The word basic gets thrown around like the ultimate underhanded insult. With it, we can reduce another person to an lycra-wearing, pumpkin spiced latte drinking, rom-com watching unoriginal. And no-one wants to be unoriginal.
But then there’s a whole other kind of basic, otherwise known as the basics. These are the building blocks of your wardrobe; the timeless pieces that inject consistency and understated style. Your slouchy white tees. Your skinny jeans. Your killer leather jacket. Ironically, it’s these basics which will prevent you from ultimately being basic, if you catch my drift.
I’m a big believer in quality basics and well-made separates; these are the pieces I wear year in, year out and never travel without. But despite the simplicity of said pieces, sometimes it actually feels borderline impossible to find that perfect white tee (et al). So I’ve rounded up a few of my reliable basics below for your sartorial convenience.
The minimalist watch: Of all the time pieces out there, Larsson & Jennings are by far the coolest kids on the block. Scandi-minimalism made to last a lifetime.
The perfect white tee: The humble white tee may just be the ultimate sartorial building block; I like mine with a round neck, extra slouchy and just long enough to tuck in comfortably. Adam Lippes, COS and Levi’s are my top picks (in descending order of price).
The black skinny jean: The perfect black jean should be cropped just above the ankle, never go saggy at the knee and be as black as black can be. Nobody Denim and J Brand have both been doing me right for years.
The cooler-than-thou leather jacket: Acne Studios can’t be beat. However on the high street Maje does a pretty killer job at cool-girl chic.
The understated black bag: For genuine cool-status without being the least bit showy, Loewe’s Puzzle Bag is the ultimate investment. For a more wallet friendly (but just as cool) alternative, check out Future Glory Co, Mansur Graviel and COS.
Timeless black sunglasses: Celine and RayBan will never do you wrong. You could wear the same pair for (almost) a lifetime and they would never tire.
The sexy pump you can actually walk in: I’ve attempted to spend my fair share of nights in uncomfortable heels (I’m looking at you Wang) but there are actually some heels which are both sexy and completely wearable. Jimmy Choo’s Agnes pumps have a low heel but are still impossibly pointed (thus elongating the leg). For a more affordable option The Mode Collective are master of the sexy heel.
The vintage blue jean: Levi’s and Re-Done are your best bet for classic denim that is actually flattering to your derriere. Look for a jean in a faded wash, in a slim cut (but not skin tight), slightly cropped with minimal distressing, in either mid or high-rise to elongate the legs. Specific I know. For a more boyish cut, MiH’s Jeanne high-rise jean is a winner.