The 15 Fashion Staples Every Modern Girl Should Have

As a fashion maven, it’s important to be prepared for any occasion. When you’re asked out on a hot date or for a last minute interview, it’s important to keep yourself calm and collected and not immediately think, “I need to go shopping!”

Here are our picks of the 15 fashion staples that every modern goddess should have in her closet. Once you have these 15 pieces, the rest of your clothing becomes the fun, extra stuff.

1) A Tailored Pair of Pants

A tailored pair of pants is a crucial item for any college girl who will eventually be going on interviews for jobs, internships or leadership positions. Trousers are not just classic, but classy and sophisticated and are flexible enough to be paired with an array of tops.

(from left to right) Navy Trousers, Black Trousers, Tweed Trousers, Gray Trousers

2) A White Button Up

White button ups are so versatile: they can be worn to work, thrown over a bathing suit, put over a dress to make it more casual, or just simply worn with jeans to class.

(top row from left to right) White Boyfriend Button Up, White Blouse, (bottom row from left to right) Class White Button Up, White Embroidered Tunic

3) The Little Black Dress

Okay, this is one of the first things every girl thinks of when you think “staple” item, so it had to make this list. The black dresses below range in price because a LBD is definitely an investment piece, but it doesn’t have to be!

(top row from left to right) Tube Dress, Black Dress, Tiered Dress, Swing Dress, (bottom row from left to right) Embellished Dress, Sleeveless Mesh Dress, Halter Dress, Long Sleeve Mini Dress

4) The Little White Dress

This is one item that definitely doesn’t make every essentials list. But, I’m a firm believer that a white/cream dress is just as important as a black one. They can be dressed up, or down, and worn more than you think!

(from left to right) Ruffle Dress, Embellished Dress, Ruched Bandeau Dress, Linen Shift Dress

5) Jeans

Jeans are such an important part of every girl’s closet. They can be worn out at night to a bar, dinner or on a more casual date, or dressed down during the day with a t-shirt or tunic. Although picking out the perfect pair of jeans for you may require trying them on in a store, here are some of our favorites.

(from left to right) Dark Tint Jeans, White Jeans, Black Jeans, Super Dark Jeans, Summer Blue Jeans

6) A Mary Poppins Bag (aka a Bag That Fits Everything)

Whether you’re a college girl or about to start your career, it’s no secret that busy girls have to schlep stuff! Whether it’s your laptop and books, your makeup, or your high heels while you commute in flip flops, a huge bag is key.

(from left to right) Slouchy Tote Bag, Nude Bag, Quilted Pink Tote

7) A Multi-Functional Pair of Heels

The perfect pair of heels can be worn both to work and for a night out on the town. They’re sexy, but not so sexy that they make you the girl everyone’s talking about when you wear them to the office. Try these:

(from left to right) Black Patent Heels, Black Patent Heels with Bow Trim, Black Pump

8) Blazer

Blazers are my go-to to make any outfit look more work-appropriate. They can turn anything into sophisticated, from sundresses to jeans! Picking one in a bright color can also help turn a boring outfit into something fabulous.

Black Blazer, Navy Blazer, Gray Blazer, White Blazer

9) Rainboots

Rainboots are a must have for spring and fall. There’s no use in ruining a great pair of shoes when there are so many stylish rainboots out there to glam up all of your rainy day outfits.

(from left to right) Buckle Rainboot, Equestrian Two-Tone Rainboot, Rubber Rainboot, Shiny Black Rainboot

10) T-shirts & Tank Tops

It’s always important to have a few basic t-shirts and tanks in your closet for those days where getting ready is the least important thing on your mind. A good t-shirt or tank top can be paired with everything, and accessorized to be glam or casual instantly.

(top row from left to right) Pocket Tee, Scoop Neck T-shirt, V-Neck T-shirt, Scoop Neck T-shirt, Basic T-shirt, (bottom row from left to right) Racerback Tank Top, Basic Cami, Ribbed Tank Top, Loose Tank Top, Burn-Out Tank Top

11) Coats For Every Type of Weather

Depending on where you live, you may only need one coat for the few days of the year it’s not 65 degrees out, or you may need one for every different season. Rain coats, winter coats, and fall coats are all important closet staples.

(top row from left to right) Casual Trench, Long Button Up Trench, Felt Pea Coat, (middle row from left to right) Lime Pea Coat, Black Bomber with Faux Fur, Satin Coat, (bottom row from left to right) Bubble Coat with Faux Fur, Black Jacket, Fur Trim Collar Jacket

12) A Comfortable Pair of Flats

After both commuting to NYC to intern and being late to several classes, I’ve learned that my shoes comfort level is extremely important if I’m going to run or walk at a fast pace. Enter: comfortable flats, both trendy and easy to walk in.

(top row from left to right) Leather Ballerina Flats, Black Leather Ballerina Flats, (middle row from left to right) White Basic Flats, Flower Cut-Out Flats, Pointed Toe Flat with Cut-Outs, (bottom row) Studded Canvas Flats

13) Tops to Go Out In

During college, we tend to work hard, but play even harder. The weekends are always the best time to look your best while going out with friends.

(from left to right) Silk Shirt with Ruffles, Ruffle Blouse, Chiffon Tunic

14) Cardigans

Cardigans are perfect to throw on over anything during transitional seasons. You can wear them as a jacket when the weather is warm, but not warm enough to be bare-armed, or throughout the day in your chillier classrooms. I’ve included the most basic colors, but cardigans come in so many shades, they’re an easy way to add a pop of color to an outfit!

(from left to right) Gray Cardigan, White Cardigan, Black Cardigan

15) A Piece of Clothing or Accessory That is Totally YOU!

For me, it’s my gold Swatch Full Blooded Watch and my diamond heart necklace. For Blair Waldorf, it’s headbands. For Jackie O., it was her oversized sunglasses.

Every style icon has one signature item that she’s associated with. Being a stylish goddess, you should have one, too! Have an item you wear everyday (maybe the same one day after day or you wear different variations of it, like Blair’s headbands)? That’s your signature piece. If you don’t, don’t worry! All you have to do is figure out what’s your favorite piece of clothing or favorite accessory and work from there.

If you love watches, invest in one great watch that you can wear almost all the time. If you love vintage Levi’s cut-offs, buy every pair you can get your hands on!

A signature item is important for every girl’s wardrobe because it is the key item that epitomizes your style. Every goddess should have one!

What do you think?

Do you own all of these essential pieces? If you don’t, which ones will you be shopping for first? What’s your signature piece? What’s the most essential item in your closet? Let us know in a comment!

16 thoughts on “The 15 Fashion Staples Every Modern Girl Should Have

  1. A signature piece is an item or style that indentify you. I like to use different scarves –anything that adds originality to your look.

    This was a great post. A girl should totalllyy have some of these in her closet!!

  2. Love the boots you choose. I have the Equestrian Two-Tone Rainboot from urban and think they are the greatest.

    I just got a pair of something a little more different – Kamik Women’s Janis Rain Boot
    The boot shaft is a little narrow so it’s a little hard to fit the bottoms of pants into it but I love them for those days when I am really trying to feel unique. Sometimes my mom steals them though :(

    Love the site!!

  3. Mix several styles with purpose — that you’ll create an amazing style if you combine several aspects of your personality

    Us girls needs to wear things that demonstrate who we are both personally and physically. No matter how amazing a certain piece is, if it is not right for your body, you will look off. We need to find things that flatters our appearances, utilizing our assets.

    I love how you showed several different pieces for each category. It started to get my ideas flowing and I’m sure everyone could find something in this post they loved.

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  5. These are great picks! I think you forgot one item though: hats. I think they always add something to an outfit, depending on the hat. I always see lists like this, but I like how yours is more extensive, so I don’t feel it’s limiting. I have to keep this in mind for back-to-school shopping. Great blog- I love the concept!

  6. @Lola – I agree! Scarves are a great accessory to make your signature item. There are so many to choose from!

    @Johanna – That’s always a big deal breaker with me! My pants need to be able to tuck into all of my boots with minimal effort. But, I go to school where it snows and rains a lot, so it’s mostly to prevent my pants from soaking…

    @Melissa – Totally agree! If you’ve got it, flaunt it! Always play up your best features. Not only will you look great, you’ll feel even better!

    @Jane – Thank you! You’re very sweet!

    @Lia – Thank you so much for taking time to comment!

    @Sarah – First off, we share the same name, which means you’re automatically cool. Second, although I am a hat person, I consider that more of an accessory than a staple item. They’re kind of like scarves – I would definitely recommend having a few, but if you don’t, it’s not going to be something you feel like you’re missing from your closet on a regular basis. But thank you for your input! I’m happy you’re enjoying the blog so far! Make sure you bookmark and follow us on FB & Twitter (http://www.facebook.com/pages/15-Minute-Goddess/104143562973422 and http://www.twitter.com/15minutegoddess).

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  9. My signature item is my gold juicy bracelet i’m a sophomore and Ive had it since i was in seventh grade. i think a small ring or a bracelete can easily made a great piece. A necklace can make a good center peice. And if your looking around for something to be your signature peice, try and find something that speaks to you for example everytime i wear my juicy bracelete i get this bounce of excitment in my stomach, your peice should make you feel confident and happy!

    • @Lea – thanks for the comment! Finding a signature item is a great way to spice up your outfit. If scarves are your thing, you can buy a bunch and switch them up from day to day to keep your look fresh!

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