Do you dream of owning the perfect wardrobe? Ashley Gold ’93, the co-owner of the New York-based boutiques Goldy + Mac who is featured in the spring 2013 issue of the Quarterly, offers a list of basics that will help you build a better wardrobe. Her choices are drawn from designers represented in her boutiques, but if you’d like other options, check for similar looks in stores such as the Gap, H&M, J. Crew, and Zara.

T-shirt by Michael Stars, $54

Dress by Suzi Chin Maggy London, $152

Blazer by Ella Moss, $176

No. 1: A great T-shirt
Why: The rich, hot pink of this T-shirt will flatter most people. Dress it up or down with footwear and accessories.
Variations: Look for a shirt with detailing such as a cowl neck or a gathered neckline. This shirt  has three-quarter length sleeves, but don’t be afraid to vary the sleeve lengths.

No. 2: A versatile dress
Why: Featuring ruching and made of stretchy, forgiving material, this dress is kind to curves. It is cinched on the side, which pulls the eye to the waist, and falls to the knee, which draws the eye to the thinnest part of the leg. Wear this to work, a wedding, or dinner.
Variations: More athletic than curvy? Try a sheath dress, which may be more flattering to your body type.

No. 3: A fitted black blazer
Why: Tapered at the waist and ruffled along the bottom edge, this feminine blazer creates curves if you lack them or accentuates your waist if you don’t. Wear it over jeans or a dress in any season.
Variations: Don’t like jackets? Try a classic black cardigan.

Jeans by Red Engine, $174

Blouse by Ella Moss, $150

Belt by Elyse M., $32

No. 4: Dark-wash skinny or straight-leg jeans
Why: A great pair of jeans, without distressing, can be worn day or night and may be appropriate for the office. Wearing them with a loose blouse or top balances the look. In cold weather, tuck your jeans into a pair of leather boots.
Variations: Try a black, straight-leg pant.

No. 5: A feminine blouse
Why: Made of chiffon and silk, this blouse has different prints and is soft and sheer with a camisole underneath the top layer. Wear it untucked, tucked in, or belted. It adds a bit of romance to any outfit, and the print will add spice to otherwise solid-colored threads. (For ease of care, consider instead a polyester blouse.)
Variations: At Goldy + Mac, we love stripes, but florals and geometric shapes also are in. Small geometric prints are the most universally flattering.

Pick 6:  A metallic skinny belt
Why: Draw attention to your waist or simply add style to a casual outfit. A skinny belt can be worn over a dress or with jeans. It also pairs well with a casual T-shirt or gown.
Variations: Don’t like skinny belts? Go wide. Wear belts at varying heights to set off different features.

Last but not least, Gold points out that, like a house, a great wardrobe begins with the foundation. Start with a well-fitted bra and seamless undergarments like Spanx, she says. "It is worth the investment to go to a high-end department store or lingerie store for a fitting, because odds are you're a different bra size than you think."

Goldy + Mac Locations:

219 5th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11215

396 7th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11215

195 Court Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

10 Front Street
Greenport, NY 11944
631.477.6791 (open seasonally)