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6 NYC Staples: A Wardrobe Guide

After three semesters in New York City, I have come to realize that there are several staples in my wardrobe that pull together most (if not all) of my outfits.  Some of these pieces are simple, and probably things that you already have in your closet. Whether you are going on a first date or going clubbing downtown with your girlfriends, these pieces will work for you. They are versatile, and simple enough to be fit into countless outfits. Because these pieces are so simple, they are often times overlooked.


1.  The simple white V-neck t-shirt

This shirt is incredibly useful because it matches with literally everything. You can wear it with leggings and a pair of sneakers for a chill day at home or 6 hours straight at Butler. You can dress it up with a cool jacket, jeans and heeled boots. There are infinite ways to wear a simple white t-shirt: a must have in any wardrobe. I’m always looking for a quality white t-shirt!



2.  A black (faux or real) leather jacket

Whether fake or real leather, a black leather jacket is a piece of clothing I see as crucial in a New York City wardrobe. This jacket can be thrown on top of a workout outfit in the morning before running to a Soul Cycle class or to Dodge to work out. It can be worn on top of a sweater or long sleeve shirt for class. It can also tie a night-time, party outfit together; you can wear it to a suite in EC, or the best clubs in Manhattan. A black leather jacket is timeless; a piece of clothing that truly will never go out of style. My favorite faux-leather jacket is from Zara.


3.  A white pair of tennis shoes

My white pair of sneakers is the most versatile pair of shoes in my closet; my Adidas Stan Smith sneakers are legitimately falling apart. While these shoes are not particularly cute or stylish, they are simple enough to match with anything and everything. They can be worn into sweaty frat houses, but are also great for class. White sneakers are easy to find, no matter where you shop. There are high end white sneakers, and extremely affordable ones from shops like Zara or ASOS. I personally recommend Stan Smiths.


4.  A good pair of blue jeans

While I am not a big fan of denim, a good pair of blue jeans is something in my wardrobe I cannot go without. These can be high wasted or cropped – as long as you are comfortable in them and know they can be the staple your go-to outfit when you only have 10 minutes to get ready to go to a party or to a meeting with a professor. I bought my favorite pair from Madewell; they are light wash and high wasted. I pair them with simple tops or hoodies but can dress them up with heels. Levis also makes jeans that are affordable, and last forever.


5.  A cross-body bag

One thing that I wish I had going into my first semester of college was a cross body purse that could match with my daytime outfits and could transform when I went out. While I had colorful and fun bags, I didn’t have a single plain, versatile black one. While the bag does not need to be black, it is helpful to have a bag that is a single color and can be worn all year round. It is also smart to consider not buying a bag that is too pricey if you are planning on wearing it out, you never know what might happen to it! This bag should be small enough to not annoy you when dancing with friends, and big enough to hold your phone, keys, and any other essentials.



6. A black party dress

Last but not least is the black party dress. It can be worn 1,000 times and you won’t care because you feel confident in it. You know that if you can’t find another dress to wear, you always have your backup. Wear it to sorority or fraternity formals, or to your cousin’s Bat Mitzvah. The simple little black dress is SO helpful, and has personally eliminated the stress of running out to buy a dress or borrow something from a friend the day before an event. My favorite black is from Bebe, but you can find options anywhere. This dress will last you all throughout college if you take care of it!


Gabriela Martin is a Sophomore at Barnard College of Columbia University. She is majoring in Sociology and is very interested in Education Policy. She currently interns at a jewelry company called Roxanne Assoulin.
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