By now you’ve seen all the millions of lists everyone has created on all the essential items every woman needs to own. From the perfect white tee, heels you can wear for 12 hours and still walk in (has anyone actually found those?), and the perfect little black dress, you’ve been told over and over what to buy. I mean, I’ve done my own list before! But take note. As of today, this is the ONLY list you ever need to check again!
The 3 Outfits Every Woman Needs to Own
1. Something to throw on in a hurry
Maybe you came home from work and found your husband making dinner reservations and you need to be ready to leave the house in ten minutes. Maybe you completely forgot about concert tickets you had and need to be out the door ten minutes AGO. For the times you don’t have the luxury of trying on every outfit in your closet to find the perfect look, you need some set go-tos that will get the job done!
When it comes to a casual look I’ve got two basic go-tos that I go between based on the season. A simple dress for warm weather and a jeans/top/jacket combo for cooler weather. I have a handful of jackets – moto, blazers, etc. that make any outfit automatically just a bit more pulled together. No one will know you got dressed in a flash!
2. Something comfortable to throw on besides sweats
Forget tight skinny jeans, tops with a million buttons, and dresses that lace up. Sometimes you just want pure comfort. And when it comes to summer temperatures that reach a billion degrees? Who wants to worry with layering tanks and belts and a billion accessories?
My summer go-to? A maxi dress. So much cuter than a t-shirt and jeans and just as, if not more, easy and comfortable! I own maybe a half dozen or so maxi dresses that I rotate through in the summer. They require almost no thought and as I refuse to put on jeans between the months of May and August (it’s just too hot!) I still look like I “tried”, when in reality, I didn’t! :) In addition to being an entire outfit in one piece, you’ll stay much cooler than you would in hot, sticky jeans!
In the winter time I reach for my faux leather leggings (from Target!) that go perfectly with long sweaters and tops. Elastic waistband? Check. Long, flowy top? Check. I basically am wearing the same combination of comfy pants and top as I would be in sweats and a tee, but again, I’ve tricked everyone into thinking I cared. :)
3. Something to wear that makes you feel great
Finally, and this is the real kicker on this list: EVERY WOMAN NEEDS TO OWN AN ITEM THAT MAKES HER FEEL GOOD. A favorite sweater that brings our your eyes (and lots of compliments!), the dress that fits you perfectly, the jacket you picked up on vacation that makes you think of great times when you wear it, etc. Find something you feel great in and as a result? Confidence! Happiness! All the good stuff!
A few examples of my own:
- I picked up a MICHAEL Michael Kors dress several years ago in a MK outlet store in Austin. It’s navy (though I thought it was black at the time I bought it, ha!) with a v-neck and a faux-wrap design that hugs my waist perfectly. It fits perfect. This is my go-to “nice” dress that isn’t super fancy.
- Two summers ago I bought a black and white striped maxi dress that was part of the Peter Som collection at Kohls. It was on the clearance rack and was definitely an impulse buy.
I’m not kidding you, I get more compliments on this dress than anything else I own. About a month ago I was having a kind of rough day and threw it on to go run some errands. I decided to stop by the outlet mall in OKC and I bet I was stopped no less than five times by strangers complimenting my dress or asking where it came from. And no joke, at one point a toddler stopped, pointed at me and then said to his grandma “She looks like a princess!” I vowed then and there to never take that dress off. Just kidding, that would be gross. But really, this is a dress I know I can throw on and feel good.
- It might sound silly but sometimes I feel a little extra pressure to “dress up” when I go anywhere. Sometimes I need to go to fashion-related events or things like that and I feel just like everyone else, “I have nothing to wear!”
I bought this snakeskin print jacket from TopShop a couple years ago and it’s such a unique piece it immediately gives me style cred I don’t even have. I’ve paired it with my leather leggings (seriously, I live in these in the winter!), jeans, a simple black jumpsuit, belted over a dress, whatever. It’s just cool and maybe hides my “un-coolness” just a bit!
I’m not saying you need a show-stopping piece that will have all eyes on you. The point is, you need something that you makes you feel good when you put it on. The outfit that makes you feel confident before the job interview, the dress that makes you feel pretty on a first date, the soft sweater that makes your toddler want to sit in your lap just a bit longer than normal. Find it, and wear it often!
If you get a handle on these three outfits in your closet you’ll pretty much be set the rest of the time. Find the items that work with your lifestyle, your budget, and speak to your taste and you’ll always have something fabulous to wear!
Originally published July 11, 2016