Must Have Pieces:
As busy moms we don’t have the time to stand in front of our closet everyday pulling random items, hoping that something will go together. We need to have practical working wardrobes that make our lives easier, and flow from one piece to the next.
Why is it so hard to find the perfect outfit some mornings? In my opinion, a lot of us have the fancy cupcake problem; too much frosting, not enough cake. Not sure what I’m talking about…how many special occasion pieces, or once-in-a-lifetime outfits do you have hanging in your closet right now? You can’t build a working wardrobe out of cocktail dresses and statement shoes (at least not in the real world).
Earlier this year I wrote about the importance of purging your clothes regularly here , once you’ve done that, you can assess what you have and purchase what you need – not what you want. Below I’ve listed the 10 basic building blocks that I think every woman should have in her closet. When you start collecting your basics, stick to a neutral base palette, something like black and charcoal, tan and chocolate, or navy and cobalt. While it’s important that you stay fairly neutral with your investment pieces, I like to build wardrobes basics around two neutral colours that blend well together; it much more flattering than one-tone outfits.
Closet Must Haves:
1. The Perfect Pair of Jeans:
Go with a dark wash in a straight leg or slightly boot-cut; they are always in style, and can be dressed up easily. When you find the perfect pair of jeans, get two. Have one hemmed to wear with flats and the other to wear with heels, trust me, you’ll thank me later.
2. A Bra That Fits:
Good innerwear is the base for your whole outfit. There is no point in investing in clothes if you haven’t fit the girls properly. And please ladies; ditch the breast feeding bra if your baby is weaned!
3. Tee Shirt:
A good tee shirt is totally worth the splurge. Get something that isn’t sheer or slouchy, and is long enough to keep you covered if you reach up. Good quality, well fitted tee shirts are also tough to find at a good price, so you should stock up whenever you find them on sale.
4. A Fitted Jacket
When choosing a fitted jacket – consider your lifestyle. I no longer own any fitted “corporate” blazers because they don’t make any sense in my day to day life. On the other hand, I own three denim blazers in different washes and fits. There’s no right or wrong in the type of jacket, as long as its fitted, has good structure, and goes well with the vibe of the rest of your wardrobe.
5. Figure Flattering Pants
Pick any pair of pants that you love; as long as they fit like a glove (no muffin-top), and you feel great in them. That might be chinos, cigarette pants, khaki’s or even dry clean only silk (yeah right). Once again the idea here is to fit your lifestyle. I don’t wear my black dress pants to the playground, but they are on every must-have list I’ve ever seen. My only rule with pants; they should work well with the fitted jacket that you chose.
6. Jersey Wrap Dress
The iconic wrap dress originally made famous by Diane Von Furstenburg is a Mom’s best friend, especially when it’s made in a jersey or stretch material. Perfect for a coffee date with girlfriends or easily dressed up for date night. You can’t go wrong!
Another splurge-worthy piece; a quality cardigan is a definite work horse in your capsule wardrobe. Depending on your budget I would highly recommend choosing cashmere if possible. Keep your eye on the big department stores; they have 50% off of cashmere a few times a year.
8. A Button-Up Shirt
Most wardrobe must have lists suggests a white button up; that’s just not practical for Moms. Stay in your neutral colour palette but feel free to pick something with a self-print or tone on tone pattern.
9. A Flattering Skirt
My personal favourite skirt is a pencil skirt. It sounds crazy but if it’s well fitted and hemmed to the right length this style suits everyone. That being said, you might want to go for an A-line or even a maxi skirt if that works best for you.
I suggest buying your skirt in a slightly different shade than your pants (but still in the same family), to add some variety to your wardrobe. If you don’t wear skirts at all for religious or cultural reasons or you just aren’t comfortable in them. I would buy an extra pair of pants and have them hemmed to wear with all of the hot shoes you’ve been hoarding in your closet.
10. A Beautiful Piece of Outerwear
Nothing kills a really great outfit like an outdated or ill-fitting coat. If you are a Mom with school-aged kids you are probably going to be spending a lot of time on the playground waiting for that bell to ring, or on the sidelines at soccer games – you might as well look good at the same time! For me it’s all about classics; pea coats, trenches, and colourful rain coats are my go-to outerwear.