Have you ever had a friend with an effortless style that fits who they are and what they do so perfectly?
Well I have a friend like that. Her name is Heather.
She successfully mixes feminine florals with black leather and fringe. She knows how to balance accent pieces with basics. She can create multiple outfits out of a few basics in her suitcase as she flies between NYC and Alabama monthly.
Heather and I met in college while studying fashion design. We bonded over laughter, dancing, creativity, and career driven personalities. Though our lives separate us now, we still encourage each other as we build our businesses. As a fashion and bridal expert, she now writes for Harper's Bazaar and consults for companies across the USA. Please follow this talented boss lady and experience her joy for life. @heatherhallgalle
Without further ado….
HEATHER’S LIST OF BASICS FOR A BUSY CAREER
Achieving the ultimate wardrobe is a challenge that I’ve gladly accepted—fashion is my career after all. However, with hundreds of items in my closet, I can (now) easily pick out my top pieces for go-to workwear and every day life.
You know: those staples in your closet that you can pair with anything and pack for every trip.
No? Well, maybe that’s not the case… yet!
Building a collection of staples and basic essentials is something that took time for me. It required a few years in a corporate working environment for me to figure out what the “staples” actually were and how they fit into my life. From the black blouse that can take you from a breakfast meeting to a client to a site visit and your dinner reservations, to the ultimate to-and-from pants that double as my post-sweat (breathable) outfit and professional look, here are some of my favorite must-haves that I wish someone had told me about years ago.
Have a recommendation to add to the list? Leave a comment below or find me on Instagram!
The Classic Cami
To this day, my go-to place for basic tops that can layer with any outfit is Express. Dress tanks and camis to pair with a blazer or leather jacket come in a variety of color ways and it’s an affordable price point. Not-to-mention, their available sizes range from XXS to XL, rather than your standard S, M and L. What I also love? Express always has great sales - 40% right now!
The Downtown Cami ($39.90) comes in 14 color options. In an ivory, black or gray this essential tank is easy to pack and works for multiple occasions.
I wear a black camisole 2-3 times a week. I place it under tunics, tops, and with jackets. The v-neck combined with the layering is flattering. I recommend having a white and black on hand at all times.
I just got this one at Target and love it.
The one I had before I had for 8 years from LOFT.
I also love this one from LOFT.
Whether you shop at Zara or H&M, or you splurge on your tops at Club Monaco or Saks, never underestimate the power of basic tanks (and blouses) in a breathable fabric that can be dressed up or down.
The Whisper Cotton Crewneck Muscle Tank ($18.50) is a black sleeveless tank similar to one I have from years ago. I never expected the quality to last this long, but it has! This works on the weekend with yoga pants or with a blazer for your whatever your 9-5 looks like.
I love tunics that are a-line and longer so I can wear them with leggings!
Found affordable ones that last 1-2 seasons at Old Navy.
J. Jill has great basics like tanks. Better quality fabrics that last more seasons.
Every closet needs a button down blouse. My favorite black button down in my
closet is a silk blouse from Banana Republic. Again, I’ve had it for years and it’s there when I need that extra dose of professionalism added to my outfit.
The Parker Tunic-Fit Washable Silk High-Low Shirt ($129), has 3 key points I look for while shopping:
1.) Washable. I do not have time to take every shirt to the dry cleaners after one wear.
2.) Tunic-fit. This is going to breathe and allow me to be comfortable without looking sloppy. And
3.) Silk. While a cotton button-down is another good basic, I love a silk blend (or look) because it adds an interesting texture and feels luxe.
*One of Eloise's favorite blouses too!
I love both of these options that Heather shared. Pick a blouse that has silk or polyester or rayon in it to reduce wrinkling. 100% cotton shirts will always need to be ironed or steamed and don’t look good at the end of the day.
As a larger busted gal, I have to be careful of the fit across the bust so that I don’t give a free peep show! H&M and LOFT have been good brands for me. (please share if you have found another brand!)
I recommend looking for a quarter button down tunic top if your bust and midsection are larger.
I look for button downs that have a collar to create structure and a flattering “v” near my neck . LOFT has buttons downs each season. Sometimes they don’t have a collar but they fit well across the bust and hang nicely.
Usually good across the bust!
A-line tunics look good un-tucked and tucked in.
I recently discovered an obsession with all things lululemon. If you’ve been on that bandwagon for a while now — I get it. Some of my BEST basics are from the “Office Travel Commute” collections and I can’t get enough.
The On the Fly Pant 28” ($98) is one of my favorite recommendations. Confession: I have them in 5 different colors — including the crops! With sweat-wicking properties and quality Luxetreme fabric that keeps me cool (and warm when I need to be), I can throw these on after a hot yoga class and be comfortable + put together. Pair with a basic T, chic sneaks and earrings, or throw on some heels and a blouse for a look that you’ll never live without.
GREAT reviews on fit especially for curvy women with hips!
Love some elastic waited pants that still look nice for work!
These have a pin tuck so they look dressier AND elongates the legs (my legs are short so I need it!)
Mine fit looser than the picture because I went up a size.
Please comment below OR comment on Instagram and let us know what brands and styles you love!
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