11/04/2011 01:09 pm ET Updated Oct 11, 2012

Real Advice for Real Women: How to Build Your Wardrobe Staples

I love getting dressed in the morning because I can be a chameleon. I rely on a few staples in my closet that can be mixed and matched and are super versatile. There's emotion when you get dressed for the day and I try to capture that in the clothing and accessories I design. I find that really maximizing your closet, knowing what you have and how to make it versatile will save you time and money. Here are some fool proof tips to help create looks that are chic, smart, and confident.

1. A trench coat is a classic item and something that is a staple in my closet. It's a timeless silhouette that you can either make super feminine with accessories or give it a masculine edge. Invest in a black, grey or camel one because you can wear it with anything! It's really one of those foundation pieces that are simple, elegant and can be dressed up or down to make you feel and look effortlessly modern.

2. My new weekend staple this season is a car coat. Wear it the same way you would as a woven cardi as its lightweight and a perfect layering piece. It goes with everything - jeans, trousers and pairs really well with a fitted crop pant. My car coat is red this season because I love the pop of color it infuses into my look. I often use color as an accessory - just like a great shoe, bag or piece of jewelry.

3. Add to your wardrobe basics by incorporating a thin long sleeve turtleneck. It gives your look a clean polish and adds a little Audrey Hepburn flair. Here's how I make it modern, wear it underneath a sequin tank top or shift dress. A black, navy, or charcoal grey turtleneck can instantly transform your summer dresses into the perfect fall outfit. I've been doing this for years and it helps me transform my dresses into seasonless pieces. Just make sure you invest in a form-fitting turtleneck. This will ensure there is no bulk when you put it underneath a dress or tank.

4. Prints should be a wardrobe basic for everyone. Prints are really easy to incorporate and mixes in your wardrobe so don't be afraid to take a risk! I love eclectic prints and mixing them to create texture and interesting silhouettes. For style inspiration, try a printed blouse paired with a printed pencil skirt. If you need to take baby steps, pick a bold printed piece and pair it with a colorful solid.

5. Every girl should have a jewelry box with go-to pieces to finish off her look. For instant glamour, pile on your rhinestone necklaces haphazardly. I like to find jewelry that tells a story and makes a statement like a big cocktail ring or necklace. Don't be afraid to wear a big statement necklace and then a big cocktail ring together. It's all about balance. Be bold and brave with accessories. They are low-cost pieces that can really add a lot of depth to your look.