I was writing a bit of a list a while back, which was all of the basic staples of clothing that every girl should have – basically, a basics wardrobe, which statement pieces and more on-trend items could then be added to. This list is by no means complete, and I would welcome any additions which I might have left off. These are the things that, if you have all of them, would not really need any other clothes to make outfits. They should cater for almost very occasion, and I think you can never really have too many of these things! Like I said, this list is not exhaustive, but it certainly made me think of a few things that I needed to replace or buy.
1. A good plain white tee, i.e. one that isn’t tight and fits comfortably. Such a staple, and goes with anything so can be thrown on to complement any outfit!
2. Strappy vest tops – you can literally never have too many of these. Try H&M for my faves.
3. A black cardigan. I never realised the merit of the black cardigan, until I’d been borrowing my mum’s so much that she bought me my own so she could have her’s back.
4. Leggings! And by leggings I don’t mean the unflattering see-through kind, but rather the thick almost-a-trouser kind, which are best bought from Zara. I have genuinely lived in these for the past two years, as they are super comfy, they still fit when I put on a bit of weight, and they are always flattering. Honestly, absolute genius trousers.
5. Good fitting jeans – I honestly think that if you have one pair of really well-fitting jeans, in a style which suits you, then that’s all you need. Find a style which suits, and size which fits perfectly, and you’ll always feel comfortable and confident – it’s amazing how good a pair of jeans can make you feel!
6. Loungewear (aka trackies and a baggy tee), absolutely essential to my wellbeing, and I’m sure many people would agree. I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of trousers especially that are slightly on the tight side, and so coming home and immediately changing into the comfiest outfit in my wardrobe is absolute bliss. Even if I do look twice the size I did before I changed…
7. A comfy jumper. By this I mean a not-too-tight snuggly jumper which is also perfectly acceptable in public. Perfect for any time, any purpose.
8. Go-to going out top(s) – these are something which it’s definitely better to have more of. When I first started uni, I ended up wearing the same thing every other time I went out, so now I make a conscious effort to buy any smarter or more dressy tops when I see them over more mundane comfy stuff.
9. Ankle boots, which I’m realising now make this list a bit Autumn-Winter inspired. But ankle boots with a little heel are just so perfect for anytime but the height of summer, and they are flattering on everyone if you pick a style that suits you. My favourite ones at the moment are the ones with little cut-out bits at the sides.
10. What I’ve termed ‘Acceptable in public’ trainers, which seem to be all the rage at the moment. I’m not entirely sure I can pull the look off, but I’m looking at getting some black and white Nike Air Max anyway. In case it wasn’t clear, I’m thinking of how people seem to now wear trainers with normal clothes, and even with workwear, and they are very clearly not doing exercise, but using them as a fashion statement. I love the idea, and if this trend goes out of fashion, a good pair of trainers are a bit of an essential anyway!
11. A loose-fitting, comfy-but-flattering, not-too-bright checked shirt. Great with trousers, skirts, shorts, for a dressed down casual look, or to go out with a leather jacket or similar.
12. A casual dress, i.e. one which can be worn with tights in the winter, or without in the summer, but just during the day. Nothing too fancy, just an alternative to jeans and a tee.
13. Going out dress, meaning going out to dinner or something like that. Something smart, but not overly dressy, sparkly, or low cut (or too short for that matter!). In other words, could be worn to dinner with friends, boyfriend, or parents.
14. A going out-out dress. I’m sure from the two previous items that it’s fairly clear what I mean here – a dress for going on a proper night out, to a bar or club. A kick-ass, go-to dress which always flatters.
15. A stretchy skirt. Okay, this is one which very much comes from my wardrobe, so I imagine a lot of people wouldn’t agree with this one. I mean a simple thin stretch mini, or a bodycon-type going out skirt, and they’re so versatile, and surprisingly flattering even for those with slightly large thighs!
16. Wear-with-anything hoodie, in other words a great comfy hoodie which can be worn out in public without being too embarrassing! I have two perfect Jack Wills ones (both bought in the sale, natch) which I honestly wear all the time, even occasionally on a night out!
17. Go-to ‘light’ scarf – a scarf that’s not a winter woolly, but rather a less thick, wraparound scarf which goes with everything. I have a light brown one with horses on it (not as strange as it sounds!) which pretty much can be thrown on with any outfit.
18. A snood, preferably a slightly thicker or woollier scarf. Again, this style of scarf goes brilliantly with most outfits, and I’ve found that they look really good when I put my hair up, so these are brilliant for those days when you can only be bothered with a messy bun.
19. Understated statement jewellery. To perfect an accessorised look with only minimal jewellery, one or two great pieces are all that it takes, but not anything that’s too ‘blingy’. A non-jewelled statement necklace and a chunky bracelet or bangle are all it takes.
20. Simple black pumps are an essential in any wardrobe. Make sure you get a pair that are really comfortable, but not too cheap that they fall apart straight away. Recently, the most comfy ones I’ve had were from Primark, but they fell apart pretty quickly after I wore them constantly for about a month…
21. A really great, well-fitting leather jacket. Such a wardrobe staple, and it doesn’t even need to be a real leather one – the £40 jackets in New Look look just as good!
22. A denim jacket – such an easy thing to throw on over almost anything, and you can get great ones for really reasonable prices. Levis do really nice ones from about £60-70, which are so worth getting.
23. Finally, some shorts. Any shorts. As long as they aren’t too tight. Perfect for summer, going out, and with tights in winter, the ultimate versatile item in your wardrobe.