Fashion and style are such changeable things. You can move from one season to the next, never quite being sure if the items you buy are on-trend or tragically “last season”. It doesn’t help that you often have to update and manage your wardrobe out of season; the spring clothes become available in stores in January, when you’re still trying to keep yourself warm enough to manage the walk to work!
While moving with the times and indulging in the occasional trend is always fun – part of what makes fashion exciting – it’s not something to build a wardrobe around. For one thing, it’s going to be incredibly expensive if you dispose of the trends that have passed the moment they are no longer the height of fashion. The constant cycle of replacement is not only bad for your wallet, but it doesn’t help the environment either.
Rather than changing everything depending on what the fashion editors say, it’s best to build a wardrobe of three distinct categories.
Category One: Basics
Everything that you need to own rather than choose to own. Underwear, basic T shirts, gym clothes, shorts for doing the garden in. It’s not an exciting category, but it is a necessary one!
Category Two: Essentials
Your basics are the foundation pieces, the things that don’t demand or even deserve attention by themselves but which you can build outfits around.
- Prints are kept to a minimum in this section. It’s designed to be something you can change and add to, so risking clashes and having to find additional items that are a good match is not ideal. Instead, stick with neutrals: black, white, muted naturals and taupes.
- A good mix of trousers, tops, and jumpers is a good way to build your basics. Keep them free of slogans if possible.
- The “little black dress” is a staple for a reason: you can accessorise it to be dressed up or down, and it will go with everything.
- Shoes should be simple: nude ballet flats are a staple, for example. A simple black court shoe is also useful and can be dressed up or down.
- Jewellery should be classic, the kind that never goes out of style. This is the place for your long locket pendants, handmade pearl earrings, delicate diamond studs. Nothing on-trend: keep it classic, the kind of choices that never go out of style.
- A good pair (or seven!) of jeans is a benefit to any wardrobe. No item of clothing is so versatile. You can pair jeans with a high heel and a tailored blazer for night time events, or just a t-shirt and a pair of flat sandals for daytime.
Category Three: Trend
The final section of your wardrobe should be reserved for the on-trend pieces. These are the finishing touches, used to complement your essentials, and add a touch of modernity to them. You don’t need to invest in whole outfits that run the risk of going out of date; you can add a top here or a dress there, building the rest of your outfit from the essentials you already own.