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Last week, in Part I of Building the Perfect Wardrobe, we talked about four overarching ideas that we would be using as our framework (did you miss it? Read it here). This week, we’ll dive into Statements vs. Staples, and how to choose the pieces that will fit seamlessly into your lifestyle. Remember those words we created by looking at our favorite pieces last week? Pull them up so you have them handy! We’re going to use them today!

The idea in choosing both the perfect statements and staples for your wardrobe is that they should speak to your words. Who you are and what you love should be plainly visible in the pieces you choose.

For example, my words are:



Minimal. Elegant.

Slightly Edgy.

Building off that, I can tailor my core capsule to fit my personality. Let me show you:



This is a universally acknowledged staple. Every woman should own an LBD. The trick is choosing the LBD that is right for who you are. For example, an LBD that has ruffles or other feminine details would be all wrong for me. I like things to be structured, with minimal embellishments and classic lines. Knowing this, I purchased an LBD that I've been in love with for years.

I love it because it is the quintessential LBD. It’s classic. It’s also very structured. It’s simple, not having a lot of detailing or embellishments, but the embellishments it does have fit the bill perfectly, giving a slightly edgy vibe through studding and leather.


Like the LBD, dark wash jeans are a classic, versatile piece that we wear again and again. The important things to remember here is which cut and shape work for you. For example, I wouldn't make my core capsule jeans flares, or high rise, or bootcut, because those silhouettes, while fun, do not fit with my style words. They're vintage (not classic); they're casual (not elegant); so they're just not me. What I need is a low-rise skinny jean. My favorite is the Guess Power Skinny with a dark silicone rinse.

They are so me. They have a simple, lean, elegant silhouette. They’re versatile. They’re structured. And with the skinny instead of straight leg, they're just edgy enough.


It’s a classic piece. I personally only wear blacks and neutrals, so my leather jacket of choice is black. While I like a bit of edge, going all the way to motorcycle jacket is outside of who I am. It's just too casual, and doesn't have enough structure.

My go-to is the Express (minus the) Leather jacket. So much so that when my last one wore out, I promptly went to Express and purchased another. I love the strong, structured lines and the small amount of classic details ( like the neck buckle). And a leather jacket is always just a bit edgy! (Confession: I have one in a neutral cognac color, too! That’s how much of a staple this piece is for me).


These can be a bit trickier to figure out, but we can apply the same principles as we did in choosing staples to pick statement pieces that will get worn over and over again. For me, I need pieces that are showstoppers, but still have classic, structured, elegant elements to them. Here are a few examples:


The necklace from my wedding is still a favorite, and I pair it with chambray tops, casual dresses, and portofino shirts constantly. Even though it definitely makes it’s presence known, as all good statement pieces should, it has become a staple in my accessory rotation because it has a classic elegance to it that I just adore.


I find it helpful to remember that a statement doesn't have to be brightly colored. That being said, my yellow heels from Ralph Lauren are one of my favorite statement pieces (you can see some of the ways I've styled them here, here, and here... among other ways!). I've had this pair for years (we're talking close to 10!) and I always go back them because they are a classic kitten heel with clean lines and elegant structure. Since they're too old to link, I've tagged some dups from companies I wear and love.


Again, it doesn't have to be bright to make a statement! My favorite statement bag is this one from Kate Spade. I love the two-tone coloring, the beautiful gold details, and the slightly edgy structure. I'm looking to splurge and add this Zac Posen or this 3.1 Phillip Lim to my collection this fall for the same reasons.

So Reader, what were your words? Based on that, what do you think your staple LBD should look like? Your dark wash denim? How about your outerwear? As always, feel free to tag me on Instagram (@simplicityandcoffee) or shoot me an email ( if you have questions or want some input! Have fun shopping for those new pieces!

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