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  • Writer's pictureNicole Rosales

Classic Wardrobe Capsule, My "French-Girl Inspired" Take

I've always admired the classic and timeless look of simple pieces like a white button-up, a little black dress, or high-waisted trousers. Many times, we attribute this look to the "French-Girl" style. Whatever you call it -- I gathered a few affordable pieces that I believe pull together a more elevated look.

The Little Black Dress

You can't go wrong with this one! I was invited to a performing arts event and didn't have anything to wear so I took a trip to Target the day before in hopes to find a basic dress. I was in luck! For less than 30 bucks, I was able to pick up this silk-like slip. The cut is flattering with a deep v-neck and was loose enough for a nice silhouette. It's one of my favorite dresses for a no-fuss sort of night.

Buy it, here (I'm wearing a size medium).

polene purse little black dress target
Black slip on dresses are timeless and easy

Over-sized or fitted blazer

A cream or black blazer is perfect for early spring or fall, I got this one from H&M a few years ago and it's held up! It's easy to throw over a white or black tee to polish your look. I found a similar color linked below.

Buy it, here.

h&m cream blazer with madewell black jeans and freja purse
Blazers add an extra touch to any outfit

Camel-colored and Beige Coats

I found this brown coat on sale at Old Navy, it's lightweight and kept me warm in 50-something-degree temperatures. The color is rich and the fabric's soft! I found a Banana Republic version that is a great alternative.

Buy it, here.

Here is an A&F version here.

brown coat paired with cream colored trousers and white turtleneck top
Can't go wrong with a brown coat

Beige Wool or Wool-blend Coat

Out are the days when we can get by with just a sweater -- get yourself a nice wool (or wool-blend) coat! It will come in handy, I promise! I got mine from A&F before my Seattle trip and it was a lifesaver. A lot of these brands change inventory so this isn't available but I found another style from Everlane.

Buy it here.

cream coat paired with beige trousers in front of the space needle in seattle
This A&F cream-colored coat was the icing of my outfit

White Button-Up

To protect myself during summer, I opt for a white button-up to put over a tank top, something light and airy. I like mine oversized for a relaxed look but if you want to get a more fitted blouse to tuck into high-waisted jeans or trousers, it still gives the same effortless vibe. I got this top from H&M.

Buy it, here (wearing a large)

Black Turtleneck

I think pairing these with some light or dark-washed blue jeans or a classic pair of trousers works great! I've had this turtleneck for years and wear it every fall and winter. You can add some gold or silver jewelry accents or wear it alone. It's something I will never take out of my closet.

Buy it here from Target

Buy it here from Madewell

Black Wide-Leg Trousers

Trousers just look amazing with everything -- graphic tees, blouses, tanks, you name it. I have these A&F Sloane trousers in three different colors (planning to get more!). I'm 5 foot 5ish so I had to get the bottom tailored, otherwise it hits the floor. I'm in love with these so it's worth it.

Buy it, here. (I got a size medium/29 for a comfortable fit)

Linen White Pants

For me, linen pants are a summer must. Protects and keeps you cool! I have been on the hunt for them at every store I come across and I just keep coming back to A&F. These have an elastic waist so it's easy to wear! The length is great and doesn't hit the ground, it can be worn with sandals or heels. It feels casual and you don't have to deal with a drawstring.

Buy it, here. (I bought a medium)

Here is an alternative style from Banana Republic

Quality Denim (no holes or rips)

I'm not sure if I'm alone in this but I'm not a fan of rips in jeans, especially if I'm paying for a name brand like Madewell. Jeans are such a nightmare to shop for so I really love that Madewell has a few styles that work for me! I like the "curvy perfect vintage" selection since it has some extra space in the back and thigh area. The ones below are sold out but I did find a lighter wash in the same category.

Buy it, here.

Classic & Versatile Purses

Handbags can be pricey so I do my best to stick to quality over quantity and trends. I have a few bags that are in constant rotation as they all go with nearly every outfit I have in my closet. Plus, I know they're going to last for years to come. All the following are under $400.

Freja New York

This is an AAPI woman-owned business out of NYC that was born during the pandemic. All their bags are neutral-toned and budget-friendly. I chose the tall tote in Oat ($248), it has an external pocket and a separate insert pouch (which I don't use).

During my trip to Denmark and The Netherlands, I was able to fill it with a mini umbrella, tripod, camera, and other essentials. Now, I wouldn't recommend doing this all the time because it will get heavy, but it's good to know it's capable of holding such items! I get tons of compliments on this bag so I know I made the right choice. ;)

Buy it, here


Consider a camel-colored mini bag (they no longer carry this style but linked a similar one).

This is my "fancy" bag for nights out but can also dress up a day outfit. It holds enough space for your essentials like your wallet, hand sanitizer, and a few makeup items ($380).

Buy it, here.

Nat & Nin

I love the color and shape of this bag! I brought it on my trip to Greece and Turkey and was able to stuff my DSLR in it (although snug). It has an inside zipper and two separate compartments to stick in extra items you may have. The crossbody strap also helps with weight distribution. It's also incredibly affordable for the quality - $128.

The brand is based out of Paris and is owned by two sisters who opened up shop when they were only 19 and 24 after learning from their parents who are also leathermakers in China and France.

Buy it here

I feel the key to mixing and matching is keeping things neutral and adding in those pops of color or patterns with these basics. You don't have to be monochromatic -- but I do think it helps to have a foundation that you can build upon.

What are some of your own closet staples?


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