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Alexandra DeRosa
Jun 17, 2015 @ 6:45 pm

Ah, your 20s. You we (full disclosure: I'm in my early 20s) have our whole lives ahead of us. There's plenty of time to pick up that perfect designer suit, find your dream apartment, and so on. But, since we've made it past the teen years (phew!), there are a few important items you should have on lock by now. The great news here is, unlike that designer suit and dream apartment, these items are attainable, no matter how big your paycheck may be. Better yet, they're items that will be put to use way more often then you think and, dare we say it, they'll usher you into your 30s.

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1. A Trusty Interview Outfit

No matter what your field may be, you need to have one go-to interview outfit. Look for elevated basics that show off your personal taste, like a sleeveless waistcoat instead of a blazer.

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Get the Look: Zara waistcoat, $100; zara.com. H&M blouse, $25; hm.com. J. Crew skirt, $168; jcrew.com. Kate Spade handbag, $398; nordstrom.com. Vince pump, $375; nordstrom.com.

 

2. A Timepiece

A watch gives off a very sophisticated message and there's something impossibly cool about a chunky menswear-inspired style. Don't worry, we won't tell if you still look at your phone for the time.

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Shop it (from left): Shinola, $975; nordstrom.com. Nixon, $125; shopbop.com. Michael Kors, $275; shopbop.com.

 

3. A Badass Leather Jacket

You need one topper that will go with anything. The leather moto jacket brings a too-cool edge to any look. Simply drape it over your shoulders and voilà.

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Shop it (from left): Madewell, $528; madewell.com. J. Crew, $495; jcrew.com. H&M, $249; hm.com.

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4. A Party Shoe

Because what's more perfect for those nights when you just want to throw on jeans and a white tee?

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Shop it (clockwise from left): Steve Madden, $80; lulus.com. Joie, $285; shopbop.com. Schutz, $190; shopbop.com.

 

5. A Favorite Mascara

After many test runs (no pun intended), having a favorite go-to brand will streamline your beauty routine.

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Shop it (from left): Too Faced Better Than Sex, $23; sephora.com. Dior Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Waterproof, $29; nordstrom.com. Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash, $24; ulta.com.

 

6. An Investment Bag

You should have one statement bag in your closet. Statement doesn't mean $1,000+, but perhaps worthy of a splurge. Stick to neutral colors this way you'll get the most use out of it.

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Shop it (from left): 3.1 Phillip Lim Mini Shoulder Chain Bag, $695; shobop.com. Alexander Wang Rockie Leather Satchel, $850; nordstrom.com. Loeffler Randall Medium Rider Bag, $475; loefflerrandall.com.

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7. Tried-and-True Skinny Jeans

By now you should've played the field and devoted an afternoon to testing out all the denim brands to find your perfect fit.

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Shop it (from left): River Island Mid-Wash Jeans, $80; riverisland.com. Rag & Bone The Skinny Mid-Rise jeans, $190; net-a-porter.com. J Brand Maria Skinny Jeans, $178; farfetch.com.

 

8. A Cool iPhone Case

Here's where we can show our youth—embrace the bright, playful prints while you can!

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Shop it (from left): Ban.Do. $15; shopbando.com. Marc by Marc Jacobs, $38; revolveclothing.com. Dannijo, $98; shopbop.com.

 

9. A Killer LBD

A little black dress is a must have in any woman's wardrobe. An LBD will have all your bases covered whether you're heading to the club, a trendy restaurant, or girl's night.

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Shop it (from left): Topshop, $75; topshop.com. Rebecca Taylor, $209; rebeccataylor.com. Mango, $120; mango.com.

 

10. A Favorite Lipstick/Lipgloss

No matter what shade you prefer, you should always have your go-to lip color handy.

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Shop it (from left): Givenchy Le Rouge-à-Porter in Nude Ultime, $36; sephora.com. MAC Lipstick in Ruby Woo, $16; nordstrom.com. Chanel Rouge Allure Colour & Shine Lip Gloss in Supreme, $34; nordstrom.com.

 

11. A Hot Date-Night Outfit

A fool-proof look ready to go on the hanger (accessories included!) will eliminated those I'm-so-nervous jitters.

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Shop it (from left): Zara dress, $80; zara.com. Clare V. pouch, $199; clarev.com. Schutz shoes, $220; shopbop.com.

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