Sat | May 27, 2017

Nine to fine

Published:Monday | May 18, 2015 | 5:00 AMRandy Bowman
1. Chic carry-all A woman's bag these days is never big enough - phone, tablet, keys, make-up, water bottle, purse, headphones - the list seems endless. As such, the ultimate work carry-all is essential. When shopping for the perfect handbag, opt for one with a more rectangular shape and tonnes of pockets for maximum storage. The structured shape goes with work clothes, but is also appropriate for casual shopping trips.
10. Feet-loving flats There's a reason everyone owns a good pair of ballet flats - they're equal parts chic and comfortable! For most places of employ, the weekends offer a more casual vibe and these fit in well on such occasions. Use them to dress up your jeans and button-down combination, then seamlessly transition that same pair to a cocktail dress for night. Your outfits and feet will thank you.
6. Perfect pencil Pencil skirts are extremely stylish, wonderfully sexy and very versatile. It's the most universally flattering and classic item for every trendy woman. The higher rise and knee-skimming length make pencil skirts look great on just about everyone, and they're appropriate for a number of events and situations. A pencil skirt is a wardrobe powerhouse, playing nicely with blouses, sweaters, and jackets. Purchase yours in a neutral colour and you can wear it with just about anything. Ask me what item of clothing I'd keep if I had to give everything else away, and I'd definitely say my pencil skirt.
8. Little black dress (LBD) My second favourite, the LBD is like a blank slate for accessorising and styling yet completely chic on its own. Synonymous with sophisticated style, every woman needs one. They can be worn to work, or dressed down for casual wear as an LBD always looks classic, sharp, and fashionable no matter what.
3. Cool cardigan/basic blazer For that final professional touch or to pull together an office look. A blazer or the great outerwear substitute when it's much hotter out, a cardigan. It's the can't-go-wrong wardrobe essential that jacks up any outfit. Throw it on over your cocktail dress, swap it with your suit jacket for an after work party, pair it with jeans, wear it over a skirt and cami.
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As one transitions into the world of work, one of the most important rules for building a great wardrobe is to base it on timeless foundation pieces, that can be mixed and matched with trendier pieces. While being knowledgeable of this rule is a great place to start, it's not always clear what these essential pieces are. Investing in your wardrobe is great, but it's crucial to know exactly what to buy. Here is a list of the 10 things every woman should own to put your fashion dollars toward good-quality pieces.

1. Chic carry-all

A woman's bag these days is never big enough - phone, tablet, keys, make-up, water bottle, purse, headphones - the list seems endless. As such, the ultimate work carry-all is essential. When shopping for the perfect handbag, opt for one with a more rectangular shape and tonnes of pockets for maximum storage. The structured shape goes with work clothes, but is also appropriate for casual shopping trips.

2. Tailored top

Dressed up or down, a button-up shirt is classy and on-trend. A great layering piece under blazers, cardigans, scarfs, this will increase your wardrobe options. Ensure it fits securely without any gaping between buttonholes. Other features to look for include a curved hem, which is the most flattering cut, and full-length sleeves that can be worn as-is or cuffed at the elbow.

3. Cool cardigan/basic blazer

For that final professional touch or to pull together an office look. A blazer or the great outerwear substitute when it's much hotter out, a cardigan. It's the can't-go-wrong wardrobe essential that jacks up any outfit. Throw it on over your cocktail dress, swap it with your suit jacket for an after work party, pair it with jeans, wear it over a skirt and cami.

4. Cool camis and Ts

Speaking of camis, is there anything more versatile tan camisoles and plain T-shirts? Whether you layer them under a cardigan or jazz them up with statement jewellery, one thing is for sure: Nothing is more essential to your closet than these trusty staples. What makes a T-shirt perfect, in addition to a great fit? The neckline. A V-neck is the most flattering to all body types.

5. Plain pants

In the business world, a pair of tailored black pants helps to create a polished look. When you show up in well-fitted clothes, you look professional and modern. Without question, black pants are one of the few wardrobe staples that you can wear with just about anything else in your closet. The investment in the best-constructed pants you can afford, even if it means spending more than usual, is well worth it - you will rely on this staple weekly, at least initially.

6. Perfect pencil

Pencil skirts are extremely stylish, wonderfully sexy and very versatile. It's the most universally flattering and classic item for every trendy woman. The higher rise and knee-skimming length make pencil skirts look great on just about everyone, and they're appropriate for a number of events and situations. A pencil skirt is a wardrobe powerhouse, playing nicely with blouses, sweaters, and jackets. Purchase yours in a neutral colour and you can wear it with just about anything. Ask me what item of clothing I'd keep if I had to give everything else away, and I'd definitely say my pencil skirt.

7. Dark denim

I am sure you will appreciate this one seeing that they are more than likely what you wore every day. Jeans are a staple for just about any woman's wardrobe, if you own one pair of denim, make it a dark-wash. Not only are they super slimming (no matter the silhouette), they also work for a wider range of events. You can wear dark jeans with flats to a lunch with friends, or add a sparkly top and heels for a party.

8. Little black dress (LBD)

My second favourite, the LBD is like a blank slate for accessorising and styling yet completely chic on its own. Synonymous with sophisticated style, every woman needs one. They can be worn to work, or dressed down for casual wear as an LBD always looks classic, sharp, and fashionable no matter what.

9. Pumps

Flip-flops, sneakers, and loafers all have their place and it's not at the office. This fashion favorite has withstood the test of time because it is the go-to shoe for day or night. Whether perfectly plain or adorned with a subtle pattern, a pair of black pumps adds polish to any outfit. From dressing up jeans to appropriate office-wear, well-made black pumps extend your wardrobe. When looking for a timeless pair, go for a closed, almond-shape toe in matte leather.

10. Feet-loving flats

There's a reason everyone owns a good pair of ballet flats - they're equal parts chic and comfortable! For most places of employ, the weekends offer a more casual vibe and these fit in well on such occasions. Use them to dress up your jeans and button-down combination, then seamlessly transition that same pair to a cocktail dress for night. Your outfits and feet will thank you.