The time of my life is fast approaching where I’ll be moving to London to start university. Its all a very new experience for me, and naturally I’ve been consumed by thoughts of the most important aspect of moving to uni; my clothes. As excited as I am, the thought of having only a slim two-door wardrobe for a year is incredibly panic inducing. I’m being forced to sort through my closet and purge the mistakes of my pasts that have been left there, rejected for years, in order to gather something remotely cohesive – a ‘style’.
To better understand my situation, here are some background facts – Fact 1: I am a hoarder; I still have clothes from when I was 13. Fact 2: last year was my ‘experimental fashion year’ and I still bear the scars. Fact 3: Being ‘experimental’ also means forgetting completely about buying sensible wardrobe basics. For the last year and a bit I’ve been so wrapped up in being ‘fashionable’, mainly because I wasn’t really sure what my style was. Lately I’ve approached dressing with quite a minimalist way of thinking, which I feel is a lot more me than crazy outlandish trends. To continue developing my style I’m building a base of staples – ‘fashion basics’ if you will – that I can use to put together good day-to-day looks with ease.
One of my best friends, Eve, has a very simple approach to dressing. A typical outfit for her would be monochrome; black skinny jeans with some sort of t-shirt, leather Chelsea boots and a wool biker jacket, and her style is always SO on point. She always looks really chic and stylish in what she wears, one of the reasons being because she has a style that she feels comfortable in, centering around a few key items.
Pretty safe explanatory, a well-cut, good fitting white shirt is an essential for any man OR woman. I have a couple but one is so cheap, its transparency borders on obscene, and the other just doesn’t fit me well. Cos is known for its great-quality, reasonably priced clothing that focuses on Swedish design principles of simplicity.
Ripped skinny jeans are a great trouser staple. I love Hollister jeans because they fit really well, they’re great quality and whilst they aren’t as cheap as some alternatives, they don’t break the bank. Plus with their ripped jeans, the distressing doesn’t break or tear if you treat them well so they don’t end up looking really tired after a couple of months. Ripped jeans in general are really stylish and look very classic with a button down shirt and good shoes.
Again, self explanatory. Would you believe I don’t have a single plain white t-shirt? The closest I come is a white Ralph Lauren t-shirt with the black logo, technically a pyjama top. The power of the white t-shirt is not to be underestimated; a study discovered that women found men in a plain white t-shirt up to 12% more attractive. It’s a powerful tool so use it wisely, taking into consideration the neck style in particular; please avoid any massive v-neck’s that looks like they came from Geordie Shore, for obvious reasons.
OK, so there’s nothing really basic about these which is why I LOVE them. The whole point of wardrobe basics is that you have great staples which you can then build a look around. These paired with a black t-shirt would look very chic and very designer, plus dark florals is going to be very big soon!
I think people forget about the humble grey shirt. Sometimes lots of white can be a bit too much, it can start to look a little cheap if you indulge in the ‘all white everything’ trend especially. Grey is the chic choice thats not as severe as black, or as hot in summer; basically, it’s the safe option.
This may actually be my ultimate wardrobe staple. It has been highjacked somewhat by the TOWIE worshippers who have invaded Britain in the last few years but rest assured this is the perfect tool for layering. It works under any sort of jacket, (although its best with blazers, bikers and classic coat styles) or by itself for a very chic, sharp look.
Black skinny jeans are probably the most versatile item of clothing you’ll ever own, and without fail they ALWAYS look great. You really can’t go wrong and anything you pair with it looks very stylish and sophisticated. Universally flattering, a must-have for everyone’s wardrobe.
Finally, the humble black t-shirt. The pro’s? Like black skinny jeans it works with absolutely anything. The con’s? Like black skinny jeans it fades to dark grey with repeated washing (although this is dependant on the product and how you care for it).
This lot comes to £239 (or £203 without the Topman trousers) which is pretty good considering you essentially get a small capsule wardrobe. Cos in particular is beloved by Vogue editors, so you know its a great investment. Its clean, its chic, its Cos! Maybe we should all think a little more Swedish when it come to dressing? I’ve only got a couple of the items in this list and I plan on getting most of the rest in the coming months and hopefully it’ll be a great foundation for my city-living wardrobe.