Essential Wardrobe Items – How To Rebuild Your Wardrobe Part 1 Of 5: Tops

Do you always feel as if you have nothing to wear?
Lately, fashion is heavy on trends and this can leave you feeling as if there are no outfit options in your wardrobe as you may have forgotten about the basics you need in your closet.

I fell into this trap and I’m in the process of rebuilding my basic, capsule wardrobe with staple closet pieces that either trendy or basic items can be paired with.

This blog post is part one of a five-part blog series of basic clothes every woman should have, which I will be sharing with you over the next few weeks.
Part 1: Tops
Part 2: Bottoms
Part 3: Shoes
Part 4: Outerwear
Part 5: Accessories 

The idea of adding basics wardrobe items is about adding quality, and slightly more expensive staples that you will continue to wear throughout the years. However, if you are not sure about adding certain staple wardrobe items, I would suggest purchasing a list of closet essentials from a fast fashion outlet or an affordable store, take note of what you wear often and purchase quality wear for these items over time.
In South Africa, Woolworths is not necessarily an expensive option, but their basic items such as T-Shirts are of exceptional, long lasting quality.


When building your wardrobe foundation, keep the following colours in mind:

  • Base colours: This forms the framework for your wardrobe. Usually beige, white, grey and black.
  • Accent colours: Adding accent colours to your wardrobe is extremely helpful to staying relevant with fashion. In 2022 green is all the trend, once your basic wardrobe is built, adding accent colours such as green will be easier to pair with what you have in your capsule wardrobe. 

Blush and olive are usual accent colours and will change from season to season with maroon being a staple accent colour for winter. 


Consider adding items with a bit of flair and / or texture to your wardrobe. It can be as simple as adding a basic black shirt with a pocket corner or knotted detail that will surprisingly elevate your look. 
Leather is a material trend that isn’t going away anytime soon, grab at a leather button up or Tee experiment with it this 2022. 

Part 1 of 5: Building Your Basic Wardrobe – Tops

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN – FEBRUARY 08: Tina Lundin wearing Teurn Studio poses for a picture outside of Hotel Nobis during the second day of Stockholm Fashion Week on February 8, 2022 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Michael Campanella/Getty Images)

T- Shirts: Basic and slightly loose-fitting Tee’s are perfect for everyday, either daytime or afternoon outfit ideas. Rounded or V – neck lines look sophisticated when dressed up, whilst scoop or low-neck lines are also a sexy options to add that extra to a basic look. 
Recommended colours: beige, white, grey and black.

PARIS, FRANCE – SEPTEMBER 24: Gitta Banko is seen wearing an oversized long west in beige, oversized palazzo pants and a black bandeau top by Anette Goertz, a Fendi Flip handbag in medium, Dior Lunettes De Soleil sunglasses during Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring Summer 2020 on September 24, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images)

Bandeau: Bandeau’s come in handy often and are a great option to pair with oversized button up shirts.
Recommended colours: beige, white, grey, black, maroon.

Bralettes: Although not necessary for a basic wardrobe, it is a trend for 2021 / 2022 fashion.
Recommended colours: Black.

PARIS, FRANCE – MARCH 02: Actress Isabelle Zighondi wears a black leather beret hat, a black leather biker jacket, a red silky lustrous shiny top a black skirt, black boots, on March 02, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)

Satin / Silk Camisoles: Pairs perfectly with black pants for the evening and gives a sophisticated look when paired with the correct accessories and handbag. The ultimate outfit for date nights and sundowners. 
Recommended colours: gold, green, beige, blush, navy blue, black, red or maroon.

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 06: A guest is seen wearing a graphic t-shirt outside the Nana Judy show during New York Fashion Week: Women’s S/S 2019 on September 6, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images)

Oversized graphic and basic Tee’s: Graphic Tee’s should be oversized (longer and baggy) with a crew neck line. Pairs well with cycle shorts and denim bottoms. 
Recommended colours: beige, black, brown, white, olive and grey.

PARIS, FRANCE – OCTOBER 04: Jessica Verratti wears gold earrings, gold chain pendant belt – necklaces, a white embossed lace with green foliage print patterns V-neck / puffy shoulders / cropped t-shirt, a matching high waist white embossed lace with green foliage print patterns flowing long skirt, a silver watch, rings, bracelets, a pink fuchsia shiny leather handbag from Giambattista Valli, silver shiny leather strappy belt pumps heels sandals, outside the Giambattista Valli show, during Paris Fashion Week – Womenswear Spring Summer 2022, on October 04, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)

Puff & Ruffle sleeve tops: Puff and ruffle sleeves are the newer outfit basic tops and add a whimsical touch to any wardrobe. Tank tops on the other hand are out (in my opinion) – however if it’s your vibe, no judgment here. 
Recommended colours: Opt for a mix of bright and pastel colours: pastel blue, bright pink, blush, white, a few black options and colours that you are drawn too.

PARIS, FRANCE – JANUARY 30: Emilie Joseph wears black sunglasses, rhinestones pendant earrings, a black cropped t-shirt, a neon pink fuchsia oversized blazer jacket, black legging pants, black and white zebra print pattern leather snake print pattern pointed heels knees boots, silver rings, during a street style fashion photo session, on January 30, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)

Crop Tops: Crop tops with a crew neck line, pair well with joggers, jeans and skirts.  
Recommended colours: beige, white, grey, black, blush, pastel blue, navy blue, brown, maroon, yellow, red and orange.

DUSSELDORF, GERMANY – JUNE 12: Alexandra Lapp is seen wearing a wide leg, high waist ballon jeans from Zara, white Zara oversized blazer without sleeves, Christian Louboutin sandals with feathers, Zara body in white, Bottega Veneta Clutch The Pouch with Zebra pattern on June 12, 2020 in Dusseldorf, Germany. (Photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images)

Bodysuits: Bodysuits have that appearance of a perfect fit when paired with any bottoms. Opt for various neck lines and colours that you are drawn to.
Recommended colours: black, olive, brown, beige and bright colours. Don’t forget about the lingerie (wearable) bodysuit options, which are sexy and stylish.

FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY – JANUARY 19: Influencer Eva Hertl wearing a black leather jacket by na-kd, a white scarf with floral print by Dior, white frame square sunglasses by Dior, a white blouse by Strellson, white socks by Dior, white boots with gold heels by Dior and a white bag with gold details by Dior, seen during the Frankfurt Fashion Week January 2022 on January 19, 2022 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. (Photo by Streetstyleshooters/Getty Images)

Blouses: Linen, cotton, satin button ups are a must for office wear and various outfit options. 

Sweaters and hoodies will be covered in outerwear.

Adding two of each of the categories above, which amounts to 18 tops, gives endless wardrobe outfit options. However, before you escapade on a spending spree, look through your cupboard to refamiliarize yourself with your top items, hang it up where it’s easy to access, taking note of what you reach for more often. 

Let me know what your thoughts are on building your capsule wardrobe and if I missed any top items that you would add to this list in the comments.

I am limited on the stock images I’m allowed to share on my blog, for more fashion inspiration on these styles – have a look at my PINTEREST BOARD: INSPO OUTFITS

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