Fashion Essentials: 3) Lace

Lace-Essentials-Fashion-StyleOnTheCouchLace may not at first seem an integral part of an Essentials series.  But bear with me, Blog Reader, as I want to explain that a few vital pieces of lace can make you feel like fashion royalty.

The trick with lace is to mix it with more tailored pieces or heavy accessories for a cool contrast.  Fashion really has fallen in love with lace recently; from pretty day dresses to sensual see-through gowns and tops there is a lot of choice on how to add this fabric to your capsule closet.

1) Lace top

a) Lover the Label Valentine Bodice

b) Vanessa Bruno top 419.00 GBP

c) French Connection Vaity lace top (on sale) 25.00 GBP

Pair with the perfect trouser or wool blazer; (choose your undergarments carefully!)

Lace-Top-Lace-Essentials2) (Speaking of which…) Lace undergarments

Lace has the quality of intimacy.  Although I am running a separate ‘Essentials’ post for lingerie, lace undergarments deserve a mention of their own because to me they form the basis of my capsule lingerie collection.  Lace can be exceedingly alluring in that effortlessly sexy kinda way.  Sheer stretch lace is my favourite for lace lingerie basics – lightweight, comfortable and very pretty.

a) Hatsumi’s Laundry flowerbed lace overlap bra and brief (coming soon to the webshop) – so much to love about this brand.

b) Zinke Daisy lace romper 132.00 USD

Hatsumis-Laundry-flowerbedlaceset

Zinke-Lace-Romper-styleonthecouch

3) Simple broderie anglaise

Louis Vuitton pulled off this type of lace spectacularly for their SS12 catwalk show.  There is something very humble and honest about broderie anglaise; it is simple yet stylish, decorative yet subtle. What could be more perfect for an essential wardrobe item.

BRODERIE-anglaise

a) Freda Emilia broderie anglaise dress 525.00 GBP

b) Traffic People Tulip dress at ASOS 55.00 GBP

c) Christopher Kane cotton skirt 550.00 GBP

Fashion Essentials: 2) Capsule Closet

Wardrobe-essentials-fashion-styleonthecouchThe second part of my Fashion Essentials series brings you all those vital capsule closet items that hold the secret to enduring style. Mostly monochrome or neutral colorings, don’t forget that the art to capsule dressing also requires great accessories, and for that I refer you to my previous post

1)  Trousers

The essential trouser in slim fit provides the base to many of your looks.  Essential because it works both inside and outside of the office: pair them with a simple tee or cami, top with blazer (see below).

a) Reiss Leone slim fit trousers 110.00 GBP

b) Whistles Campbell tailored trouser 125.00 GBP

c) Zara slim fit chinos (navy blue) 35.99 GBP

Capsule-Closet-pants2) Black blazer

Masculine and feminine style rolled all into one. For my top pick there is no contest with this one:

a) J Crew schoolboy blazer 198.00 GBP

b) Or prefer to splurge? Try this Stella McCartney version at Net a Porter 735.00 GBP

3) Perfect t-shirt

Having spent many years paying out for basic tee after basic tee at rock bottom prices, I’m come to realize that investment in fabrics is the key to this capsule closet item standing the test of time.  Choose a quality modal or cotton version to get plenty of wear and a good feel against the skin.

a) J Crew vintage slub-cotton tee 30.00 GBP

b) Naked Princess micromodal dolman tee 90.00 USD

c) Reiss Daina off-white tee 35.00 GBP

Capsule-Closet-tees4) Slouchy pant

An essential lounge-wear piece.  Pair with the perfect tee or chunky knit sweater.

a) Zara plush trousers with faux leather waistband 39.99 GBP

b) Whistles Lola jersey lounge trouser 65.00 GBP

William Williams style on the couch-15

5) Silk shirt

The classic white shirt is a wardrobe must-have.  Working with a tailored suit or casual skirt alike, this is an essential part of your clean and minimal styles.

a) Equipment shirt. Basically, any.  Equipment have slim fit and regular versions to suit your shape.

b) J Crew silk pocket blouse 138.00 GBP

6) Full skirt

Full-skirt-essential-fashionPerhaps not your traditional capsule closet item, there are some wonderful full, fit and flare skirts out there right now that could be paired with a simple tee, cami or silk shirt for another great day-night piece. Top picks below:

a) Tibi organza skirt 360.00 GBP

b) J Crew pleated stretch cotton skirt 130.00 GBP

c) ASOS midi full skirt 40.00 GBP

Fashion Essentials: (1) Accessories

Welcome, Blog Reader, to my March series of ‘Fashion Essentials‘; all those wonderful basic and capsule wardrobe items we wish for to make, create and perfect our favourite outfits.

Essentials-fashion-accessories-styleonthecouchFirst up, Essential Accessories.  Here are my suggestions for the all-star items that will raise your style to new heights of fabulousness.

1) Wide brimmed hat.

A wide-brimmed hat can make you stand out head and shoulders above the rest.  With Hedi Slimane’s elegant, playful and grown-up Saint Laurent femme in mind, such a hat means you certainly have that je ne sais quoi.

Essential-wide-brimmed-hatTop picks:

a) Maison Michel Fedora from Net-a-Porter 310.00 GBP

b) Whistles Fedora 55.00 GBP

2) Clutch bag

Not necessarily meaning one has to downsize, the clutch bag has fast become one of the most important ways to add a finishing touch to your look.

“They speak (loud!) about your personality, and they are a carrier of your secrets…. When selecting a clutch, you don’t have to ‘fit’ them, they have to fit you.” - From an interesting article on the history of the clutch bag on Front Row Society (click HERE)

I prefer to keep things minimal to match my style. I adore this Givenchy number however this must firmly remain in the in the realm of fantasy… Those possessing more ‘average’ budgets, shall we say, might prefer these suggestions grounded in reality:

a) Whistles Shiny Croc Clutch 60.00 GBP

b) ASOS V Bar clutch 18.00 GBP

c) Large Leather Clutch, LusciousLeatherNYC on Etsy 86.39 GBP

3) Watch

When the fashionistas have their ‘arm parties’ one thing is clear. A classic watch; with leather or metal strap and large clock face often takes prime position on the wrist.   Opt for something a little chunky to make a statement.

Essential-Fashion-Accessories-WatchesTop picks:

a) Kate Spade Metro Watch 195.00 USD

b) Burberry The City Chronograph 550.00 USD

c) Marc Jacobs Baker rose-gold watch 209.00 GBP

More suggestions on my Pinterest page