Eight Items Every Woman Should Own
Invest in a belt you can wear on your waist or on your hips, cinching blousy dresses and polishing pants in a very Ines de la Fressange way. (Perfectly skinny and with just the right amount of hardware, this one seems straight out of that French fashion icon's closet.) It won't work always, but when it does, it'll make a look a little more luxe and finished.
PS1 Leather-Trimmed Twill Belt, $355, Proenza Schouler, Myluckymag.com
A statement blazer's one of the oldest power plays in the book, but that's because it works. Instead of major embellishment and crazy fabrics, opt for bold-colored versions like cobalt or candy apple red; they're just as punchy but way more versatile.
One Button Blazer, $150, Vince Camuto, Nordstrom.com
Giant mirrored aviators and round John Lennon throwbacks are all well and good until you're faced with an outdoor event where you need to look like a grown-up, not a clown. For all those wedding receptions, graduation ceremonies and lunches with the boyfriend's mother, reach for something polished instead. With their glamorous cat-eye shape, these are stylized yet still discreet.
Large Catseye Glasses, $32, Topshop.com
When traveling or going from a breakfast meeting to after-dinner drinks, stick to dresses in thicker fabrics that won't wrinkle the way silks and satins will. My favorite weeekend-bag-resistant dress is made from tough leather but cut in a ladylike silhouette; it's been with me everywhere and has never needed a steamer. (If your style's still softer, though, a heavy knit or cashmere works as well.)
Leather Zip Dress, $995, Jenni Kanye, Shopbop.com
Forget the logic behind nude pumps or black ballet flats: what you really need are awesome, ridiculously ornate shoes. So go ahead and throw on your lazy denim and solid-colored crewneck sweater—these will save your last-minute outfit from the style doldrums every time.
Mirrored Court Shoe, $99.90, Zara.com
Whether it's a sparkly gemstone necklace Olivia Palermo would love or a more industrious collar Rooney Mara would reach for, you've gotta have some sort of statement necklace in your repertoire. When you've got three minutes to freshen your work outfit before dinner, you'll be happy to have it.
"Opulent Memories" Necklace, $440, Lizzie Fortunato Jewels, Shopbop.com
Sometimes the weather's bad enough that you really need a hood. This convertible coat has that and way, way more. Transitioning from a vest to throw on over a t-shirt in October to an overcoat to layer on top of sweaters in February, it's so useful it's almost a crime not to own it.
Hooded Convertible Coat, $595, Gryphon, Bloomingdales.com
Non-Prim Pencil Skirt
Top it with a sweatshirt for an eclectic drinks look, pair it with a lace blouse for a fancier party or add a basic blazer and a Hanes white t-shirt for work. Either way, anything that can swing so many directions with the swap of a shirt is necessary in my book. (It's all in the print: a simple black pencil skirt needs more effort and styling. Not this one.)
Printed Stretch-Jersey Pencil Skirt, $215, Clover Canyon, MyLuckyMag.com