Work harder; not smarter, they say. If you're looking to streamline and simplify in 2020, creating a capsule wardrobe of staples should be your focus this year. Which is to say: Rather than fussing with a fickle trend cycle that's not always reflective of your personal taste, work on cultivating a closet that's balanced — a curated grouping of timeless pieces you can mix and match together for the varying occasions life throws at you. Regardless of whether your personal style is minimalist or not, prioritizing building-block pieces ensures a healthy wardrobe and, perhaps, a less-stressed-out you.
This probably isn't the first time you've been advised to invest in basics, but if you're looking for an updated refresher about what these items are, exactly, you've landed in the right place. Ahead, get the lowdown on the pieces that will serve as the starting place for your 2020 wardrobe and help you avoid running short on outfit ideas this year. There are a few usual suspects, like T-shirts and jeans, but you'll also discover a handful of slightly trendier necessities that may be absent from your existing wardrobe (more on those in a moment). Now is the time to focus on what's most important, shed yourself of unnecessary items, and open up more opportunities to flex your creative muscles in the year to come.
The 2020 Wardrobe Staple: White Tee
If you're bamboozled by what to wear, consider starting with a white tee and building off of this timeless layer. The look can be as simple and chic as a t-shirt and jeans and as nuanced as the stylish ensemble above.
The 2020 Wardrobe Staple: Black Blazer
A classic black blazer is a piece that while understated can be the secret weapon to make your ensemble feel more polished in a pinch. Opt for a material in a sturdy material like wool to add structure.
The 2020 Wardrobe Staple: Straight-Leg Mid-Wash Jeans
Sometimes, it's about finding an item that sits in the middle of all of your usual options. Mid-wash jeans are dark enough to feel formal, but not so formal they feel off for errands. Plus a straight fit works as well with sneakers as boots or heels.
The 2020 Wardrobe Staple: Cozy Cardigan
Cardigans are having a moment (thanks, Katie Holmes), which is why this knitwear layer ought to be on your shopping list. Try one in a chunkier silhouette that can be worn with jeans, skirts, dresses, and the ilk.
The 2020 Wardrobe Staple: Oversized Button-Down
When conjuring up which pieces embody a classic wardrobe, the button-down shirt jumps to the top of the list. Cotton or silk, solid or printed, the options are varied but the result is consistently stylish. For a modern take, try a style that's slightly oversized.
The 2020 Wardrobe Staple: Classic Boots
A pair of neutral ankle boots are a wardrobe MVP. Save for summer's steamiest days, you can wear them throughout the entire year, with floral spring dresses in the spring, all the way to plaid slacks in autumn. Try a pointed or square toe to make this neutral style feel especially on trend.
The 2020 Wardrobe Staple: Basic Belt
With the rise of suiting separates, a belt in a neutral shade is an easy way to make an outfit feel different and dressed up. You can wear it through a pair of belt loops on your trousers or even around a coat to cinch the waist in an hourglass shape.
The 2020 Wardrobe Staple: Jean Jacket
A denim jacket in a well-worn shade of blue should arguably be in everyone's closet. Opt for casual ease by teaming it with a pair of jeans or style it over a midi skirt and heels for a well-balanced look that can go from the office to after-work dinner.
The 2020 Wardrobe Staple: Knit Socks
Socks may be a less exhilarating purchase than a new pair of statement earrings — but they go a long way. And thanks to the advent of socks and loafers as the accessory pairing of choice, you'll want to keep your drawer stocked with plenty of options from now through spring.