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10 Fashion Basics You Need

Saturday, 20 May 2017
10 fashion basics you need

In the last two years or so, my personal style has evolved massively. I put away the constant combination of flannel shirts and skinny jeans, threw out my Etnies and coloured shorts, and binned my leggings - ripped or intact, it didn't matter - and tossed my biker boots. No longer was I that colour-loving scene kid wannabe from my teens, and no longer was I the rips-, lace- and sheer mesh-loving young adult who was heavily inspired by the wardrobe of Effy Stonem. 

Instead, I began to wear loose, casual blouses. I got a good pair of black skinny jeans that fit in all the right places. I discovered slim-fit boyfriend jeans. I fell in love with stretchy, flattering swing vests and v-neck t-shirts that were the perfect balance of being oversized without sitting on my figure like a sack. I began to wear ballet flats, ankle boots and even sometimes heels. It was like I'd gone through the awkward Caterpie and Metapod phases, and now I was Butterfree. Much easier on the eyes, much more grown up and as a result, I felt a lot more empowered about myself. 

Today I wanted to share with you some fashion basics that I think everyone could benefit from. My style, for the most part, is relatively minimal. I don't wear too much in the way of colour - often pairing one colourful piece with black and/or white - and I don't wear patterns a lot, limiting myself mostly to stripes. I think the pieces in my wardrobe can be mixed and matched quite well, dressed up or down, and tweaked here and there to suit different styles of fashion.

ANKLE BOOTS

I think the first spark to ignite my change in style was when I picked up these pointy-toed ankle boots off of Depop. They were second-hand but fit like a dream and added a sophisticated edge to my skinny jeans and t-shirt uniform. I almost never wear Converse with my skinny jeans as it's too reminiscent of my emo days, so I've built myself a substantial collection of ankle boots to pair with almost anything that I wear. I love a stacked heel to give me a bit of height, and whilst this means they aren't the comfiest for a lot of walking, they are a lot comfier than heels but provide that same satisfying, stompy 'click-clack' everywhere you walk!

BLACK SKINNY JEANS

A long time staple in my wardrobe, it took me years to find my perfect pair of black skinny jeans. If you haven't found yours yet, don't give up! I've been wearing them since I was about 16 and it took me until I was 21 to find The One. I buy mine from Matalan as they provide everything I look for in a pair of jeans by being stretchy and having a high-waist. The ones in Primark are pretty much identical, although I've yet to buy a pair to be 100% sure, but I have noticed how stretchy they are and they appear to even have the same button fastening on them. 

For me, black skinny jeans are just a really great foundation. It's so easy to look put together when you throw on an oversized tee and a pair of ankle boots, and whether you want to do grunge or sophisticated minimalist, the black skinny jean is the one for you.

V-NECK T-SHIRTS

I'm a really big fan of v-necks as I find the fit much more flattering on me than round necks most of the time. I generally buy mine oversized by going for an 18-20, or an XL. I'm particularly fond of Forever 21's oversized tees. They need to be handwashed which is definitely a pain in the ass, but they are made of a gorgeous, soft fabric and always have the perfect fit, sitting just right on my figure. I'll take either an L or an XL, depending on how I feel. There isn't a huge difference in the fit anyway. I have my F21 v-necks in lilac, charcoal and white so far, but I've also accumulated several other v-necks from TK Maxx and Primark - their striped ones are lovely! V-necks make for a hassle-free morning, if you ask me, as you can tuck them into a midi or pair them with skinny jeans and you'll look put-together in no time.

A COMFORTABLE, WELL-FITTING SHIRT

Another purchase I made from Depop is a gorgeous black and white, vertically striped shirt. It's another oversized piece, but fits my frame in the most flattering way. I don't have any photos of it on Instagram right now, but it's pretty much the most basic of basic. It's a lovely piece and one of the most comfortable blouses I've ever owned. The one pictured above is from Primark but haven't gotten the same wear out of it, although I love the print of it regardless. I think shirts can be easily dressed up or down depending on how you style it, so they make a great, versatile piece.

THE MIDI SKIRT

The midi skirt has kinda sorta taken over the world right now, hasn't it? Every fashion blogger under the sun is styling them, but it's easy to see why. I bought my first midi skirt back in 2015, a slightly flouncy black mesh piece that I still own to this day. I got it from Boohoo, but it hasn't actually seen daylight as I feel that it's more of a formal piece and haven't really gotten round to playing about with and styling it. At the tail-end of 2016 though, I began to spot the satiny, pleated midis that Primark were offering, and picked up my first in khaki, and then later went back from the silver. I now own a baby pink number from Boohoo, too, of a similar style. I'm really happy with how my collection of midis is growing, as they are such a fun piece. So far I haven't had the best chance to style them as it's either been cold and miserable here, or much too windy for a skirt, but on the few ocassions I've worn them, I've loved it. I mostly wear mine with a plain belt and ankle boots, with a top tucked in (like this photo here), but there's endless ways to style them.

FORMAL JOGGERS

Formal joggers are like a pair of pyjama bottoms that are acceptable to leave the house in. In fact, they don't even need to be overly formal, my patterned pairs from QED London (I get them from TK Maxx) aren't exactly formal, I just mean, you know, that I'm not talking about the cottons you wear around the house on a Sunday. If it's a lazy day and I have to leave the house or I'm going travelling, I generally stick on a pair of my patterned joggers and pair them with ankle boots and a plain jumper or tee, and I'm good to go. It's the laziest of lazy outfits, and I love it. I don't wear my joggers as much as I used to, but I still adore them and wouldn't even consider chucking them!

THE STRIPED TEE

Question: can you go wrong with stripes? Answer: no, no you cannot. In my opinion, stripes suit everybody. I don't think they make you look 'bigger', I think they look chic and understated, especially if they're black and white, grey and white, or something like red and navy. Classic colour combinations look amazing in a set of stripes, and if you feel too plain in your skinny jeans, stripes are a nice way to add something interesting to your outfit. They are almost the only pattern I ever wear, I love them!

BODYSUITS

Bodysuits aren't the most practical, especially when you want to wear them on a night of drinking and you know you're gonna be peeing every five minutes. That said, they are gorgeous and have recently become a firm favourite mine. Whilst they can be styled casually, and I do have a couple that I think are strictly for casual wear, I generally love bodysuits as formal pieces. Whether they are laced up the front, or they're simple and chic enough for a minimalist cool outfit piece, I tend to keep mine for those drinking sessions or dates. My favourites are the lace up ones, or those with low necks or backs, but I've picked up some nice faux suede pieces from Primark in the last few months too.

FORMAL TROUSERS

I never thought that I'd wear these, or be able to pull them off, but I've found myself a love for this style of trouser. I got my first pair of formal black trousers from ASOS. They are high waist, cuffed at the bottom, and have pockets - what's not to love? I also ordered them in a berry shade, too. I've definitely gotten the most use out of the black shade, and I tend to dress them up or down depending on the day and what I'm doing. I had to have my mum take both pairs up, but they now sit at the cutest ankle length which I really like as I think it's a more flattering fit than them being full-length. For a casual look, I'll pair this with a plain or striped tee and Converse, but I can dress these up with heels, a leather jacket and a bodysuit for a really cool and chic look. 

THE LEATHER JACKET

This has been a wardrobe basic for me and thousands of others for years now. I recently got rid of the trusty black biker jacket I'd owned since I was 18 in favour of a bargain I'd picked up from Primark at the end of last year. The problem with my old jacket was that the zips would often catch my hair - not when I zipped it up, literally just at any point! It was becoming increasingly annoying and I started to wear it less. It's a shame because I love the look of it, and it's also very stretchy allowing me to slip a thin hoodie on underneath during the winter months. I bought a £14 faux leather jacket from Primark as a replacement, and I'm really glad I did. It fits well, feels very soft (not sometihng you come across often in Primark faux leather) and has a gorgeous collar too. Leather jackets are so versatile and can be worn in a multitude of ways to suit anybody's style, and I'd genuinely be lost without mine.

What are you must-have fashion basics?

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