Top Closet Essentials – $500 Nordstrom GiveAway – Time to Shop

Fashionomics wardrobe consultant Debby Allbright writes on the closet essentials.

Happy Tuesday!! I’m so far behind I’m still saying “hope you all had a fantastic July 4th celebration”. We just got back from a very relaxing trip to Cancun and we are having a hard time adjusting to reality;  I haven’t written a blog in a while, so here goes. I have been meaning to write this blog forever but it seemed a bit overwhelming. I love my job as a wardrobe consultant and closet organizer so I see a lot of  closets and clothes. One of my steps when helping clients is to edit the closet before organizing, which brings me to the subject of closet essentials. I saw a post recently that listed something like 9 closet essentials. Haha. I will say that the author was young and has very different taste than I do. My point is that I tried to minimize when choosing my essentials and there are more than 9, that’s for sure!! I went through my own closet and pulled out the things I feel are most important to your wardrobe. Of course there is lot of room for interpretation here!! JUST IN TIME FOR SHOPPING BE SURE TO ENTER THE $500 NORDSTROM RAFFLE BELOW!!! DON’T MISS OUT!!

a selection of handbags are important in every closet.

A bucket bag, tote, satchel and top handle bag make a great hand bag collection for dallas blogger.

A clutch is a great handbag for lunch or dinner dates.

HANDBAGS This has been a bit difficult to limit my number of closet essentials. I decided to break these items into categories. One of the most important items in your wardrobe is a handbag. Or should I say handbags because you cant’ have just one. I would say you need an everyday handbag that you use for work or errands or whatever you do in your life. I chose to show a black bucket bag (similar)  in black from Tory Burch and a soft top handle satchel (similar) in neutral from Henri Bendel. I am also showing a classic structured top handle satchel (similar) in caramel from Macy’s  that is great for file folders. A must for everyone in my opinion is a great tote and this St Anne tote from Barrington Gifts is a classic. My fave. The next necessary handbag is a clutch (or small bag) for going to lunch or dinner or anywhere you don’t need all of your stuff. I think you will have more than one clutch in your handbag wardrobe but that is up to you. You can look around in this closet for some inspiration!!

Fashion blogger Debby Allbright is a shoe addict and loves collecting beautiful shoes.

Closet essentials nude flat, nude pump and nude sandal or wedge.

Black shoes are basics for fashion models and bloggers

SHOES I have a confession to make – I love shoes more than anything. Having the right shoe can make or break your outfit. You may love to keep it classic and simple but you can spice it up with fun shoes. My shoe collection is all over the map from expensive to Target finds. Of course I love a good sale. Some of my clients have issues with their feet so fit and comfort are important. Designers have become very sensitive to the needs of women so you can find a wide variety of heel heights and wedges are always a good option for comfort. Black is always basic and I would suggest a classic pump, flat, slip-on sneaker, strappy sandal and bootie. By the way, in my opinion the Stuart Weitzman Nudist Sandal is the most classic strappy sandal for day or evening and it comes in several heel heights and colors. A nude shoe would be the next basic in your collection and I suggest a classic pump, flat and sandal or wedge or the oh so popular mule. The nude shoe became popular a few years ago and it is a brilliant fashion move because the shoe literally disappears on your foot and makes your leg look longer!!! It is great if you can find a nude shoe that is close to your skin color – they come in many shades of nude. I am not saying that you can’t have any fun shoes – I just don’t have time to talk about that, but I say go for it!! You can’t have too many shoes in my opinion. But you do want to keep your shoe wardrobe current and in great shape; utilize your favorite cobbler!!

Fashionomics recommends a white shirt and basic white tee in your closet essentials list.

Denim is the new neutral and essential item in your closet.

Fashionomics you need a selection of tanks in your wardrobe

TOPS I am just giving you some basics and believe me I could say a lot more but I am trying to keep it simple. This is really a pretty overwhelming project!! Let’s just say that, like shoes, you probably can’t have too many white blouses. There are so many styles and fabrics to choose from that I am just showing a basic white shirt and also a classic white tee shirt. You can build any wardrobe with a few key pieces. I also think that denim has definitely become a neutral and I am embarrassed to admit how many denim shirts I have and I always want to buy some more. I guess I am lazy but it sure is easy to throw one on with jeans, white or colored or classic denim. And last but not least every wardrobe needs a classic camisole in black or ivory, you can have as many colors as you want because this is a must for underneath sheer blouses or low cut tops you want to fill in. Lace trim is always a pretty feminine touch even with jeans. 

A basic black pant is always great to have in your closet for any occasion.

Jeans come in skinny leg, flare, cropped and white or denim

BOTTOMS This is another hard category but I am sticking to the basics. You may or not need a basic black pant in your wardrobe but I find it is nice to have on hand for a variety of occasions and it is certainly a basic piece. The pants I am showing are a straight leg and I hate to admit that I have had them for a while. You might prefer a flare and Theory always has the best basics. They are so simple and classic and such great fabric that I don’t see any reason to replace them. Now on to jeans and there are more possibilities than I can cover in this blog. There was a time that I never wore jeans and fast forward to today and they are a mainstay in my wardrobe. Jeans have become acceptable almost anywhere and can be dressed up and down with your shoes, tops and jackets. I can’t live without my white skinny jeans (now ok to wear any time of year) , black skinny (or whatever style you like) and a dark denim flare. There are so many versions of cropped jeans with a lot of pizazz too. 

Every wardrobe needs a third piece like a jacket or sweater.

A little versatile all weather jacket is a great third piece.

Every wardrobe needs a great trench coat for a fashion update.

JACKETS I like to call this the third piece as in your outfit usually needs that to complete it. It is usually a jacket whether black, navy (think Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman), white or a pattern which ties everything together. I think everyone should own a great denim jacket and The Gap makes the icon that always works. I think you should own a trench coat. It could be basic or with a little flare; it’s become a fashion piece on the runway and a staple in your wardrobe. I swear I saw Kate Middleton wearing one like mine with the ruffle at the bottom. Hers was probably not Banana Republic like this one. You could also add a little shorter all weather jacket that is multi purpose. I am sure you may also have a winter coat, fur or leather jacket. 

Evening and cocktail dresses, shoes and handbags are a must to complete your over 40 wardrobe.

Fashionomics says you need an evening shoe in black and or metallic and a selection of smaller evening bags.


I can’t leave out the last category and this one is pretty broad from a cocktail party to black tie wedding. I just included a couple of pretty dresses that work for cocktail and an evening bag and evening shoes. Of course you may need a long dress and  black is always great for dressing up. I insist that my clients have a dressy shoe for evening, usually a sandal in satin, lace, metallic or something that says I am going out and I look fabulous. There are so many heel heights and price points – no excuses for wearing your daytime leather pump!!! An evening bag is easy to find and does not have to break the bank! Get a good selection for cocktail / evening in your closet and you won’t have to panic when a special event rolls around. Just a little advice from Fashionomics!! Enter the Raffle for a $5oo Nordstrom GC here and below just in time for the sale that starts July 12!! 2 chances to win!!

Woo hoo, it’s almost Nordstrom Anniversary Sale time! We love shopping the sale and since we are so grateful for all of the support you give us, we wanted to bring our readers (that means YOU) a giveaway; so that one of you will get to shop the sale this year with a $500 Nordstrom Gift Card from us! (See below for how to enter…)

*The Anniversary sale runs from July 20-August 5 2018; if you have a Nordstrom card then you can shop the sale early starting on July 12th!

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PHOTOGRAPHY – Mary Summers Hafner

CLOSET – Lolli and MeCloset Make Over