Beautiful Basics

Fail-safe tan shoes! Both by Natasha. Super comfy & I wear them everywhere!

In a world where the fashions are always changing, and style is influenced by personal taste; you can never go past a solid foundation of basics to ensure your wardrobe never tires! Whether you spend a decent sum of money ensuring you have something quality or whether you grab a bargain basic that looks amazing; investing in the following is always a fashion must!

The Jacket

Now no matter where you live, it’s either going to get cold at some times of the year, or you will be going to an event where they feel the need to crank the aircon. A simple, well cut jacket adds omph to any outfit and is great in the cooler months. We’re not talking leather, denim or snow jackets. We’re talking your classic black jacket that easily goes from formal, to work, to a smart casual. The guidelines for a jacket that won’t age?

Number one: get the right fit. Too many people buy jackets because they are a bargain deal. Sorry to break it to you all, but no matter how cheap it was, if it doesn’t fit then the price won’t make it look any better. At least, not to others. The arm needs to fall straight from the shoulder pad. A jacket is not like a t-shirt. If a t-shirt is too big or too small it can still look good. Jackets that are too big make you look like a pre-pubescent teenager, whose mother has bought a suit with the hope you will, “grow into it”. So if it’s clearly too big and you’re no longer growing, get a smaller size. If the jacket is too small, you’ll simply look like you’re Hulk-ing out of it. If the material running between each shoulder is pulling then it’s probably too small. You should be able to move in the jacket, but not a ridiculous amount. You’re not meant to do the YMCA in it, so don’t bother trying.

Secondly, don’t go for a cropped or long jacket. When the fashions or your tastes change, your once perfect basic jacket will become redundant! It should fall about the middle of your hip done and make sure it doesn’t pull across the hips or look too baggy. After the fit on the shoulders, the length is the next important thing. Jackets can be easily altered; however, some are cut in a way that won’t allow you to alter the length, so don’t forget to ask the salesperson serving you! If she/he doesn’t know, perhaps it’s best to take a photo and show a dressmaker.

Thirdly, as I said before, jackets can be altered. So while you want your arm length to fall between your wrist and your thumb knuckle, don’t fret if it doesn’t. Jackets have extra material, so you can take them in or let them out. Arms are the easiest to alter, and if the jacket fits your shoulders perfect but is slightly loose/tight around the stomach, it can be fixed.

Next is the colour. Black is best, in a wool blend as this is one of the better (if not best) materials to buy a jacket in. Otherwise for women go for a pale grey and men can try darker charcoals.

Once you’ve sorted out all these issues, it’s up to you to find the cut that suits your body best. If you’re not sure keep looking. The perfect basic is not always easily found!

The Jean

The search for jeans always seems to be such an arduous task. Some people hate shopping for jeans so much they just don’t own a pair. So whether you’re looking to buy your first pair of jeans in a while, or adding a great fail-proof pair to the collection here’s some tips. Jeans are classically your blue denims, so when you’re looking for a timeless pair of jeans, go for a blue. Your best bet is a darker hue such as indigo, they’re flattering and you can mix it with a lot more colours than a lighter pair will allow. One thing I always force people to do when trying on jeans is to try the size you are, one size up and one size down.

Different cuts of jeans means you won’t always fit the same size, and ill-fitted jeans can get ridiculously annoying. If you’re petite like me, go for a straight leg jean; if your average to tall in height and average size, go for a bootcut leg; and no matter what your height, if you’ve got curves go for a wider bootcut jean. Flares are a fashion jean, skinnies are a fashion jean. A timeless jean can be thrown on and always be in fashion. And over the number of years jeans have changed fashions, straight and bootcut seem to always be popular.

Never worry about the leg length unless you’re really tall and need that extra bit of material. Alteration services are god, they can fix those dragging hems in a tick!

There are three ways I tell if jeans don’t fit. Firstly, I always ask myself are the jeans firm but not uncomfortable? Jeans will give 1/2 a size unless they are 99-100% cotton, but even then they will give a little. If you’re not uncomfortable and can sit without too much difficulty, you’ve tried the sizes up and down, you’re probably good to go. All jeans will take about 30mins-1hr to loosen, if you get them too baggy you’ll look like 50 Cent. Too tight and your blood will be constricted, which is very unhealthy.

Secondly, is the crouch of the jeans. If you look like you can fit a little something extra in there, the waist is too big. Good fit jeans should be snug, but never uncomfortable. Pull the jean out from your waist and see how much room you have. Doing this generally makes the crouch area tight and lets you know if they’re too big or just right.

Next, the back. At the top of the thighs is one of the final spot I check my jeans. Jeans are generally tighter at the top of the thigh, and loosen as they go down the leg. If the jean area at the top, back side of your thigh isn’t sitting flat and has more than three pull lines, they’re not fitting correctly. The other back area you’ll notice if your jeans are too big is the lower back. if this gapes too much, then your jeans will probably fall down in an hour.

The Shoe

My fail-safe shoe is and always will be a nice tan sandal with around an 8-9cm heel. This one is entirely up to how you like your shoes. Just make sure the heel width isn’t too skinny and ones that buckle around your ankle always work wonders. Tan goes with pretty much anything. I have tan heels & flats so that whenever I’m stumped for what to wear, I just grab them. I also have a lighter shade than the Natasha ones I’ve shown here that match my black clothes. They’ve just had so much use they’re a bit too beaten up to show you.

Basically, you now know what kind of jacket, jeans and shoes is hard to go wrong with. You can add a simple white tee under this look for a smart-casual evening or day outfit, or wear it all separate. I’m still in the process of finding the perfect jeans and jacket, although I think might have found a nice Cue jacket and a pair of Citizen of Humanity jeans. I’m now just searching for the right size.