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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

A lot of people tell me I dress to impress every time they see me. Honestly, I’m a little shocked every time I hear this; flattered, but still shocked. I don’t usually try too hard; I simply throw on what feels most comfortable and looks cute, and take on the day. Usually, my outfit is the last thing on my mind. I think this is because my wardrobe consists of many of the same staple pieces with a couple of different variations. So, I guess my secret to looking like I’m ready for an interview every day are these five basic and timeless essentials. I’ve tried to narrow this list down to my most important wardrobe pieces, that without, I wouldn’t be able to dress the way I do. But honestly, this list could go on for a while. What I love about each of these five pieces is that they are not just extremely customizable, but that they can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. 

I wholeheartedly believe that people should be able to express their style and personality through their clothing choices. Owning a wardrobe that matches your lifestyle and makes YOU feel good is so important. However, I’m also willing to say that investing in these timeless basics will help you build your own minimalist, yet fashionable, wardrobe that can be adaptable to your needs and the “look” you’re going for. 

A pair of trusty heels 

Whether it’s a stiletto or combat boots with a heel, there’s nothing that gives me more confidence than the “click-clack” of a good heel. It’s the key to looking classic and chic, despite your feet killing you!

low-depth of field photo of person holding navy stilletos
Andrew Tanglao/Unsplash

A peacoat

The peacoat/trench coat look is timeless and modern. It makes you look polished no matter where you’re headed or what you throw over it. Personally, I go for the black peacoat look especially during the winter since black goes with everything. The nude trench coat would definitely be my second choice (after black) for the spring or fall, as it can lighten any outfit and effortlessly show off your personal style. 

Woman in blazer against wooden background
Photo by Catherine Roberge from Unsplash

A cozy cardigan

Whether it’s thin cashmere or a chunky knit sweater, cardigans will perfectly fit your needs on that lazy day. The oversized cardigan can give you a cozy look, be used to dress down your LBD, or even get layered over a cute date night outfit. While it serves a multitude of purposes, a cardigan can totally make any outfit cuter and amped up!

A Little Black Dress

Trust me, this will come in handy. With a high neckline, a classic knee-length, sleeveless style; this will become the ultimate versatile piece. For a business casual look or a formal date night, this timeless piece will have you feeling poised and ready to take on the world

The perfect pair of jeans

This can make or break an outfit! A pair of flattering jeans are an essential part of the “look.” A pair of high-quality jeans are worth the extra cash if they fit (and therefore flatter). Find a pair that is both cute and comfortable, that you can dress up or down for any season or occasion! Plus, denim will never go out of style.

Levi\'s jeans in a field

With these five basics that you can customize to your own style and “look,” I’m positive that choosing a new outfit will no longer be an everyday chore. 

Get ready to feel more confident! Spend less time getting dressed in the morning, and more time enjoying life!

Myna Chadalavada

U Mass Amherst '22

Myna is a senior neuroscience and biochemistry double major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is passionate about her research in emotion regulation and wants to find a way to use her words to change a life. You can find her in the greenhouse, on a rooftop garden writing poetry, the 23rd floor of the library with a book in her hand, or a room with a piano.
Contributors from the University of Massachusetts Amherst