Well it's finally time for the last post in my wardrobe staples series, and this one is about the most important component of all - clothing!  I was out for a walk the other day with Pecan and the thought hit me that planning an outfit is a lot like painting your nails (clearly I have deep thoughts while enjoying nature).  Your clothes are the base coat.  Without them, making an outfit is impossible, just like it's never a good idea to start a manicure without that first step of a base coat.  Your shoes and accessories are like the color you pick to paint your nails.  You can either add pops of color, or keep it neutral.  And finally, jewelry is like your top coat.  Nothing makes your manicure shine like a great topcoat, and no outfit is complete without your sparkly baubles.  Just as the majority of my other wardrobe staples, I've picked out a lot of neutrals that get you the most bang for your buck in terms of number of times worn.  Before buying a pricier item, I always ask myself how many times will I actually wear this?  If the answer is a lot, then I know I'll have a low price per wear cost and it will be a good investment for years to come.  Now that you've listened to my crazy analogy and shopping logic, let's get onto the clothing wardrobe staples!

Black Dress // For me, a great black dress is my go-to when I don't know what the attire is for something.  It will take you from the office, to church, to weddings and is necessary for unexpected things like funerals.  Mine is sleeveless like the one I linked, but here's a short sleeve option and a beautiful three-quarter sleeve one if you prefer sleeves.

Flirty Dress //  By flirty, I mean something that's a little more fun and less structured than something you would wear in a business setting.  I love either a bright color or floral print, but if those aren't your thing, this flowy neutral option is gorgeous as well.  Look for a dress that highlights the feature you love best about yourself and you'll always feel like a smoke show when wearing it!

Denim Jacket //  I know what you're thinking. Kathryn, I owned one of these when I was like 10.  About a year ago I would have agreed with you, but lately I've been loving to throw one over a dress, tank, or any casual outfit when I know there's a chance I'll get cold at some point, or when I just want to cover my shoulders.  Definitely check out thrift or vintage shops if you're looking to find a deal on one, or check out this Madewell one, or this find from Nordstrom.

Black Bikini //  A classic black bikini will never go out of style.  It may be fun to have a print, color or cut thats on trend, but there will definitely be something crazier in stores the next summer season.  The scalloped one I linked above is a little more trendy, this triangle top two-piece is even more classic, and if you hate tan lines, this bandeau  is a great option for you.

Black Leggings // Whoever says leggings are not pants is wrong, and I can prove it because they're listed under the "pants section" at J.Crew.  The option I linked above are my all time favorite.  They're a little thicker than your standard cotton legging and have a great zipper detail on the back!  These Vince Camuto ones from Nordstrom are a lighter, cotton option, and these have a cute zipper detail at the ankle.

V-Neck Tee //  I don't know how anyone gets by without a great v-neck tee.  The one I linked is still my all time favorite and most of the colors are on sale right now, so it would be a great time to stock up!  I just found these Leith tees and while a bit pricier, they're longer in the back and super soft!  Free People also has a great option!

Striped Tee //  Behind v-neck tees, the next item I have the most of in my closet is the striped tee.  This one from Saint James has been on my wish list for a while, and if you're looking for something a little less classic, this one from Caslon has a fun mix of stripes.

Button Down Oxford //  This is one of those wardrobe staples you can take from work to weekend.  Pair it with dress pants during the week, and jeans on the weekends.  Ralph Lauren makes a wonderful button down, and this one from Vineyard Vines caught my eye.  A piece of advice for oxfords is to stick to a classic color like light blue, white, or even a pale pink.

Silk Camisole //  You can definitely rock these by themselves in the summer, or you can layer it under a blazer or jacket in an office or when the temps start to cool off.  These are a great staple for someone who is in an office everyday because they usually come in a ton of colors, like this one.  If you love scallops like me, this one is perfect.

Cashmere Sweater //  I absolutely cannot wait to wear these this fall.  In Texas, I just couldn't bring myself to buy cashmere because let's face it, I could be wearing one in January and start sweating outside.  But now that we live somewhere that actually has cold weather, I invested in some great options from the NSale like the one I linked above.  This Halogen one from Nordstrom has a fun zipper detail, and this option from J.Crew is a little more classic.

Dark Skinny Denim //  I read an article the other day saying that boot-cut denim was coming back and that skinny denim would slowly fade out.  I really don't foresee this happening anytime soon, so I'm leaving skinny denim on my list of wardrobe staples.  This pair from Gap is a great distressed option, and they're really good quality for the price you pay.

White Denim // Gone are the days where you couldn't wear white after labor day.  A great pair of white denim will take you through all the seasons, and honestly, why would you want to put away something that is so versatile?  Madewell makes a great pair of jeans, and when you go in store, they'll help you find the fit that's right for you.  I've been lusting after this pair from Lilly Pulitzer for quite some time now because I've heard nothing but positive reviews about them.

Pencil Skirt // Another wear-to-work staple.  Let's be real, it's not always fun to wear pants when its a million degrees outside, so a pencil skirt is a great option for the summer months.  Throw on some tights underneath and you can also wear it when the temperature starts dropping.  This one from Halogen has nice detailing with seams, and this one from Target is a steal!

Black Dress Pants //  Some may argue that black dress pants are just too similar to black leggings, but when you work in an office environment, it's probably not best to wear leggings to work every day.  If you can get away with it, count your lucky stars, but if not this option is made of wool and will be a little warmer, and this option from target is great if you're on a budget.  I would focus on a slimmer cut pant (at the ankles) and not a skinny pant.  Skinny pants will be too similar to leggings, but a slim cut will give you a little more room, yet still be more on trend that a boot cut.

Blazer // Blazers aren't just for business anymore.  Throw one over a camisole or one of your favorite tees and pair it with a great pair of jeans and you've got yourself an outfit.  This option from Target is less pricey than the other options, and still pretty good quality. Actually, Target's business line is all pretty good quality from my experience.  I wore their pants and a blazer throughout college before I was ready to invest in higher quality pieces.  Madewell's blazer  is a more relaxed fit and great if you know your primary use will not be for business.

Trench or Overcoat // This one definitely depends on where you live.  Ask me a few months ago, and I would have told you that I'm jealous of the girls who get to wear all the pretty coats, but now I'm stalking L.L. Bean to find out when the warmest down jacket they make will be in stock.  It's going to be a rough winter for this Texas native.  I honestly forgot about London Fog, but they make a great quality jacket (I was obsessed with one I had when I was little).  I would buy this gorgeous jacket in a heartbeat if I didn't already have my Barbour for fall.

Chambray Shirt //  You didn't think I would leave my favorite off this list did you?  In case you just started reading my blog, check out my love of chambray here and here.  If you're looking for a really structured shirt, this option is great, and if you're looking for a looser fit, this one is for you.

Remember, most of these pieces are going to be investment pieces just like the rest of the wardrobe staples series.  I included some items at lower price points, which are great if you're just starting school, a new job, or whatever life adventure you're on, but I cannot emphasize the importance of investing when you can.  As long as you pick a classic, timeless shape, these clothes really can last you a lifetime!  So, what are your wardrobe staples?


P.S. Be sure to check out the other posts in this series, herehere, and here!