Today’s post is from stylist and SB friend Sukey Johnson:

Besides socks, underwear and blue jeans, do you have enough options when it comes to white blouses, black pants and boots? Hitting the wardrobe trifecta is hard! But with a little guidance, you can have a winning wardrobe year round. This also means updating on a regular basis to better your odds.

Many clients don’t realize how much they’re missing a black trouser pant or white tunic. They ask me if those kinds of items are outdated. No. They’re for grown ups! I promise they can make the simplest ensemble crisp and sophisticated. And to show you how easy it is to add these elements missing from your wardrobe, here’s a little tour of some of my favorite places in town to find these timeless must-haves:

The White Blouse

My first stop for a white blouse was Kayce Hughes. They had at least three types of blouses that were great, and each one is 50% off!

Here’s the one I bought – a traditional button-down with subtle, yet fabulous details. (It was the only one in my size or I would have bought them all!)


Gorgeous fabric! Can you see the tiny ribbing, almost like fine corduroy?


This button-down has a ruffle neck and long sleeves with ruffle trim.


Ruffled cuff


This version is a pullover tunic-style blouse – wonderful!

Some other white shirts to know about:

We can’t forget the fabulous tunic from Trillium Collection from Sue Joyce that you can find at AshBlue.

Linen Hemstitch Tunic at Ash Blue $150

If you’re in a hurry or prefer ordering online, you can always count on Brooks Brothers. They carry an extensive collection of white non-iron dress shirts with varying details to suit your style and shape. The beauty of this line is they are kept fully stocked year round.


Brooks Brothers Non-iron $98.50


Black Pants

Nearby at Kendal Boutique I found a huge variety of black pants. Everyday trousers, skinnies and leggings, straight legged, bootcut, and sassy going out black pants/jeans that almost look like leather, but weren’t–you may have seen some of these around; they’re called coated.

Yours truly styling up the mannequins.


Here’s the finished look with the coated denim jeans. Coated denim has been most popular with the skinny jean, but these are bootcut!


Fun accessory options for the same black pants. (And yes, a sweater on top of the cami! Just haven’t gotten that far in this photo…)

Below are a few options available at The Mall at Green Hills or online.

My longest legged clients swear by J.Crew for pants because of the length. J. Crew also carries a variety of widths of pant legs – wide, medium, skinny – and it’s good to have a variety in your closet.

J.Crew Hutton Trouser $148

My favorite black jeans are from White House Black Market. The Blanc Universal fit has the most spandex (yay!), and the Contour fit comes up higher in the back so no one gets a peep show as you bend down to tie your child’s shoes.

Blanc jeans, on sale for $49.99



The third item to complete your winning ticket are all types of boots. If you’re like me, you can search a few seasons and never be completely satisfied with the perfect boots. With so many styles you should never settle for a mediocre fit. Below are a few suggestions.

Nashville Boot Co. in Belle Meade Galleria

Whether you need your first pair of cowboy boots or third or even fourth pair (jealous!), Randy at Nashville Boot Company can help you find what you need. He also helped me choose and surprise my husband with his first pair of boots, which he loved this past Christmas.

This is a great time to be looking for the perfect boots because, thankfully, most stores have their boots on sale this time of year! Here are few that I’m loving right now:

By Steve Madden, $189.95 at Nordstrom.

The Tassmid suede boot from Stuart Weitzman is beautiful in brown or black. I love the gold zipper detail.

Stuart Weitzman Tassmid $188

How about these beautiful Tara boots at Elaine Turner, which are also on sale (now just $175, original price was $350). Hurry over there!


This black suede wedge bootie would work with everything!

Nine West Tweeks in suede. $59.99 

This is a time you can ignore critics who say, “Another pair of black pants?” or “How many boots do you own?” Just look the other way and pretend you can’t hear them. There are more than enough opportunities to wear each of these in a different light and location!

At some point you will stumble across THE one – that perfect blouse, or pair of pants or boots – and you should get it then, not later. There are plenty of styles out there for all shapes, so you’re bound to try on many that are not for you, and this can be discouraging. You must persist and continue trying on different styles, because you will finally find the perfect fit, and then you should (gasp!) buy TWO.

Stay well and stay warm. Spring will be here before we know it!


Thanks, Sukey!!


click here to email Sukey Johnson