So often when I get dressed, I find myself reaching for the same basic pieces – those key items that I just can’t live without. With that in mind, I’ve scoured my wardrobe to share with you my top ten wardrobe essentials that I think everyone should have in their closet.
1. The White Shirt
Is there anything more effortlessly chic than an ever so slightly oversized white shirt? No, and that’s why it’s number one on my list. Tuck it into skinny jeans, add a belt and some ballet flats and you look like a vision, rather than someone that got dressed in two minutes and without a second thought.
2. The Scoop Tee
I don’t think I’m over-exaggerating when I say I spend half my life in a basic scoop tee. They are the perfect first layer, which is great when you live in a climate where this is essential for most of the year. Sigh. I wear mine tucked into high-waisted jeans and finished off with a belt so you can rest assured that even when you take off that cashmere sweater or heritage blazer, you don’t look like you just stumbled out of bed in your pyjama top.
3. The Trench Coat
Whether you’re walking the streets looking at what feels like every house on the market (which is how I’m currently wearing mine) or going out on a date night, the mighty trench coat is equally at home. It also helps that it’s functional, particularly when you live in the rain capital of the world. I invested in the Aquascutum version as I figured it was a piece that should last me for a long time, but the high street is absolutely teaming with great quality, more wallet-friendly options too.
4. The White Sneakers
I love that the white sneaker is firmly back on the map. Although there is nothing better to remind you how old you are than seeing a fashion come, go and then come again. But I am willing to put that aside because not only are they super comfortable and charmingly retro, they also pretty much go with anything. I’m pairing them with a white shirt, skinny jeans and a trench coat for off-duty cool or a feminine top and skirt combination for that sport chic look.
5. The Black Skinny Jeans
Finding the perfect pair of black skinny jeans feels like a never-ending task. No sooner do I find the perfect style, and buy 3 pairs, I seem to have worn them out. And then the search resumes. Black because it adds a smartness that blue jeans sometimes lack and instantly slims. Skinny because it gives a neat silhouette and is just an all-round super flattering shape.
6. The Cashmere Sweater
Again, I blame the London climate for my addiction to cashmere. And the fact it is so easy to wear. A slightly oversized cashmere sweater tucked into jeans is always a winner in my eyes – it’s easy to put together, it’s functional and it looks great. You can even dress it up with statement jewellery and pumps or down with trainers and a varsity-style jacket. So it’s really no wonder my wardrobe is bursting at the seams with cashmere sweaters of every variety. Yes, that’s what I’m going to tell my husband in future.
7. The Ballet Pumps
I must confess that I live in ballet pumps. Come rain or shine, winter or summer, I will be wearing ballet pumps on the majority of days despite my long-suffering mother’s protestations to the contrary. I think they add a certain elegance to any outfit à la Grace Kelly or Audrey Hepburn; and not only that, they come in pretty much any colour and style. What’s not to like? My personal favourites are Chanel (of course), Salvatore Ferragamo and French Sole but again, there are lots of great varieties out there.
8. The Signature Belt
Absolutely everyone needs a signature belt in their life. A black tee tucked into jeans looks like you made no effort. A black tee tucked into jeans with a signature belt and you’re on your way to effortless style. When Michael Kors talks about accessories being the exclamation point of an outfit, the statement belt has to be one by itself. It instantly lifts the most simple combinations into something worth, well, instagramming.
9. The LBD
It’s the LBD. Enough said.
10. The Black Cardigan
Black cardigans are to clothing as muslins are to having a baby – you can never have too many and you always need more than you think. If you haven’t had kids a muslin is the absolutely invaluable piece of cloth that wipes up everything from spills to, well, maybe let’s stop there. But you get the gist, black cardigans are a must. A great practical layer to have in reserve, it goes with anything from the LBD to jeans. Uniqlo’s fine merino wool variety are my left-field favourite; they are good quality, have a lovely feel and are a great price so you can get three. No, seriously, I wasn’t kidding when I said you always need more than you think.