12 Closet Staples, Why You Need Them, and Where to Find Them

Closet staples are basically what bread is to a sandwich. Sure, you can eat a sandwich without bread but doesn’t the bread really pull the sandwich together? Who am I kidding? A sandwich is not a sandwich without bread. It’s a pile of meat. The same goes with closet staples. Sure, you can buy something super trendy and wear it, but unless you work in your staples to incorporate the trend into your everyday life, you are just going to be one big trend blob. Also, staples are just great pieces to have. If you’re ever in a pinch… good jeans, a white tee or black turtleneck, a classic belt, and occasion appropriate shoes will usually do the trick. This is a list of closet staples that I feel bring my outfits together and some of them are items that most women should just have because #adulting.

  1. Plain White Tee

    The Plain White Tee and I get along really well. Feeling lazy? Throw on a white tee. Want that effortless chic look? Throw on a white tee. Want a million dollars? Throw on a white tee. I WISH!!! In all seriousness, a plain white tee is a great closet staple. Because I get so much use out of them, I like to find inexpensive ones that I really like and buy a couple of them instead of splurging on one $100 white tee shirt.


  1. White Button Down

    To be honest, I don’t wear a white button down all that often but I think it’s just one of those timeless pieces that women should have in their closet. Of course you can trend it up by layering a lace camisole on top or wear the white button down with a statement bib necklace for a classy look. Either way, a white button down is a good staple piece to have.


  1. Black Turtleneck

    I LOVE a black turtleneck. Something about it is so sexy to me. Which is weird because you are pretty much as covered as you can get but put me in a black turtleneck and the sexy, sassy Michelle comes out to play. If you’re reading this from South Florida (where I grew up), you might think I’m crazy but just trust me – if you find a light weight cotton turtleneck (I linked one below), you too can get in on this staple.


  1. Leather Moto Jacket

    A leather moto jacket is another one of those pieces that is just good to have. It’s sleek, sexy and easy to go with almost anything.


  1. Trench Coat

    Oh man, do I love trench coats. Do I secretly feel like a spy? Yes I do, but that’s not why I love trench coats. A trench coat is the chocolate sauce to an ice cream sundae. It’s the perfect cover to an outfit and if you leave it unbutton/unzipped, your outfit peaks out from underneath just like vanilla ice cream under chocolate sauce. You know that’s a beautiful sight to see (I’m talking about the ice cream, obviously). Trench coats also do functional things like keep you warm and dry which is another reason why trench coats are a closet staple for me.


  1. Denim Jacket

    A denim jacket is one of my closet staples because its so versatile. Shorts, skirts, dresses, jeans, you name it… you can probably wear it with a denim jacket. I usually feel playful in a denim jacket so pairing it with a romper and sneakers is one of my favorite denim jacket looks.


  1. The Perfect Blazer

    Blazer’s are great for those days that I need to adult but I don’t really feel like it. On the contrary, I love a classic jeans, white tee, loafers, and blazer look. It’s a great look to put a sophisticated pep in your step.


  1. Good Pair of Skinny Jeans

    I am a firm believer in a good pair of jeans. I really do think there is a difference in the way higher end jeans (think JBrand, Hudson, etc.) fit from lower end jeans. My absolute favorite brand of jeans is CarMar. I’ve fluctuated a lot with my weight. I’ve gone from a 24 to a 29 and back. No matter what size I am, I always feel good in my CarMar’s. A good pair of jeans is definitely a closet staple for me. If you’re not one to splurge on jeans but you’re considering it, I’d say to go for a pair of skinny jeans. They are going to be the jeans you can get the most out of. Skinny jeans are wearable with pretty much every shoe while most boot cut and flared jeans require a heel or wedge.


  1. Loafers

    I love love love loafers! The loafer may be an acquired taste but I seriously suggest you give it a go. I remember growing up, my mom used to wear TODS loafers like she was a walking advertisement for them. She probably had every color and style. I used to day dream about the day I was grown and old enough to buy my own fancy loafers. And… here we are! Grown and old enough to buy fancy loafers. I picked out a few loafers that I think are a good starting point if you aren’t sure how you feel about loafers yet.


  1. Sleek Black Ankle Boot

    While I think pretty much all ankle boots are great, if I had to have only one pair for the rest of my life it would be sleek and black. A sleek, black ankle boot goes with everything. It sophisticates a simple outfit, it’s timeless, and if we’re being totally honest, it makes me feel like a bad-ass. I don’t know why or how but some shoes give me confidence and a black ankle boot is one of those shoes.


  1. White Sneakers

    Clean white sneaks are another one of those confidence shoes I was talking about. And they make anything look SO COOL! Romper and white sneakers? Cool. Jeans and white sneakers? Cool. I’d even wear black dress pants and white sneakers.


  1. Classic Belt

    A classic belt is a piece I just feel like everyone should have. It doesn’t have to be an expensive designer belt but a nice leather belt is a great wardrobe staple. A belt gives an outfit a finished look.


Do you have a closet staple not on my list? Leave a comment below and let me know what goodies I’m missing out on!

Get the She’s Not So Basic Closet Staples Checklist for my guide to closet staples!

I’m Michelle, the founder of life & style blog, She’s Not So Basic. On the blog I write about all things related to style advice, self-love, finding happiness, and so much more while wearing both my heart and my scars on my sleeve. My path through life has been anything but basic and it’s left me feeling lost, lonely, and insecure. Every day is a journey towards feeling confident and finding freedom one not-so-basic outfit at a time. Connect with me to see how we can work together, to tell me your #NotSoBasic story, or just to say hi!