Fashion Must Haves


You know when you sit down to write that you need either a computer, or a pen and pencil and pad of paper. When you want to make a meal, you need the recipe, the ingredients and the right cooking utensils. If you want to plant a garden, you look for the best soil, seedlings or plants, the right location and water.


You are ready to head out for the day, you have a meeting, you are giving a talk, or you are running errands. Do you have what you need?

As with anything we do, we should all take care of ourselves as much as we take care of our plants, the food we put into our bodies or the books we write, lectures we give, paintings we create. AND YES folks, that’s where fashion comes in.

I’ve said it before, but when you first head out the door – put on that smile.

Even if you don’t feel like it, you’ve heard “fake it til you make it”. Putting on a smile as your first accessory will lead you gleefully through the day. Along with a little blush, a spritz of your favorite scent and clothing that projects your mood, you will be ready to conquer the world, yoga class, supermarket, or client.

10 ITEMS every woman entrepreneur should (not must) have in your wardrobe. (adapted and modified from Tim Gunn’s list)

#1 – The LBD -Fashion Must Have Numero Uno!

I covered the Little Black Dress in my last post (review for more details!) Just remember for day – you can pop on a jewel toned cardigan – all the rage this fall – and pair it with a fun pair of flats. At night add a funky necklace, (faux diamonds always fit in), and strappy sandals and you have changed your look to reflect a more sophisticated you.

#2 – A great fitting pair of jeans. This might take some time in several fitting rooms trying on pair after pair, but it will be worth it. A dark denim pair of jeans, which sit right below the belly button, can be dressed up or down. A boot cut pair works on every body type. You can wear flats, heels, or boots, but you will have to determine which you want to wear most in order to get the correct length. You can always find a type of sewing tape which can be used to create a hem if you want to leave them a bit longer.

#3 – A Fabulous white shirt. A great clean and crisp look that fits in anywhere is the white cotton blouse/shirt. Paired with Jeans and a chunky belt, looks fresh any time of the year.

With an a-line or pencil skirt – looks sophisticated and tailored. With a pair of nice slacks the white blouse is oh so work appropriate

#4 – A Fitted Blazer – Each season, the jacket is brought back to us in several incarnations. This fall jackets are nipped in at the waist and a little bit shorter than in seasons past. And the peplum is back in style! First found in the 1940’s this beloved style resurfaces every decade or so. Adorable to showcase a tiny waist and camouflage those that have a little extra hip area.

I love a tweedy navy jacket that I purchased at ZARA in San Francisco. A fabulous store – but not found all over.

Great prices for on-trend pieces that fit well and don’t fall apart after only one season. I wear my jacket with my denim jeans and my colored jeans, but it could also be easily worn over a solid navy dress or with a pencil skirt.

#5 – A Scarf – or two – or twelve. (My favorite Fashion Must Have!) I am not kidding you here, the addition of a scarf to almost any outfit adds a bit of style and shows you have flair!

Mostly worn in the cooler months, but I’ve seen the fashionistas sport them in mid summer as well, scarves do more than keep you warm. Tissue weight cotton scarves are great year round, as they float and flow gracefully around your neck. They can be worn indoors unlike wool or cashmere which are really for warmth. Scarves are everywhere you look now, just hit up Target for some fun inexpensive finds.

#6 – A versatile dress – A day dress in a bright color or subtle print can often replace other sportswear items in our wardrobe. Everyone should have one go to dress in their closet. A shift dress, made popular by Michelle Obama is a current style favorite. If you have a waist you would like to accentuate, shirt waist dresses are also in vogue.

# 7 – Sweat suit Alternative – I know can you believe that this is a Fashion Must Have? I can!)
So many times we want to just be comfy and cozy when we dash out of the house for a carton of soy milk, or maybe a much needed frozen yogurt treat.

You just never know whom you are going to encounter as you dash through the day. Don’t throw on those old gray sweats from college with the tattered hoodie. You absolutely can wear cozies that are cute!

My most favorite work out store is Lulu Lemon – although on the super pricey side, they have so many great looks that are absolutely cute enough to sport all day long, even after yoga, or a spinning class. (I check out their sales or ask for gifts from there).

However, Target (and the like) are much more reasonably priced and you can get knock off ‘s that will also do the trick. Just try to be a little coordinated, so you look polished even when casual.

#8 – A Nice pair of Slacks – I also covered black dress pants in my last blog. So check that out for more details as well. There are simply occasions where you need to have a decent pair of pants when jeans won’t do or it is too cold to wear a skirt or dress (if you love them, like I do).

Just have one pair in a solid color in your closet. Black is great, but navy or charcoal work as well with all colors. You can make these fun and funky by throwing on leopard belt perhaps, and a bright red shoe!  Just step out of the box and try something new. Even those in a corporate environment can take a little risk with an accessory now and then!

# 9 – A Trenchcoat – For years, I avoided wearing this fashion staple. It brought to mind the fashion clones in Manhattan in the 80’s where everyone was spotted wearing a khaki colored trench coat. Egads – where is the personality?

BUT, I can truly say for the first time I purchased a leopard print trench for the rain. After searching everywhere I found one at Nordstrom Rack. It is the classic trench styling, but with a WOW print.

Since we have already had our first rain in Northern California, I happily donned my trench, with black rain boots and I really felt quite fashionable.

Tim Gunn says it should be in every woman’s wardrobe, so who am I to argue with such a fashion guru! BUT try to reflect YOUR personality by finding one in a bright color, with a wild print or  get one in basic black and add that pop of color with a scarf, printed umbrella or polka dotted rain boots!

$10 – The Perfect Tote – (Disclosure – this is not on Tim Gunn’s list!) This is my own addition (along with scarves) to Fashion Must Haves.  I am a big believer that the right tote completes your outfit. Realistically, how many of us can carry a teeny, tiny, yet adorable, little purse?

No matter what industry you are in, at one point we need to carry more than a wallet and keys. Totes have replaced brief cases for most women. . There are a million, trillion totes out there, and I am in constant search for the perfect one.

So, instead of one, I choose to fill my closet with a variety of tote bags for use depending on the weather, my outfit, and my mood!

You can always pop your adorable little purse inside your tote so you don’t have to “lug” two things. Less is definitely more and who wants to look like a bag lady? I love shopping flash site sales for totes, as you just never know what colorful creation you are going to come upon.

So ladies – get out there and be your authentic self.

Let your personality shine through what you wear and how you carry yourself. And remember to do so with a smile!


P.S. We would love to hear what your fashion must have is. Leave us a comment below and share with us. As always feel free to share this post with your family and friends.


Photo credit –

8 replies
  1. Gladys Diaz
    Gladys Diaz says:

    Love the ideas in the article and am working on adding scarves and pashminas in different colors to my wardrobe (not always “necessary” in Florida, but every place is air-conditioned down here, so it still works!). I’d say my other must-have is a pair of flats to go with my outfits. Some times, you just can’t take the foot pain anymore, and, if you’ve already done your stint on stage or in the boardroom, a nice pair of flats to go with that dress or skirt, or those jeans or pants, is a great way to still look stylish, minus the grimace with every step you take! 🙂

  2. Kim Selby
    Kim Selby says:

    Gladys – you are spot on. I LOVE my flats and very rarely wear heels unless it is a special occasion. Thanks for sharing that with everyone!

  3. Katrina
    Katrina says:

    Hi Kim,
    I am reading your post but I live in Thailand and some don’t apply. Instead of a trench coat since the lowest temp is 25 degrees Celsius what do you recommend.

    • Kim Selby
      Kim Selby says:

      Hi Katrina. The list is simply in addition to any outer wear which is necessary for anyone’s particular climate. For cold weather like yours, I suggest a warm wool coat. The Pea Coat style is very popular right now, but will remain a classic. Check out JCREW.COM for some wonderful warm coat ideas!

      • Jeanmarie Bills
        Jeanmarie Bills says:

        Thanks Kim for the great suggestions. I love them and how easy you make putting outfits together. I have expanded my wardrobe since reading them.


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