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10 Overlooked Fashion Items Everyone Needs

You might not realize you need these items until you're scouring your closet at the last minute.

We all have items in our closet that we'd consider "must-haves." Perhaps, for you, it's a pair of jeans that have stood the test of time, or maybe it's a favorite sweater that's carried you through years of changing trends. But while these may be your necessities, other fashion items are sometimes overlooked—even though they are just as vital for a completely cohesive closet.

"The thing about overlooked clothing items is that you don't need them until you need them tomorrow," petite style coach Angela Foster tells Best Life. "And frantic last-minute panic shopping often forces us to settle for what's available versus taking the time to find a piece we really like and want to own."

To avoid ending up in this pickle, stylists have a list of a few items that everyone needs to keep their wardrobe fresh and functional. Read on for the 10 pieces you need to add to your closet.

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White jeans

women's white jeans

According to certified image stylist Elizabeth Kosich, founder of Elizabeth Kosich Styling, white jeans will always be a necessity, even if it's not a variety that's consistently top-of-mind.

"Each season ushers in a new denim trend—skinny leg, ankle crop, wide leg, trouser cut—though the classic white jean is always forgotten," she says. "No matter the cut, white jeans are one of the most stylish separates around. They have more range than they get credit for and do, in fact, enjoy year-round versatility."

With that said, don't feel like you need to put your white jeans in storage immediately after Labor Day—let them have the versatility they're designed for.

"White denim pairs seamlessly with other neutrals like navy, camel, charcoal, and olive green, as well as any accent color in the rainbow," Kosich says. "They are instant outfit polishers that make any ensemble look fresh and clean."

A reliable strapless bra

strapless bras
Anya Why / iStock

Often overlooked is what we wear underneath our clothing, particularly our bras. A reliable t-shirt option is probably what you wear on the day-to-day, but when you have an outfit that requires a strapless option, you don't want to forgo the support you need.

"Most women won't need a strapless bra often, but when a garment requires one, we don't want to scramble," Foster says. "There's nothing worse than tugging on a bra all night trying to keep it up."

When looking for a strapless bra, Foster recommends shopping in-person and seeking assistance from a lingerie expert.

"They'll ensure you select a style that fits, supports without slipping, and is comfortable," she explains.

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Kitten heels

woman wearing kitten heel boots
Victoria Chudinova / Shutterstock

Don't make assumptions about kitten heels—while you might not think they're your cup of tea, these staple shoes are back in vogue and a closet necessity.

"Every woman needs a smart pair of kitten heels. They are polished yet comfy in a pinch, [perfect] for formal or semi-formal occasions that require prolonged standing," Kosich says. "Pumps, slingbacks, or booties, make sure you have a pair in your best dark neutral, light neutral, or accent color."

Lounge items that pass the "ex test"

woman wearing matching athleisure set
Above Alpine / iStock

Loungewear is a key component of any closet—and you might think you're covered in this department. However, Foster says that you could be looking past a key detail.

"There are work clothes and casual dresses and denim for the weekend, but loungewear that passes the 'ex test' is frequently neglected," she tells Best Life.

So what is the "test" in question? Foster explains, "You have to run a quick errand and run into your ex. Do you hide behind the grocery store endcap? Or smile and make small talk because you look so effortlessly casual and cute? If it's the first, we need to go shopping."

Thankfully, you only need a few pieces that pass this test: According to Foster, a couple of pairs of leggings and/or joggers with matching tops "is enough to get you started." While you're shopping for sets, go for darker hues, as lighter varieties can look like pajamas, she cautions.

RELATED: 8 Clothing Items That Make You Look Dated, Stylists Say.

No-show panties

seamless underwear
svetlana-81 / Shutterstock

Another undergarment you may overlook is a pair of no-show panties, which are crucial to avoid the dreaded VPL (visible panty line).

"Seamless/no-show panties have come a long way in comfort and selection, so we no longer have any excuses for VPLs," Foster says.

If you prefer a thong, you have comfy options there, but if you like more coverage that a boyshort provides, you can also find a pair that can't be seen through your favorite slacks.

"Unlike regular foundation garments, the only color absolutely necessary is one that matches her skin tone," Foster says. "This will ensure they're versatile enough to be worn under lighter colors and fabrics."


A smiling woman with long gray hair wearing a red dress leans against a railing outside
Roman Samborskyi / Shutterstock

You've heard of the Little Black Dress, AKA the LBD, but what about the LRD?

"Cousin to the LBD, the 'Little Red Dress' is an overlooked garment that should always be part of a woman's wardrobe," Kosich says. "Red attracts more attention than any other color so, when you want to telegraph a strong message, there should be a red dress at the ready … Red dresses come in handy for first dates, high school reunions, and gatherings where you might see an ex."

Just be sure to consider your skin tone when shopping for the perfect LRD, Kosich adds.

"Make sure the hue is complementary to your coloring—bright tomato reds for warm skin tones or blue oxblood reds for cool ones," she says.

Classic tees

fashionable woman wearing gray t-shirt
Hirurg / iStock

You likely have a wide selection of t-shirts already in your closet, but Foster notes that these are sometimes "too casual to be versatile."

"Women are often shocked when they realize how mix-and-matching options multiply when a few nice tees to their wardrobe," she says. "The best tees will be fade-proof, wrinkle-resistant, machine-washable material. Look for synthetic materials like rayon, lycra, and polyester."

When it comes to colors, she adds, "A cream or white (depending on your skin tone) and a black/navy/charcoal are enough to get started."

A velvet blazer

woman wearing velvet blazer
MS_studio / Shutterstock

Blazers have certainly made a name for themselves in terms of fashion staples, but while linen and more structured varieties are all the rage, Kosich says that velvet is sometimes overlooked.

"A velvet blazer should be part of any jacket rotation alongside a peacoat, leather moto, and utility jacket. It adds a touch of fancy to any basic outfit like jeans and a t-shirt, instantly transforming ho-hum essentials into a single chic, cohesive look," she shares. "With or without satin lapels, try a jewel tone velvet blazer like ruby, cobalt, or emerald green for a high-impact look, or keep the palette neutral and muted with olive green or burgundy."

RELATED: 5 Colors You Should Never Wear Together, Stylists Say.

A clear handbag

woman holding clear handbag
ezellhphotography / Shutterstock

The inside of your purse may very well be something you prefer to keep hidden, but Foster says that a clear handbag is an accessory you should have at the ready when the occasion calls for it.

"Unless they have season tickets to the local football franchise, a clear handbag is missing from most women's lineup," she says. "However, they are being required at more and more venues, from festivals, concerts, and most sporting events. Much like a versatile evening clutch, it's best to keep your eye out for one you like now and be prepared when your favorite band/team comes to town."

If you do end up looking into a clear bag, check the size before purchasing to ensure that it's within the accepted parameters at most arenas, Foster adds.

A wool cloak

wool cloak on hanger
ezellhphotography / iStock

Winter is here, so if you live somewhere where the temperatures are dropping, you're already reaching for your parka or down jacket. But if you want something that makes more of a statement, a wool cloak is an option you may not realize combines fashion and function.

"The most stylish outerwear silhouette of all, wool cloaks are one-and-done winter wraps that need no styling beyond their draped design," Kosich says. "Cloaks combine drama, sophistication, and cozy into a single garment, which makes for a powerful fashion statement that's hard to miss. Consider adding a stack of arm cuffs, beret, or belt threaded through the arm slits to finish the outfit. Cloaks are so stylish, yet so overlooked!"

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Abby Reinhard
Abby Reinhard is a Senior Editor at Best Life, covering daily news and keeping readers up to date on the latest style advice, travel destinations, and Hollywood happenings. Read more