One of my most requested blog posts is about starting a wardrobe from scratch. Besides sharing my personal style and some fun DIY projects, one of my main goals for this blog is to help you create an amazing closet with versatile pieces that create tons of beautiful outfits that reflect your style and flatter your body.
I share tips about how to style things, and different pieces you need in your closet, but today I’m excited to start at the very beginning and show you how to create a great wardrobe from the ground up.
Building a wardrobe from scratch can be a super overwhelming and daunting task, so I’ll break it down by clothing category and share which pieces I think are essential, roughly how many you should have, and then give you a ton of shopping options so you can find the perfect pieces that fit your budget and your personal style.
Are you ready??
First up, let’s talk about PANTS. This is a good place to start because they’re the foundation of most people’s wardrobes. If you have pants that fit you well and flatter your body, the rest of your outfit will come together a lot more easily. And because a good pair of pants is so essential to every woman’s wardrobe, this is a piece on which I’m willing to spend a little more money. This isn’t to say that there aren’t amazing pants at low price points, I’m just saying that a piece this important is worth the extra money to buy a pair you will wear every single day and will make you feel amazing.
I split it up into three pants categories — jeans, non-jeans, and others. When you’re starting your wardrobe, I recommend buying 2 JEANS (whichever two pairs fit your life and style), and 1 NON-JEANS. The OTHERS are just extras that are nice to have if your lifestyle calls for them.
- JEANS. I could spend a million years talking about jeans, but I’ll try to keep it concise. They’re the foundation of my wardrobe, I wear them every single day, and I encourage you to go through the process of finding the perfect pair. Even if that requires that you order a few pairs at a time to try on at home, and then sending them back if they don’t work and then do it all over again and again until you find that perfect pair (hint: Zappos, Nordstrom, and ASOS‘ free shipping and returns make it super easy to do that!). Here are three options of jeans — as I said above, I recommend picking TWO to start your wardrobe. And choose the style that best fits your body — skinny, flared, boyfriend, cropped, straight leg, wide leg, etc.
- Medium rinse jeans. These are a casual staple, and easy to dress up or down. I personally like ones with a little bit of distressing for some visual interest, but not too much since that can easily look juvenile if you’re not careful. This pair is my very, very favorite. They’re pricier, but they are absolutely worth it because they fit me perfectly, are super flattering, are just the right length, and I wear the heck out of them. I’ve linked up a ton more options in the widget below, all at different price points and with different styles. I also love, love, love my boyfriend style medium rinse jeans.
- Black or dark wash jeans. It’s important to have a pair of dark jeans like this for dressier occasions when a medium rinse and distressing isn’t as appropriate. But these can still be dressed down with sneakers or sandals for a casual day. I have this pair of black jeans and they’re a little pricier too, but they are the best jeans ever. So soft and comfortable, and hug my body in just the right way. I’ve tried a lot of black jeans over the years and these ones are about ten thousand times better than any others I’ve tried. But find a bunch more below!
- White jeans. If you’ve been reading the blog the last few weeks, or following me on instagram, you know how much wear I’ve gotten out of my white jeans. They’re a spring and summer staple for my wardrobe, and a great piece that’s super versatile. I’d recommend a pair with minimal distressing since they’re easier to dress up or down. I just recently bought this pair and I’m obsessed with them. Check out a bunch of good ones below.
- Linen pants. Great warm weather casual pants. They’re also great for dressing up or down, with heels and a blouse, or with sandals and a tee on vacation. So many good options in the widget below.
- Joggers. These are a great casual option for those of you with a sporty style. And similarly to the linen pants, they’re great for dressing up with heels, or down with sneakers or sandals. Love these ones! But lots of great ones below.
- Ankle pants. These are more dressy pants option, and great for office wear. And they can come in cute colors and patterns like this pair! But you don’t just have to wear a sweater or blouse with them — dress them down with a casual t-shirt and sandals, or sneakers and a chambray button down. Love the ones I found below.
- Leather leggings. I love these during the cooler months, and I wore mine to death this last winter season. As long as they’re a thick material, they’re okay to wear as pants (even though my general rule is that leggings are not pants). They are great for wearing with sweaters, tunics, button downs, and t-shirts…basically everything! This is the pair I bought and wore all winter long!
- Trousers. These come in a lot of different cuts, but the most common are a cropped trouser pant, and a long flared leg trouser pant. The cropped pair are easiest to dress down. The flared trousers give you legs for days, and are super flattering, but also are harder to dress down. I’m especially in love with this pair, but I found some good options below.
- Shorts. With summer approaching, it’s good to have one pair, even if you’re not much of a shorts wearer. I wear bermuda length shorts for everyday, and this season they actually have a lot of good options, although I’ve yet to purchase a pair…check out some good ones below.
- Legging. Ok, just because this is on here doesn’t mean I’m giving you permission to wear yoga pants every day. But a good pair of black leggings is good to have to wear with mini dresses and boots, or a longer top and flats. Just make sure they’re not sheer. And remember, leggings are not pants — keep that bum covered up! 😉 This pair gets great reviews saying they’re not sheer at all, but I found a few more that I linked below.