21 Glamorous Style Essentials

February 20, 2013

When I was getting ready to go to Montréal, I knew I didn't have to worry about leaving behind some of my precious wardrobe, as I was planning to drive from DC (like I have already done in the summer...). Unfortunately, ten days before, I went to visit my eye doctor for contact lenses, and she discovered that my eyes were extremely dry due to extended lens wear. After protesting and negotiating, she agreed to give me a prescription if I promised not to wear lenses for ten days at least. So I found myself buying a train ticket to Montréal, and facing a huge dilemma, as I now could only take two medium suitcases. 
The most difficult part wasn't packing (that was easy: the night before, all I had to do was sit in front of my open suitcases and look miserable, and in no time, my organization-genius aunt was helping me put everything together), but rather what to take. I left a lot of clothes that I loved behind (and donated what I didn't love), but I was glad I brought with me my favourite essentials. I can say it was a bit of a relief to have less things to cram in my relatively small bedroom, and less laundry to make (two loads, rather than seven, and counting). Also, there is another advantage to having just the basics: it's an excuse to reinvent/update my wardrobe and style by getting new items (Montréal vintage stores, I'm comiing, but that's a different story). 
In any case, as I was folding laundry yesterday, I found myself making a list (yes, I love lists!) of 21 various items that I find are an essential foundation to any glamorous, chic wardrobe. 

A little black dress: Do I need to explain? I actually cheated and brought with me several LBDs, but if you prefer to stick to one, make sure it flatters your figure and highlights your assets, and get one that is versatile enough to be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.

The perfect pair of heels: Aaah, heels. I can’t believe I’m saying just one pair is enough, but if you should stick to just one, get a classic pair of black stiletto heels. They go well with everything, and you can wear them practically everywhere.

A girly top: Every wardrobe needs a flirty touch, so when looking for your girly top, get a style and colour that flatter your complexion and figure, and go well with the rest of your clothes. For a nice date night outfit, you can wear it with dress pants or, for a more relaxed look, over dark jeans.

Dark jeans: Yet another wardrobe staple, due to their versatility. Dark pants make legs longer and go well with various colours and prints. I like straight, skinny jeans, but you should get a quality pair that, again, flatters your figure.

A black suit: You never know when the occasion will come when you’ll need to look chic and professional, whether it is for an impromptu interview, a semi-formal event, a religious ceremony, etc. Be sure to get a quality suit that fits you perfectly; get it even tailored if necessary (some stores do it for free). The advantage is that you can also wear them separately.

Lace bra and matching panties: whether you entertain gallant company or you just need to feel sexy under your normal, everyday clothes, a set (or many!) of nice, matching underwear is essential. Of course, it goes without saying, take good care of it, especially if you invested a little fortune in it.

Seamed tights: If there’s only one type of tights you should get, it’s tights with a back seam. Irresistibly vintage, they elongate and flatter legs, and draw eyes and compliments.

Classic flats: Fine, I didn’t bring flats to Canada with me. But that’s simply because my very special feet are only comfortable when tip-toeing (thank you, eight years of ballet!), or else my back and legs hurt. But for the rest of you “normal” girls, do treat yourself to a nice pair of black leather flats, for those long walks in town or endless shopping sessions.

A silk scarf: Because it adds chic and sophistication to the simplest of outfits, whether you wear it in your hair like a 1950s movie star, around your neck, or tie it to your purse. For a piece of quality and luxury, you can easily find many discounted Hermès scarves online. Or better, look for a truly unique scarf at a vintage boutique.

Sunglasses: Because there are days where you need to shield the mirrors to your soul, whether it be sun rays, dust, sand, or people trying to read through you when you'd rather keep a mask on (we've all had those days), or just to play the movie star/Anna Wintour and wear them indoors. In any case, stick to a simple colour and a classic frame (Ray Bans are always a good basic), for intemporal chic.

A necklace: The ultimate accessory. Chose something simple, like a chain with a pendant, to draw the eye to your neckline and bring a finishing touch to any outfit. I like to wear a red stone because I believe it channels luck, good energy, and creativity, but I like other things that say something about you, like your name, birthstone, or astrological sign.

A tote bag: Again, do I need to explain? We're women, we're never complete if we don't carry tons of things around with us (men are starting to do so too). When choosing a tote bag, be sure it's a style and colour that are versatile enough to go with the rest of your wardrobe. I like leather because it is sturdy, chic, and ages well.

A clutch: There are occasions where you simply can't carry your whole life with you, or sometimes it feels overwhelming and you just want to take the very essentials (phone, money, ID, lipstick and keys) in a small clutch with you. I like to get one that has just enough sparkle for the evening, but could also work during the day. In fact, some of you may remember my obsession with my Walborg clutch; so by all means, feel free to sport a vintage one, they're simply so beautiful!

A hand cream: Soft hands are a must. Especially in cold climate, or when you bake a lot (and spend half an hour meticulously cleaning a fork with scalding hot water and detergent... Yes, I'm OCD like that). I discovered this L'Occitane en Provence hand cream during a school trip in Boston where I had forgotten to bring hand cream with me, and have been in love with it ever since.

A red lipstick: When asked, “If you had just $20 to spend on fashion, how would you spend it?”, Vogue editor Anna Wintour replied “Well, you could buy lipstick.” And I completely agree with that; a bright bold lip can kick up a notch even the simplest outfit. It isn't something easy to sport, so go to a make-up counter and experiment with a large variety of shades to find the one that flatters you best, and don't be afraid to ask for advice on how to apply it! This tutorial by the amazing Keiko Lynn is my to-go reference when it comes to applying red lipstick, as it is very detailed and precise. 

A lip balm: No one wants chapped lips, as they're utterly painful and not seductive. I like Rosebud Salve because it is not only hydrating, but smells delicious and brings out the natural colour of my lips. Also, it is extremely versatile: you can mix a small amount with a pinch of sugar to make a lip scrub; or, in a cinch, use it as a hand and cuticle cream or even as an eyelid primer (the original formula wasn't meant just for lips but to cure all dryness).

A skincare regimen: I've struggled with my skin for years, and still do occasionally. It is important to find a care regimen that is tailored to your skin's needs and particular issues. I like Korres products because they're natural and smell delicious.

Compact translucent powder: Because no one likes greasy skin and runny foundation, but it tends to happen quite frequently at the end of a stressful day. So find a good translucent powder (I love the Estee Lauder one!) and carry it with you to remain perfect at all times!

Perfect nails: Chipped polish is a big no-no (okay, I can't believe I just wrote "big no-no", it sounds hardly eloquent but you know what I mean!). So I sometimes wear light pink polish instead of my usual reds: it is better-looking than clear nails and chipping is much less visible. Bubble Bath by OPI has been my favourite for years.

A signature fragrance: there's something very glamorous about having a fragrance that makes people think of you. For a long time, this was Chanel N.5 for me, though I have now switched to Paris by Yves Saint-Laurent (and also Opium for the evening or when I'm feeling particularly vampy). Go to the department store and try different fragrances until you find one that you think defines who you are.

Mascara: I've said a lot of times that I'm an advocate of big bold lashes framing the eyes. Why? Because the eyes are, I believe, the mirror to one's soul (cheesy, I know, but still!), and they're a beautiful asset to highlight. So don't be afraid; get yourself an extra-black volumizing mascara even if it's the only make-up you'll ever wear.

If you enjoyed this post, please follow my blog on Facebook (facebook.com/mademoisellesonushka) and Twitter (@miss_sonushka)!


Bella said...

Wow, this is such a great post! Maybe you should try to write for Bella Mag...? :-)


Benlovesting said...

So lovely!

Claudia A. Brito said...

Thank you so much for visiting my blog :)

I love this post and what you listed are indeed essential.




Jenny / Rocknrollerr said...

perfect sets!

X Jenny

Noor Unnahar said...

Great list . I believe in eyes' beauty with mascara , totally essential.
Noor @ Noor's Place

pinklovelaugh said...

I adore this post! Such great pieces and ideas.


Nery Hdez said...


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Khushbu Verma said...

Wow what a post. i liked the wardrobe and make up must haves a lot. Great Job.


effortlesscool said...

woah, holy wants! great list! love your blog, thanks for commenting on mine. Care to follow each other?!

XO Sahra

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Courtney Starr said...

I officially want them all :)

xo, Courtney


Sarah at Harpers-Shadow said...

Great post! I agree with all of the above! Love how you sectioned it off and created the pretty boards <3


Milex said...

You hypnotized me

Nurse Frugal said...

So adorable!! Loving the little black dress and this handy dandy guide to packing! Lord knows I need all the help I can get when it comes to packing the right stuff. Nice to meet your blog ;)

Sara said...

Your wishlist is perfection, I want every single item you covet for, especially the LBD and the suite, they would all be an amazing addition to any wardrobe. Your have a lovely blog by the way and I am a new follower on GFC and Bloglovin! Hope you will like my blog and follow back!

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Giovanna said...

Fun picks! Loving that bow bag!

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