I’m just going to come right out and say it – nothing makes me cringe as much as the term ‘LBD’ and nothing makes me roll my eyes harder than a sea of basic b*tches in ‘little’ black dresses at a party, Seriously, it needs to stop. The little black dress concept may have worked as an easy sell in the early 2000’s, but its 2017 and we’re the Instagram generation. We have fashion from around the world at our fingertips night and day, and girl, we’re far from clueless.
Gone are the days when a plain white shirt, a pencil skirt, a pair of blue jeans, a black dress, a trench coat, a printed scarf and a pair of back pumps could respectfully be considered ‘wardrobe staples’. We’re on to bigger, better things than that and its time our wardrobes reflected the same, don’t you think?
Here are a few tips on how to update your everyday basics to nail the perfect outfit every time, with little to no effort, because aint nobody got time for that. The trick is to pick edgier versions of all-time classics, so you can throw together an outfit that looks like you woke up and made an effort, when you actually pressed snooze six times.
- SWAP your boring white shirt —> for one with an interesting detail
Think embroidery, pleats, a studded collar or ruffles. It should be at a length that can easily be tucked in to trousers and skirts, but worn hanging out with skinny jeans, too.
- SWAP your basic black pencil skirt —> for a black pleather A-line skirt
A pencil skirt doesn’t do your post-lunch food baby any favours, but the A-line skirt, however, is a lot more forgiving. If you’re opting for black, one made entirely of pleather (like mine pictured here) or with pleather detailing is the way to go.
- SWAP your tired black pumps —> for black heeled ankle boots
Boy, am I glad we’re not doing the whole peep-toe / platform pump thing anymore. Ankle boots look so much cooler when worn with dresses, skirts and cropped trousers. Bonus points for picking a pair with a perspex block heel.
4. SWAP your trusty trench coat —> for sleeveless jackets
You wouldn’t know it, but the item I reach for most in my wardrobe isn’t a pair of jeans. Its this grey sleeveless jacket (pictured). It goes with practically everything in my work wardrobe and I’ve worn it on evenings out over a pleather skirt and a plunging top, too. You need to get yourself one of these – I’m stocking up on colours stat!
5. SWAP your mid-calf leather boots —> for suede over-the-knee boots
You have to be living under a rock to know that over the knee boots are hot, hot, hot right now! In fact, I’ve not even packed mine away with the rest of my winter wardrobe because I want to wear them with little dresses on nights out in the summer – so much sexier than mid-calf boots which are a little bit more prairie-girl than saucy minx.
6. SWAP your ballet pumps —> for trainers
Trainers have been all over the show for a while now. Milk it while you can by pairing them with anything from vintage dresses to athleisure. Let the girly AF ballet flats sit this one out, mmkay?
7. SWAP your skinny jeans —> for mom jeans (no offspring necessary)
Mom jeans are so flattering and also ironically edgy. The fact that they are high waisted means they accentuate the narrowest point of your waist, while they skim over your legs, without drowning them as they straighten out towards the ankle. They’re perfect. Get some now, please. And tuck a shirt or a t-shirt in to them while you’re at it.
8. SWAP your loyal work handbag for —> a big, black structured bag
Work is your home away from home, and your handbag needs to reflect that. Pick an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink size in a glossy, textured croc finish and a structured silhouette as opposed to a floppy one. I’m dying to get my hands on the new Mulberry Zipped Bayswater but have been partial to the Celine Luggage Tote and the Philip Lim 3.1 Pashli Satchel in the past.
9. SWAP your basic black leggings —> for black pleather leggings
Now apparently, every fashion blog and magazine on the planet believes we all want to look, act and dress like Parisian women. However, I read an article recently that says Parisian women absolutely detest leggings. The rest of us? Not so much. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t wear my weekend lounging pair to work, but I’d opt instead for a chic and oh-so-rock-chick pair of pleather leggings that cool girls world over love. Such a simple but edgy one-up from the humble black legging, don’t you think?
10. SWAP your old tank tops and turtlenecks —> for bodysuits
Let’s face it, we all have a favourite black, white or grey turtleneck or tank top in our wardrobe and they’re most likely looking a bit faded or have a hole or two. Its time to replace them with something fresh, and why not opt for a bodysuit that tucks neatly into trousers and skirts for a fabulous fit? I don’t know what I’ve done without them all these years!
11. SWAP your blazers for —> bomber jackets
Okay, these may not be entirely work-appropriate, depending, of course, on where you work. But a sports-luxe inspired bomber is the perfect way to stay warm without looking like you just left work even when you haven’t if you’re wearing a blazer. The ones I reach for most are this embroidered number, this fun botanical one, this athleisure-inspired mesh one and this one I got as a souvenir in Paris.
12. SWAP your basic black tights for —> fishnets
Basic black tights cover a multitude of sins, but fishnets can be just as forgiving, with a touch of bad-girl to spice up a vanilla outfit.
13. SWAP your black night out clutch for —> embellished cross-body bag
On-point embroidery, dazzling beads or sequins, fun patches or rock chic studs and hardware details – none are off limits and are guaranteed to elevate your night out outfit, even if it’s basic AF. Feeling bold? Do what I did and squeeze most of them into one like this.
14. SWAP your denim daisy dukes for —> a frayed denim A-line skirt
Every blogger on Instagram seems to love a pair of microscopic denim shorts that barely cover your hoo-ha. Opt for a classier approach with an A-line frayed denim skirt. It looks great with tights or bare legs on nights out or walking around on a sunny day. Its gross, but I need to stop myself from reaching for mine every single morning – its so versatile!
15. SWAP your basic black belt —> for a cowboy belt
I’ve never been a fan of the prairie girl vibe, but I was quick to get on board the cowboy belt train. I love how the detailing and the double buckes make every outlfit look a million times more interesting. Basically, its the cool-girl way to keep your pants up. ‘Nuff said.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Chloe Knott
Skirt: Missguided | Shirt: Boohoo | Tights and sunglasses: Primark | Boots: Schuh | Bag: Michael Kors
What are your favourite modern-day basics? Share them with me in the comments box below! See you at the next post! xx