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Ever wondered how even when a celebrity is out shopping or grabbing dinner with a friend, they always seem to look both polished and effortless? Well, there’s most likely a stylist behind their low-key ensemble. That, and a stylist’s trusty capsule wardrobe, or as they call them, their “kit,” which many in the business, including Hollywood styling veteran and Affirm partner Tara Swennen, swear by. In fact, the celebrity stylist of more than 20 years never heads out on a job without it. 

To find out how we, too, can get that same nonchalant look that every well-dressed celebrity has, I called on Swennen to find out what exactly lives inside her kit. And just like when she dresses clients like Kristen Stewart and Allison Janney on the red carpet, she didn’t disappoint. 

Clothing-wise, Swennen tells Who What Wear, that her styling kit is all about the classics. “Those tend to be neutral pieces, such as white and black tanks and tees; black, [skin-tone], and red pumps and strappy heels, black and white trousers; and neutral blazers.” For her, the key is to find and invest in upscale basics that will “stand the test of time,” she says. “Trends are constantly evolving, but ageless, staple pieces that are high quality and built to last will survive not only the four seasons but [the entire year].” 

Knowing that splurging on pricier essentials isn’t always the easiest or most possible route for shoppers, though, Swennen is joining forces with Affirm. “I’ve found Affirm to be really helpful in making these investment purchases because it lets you buy the essentials you need now, but spread out the costs over time,” she says. That way, you can build your own life-long capsule wardrobe without obliterating your monthly budget. 

With that in mind, see what wardrobe essentials this stylist of 20 years swears by and finally unlock the secret to all your favorite celebrities’ effortless aesthetics. 

“The perfect white tee is truly essential for my clients year-round. It is the perfect layering piece that pairs with virtually anything. It can be paired with jeans, under blazers or dresses, and adds a casual cool to just about any ensemble.”

The perfect fit.

Stock up on V-necks.

A regret-proof purchase. 

“As ’90s nostalgia hits the scene this summer, I won’t go anywhere without high-rise wide-leg jeans. This roomie cut combines comfort and ease while bringing an effortless vibe to any summer look.”

These are giving the best kinds of ’70s vibes.

Undeniably chic.

These have gone viral more times than I can count. 

“One of the most classic, versatile, and effortless shoes is your classic white sneaker. Whether it’s from Vans or a Chuck Taylor, this shoe is a wardrobe staple.”

If you don’t already own a pair of these, here’s your shot. 

Peak comfort levels.

This price cannot be matched.

“When it comes to polished layers, nothing is as timeless as a classic black blazer. It adds a sharp, sleek, and tailored edge to any look.”

Zara is our low-key source for blazers. 

If you’re down to splurge, this is the blazer to do it on. It’s guaranteed to last you forever. 

Just wait—the back is also incredible.

“Crossbody bags are not only trendy and stylish this season, but also extremely practical as well. Opt for a fun pop of color or a fun shape such as a fanny pack and throw them on for just about any activity this summer!”

This is a great first designer bag. 

Immediately yes.

This is what we mean when we say something looks expensive.

“Vintage handbags are fun and easy to combine with contemporary pieces. In fact, they should be the focal point of your look! Simply ensure that you buy an authentic piece—these are worth the splurge. If a deal seems too good to be true, it most likely is!”

It doesn’t get much more classic than this. 

New laptop bag, secured. 

Balenciaga’s old-school bags are all coming back in a major way. 

“A collaboration with Run DMC in the 1980s solidified [Adidas’s Superstar sneaker’s] legacy as a style icon. I like to pair them on my clients with cargos, pleated skirts, and oversize denim.”

These will be everywhere this summer. 

If you want to buy the colorway that not everyone has, these are for you.

You can’t go wrong with all-white Superstars.

“Elevate your everyday look with this effortless essential. I always have these on hand for summer as they give some breathing room for one’s feet. They come in a variety of styles and are perfect for your summer getaway.”

These are one of our top-selling products. 

I know what slides I’ll be wearing this summer.

Easy and cool.

“This fitted staple is a layering lifesaver. They provide a smooth foundation layer to pair with anything from blazers and crop jackets to skirts and jeans and even underneath dresses.”

A forever favorite.

BRB, buying one in every color.

The easy basic everyone needs.

“This is a fitting essential in my studio. Opt for a classic neutral such as black or red, or match your skin tone to elongate your silhouette: The key to finding the right sandal is making sure you incorporate both style and comfort! Platforms are great trendy options too!”

These are surprisingly comfortable. 

Red hot.

Please excuse my drooling.

“These are always a red carpet fave! Be sure to choose a high-quality sequin so that it doesn’t look tacky and remember to not over-accessorize! The key to full sequins is minimalism on every other front!”

There’s a reason why this dress is selling out mighty quick. It’s perfection.

Saturday night called—it said to wear this dress. 

So pretty. 

“These are a wonderful investment, as they can be reused summer after summer! They are the perfect dress for a spring wedding or a summer vacation! Try a fun print or a floral and pair with a wedge or fun flat.”

Pinky please. 

This dress can easily be taken from day to night with a shoe change. 

You just know this dress will be breezy even on the hottest summer days. 

“This versatile accessory adds interest, flair, and color to one’s look. There are literally dozens of ways to tie scarves, from around one’s neck to one’s head to even one’s bag. Opt for a vintage classic from brands like Hermès and Gucci for a timeless look.”

Hermès. That’s it, that’s the caption. 

Zara’s silk-scarf collection right now is on another level.

Chic.

“Fashion should always be stylish but can also serve a purpose. I always have sunglasses on hand for my men and women as UV radiation from natural sunlight can be damaging to one’s eyes. Find a style that works well for your face and use them as a playful accessory to add edge to one’s look.”

*Orders immediately.* 

Your new every-single-day sunnies.

I could’ve sworn these were designer. 

Next: I Hate to Break It to You, But These Summer Shoe Trends Are Officially Old News


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