affordable wardrobe staples by The Wardrobe Consultant

My 5 Go-To, Non-Boring, Wardrobe Staples

I was thinking about the pieces in my closet that were on the heaviest rotation. My favorites,  my best-of list. The pieces that I go to over and over again that never disappoint. What surfaced were 5 go-to, non-boring wardrobe staples that always give my outfits that finishing touch. And the perk is they’re timeless and THEY’RE ALL AFFORDABLE.

So what about these 5 wardrobe staples makes them so useful? And so versatile? IMHO, it’s because they’re pieces that easily add a little oomph to an outfit, BUT not so much oomph they couldn’t be worn again because they were just too memorable.

One important note – these pieces are available at all different price points. So, if you want to spend $20, $200 or in some cases $2000 you can find all 5 items at all of these prices, and everywhere in between. The looks will be similar but the materials used (rayon vs cashmere) or the designer label (Mango vs Gucci) are what account for the huge disparity in price. I’ve linked products that run the gamut price-wise, so be sure to click the photos to find the item and price that’s right for you.

My Top 5 Wardrobe Staples

1. Leopard Print Scarf

Once you have black, gray and camel in your scarf collection it’s time to add a leopard print. I might even argue a leopard scarf should usurp camel and gray on the list and be the second addition to your collection. Leopard is considered a neutral but with interest. Yup, it’s that versatile!
sole society leopard scarf nordstrom wardrobe staples

2. Striped T-Shirt

A striped t-shirt is a fashion girl must-have. Either long sleeve, short sleeve or both! Once your basic white and black t-shirts are covered, a striped T should be the next piece you make room for in your t-shirt drawer. A long-sleeved version looks great under a vest or blazer and even peeking out of a chunky turtleneck. I wear my striped t’s so much I need to replace them every few years. The balloon sleeve one linked below is on my list.
 j crew stripe t shirt wardrobe staples

3. Tan Bootie

A tan bootie is the ultimate in transition footwear. Most people’s shoe selection goes straight from sandals to boots and it’s that in-between time that’s always a challenge. The beauty of a tan bootie is that it has an airy feel, so it works in-between seasons. It also pairs well with denim and lighter colors AND looks chic and unexpected when worn with all black. Add extra points if there’s a cut out because that detail allows you to see some skin, and that in and of itself makes it a bit more interesting and seriously season-spanning.


VINCE CAMUTO Gigietta Bootie, Main, color, FOXY SUEDE

4. Pendant Necklace

Pendant necklaces are a wardrobe essential for two reasons. One, they visually elongate any outfit and therefore the person wearing it. And who doesn’t need that? Two, they add a touch of jewelry without having too much impact, the way a statement necklace might. Meaning, you look polished without being overly done. Ideally, look for one that’s 20-30 inches in length for optimal elongation.madewell brass pendant necklace wardrobe staples

Leather Jacket

A leather jacket doesn’t have to be reserved for the likes of James Dean. It’s a total wardrobe staple.  Throwing on my leather moto gives even this middle-aged, suburban mom a dash of cool. I wear mine with a t-shirt and jeans but also love to throw it over a dress (it helps it feel less dressy). With advancements in man-made leathers, a kick a** jacket doesn’t need to cost you an arm and a leg.

blank nyc leather moto jacket wardrobe staples


They’re even better together!

These 5 wardrobe staples can take any outfit up a level, so it looks thoughtful but not overdone. Basically these pieces are the key to giving your outfits effortless style and maximum versatility. And the bonus is you can wear ALL 5 together and it still works! These are pieces and parts that hold their own alone but also play very nicely together. That is precisely why they offer so much value to a wardrobe.

affordable wardrobe staples by The Wardrobe Consultant
So there ya have it. The 5 pieces I consider my wardrobe staples. Major plus that they’re also affordable wardrobe staples. When you think about your wardrobe, what are your go-to’s? Tell me in the comments – I really do want to know.

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Photo: Molly Nook


Cleveland-based personal stylist and fashion blogger.

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