The 5 items every member of our fashion team has in their wardrobe

Could these be the essential foundations missing from your wardrobe?

matches fashion 
Blazers, jeans and black leather boots all feature.  Credit: Photograpy by Misha Taylor, styling by Morgan Pilche for Matches Fashion

While we’re in lockdown and are relying on a handful of comfy loungewear pieces each day, there’s never been a better time to reassess our everyday wardrobes. After all, if the past 10 months have taught us anything fashion-wise, it’s that we don’t necessarily need mountains of clothes to choose from. It’s for that reason that building a stylish base for all of our looks is an excellent aim for post-lockdown dressing. 

This week, Matches Fashion launches its ‘Wardrobe Foundations’, a section on its site that makes light work of tracking down the go-to pieces that’ll make up the cornerstones of any chic wardrobe. It features 12 key components that are as stylish as they are practical, and trench coats, black blazers and white shirts all feature. 

On the high street, & Other Stories has dedicated a section to its ‘Stories Classics’; versatile, easy-to-wear essentials, but complete with the elevated twists we’ve come to know and love about the brand - think oversized camel cardigans and black leather penny loafers. 

Matches Fashion's Wardrobe Foundations will be home to simple T-shirts, denim and classic bags.  Credit: Photograpy by Misha Taylor, styling by Morgan Pilche for Matches Fashion

Of course, splashing out on 15 or so brand new pieces to create such a wardrobe base needn’t be the only option, and it’s also likely you have a few of the pieces already. 

To help narrow your shopping list down, I surveyed the nine women on our fashion team. Being different clothing sizes and aged in our 20s through to 50s, and with various personal styles, I reasoned that if we could pin down the five stylish pieces we all had in common and relied on, then they’d be a great starting point for you, too. 

Here are my findings… 

1. A smart wool coat

The humble wool coat was a hit across the board: all nine of us have one (or more) in a neutral shade in our wardrobes. It goes to show that while we love trend-led styles, we all turn to our classic option to ground statement looks, or to blend seamlessly into minimal ones.  

It’s also worth noting that blazers were a popular cover-up, too: seven out of nine of us have a black or navy option that we swear by. 

Wool belted coat, £205, & Other Stories; Wool coat, £187.50, American Vintage

2. Blue jeans

Thanks to our differing heights and body shapes, jeans were likely the most subjective item on the list: some love looser, boyfriend styles, others often sport tapered mom styles, and some are loyal to the classic straight leg. Regardless, all nine of us have a blue pair of jeans we rely on. 

It’s easy to see why. They’re easy to dress up (with a silk blouse and strappy mules when we’re allowed out again) and down, with white trainers, a crossbody bag and a cashmere knit.  

Levi's 501 crop jeans, £84.99, Zalando; Mom jeans, £39.99, Topshop

3. A chic day dress

Only two of us didn’t vote for a day dress, but six of us are big fans. All of them were mid-length or longer and featured some form of sleeve, whether a cap sleeve or long sleeves.  

Danish label Ganni came up a few times in this category: one editor made the case for a checked option, while another voted for her floral frock by the brand. A minimal navy Tibi option (‘it’s years old but never dates’) and an Isabelle Fox printed frock (‘I wear it a lot - it’s machine washable) were noted.  

Shirt dress, £19.99, Zara; Sea midi dress, £560, Matches Fashion 

4. Black leather ankle boots

There are dozens of variations on the black ankle boot, which is likely why it made our top five: some of us prefer chunky flat casual versions, while others back slick options with a block heel. Depending on your style and what you’d pair them with, both are excellent options for everyday and work with every other item on the list. Most importantly, they work year round: we wear them with dresses in the spring, and trousers and cashmere knits in winter. 

Plump for the highest quality you can afford and we can guarantee you’ll wear them to death.  

Chelsea boots, £150, Arket; Leather boots, £460, Acne Studios

5. A grey or navy knit

While some swear by wool, others backed cashmere, but the shades - classic grey and navy - came up trumps all round. Whether under a blazer or over a day dress, a crew neck knit is the versatile cosy layer that we all turn to. 

Cardigans were popular, too: the cashmere knit pipped it to the post by one vote. Similarly, blue shirts were a favourite for eight of us, too.  

Weekend knit, £155, Navygrey; Merino wool crew neck, £24.90, Uniqlo

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