The world can have Ryan Gosling — we‘re totally smitten with Jenna Lyons. The J.Crew boss lady – who always looks like she strolled straight out of a street style blog – is full of life and style lessons that we just can’t seem to get enough of. In a recent interview with English style blog Wardrobe Icons, Jenna shared some secrets to a quality wardrobe that are totally spot on. Here are 10 wardrobe staples the style maven advises you to have in your closet. Grab a pen (and your wallet) — you’re going to want to write this down.
1. A Cashmere Sweater: “One can never have too many cashmere sweaters – I often shop our (J.Crew’s) men’s department when I want something oversize and women’s when I want something more fitted,” Lyons says. Start with a basic colored cashmere sweater ($298) that you can wear often and as your collection eventually grows, go for a wilder hue. Jenna tells Wardrobe Icons her “weakness for heather gray and neon pink is equal.”
2. A Good Pair of Jeans: Because sometimes tights just aren’t going to cut it. Not so surprisingly, the infamous tomboy prefers boyfriend jeans ($98) for the most part. However, a pair of skinny high rise jeans can look super stylish with a tucked in cashmere sweater and heels.
3. A Chambray Shirt: There are so many options with a chambray shirt ($22). It can be dressed up or down, worn open or closed, used as the main focus or tucked away under a sweater. Lyons says, “I probably have a free world supply of chambray. I like them oversize or fitted and there are so many little details that make them all different: snaps, metal buttons, the wash.”
4. Statement Jewelry: “I like to wear something personal that changes – for me, that’s jewelry. I have certain pieces that I always wear and I like it when other people do the same,” Lyons says. “For some it’s a solitary ring, others have stacks of bracelets or a ring on every finger and that’s just their thing.” If you haven’t found your go-to piece yet, try this delicate bangle ($22) with a monogram element to add a personal touch.
5. A Blazer: The often overlooked garment is perfect for when a sweater is too casual and a coat is too much. Lyons tells Wardrobe Icons, “This is the place to spend good money. Good tailoring is unquestionable, bad tailoring is… well, very questionable!” Personally, Jenna loves J.Crew’s Regent blazer ($238), because of that permanently upright collar.
6. A Great Coat: Unless you reside in sunny LA, a good coat is a much needed garment to help make winter bearable. Jenna says this year, she’s on the hunt for a hooded coat ($350). “It has the ease of a sweatshirt paired with the polish of a classic top coat.”
7. A Summer Shirt Dress: Summer? We almost forgot about that sun soaked season. But if you’re lucky enough to escape to a tropical island this winter, skip the overly boho beach looks and instead opt for a classic summer shirtdress ($63). Jenna says, “it’s very sheer but still makes me feel covered, I can walk into town and go to the grocery store, you can still see through it but I don’t look risqué. It feels chic and tailored and it’s easy to put with a little gladiator sandal.”
8. A White Tee: The secret to rocking a white tee ($15) right is all in the styling. Jenna admits to usually wearing hers under a blazer. She says, “the proportions (of a white tee) are really important: if the blazer is boyish and oversized, then the shirt is fitted; if the blazer is small then I would wear an oversized shirt and let it hang out.”
9. Pumps: These sky-high heels ($110) are usually reserved for fancy dresses and pencil skirt. While they definitely look great with both of those things, this shoe doesn’t have to be just for those pieces. Lyons, an expert at mixing fancy and casual, likes to wear hers with a wool track pant or a pair of skinny jeans.
10. Ballet Flats: Of course, there are also those days when your shoes just can’t handle heels. If that’s the case, slip on a pair of effortlessly chic French ballet flats ($72). When Lyons is struggling to figure out what to wear, she says she goes for her uniform of “jeans, ballet flats, a white shirt and a blazer.”
What is one piece in your closet that you couldn’t live without? Share with us in the comments below.