'I'm a personal shopper. Here are the 12 items every woman needs in her wardrobe now.'

Here’s the thing with wardrobe staples: you need to update them. Because (shock of shocks!) classics never last forever.

They are actually one of the first things to date.

If you want to look modern and chic (and I'm sure you do because you're reading this), then it’s important to update your core pieces every few years. 

Read more: 'I was having an over-40 fashion crisis. Here are 6 things a personal stylist told me to do.'

My philosophy? Stick to classic colours in updated dramatic shapes.

Here are the 12 items I recommend every woman owns.

But first, watch Mamamia review non-family friendly fashion. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

1. A blazer.

Everyone needs a blazer that's oversized, modern and casual. This is NOT a tight, short corporate blazer. It's long, loose and effortless. 

Go for a camel colour because it's 10 times more versatile than black. It also looks chic with jeans, loves white and tan, and works year-round.

2. A trench.

Say goodbye to that short single-breasted trench coat. You want yours to be long, double-breasted, oversized and slouchy.


If you are going to buy one trench, make it in a neutral. Outerwear is seen first, so make sure it’s going to make a statement (a black trench is ok but I'd suggest starting with camel). 

What’s to love about a trench? It doesn’t have to be raining to wear it. It's versatile with a capital V: toss it over a black dress for the evening, or over a white tee, with jeans and sneakers for the day.

3. Jeans.

Update your jeans with a new wide shape and a high waist. 

New shaped jeans - whether straight, wide leg, baggy or flare - will extend the life of all your old tops and, yes, even blazers. 

The high waist means you can tuck in your tops and the wide leg reworks your proportions. 

Go for a light wash for casual outfits, and dark denim if you are going out at night. 


4. Leather (or pleather) pants.

I’ve been living in pleather black pants for years. 

That’s because they are not black pants but just as versatile, adding a fashiony edge to any look. The texture means something exciting is happening and they are perfect in autumn, winter and spring. 

They love a T-shirt and sneakers as much as a glamourous top and heels, and best thing is, they don’t need ironing

5. A white shirt.

They say white next to your face takes 10 years off. I say yes, please. 

Go for an exaggerated shape - big balloon sleeves, a double cuff, or shoulders that make a statement. Look for one on the voluminous size or at least a comfortable fit.

A long white shirt looks great under a jumper or tucked into high waist pants for evening (with a trench on your shoulders, of course!).


6. A tee.

It’s vital to update your t-shirt often. They are the workhorse in your wardrobe, so you need to make sure they're modern. 

There are two types of t-shirts: one is a layering piece that you toss under a blazer or coat. 

You probably won’t wear it on its own. It’s a quiet achiever. For this type, you want a round neck, a looser cut to skim over curves and sleeves that are loose. The cut can also be neater, because more often than not you're tucking it in. 

The second style of tee is a statement tee and looks great on its own - I'm talking shoulder pad tees and puff sleeve tees. They don’t like being under a jacket, for obvious reasons. 

7. A striped knit.

You need a striped sweater to add print and break up the monotone. I recommend going for a modern, slouchy shape.

Wear it with everything from leather pants to jeans to a maxi skirt and chinos. Hint: use the striped sweater as a scarf and toss it over your shoulders to amp up any outfit. It’s a thing. 


Listen to What Are You Wearing?, Mamamia's weekly fashion podcast. Post continues below.

8. A maxi skirt.

Quite often people say they need a dress. I say, invest in a skirt and top. 

You’ll get more mileage out of your wardrobe because a skirt can be worn a million different ways. The best shape to invest in? An a-line maxi - because it's so flattering. 

For winter, wear your knee-high boots under a long skirt, then toss on a slouchy knit and trench. Could not be easier! 


9. Beige chinos.

Not jeans but just as casual. Not black pants but just as chic. 

Beige chinos are vital in your wardrobe. Update them this season with cargos (either in a neutral or white). You will live in them.

They look cool on weekends with sneakers and a slouchy jumper and coat, but low-key for evenings with heels and a blazer. 

10. Block-heel shoes.

The good news is that shoes are now comfortable. YAY. Ballet flats or Mary Janes with a block heel are all you need in life. 

I suggest going for tan or white - I think I have about 15 pairs of white shoes. They immediately update everything you own.  

For winter, I’d invest in a pair of knee-high neutral boots with a block heel to wear under jeans. Goodbye ankle boots. 


11. Sneakers.

Still so right. Converse, Adidas or major statement-making sneakers all work hard in your wardrobe. 

Wide leg pants and big coats LOVE sneakers. It’s a winter uniform that is so easy to pull off and totally comfortable. If you want a little bit of colour in your wardrobe, then a bright sneaker is the way to go.

12. A handbag. 

Go for the best quality you can afford. A designer handbag elevates everything. 

It’s something you use every day so you’ll get great cost per wear. You need a tan bag – a tote, structured or relaxed, that you can use every day. 

And a small cross body - so practical and chic, great for travel and goes from day to evening. Look for tan, beige or white. Maybe with a logo. 

A black version also looks good at night. And please do not worry about matching bags and shoes!

FiFi Milne is a former fashion editor turned personal shopper and expert wardrobe detoxer. Superpower? Predicting fashion so you don’t have to. 

For more style tips from her, head to her website and follow her on Instagram.

Feature image: Instagram/@shopwithfifi

Calling all parents! Take this short survey now to go in the running to win a $50 gift voucher!