Robert Ballew 10 Essentials For EVERY Woman’s Closet

My friend Robert Ballew is a fabulous wardrobe stylist.
He always seems to be boarding a flight to somewhere fabulous, to style someone cool for a magazine shoot.
And he blogs.
You have to check out his blog at

Anyway, in my Saturday series highlighting some of my favorite blogs, I wanted to share this one with you.
Robert blogged the10 Essentials For EVERY Woman’s closet

The Essentials for EVERY Woman’s Closet -PART 1

Filed Under: ASK Robert, LifeStyle, LifeStyle Frontpage, Style SAVVY by Robert

Jan.04, 2012


So you cleaned out your closet and it didn’t leave much behind. This is a perfect opportunity to rebuild your wardrobe with the necessary pieces to have a confident stylish look. Here are the 10 essentials for EVERY woman’s closet.

    1. Black or Charcoal Tailored Pantsuit
Black is a basic, but I like a dark gray or charcoal as well, maybe with a slight texture appearance. Choose a fabric that is “seasonless” or wearable all year round. This could be a gabardine or crepe or something with a polyester blend. The poly will be add durability and some stretch. Wearing these as separates adds to the versatility of your looks. If you are able to get a matching skirt DO, these core pieces are important to your wardrobe.

2. Flattering Denim- Dark Wash
I say “dark wash” because they tend to be clean and free of distracting, shredding, holes and “whiskering.” I also recommend a lower rise, sitting below the navel, but if you need a 1/2 inch higher to contain the muffin, do it!!! As you wear the darker wash, it will wear in the areas that are inherent to you and only you and not wear someone else places the fading. I prefer a straight leg, they are always in style and go nicely over a heal and tuck well in a high boot. These will eventually turn in to your vintage wash denim. Please give away your baggy, pleated, acid washed denim RIGHT NOW!

3. Flattering Denim- Vintage Wash
These jeans should be your everyday, going to the mall, grocery store, lunch with Mitsy & Bitsy denim. These may be straight or slightly flared, but still lower rise. By “vintage wash” I mean pre-faded, with a LITTLE whiskering on the front thy and maybe a special rivet detail. The flare will look great over a boot, heal or wedge.

4. Shell or Camisole Top
Individually, perfect for a evening out. Layered under the jacket of the tailored pantsuit very feminine but professional. One in your signature pop color for interest and at least one more in a perfect shade of nude or blush for your skin tone for elegance. A matte or shimmery silk is up to you. Scoop, v-neck, empire or wrap front are dependent on your body type. The wrap front will be more forgiving and flattering for most silhouettes.

5. Crisp Classic Button-Down
There is nothing like a tailored button down that exudes confidence in the work place or just out and about. A white and /or soft-blue pinpoint oxford will do the trick. Make sure it is a tailored or “active-fit” you don’t need any excess fabric tucked in or out. A french-cuff might be a fantastic canvas for some statement or vintage cuffs.

6. A Perfect Tee or Two
Not your significant others undershirt, but a nice 100% cotton tee. This woman’s tee should hit you mid-hip. Too low, shortens your legs, too high accents your hips. Mid-hip is the perfect balance, once it stretches out or shrinks up, toss it. That said, you don’t want to break the bank over a tee, but you get what you pay for. Also, a scoop or v-neck will be the most flattering for you, elongating your neck. Select a basic white and your signature color. Black is good too, but once it starts to fade, give it away. Same goes for the white tee, once it “dingies,” make it a dust cloth.

7. Slim V-neck Sweater
One in your signature color is ideal. Not sure what your “signature color” is? Take a look at your surroundings, the wallpaper on your computer or phone, guest towels or dog collar. That is the color you are drawn to, it makes you smile, inside and out. OK, got that color in mind? Good! Depending on your budget, select a merino, silk blend or cotton. If you treat the cotton knit like it is a silk knit it should hold it’s color and shape for a good while. Pair this over your classic oxford or singly under your tailored pantsuit.

8. A Trendy Blazer or Jacket
I say trendy with hesitance, if it is truly trendy, it will be out before you get it home. But maybe a better way is a tailored blazer or jacket with a funky detail. Classic in nature, but individualizing in detail. The hem again should hit you mid-hip with a one or two button or even tie belt. The fabric could be in a corduroy, tweed, wool, velvet, denim, leather or sequin. Have fun with it. Imagine how the fabric choice will look over your classic oxford, Camisole, tee and long-sleeve v-neck sweater to finalize your selection.

9. The Little Black dress
This is not your most sexy dress but it is you most classically flattering dress. Again, if black is just too… well BLACK, then go for a charcoal or neutral gray. The dress should skim your curves, not pull while walking or sitting. Get a professionals help when selecting the perfect hem. Keep in mind a kick pleat in the back will add some WOW and make stairs and walking a bit more manageable. Pair your classic oxford underneath, most style, for that jumper affect great for the work place as well. Keep it understated with pearls or give it some pizzaz with your signature accessories.

10. Proper Fitting Foundations
Without the proper fitting undergarments, the above essentials will not do the job 100%. These are not the frilly romantic sets, but everyday supporting pieces.The RIGHT fitting bra will keep you together and give you a great bustline. The RIGHT underwear can offer a seamless look. Select skin-tones for more variations of use such as trouser, denim or skirts. Quality is important, they should last, but NOT FOREVER. When the elastic starts to give way or frey, toss them. Read more>>> Time to Mention Your Unmentionables
These are the ESSENTIALS, we have not even touched on accessories, footwear, handbags or outerwear, we will save that for NEXT time.

Make sure you follow Robert’s blog, via his website at
He’s on Twitter and Facebook too, the links are on his site.

Isn’t he fab??

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