A Fashion Editor Shares Her Staples for A/W
There was once a time when I was obsessed with the concept of capsule wardrobes. I thought that in order to gauge my sense of style, I needed to conform to a specific style of dressing. That wasn’t helped by my love of Paris and the evident markers of French fashion. But as time went on, I began to realise that capsule wardrobes aren’t synonymous with a specific style of dressing. There are some rules I adhere to (for example, preferring a streamlined collection of clothes and the less is more approach to buying) but as I’ve aged, I’ve learnt my fashion staples along the way and the items that constitute a collection that feels authentic to me. As we shift into autumn, reorganise, refresh and evaluate, I’m sharing 18 wardrobe staples that I rely on.
The “Dressy” Midi
If you’re one for overdressing like me, I’ll let you in on a secret. Nestled in Nobody’s Child’s bridal archives, you’ll find this bridesmaid dress and it’s a true beauty. I don’t intend on wearing it for bridesmaids’ duties, but instead for dinner after work. It’s also available in khaki if this feels a tad too bridal.
I’ve found Dissh to be a reputable place for linen pieces. I have a 3-year-old skirt from there and the condition is like new. I’ve observed the waistcoat trend from afar and realised that I much prefer longline vests with a rounded and high neck cut, as opposed to the deep-seated V-neck style (although they do have a cool, androgynous vibe). This is a top I would invest in and wear for years with a matching linen maxi skirt.
Full Skirted Dress
I’ve been a fan of Damson Madder since its drops were all but a few tracksuits (which I still own) and I’ve since loved the limited dress collections they release every so often which often comprise 100% organic cotton. Due to the limited stock, this stunning piece is sold out but keep your eyes peeled for restocks.
Although the notion of quiet luxury has divided opinions, I’ve taken the subtext to mean high-quality and understated designs. Often, these pieces are made by brands with an emphasis on production and craftsmanship, as opposed to branding. Between the barely there moniker, smooth leather and polished gold hardware it’s a piece to behold and one that will continue to be chic now, or in five years.
Bandeau’s may have been one of 2023’s most lauded trends but I’ve inherited it as part of my style forevermore. I love how I feel in a sculpted silhouette and although the style lends itself towards summer, there’s always a place and time for a bare décolletage. As we transition towards the autumn, pair these silhouettes with wide-leg tailored trousers or pronounced skirts.
Column Maxi Skirt
Come rain or shine you’ll find me in a streamlined maxi skirt. As the owner of only two pairs of jeans, it’s my denim equivalent. This season’s iteration of the column skirt bears tailored features but if anything the belt loops make it more practical!
Woven Leather Bag
The Dragon Diffusion Triple Jump was one of my first wardrobe investments and there’s not a day that’s gone by that I’ve regretted it. As a basket bag fiend, It saddens me that opportunities for basket bag wearing are few and far between, so hardwearing styles bridge the gap between raffia and supple totes. I love the relaxed feel these bags lend to outfits and I wear them irrespective of season. The tones are rich enough for the inevitable colour transitions that occur at this time of year and the woven leather is durable. I keep loose items in a pouch like the Mashu Clio bag.
Each season I become more impressed with Reformation’s offerings and this is my latest crush. By now we’re all familiar with the “jeans and a nice top” rhetoric of the fashion world. Designers are taking note because, for a few years, tops have been nothing short of impressive. The ruched element is another trend lead piece that will stay with me forever.
Long Black Dress
I purchased this dress in the spring and I’m getting the most wear of it now with the bursts of sun we’ve been experiencing. My tip for buying luxury is to pen a wish list and hold out for sales. That way, you’ll be sure it’s a well-thought-out investment and in this instance, patience comes with a discount.
Crisp White Shirt
No person’s wardrobe is complete without a white shirt and I’ve recently been acquainted with Paloma. The site is currently home to the single Paloma Shirt which tells you it’s something worth making space for. This expertly crafted button-down features drop shoulder, deep cuffs and a dip hem. The makers have produced the only shirt you’ll need in your arsenal and a piece you can easily transform from day to night.
Knee High Boots
Slip into style and comfort with Dear Frances’ collection of dateless footwear. These boots have been on my wish list for some time, so should I invest, I know I’ll treasure them forever.
Fashion mogul Jeanne Damas is the founder and creative director of French brand Rouje but did you know her sister Louise Damas is also the founder of an eponymous jewellery brand? The fashion gene runs in the family. You’ll find everything from dainty bookmarks to coin necklaces and vintage-inspired- clip-on studs, in the styles you’re bound to find in a Gallic woman’s jewellery box.
High Percentage Wool Jumper
In addition to the sustainability factor, the main catalyst for making wardrobe investments was seeing how quickly my knitwear would deteriorate. I would buy pieces per season as the wear and tear was noticeable after a few months of wear. After deducing synthetic fibres were the cause of this, I started to look into knitwear comprising cashmere and high percentage wool, and found that they lasted longer than your standard poly blends. I’ve been lucky enough to experience Navy Grey pieces and they are buttery soft. I can tell they will last well into the future. It fits in with my buy now and wear forever motto.
My uniform consists of easy-to-wear billowy dresses, even in the autumn. I prefer the breathability of natural fabrications and being enveloped in generous layers of fabric. Amongst its other offerings, The & Mother Store offers Bohème’s slow batch offerings that we’ve all come to know and love.
This coat is different from your average trench and that’s what endears me to it. Unlike the usual stone and khaki colourways, it offers a (neutral) pop of colour that will suit most colour palettes.
I’ll admit, I’m a confessed market woman now if there’s one thing every marketgoer needs it’s a tote to house all of their market finds. Enter Baggu. I’ve long been impressed by their efficient designs and ethical practices and they’ve recently released a new line of neutral-hued cotton totes with a pop of colour on the trim. I’ll take the khaki, please.
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