Back to Basics

February is always a bit of a “blah” month when it comes to shopping. Currently in-between seasons with the never ending sale items still lurking around.

This got me thinking about the “wardrobe basics” that every women needs but sometimes neglects. Getting your basic pieces right is the foundation to a perfect wardrobe.

So while the shops are still currently in bloom for Spring 2016, here’s a little back to basics post to help you refresh and renew your basic wardrobe staples.

1.The Tee

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From day to night, I always find the need for a good crew neck or v-neck t-shirt. They look great with any kind of jeans and trainers for a classic day time look but look equally as nice with a pencil skirt or tailored trouser at night to keep your evening attire looking smart/casual. Keep the style loose fitted for that “laid back cool” look.

I tent to stick to grey and white when buying t-shirts as they will go with the majority of my wardrobe, black is also another great staple colour but one that I don’t tend to wear often. And as you can see, another tip is once you find a style/fit you like, buy in bulk!

I love these crew neck T-Shirts from: FOREVER 21

For good V-Neck T-Shirts head to: ZARA

2.The Perfect JeansIMG_1749

Jeans are always a tricky subject and can be hard to advise on as there are SO many shapes, styles and fits. It is simply a matter of taking the time to try on different shapes and styles to find the one that suits your body shape, as well as finding your perfect go to store-as so many shops have different variations.

For me, being petite, my go to styles are:

The Boyfriend Jean from: WHISTLES

The Super Skinny Jean from: TOPSHOP

The Ankle Crop: ZARA and H&M

No matter what time of year it is, I love my jeans to be just above the ankle. I definitely got this style from my (5ft 7″) Mum, who has always worn ankle length jeans and always looks super fab in them. I find this length really elongates your legs (no matter what your height is) and always look good whether they are worn with trainers, flats, heels, boots or sandals.

Another thing to consider when buying jeans is colour. Everyone (male or female) should own at least 1 pair of mid-wash jeans, 1 pair of indigo jeans and of course 1 pair of black jeans.

White jeans always look super chic in the summer, but quality is key when buying white jeans, as a lot of white jeans can be see-through making them look cheap. Another colour to consider carefully in my opinion is very light stone wash jeans. This colour only ever really looks good on a vintage pair of LEVIS – in the summer.

3.The Classic White ShirtIMG_1750

Probably one of my favorite items of clothing in my wardrobe, and it goes to show as I have around 8 white shirts! No matter whether it’s Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter this classic never gets “put away”, is worn constantly and with everything.

Things to consider when buying a white shirt:

1.Try to look for 100% cotton – this shirt from UNIQLO is 100% cotton and doesn’t crease as easily as others.

2.Avoid anything fitted or clingy, it just looks like your “I work in an office” attire (even if you do and you are wearing your shirt to the office, this isn’t the look you want to achieve!).

3.Boxy/Oversized shirts are always my go to style, MANGO and NEW LOOK have got some great styles like this. My tip is to keep your bottom half tighter if your a little curvier.

4.Roll the sleeves up a couple of times, this will help create a nice relaxed vibe to your outfit.

3.The Breton TopIMG_1747

Made famous by Coco Chanel herself in 1917, Breton tops are a wardrobe staple for a reason. I love mixing patterns and prints so I tend to wear mine with a pair of leopard print heels or flats or a nice leopard print bag….again keep the fit loose and boxy.

UNIQLO is my go to store for Breton tops. Like the majority of Uniqlo’s clothing the quality/fabric/feel are undoubtedly one of the best on the high street and they never loose shape.

4.The Masculine CoatIMG_1751

The “Masculine” Coat has been a classic shape for a number of years now and isn’t showing any signs of going anywhere soon. However, whatever style of coat you prefer/suit camel and grey are the ideal colours to go for, especially if you are investing in a more expensive version. These colours will go with around 99% of your wardrobe, (especially grey) as well as looking great when dressed up or down.

ZARA is a great place to buy masculine style coats and jackets as they are well cut and the shape is always flattering.

Also try:

NEW LOOKMANGO COSTOPSHOP

6.The Ultimate JumperIMG_1796

A grey sweatshirt is probably one of my ultimate go to looks – whether paired with a white shirt, leather trousers and heels or jeans and trainers its my staple everyday look. Another jumper must have of mine is a navy cable knit – year after year this style/colour will never date and makes morning dressing that much easier.

COS is a good place for a great jumper, a little pricey but worth the investment. MARKS AND SPENCER also do nice, machine friendly knitwear.

7.The Too Cool For School Leather JacketIMG_1757

Okay so buying a good, butter soft, leather jacket will definitely make a dent in your bank balance but once you have made this investment you won’t need to buy another one for at least another 6 to 8 years, even longer if you take care of it. I have had this leather jacket from Ted Baker for around 6 years now and when working out the cost per wear I’m down to around 8 pence a wear (no lie, I did the math!) From silk dresses, to skinny jeans there is nothing that this wardrobe icon doesn’t go with.

When buying a leather jacket there is only ever one style to buy, one that has stood the test of time and that’s the BIKER JACKET!

Whether you chose to go for a collar or collarless biker jacket I promise that it will be worth every penny spent.

The best quality biker jackets can be found at:

TED BAKERREISSWHISTLES 

8.The “Forever” BagIMG_1753

This doesn’t have to be a designer bag, just a good quality leather bag. Like me, you probably have a million bags at home, but investing in one or two (or seven or eight in my case) good quality leather bag will last you a life time. I had been lusting after a Prada bag for years and was lucky to get this gorgeous one from the Prada outlet at Bicester Village, it still wasn’t cheap even at outlet prices but I have never regretted a single penny spent on it.

When investing in the “Forever” bag go for either black for long standing durability or tan, the go with everything colour.

For classic Designer “Forever” Bags that will always be in style try:

PRADAMULBURRY – CHANELYSL – CELINE

For good quality High Street “Forever” Bags try:

LK BENNETT – RUSSELL AND BROMLEYJ CREW – & OTHER STORIES 

9.The Must Have ShoesIMG_1797

Of all my shopping addictions (and there are many!), I would say that shoes were definitely my biggest weakness, however if I could only ever have four styles of shoes then these four would be it. All four are timeless classics that will never date.

1.The Chelsea Boots – They look just as fab in Winter as they do in Summer and go with everything from trousers to dresses. RUSSELL AND BROMLEY 

2.The Classic Black Heel – High. Pointed. Chic. OFFICE 

3.The Trainer – My everyday go to shoe, super comfy and bang on trend. Always. AXEL ARIGATO

4.The Leopard Print Flats – Whether you go for loafers, brogues or pointed, leopard print flats will create a timeless focal point to any outfit. DUNE

10.The Finishing Touches….

…Jewels… IMG_2166

Just like a magpie, I am attracted to anything sparkly and shiny! From the real deal to “tat”as my Husband calls it, I spend a lot of money each year on jewellery.

However, I have been very lucky over the years to have been bought and given some gorgeous pieces of jewellery that I will cherish forever.

A good watch is a must have and I was lucky enough to be given a beautiful vintage watch for my 30th Birthday by my parents. Nevertheless, there are some great designer watches out there that don’t cost a fortune to own. They are popular but I do love MICHAEL KORS, especially their Lexington watch. I also really like OLIVIA BURTON and KATE SPADE watches.

Foreign shores can be a great place to buy diamonds  – I brought the most amazing diamond earrings in Dubai a few years back from the Gold Souk their that literally double in price when I have had them valued back home in the UK, however do you research before you jet off.

I also a HUGE fan of MONICA VINADER. Her designs are so beautiful, well made and one of a kind. I love my Baja bracelet and have worn it everyday day since I got it for Christmas. She also makes beautiful rings and necklaces.

As you have probably noticed by now through other posts, I also love anything from the Zara Simon: Z for ACCESSORIZE range. They do some great little trinkets that look so nice layered and since the collection is either gold plated or sterling silver they wear well too. Result!

 MISSOMA and ASTLEY CLARKE are another of my favourite jewellery brands.

…Underwear… IMG_2102

Okay so I have to admit that underwear has never been high up on my priority list. However back in January, I made a New Year resolution to take more pride in my pants!

As boring as it may be the majority of my underwear is nude (even the new), with the occasional splash of black, coral and burgundy. As I hardly ever wear black, I find that nude goes perfectly under the majority of my clothing, but be assured that nude doesn’t have to be ugly and can be pretty, as above. The next thing to do on my NY resolution list is to get myself properly measured. As bad as it is, I have never been properly measured! An ill fitting bra can ruin an outfit so I will be heading to good old MARKS AND SPENCER to get myself measured. I have also brought myself a few lace triangle/soft bras which are perfect for medium sized ladies like myself. ASOS have some really pretty sets, they are super comfy to wear, especially at the weekends and look good under a v neck t-shirt.

Now some people will agree with me and some people won’t but in my opinion no matter what size you are, unless you are toned to an inch of your life, when wearing tight dresses, skirts and some tops the majority of us should wear body shaping underwear underneath. As ugly as they are they really do work wonders for even the petitest of girls and erase that awful VPL that can be just as much of an outfit killer as an ill fitting bra. For you ladies that only need a slight hold head to PRIMARK as there shape wear is great value for money. If you require a slightly firmer hold go for the originals SPANX. 

…Sunglasses…
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Sunglasses are another weakness of mine, but again if you invest in the right sunglasses they can last you a life time. Nonetheless if you only invest in one pair make them RAY-BAN. They are the worlds most icon sunglasses brand for a reason – the aviator, the wayfarer, the club master – just to name a few. Worn and love by all since 1937 and still going strong.

Three of my favourite sunglasses from Top to Bottom:

Ray-Ban Aviator 

Celine Pretty

Dior So Real

I hope you have found this post useful and enjoyed reading it as must as I enjoyed putting it together!

Happy “Basic’s” Shopping Ladies!

Lots of Love

Casey

xXx

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