Fashion Under 20 Challenge: Tim Gunn’s 10 Essential Wardrobe Items


Let me start off this post by admitting something, I LOVE me some Tim Gunn!!!  Love, love, love everything about him!  I love his style, smile, glasses, voice, laugh, I can go on & on but I won’t because I don’t want to run you off due to the fact that you think I can some crazy stalker chick who is obsessed with the perfection that is Tim Gunn.  Don’t judge me!

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let’s discuss this challenge.  Seeing that I am mildly obsessed with Tim Gunn, it would only be fitting that I own his book, Tim Gun: A Guide to Quality, Taste & Style. By now, most everyone knows or have heard about Tim’s (in my mind Tim Gunn & I are on a first name basis…indulge me in my fantasy), as I was saying, Tim’s 10 Essential Wardrobe items for women.  If you have no clue about what I am talking about, here they are:

1. Basic Black Dress

“We all know that you can dress it up to take it out, that’s its intention, but you can also pair an item like this with a cardigan for work. So it’s an easy item to transition.”

2. Day Dress

“This is a dress that you’re probably going to wear to work. It is never intended to be a dress that you would wear to a cocktail party alternative.”

3. Classic White Shirt

“This should be in every woman’s dressing vocabulary,” Gunn says.  Pair it with jeans, a skirt or dress pants for an easy, polished outfit.

4. Classic Blazer

“This is the easiest way in the world to dress up a T-shirt and a pair of jeans and take them almost anywhere,” Gunn says.

5. Dress Pants

6. Trench Coat

Whether it’s that traditional khaki coat with military details or a fun, red color that pops against your hair or skin tone, Gunn loves a good trench.

“It’s my coat of choice because you can wear it to the grocery store, you can take it to the opera,” he says.

7. Good Pair of Jeans

“For me, the style of choice is one that falls straight from the widest part of your hip and that is in a dark wash,” Gunn says. “No distressing.”

8. Skirt

Pair with the white shirt and the blazer for an easy, polished look.

9. Cashmere Sweater

“Cashmere will not pill, so this will be very, very serviceable in your wardrobe. You’ll get a lot of wear out of it,” Gunn says.

10. Sweatsuit Alternative

“This is an item that’s easy to throw on, that allows you to look sophisticated and polished and is an alternative to the sweat suit,” Gunn says. “Depending on your taste and lifestyle, this can take on many different forms.”


Now my fashion BFF Tim suggest that you do not scrimp on what he calls “practical items,” which I totally agree but here at FU20 (I’m getting sick of writing it out so we’ll abbreviate from here on) we’re on a budget & it is completely possible to get quality “practical items” for $20 or less.  So here is the challenge, we’re all going to be on the hunt for the 10 Essentials.  Take your time.  As you & I get these items we will share them with all.  Email me a pic of the item you purchased & let me know where & how much.  Email me at

Good Luck & have a blast!

‘Til next time,



About fashionunder20

I'm a kind of sorta underemployed chick with a passion for fashion, on a budget. I totally believe that looking fabulous is an unalienable right our Founding Fathers forgot to put in the Constitution. That is why I am here to say, "You have to right to be fabulous on any budget!"

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