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Rewrite the Rules: Six Easy-to-Pair Wardrobe Staples Every Woman Should Own

Your wardrobe can only flourish with a solid foundation. (If you’ve played Jenga, you get it.)

By Madeleine Kim

In our Rewrite the Rules series, we lay out the basics of building—and maintaining—your ideal Power Casual wardrobe. This installment covers the six pieces we believe every woman should own.

Raise your hand if you’ve played Jenga. If your hand is up right now, you know this well: Without a solid foundation, your tower will crumble.

The same goes for your wardrobe. Investing in high-quality staples gives you that solid base and allows you to build the looks that feel true to your personal style. Below, we’ve outlined the six most important building blocks for your wardrobe.


A pair of versatile black pants.

Obvious, but true. Everyone should own at least one really great pair of black pants. The key to finding the right pair is figuring out what “really great” means to you. If you gravitate toward a cigarette silhouette and prioritize polish above all else, you’ll love the Foster pants (and you’ll be in great company—they’re our bestsellers of all time). If you tend to like a more relaxed look, try the Hockleys, which have the construction of jeans but are way more comfortable. Prefer a looser fit? Try the Colby pants, which have the ease (and elastic waistband) of joggers, but the sleek look of trousers. Of course, all three of these styles are machine-washable, wrinkle-resistant, and ultra-comfortable—non-negotiables, if you ask us.


A white top that you can wear alone or under jackets.

As fashion expert Chrissy Rutherford says, basics don’t have to be boring. In fact, sometimes all you need to be the most stylish person in the room is a crisp white top that fits you just right. It doesn’t get much more essential than a cotton T-shirt, and the Leslie—made from cloud-soft Peruvian pima cotton—is the best T-shirt out there. Then there’s the Peggy top, which couples the versatility of a basic tank with the chicness of a knit top. For those who prefer a bit more flair, look no further than the Nora top, featuring an elegantly draped cowl neck.


A go-to blazer that’s actually comfortable.

Comfortable blazers are way harder to come by than they should be. Unless, of course, you’re shopping at M.M.LaFleur. If a blazer isn’t comfortable enough for you to sit at a desk all day, reach the high-up subway pole, get on a plane, and cuddle with your dog who’s laying on the rug—well, then, we simply won’t make it. For a classically tailored blazer with a slightly sporty spin, try the packable Moreland jacket, which features handy zipper pockets and pairs perfectly with the Colby pants you just added to your cart. Or, go for a fashion-forward look with the slightly oversized O’Hara blazer, which most members of the M.M. team own in multiple colors. Wish you could just wear a sweater instead? Try the Merritt jardigan, made from a super-stretchy knit.


A favorite knit top.

Knit tops are the unsung heroes of the Power Casual wardrobe, because they elevate your look without feeling overly dressy. We’ll share more on this topic in an upcoming story, but for now, just trust us: You need one (if not all) of these styles. First up is the Aubry top, which has proven to be one of those pieces that just looks good on everyone. Made from a gorgeous-feeling (and gorgeous-looking) ribbed silk jersey knit, it’s a splurge you’ll wish you made sooner. The Choe top is a must-have for T-shirt lovers, because it has the silhouette of a tee, but with more structure and polish. Wear it in place of your go-to T-shirt for a slightly more elevated look. And finally, we have the Elizabeth turtleneck—light as a cloud and soft as one, too. Wear it when you want to look elegant, but understated.


A dress that doesn’t require additional styling.

The best thing about dresses is that you can just throw them on and go. Even better? Dresses with built-in design details that do the styling for you. Take the Jillian dress, featuring asymmetrical gathering that accentuates your waist. You could add accessories, but really, they’d just be detracting attention from the main event. Same goes for the Maisie dress, which we recently released in our midnight color due to popular demand. And we couldn’t not mention the Cynthia dress, whose built-in belt means that accessorizing is already taken care of.


A pair of “fun” pants.

According to our Chief Creative Officer, Miyako, wearing statement pants makes you look more fashionable—because anyone can wear a fun shirt, but it takes some guts to trade your go-to jeans for culottes. Speaking of which, have you tried the Zhous? Swishy, sleek, and surprisingly easy to pair, they’ll make you a culotte convert in no time. Or maybe you’re more of a Milo jean person. Made from our stretchy Better Than Denim fabric, these wide-leg pants are as comfortable as they are chic. Of course, you can also have fun with fabric by trying vegan leather pants, like the Archies, which make your outfit look just a little bit edgy. Both the Milo and the Archie feature adjustable hems, so it’s kind of like getting two pairs of pants for the price of one.

Written By

Madeleine Kim

Madeleine Kim is the Senior Brand Manager at M.M.LaFleur, where she started out as a stylist. She loves developing styling-focused content and creating newsletters that bring the M.M. community together.

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