There are a lot of articles out there about "recession proofing" your wardrobe. The truth is that the rules to making the most of your wardrobe are no different now than in times of plenty. The best way to make the most out of every item you own is to start with "the basics": classic, timeless pieces that you can mix and match with accessories and inexpensive trend-conscious items to leverage into multiple outfits. *Note: The most important thing to look for when purchasing clothing is fit. If it doesn’t fit well or you’re not willing to have it altered to fit well, then don’t buy it. It will either sit in your closet and hardly ever be worn, or you won’t look your best in it. In both cases, even if it was inexpensive, it is still money wasted. Here is the short-list of pieces that should form the foundation of your wardrobe: 1. Jeans - well fitting dark solid wash, preferably with at least 2% stretch. These are a wardrobe staple. Roll them up and throw them in your bag for the perfect way to go from work to after-hours. 2. Suit – every woman should have at least well-fitting suit in her closet. Charcoal gray is often a good choice since it can be less severe than black but still serious. That being said, if you choose to go with a black suit then I recommend having your suit be separate from your black trousers. Your black pants will most likely be worn more often than the jacket and over time this can cause fabric color and quality differences between the jacket and the pant. 3. Black trousers - these should be of a material that drapes, for example a wool blend or a polyester/rayon/spandex blend. 4. Black skirt - a straight or a-line silhouette ending at the top or middle of the knee. For most figures a straight (sometimes referred to as pencil) silhouette is best. However, if your shoulders are wider than your hips then always opt for an a-line silhouette. 5. Cami / tank – preferably one white, one cream and one black. Always wear a cami or tank underneath button-down blouses. By leaving a couple of buttons open and exposing the top of the tank it will add depth and dimension to your outfit (if at work then make sure that your cleavage isn’t showing). It will also save you from any embarrassment should your button s open or gape. 6. Classic white blouse - should have darts and seaming to fit a woman's body. (Don’t forget the tank underneath.) 7. “Little black dress” - look for one in a matte (not shiny) fabric that can suit many occasions. The wrap dress is a new classic that is incredibly versatile and flatters most figures. Stay clear of cheap quality jersey. 8. A classic patterned blazer - Solid colored blazers could present a problem when trying to match with different types of looks. By having a blazer in tweed, boucle, or other classic pattern, you can pair it with pants or skirts in multiple different colors, creating the opportunity for more outfits than one suit will afford you. Choosing to spend your money on these timeless pieces creates a functioning foundation for your wardrobe and saves you from wasting money on items you will hardly wear. You don’t need to have a lot of clothes or spend a lot of money to look great, you just need the basics.