You overslept and you’re in a mad rush to get to work, brunch, a coffee chat with your sweet former intern who just wants to “pick your brain”—you name it. You’re fine forgoing hair and makeup, but what on earth are you going to wear? Getting dressed in a hurry is stressful, but it’s much less so if you’ve got a capsule wardrobe of go-to pieces that can be mixed and matched without too much thought. Get your hands on these 15 staples and you’re pretty much ready for anything.
THE Everything WHITE TEE
V-neck or crew, slim fit or oversize, finding the right white tee can be tricky, but it’s always worth the hunt because this casual staple hardly ever looks sloppy. We don’t have to tell you that it pairs well with your favorite jeans and also has the power to dress down a fancier skirt.
A smart NAVY BLAZER
If you think blazers are limited to the boardroom, think again. This structured topper is actually pretty versatile, as seen above. Black might read a touch more corporate, but in navy, a tailored blazer (worn with a full skirt or boyfriend jeans) says you mean business but also have a keen sense of style.
AN A-LINE MIDI SKIRT
Flattering and sophisticated, this silhouette is one that’ll get a lot of wear, especially in a neutral color. Go barelegged in the spring and summer and with tights in the winter and fall and you’ve got a no-fail alternative to a dress that’s easy and always looks put together.
DARK WASH FLARED JEANS
Pants that let us fake mile-long legs? Sign us up. Flares might be reminiscent of the '70s, but when styled properly, they look thoroughly modern and ultra-flattering. Look for a darker wash that’s even more slimming and wear them with everything from wedges in the summer to heeled boots when the temps drop.
A WHITE oversize BUTTON-DOWN
How cool does this girl look? A slightly loose button-down is relaxed, comfortable and super chic, with a borrowed-from-the-boys effect. Scrunch up the sleeves and undo the top few buttons to keep it from looking too stuffy.
A CLASSIC, elegant TRENCH COAT
A polished addition to any outfit, the trench never goes out of style. It also works with pretty much any type of personal style. Think: Audrey Hepburn strolling along the Seine or Kate Moss in the ‘90s with nothing underneath.
Cropped BLACK Trousers
These babies can take you from work to the weekend, but it all depends on how you style them. Also, keep the fit in mind: You want them to be fitted but not overly tight, and cropped just above the ankle.
A SILKY CAMISOLE
Whether peeking out from beneath a blazer or worn on its own, a silky camisole can read sweet (tucked into that A-line midi skirt), sexy (tucked into a curve-hugging pencil skirt) or cool (with loose, relaxed trousers).
A GOOD OLd DENIM JACKET
Contrary to what you might think, a jean jacket is a year-round staple. Draped over your shoulders with a breezy summer dress or layered under heavier coats when it’s colder, it’s both relaxed and utilitarian.
A NOn-STUFFY PENCIL SKIRT
OK, bear with us. We’re not saying you have to wear yours in a vibrant shade of cornflower blue and top it with a rainbow striped sweater (though it’s a terrific option), but a pencil skirt in a bold print or a shocking color is a great way to stay appropriate without looking boring.
A STRIPED long-sleeve SHIRT
There’s a reason there are so many articles written about how to dress like a French girl: These ladies are eternally chic. The easiest way to copy their effortless style? Snag a horizontal-striped shirt. It’s a trés cool way to spice up your weekend jeans and T-shirt uniform.
WHITE PANTS (NOt just for summer)
We’ve never been one to follow fashion rules, especially the whole “don’t wear white after Labor Day” thing. Which explains why we love a cropped white flare that’s a little dressier and really rather versatile. Trust us when we say it looks extremely chic with a gray cashmere sweater.
A LITTLE BLACK DRESS (Of course!)
Have you ever gotten a last-minute dinner or drinks invitation and had no time to plan your outfit? That’s where the LBD comes into play. A total workhorse, this should be a dress you can comfortably wear a bunch of different ways for a bunch of different occasions. On its own, the LBD is fairly plain and simple, so you can also get a lot of wear out of it without anyone noticing.
A SHOWSTOPPING DRESS FOR SPECIAL OCCASSIONS
Sure, you won't be able to wear this little number as frequently as you do your trusty LBD, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be in your closet. Always have something flat-out fantastic on hand, just in case.
A BASIC SWEATER TO THROW OVER ANYTHING
Think of this as the cool-weather alternative to your plain white tee. Pair with jeans for an easy instant outfit or tuck it into that A-line skirt. It's perfect for layering because it does the trick in chilly offices and on deceptively breezy nights on the town.