Basics deserve their rightful place in our wardrobes, so I’m breaking it down into two posts. Part One will be based around jeans, tee’s and singlets. Part two will cover dresses, shirts plus drop crotch or ponte pants.
Once we nail the basics in our wardrobe(s) everything else seems easier.
Trust me when I say I have never been a casual girl at heart.
Instead, I’ve always loved dressing up.
Outfit planning is one of my favourite pass times.
I can sit and dream up the perfect outfit, down to the last detail and then some.
So the temptation when I go shopping, is to continually focus on show pony pieces.
One off pieces that although make a massive impact when worn to an occasion or event, don’t help me get dressed in a rush for a casual leisure day.
I’ll let you into a little secret…until I moved to Australia, I was rubbish at buying basics.
Yes. Even the stylist in me struggles sometimes.
The problem was, my UK wardrobe was extremely corporate and VERY black.
Jeans have always been a passion of mine, so of course this area of my casual wardrobe was normally covered. But when I did wear my jeans, I only ever wore them in fancy-schmancy way.
Think: Heels, silky top and jackets finished with scarves or jewellery.
I struggled dreadfully with buying tee’s and singlets – ok what I really mean is, I struggled being casual.
Never did I wear flat shoes or sneakers – the mere thought horrified me.
My mind worked something like this: “Why spend a huge amount of cash on a few basic pieces when I could buy a fabulous frock or killer heels”
It was ingrained in my brain.
That attitude of mine left me with a very elegant wardrobe which unfortunately didn’t work for me at 60% of the time.
These days I have (at long last) achieved wardrobe balance.
I truly believe moving to Australia has helped my style personality develop to another level.
My casual might not be your idea of casual, but for me its a heck of a long way from where it used to be!
I now only shop for special occasion pieces when I need them – be under no illusion, I still lust, but the must-have is now under control…
The next step is to curb the mountain of heels I insist on buying!
Back to basics:
I’ve touched on this subject a few times here on IMS 10 steps to buying the perfect jeans.
Jeans are so depended on body shape.
As you know I’m a true pear, a curvy size 12 with ample butt and thigh. What works for one, might not work for another. One thing is for sure. Perseverance is the name of the game in finding perfect denim.
These are on high-rotation for me:
Bohemian Traders Distressed Skinny Jean $129 I wear a 30″ I ADORE these jeans. Total. Gamechangers.
They fit like a dream and are a higher cut on the waist which means no bagging at the back.
Bohemian Traders Indigo Distressed Skinny Jeans $129 wearing 30 (but these are tighter on the waist than the ones above, if you struggle in the waist area, my advice is to size up)
These indigo distressed skinnies have only just landed at Bohemian Traders. I was super delighted to get my hands on a pair – these babies sell like hot cakes!
The new kids on the block for SS 16/17
360 Memory 7/8 jeans $39.95 I’m wearing a size 10 – technically not a jean as no zips or buttons, but super comfy and a welcome addition to my denim arsenal.
Boho Paisley OTS top $49.00 Lee Lou Anne | Booties: Elementa Mimco
Bohemian Traders Indigo Skinny Jeans $129 Wearing 32″ the Indigo come up slightly snugger than the light distressed ones at the top.
I have worn these Frankie jeans to death. They are a slightly heavier weight with a firmer fit. True to size.
Frankie and Co Stella Wax Jeans $79.00 Wearing 11 (size down as they are super stretchy)
Frankie & Co Laura Knit Top $69.00 Wearing 12 | Mimco Booties
Don’t be afraid of venturing into the Wax coated jeans.
They are so comfortable (lots of stretch) and look amazing when worn with a soft chiffon blouse or top.
These babies work well from day to night.
Finding the perfect white tee is oftem mission impossible (de de de de de de – 😉 😉 ).
Depending on your bust size you will probably either be team ‘v-neck’ or team ’round neck’.
I’m a full on v-neck girl myself but I never say never with a round neck either.
Finding tee’s that are good quality can be tricky though.
One of the things that I focus on is colour. Yes some whites just don’t cut the mustard for me.
I want the white to be fresh and crisp not with a blue twinge, that looks like you’ve mistakenly wash it with an odd black sock!
Comfort factor must be high. The cut has to be flattering and not too clingy.
Yep, I’m very particular.
Step forward Ruby and Lilli.
I’m guessing most of you have already purchased these fabulous tee’s if not, I urge you to take a closer look.
What I love most about these three tee’s is simple – they can be basic, but when the need arises they look just as fabulous dressed up and glamorous.
Which is as perfect as a tee in my eyes.
Basic does not need to be boring.
For me I love a sleeve, so when Ruby and Lilli launched this new range – I instantly fell head over heels.
The scooped shape is flattering and not at all clingy. The additional velvet flocking/stripe is what makes it special.
This black tee has blown me away with its versatility (I also love a tee that offers ample butt covering possibilities).
Wear this one tucked in, or high-low for maximum effect.
Simplicite ‘Noir‘ $89.00 Ruby and Lilli | Jeans Frankis and Co (link above) | Sling back booties Mimco (try DFO)
Pssssst – I also have the Bordeaux which I can’t keep off my back either!
All three tees are a slightly different length. The white is the classic t-shirt length, the bordeaux slightly longer and the black is full on hi-lo.
Country Road also did a fabulous v-neck, short-sleeved linen tee last year which I had to buy in every colour.
Bohemian Traders Stripe Long Sleeve Tee $63.20 (on sale)
No wardrobe is complete without a good stripe tee.
This one from Bohemian Traders has been a huge success for me. The length is perfect and the fabric is divine. It washes like a dream too!
This one has long sleeves and a round neck BUT its the cut that makes it work on a fuller bust.
No clinging either!
These days, because I worry about my arms being on full show (not a pleasant sight – and yes I could exercise them, but I’m too lazy) you would think I would disregard singlets.
No way. They have a huge place in my wardrobe.
If the cut of the singlet is perfect, it can showcase even my 53-year-old arms and shoulders, in a very positive light.
Note: For me, singlets with narrower straps are much more flattering on my wider shoulders. Try on both thicker and thinner straps to see which works best for you.
These two from Bohemian Traders are total winners the fabric is just right, with a touch of stretch for great bounce back:
A great singlet can be worn so many ways, layering on a chilly day under jackets and cardigans is the perfect place to start while we wait for the warmer temps – no QLD I’m not talking about you.
How’s your basic collection? Do you begrudge buying basics? Give a shout-out to your favourite brands for jeans, tees and singlets – sharing is caring after all
This post features items sent to me for editorial consideration in accordance with my disclosure policy. This post also includes affiliate links, which in a nutshell means, if you click-through to purchase, I may earn a small commission. But don’t worry, you won’t pay any extra!