When you see a list created by Anna Wintour of the 5 basic items every woman should own, you think, “Oh this should be good AND expensive$.” There really is no higher fashion authority than the The Queen of Vogue, but can she really choose five things for regular old me?
The answer is YES she can! Not only is her list of staples spot on – they allow your closet to work for you. Each item can be dressed up or down which I love. I think it is so important for clothes to do double duty. Her picks are also season-less… it makes sense to follow her recommendations in a spring/summer version as well as a fall/winter version.
Here are our specific picks for Anna’s 5 categories.
First up, a basic sweater. It should be something classic that complements your shape. As long as the silhouette is simple, it’s ok to deviate from black with a tan, navy, grey, animal print or even a pop of summer color that works with everything such as orange or raspberry.
1. Basic Sweater
Left: Jackie cardigan from J.Crew $65 Right: short sleeve crew neck from J.Crew $69 (Both sweaters available in an assortment of colors.)
2. Basic Pants or Skirt
You can’t go wrong with a simple pant or skirt that you can pair with a beautiful top or a great tee. It will take you from work to wherever with a quick shoe/accessory change. I personally love a skirt, but choose what flatters your figure best. Here we show a crop pant, a printed pencil skirt , a light weight leather skirt (yes – you can do leather in the spring & summer) and a full trouser offering a slightly dressier look.
Left to right: Avery straight fit pant from Banana Republic $98, Navy dot skirt from J.Crew $98. Navy leather skirt from J.Crew $498, Zella wide leg pant available at Nordstrom $69.
3. Basic Coat
With the ever-changing weather it’s important to have a great spring/summer topper. We love a little stretch in the fabric; it makes for easy layering as well as for easy in & out of the car.
Left: Jane Post rain trench available at Saks $395. Right:Rains Trench from J.Crew $135.
4. Shoes you really love
Heels, strappy sandals, flats, platforms—whatever you love the most—is what should be in your closet. An elevated flip flop is a must for the warm months ahead. A classic ballet flat is perfect for a long day on your feet. A beautiful sandal will finish any dressy outfit.
A platform sneaker allows you to run all your Saturday errands. Literally.
Miller patent sandal from Tori Burch $198. Chanel Ballet Flat $750. Strappy sandal from Stuart Weitzman $398. Superga Platform sneaker available through Amazon $44=$68.
5. An Incredible Piece of Jewelry
This item should be something you covet. Consider a statement necklace (possibly like one of Anna’s ) or perhaps a charm bracelet that belonged to your Mother. Maybe it’s beautiful pair of earrings or a stack of pave rings. Whatever it is, the piece of jewelry needs to be something that makes you happy and whose design withstands the test of time.
Kew crystal collar from Nordstrom $68. Vintage charm bracelet – live auctioneers.com. Judith RIpka amethyst drop earrings – www.judithripka.com $250. Stackable create it your self pave rings from Lucido Fine Jewelry $600+.
Now it’s time for us to add our spin to your closet. Here are each or our favorite extras….
A beautiful bag can make my day… I love these from Beck so much that I could be good go for the rest of the year! The only thing better than the vivid assortment of colors, is the attention to quality and detail. A definite investment piece, but the timeless shape will make this a go-to for years to come.
(Classic Leather Beck Bags – Small $375. Medium $435 and Large $475)
The late great Karl Lagerfeld said, “ Sunglasses are like eye shadow: they make everything look young and pretty.” I love that…and I love sunglasses, so much they are a must-have in my book. I have a pair with me all the time out of necessity because my eyes are light-colored and really sensitive to sun. I’m not complaining, though…a cool pair of sunglasses is also a great accessory that adds a little joozh to any outfit, casual or dressy. Of course, there are a million styles and brands out there, so what to choose? Obviously, pick what looks best on you. See our blog post, “Shopping with Friends” on this very topic. Shopping at a place like SEE allows you to pick up some trendier styles that don’t cost a million dollars.
If you want to build a sunglass collection that you’ll have forever, consider one of our favorite brands, Ray Ban. Worn by Presidents, generals, celebrities and cool people the world over, Ray Bans truly deserve the cult status they’ve earned. While the word iconic is thrown around way too much these days, these sunglasses (which have been around since the ‘30’s) are the real deal. They instantly cool up any outfit.
(Ray Ban Aviator Flash in blue, green and violet – from $122, Original Ray Ban Wayfar – $122)
The Aviator (all those colors!) and Wayfarer (stick them on top of your head to hold your hair up!) versions are my favorites and there are lots of choices in both styles. One day you might feel like doing a mirrored pink or blue look; another day you might want to go more old school. Gotta love options and sunglasses give you plenty.