Key pieces to make your wardrobe work for you!

Hello!

My goodness it’s been a while – which is crazy because I love writing these blog posts but somehow life has got in the way recently.

Black Friday – argh!! What can I say. I love clothes but I find Black Friday a bit much and each year increasingly so. How many emails?!! The ‘buy buy buy’ mentality is something I try to move my clients away from and help them to make more considered decisions. Like all sales – Black Friday can get you buying unnecessary stuff that your would NEVER have purchased otherwise! However – with some careful thought and consideration is can also be a great chance to bite the bullet and go for some investment pieces,

So…with Black Friday looming and so many people asking me what I would buy I thought i’d put this together. Please – this is by far a sales tips off, best deals analysis. This a go to list of things that I always find super useful in a wardrobe to pull different looks together and make everything work hard for you. It is a list of things that I would find handy as a starting point to then pad out with other things you love. I wanted to put this out there today so that you can potentially use it to guide some great bargains tomorrow but this is a go to list that won’t date and that you can keep referring back to. Here goes…

A leather jacket.

I would be lost without my leather jacket. Simple. Mine is so old and very worn (I like it that way but could probably do with another)! The ability a leather jacket has to dress anything down is a dream – one of my favourite styling tricks and something I’ve been doing for years. Stick on over any dress and it adds an edge to it or layer under any coat and immediately get those luxe autumn vibes. Remember if you are petite to go for something a little more cropped and of you have big boobs avoid large lapels and too many zips. The leather will get better with age and you’ll grow to love it like your own child 🙂 My fave places for leather jackets (for Black Friday purposes) are All Saints (for more edgier look), Reiss and Whistles for more classic and Acne if you want to go all out and splurge. That said my leather is actually Topshop and it’s lasted well.

A leather skirt/trousers

A-line, mini or midi, paper bag skinny or tapered, a leather skirt or trousers is an investment piece but you will get your wear of them! Never out of fashion they look as good with a tee and trainers as they do with a knit or fancy going out top. I love how you can use them to add texture to your look, by adding knits layered over lace or with a velvet jacket and if you are curvy and have a fab waistline – getting your skirt/trousers to fit you beautifully on the waist and tucking a top in can be a perfect way to make the most of your figure. With a skirt, f you are happy to go short and get the legs out just make sure that it hits at the right point and avoid anything ‘just above the knee.’ It needs to be clearly above or below knee length to look modern. Re trousers, if you hold your weight round your tummy and have great legs opt for a skinny style but if you are curvy and have a great waistline opt for something high waisted. There are some great options in Zara etc but honestly I can’t tell you how good i think the Whistles leather skirts are. True to size (never size up as leather will stretch). And Other Stories also brilliant for leather trousers.

Denim jacket

90s yes but oh how I love my denim jacket! Again, so so useful to layer. I am always sticking a denim jacket under my winter coats to keep warm and add interest. It is a great texture/colour to break things up while remaining useful. Plus come spring/summer the use for your dd will know no ends when you throw it on over any summer dress. I would opt for a mid wash to get the most use (it looks lovely with leather). Gap is a great go to option for everyday good quality or medium range J Brand. You can even go more statement and get some embellishment (which looks amazing used as a simple basic denim jacket just with added detail). Sandro have some great embellished options.

Good jeans

The holy grail, and one which I just love to help my clients nail. It is so time consuming finding jeans and the satisfaction I get from helping a lady find ‘the one’ is untrue! Listen – once you know which jeans you love you can rebuy them in different colours etc and the search is over! Ok, so I love Topshop jeans.  They have a great range of shapes and they are affordable. Plus they keep very current with shape so that you know you are getting something that is relevant. Personally I like a move away from skinny and i opt for a straight leg (slightly more room at the bottom so they go over your boots) but a skinny will always be classic and are great for a more dressed up look. If you want to make use of discounts I know Net a Porter have 25% off some of their denim brands. I love Re/Done (vintage Levi’s reworked) and Grlfriend for great shapes.

Cashmere

Ok listen, I’m not saying your jumper repertoire needs to all be cashmere – that would be unrealistic and a bit of a dreamworld BUT the look and texture that cashmere will make to your overall look is a thing. It looks looks refined and even the simplest basic in cashmere looks somehow smarter. Plus its warm! I love cashmere layered with leather and with denim. I would begin with a simple crew neck (ensure it is fitted if you have big boobs or go for a v neck to elongate), and maybe a roll neck. Sometimes discounts don’t apply to cashmere but it’s worth grabbing some if they do! Uniqlo or M&S are my go to for basic cashmere pieces but I would also say that Gap are great and if you have the cash and want to be a bit more statement the Bella Freud cashmere jumpers are to die for and a purchase you’ll love for life.

Good sunglasses

Yep – something so simple can elevate your style. Just. Like. That. Since I was very little I’ve admired elegant women and am always so intrigued to understand the details that make them so. I guess spending a lot of time in the South of France growing up I was exposed to that chic French lady look but I would always want to get further – yes she looks glam/elegant but WHY? And you know what…they will always have an amazing pair of sunnies on. Worn whether in hot or cold weather, when the sun shines the sunnies are on. By amazing, I don’t necessary mean expensive (although they probably are)! I just mean they are glam. Now…for all the sunglasses trends out there (I could not handle that tiny sunglasses thing) one look that to me will always cream glam is the large, oversized dark frames as worn by Audrey Hepburn or Sophia Loren. And the best bit (you can get to throw you sunglasses on,look glam in an instant and no one needs to know that you’ve not got a bit of make up on. Literally you will put instantly put together. You don’t have to spend loads to get the look (I have lots of very affordable pairs and I like Vow & Le Specs for mid range). The high street is also fab for sunnies (Mango a fave). However, if you want to make use of Black Friday I would go sunglasses and I would go big. Celine sunglasses are my fave.

A leather cross body bag

A lot of my clients are mums, and they want to look great but I know only to well the need to by practical too. A cross body bag is the handiest addition to your everyday wardrobe. Mum or not, it looks great and allows you to have your hands free and your belongings safe. Investing in one good quality leather bag is for me a no brainer. You will use it LOTS so price per wear is minimal, and a little bit like my point above, your bag will simply lift your style. It’s simple. Ok, so yes – if you have the money then hell yeah go for Chanel, YSL, Celine, Gucci etc but if you don’t there are increasingly some great mid range options out there. Personally if you are going to go high street and spend £200+ on a leather bag, I would be tempted to spend approx £100 more and go for something a bit more special. My favourite options are: The APC for the half luna bag, DeMellier (as worn by Megan Markle, Paradise Row and Danish brand Wandler (slightly more pricey but I love the shapes). Selfridges have 20% off already but check out Matches & Net a Porter for their discounts too.

A good coat

You may know by now that I bang on about outerwear a lot! In the UK this is so important. You can have all the nice clothes and the best look on but if you always stick the same old coat over then you are going to look the same! Changing up your outerwear for me is the key to changing up your overall look. There is no end to the coats you could make use of in your wardrobe; a puffer/duvet coat, a wool grey, black or navy coat, a checked coat, a leopard coat…the list goes on. They are so so useful. However, they can be pricey if you buy good quality (and personally I think that coats are worth investing in). You will honestly receive so many compliments if you have an amazing coat! A great thing to buy while the discounts are on. I love Jigsaw coats, they are always great quality but if you want to go investment MaxMara and Joseph are to die for in their coat departments. Keeping it real and reasonable try And Other Stories for great cuts and colours or  Cos for a great classic piece.

A great quality scarf

Such a simple basic thing but you know what, a good scarf will make such a difference to your winter wardrobe! I have bought so many scarfs over the years. Lots of them look amazing when you buy them but my goodness do they look shoddy after a while and each year you need to replace them. Buying better quality will not only keep you warm it will look better for longer. I love the way that a luxe scarf makes a statement so subtly. If you think about price per wear it is a no brainer – I can’t leave home without my scarf during the winter months. And Other Stories do a great affordable large sized wool scarf for £40 in lots of different colours (scarves in a colour that looks amazing on you are a great way to add colour to your overall look) but if you want to go statement and good quality I would be very tempted by an Acne scarf…in fact one might just be in my basket as I write…

A statement dress/top

Owning an amazing stand out dress/top is a no brainer because you will always have a go to piece to reach for when you’re having a ‘I have nothing to wear’ moment. I have a Rixo dress that never fails to lift my mood when I wear it and I would say that having just one dress like this that can be layered with a turtle neck under or a chunky knit over is so useful. Buying during Black Friday is obviously a great way to get it at a more affordable price but it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. It just needs to make you feel great and be your favourite dress! Brands to check out would be Ghost London, Rixo, Kitri, Vampires Wife (amazing but expensive) and Ganni although the options are endless! Check out Selfridges – go to dresses, sort by midi/min/maxi then by the price you’re willing to spend and you will find it a super handy edit of potential pieces to invest in!

I hope that was helpful! I didn’t mention any shoes in that because in my opinion that’s a whole other blog post. Please let me know if that would be interesting/helpful for you.

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