Fashion fades, only style remains the same

Coco Chanel

Coco is always right – the trends will come and go (and come back again!) but style is evergreen. This is how I approach my own dressing and the advice I give out when it comes to defining personal style. It’s like a house; you have to have solid foundations on which to build. It might sound like a far fetched analogy, but it has always made sense to me. I like to have some classics; those “won’t-let-you-down” items and the ones that can bring a whole look together like a blazer, for example. These pieces also have the power to transform an outfit; if you have a very formal dress that was for an occasion, change the heels to a pair of simple trainers and you automatically casualise the look and you can get even more wear out of it.


So what do I recommend to take this approach to your wardrobe? Well it might look a bit plain or neutral from the outset, but remember these are foundations right? You add to them, you factor in colour, patterns and prints and so on. Let’s start simple – basics like cotton t-shirts and tops are the binding items for pieces such as trousers of all cuts and skirts of all styles and lengths. Take an outfit which I love, a slip skirt in a satin or light fabric in a summery print and add a white t-shirt and there you have it, a chic, pared back look. That white t shirt will go with everything you have, so think of these as an investment. It’s also very handy to have an “all-occasion” dress. For summer, I love a pastel either in a light blue or pink that you can wear in the evening or in the day time with those aforementioned trainers. If you go for a strap-style these will work under varying jackets and cardigans without creating any extra volume from sleeves or shoulder details.

If you prefer some more versatility, then a midi skirt is a great one. For summer, I love navy as a softer alternative to black and Oasis have some lovely skirts right now. I also get asked about footwear quite a bit, and to be honest, I am still retraining my feet to wear them after two years wearing UGG slippers or trainers. So the gentle approach works best; summer sandals are everywhere and choose something in the middle, a small block or kitten heel that will give you some lift (also gives proportion) but won’t put you in the chemist looking for Compeed.

But to give you the all important piece – the white shirt is the most hard working piece I own. You can wear it on its own over dressy trousers, wear as a layer over vests and body suits, tuck into high waisted jeans and leave the buttons open, etc. etc. It represents the essence of a capsule piece in a well curated capsule wardrobe.

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