woman in jeans

Every great wardrobe has its staples. Staples change between generations, and specific staples differ between genders and professions. Modern dress leaves a bunch of room for interpretation, but it’s not without its concrete staples. These are the five staples with which you can build and maintain an entire wardrobe.

Basic Black Suits Are an Absolute Must

man in suit

A black suit can go anywhere. It offers several wonderful benefits. The color never goes out of style, and it tends to you make look skinnier. Black suits can stand in for tuxes at formal but trendy events, and you can pair your black suit with any color shirt or accessories. Black suits also tend to disguise smudges and off-colors you might pick up as the night progresses.

Jeans: Keep It Country Even If You’re Not

woman in a blazer and denim

Contemporary country singers know a thing or two about dressing. Aside from formal wear at awards shows, country singer attire is all about cowboy boots, breathable cotton shirts and denim. There’s a reason for that: blue jeans are as American as it gets. One pair is plenty, but two pairs of jeans gives you options in case one of them gets extra dirty.

Jeans are good for days off, casual events, running errands, dressed-down Fridays, and the list goes on. Plus, well made jeans can last years and years, giving you a reliable, comfortable wardrobe option that saves money over time.

Black Shoes Get the Job Done Every Time

woman wearing black shoes

Simple, elegant black shoes are the shoes you can wear with just about anything. Their neutral hue conveys solemnity, yet black shoes are also easy to pair with more casual clothing as the situation calls for it. Black shoes transition seamlessly from workday to dinner date, and they’re the space-saving option you can shove into your carry-on when you need a pair of shoes to wear with multiple outfits for a business trip.

A Navy Blue Blazer

woman in a navy blazer

The navy blue blazer is a standard symbol of power dressing for both men and women. It never goes out of style, although lapel widths tend to vary every eight to 10 years. A navy blue blazer instantly dresses up whatever you’re wearing, including your blue jeans. Plus, the color blue connotes confidence while handsomely offsetting bright shades like orange and red as well as autumnal hues like beige, brown and green.

Dressed to a Tee: as in T-Shirt

woman in a t-shirt

T-shirts are simple, easy to maintain and smoothly assimilated into just about any outfit. You can wear them to the food fest or the awards ceremony. Fact: a few years ago, a Hollywood A-list actor caused a Great Fashion Furor when she attended the Oscars in a plain old white Gap tee.

Well cared for tees never get old, and vintage-inspired tees let you express your sensibilities, likes and humor through clothing. Clean, crisp, basic white tees are a classy base layer for formal spring and summer looks. Fitted as well as baggy designer tees are an accessible, down-to-earth way to complete a weekend look for fun or work.

Fashion doesn’t need to be confusing. You can start cutting a dashing a figure with just the five staples mentioned above. A collection of staples in your closet gets you through every season, year after year, eliminating fuss, confusion and anxiety about what to wear.