10 Essential Pieces To Have In Your Wardrobe

To make your wardrobe work in the easiest, most versatile way, there are a series of essential pieces that you should have in your closet. These are pieces from every wardrobe category (think tops, bottoms, layering pieces and more), that make mixing & matching and outfit creation so much easier. And easy is what we’re all going for in our closets! When you have the best foundation, pairing pieces and putting together looks becomes SO much simpler. And when you have those wardrobe essentials, you have the building blocks to outfit making.

We’re going to chat about the 10 essential pieces to have in your wardrobe to make getting dressed easy, and to make your wardrobe work for you. And if you’re ready to dive further into these pieces, I’ve created a FREE GUIDE for you with all of these pieces, a breakdown of the items, PLUS over 50 OUTFITS CREATED FOR YOU with just those pieces!

Let’s elevate your style and create the best foundation for outfit making!

10 Essential Pieces To Have In Your Wardrobe Style Guide, by Katie Zink, Personal Stylist, the 10 pieces image



Your wardrobe is made up of different categories that are essential to creating outfits, like tops, bottoms, layering pieces, accessories and more. We’re going to talk about pieces from the first 3 categories and what items from them to have in your wardrobe to make getting dressed simple. First up is tops.


Tops are a big part of our wardrobe and bring a ton of versatility, personality and style to our looks. Having a variety of tops, or a variety of tops within certain types (say a cropped basic black tee, a v-neck basic black tee etc), makes expressing your style and creating outfits easier. While sometimes the top is the main attraction to your outfit, sometimes it can also be a more simple or basic piece that helps create a base for intention in other parts of your outfit. You want tops in your wardrobe that vary from basics and staples, to statement pieces. For your ESSENTIAL pieces to have in your wardrobe, we have 4 types of TOPS to have.


Everyone needs some great basic tees in their wardrobe. And if you don’t have one or a few in yours, you’re missing an essential building block of your wardrobe, and this may be why you have a hard time getting dressed. The basic tee is an essential base layer to have in your outfit making, whether you’re going for a more minimal, understated look, or if you need a basic top to pair with the rest of your outfit.

Choose a black tee, or a neutral colour of your choice, in a cut and neckline that you prefer. For the most variety and versatility, it’s great to have a couple of these tees in different fits and necklines, so that you can have the right style for the different outfits you’re creating, and in black, white and a neutral of your preference.


The graphic tee is an essential personality piece to have in your wardrobe. Perfect for more causal lifestyle needs, the graphic tee can take you from a casual weekend look paired with jeans and sneakers, to a more edgy and fun look paired with faux leather pants and a blazer. The graphic tee is a great piece to express your style and your personality with, have fun with this one! And if a graphic tee isn’t in your style personality, opt for a striped tee or coloured tee if that suits you better.


Another wardrobe basic, the long sleeve tee is a great base layer to have. Like the basic tee, it is a building block of your outfit making, and an essential piece to have. Perfect for layering in cooler months, or as a full top layer when you need more than a tee. Depending on your style, this may be more of a simple, basic long sleeve for your wardrobe, or it may be more of an elevated piece that has a bit more personality. Go for a neutral colour that fits into your everyday wardrobe, in a neckline and fit that works for you.


A wardrobe classic, the button up is an essential in your wardrobe. If you don’t have one, adding this piece is going to give you a ton of versatility in your outfit making, and be the perfect solution when you’re desiring a look that is a bit more elevated. The structure and style of this top adds sophistication and easily elevates your look, while being a super simple piece to wear.

There are a ton of ways to got with a button up, from coloured, to patterned, to stiffer or flowy fabrics, but you can never go wrong with a classic white cotton button up, and then add to your collection from there.


An essential category in your wardrobe is layering pieces. These are pieces that are paired on top of your base outfit, usually finishing off your look. While layering pieces may be necessary, like a jacket, they are also an interest piece in your outfit, and have the effect of being the finishing touch on your overall look. With the right variety of layering pieces in your wardrobe, you can create a lot of variety in your looks. Let’s break down 3 ESSENTIAL LAYERING PIECES to have in your wardrobe.


The cardigan is a classic piece to have in your closet. Perfect for layering during the cooler months, this pieces finishes off your look while adding warmth, interest and personality. The texture of the knit in a cardigan can add a lot of visual interest to your look, because it contrasts with the less textured pieces you pair it with, like a cotton tee or denim. The style of the cardigan really depends on your personal preference and style personality. Opt for a cardigan that is in a neutral colour that pairs well with the rest of the rest of your wardrobe, and in a cut and style that fits your personality.


Another classic essential to have in your wardrobe is the blazer. This piece has a ton of versatility, taking you from more casual looks paired with denim, to elevated workwear looks paired with trousers. Having classic essential pieces in your wardrobe give you quick options to instantly elevate your look. Even if you don’t have a corporate lifestyle, having a black blazer in your wardrobe will give you an easy option for an elevated look, and will pair with a ton of other pieces to fill so many different outfit needs.


The cardicoat or long cardigan is a great layering piece to add variety to your wardrobe. The length of this piece adds visual interest to your outfits, and creates more variety in your styling. Whether you’re wearing it as a coat layer or more of a cozy layer, it’s a great third piece to complete your look. Opt for a cardicoat that has some structure to the neckline if you want more of an instantly elevated look, as a non-structured piece will instantly create a casual look.


Bottoms are a huge essential category of your wardrobe, and life the other categories, there are both staples pieces to have in there as well as a variety of personality pieces. Usually we have fewer pieces of bottoms in our wardrobes compared to tops, so you’ll want to make sure you have a variety of pieces to fit your lifestyle needs. Here are 3 ESSENTIAL BOTTOMS to have in your wardrobe to make outfit creation easy and versatile.


An absolute essential in your wardrobe is a pair of classic denim jeans. You can’t go wrong with a pair of straight leg, mid-wash, non-distressed denim. These are going to be the easiest bottoms to pair with almost any outfit, and get a ton of wear in our wardrobe. Being a wardrobe classic, this style is going to last a long time and not run the trend cycle like other styles. The classic denim is a super versatile piece, and can be dressed up or down depending on your lifestyle needs.


Like the classic denim, another staple piece to have in your wardrobe is black denim jeans. These are another building block in your outfit making, adding variety to your looks. Again opt for a pair that are straight leg, with no distressing to get the most out of this piece. Having denim in black gives you options to mix up your denim looks. And black denim often looks a little less casual, giving a bit of sophistication, while keeping the comfort of a denim outfit.


The last essential to have in your wardrobe is a pair of black pants. These are in a style of your choice, and this is where your personality really gets to shine! Choose a pair of black pants that reflect your style personality and fit your lifestyle needs. Depending on your lifestyle, these could be trousers, faux leather pants, cargos, satin pants, structured black slacks, etc. If they are another pair of denim, go for something different than your classic style. The pants could also be in any cut, like flare, ankle cut, boot cut, wide leg, etc. Check this post here for more pant styles to try. Let your personal style express itself in this pair of pants and have fun with it!

Having these essentials in your wardrobe is going to create variety in your looks, as well as give you structure in your wardrobe by having the right building blocks for outfit making. From basics to personality pieces, your style personality can really be expressed through the pieces that you choose. And having just these 10 pieces show you how much variety you can have in your wardrobe!

And inside the FREE GUIDE: The 10 Essential Pieces To Have In Your Wardrobe I’ve used these pieces to create 50+ Outfits for you already! Download the Guide to get a ton of wardrobe inspiration, and use the outfits as inspo when getting dressed!