The Absolute Essential Wardrobe Basics

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The other day on a plane ride back to NYC, I saw a woman reading that Marie Kondo book and was struck by two things. First of all, is that really a plane read? American Airlines flights have TVs in the back of all their headrests now...you didn't want to lose yourself in NBC's best Thursday night comedy options for two hours instead? But more seriously, it's probably high time to start the whole winter-to-spring wardrobe switcheroo—and get rid of all the things that don't bring me joy anymore. (The RealReal, I'm coming for you.)

The inevitable spring clean as terrifying as it is electrifying. It's the time to make crucial decisions like: No matter how sure you are that colored denim is going to make a comeback, you really should hedge your bets and get rid of those fire-engine red jeans. It's been 5 years and you've never worn them! And that's OK—we all make mistakes like buying almost-neon LAMB jeans at Nordstrom Rack; you just gotta know when it's time to let go. Because the truth is that while getting rid of old clothes feels like limiting your outfit options, chances are you only actually wear 20% of your wardrobe anyway. Why waste your time looking at the other 80%? Don't—you have better things to do, like consigning those pants and spending the profits on a case of preemptive rosé. Or any of these following pieces that you'll wear until they're threadbare. No regrets for Spring 2017.

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1. The White T-Shirt(s)

There's no such thing as the perfect t-shirt, all due respect to the Olsen twins. There are only perfect t-shirts for different occasions—so best have a few different styles at your disposal. This spring's starter pack? A vintage-y crop from Liana and a frilly-trimmed version from Are You Am I. One for when you're feeling a loose fit; one for when you're feeling a tight fit. Doesn't need to be more complicated than that.

Emmy also wears a Water Clothing Flight Split Jacket and La Ligne Pipeline Pants in look 1; she wears a Frame Denim Mini Skirt in look 2.

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2. The Button-Down

Nothing's sexier than a button-down buttoned all the way down, worn open to the sternum, maybe braless (or with one of these peeking out). Then, when the weekend's over, button up by two and show up to the office newly appropriate but still very chic. Two outfit birds, one very versatile La Ligne striped shirt stone.

Emmy also wears Frame Denim pants.

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3. The Jeans

For the next 30 seconds, please disregard that shopping for jeans is the most difficult thing in the world. I agree—nothing in my life requires as much stamina and clarity of mind than muscling myself into denim while hot-boxed in a fitting room, trying to decide if I'm going to blow $100+ and my remaining closet space on yet another pair. This Khaite pair is pretty close to perfect: the high rise, the straight leg, the casual wash, the crop at the ankle... So whether these are the jeans for you or not, peel your eyes for the same style features, and just like The Secret, they will appear.

Emmy also wears a Khaite top.

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4. The One-Piece

Matteau's Square Maillot is so perfect—from the colors to the fit to the stitching—that we've been looking for another way to wear it. Pair with linen-y trousers and call it a body suit! Strut with the confidence that it's all the more waterproof for your everyday life.

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5. The Mule

Definitively the most flattering shoe ever conceived—and with its own ventilation system out back. Perfect for rising temperatures, perfect for slipping on nonchalantly, and the low heel on these Mari Giudicelli babies is perfect for imperceptibly lengthening the leg for a more statuesque you.

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Bonus: The Hat

A little behind-the-scenes magic for you: While pulling items for this story, our stylist Danielle Nachmani sent me this Instagram posted by our very own Tom Newton. With it, she wrote, "I hope Tom knows that the bottom left image has me sourcing chic bucket hats now..." And she did! This Gap version has us playing repeat on all those great throwback ads they're doing these days.

Emmy also wears a Maryam Nassir Zadeh suit, Jennifer Fisher Baby Samira Hoops, and a Trademark bag.

Emmy Rappe (IMG) photographed by Tom Newton. Styled by Danielle Nachmani (The Wall Group). Hair by Sirsa Ponciano. Makeup by Nancy Sea Siler.

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