Fashion 4Word: Building your Wardrobe

Sam Sutton, a junior at the University of Miami, goes back to basics in a black t-shirt and jeans. Brittney Bomnin//Art Director

Spring cleaning

Usually the term applies to household chores, but instead take inspiration from the yearly ritual and make sure your closet is appropriate for 2011. So read on for some helpful advice on how to take stock of your closet, add a few key additions and look fabulous this spring.

Back to basics

Whether you are a fashionista or a casual collegiate, you need the basics in your wardrobe. Search through your closet for solid-colored tees and sweaters. Be sure to have the basic colors covered: black, white or ivory, red, blue and of course orange and green… but be sure the tops are fitted, not some baggy T-shirt you got for free somewhere (those should be banished to your gym clothes drawer. I am talking to you, gentlemen.) These basics are the foundation of your new look, which you can build upon with fun accessories.

The denim blues

Invest in a good pair of jeans. They don’t have to be an expensive, flashy brand, but set aside time to try on a variety of brands, styles and fits. Find what looks good on you now, not what was hip four years ago when you bought your jeans in high school. Steer towards darker denim; it is more versatile and can be worn from day to night.

Every girl needs a LBD

If you are a girl and do not already own an “LBD” (little black dress, obviously), then something is amiss. This is the most useful and important piece of clothing a girl can own, so step into your closet and take a closer look at yours. Ask yourself: Is the cut flattering? How well does it fit? Do you feel invincible in this dress? If the answer is no to any of these questions, then head to the department store.

Don’t forget the details

Since spring is approaching, seek out resort-inspired accessories and jewelry. Bracelets with a splash of color give outfits an extra pop (check out Kate Spade’s line of bangles, cute and only $42 each), or make an outfit with a bright, playful scarf. Make the most of your fashion investment and be sure you can still wear it from January to May.

Danielle Kaslow may be contacted at