If I were to build my dream closet, I would need bags of cash and a bulldozer to tear my whole apartment building down (my landlord would understand, right?). Everyone has fantasized about what theirs would look like, and in my world, I would have all my wardrobe staples by 30 years old. So basically, I have six years, upwards of $50,000, and a lot of power walking to Barney's to do.
I've long admired the style of icons like Carine Roitfeld, Alexa Chung, Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, and Edie Sedgwick. And when I look back on all of their most iconic looks that I've loved, they all boil down to one thing: wardrobe essentials. Of course, I love me some statement pieces — bright colors, bold patterns, crazy silhouettes included — but there's something about a classic that hits the nail on the head every. Single. Time. They're timeless, and somehow look better each time you put it on.
This kind of philosophy has always been repeated to me, but I could never get away with it, especially with the popularity of fast fashion in the U.S. Why invest in an expensive item when you can buy a version that's a fraction of the cost? Oh, right, because it falls apart after one wash. Especially on a college student's budget, it was virtually impossible to invest in essential pieces that would last me a lifetime. Maybe if I didn't eat dinner for a couple of weeks, or skipped happy hour (which, we all know, is a sin).
But as I've gotten older (and my bank account has gotten healthier), I've come to realize that investing in quality pieces is the only way to go. Down to my undies and socks. Of course, I still buy cheaper tanks and tees for working out or for layering, but I've been way more conscious about the quality of the item. Also, the simpler, the better, though a few sartorial details never hurt anyone.
So, if I'm to reach my peak style by age 30, there are definitely a few pieces I'm going to need in my closet. I do want to note, though, that not everyone believes in this way of shopping. But if you do, follow along to see which pieces I'm saving up in my little piggy bank up for.
1. A Really, Really Nice Coat
A.P.C. Dolly Coat, $560, usonline.apc.fr
Nothing says "I'm an adult" quite like a polished coat. And while you're at it, get a good tailor, too! Fit is everything.
2. Your Favorite Pair Of Denim
rag & bone Dre - Greenpoint, $325, rag-bone.com
There is nothing, I repeat, nothing, like a quality pair of denim that goes with absolutely everything. Personally, I like a darker wash with some distressed details.
3. A Grown Up Bag
Building Block Fold Messenger, $380, building--block.com
Hello, pretty. This fold purse is the perfect accessory to take to brunch, shopping, a night out, and pretty much everything in between. Plus, the tassel detail is super cute.
4. A Trench Coat
London Single Breasted Trench Coat With Inset Bib, $240, shop.nordstrom.com
I'm convinced that you can literally wear anything underneath a trench coat and still look put together. No time to pull an outfit this morning? Great. Throw on some leggings, an oxford shirt, and your trench, and you're already the most polished looking gal in the room.
5. Black Pumps
Madewell The Mira Heel, $168, madewell.com
A black pump is so necessary, from office meetings, to date nights, to weddings.
6. Go-To Sunnies
Oliver Peoples Gregory Peck 47 Sun, $405, oliverpeoples.com
There's a reason these are named after one of the most iconic actors of all time — they're a classic.
7. White Button Up
Weekend Max Mara Kassel Dolman Sleeve, $235, 1.bloomingdales.com
A classic white button up will never fail you, and with a dolman sleeve like this one, it's a modern take on a timeless piece.
8. The Sensible Tote
Want Les Essentiels de la Vie Black Canvas OHare Shopper Tote, $250, ssense.com
Laptops, lunches, sneakers — you name it — this tote can fit it. It's perfect for the busy-gal.
9. A Trusty Hat
Goorin Everyday Ms. Danke, $68, store.goorin.com
Nothing says chic like a wide-brimmed hat, and this taupe beauty adds just enough mystery to any look.
10. Black Trousers
ASOS Plus Sized Carmakoma Tailored Slim Leg Trouser, $195.27, asos.com
This pretty much goes without saying, but black trousers go with absolutely everything.
11. The LBD
6th & Lane Fringe Dress, $248, lanebryant.com
The LBD is a staple no matter what your age is. Love this flapper version with major fringe details.
12. The Pencil Skirt
J.O.A. Faux Leather Pencil Skirt, $63, shop.nordstrom.com
Pretty sure a pencil skirt is a must-have no matter your age or body type.
13. The Leather Jacket
Ultimate Leather Motorcycle Jacket, $528, madewell.com
While a bit on the pricier side, think of your leather jacket as the ultimate investment. Mine is probably my favorite piece in my closet. It turns any outfit into a sexy, edgy look.
The list could truly go on and on, but in order to build a quality wardrobe, some staples are necessary. I've found that with some gorgeous pieces of outerwear, pretty much any outfit can look polished (of course, don't wear them with your jammies or sweats). So while I'll probably have to save until I'm about 80 years old to purchase all of these items, it doesn't hurt to dream.