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5 wardrobe staples for 2009

Erica Mayyasi is a Red Sox fan in Manhattan. After stints at various magazines she now works full-time in public relations, though she continues to write for a number of sites including her blog etsymay.blogspot.com.

Bare necessities

It's a new year, and if revamping your wardrobe is one of your resolutions, we're here to help! In this economy, buying a whole new slew of clothes is out of the question, so you need to splurge smartly. We've got five wardrobe staples that you will get serious mileage out of and are worth loosening your purse strings for.

Wardrobe Staple #1: Trench coat

The perfect trench coat is both sexy and functional (the ever elusive combo!) and never goes out of style. There are tons of trenches on the market, but if you're really looking to splurge, Burberry trenches are ever the classics.

Wardrobe Staple #2: Cashmere sweater

Cashmere is a true dream material and every girl deserves a little. Since it doesn't come cheap, go for a basic solid-colored piece to get the most bang for your buck. Uniqlo is lined with cashmere tops in every style and color and it's all surprisingly reasonably priced.

Wardrobe Staple #3: Jeans

The perfect pair of dark-wash jeans is a wardrobe must-have. And while wading through the zillions of brands currently on the market to find the one most flattering to your body type can be frustrating and time-consuming, it pays off in spades.

Once you find the perfect fit, don't be too stingy to pay for hemming. Nothing kills a great pair of jeans faster than you tripping over them. To maximize how classic and classy the jeans are, look for some without obvious branding on the back pockets such as those by Earnest Sewn (pictured) or Paper Denim & Cloth.

Wardrobe Staple #4: Boots

Like a big handbag, quality boots require quality material and a lot of it. A rich leather boot can make almost any ensemble look like a million bucks in no time flat. Ralph Lauren is a gold standard of top-notch boots but is not at all easy on the budget; for a more recession-friendly (though still not cheap) pick, try Frye boots (pictured).

Wardrobe Staple #5: Carry-all bag

It's practically a girl commandment to haul around a huge, bottomless bag that you can dump anything and everything into. So if you're toting around the same large bag day in and day out, then isn't it worth the money to invest in a nice one? To get the most mileage for your dollar, try a dark and durable leather that can take some wear and tear, such as this one by Foley & Corinna.

More fashion tips to keep you styled to the nines

Hottest fashion trends of 2008
The best and worst fashion trends of 2008
Fantastic fashion trends: from runways to sidewalks

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