12 November 2018

my top 10 wardrobe staple that have stood the test of time!

This is a request post. A jolly good idea it was too! I've spent a few weeks cogitating over it, making sure I haven't left anything out. This are my most beloved wardrobe staples some of which I have picked up for a song but if I had to replace would be well worth the investment of buying the best I could afford as these pieces are the cornerstones of my style. I'm going to start with an item which is the only one that is the exception to the above statement as I would never buy one of these full price again........and I shall tell you why!

Chanel bag, bought circa 1990
Firstly the iconic Chanel bags are way, way out of reach for most peoples budgets.....mine included. If were to purchase one these days I would definitely go the preloved route, though even their resale value holds really well....I think they are literally worth their weight in gold. 

Now I'm going to tell you a little story about when I purchased my bag which is now 30 years old. I saved my pennies for ages because there was one lady who I used to see around Bath whose style I really loved and she had a wallet on a chain style so I went up to London intent on buying the exact same bag. I have to say my shopping experience was a pretty shocking one, customer service was non-existent because the product was so desirable, the assistants had that "I really don't care" attitude which I doubt you'd get away with anywhere these days! So what should have been a lovely occasion it was actually quite traumatic as I felt like my money wasn't good enough! I have to admit I did dither a bit and instead of coming away with a wallet on a chain I did plump for the more classic style which I'm so glad I did. It was £460 (more expensive than my car at the time - a Hillman Imp......no sniggering please!) circa 1990 so you can understand why I'd never buy another as compared with today's prices for Chanel I bagged a right bargain! I don't use mine often as to tell you the truth it feels a bit too ostentatious to use around these parts. Here's a pic of when I last used it.....which was a special occasion.

Preloved Baukjen jacket via Mary's Living & Giving, Clifton, Bristol

Next up is something that most of you will already have a version of in your closet! The trusty biker jacket. Again there is a little story behind mine. I wandered into T K Maxx in Bristol in my lunch break one day not looking for anything in particular. I walked past a stand of Michael Kors black leather jackets and spotted a biker style. I whipped it out to try it on and clocked that it was in fact a DKNY sample......and whats more it was just £34.99.....for a real leather jacket. Be still my beating heart! I was literally palpitating as I queued to pay....sure there was a mistake and they were going to inform me that it was in fact priced wrongly. But no, £34.99 it was and I think it is the best purchase I have ever made. Mine has a cropped sleeve so I have actually bought a full sleeve one and I didn't hesitate to purchase a good one, mine is from Whistles and I think it was worth every penny. Excuse the quality of photos but I've lifted these montages from Instagram so you can see the different ways in which I've worn things.

The best alternative I could find, linked here

This jacket is another style which keeps on giving.....the tuxedo blazer. Mines from Zara, probably about 4 years old now but they do it season after season. It's great worn day or evening. I love it with a cami and faux leather leggings or velvet jeans for a dressier occasion or over a jumpsuit with hi tops for a day look.....as you can see here.

Sticking with outerwear. No wardrobe would be complete without one at this time of the year......a leopard print coat. Mine is about 5 years old from M&S and it's still going strong. This needs no justification for making my top 10, leopard print is a neutral after all!

The best alternative I could find, linked here

My favourite print clash has to be leopard print and stripes......you can never own too many Bretons. I have tons, my most trusty version is from good old H&M which is a good thick cotton from their L.O.G.G range, again this piece has been in my wardrobe for an age! More recently an Armor Lux one has graced my wardrobe and when the H&M is no longer fit for purpose I will definitely be investing in another Armor Lux one. COS is another place I've picked up a good stripe top......I usually favour more of a boat neck but a crew is also great for layering under sweaters.

I also have this COS one
And when the H&M one needs replacing I will be investing in this one.

A cashmere crew is another take-me-anywhere item. Size up.....mines a large. I am building a collection of colours. My favourite is a charcoal grey one from Uniqlo but another purse friendly runner up is M&S.

What a game-changer this next item has been for me......a black silky shirt. Mine is actually tencel and only cost £7.99 from H&M in the sale but it has proved to be so useful I'm looking to upgrade to a pure silk one. This has elevated many an outfit......love it with jeans and black heeled sandals for a night out or with a midi skirt and Chanel-like two tone pumps. I prefer to tie mine at the waist to tucking in.

Worth investing in this one, the real deal (silk) also from H&M

Next up is a pair of army trousers, mine are Zara. I will cry when these eventually fail me and I have to part with them. They weren't expensive (I can't remember exactly how much but less than 30 quid) but I would be prepared to pay a lot more for a pair because my wardrobe would not be complete without them. They are simply the best alternative to jeans ever!
Worth investing in these as they are the closest I've ever found and I wouldn't be without them!

Jeans. Black skinnies to be exact. Can always be relied upon if you are in doubt for day....I wear mine to work.....or evening they are the holy grail of wardrobe staple to turn to! I cannot recommend Topshop Jamie's high enough......hands down the best on the High Street. They keep their colour if you wash them cold and don't tumble dry. I find them true to size and they hold their shape like no other jean I've ever tried.

My signature footwear. Gotta be Converse. Can be relied upon to go with any outfit, dress, skirt, jeans, army trews and shorts! They are the perfect transitional shoe....though I wear them all year around. I will be adding a metallic pair to my collection.....if Father Christmas thinks I've been a good girl this year! ;0)

Converse, worth checking our Office, ASOS, Zalando & House of Fraser. 

These are all my if-in-doubt wardrobe staples. What are yours? One of the reasons that is so helpful to use Instagram....you have a visual diary of what items in your wardrobe that really work and what things are worth spending your money on. Do let me know what pieces you think are worth investing in for you.

You can hear me talking you through my top 10 on IGTV, via my Instagram profile. A lovely reader called Carolyn (from Australia!) suggested this topic, so thank you Carolyn. If you have any requests for future posts of IGTV videos please do let me know!

Back soon!



  1. I have to agree on the black silk shirt - you need one of those. Mine is an old one from Uniqlo and it always comes out when I don't know what to wear on an evening to feel dressed but not over done. x

  2. So with you on all of these *adds leopard print coat and black silk shirt to Christmas list*.