It was kind of hard to narrow this list down because I feel like I have so many different pieces that I love in my wardrobe. However, I tried to keep it to my staples of every day wear - and I will do a later post on must have trend pieces to complete your closet. So for me, these are my staple pieces that I will always gravitate towards when just throwing something quick and simple on - pieces I wear the most in my closet! (for summer that is, and in no particular order)
1) Denim Jacket
I absolutely love my denim jacket! Mine is from Forever 21 and it is a darker denim than this one. You think skinny jeans go with everything? Try a denim jacket. It looks great with so much: over a floral dress, with jean shorts and a white top, with striped tees... the list could go on and on. I'd say it is essential to buy this long lasting and timeless piece.
Here I show this Steve Madden Stecy heeled sandal in a rose gold color, but the pair I have is in a matte nude leather. It is honestly the most comfortable heel I have in my closet (either that or its a tie between these and my Charles David pumps). The thing I like about this pair is it is fitted close to your foot. I have a similar pair of Jeffrey Campbell's... but the ankle strap and toe strap is loose from your foot making it difficult to walk in. I do not have that problem with these. They are a good height that is still sexy and young, but you feel confident and secure walking in them. They are a go to that match with everything! skinny jeans to a cocktail dress. Often times people gravitate towards a black round toe pump or something as their neutral heel for say a night out. BUT I would prefer the nude sandal any day. It elongates the leg more and takes any distraction away from your feet and leaves the focus to whatever clothes you are wearing.
3) White Top
A lot of people say their whole closet is black. I on the other hand have a closet full of white. To me, a plain white top or t-shirt is always a good buy, as I know I will get my money's worth no matter what. A good white top is chic, effortless, and fresh. I pair mine with basic skinny jeans, jean shorts, floral print shorts... whatever. It can be dressed up or down. It is definitely my Number 1 go to in my closet. Especially if you have tan skin, white really pops and compliments your skin tone.
I have definitely built up my cross body bag collection more than my large purse collection. For me, they are an easy throw on bag that is light weight and fits the essential phone, wallet, keys, and lip balm. They are sleeker and tend to go better with most outfits. Because they are usually much cheaper than satchels, totes, and the like... they are easier to spend the money on a wide array of colors, patterns, and textures. I pretty much have a wide array of these things and can usually find one in my closet that matches whatever outfit I'm wearing. I love this Rebecca Minkoff fringe cross body because it is a neutral color (so it will match with practically everything) and it is fringe (which is fun and adds a bit of excitement to every outfit). One of my absolute favorite cross body bags is my baby pink fluffy/furry one from Nasty Gal. It is SO fun!! It makes me so happy when it works with an edgy look or even a chic simple look because it adds just the right amount of trend and fun to a look. I also have a muted gold color one that serves as a neutral go to for most looks. It is good to a have a simple one as well.
Probably this time last year I went on a printed shorts spree. I bought so many different pairs because they were EVERYWHERE and they were usually pretty cheap. I just bought another pair the other day as well. I love them because they're laid back and casual but still fun and cute, so you can look put together and stylish without looking like a bum (although you can feel as comfortable as one!). I throw them on with a white top and sandals, maybe a denim jacket over it and call it a day.
This is another thing I can't tell you how many I have of. I absolutely love my long and short gold layering necklaces. Whether you find a single attached layered necklace or you have two or three separate ones you can pair together... they are the most simple an chic accessory. If you are not a big jewelry person, I suggest just buying these. They will match the most with anything in your closet and are so simple you don't have to worry about if you're doing too much. I love to add a little something to my plain white tops with these delicate accessories.
I love a good hat... I believe I have 4 flat rim fedoras now? I have a black, blue, brown, and tan color. They're all pretty much neutral which is essential because if you're going to buy a hat it might as well go with most things in your closet. The blue is a little pop of color which is fun! But after all navy is a neutral these days (even though its more of a cobalt navy than a black navy haha). ANYWAYS, I love a good hat. It adds a chic, stylish, and fashionable element to your look whether you're wearing a sun dress or just jeans and a t-shirt. They look great with long wavy hair (quick style tip for ya) and are always a good way to cover up some greasy/bed head roots.
8) Graphic Tee
Did I mention this post was about essentials? Yet again another piece that I have multiple of in my closet - in fact its more like a whole category or stack of these tees in my closet. I have a couple from Project Social T which I love because they are really soft and have cute sayings like "PEACE, LOVE, SHOPPING" and "SHOES speak louder than words" (although be careful wearing a jacket with this one as people tend to think it says "HOE" lol). Graphic worded tees are a fun variation of the basic white top. They're an easy throw on that is chic and simple but still leaves you looking like you have a fashion sense, and a sense of humor and fun. I love mine thrown on under a plaid button down and leather jacket or with jean shorts and gladiator sandals.
9) Gold Bangles
I'm in love with simple gold bangles. I like to throw on just two or three (sometimes more) to add a little something to an outfit that calls for jewelry but not too much of it. I don't know about you but the feeling of having bangles clank around on my wrist always made me feel so good and weirdly feminine haha. Anyone get me? maybe not, idk. BUT I also love sliding them up my forearm where they stick and act as a sleek thin little arm cuff which I think is super sleek and chic. I would absolutely LOVE to have one of those Cartier love bracelets, if they weren't like $6,000 haha but I think I'm going to settle for a $50 knock off at Rose & Sage boutique soon. ;)
10) Flat Sandals
Every summer I seem to buy a new pair of sandals that I end up wearing until they fall apart. Living in so-cal, sandals are my all time go to shoe that I wear year round. (Sometimes I wish I had more flat closed toe shoes for the colder days but ballet flats are the devil's shoes when it comes to comfort) I have a couple pairs of Sam Edelman sandals and he does a good job of making fun styles that might have a pop of color or stones/jewels but still pair well with your closet. Also, I love the sole of his sandals, it's that like alligator skin type textured leather but there's a little padding to them which makes them comfortable.
11) Floral Dress
I love love love a floral dress. I love how they're simple and easy to throw on, and make you feel feminine and flirty. I like to pair mine with my denim jacket, gladiator (or Sam Edelman) sandals, and some simple jewelry. The one I posted here I like because it can be dressed up or down. You could maybe wear it to dinner with some fun strappy lace up heels and a leather jacket.
I'm in love with the pair I finally bought. I like them because I throw them on with a white tee, sandals, and fun cross body and I instantly look cool and laid back but chic and in an effortless way. I've also dressed them up with my Steve Madden heeled sandals and my sleeveless trench coat. They're also a really comfortable and more interesting alternative to your basic skinny jeans.
And that is the end of my list! If you couldn't tell... I wear these pieces together ALL the time. Clearly that's why they're my essentials, because I'm always pairing them together and going to them first when trying to pick out something to wear. There are those days where you feel like doing something exciting and different, and more stand-out-ish. But these are my pieces for those days where I just want to be simple and comfortable but still look stylish and chic.