing everyone sees and believe it or not, sets a precedence in people’s opinion of you. So when spring cleaning your closet and determining how to transition from mediocre to style maven, remember to keep these investment pieces in mind. These items will be your workhorses and despite their price, will give you the most bang for your buck. You’ll be wearing these more often than you anticipate and when you divide the price by how many times you wear it (plus a bonus of how many compliments you’ll receive), it’ll be worth more than that impulse buy from a fast fashion retail store you thought you were getting a steal from.
Think of it this way, the more you slowly invest in good quality clothing that are staples, the easier it is to avoid falling into the traps of fast fashion and the dreaded “I have nothing to wear but have a full closet” syndrome. Sometimes, we buy a lot of clothes because of their marked down sale, but none of what we purchased necessarily compliments other pieces in our wardrobe. The more staples you have, the easier it is to pair them with those trendy pieces that you bought on impulse (or planned). A perfect fitted pair of skinny or flared dark wash jeans, usually go with any color or printed top. Same goes with an impeccably tailored black blazer. Now there are several investment pieces that all Modern Alices should have, but here are the top 10 that will universally give you that base for all great outfits. (PS> There are some on the list below that are really great steals. I actually found a few pieces from great brands that currently are on sale. So although it sounds contradictory, you can have a little luck with good sale items).
1. BLACK LEATHER JACKET
There is nothing like an amazing black leather jacket to anchor an outfit and give it a little edge. You can literally pair this with jeans and t-shirt or a printed midi dress. It’s a great transitional piece and honestly can be kept in your closet all year long.
2. STRUCTURED BAG
Never mess with a woman with a great structured bag. Especially one that costed a leg and an arm. But in all seriousness, a structured bag is the ideal finishing touch to a perfectly curated outfit. It makes a statement, whether it’s understated or bold. Plus, what woman doesn’t want a great water cooler item to break the ice? Bags are a gateway to striking up a conversation and getting noticed. Trust me!
3. PERFECT PAIR OF DARK WASH JEANS
It’s not the easiest to find, but once you find the perfect pair of jeans, it’s a complete game changer. Personally, skinny dark wash jeans are a favorite, however, on other body types, a great dark wash flared or bootcut is better. Regardless of which cut you choose, dark washes are always flattering. Any pair of pants that are on the darker shade instantly give off an illusion of slimmer silhouettes along with a sophisticated upgrade.
4. CLASSIC CAMEL COAT
Whether it’s a wool coat or a Burberry trench coat in camel, this is the ultimate Modern Alice coat essential. If you could only have one coat, this is the one to invest in. Camel is such a complimentary shade of color that it really is versatile and goes with pretty much everything.
5. IMPECCABLY TAILORED BLAZER
When you are looking to make an impression, especially in the corporate world, you will need a sharp looking blazer that fits like a glove. Blazers are ubiquitous with suits and immediately elevates whatever outfit you have on. It polishes and puts it together without any hassle. You can literally throw this over trousers with a silk blouse, boyfriend jeans with a t-shirt, or a shift dress. Remember this golden rule: tailoring is the secret to making any outfit look expensive.
6. CLASSIC PUMPS
Now you cannot complete any outfit without the perfect pair of shoes. Investing in good quality pumps in nude or black or both will be the ultimate return on investment in your wardrobe. A classic three inch pointed pumps is the equivalent of the correctly sized bra. You walk a little taller and stand a little straighter. As they say, give a girl a pair of shoes and she can conquer the world. I mean look at Cinderella, all she needed was glass slippers to change her life.
7. ULTIMATE LBD
Having that one LBD to fit any and all occasion is a life savior, time savior, and ultimate ROI for any invested item in your closet. This will probably be one of many, if not the number one, piece of clothing that you will be consistently wearing for several different occasions and can create a multitude of outfits from. It’s amazing on by itself but can be spruced up with statement jewelry or dressed down for a more casual look with a jean jacket and flats. It literally is the most versatile item there is that you could possible wear.
8. WHITE BUTTON DOWN
Every woman should have at least one crisp, white button down top. It’s a great piece to go under a suit or paired with jeans while running around doing errands. This is another great investment piece that will really do work for you.
9. BLACK TROUSERS
For any woman that either owns her own business or works for a corporate company, black trousers are a must and are nonnegotiable. This is 101 corporate dressing. However, it is another versatile piece that can be transitioned to other events such as date nights by pairing it with a great fitted top and bold accessories.
10. BLACK LEATHER PENCIL SKIRT
This is another personal favorite as it just adds a little more edge to your wardrobe. Like the leather jacket, it is bold and daring but can really look sophisticated when styled appropriately. A black leather pencil skirt is a great hybrid between sexy and sophisticated.
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