Every female, whatever stage of their life, has stood in front of their wardrobe, one too many times, screaming “I have nothing to wear” – don’t worry, you’re not the only one. As a nineteen year old girl I can hand-on-heart say this has happened countless times throughout my life. It wasn’t until recently that I decided my wardrobe needed to change to make creating outfits much less stressful and time-consuming to my busy schedule.
As a result, I concluded it would be best to have a mass clear out of all of my clothes and strip my wardrobe right back to the basics, keeping it minimal and simplistic. By having simple pieces of clothing, such as plain tees, a few jackets, black jeans, you really can’t go wrong with putting together a super simple, yet super stylish outfit. That’s right.
I am a bit of a shopaholic, I’m well renowned for it by all of my friends and family – I’m still not so sure whether it’s necessarily a good or bad thing, but hey ho. My wardrobe was full of mismatching items, things I hadn’t worn in years, things I hadn’t even taken the labels off of, it was a bit of a mess to say the least. A spring clean was well overdue.
I somehow plucked the courage and managed to cut my clothes count from two whole wardrobes full, and a drawer, to just one wardrobe rail and a half a chest of drawers, and honestly, although it was awfully sad to say goodbye to my hard-earned clothes, looking at my wardrobe now has never felt better.
I have come up with 10 wardrobe essentials for any woman, whatever their style, that can work for those not on a high budget (students, I’m talking to you), in order to create the illusion of a full wide-ranging wardrobe, even with just 10 simple items.
Here’s what you need:
1) A statement bag
A simplistic statement bag that will go with any outfit is vital. Whether this be an over-sized bag that will be perfect for any occasion if you’re the type of person to take everything but the kitchen sink with you, or a small over-the-body bag for the everyday essentials. A good bag can bring an outfit together, so choosing the correct one is important. Below are a few examples of chic looking bags that you could look for – available at major retailers such as New Look, H&M, Topshop etc. for prices between £15 and £30.
2) A Pair of Leather Boots
For me, the obvious choice would be Chelsea boots as they are comfortable, stylish and go with absolutely anything. I recently purchased a pair of Kurt Geiger boots in the December sales which are amazing! Despite the fact they checked in at £99, sometimes it’s worth spending a little bit more, in order to get perfect quality and so they last longer. Other alternatives to the Chelsea boot include: short leather boots, which can be seen below. For when it becomes slightly warmer – I know, it’s not likely in England… – you can change this to a pair of simplistic leather pumps which usually can be found in shops such as Office, or even Clarks, all year round.
3) Black Trousers
Black trousers are a must-have for any wardrobe. They’re simple and they go with everything you can think of. I own about 3 different pairs of black skinny jeans because they’re perfect for any occasion, whether it be going out for cocktails with your friends, a date night with your boyfriend, popping to the shops, or even going to work. You just can’t go wrong! I own a pair of Marks and Spencer super skinny jeans and they are fantastic, I’ve had mine for almost 6 months and they haven’t faded one bit, so I highly recommend them. Below are some simple looks you can re-create with black jeans, yet still looking super chic.
4) Simple Tops
Having a range of plain, simplistic tops can be a real life saver in your wardrobe. You can mix and match, creating different looks each time. My go-to is a striped black and white top which goes well with pretty much anything – black trousers, a skirt, a pinafore. I also have a plain grey top, as well as white, black and burgundy because they are so easy to pair and dress up or down in any outfit.
5) Chunky Jumpers
Chunky jumpers are definitely needed in everyone’s wardrobe for the unpredictability of the Great British weather. It’s always incredibly cold, so layering is something I do frequently. Plain chunky knits, again, are so easy to pair and mix and match with other items in your wardrobe, whether it be a pair of black trousers or a skirt. I own an over-sized black jumper, similar to the one below, and another over-sized grey one which I sometimes wear with a white shirt hanging out of the bottom.
6) Statement Coats
As stated in my previous article, my favourite coats are over-sized and long-lined. A statement coat for me can bring a whole outfit together, so it’s important you find the right one that complements all of your clothes properly. I currently own a green, grey and black jacket, with a colourful faux fur one if I want to change my look up a fraction! Another alternative is the leather jacket, as pictured below. Leather jackets can be paired with anything and, again, can be dressed up for a special occasion, or dressed down for a casual look.
7) Bold Skirts
I adore bold skirts. Due to the fact my wardrobe is fairly simplistic elsewhere, I choose to be bolder in my skirts to add a bit of colour and personality. I only own a few skirts, and they are fairly old, but ones that never go out of fashion. I bought a leather one in the River Island sale last year, a dark grey suede one with embroidered detailing and a subtle checkered style one in mutlicoloured print.
8) Pinafores – A Blast From The Past
Pinafores are my guilty pleasure, albeit I feel a bit like a five-year-old when I wear them, I simply cannot get enough. In my wardrobe I currently own 4, all giving me different looks – a denim one, a green and rust corduroy style one and a black stripy one which gives a more formal look. I love the simplicity of them and how a simply black top can work so well with a rust coloured pinafore, and how a chunky black knit can be paired perfectly with a dark denim pinafore. Here are some examples of the looks:
9) Accessories are a MUST
When having such a simple and plain wardrobe, accessories are a must. I tend to pair my wardrobe items with stacked rings, a watch and subtle necklaces and bracelets. Although if I want to create a more ‘dressy’ look, I’ll opt for a more statement piece, such as a larger ring and a bold necklace. Following on from the statement bag piece earlier, I find for those days where you want to go for a bit more of a bold look, having a small statement bag can be great – such as the one found below.
10) A Pair of Trainers… for lazy days
We all have our lazy days and sometimes don’t feel like making much of an effort. Pulling on those Chelsea boots can be such hard work, so a pair of trainers can be a godsend. I own a pair of Nike Fly-knit Roche Runs which add an edge to my look, even when I’m being lazy and not making any effort at all. Other alternatives can be the Adidas Superstars or the Nike Air Max Thea’s (first larger picture) which I find beautiful and will, without a doubt, be my next purchase when my other Nike’s lose their life.
Get your wardrobe sorted!