Looking back at this blog, you’d be forgiven for thinking that I rarely, if ever, wear the same thing twice. In fact, in real life I’ve had colleagues swear up and down that they’ve never seen me in the same outfit more than one (false, my friends, false). It’s true that I love to mix and match my wardrobe in new ways, and that I like to bring new items into the mix to keep things fresh. But, like anyone, I have a wee list of wardrobe heroes that I have absolutely thrashed. This post is an ode to them.
When I put the list together I realised it was largely made up of basic items. Now, that might seem obvious to you, but since I’m over here wearing linen dresses that remind my Mum of a coral reef, or earrings shaped like parrots, I was surprised. And disappointed. I was hoping to write a searing expose of all those “classic items you need in your wardrobe” magazine articles and yet here I am, being part of the problem. Each of these basics has something that makes it a hero, so I’d just remind you that “a black tshirt” is not what we’re after – we’re after THE black tshirt. Even the basics should be something you’re stoked to wear *end lecture*
Starting with what I’m wearing in these photos. This silk shirt from Salasai (also pictured in this post) was a total steal at $50 and is a hero for two key reasons – it’s easy to look cool in (to whatever degree I am capable of looking cool) and it’s easy to look after. I just throw this in the washing machine with my other lights and then steam it when it’s not-quite-dry. Still looks as fresh as the day I fished it out of a bargain bin, and it’s been worn and washed a lot. I strongly recommend a silk shirt to all women everywhere, since you can wear them in a loose tuck with a few buttons undone and immediately look great without looking like you spent a lot of time worrying about what to wear. This is my go-to option with black pants or jeans when I’m not sure what to wear.
The jeans are a recent acquisition, but Levi’s 501s have been in my wardrobe for years now. The only bummer about them is the rigid denim – good luck to you in bending down to pick something up off the floor. You can imagine my joy when I found that they were now being produced in stretch! Super comfy, perfect with both heels and flats, easy to dress up with a blazer or down with a basic tee…and, my favourite, you don’t ever have to wash them. In fact, you shouldn’t. Just chuck them in the freezer from time to time for a bit of germ and smell killing magic and then cruise on! That’s why I was able to get my grey pair customised by Caleb Barnett (pictured in this post).
At the other end of the silk shirt spectrum is my tiered, patterned top from A.M. Dainty (I bought this at Harry’s and its pictured in this post). This was not a total steal, or in a bargain bin, but it has had its fair share of wear and proven its price well worth it. Someone else was trying this on in my size when I spotted it, and I pounced as soon as I could after she rejected it. I just knew it would be an awesome option for me. It makes me feel pretty! Plus, all those colours means it’s easy to match with a variety of other bits and bobs in my wardrobe. I love this so much that I bought another version of the same sort of thing from Gorman recently. A+ purchase.
Tshirts from Stine Goya (which I buy at Wanda Harland) have edged in just slightly ahead of AS Colour, only because they have the same great shape but with awesome prints. I like a tshirt with a crew neck and a sleeve that hits about mid-bicep, and these fit the bill. They’re not cheap for a tee, but between the excellent quality and the fact that I can just chuck one of these on and immediately feel fancy, my “one per year” policy is working out well. You can also size up in these, which is awesome news when your usual size is sold out. I have bees (pictured in this post) and peaches and am legitimately excited to see what print comes up next.
A patterned dress (mine happens to be from Cooper) has been an absolute boon in my wardrobe. It’s better than a plain black dress, for example, because it still looks fun and like I’m wearing an outfit. It has no waist band, is easy to throw on with boots or with heels and so can be worn year-round, and is appropriate for almost every occasion, including the office. This is officially my uniform dress – if you see me wearing this snake print dress then you know I had no outfit inspiration that day. I will still look great, thus – hero. You can see it in this recent post.
Accessories-wise, I think we both know that my blue suede high heels are an absolute hero item. I had no idea at the time that these would end up being shoes I wore constantly (so much so that I’m currently trying to avoid wearing them, just to force myself out of a blue shoe rut). Proof that nude and black aren’t necessarily the investment everyone would have you believe. You’re better off thinking across a wider spectrum of colours (other hero shoes have included bright orange-red, and of course my fuchsia Ted Bakers). In 17 million posts, including this one.
I’ve also leaned into my Peregrine cross-body from Pedro’s Bluff. I went back and forth on colours for a while before I decided to buy the burgundy colour, and I’ve been surprised (again!) by how useful and wearable that colour has been. Today I wore it with an emerald coloured dress – perfect. Just big enough to carry everything I need, without being overwhelming, and featuring an adorable penguin. Highly recommend (and included it in my last favourites round up here).
A couple of high street items coming in next, with my pale grey cashmere roll neck jersey from Uniqlo an absolute winner. Again, last winter I had to ban myself from wearing this because I loved it so much that I’d lost my outfit mojo. These Uniqlo jumpers were my first foray into cashmere, and I would buy them in all available colours if I lived in a country with Uniqlo. So soft, and weirdly easy to look after (I just gently machine wash mine). They have a blue one on the website that I absolutely need – I might have to arrange some kind of delivery deal with a friend who’s coming to visit next month.
My black blazer from Forever New (a total rip-off of Balmain, I know) has been worn so hard that it’s starting to wear out. It makes everything look smarter, and since this cheap option is no longer available I might actually have to save up and buy the exxy Camilla and Marc version. Maybe. I feel sweaty whenever I think about it. My current one is the perfect length, is cut to fit and flare just right, and has buttons that are gold but not tacky and shiny. If only it had been made of more durable fabric *cries* I wrote all about the magic of blazers here.
Finally, a couple of thrifted items that have proven to be bloody amazing. First up are my leather pencil skirts (I have one brown and one black quilted), both of which rang in under $20. Assuming you like pencil skirts, they are the perfect item to buy preloved because they’re an incredibly basic, classic style. Nothing has really changed in pencil skirts except the hemline. Leather is excruciatingly expensive when you buy it new (as it should be) so finding it second hand is a great way to bring the sex appeal and durability of this material into your wardrobe. The brown one is in this post.
Secondly, my array of preloved/vintage court shoes. These are simple shoes with a rounded off toe and a heel between 1 and 2 inches high (usually with some kind of buckle detail). I wear these on constant repeat on weekends and more casual days, and I was recently inspired to buy a pair of Miista shoes in pale pink with a yellow heel because I knew I’d wear the shiz out of them. Correct. I went on holiday and wore them for three days in a row. They look smart while still being comfortable (at least to me, the person who wears 4 inch heels during the week).
So now that we’ve identified that I’m more boring than I thought, I’m keen to hear what other people wear the most. It’s a fascinating insight, y’know – as you can see, all my stuff is stuff you’d wear in an office/down the street in a major city. But what are your hero items? Plus, tell me what’s good so I can buy it and have it for years in my wardrobe, too.