the sunday brief | back to basics

last week i shared a few tips and tricks on how to purge your closet. now that your wardrobe has been pared down you might be scratching your head wondering what the next step is? how will i get dressed in the morning? how do i build a wardrobe that works for me day in and day out? today, we’re going to talk about those closet staples that will carry you from season to season and make getting ready in the morning a breeze.

what are the core pieces needed to build your wardrobe’s foundation? well, the basics aren’t glamorous. they don’t grab your attention when you step into your favorite store. there are no ruffles, bows, or sequins attached. but i promise, if you want to be well dressed or look effortlessly chic you have to build your wardrobe with the basics. and you can never have too many wardrobe staples. these are the pieces that easily transition from outfit to outfit and span the seasons. the more basics you have on hand, the more outfit options available. remember, this is only a guideline as there are different styles and fits to choose with any wardrobe essential. 

when you take the time to invest in the basics, you are laying a foundation for a functional wardrobe that will prepare you for anything. and who doesn’t want that? off to work on monday morning? headed to a charity luncheon? how about date night? or a quick weekend getaway? if you have the basics on hand, there will be no more struggles to put together a fabulous outfit for any occasion.

but first, we have to discuss color schemes. can you guess what colors tie two garments together? yes, it’s neutrals. nude, black, grey, white. for winter olive, navy and burgundy are great alternatives. are you ready to learn how to build your wardrobe foundation?  let’s start with tops that can easily pair with a statement skirt with a bold print. or maybe you decided to leave your comfort zone and purchased a striped pant and think you have nothing to wear with it? if you have the basics on hand getting dressed in the morning just got a whole lot easier thanks to the basics.

basic tee

there’s a variety of styles when it comes to tees. here are my favorites: henley, crew, v neck, scoop, long sleeve. v-neck and scoop are the most flattering tees for any figure. and, yes, i consider stripes a neutral. so does jenna lyons.

basic tanks and cami

tanks have wider straps a cami has thin strips. take your pick. but i suggest having both on hand as these are the essential pieces that can layer underneath those tops that might bare too much information. like a wrap dress or shirt. they also allow you to rotate your favorite jackets, blazers, and cardigans with ease. a nude cami is a perfect solution for sheer blouses. a silk cami is an elegant layer. 

dinner date

button up and blouses

button up shirts and blouses are that one item in your closet that easily transitions with ease from the office to date night or weekend casual. add a sleeveless and short sleeve for summer. long sleeves work any time of year. there are a variety of styles available. wrap blouse, pussy bow, trim, peplum all work.

winter blackout

chambray shirt

denim or chambray is a shirt with some attitude and is typically considered a laid-back style. it’s perfect for a day filled with errands. but don’t be afraid to dress it up for a night out. dark wash, medium wash, light wash. sleeveless, short sleeve, long sleeve. lots of choices!

fridays with oscar


turtlenecks, crew necks, v necks, and cardigans are all hard working staples. choose cashmere for winter. cotton for summer. who doesn’t love year-round options? think outside the box with cardi’s. there are chunky knits, waterfall, open, grandpa, and dusters that all fall into the cardigan category.

denim up

m is for monday

rockin' robin

next week we will take a look at basic bottoms – skirts, pants, and of course denim. maybe a few extras. see you then!




  1. Sharon wrote:

    Wonderful information Beth, and thank you as this will help me move in the right direction after my closet purge. Your style is classic, timeless, and elegant, just the way I want to dress!

    Posted 1.21.18
    • congrats on your closet purge! now it’s all about adding those basics into your wardrobe.

      Posted 1.21.18
  2. Nicole De Clercq wrote:

    As an English teacher, I just have to know. Why do you show absolutely no respect to our language. Why? What am I missing here? Is it no longer cool to appear educated in the language?

    Posted 1.21.18
    • what am i missing? a comma, semi-colon? or is it the lack of capitalization?

      Posted 1.21.18
  3. Esraa Bassiouny wrote:

    Okay, can I just say that your style is so chic. You are very inspiring btw. I keep telling my mom to do a blog (she has a very good sense of style and experience about fashion designing as well), because of your blog and inspiration.
    Blog :

    Posted 1.22.18
    • well how cute are you?! thanks so much for stopping by esraa. i think i might steal an outfit or two from you. loved the grey dress, coat and black boots. congrats on your YouTube channel and blog. you go girl! xo

      Posted 1.22.18

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