It’s time to layer up…
I’ve been buying clothes for probably the past 15 years of my life. It started off with seeing how far I could stretch my £10 pocket money per month, on a day out in Brighton – bus in, a Starbucks Frappacino, seeing what I could buy off the sale rack in Tammy Girl, bus home – and has turned into a fondness for online shopping and ASOS Premier. So it’s fair to say that I’ve purchased a fair amount of clothes over that time period and have experienced the good and the bad; from shoddy zips that just wouldn’t pull up so I had to spend the day with my jumper tied round my waist to hide it, to boots that I loved so much that I wore until they had holes in the bottom that would create little mini lakes by my toes in the rain. Through trial and error (you know, I was really just taking one for the team), I’ve worked out where it’s best to spend your pennies when it comes to certain items, so today I’m rounding up a little ‘Who Does It Best?’ edit, for autumn basics..
My jumper wardrobe contains a bit of everything; from some pricey purchases that I never want my Mum to find out how much they cost, to high-street finds that I class as a bit of a bargain. The key component that links them all together though, is the fabric. Being the sweaty betty that I am, I find my armpits to be the most comfortable in natural fabrics and so try to steer clear of anything synthetic getting wedged under my arms. During the summer I stick to cottons and silks, and in the winter I do love a bit of wool, but even more so cashmere, because it’s so soft that you can’t help but give yourself a little hug every now and again.
If you’re having a ‘TREAT YO’ SELF’ moment, then the offerings by Equipment and Frame get me all hot under the collar (and not in a sweaty way), although Jigsaw do have some nice pieces that are less wallet-walloping if you still fancy something that feels like a luxury buy. Personally I don’t think you can go wrong with the ASOS White cashmere selection and the majority of the cashmere jumpers in my wardrobe are actually from them that I’ve collected over the past three years. They wash well and tend to come in designs, fits and colours that are a little off piste. & Other Stories are the same and have some pieces in that are tricky to find elsewhere in such high-quality knits. If you’re after bog-basic knitwear though, but still fancy some cashmere in your life, then head to Uniqlo. Nothing beats a classic black crew-neck jumper and there’s is one of the best I’ve found. Mine is constantly in the wash – speaking of which, check out my top cashmere washing tips here.
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Slowly but surely, I’ve become a bit of a coat gal. Mark is a huge coat guy and has an outerwear section that rivals the local TKMaxx, and I think over the years his love for layering has slowly rubbed off on me. I’m blaming it on global warming because we seem to go from weather that just requires a t-shirt and jumper, to a chill that needs thermal underwear and a puffer jacket so big that you can’t really move your arms, which means that the ‘kinda thin, jacket/trench coat’ section of my wardrobe hasn’t got much wear this year. However, it’s always nice to have choices, eh?
When I look in my wardrobe, my clear coat favourites are from the rails of Whistles. They do the classics and they do them really well. I know that the two from them that I have in my wardrobe will be there for donkey’s years. REISS are a good place to shop for outerwear too. Although I find their jackets to be a little too tailored and formal sometimes, their trench offering are always on point and not too eye-wateringly priced. For a place that executes clothing with the same level of quality, but has a bit more fun in their line-up, check out Jigsaw, who have some great brightly coloured coats that are even catching my eye (I KNOW!); heads up to keep to your usual size as I find the fit of their coats and jackets to be a bit roomy so you don’t need to size up for extra jumper space.
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I’m a year-round boot wearer. Not only does it detract from the fact that I skip pedicures on the reg, I find that an almond-toe, ankle fit boot is just a flattering fit on my long ol’ feet that could otherwise be confused with canoes. So I’m happy to invest a little more in the perfect pair, given that I can eek so much wear out of them. On that end of the scale I’d point you in the direction of Acne Studios, who do the perfect Chelsea boot in my eyes – the Jensen – or Dear Frances who do a great selection of styles in a leather so soft that you could spread it over toast.
Somewhere in the middle are Whistles and over the years I’ve had a fair amount of pairs that have held up really well to my heavy tread. They’re not the cheapest, nor the most expensive, but they’re good quality and specialise in classic styles that you could dust off season after season. Probably my top pick though when it comes to boots, are & Other Stories. They’re never crazy expensive and they do fab dupes for all the designer favourites. This pair are practically the same as the Jensens. These are basically a more toned down version of the best-selling Chloé boots, and these leopard print ones are just getting me all heart-eye emoji.
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Photos by Lauren Shipley
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