I firmly believe that with a small collection of quality, versatile items in your closet, there is an outfit for every occasion. I'm going to show you the power of style over just buying new items, with only ten pieces (including accessories) you can create almost twenty simple and chic outfits. If you want to see how I used ten items to create an endless list of outfits, click here for the short video xx
It's great to buy quality, versatile items because it is a more sustainable and affordable way of shopping, especially in the long term.
Blazers are so popular all over Europe, that they are considered one of the most stylish and essentials 'basics' to own. I love blazers because they are great to wear over mini dresses, or even with some jeans in winter. On many Parisian influencers' Instagrams, I see women wearing blazers over floral dresses at events, or just in the street - they are very chic and very popular right now. The best-coloured blazers to buy are black, beige, white or checked because they all go with a wide range of items.
Here are my tips for finding the perfect fit:
- It should not come past your behind
- You should be able to lift your arms without the whole blazer rising up
- The lining on the inside should be of a similar colour to the outside colour. I'm wearing the Alice in the Eve Cartia Boxy Blazer (which I also own in beige!).
Button Up Shirt
My white cotton button-up shirt is probably the most worn item in my closet, I always wear it undone over a dress, pants, or a skirt because it adds a looser layer to my outfits when I'm wearing something fitted. A button -up shirt is a great item because it can be worn buttoned up or undone and they are quite light and airy for when you just want to put something over an outfit. In France and Italy, I have seen many people wearing button-up shirts this summer. The best materials to buy are linen and cotton, and it honestly doesn't matter which colour you get but I have white and it goes with EVERYTHING (black, striped and a soft blue are also good options).
An icon, the little (black) dress is a closet essential! I actually own a white fitted dress rather than a black one because I prefer to wear lighter colours, but any colour is a good choice. A plain dress is a good piece to have because it can be worn casually or dressed up for any occasion, and you don't have to worry about accessories because they should all match the dress. I think that buying a more 'slim-fitted' dress is better than a loose design because it is more versatile and allows for layering with contrast items that are looser fit which is important, especially in winter. Another great dress option is a silk mini dress that is a bias shape as this will fit most flatteringly. A dress that I have had my eye on for a while, and is good quality material with some stretch is this Runaway the Label dress. It comes in a variety of colours too, so check it out!
The perfect mini skirt is something that can be worn all throughout the year whether it's hot or cold - I would suggest choosing either white or black because they are quite versatile colours (shades). I think that getting the right shape is important too, the a-line shape is a great choice because it contrasts well with oversized shirts and blazers (and it just goes with most pieces in general). I wear a mini skirt because I'm not very tall, but midi bias skirts are very popular and can be found in a range of different colours/patterns. Great materials to look for in skirts are silk, linen, cotton and viscose/rayon.
Check out Princess Polly's Eco-Friendly Black Mini Skirt here.
The number one basic item in every girl's closet is a ribbed white tank. Not only does a white tank go with everything, but they are very flattering and there are many different styles/shapes available. It is important that the tank is fitted so it can be layered over - and buying a ribbed design mean it stretches to you. Another good tip is to buy one that is full-length rather than cropped because it allows for versatility and it can be worn for more occasions. To buy a fitted tank, get it in a breathable material like organic cotton (which is an eco-friendly option) or regular cotton.
My absolute favourite place to buy cotton basics is Bassike because they use organic cotton and have ribbing which means that they stretch and fit well, but also are of good quality. But I know there are a variety of great options available from other brands like Anine Bing, Rag and Bone, Re/Done, and more. Click here for the tank I'm wearing.
The best staple piece to have when you have no idea what to wear is a trusty pair of black pants; I have a loose-fit pair and a slim-fit pair (both of which I always wear). In this photo, I am wearing the travel pant by Bassike, and they are honestly my favourite pants ever; they are quite light and comfy but also just sit really nicely. The pants do come with a large price tag but I think they're definitely worth the purchase (especially since they're sustainably made). But if you're looking for a more affordable option, there are some very cool corduroy pants from Venroy that are the perfect straight leg, or another option is linen trousers from Dissh.
I think that both a straight or loose-leg pair of jeans is a great purchase as long as they're made from soft, quality denim. A pair of jeans is an investment, it is usual to buy a pair of expensive quality jeans and then wear them for years. I have tried out a few different brands of jeans and can tell you which brands are best. Personally, I think that the Mother Denim Jeans are the softest and comfiest, whilst Rag and Bone are also very good. I own a pair from Nobody Denim which I'm wearing in the photo but they are not as comfortable as others. I also know that Nudie Jeans and Good American are great brands. A good pair of jeans is not exactly affordable which is why you must get the right pair, it's best if jeans have 2% elastane so that there is some stretch and you can move comfortably in them. Some of the best straight jeans are the Mother Denim Tomcat's linked here, but make sure to check out those other brands for something more affordable.
My obsession with strapless tops is mainly due to me getting bored with normal tanks. I think that choosing a boldly shaped strapless top is a great choice for an outfit because they bring an extra level to an outfit. They also contrast very well with loose-leg pants or even a straight skirt; I own the onyx top from Viktoria and Woods which I really love because it is made from organic cotton and also just fits really well (honestly I just wear it with everything). But since the top has gone on sale, people have rushed to buy it so unless you can find one in-store, here is my alternative for you. Though I haven't tried it on, this top from Glassons is a cotton/elastane blend and looks quite nice.
I've previously written a post about my favourite tan bags right now so you can find some great options. The bag doesn't necessarily have to be brown, but choosing a neutral shade for your bag means that it contrasts well with a simple black and white outfit. Also, neutral shades go well with a variety of colours without being as simple as white and black. I own the Rhea Bag from Dylan Kain in Caramel and I wear it all of the time - the best part about that brand is their use of sustainable leather which you can see more about here. Now about shapes, shoulder bags have been really popular lately and are generally a great choice but any shape is great as long as you can comfortably hold it.
A year-round closet staple piece, white sneakers are something that everyone should have because they go with EVERYTHING and are so easy to wear. I wear white sneakers all of the time in winter, but also in summer they look great with denim shorts and button-up shirts on a hot day. Recently, there have been a lot of recycled and sustainably made sneakers on the market, and one brand I found this week that I would love to try out is Zéta Shoes because their sneakers are recycled, recyclable vegan, and made using wasted grapes. They aren't much more expensive than popular brands like Nike which I currently wear. But if white sneakers aren't your thing, or you are always stepping in mud, you can always opt for grey.
With only ten quality pieces, there is an endless list of outfit combinations for every season. I hope this article helped you in collating your perfect wardrobe, thanks for reading!
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