I turned 36 in December, and while I have curated my wardrobe staples over the years, I think I've finally settled on a capsule of the below 27 items. Now, well into my 30s, I think it's safe to say I'm happy with these pieces and I would never switch any of them out for anything else. Yes, newer additions come and go, but these are the ones I wear regularly. I've not included items like skirts or wedding guest dresses because as I've mentioned, this is about getting dressed daily, rather than for those special events.
This list isn't about items that are nice to have. This list isn't about trends, either. This list is all about pieces that will last in your wardrobe, and whenever you wear them, they will make you feel good. Everything I've featured below are items I own (and where that isn't possible, I've found something very similar) and are my fail-safe options when it comes to getting dressed quickly and chicly. They enable me to get ready without having to think about it—a life hack that can never be underestimated.
Of course, that's not to say that anyone not in their 30s can't have all these items in their wardrobe and rely on them as much as I do, but I've definitely reached a point where having classic outfits I can reach for every morning is my preferred way to function. So then, keep scrolling to see the items I've selected. Even if you just had these to wear over and over again, you'd be very happy. Trust me on this.
1. White T-Shirt
Monki Soft Tee (£8)
I've never met a plain white T-shirt I didn't like. My personal preference is a loose-fit soft tee that doesn't feel too stiff. It needs to feel like you've worn it forever, and it's like your second skin. I found the perfect white tee from Monki about six years ago, and I still wear it today.
Arket Crew-Neck T-Shirt (£15)
2. Black T-Shirt
Nili Lotan Carol Cotton-Jersey T-Shirt (£155)
Another colour I swear by is the black T-shirt. While I don't usually like V-neck tees, I make an exception when it's black. I like that you can tuck it into a pair of high-waisted jeans, throw on some gold jewellery and a blazer, and you've got yourself a perfect outfit for going out, work or even a date.
COS V-Neck T-Shirt (£15)
3. White Shirt
Arket Shirt 3 Oxford (£45)
I'm a big advocate for shopping in the men's section, and a few months ago, I found the ideal white shirt from Arket. It's just the right loose fit, and the material is thick but not too heavy.
Hommegirls Logo-Embroidered Cotton-Twill Shirt (£165)
COS Fitted Vest Top (£12)
Whether you're wearing this with a pair of joggers or jeans, this top will get endless outings.
H&M Ribbed Vest Top (£6)
5. Oversize Jumper
Weekday The Jessa Sweater (£45)
You know when you just want to feel warm but don't want to look totally slobby? This is the jumper you need. I can personally vouch for Weekday's knitwear as being great for the high street, but if your budget can stretch, take a look at brands such as &Daughter.
French Connection Jeanie Vhari High Neck Jumper (£80)
6. Smart Jumper
Sezane Couer Jumper (£105)
The opposite of the slouchy, oversize jumper, the smart jumper is what you have to put on when you're working, having a meeting, or going out and you want to stay warm.
Arket Asymmetric-Neckline Alpaca Jumper (£79)
L'Agence Naya Ribbed-Knit Cardigan (£280)
I can't survive without cardigans. Despite the fact that they've seen soaring popularity over the past few years, this item has been a constant in my wardrobe. I love this L'Agence thin-knit cardi, but thicker ones also get my vote.
& Other Stories Wool Blend Tortoise Button Cardigan ($89)
8. Black Roll-Neck
Raey Roll-Neck Fine-Rib Cashmere Sweater (£225)
By itself or as a vital layering piece, this is one item that I can't stress enough will save you again and again when it's freezing.
COS Fine Turtleneck Wool Top (£45)
9. Smart Trousers
COS Pleated Linen Pants (£69)
Chuck these on with sandals, boots or trainers, and you'll look chic.
H&M Tailored Trousers (£25)
10. Smart Joggers
Whistles Premium Joggers (£79)
Just because you're lounging or working from home doesn't mean you have to wear your tattiest trousers. Invest in some smarter joggers you can wear outside the house.
Zara Retro Sporty Trousers (£28)
11. Blue Jeans
Uniqlo High Rise Regular Fit Straight Leg Jeans (£35)
I can't stress enough how important finding the right blue jeans is. I discovered a great pair from Uniqlo last year, and they're easily one of the best I've ever worn. Smart, reliable and chic when paired with any of the above tops.
Frame Le Italien High-Rise Straight-Leg Jeans (£345)
12. Loose Jeans
& Other Stories Dear Cut Jeans (£75)
Controversial, in a way, as not everyone likes wearing looser jeans, but sometimes straight-leg just won't do. Best for wearing in the summer.
Citizens of Humanity Calista High-Rise Tapered Jeans (£320)
Spanx Look at Me Now Stretch-Jersey Leggings (£58)
According to Who What Wear Editor in Chief Hannah Almassi, these leggings are the ultimate black leggings. If you want to mix up your look a bit, try a pair with stirrups or side slits.
& Other Stories Stirrup Cotton Leggings (£35)
14. Black Ankle Boots With Heels
& Other Stories Squared Toe Leather Sock Boots (£135)
Black boots with a heel are the kind of boots that never go out of style and are great for working or going out.
Church's Ellie 55 Patent Leather Heeled Boot Black (£750)
15. Stomper Boots
Mango Platform Boots (£36)
Remember all those walks you've been on recently? Now think back to all those walks when you needed great boots to keep your feet warm. Time to invest in a pair that you love but are also practical.
Ganni Rubber Chelsea Boots (£195)
New Balance 991 Nubuck, Mesh and Leather Sneakers (£180)
I love trainers, and finding a pair that's cool and looks great with everything in your wardrobe is key.
Nike Internationalist (£89)
Fitflop Gracie Leather Slides (£80)
I'm very easy when it comes to sandals. I like them fairly chunky and black, preferably with two straps as well. This formula means they magically go with everything in my wardrobe.
Birkenstock Arizona Leather Sandals (£320)
18. Gold Necklace
Missoma Ridge T-Bar Chain Necklace (£389)
The way to add instant polish to your outfit is to add a necklace. Anything gold, in my opinion.
Susan Caplan Vintage 1990s Vintage 22ct Gold Plated Chunky Curb Chain Necklace (£125)
19. Gold Earrings
Alighieri The Orbit of the Writer Gold-Plated Hoop Earrings (£250)
Similarly, you'll suddenly look super chic with gold earrings.
Iris & Ink Kayley 18-Karat Gold-Plated Hoop Earrings (£60)
20. Black Jacket
Arket Oversized Wool Hopsack Blazer (£135)
The oldest trick in the styling book. If in doubt, add a black jacket to give your outfit some sophistication. Well, it works for the French.
Frankie Shop Cotton Blazer (£250)
ACNE Studios Quilted Shell Down Coat (£650)
While puffers haven't always been cool among the fashion crowd, there's no denying they're the best for keeping us warm. This past year has proven that everyone needs a decent version of this coat in their wardrobe.
Monki High Neck Puffer Coat (£65)
22. Wool Coat
Zara Oversize Wool Coat (£129)
And when you're done with the puffer and just want to look smarter, the wool coat is always a vital staple to keep on hand.
Stella McCartney Ericka Double-Breasted Wool Coat (£1395)
23. Floral Dress
Rixo Jennifer Paneled Printed Silk-Crepe Midi Dress (£295)
Perhaps the most "outrageous" item on this list, the floral dress just makes the cut as being a wardrobe basic. Pull it out for weddings, summer events or wearing over the top of a roll-neck and boots in the winter.
M&S x Ghost Floral V-Neck Puff Sleeve Midi Tea Dress (£69)
24. Black Dress
Hush Puff Sleeve Maxi Dress (£75)
It doesn't have to be an LBD to make the cut. But a black dress that you truly love is such a great thing to have in your wardrobe. It will save you on so many occasions when you just don't know what to wear.
ASOS Design Plunge Neck Maxi Dress in Black (£25)
25. Perfect Knickers
M&S Collection 5pk No Vpl Cotton Modal Full Briefs (£12)
Our underwear is just as important as our outerwear. Find the knickers you love and stick to them. It will make you feel great.
Skims Cotton Collection 2.0 Cotton-Blend Jersey Thong (£20)
26. Comfortable Bra
Chantelle Parisian Allure Multi-Way Stretch-Tulle and Lace Underwired Bra (£60)
Trust me on this: Paying a bit more for your bra will be one of the best decisions you've ever made. If you can't get fitted right now, try out our bra size calculator.
Wacoal Halo Lace Almond Underwired Bra (£39)
Ganni Leopard-Print Cotton-Poplin Bucket Hat (£75)
Not everyone is a hat person; I recognise that. But I recently found a leopard-print bucket hat that I can't seem to stop wearing. And it makes me feel fancy every time I put it on.
Loewe Fisherman Leather Bucket Hat (£450)
Next up, the biggest spring/summer 2021 fashion trends to know right now.
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
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