closet must-haves!

Trends change, styles change, people change...fashion is an ever-evolving world that wants you to buy these one week and these the next week. What items are you allowed to keep forever? Here is a guide to answer just that (and you can thank Brooke for it!).

While I'm a minimalist when it comes to absolute necessities, interpretation is always adaptable. You can wear these must-haves any way you want and be creative with what you have; that is the beauty of STYLE.

the white button-up shirt
1. As often as you hear that a "white button-up" is a necessity, I'm all for any style of blouse in this crisp, neutral hue. It matches with literally anything and brightens up all outfits, taking them from potentially drab to instantly chic. Tuck them in, let them hang, wrap a belt over them--they're all versatile, all the time.
Splendid, Patterson J. Kincaid, Sanctuary

the little black dress
2. Some people argue that the LBD (little black dress) is essential. As versatile as it is, I'd just go ahead and say that at least one general dress is essential. I suggest any neutral color, such as a blush, grey, or black.
Modcloth
jeans made for you
3. Here is a great guide + video by Stacy London to help with shopping for your perfect style of jeans. Well-fitting jeans will take you gazillions of miles. I always wear skinnies to tuck into boots, and that has been my go-to cut for years. I strongly believe that a pair of Levi's will do you good because I live in my 535 legging jeans, and they have a style for everyone.

flat, a heel, a boot
4. You can get away with flats, heels, and a boot and call your shoe collection complete. I like flats with a little texture or pattern for some visual interest.  Flats are a comfy, daily go-to that give a potentially bland outfit some polish. While I'm still learning how to walk in heels, I think every closet deserves at least a pair for special occasions (going out, wedding, job interview, etc.). Boots take you through all kinds of weather, so make sure you get a sturdy + neutral pair that will be easy to switch between outfits.
Steve Madden
the versatile jacket
5. And the other everyone-says-you-need-this piece...the blazer. Well, guess what! You don't need a blazer! You just need a nice, smart jacket. It can be a blazer or a bomber, it can be leather, denim, or wool...it just needs to be easy to layer and easy to dress up.

Topshop

As your 2011 shopping starts, I can't stress enough how important it is to think through purchases before you hand over your credit card. I've wasted so much money on pieces I thought I loved and got tired of a month later. The numbers? I probably could have saved close to $500 in the past year if I had given purchases I made more consideration.

This compilation isn't trendy (i.e. maxis, capes, animal prints) or seasonal (i.e. sandals, shorts, parkas, snowboots) but I think it's a pretty good list to have while thinking through what you need and what you want. We'd all like to be Lauren Conrad and have a whole department store in our closet, but that isn't the reality for me or many of you.

I hope this was a step in the right direction, Brooke! Part two may or may not be on its way sometime soon...