It helps me to think about essentials as the items that are so prevalent in my closet that I could get dressed in the dark and would land on at least 1 if not a full outfit. (Also the area I have the hardest time purging b/c I know I will wear each of these items) Following that logic:

V-neck solid color sweater - light grey or cream. cotton for summer, wool or cashmere for winter
1/4 zip sweatshirt - grey or cream
White or white w pattern sleeveless tops, v or scoop neck
Blue/white stripe knit T-shirts
Navy solid knit shirts
Navy suit - long blazer + pants
Jeans - bright white or dark wash, straight or boot cut
Bright colored long blazers - teal or red (could be statement, but they are go to toppers for me)
Long layering cardigan in red or navy
A-line knit dress in navy
Ballet flats
Low profile tennis shoes
2.5” leather pumps
Delicate gold necklaces or earrings