Wardrobe Staples to Keep You Looking Stylish and Not Like a Hot Mess

We’ve all seen her- heck, if we’re being honest here, we’ve all been her- the mom who drops off her kids at school with an unintentional messy bun, wearing sweatpants, an old track t-shirt from college, and flip flops.

Believe me: I am totally not judging. I’ve taken my daughter to school with baby snot on the shoulder of my black shirt. I’ve worn old yoga pants with “oh, nobody should be looking close enough” legs that needed a shave. I’ve even somehow worn two different shoes without noticing.

To counter this, I have been trying to build a wardrobe of simple, classic, and relatively inexpensive items that can be thrown on in a hurry and still look good, go from school to work, to a playdate, or to just wear to look nice. Even if you are not a mom, this article is for you.

I like my wardrobe to be simple enough that just about anything I pull out of the closet will effortlessly match and be appropriate for multiple situations, plus be able to dress up or down if needed. I require no fuss, no ironing, no dry cleaning.


  • I tend to keep my wardrobe staples in white, black, gray, charcoal, navy, and olive green that way most pieces are able to mix and match
  • Accessories can make or break an outfit. To keep my outfits from looking boring, I try to use bright accessories like tights, scarves, shoes, or jewelry for refreshing pops of color
  • Make sure to buy pieces that are flattering to your body shape
  • If I find a top or dress that I really like, I will often buy it in more than one color

I try to make the most of my money so I shop mostly from Amazon, Kohls, and Target, but you should be able to find similar items in other price ranges. If you can, invest in classic, well-made, nice-fitting pieces that will last for years. Not all of us can afford to do that, so taking good care of your clothes is a must. I handwash my sweaters and delicate items with gentle soap, like Woolite. I never put them in the dryer, instead, I lay them flat to dry. Pay attention to the labels on your clothing and follow the instructions to keep your clothes looking nice for longer.

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Wardrobe Staples to Keep You Looking Stylish

So, what should you build your basic wardrobe with?

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A well-cut blazer


FACE N FACE Women’s Cotton Rolled up Sleeve No-Buckle Blazer Jacket in black $26.99

Jean jacket

classic jean jacket

Riders by Lee Indigo Women’s Stretch Denim Jacket in drenched $29.99 – Photo credit: Amazon

A crisp white button up

white button down short sleeve

Hotouch Women’s Short Sleeve Cotton Button Down Shirt in white $22.00 – Photo credit: Amazon

Long sleeve button down shirt

Hotouch Women’s Long Sleeve Cotton Button Down Shirt in white $23.49 – Photo credit: Amazon

A flattering top

black ruched top

Zeagoo Women’s Cross-Front V Neck Ruched Cap Sleeve Blouse in black $22.99 – Photo credit: Amazon

navy dolman top

URBANCLEO Womens Short Sleeve Dolman Drape Top in Navy $8.65 – Photo credit: Amazon

This 3/4 sleeve boatneck

classic striped boatneck top

Daily Ritual Women’s Midweight 100% Supima Cotton Rib Knit 3/4-Sleeve Boat Neck T-Shirt, 2-Pack $22.00 – Photo credit: Amazon

A light cardigan

button down cardigan

Instar Mode Women’s Classic Button Down Long Sleeve V-Neck Soft Knit Sweater Cardigan in charcoal $17.95 – Photo credit: Amazon

A fitted tee

v-neck T-shirt

Design by Olivia Women’s Basic Solid Fitted Short Sleeve T-Shirt 3pack – Black/H.grey/White $21.95 – Photo credit: Amazon

Well-fitting jeans

Levi Strauss jeans

Signature by Levi Strauss & Co. Gold Label Women’s Modern Skinny Jeans in Mascara $24.99 – Photo credit: Amazon

Levi Strauss straight jeans

Signature by Levi Strauss & Co. Gold Label Women’s Modern Straight Jeans in Molly $19.99 – Photo credit: Amazon

Dress pants

comfort fit

Lark & Ro Women’s Barely Bootcut Stretch Pant in black $39.00

ankle pant

Zac & Rachel Women’s Millennium Ankle Pants in navy blazer $29.99 – Photo credit: Amazon

A basic dress


GRECERELLE Women’s Long Sleeve Maxi Dress with Pockets in army green $22.99 – Photo credit: Amazon

tank dress

Jouica Women’s Sleeveless Knee Length Pleated Sun Dress with Pockets in black $18.99 – Photo credit: Amazon

Pencil skirt

mid-length pencil skirt

Urban CoCo Women’s Elastic Waist Stretch Bodycon Midi Pencil Skirt in black $17.86 – Photo credit: Amazon


short dress

LARACE Women Short Sleeve Flare Tunic Top in army green $18.99 – Photo credit: Amazon


black leggings

Homma Premium Thick High Waist Tummy Compression Slimming Leggings in black $18.95 – Photo credit: Amazon


Ballet flats

black ballet flat

Rohb by Joyce Azria Corsica Round Toe Ballerina Flat in black $26.99 – Photo credit: Amazon

Simple sandals

simple sandal

Rekayla Flat Elastic Sandal in new black $16.99 – Photo credit: Amazon

Classic sneakers

black Chucks

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star in black $48.56 – Photo credit: Amazon



colorful hemp scarf

MANSHU 6PCS Women Soft Cotton Hemp Scarf Shawl Long Scarves 6 pack $23.99 – Photo credit: Amazon


bad hair day camo

THE HAT DEPOT Cadet Army Washed Cotton Basic Cap Military Style Hat in navy $10.55 – Photo credit: Amazon


simple crossbody purse

FashionPuzzle Triple Zip Small Crossbody Bag in black $17.50



Kate Spade New York Stud Earrings in cream $27.95 – Photo credit: Amazon

crystal studs

Kate Spade New York Crystal Stud Earring (Clear) $27.87 – Photo credit: Amazon

The takeaway

You can look great and put together with little effort. Fill your closet with classic items that will look good, no matter what you grab. Never look like a hot mess again!



3 thoughts on “Wardrobe Staples to Keep You Looking Stylish and Not Like a Hot Mess

  1. NikkiMouse says:

    I’m not a mom, but even I needed this post! I have trouble getting out of my comfy routine of leggings and a T-shirt… and I LOVE that both those dresses have pockets!!
    I do believe I’m going to go on amazon and get that maxi dress… and probably the blazer as well😁

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