If your wardrobe is having a quarter-life crisis, you’re not alone. The trends we tried in our teens have been languishing at the back of our closets for years, only to resurface in the occasional (and sartorially horrifying) Timehop post. It’s time to clear the clutter and take a fresh approach to fashion in your 20s. Here are our top picks for building a strong wardrobe foundation. Ready, set, #adulting…
1. A Casual Everyday Dress
Get more mileage out of your wardrobe with a casual dress—it’s far more useful than a slinky going-out number you’ll wear once or twice before banishing it to the back of your closet. A stretch-knit shift dress is universally flattering. Choose classic stripes or a neutral color like olive to ensure it will be in your rotation for seasons to come.
2. Tops That Bare Just Enough
Every 20-something needs a handful of flattering, go-to tops they can throw on with their favorite skinnies for an impromptu evening out. Choose styles that strike a balance between flirty and polished. Contrast bare shoulders with a relaxed silhouette or flaunt an open back tempered by a higher neckline in front. The goal is to show off your best assets with a touch of class.
3. Black Pants That Aren’t Leggings
While we readily admit to wearing athleisure on the regular (no shame in our fashion-forward comfort game), it’s important to have a more refined option at hand. A stretchy black skinny jean combines the comfort of a legging with the polish of a trouser. Opt for a rich, super-dark wash and avoid distressing for maximum versatility.
4. A Classic Denim Jacket
Denim jackets are an incredibly versatile wardrobe staple you’ll reach for time and time again. Wear with a striped top and white skinnies, top off a floral dress, or embrace the “Canadian tuxedo” and pair with denim shorts and a basic tee. However you decide to style this timeless piece, be sure to choose a jacket with stretch so you can layer comfortably through every season.
Fashion at Every Age: The Elevated White Tee
No matter how many times you’ve been around the sun, there are a few essentials that every woman needs in her style arsenal. After all, age is just a number. A detailed white tee elevates any look from basic to effortlessly stylish—try a knotted detail, ruffled sleeves, or an asymmetrical hemline.
Click and scroll down to check out our other must-haves for flawless style at any age: The Bright Bag