The Shopping Tip That Will Change Your Wardrobe's Life

Aug 27, 2015


When out shopping for wardrobe staples it can get super easy to get sidetracked. A popsicle colored dress here, some lets-vacation-at-that-Hamptons shorts there, and next thing you know you've got a couple of new additions to welcome to the family but not any closer to a well-rounded wardrobe. 

But how about when you are actually focused on staples and are making an effort to hunt them down? What kind do you go for- ones with clean lines and that can blend without much effort into your wardrobe? It makes sense, right? But what if I told you that, when shopping, you should forget what you knew about closet workhorses and changed the rule about staples. Are you curious what that could be?


It's to look for staples with a twist. That's what sets stylish people apart from the rest of the crowd: They keep in mind that just a single clever detail can completely change the mood and level of an outfit. What do I mean by this?

When looking for staples, aim to find versions that have a little bit of panache to them so, when layered and mix and matched, they bring something to the table. For example, when looking for a white collared shirt, I made it my mission to find one with a bold black outline so it would create fun contrasts with my dresses. If I had a normal white collar this look would still be pretty, but not quite on the same level.

The same goes for your other pieces. Instead of buying black ballet flats, why don't you choose shiny fringed penny loafers? Instead of buying a regular blazer, why don't you look for one with cropped sleeves so your blouse peeks through? Instead of buying a black turtleneck, buy a cropped one so you can pair it with high waist skirts or layer it over dresses. Or instead of buying a prim collared shirt, find one with loose, baggy sleeves to give it a more bohemian, '70s vibe (imagine that layered underneath a pinafore or sleeveless dress). 

By seeking out simple basics with twists to their designs, you give yourself the chance to layer in a way that adds some oomph to your outfits. 


For more inspiration, here are some other looks that revolve around unconventional basics. Study them and think about why they work: 

ONE: The white top has bell sleeves and adds a flirty touch to the look. Also, the mini skirt has buttons running down the front, adding a fun, '70s like detail. (SOURCE)

TWO: The black shift dress has a deep v-neck but with thicker straps, allowing you to layer it on top of blouses and turtlenecks. (SOURCE)

THREE: The light trench has shorter sleeves, making it a great layering piece and allowing you to let your sleeves poke through. (SOURCE)

FOUR: The chambray shirt has a dramatic pussybow, which is either a statement alone or will look playful layered underneath a sleeveless dress or a romper/pair of overalls. (SOURCE)


 Let's discuss: What sort of details do you keep an eye out for when you shop for wardrobe staples?

Want more staples styling tips? Continue reading:

outfit details
Dress: Akira
Purse: c.o New Old Fashion Vintage
Sandals: Target
Shirt: TrendsGal (only $4!)

 photo divider_zps9a1dedc9.jpg


  1. Fantastic advice! I get distracted way too often when I go shopping. I usually try to look for Peter Pan collars because I have a thing for them. And lately I've been moving away from too many dresses with wild prints because I have limited space in my suitcase when moving between Germany and Australia (every extra liggage kilo costs friggin $82!!). So I tried to buy versatile pieces that I can jazz up with accessories. :)

    Bad Taste Toast - A German/Australian Style Blog

  2. Such a great tip to keep in my mind! Over the past couple of years I just started buying wardrobe staples (before I used to buy every popsicle colored dress in sight, and only that haha), but some staples are boring and add nothing to a look. I've never thought about a staple with a twist, though. I especially love that white top with the short bell sleeves! I think I need you to go shopping with me!

    xx Chrystin

  3. I love the idea of investing in wardrobe staples with a twist! I have such a hard time with purchasing basics because whenever I think of them I picture very boring pieces. By the way, I love the black outline on the white collared shirt you're wearing because it really makes it stand out.

    Sweet Helen Grace

  4. Love this tips! Thank you. I usually search for basic blouses which have playful collars and sleeves.. ;)

  5. It's funny that you post this because I don't think any of my basics are very basic in the traditional sense. Even my plain grey tee from Everlane has a little flow and looseness to it so I can pair it with skinnies, layer it, tuck it in, or anything else.

  6. I've always defined my style as "classic with a touch of whimsy" and I think your advice for buying the basics fits in with my line of dressing! Great ideas! I think that with styling, it's all in the details so getting your hands on basics with a twist can really help define your style :]

    Also, I really just love your skirt in these pictures! It's so summery and pretty!

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

  7. Great tip! I love finding pieces with a little extra oomph! This top is so cute, as is the skirt!
    Sincerely, Sara

  8. I am obsessed with that short sleeved trench! Ah, so many layering possibilities!

  9. A twist to a basic is a must, I think it's probably what gives your wardrobe it's individuality. That bow tie denim shirt has been on a my wishlist for a while now!

    Anna | aforvogue

  10. Good advice (and you have an adorable skirt)

  11. I love this! I've been trying to figure out how to bring my wardrobe up a notch and this is exactly the advice I needed! I will certainly keep this in mind on my next shopping trip.

    Alysia Ave


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