Opinion

5 Things Every Woman (or Open-Minded Man) Needs in Her Closet

It’s that time of year- the time to unpack sweaters, savor a mug of tea, and fill your house with mini pumpkins to the point that friends and family consider calling up Intervention. It’s also time to clean out the closet.

I’ll be writing shortly about how much I struggle with culling clothes, but for now, the closet clean-out also reminds me of the necessary pieces that stand the test of time. The pieces I couldn’t live without. The pieces I think you shouldn’t live without. Here are five things that I believe every woman (or, as the title says, certainly some men) shouldn’t be without.

5. A good pair of day-to-night walkable boots. And when I say “walkable,” I mean the kind of boots that allow you to stay on your feet and bar-hop until last call without crying on the inside or needing to down some Patron to silence your screaming arches.

Cole Haan Petra Boots, worn at Lands End trail in San Francisco

Cole Haan's Petra boot

For me, those boots are the Petra boot by Cole Haan (Vince Camuto’s Winchell as well, but I’ve already gone there here, here, and here, and here. I’m pretty sure you get it). The Nike air technology really makes a difference, and I have quite literally walked from one end of San Francisco to the other, which is pretty flipping far (there’s a reason it’s called the 7×7- as in, miles). I’ve worn these boots with everything in my closet over the past four years, from flannel to sequins and beyond.

4. An exceptional dress that lets you steal the show, just a little. For some women, it’s the perfect LBD that gives them curves in all the right places. For others, it’s a dramatic backless maxi dress. The exact look doesn’t matter, as long as you know you can always reach for it and feel amazing when you put it on.

BCBG Maxazria's Katrina dress

For me, it’s the Katarina dress in Canary. I found it while browsing the clearance rack at the Union Square BCBG store, and I knew it was love. And it’s a good thing it was true love, since the only sizes available were a 0 and a 10, of which I am neither. That’s what a good tailor is for, right? Right!

And the blurry fitting room photo… (Please note, this was pre-tailoring and five pounds ago. Bleh).3. A jacket you can wear with any dress in your closet. I’m convinced that jacket is almost certainly a leather moto or bomber jacket. When I need to complete an outfit (or just give in to the knowledge that I always underdress for the temperature), I bust out my black faux-leather moto jacket from Zara.

Zara's Faux Leather Moto Jacket in BlackIt was $60 (hell yes!) and is blissfully free of that awkward fake leather look. And I suppose it’s also practical at keeping me from chattering my teeth right off once the fog rolls in. Here it is in action at San Francisco’s 2012 Pride Parade with friends (before the red had completely washed out of my hair!).

San Francisco Pride Parade 2012 with Sanfranista's friendsI also love Alice + Olivia’s super feminine take on the classic jacket. Someday, when my income triples, this will happen.

2. A stand-alone bag in a neutral (but also fun) color that’s large enough to hold what you need and small enough for you to actually carry it all day.

A few weeks ago, I posted about how I rarely buy anything when it first comes out, since I’d rather wait for it to go on sale. My Pippa bag by Modalu was one of those pieces I simply couldn’t wait for. I carried it last week to San Francisco Fashion Week’s opening party, and it was a big hit!

Yes, I know, it’s so cliche to buy a bag that one of the Middletons was seen carrying. But trust me, this bag is worth it. The shark color is the perfect unexpected neutral. The gold hardware elevates it even further without becoming overly stuffy or trying too hard. And the interior pockets? Lifesaver.

1. Finally, the perfect pair of jeans for you that can go from work to weekend. Tuck them into (or wear them over) boots, pair them with heels, throw them on for brunch, wear them to the park for a picnic, wear them everywhere. My staple style is the cigarette pant, since I love the look of skinny jeans but want a little room in the ankle area so they don’t look painted on. Boot cut or trouser are also great options if you’re not a fan of the skinny jean.

I’m faithful to my Marc by Marc Jacobs pair for its polished look and deep hue. I feel awesome in them, and they fit my body and my style. I also found them on clearance for $40!

Marc by Marc Jacobs Jeans

There you have it. What do you think of my list? Is there something I forgot, or something you think I could omit? Let me know!

Until then, Happy Friday.

Images from Polyvore, eBay, Alice + Olivia, and my own

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4 thoughts on “5 Things Every Woman (or Open-Minded Man) Needs in Her Closet

  1. I totally agree with the last reader — I love that you took these concepts and made into into a clear and readable list. It seems so obvious now seeing it in black and white as it were, but I never would have put all these together myself. Definitely the essentials for any cooler weather wardrobe! Good thing to have on my mind as I’m thinking about holidays vacations!

  2. Pingback: What I Want: Versatile Booties Under $160 | sanfranista

  3. Pingback: 7 things that MY Closet should have « The Chaotic Soul

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