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How are you?

We’re already one week into the school Easter Hols here in Wiltshire, though I know in other parts of the country…the school holidays have only just begun.

This is my last holiday with the boys as a stay at home mum, so I’ve been making the most of spending my time with them, and like one of my insta buddies said “the Easter holidays are brilliant: it’s like Chistmas, but without the stress!”

Unless, you’ve got GCSEs or A-levels looming, I guess?!

Anyways… back to fashion.

Today I thought I’d look at a few wardrobe basics… you know, the pieces which are handy to have in your wardrobe because of their versatility.

These same pieces are also, in essence, the basic building blocks for any wardrobe… they allow you to mix & match and form a strong foundation for you to continue building on.

By no means are these 7 pieces alone an entire list of a basic ‘capsule wardrobe’, but they are a good start; and I have deliberately opted for plain, neutral coloured pieces because all of them lend well to colour and print being worn with them.

7. H&M – Double Breasted Blazer (£24.99)


There’s nothing quite like a good blazer to elevate the most basic of outfits into one which looks like you’ve made an effort.

Whether you throw your blazer on with jeans & a tee, or over a dress, with a skirt… it’s by far, *the* handiest style of jacket you’ll have.

Whilst black or navy blazers are a good starting point, don’t rule out other neutral colours or indeed a checked blazer.

I’ve opted to show this dark brown H&M Blazer because it’s not an overly long-lined style, would lend itself well to being worn open or buttoned up and I think it would work with a great many colours /prints as well as skin tones.

6. H&M – Skirt with Buttons (£24.99)


Not a bias cut nor a midi skirt.

But a good old fashioned a-line, flared skirt with feminine pleats at the front, giving a gathered waist effect.

The skirt is a nice light-weight cotton, and though unlined, it does have the holy grail of side pockets.

Again, this skirt would look at home with a tee & trainers, with a colourful fitted cardi & heels, a crisp white shirt / floral blouse and flat pumps or mid-block heels.

The style of skirt also lends itself well to being worn with most jacket styles: denim, bikers, longer line check coats, blazers or a shacket.

What’s not to love?!

5. Topshop – Lace Trimmed Cami (£19)


A lace-trimmed cami.

*SUCH* a handy thing.

I mean… how many times have you put a v-neck jumper on or a dress which has a low neckline which you’re a bit uncomfortable about?

Layering a little lace trimmed cami underneath such pieces is a great solution to solving the too low a neckline issue.

But it’s also a cute little top to wear under an open blazer with jeans, as well as a summer top with shorts and skirts… especially when on holiday.

Cami’s are also a tiny bit dressy, without being over the top dressy if you’re opting to wear them as a stand-alone-top.

But equally, they look pretty cool if worn under an unbuttoned, knot-fronted shirt.

I’ve opted to show a two-tone black lace on cream cami here, but more often than not, there are plenty available on the highstreet where lace and body of the cami are in the same colour, and there are available pretty much e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e. at price-points to suit all budgets.

4. Topshop – Striped Shirt Dress (£49)


So I know I said I was opting for plain neutrals: but stripes are a neutral, right?!

Anyways… a shirt dress: another super handy, wardrobe staple.

You can wear as a dress (as pictured), unbuttoned over a tee & slim fit straight/skinny jeans and over course with a sweater over the top, giving the illusion of a skirt & knit separates.

I’m very tempted by the Topshop red, white, blue shirt dress… it’s 100% viscose, so the drape would be lovely… although admittedly, it would require a bit of taking up to work on my short arse; it’s currently only available in Topshop’s regular range.


If you love the idea of a neutral stripe dress, but *not* a shirt dress, this one is a good alternative:


This toffee toned Striped Midi Dress (£35) offers a reasonable amount of versatility (e.g. wear just the dress; with tee/breton underneath/jumper over the top etc) but I personally prefer the shirt dress.


3. Topshop – Rust Essential Peg Trousers (£79)



I’m featuring an actual pair of FULL length trousers: how novel, eh?

It feels like a good few years since I wore ‘full length’ trousers in that easy, masculine-yet-feminine dressing vibe.

But, after they were all over the catwalks, the full length trouser *WILL* be massive this coming autumn.

However, if you fancy getting in on a bit of full length trouser action early, this rust coloured Essential Peg Leg Trouser would be a good option.

The shape flatters most body shapes, the length looks great with trainers, flip-flops, birkenstocks, most heel heights/shapes, sandal styles… although I do think you’d have to be a little careful with boot styles with this shape of trouser.

This particular pair are a an 80:20 viscose:linen mix … a perfect drape / fabric for both spring summer.

Incidentally, this style of trouser would look great with a cami; a blazer and also look fabulous with a shirt dress over the top.


2. Topshop – Pandora Sunglasses (£14)


A good pair of sunglasses can elevate any outfit.

And they don’t have to cost the earth.

These plastic frames, angular ‘feline’ glasses are a near perfect shape in that they would suit pretty much any and every face shape.

If green isn’t for you, the ‘neutral’ of leopard is available:


As well as this very, very pale pink:



1. Topshop – Bamboo Buckle Leather Belt (£20) and Frankie Yellow Mini Frame Bag (£22)




OK, so yellow isn’t technically a neutral.

But it’s a perfect colour to tone in with, or, ‘pop’ when combined with most neutrals.

Tonally perfect with all shades of browns, whites/ivory/creams, khaki’s and of course it pops brilliantly when paired with black or navy.

I know that for some, matching belt to bag is a bit of a dated thing to do, somewhat passé… but I rather like it.

How about you?

Obviously, there are a plethora of black/navy/brown/cream belts and bags out there on the highstreet, if, that’s your preference of course.

So those are this week’s 7, but what on earth will I choose as this week’s stinker, given my theme?

I suppose I need to choose that one thing which no wardrobe needs… like… everrrrr.


Stinker of the Week: H&M Ribbed Body (£9.99)


So this isn’t about the fact this piece is a body.

Nor is it about this ‘specific’ body.

Rather… it’s about colour.

I think we *all* need to be careful when choosing this style of clingy little vest… IF we’re planning to wear it as a stand alone top.

I find that certain ‘nude’ neutral shades really do what they say on the tin, so to speak: if I wear them, I basically look naked from a distance which is *never* a great look in my view.

So, this is more a cautionary piece of advice: if you’re thinking of buying a neutral body/fitted vest which you plan to wear as a top: back away from the mirror when you’re trying it.

As in, back away a good few metres, and assess whether you look topless.

There’s the right shade of ‘nude neutral’ for us all – which *won’t* make us look nude.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a nude/naked look to wear *under* a dress: well that’s a different kettle of fish, isn’t it?

Wildcard of the Week: H&M Black Crepe Dress (£29.99)


This simple Black Crepe Dress from H&M was only new-in last week and had already sold out at one point this week, although at the time of hitting publish this evening, there was limited availability of stock in most sizes.

The combination of the dress shape, the low cut neckline and the tie-cuff sleeves together make this dress a budget version of *that* Free People doing the rounds last summer, as worn by the likes of Alex from The Frugality and a plethora of other ‘bigger bloggers.’

So, what’s so wild about a plain black dress?


Honestly, this is exactly in my comfort zone in terms of colour, but as to the style… not so much.

It’s floaty, and has a very low neckline… so… how would I style it?

Look 1 – Holiday Black:


It’s well documented that I’m partial to an all black outfit in the summer.

For me, there will never be anything more chic, or elegant.

So this styling isn’t vastly different from the H&M website pics, but, having ordered those H&M sneaker soled ugly sandals, I can confirm that the sandals are a good fit for narrow feet, but that the front opening is *wide* resulting in a ‘hanging down talon’ big toe.

Not a good look.

Instead, why not opt for a pair of these gorgeous Vagabond Erin Two Strap Sandals (£79.99) from Office.

And if you’re not comfortable about wearing the dress as is, just layer a simple Lace Trimmed Cami (£19) under it?

This simple Sami String Tote Bag (£22) would lift the outfit a little, as would some white framed Koko Sunglasses (£14): you can’t beat the simplicity of this outfit.

Alternatively, you could just go the whole hog and opt for the black version of the bag, and black sunnies too.

In terms of wearing this dress on holiday – it would work with everything from flip-flops to wedges espadrilles; wearing it as a cover up to the beach or out to dinner.

Your choice.

Look 2 – Prairie Vibes:


I think it’s fair to say, as a general rule of thumb, a prairie dress would be a little more conservative and have a higher neckline.

However, the length and feminine shape of the dress lend well to being paired with some western boots.

These Animal Print Western Boots from Zara (£39.99)  would be perfect, though if animal print isn’t your thing, just go for any colour western boot: everything goes with black!

And of course, you can’t not wear a fitted, cropped denim jacket (Zara, £29.99).

I’d opt for a belt bag, worn across the chest/shoulder; this Zara Split Suede Crossbody Belt bag (£29.99) is just the ticket.

Look 3 – Beyond Summer:


If you want your dress to work really hard for you, this style could potentially take you through a milder early Autumn, even if it isn’t a full blown Indian Summer.

Layer a Striped Round Neck Tee (M&S, £17.99) for a little extra warmth, and instead of going for a plain white sneaks, add a little interest with some high tops.

These Converse All Star Hi 70’s in Peach (Office, £69.99) would tie in nicely with the red & white striped layering top, without being overly matchy-matchy.

This paler khaki H&M Double Breasted Blazer (£24.99) worn over the top, unbuttoned and a simple black leather Hobo Bag (M&S, £89) would finish this outfit perfectly.

So, that’s your lot this week: thoughts?

I will confess that I ordered my Wildcard dress from H&M as soon as it came out last week: it will be *very* long on me, but if the rest of the fit/proportions of the cut of the dress work on me, I will be more than willing to take the dress up.

And also, after ordering 3 cheaper pairs of ‘fugly’ sandals last week, and returning all of them for various reasons, the Vagabond’s are currently also winging their way to me.

Finally, after writing this blog, I kind of want to order absolutely every single thing I’ve included this week: I’ve got this overwhelming *spend, spend, spend* desire which sometimes happens seems to over take me: anyone else?

I might have to order a couple of the bits … just to try at the very least, might help to get it (the speedy-feeling) off my chest.


As always, thanks for reading.