"In the this current economy and with the holidays right around the corner, shopping for yourself may be the furthest thing on your to-do list. So while you are contemplating how to store your money until the next financial boom, consider investing in those pieces that your wardrobe has been lacking that can last you until that boom, at which time you can splurge on some specialties."
Rachel went on to tell us, "I’m going to assist you in finally filling those holes in your wardrobe. These basics are clothes that will live forever in your wardrobe and provide the glue that holds every outfit together."
Top Ten Wardrobe Basics for Fall/Winter 2008
by Rachel Yeomans
1. Long-sleeved T shirts
It may be getting colder, but when you go from cold to indoor heating, you may appreciate the option of layers. A thin long-sleeved shirt can take you far for wearing under a blazer, a short-sleeved shirt for a casual look, or even by itself with a scarf as an accent piece. Also — think length. We are beyond the trend and age (and season) for baring the midriff. You can tuck these in and wear with a belt, or leave them out for a scrunched casual look to elongate a sweater that might be worn over it.
The camisole is the ultimate layer piece. In every season, they always serve a purpose. Camis can provide a pop of color to accent your basic black cardigan, but make sure you have your basics covered before reaching outside your "Basic Budget".
Mind you I when I say turtlenecks, I mean tops and not sweaters. Those turtleneck sweaters are fantastic to have, but they don’t have the ability to be used in the same amount of ways as a turtleneck top. Thin and lighter cotton turtlenecks can be layered under blazers and sweater wraps or worn with a camisole under it for some dimension. Again, think longer length. That way if there is any shrinkage, you’re covered.
4. Chunky sweaters
In regards to those pieces that are ideal for being worn OVER clothing, look no further than the chunky sweater. I love the long two-to three-button collared sweaters, but there’s also the chunky turtleneck knits. This is going to be your most visible piece so make sure it makes the statement you are looking for: casual, elegant or streamlined. Also, make sure it’s comfortable—the last thing you want is to have red irritated itchy skin from a supposed closet staple.
I admit I used to be extremely anti-legging based on the mentality of, "I am not 12", however I stand here corrected. The thick leggings worn with a long chunky sweater (yes you can mix your basics) and boots is a very Northern Exposure chic look you can sport this whole fall.
The trouser pant is what pulls together a great professional look. For the fall, look for light wool or gabardine, seamed down the middle or straight wide-legged. And avoid high-sewn side pockets; no matter your size, they just make your hips pop in ways you don’t want them to.
7. Trouser jeans
I own at least three pairs of skinny jeans and barely wear anything else. However, you can’t really go from work to social with skinny jeans — unless you work in an extremely casual environment. So when I discovered the trouser jean, I not only found the ideal professional working solution, but I was able to transition the work look of tucked in white blouse, trouser jean, boots and belt into my happy hour look of a wrap sweater over the blouse with pointy-toe pumps, and I was ready to go!
8. Wrap cardigan
I just mentioned the wrap cardigan — I think every woman should have at least one of these in her wardrobe. Not only is it amazingly warm and can be worn over a dress or jeans, but it can be worn in at least five different ways! You can choose from either the sweater-like look for the "perfect warm-up on the airplane but I still look fabulous" option; or you can choose the thinner silk alternative perfect for providing both warmth and class to your little black dress.
9. Knee-length coat
Coats are difficult to invest in because you want one long enough to block the wind, but you also don’t want to look like you’re wearing a coat and just tights. I like the slightly longer than pea coat option – 3/4 length – because it provides a happy medium to both. And remember, coats are worn for warmth. That doesn’t mean you should skimp on fashion, but make sure the materials your fashionable piece is comprised of is either wool or down and is lined. Cashmere may be fabulous but sorry ladies, it just isn’t warm enough for the Windy City.
10. Appropriate little black dress
Yes, accent on the word "appropriate". You may have five little black dresses in your closet that are ideal for the cocktail party, but think about how easy your daily outfit search in your closet would be if you had the basic black number that goes with EVERYTHING. And if the trouser jeans can be translated from day to evening, well the black dress invented transition.
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