It's officially spring cleaning season! Slowly & surely, I have been making it through the different sections of my closet & have been purging, selling & donating styles that are worn out, don't fit or just aren't my style anymore. It feels so great to narrow down my closet & get rid of old styles & trendy "what was I thinking?!" pieces. Spring cleaning is also the time of year that I use to evaluate what I have in my closet & what I need. It's often a time that I refresh & replenish my wardrobe staples. Today I'm laying out 20 of the wardrobe basics I can't live without...

1. Trench Coat - A trench coat is the ultimate in classic rain coats. I personally love a classic beige trench but black gets the job done just as well. Burberry makes expensive but really great trench coats. I have had mine for over 5 years, so I can definitely say the quality holds up well, making it worth the price tag. (also worn here)

2. Dark Wash Skinny Jeans - Honestly, any shape of denim that you feel comfortable in is worth investing in but for me, skinny jeans are my favorite style to dress up & dress down.  I've talked extensively about how much I love American Eagle jeans; their jegging styles are my favorite because they don't lose their shape even after wearing them over and over and over again.  (You can see & read more about my AEO jean styles here)

3. White Blouse - I have more white blouses than I can count but for me it's worth having a large selection because I wear them so often! (see how I style white tops here, here & here) A classic white blouse looks great with jeans, skirts, leather pants & work trousers. Banana Republic & Ann Taylor make great blouses.

4. Tailored Blazer - Another piece that looks great with everything from work day looks to weekend styles. A blazer automatically ups the sophistication of any outfit. I love the J Crew blazers - they come in classic colors & shapes, plus the quality is fantastic!

5. Black Leather Jacket - Even if you wouldn't consider your style to be 'edgy,' I still say a black leather jacket is a must have. It's great for those transitional weather days from winter to spring & from summer to fall. If you're like me, you don't like your style to fit into one cookie cutter so I love pairing a leather jacket with a girly outfit to balance it out. The best leather jacket for under $100 is by Blank NYC. I wear it all the time (seen here & here)

6. White Tee - I go through white tee shirts as quickly as I do shampoo LOL. I wear them to death & then buy new ones, so I don't like to spend a lot. Forever 21 makes great basics & American Eagle tees are SUPER soft. (Black & gray tees are good to stock up on too!)

7. Black Pumps - If you invest in one pair of heels, make it a black pump. I have fun colored heels & trendy styles and no matter what else I buy, the pair I end up wearing the most are my black pumps. They go with everything! Depending on your price point, you can go for a designer brand or a more affordable pair like Sam Edelman.

8. Denim Jacket - Once summer hits, I wear my denim jacket just about everyday. It's the ultimate warm weather jacket & matches that easy, effortless vibe of the summertime. Not surprisingly, my favorite denim jacket comes from my favorite place to buy denim: American Eagle! (seen here & here)

9. Striped Tee - As I mentioned above, American Eagle makes great tee shirts but my favorite striped tee is actually from Madewell. It's a classic shape & print at an affordable price! (I talked about my favorite tee shirt styles in this post)

10. Little Black Dress - Perfect for work, weddings, date nights, weekends, etc, a little black dress is truly the one piece you can wear anywhere and pair with anything. ( I will be doing a post later this week about LBD's under $50! Stay Tuned)

11. Neutral Sweaters - Being from NY, I have a lot of sweaters! After all, I feel like I end up wearing sweaters for almost 6 months out of the year. The ones that I recommend splurging on & the ones that I wear most often year after year are the neutral shades. White, black, beige & gray are staples that you will wear over & over again, season after season. I love Free People sweaters for cozy, slightly oversize styles.

12. Classic Watch - If you want to be taken seriously, you need a good watch. OK, not really, but I love when someone asks me the time and I don't need to check my phone! I switch off between wearing my Michele watch or my Michael Kors watch daily. 

13. Black Trousers or Jeans - A classic pair of black pants or black jeans are guaranteed to become one of your most worn pairs of pants. My favorite tailored trousers come from LOFT & my favorite black jeans are by DL1961.

14. Neutral Ankle Booties - During the fall & winter, I am constantly wearing ankle booties. I love that they keep me warm but look stylish with lots of different outfits. For a splurge pair, go with Rag & Bone or for more affordable pairs try Vince Camuto.

15. Chambray Top - I know you might be questioning this one, but a chambray top has become my go-to top when I'm not sure what to wear. I love that it's easy & comfortable but makes me look like I put effort into my outfit. Double blue denim is one of my favorite looks but you can also pair a chambray top with black or white jeans. (worn here & here)

16. T Shirt Dress - A t shirt/casual style dress is a weekend staple in my book. Once the weather is nice, I wear a casual dress with sneakers or sandals almost every day. I love how comfy they are. 

17. Neutral Flats - Working in NYC, I am definitely more of a flats gal than a heels gal. I have a few favorite brands for flats & lucky for you all, they come in at different price points! I love Tory Burch for a more expensive style. They last a while & are really comfortable once they are broken in. Sam Edelman is another favorite for flats - the Felicia is a stand out. I love that they are mid-priced  & come in endless colors! Steve Madden is my favorite to shop for trendier style flats since they are often under $100!

18. White Sneakers - Sneakers have always been a favorite shoe style of mine but thanks to athleisure being a huge trend, I wear my sneakers more than ever lately. While I love wearing colorful pairs for workouts to get me motivated, I love a classic white pair for daytime since it leaves a clean palette for a fun outfit. My favorites are the Nike Juvenate or Adidas Stan Smith.

19. Tote Bag - I'm sure you're like me and have more than one bag. I actually could probably do an entire post just on bags, but if I was to narrow it down to one must have, I would definitely pick a tote. Toss all of your essentials into it and you're out the door. (Cross body bags for weekends & clutch styles for date night would be my other 2 must have picks!)

20. Dainty Jewelry - While statement jewelry pieces definitely add an element of boldness and fun to an outfit, dainty jewelry is perfect for everyday occasions. I love layering my pieces for a unique look. My favorite daily jewelry pieces are my David Yurman 5mm bracelets & necklaces by Gorjana. Lately this Taner Bar necklace has been on major repeat!

Trench: Burberry (shop more styles) | Top: Forever 21 (shop more styles) | Jeans: American Eagle | Bag: Reed Krakoff (similar) | Flats: Steve Madden

I'm sure I forgot SOMETHING. Let me know what pieces you consider to be staples!

Happy first day of spring!!! 

Michelle Paige