Fashion essentials for every woman’s closet.
They can hang in the closet, waiting for the inevitable invitation to a special event, and make the question of what to wear a lot easier to answer.
In fashion jargon these garments are called basics. They can be worn year-round even if they don’t match whatever colour and tailoring happens to be in and they can be combined or accessorized to fit any occasion. When that unexpected invitation comes up, having these types of clothes on hand can be a godsend.
The little black dress is perhaps the most famous example. When Coco Chanel designed it in 1926 it was a scandal. Today it is a must-have for every women, said fashion consultant Andreas Rose of Frankfurt.
“No matter if it is worn to the office, to shop or to a company party, a woman who wears a little black dress is always well turned out,” said Rose. He recommends women buy a plain one because it is easier to combine with accessories and makeup to create variations.
Sonja Grau, a personal shopper in Germany, recommends against choosing a little black dress with sequins or ruching. Women also should pay close attention to the dress’ neckline: “A round neckline can make the upper body look broad, while a V-neck elongates the woman’s figure.”
Another must-have, according to fashion experts, is a thin, straight-cut pencil skirt. “Ideally knee-length and in black or dark blue – that style looks good on every woman,” said Kathrin Bierling, a fashion journalist and blogger in Munich.
Rose on the other hand advises women to consider colourful versions of the skirt in particular red or other berry tones. These look best combined with a white blouse or a twin set, he added.
As for the basic blouse, experts agree it has to be white. Fair-skinned women who look even paler in white should avoid it and instead go for cream, said Bierling.
There also are a few basics when it comes to trousers, said Grau. Every woman should have one pair of dress trousers in black and one pair of jeans, she said.
The jeans should be evenly washed and have a straight cut. She also advises women to pay attention to the position of the pockets on the seat of the jeans: their tip or bottom seam should end “where the bum turns into the upper thigh.”
T-shirts – long-sleeve and short-sleeve – and jumpers might be the most inconspicuous components of a wardrobe, but they are indispensable. Bierling recommends a lightweight and thin cashmere jumper that can be worn in both winter and summer.
It can be worn in the winter over a long-sleeve T-shirt. Rose pointed out that T-shirts in classic colours in crew neck or V-neck look good with a skirt or with trousers.
A blazer is another item that goes well with many other garments and is not just for women who work in offices, said Rose. With the sleeves pulled back and worn with chinos, they look casual.
“Women who like to emphasize their waistline can choose a style with shoulder pads,” he said. Rose’s favourite for young women is an extra long blazer in boyfriend style. Grau added short women should be careful to choose short blazers. Only tall women should wear long ones.
Another important article of clothing that belongs in every woman’s closet is a cardigan. “The cardigan should either be slim cut or oversized. Everything in between is unflattering,” said Bierling.
Grau said the cardigan should be a solid colour, however, accents such as edging or fringes in another colour or gold buttons aren’t out of the question.