I love reading other people’s round-ups of their favorite things.

Elle Decor’s Shortlist is the first feature I turn to when the magazine arrives in my mailbox.

I live for the Vogue 73 Questions video series.

Harper’s Bazaar’s articles about what different women eat throughout the day? Fascinating.

My latest website obsession is WhoWhatWear because those editors can write a fashion list feature like no one else.

But the people whom I would most like to read about their favorites? My friends. Fellow moms and colleagues and style-y women. Real life chicks with budgets and babies and butts (or no butts) and boobs (or no boobs) and scrapes on their car and sloppy sock drawers and bananas with spots that are just perfect for smoothies and banana bread baking but that don’t look picture perfect on Pinterest.

Are you in?

Here my 5 favorite, never-let-me-down, worth every penny style picks. I am linking to where you can find them for yourself at the best possible price, no affiliate links or sponsors. Just friend-to-friend recs.

Full confession: I am only sharing mine because I really want to see yours.

Essential long-sleeve crew tee - true black knit

T-shirt: Gap Body Essentials

I gather that these tees are meant to be worn as sleepwear or undershirts. But I think they are simply the best tees to wear out in the great wide open. I am particularly partial to the Pure Body long-sleeve in black.

Second place: Forever 21 Slub Knit Dolman Shirt – pretty sweet shirt for $13, very flattering. 


Jean: Joe’s

They make your legs, hips and booty look their best. The trick is to try on a bunch of Joe’s Jeans at a department store or boutique and then come home and buy them online for a much better price. I found my current favorite deep blue Joe’s Jeans Skinny Ankle on the sale rack at South Moon Under for $119. I thought I was getting a great deal, as the MSRP was $170-something. Then I came home, searched for them online and found an array of washes in that same great cut for $35-80 at 6pm.com. I think the Skinny Ankle is the perfect length for showing shoes but keeping ankles covered, and I find the fitted legs flattering but still very comfy.

Second place: 7 for All Mankind – on sale at Rue La La for half off – very booty-friendly.

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Blouse: C. Wonder 

The C. Wonder silk blouse looks gorgeous wear after wear and oodles of dry cleaner visits. It blouses and lays just right and fits perfectly. I love rolling the sleeves, tucking and buttoning in various ways and layering them beneath blazers and sweaters. C.Wonder releases new patterns each season and those get marked down to $99 after a while; the classic solid colors stay $128.

Second place: Target Merona Long-Sleeve Crepe blouse – one of my greatest Tar-jay finds, hangs long enough to wear over leggings but when tucked is not bulky. 


Handbag: Hayden-Harnett (online sample sales, baby) 

My bonus mom Toni started me on my love of this Brooklyn-based, cutting-edge designer (thank you “Secret” Santa!) These leather handbags last for years and years and look even better with a couple scruffs or patina on the hardware. Twice a year HH has incredible sample sales where you can find their goods for 75 percent off, and if you sign up for their e-mail list you receive exclusive deals and hear of the sales first.

Second place: Kate Spade Saturday – there are great deals to shop on the sale page and the styles look every bit as “Kate” cool as the main line.  


Pump: Coach (when on sale at DSW or online at 6pm.com for 50 percent off or more)

Pointy-toe perfection, a comfy fit and beautiful branded detailing make these my favorite heels. I love finding them in the under-$100 range on sale at (again) 6pm.com or at my local DSW (unfortunately I have not yet found them on DSW.com.) With NineWest and Steve Madden heels running about $75 these days, going up in price just a bit yields high quality shoes I can wear for years.

Second place: J. Crew Factory – a third of the price of the catalog, but their pumps retain all of the distinct and modern J. Crew vibe. 

Now I would love, love, love to hear your must haves! I would die of happiness if you would share YOUR 5 favorites in the comments section.

I am also tagging 5 of my favorite style bloggers to share their own 5 Favorite Fashion Basics: Kira of Afropolitan Mom, Vicky of The Mummy Chronicles, Julie of Julieverse, Maria of Very Busy Mama and the queen of the capsule wardrobe, Alison of Wardrobe Oxygen

Thank you in advance for your insider recommendations! 


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