1. Classic black denim, because whether you worshipped the cool rock girls in high school, or simply need something you can throw on in the morning without a second thought — or both — few things will ever have your back like black denim.
2. A go-to lipstick for days when you need to pull it together. Because that one color that works on your otherwise bare face exists, and it is worth hunting down.
3. A style idol. You can be a Beyonce disciple or worship the Cool French Girls of years past, but whatever your muse, sometimes you need someone to point you in the right direction (if not for your actual look, then maybe just the vibe).
4. The right-fitting bra. Go to a professional shop. Get fitted. It. Will. Change. Your. Life.
5. A favorite pair of sunglasses. For days when you need to hide behind dark lenses, for beach days, and for everything in between. (Plus, if you’re attached to them, the chances that you’ll lose them are that much slimmer.)
6. Jeans that were made for her body. It might seem like an impossible quest, but the minute you find them, buy 5 pairs and never let them go.
7. A signature piece of jewelry. Consider it a lucky charm and a calling card all in one. (And even if you’re constantly swapping out different pairs of earrings, but earrings are most definitely Your Thing, then that counts, too.)
8. A genuine smile. Life’s too short for an insincere one.
9. A great pair of heels. Even if they live in her closet 9 out of 10 days, that one day will always mean the spring in her step is that much more self-assured.
10. A voice she isn’t afraid to use, be it to speak out against something that isn’t fair to either herself or someone else, to thank someone for something, or to tell someone she loves them for no other reason than she just does.
11. A memory of someone who loves her. They could still be in her life or have left it, and the love could be romantic or platonic. It doesn’t matter. Knowing you’re lovable and worthy of that love is a huge part of self-confidence (but we’ll get to that in a second).
12. Flats, for when she’s taking over the world. Or running late. Or just doesn’t want to be bothered with heels. Or doesn’t like heels. It doesn’t matter if they’re ballet flats or sneakers or something in between, sometimes you just need to get things done and be quick on your feet about it.
13. A crisp button down. Maybe it’s one you stole from a boyfriend. Maybe it’s one you bought yourself and only bring out on days with important meetings. Maybe its your everyday uniform. Whatever it is, keeping it ironed and cleaned means you get to make it your own with the finishing touches (by rolling up the sleeves, unbuttoning it a little, buttoning it all the way to the top, layering under a sweater, etc.).
14. An effortless jacket. Because you never know when the weather might change, and you should always be prepared.
15. A signature perfume. You never know who will smell it on someone else somewhere and instantly think of you.
16. The name of a hairstylist she trusts. Keep regular appointments and trims. Ask them what they think, but at the end of the day, remember that it’s also your head and your final call. Your hair should be a collaborative effort.
17. A 5 minute makeup routine for when she’s running late. Even if that means washing your face and getting out the door. You don’t need makeup, but if it helps you get through the day, then having shortcuts always helps.
18. Confidence. You can wear what the magazines tell you to day in and day out, but if you don’t feel like you belong in those clothes and in your own skin, it doesn’t matter. The most stylish women know who they are and never apologize for it. After all, believing in yourself will never go out of style.
This post brought to you by GAP. Dress Normal.