To help make sure you’re never at a loss for what to wear, here are four wardrobe essentials that will always be in style, whatever the season. The good news: these pieces work for both ladies and gents!
- A great pair of classic blue jeans
Every wardrobe should have a pair of slim, straight-leg jeans in an indigo or dark blue wash. To keep them versatile, steer clear of rips, tears or any detailed stitching. These can be worn with a t-shirt and flat shoes or sneakers during the day, while still looks great when styled up with a pair of heels, a smart top or shirt and a blazer.
The secret here is quality and fit. Make sure your denim has high cotton content – 95% and above is ideal – feels soft to touch and is relatively mid-weight; Lightweight denim won’t last while heavy denim can be very stiff and can be uncomfortable to wear.
The best way to find the right fit for your shape is to try on as many pairs as possible. Specialty denim shops like Just Jeans are great for this, as they have a wide range of brands, cuts and styles for both men and women. If you’re unsure, don’t be afraid to ask the assistants for help and advice – that’s what they’re there for!
- Plain white t-shirts
Few other wardrobe items are as versatile as a great-fitting, plain white t-shirt. 100% cotton is ideal as it will wash and wear longer and breathes more than synthetic fabrics. They can be worn with anything, dressed up or down and still look smart.
For the ladies, pair it with a statement necklace and heels while gents can jazz it up with a blazer and good leather shoes. Opt for a trim silhouette by choosing a slim-fit T-shirt that skims your body but doesn’t cling.
Finally, the secret to really rocking a white tee is to keep it fresh – have two or three on rotation and replace them once or twice a year depending on wear.
- A well-cut black blazer
A black blazer can be worn year-round with pretty much anything. To keep it current, the fit across the shoulders is most important - the shoulder pads should end with your shoulders – and choose a lightweight black fabric with slim lapels and no more than two buttons.
Ladies, make sure your blazer can be buttoned without straining across your chest; for extra style points, you should generally wear it unbuttoned. The length is variable depending on your body shape and what you would normally wear it with, but as a general rule, go for one that falls between your waist and hips.
Gents, when fitting for length, try them on with your arms at your sides. Your knuckles should be even with the bottom of your jacket and the sleeves should fall where the base of your thumb meets your wrist. When worn with a long-sleeve shirt, about a quarter to half an inch of the shirt cuff should be visible past the jacket sleeve.
- A good pair of leather shoes
As the saying goes, “the shoes maketh the (wo)man” and there’s nothing quite like a pair of good quality leather shoes to finish off an outfit.
For men, think about a classic lace-up Oxford style, with a toe shape that is slightly rounded and neither too square nor too pointed. Either black or brown leather is fine, though black might be more versatile. Just be sure that whichever you choose, pair it with a belt of the same colour to match.
For the ladies, try a comfy pair of mid-height, closed-toe court shoes in black leather. Like a good black blazer, a pair of black heels can be worn to dress up just about any outfit. If you’re wearing these with a belt, the same rule applies and the colour of your belt should match your shoes – as should your handbag.