It may sound farfetched, but it’s the absolute truth. Being fabulous seems to take less time than being simple when it comes to dressing. When you enter shops you are often bombarded with sequins, tulle, lace, leather, and an abundance of other textures which are absolutely stunning, yet veer away from the basic staples one needs in their life to create looks that are downplayed yet domineering; minimal yet menacing; easygoing yet energized.
Basics are the backbone to the well-dressed young woman’s wardrobe. They are there to provide that extra oomph to your look du jour, interjecting a splash of much-needed je ne sais quoi to lighten up a glittering party shirt worn in the wee hours of the morning, or contributing a pinch of plain pulchritude to balance out the bodacious-ness of a faux leather pencil skirt; hence the reason why it is essential for your closet to harbor a fortune of no-frills fashions.
As with so many things in life, however, undertaking such a task is far more easier said than done. But don’t worry darlings; it certainly doesn’t have to be. As long as you know where to start, you’re well on your way to heading back to basics in true fashion-forward style!
♥Trail Blazer Please cast aside any preconceived notions about the blazer you may have. I am well-aware of the fact that it is most often recognized as the topper of a stuffy three-piece suit, but times have changed; the blazer is no longer only acceptable in the workplace. In fact, it is quite possible that there is no more versatile piece that one can add to their wardrobe than a black blazer. Cropped, boyfriend, either style retains the ability to put a completely new spin on your look, and cast a shadow of change upon the entire effect of your ensemble.
Sophistication and elegance is quickly discovered when Diane von Furstenberg’s slightly boxy, boyfriend-inspired Tuxant Blazer is tossed on over a shimmering minidress; a touch of hipster flair is added to a simple top and denim when coupled with a cropped blazer like the Charmaine Career Jacket; and a plain white tee and flippy skirt easily transform from playful to posh when shrouded with a wool style sporting a notched collar a la Theory’s Ediona Blazer. Remember, a well-crafted blazer will see you through countless ups and downs and millions of milestones; therefore, invest in a creation that you adore!
♥The Little Black Skirt Despite its power and potential to literally stop traffic and work wonders in one’s wardrobe, the little black skirt is a piece of attire that is, unlike the little black dress popularized by Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, left out of the loop and virtually ignored when it comes to dressing. Far too many seem to overlook the chic simplicity that it proffers, whether offered via professional Pencil Skirt, flouncy Woven Skirt, or leggy Mini Skirt. Don’t be one of those individuals!
Unlike the LBD, which often relies upon a special occasion for it to be whipped out of your bureau for wear, the little black skirt is a garment that holds fast to the mantra “carpe diem.” It does not lie in wait for a lavish party to arrive; rather, it seizes the day and creates a sassy soiree all its own! Top it with a vintage tee, partner it with lacy tights, slip it on with a slouchy sweatshirt. When it comes to the LBS, styling opportunities are positively endless; and each presentation is more stunning and sophisticated than the last!
♥Black and White and Fabulous All Over! Mark my words, a person’s closet is utterly incomplete if it does not hold at least two fitted black t-shirts, and two fitted white t-shirts. There is no more essential or inexpensive basic than these pieces, given the fact that they act as a palette for your daily style, and are a necessity when layering. They also retain the ability to tone down exaggerated accessories, like a statement necklace, making them more wearable during the daytime hours.
But do not at all doubt the standalone qualities of the plain black or white t-shirt. It may be a basic, but one does not need to cover-up its simple style, or clean cuts in order to make it glamorous. Pairing a Short-Sleeve V-Neck with skinny jeans and riding boots is a no-fuss aesthetic which juxtaposes between elegant equestrian and laid-back jet-setter; while tucking it into a pair of trendy trousers and adorning your finger with a bulbous cocktail ring establishes an unmatched urbane ambiance that will leave jaws dropping in your wake!
♥Short Stuff It seems slightly ridiculous to think that shorts are a part of the basics category; a virtual must-have in your wardrobe. But they are. Don’t get me wrong, up until recently I was not a believer of this particular way of thought either. I felt that shorts should remain in summer, and be locked away once the sun gave way to rain, sleet, and snow; but so is not the case. Just as skirts can make the transition from winter to spring, summer, and fall, shorts can as well – as long as you’re working with the correct form.
There is nothing quite as ambrosial and cultivated as a pair of tailored shorts like Forever 21’s Cuffed Tweed Short or Pleated Satin Shorts. They do not have the grunge factor that denim dungarees oftentimes possess; rather they reserve a more sophisticated air courtesy of the single-button closure, and charming cuffed hems which work together to bridge the gap between saucy and sharp. During the warmer months flaunt bare legs by pairing them with cognac-colored riding boots; once the cold sets in style them with black opaque tights and matching ebony-hued shoes for a look that elongates and makes your legs go on for days!
♥Tight Fit Loves, if you thought that hosiery was nothing more than a thing of the past, I am here to prove you wrong…so very wrong! Yes, feel free to steer clear of nude-toned pairs that are meant to look as if your legs are bare when they really aren’t; but please, do me a favor and fully embrace patterned tights, black opaques, and sheer styles that will take you through any season in true glamorous grandeur!
Tights like those crafted by Falke and American Apparel give you the opportunity to wear any attire of your choosing year-round, given their ability to provide a bit of coverage to keep you warm; while ensuring that you look stunning from head to toe. I recommend having at least three pairs on hand at all times; that way, should you encounter a sudden run or rip in the seam, you don’t have to sacrifice style – simply switch out the ruined ones for a pair that is in-tact!
♥The Bomb It doesn’t matter if you own no other piece of outerwear, as long as you have a bomber jacket in your possession your wardrobe is in good standing. Bomber jackets like Candela’s Leather Bomber Jacket are an amazing garment for the sheer fact that they not only provide warmth to the wearer; but they effortlessly effuse a rebellious aura that is both lively and headstrong, which helps you to migrate from one look to another with ease.
Keep in mind that the color bomber you select is extremely important. A black piece instantly gives off an edgy, rocker-influenced vibe synonymous with the leather-loving biker movement which is perfect for a smoky night out with the girls; while a caramel shade is more subdued and transitions easily not only from day to night, but from season to season, as well. Take inventory of your wardrobe before shopping to see what color would fit in best with your personal style and buy accordingly.
♥Duds for the Derriere Darlings, denim used to cut it in terms of accoutering ones lower half. And it still does; to a certain extent. One’s wardrobe should never be sans at least a trio of denim pieces that range from light wash, like Current/Elliott’s Super Slouchy Skinny Jeans to dark wash, like J Brand’s Petite 12” Pencil Jeans, all in the cut of the dresser’s desire. These three items of apparel alone will accompany you on everything from first dates to family gatherings; and shopping sprees to school functions. But I digress; denim is only half of what needs to be on hand for embellishing your lower region. The honor of the other half falls upon leggings.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…leggings did not start out as a favorite of mine, but I quickly grew to love them due to their elasticity, resilience, and ability to bring out the chic cosmopolitan sophisticate in anyone simply by slipping them on. Whether tucked into over the knee boots or topped with a bright-colored v-neck that hits at the hip, leggings like American Apparel’s Cotton Spandex Jersey Leggings or Winter Legging, are a must for the modern mademoiselle looking to be comfortable in her style of dress while keeping it completely classy!
William Somerset Maugham
Thanks to Shopbop, American Apparel, and Forever 21 for the pictures.