I feel like I might have to become a weather-man because so many of my musings seem to be dictated by the weather. There is just no getting around it though, what is going on outside has a huge impact on what we put on. So if like me, you are not sure whether you are coming or going when you get dressed in the morning then read on because you need to get the magic L word – I am talking about layering of course.
Living in such a crappy climate practically demands it, because instead of knowing you can safely leave the house in shorts in the summer months, you need to dress for everything possible that the weather will throw at you. The only way to do this sensibly – without having a Mary Poppins-esque carpet bag – is to wear layers.
Now is a great time to get your house in order and make sure you have these staple tops in your wardrobe as they will take you all the way through the year from transitional to full on summer (if we ever have one).
Starting off with a basic cami – you may be thinking why would I want one of these now and wouldn’t I wait til spring to buy one? Well don’t wait, because these work very well if you are going out when worn with a blazer and some bling but equally I have been wearing mine with a denim shirt worn open over the top and then with a long cardigan for extra warmth first thing in the morning. Obviously with shorts these are a no-brainer: a truly trans-seasonal garment!
I have this Plunge V Neck Cami £16 from Topshop in white and black which I have practically been living in and they are a total bargain (extra bonus v necklines are super slimming). They also do these other colours as well as in their Maternity and Tall ranges. Wear with both skinny jeans and my more relaxed boyfriend/girlfriend jeans.
Oasis also has got a good selection including this Dip Back Cami £22 which comes in black, white, navy and lovely dark green.
Another option is the V Front V Back Vest £25 which also comes in multiple colours including all the neutrals. Actually I think these 3 images demonstrate perfectly how easily these can be worn – they are your perfect blank canvas.
Moving on next to your white shirt and I am not talking about something schooly either. Yes you can easily wear this to work with a jacket but this is a style staple. For a daytime casual look layer up with either an oversized or closer-fitting knit, skinny/boyfriend jeans and white trainers or skater shoes: preppy, but in a good way. Or style up with a pair of heels and blazer.
Warehouse has this sleek White Cotton Shirt £32 which I like because the dinner-jacket like bib detail makes it more interesting and less uniform like.
Cos is looking bang on this season and I could wax lyrical about so many of their styles including these couple of shirts I have my eye on. Round Collar Tunic Shirt £59
Topshop has a solution to layering and has brought back the ‘shumper’ – Hybrid Long Sleeved Shirt £42. EEEK. I have always thought that these are hideously uncool but this time round I have found myself strangely drawn this time around. I used to gleefully mock one of my husband’s best friends for having these too: time to eat some humble pie.
Cos has also jumped on the shumper bandwagon and that must mean it is cool – I must admit I also like this one: Scallop Collar Mock Shirt £29. Both of these show how to wear your shirts layered though if you opt for the traditional shirt and jumper option and then you are getting 3 looks in 1.
There is definitely also a place for a less structured and formal white shirt – more of a blouse I suppose, although I am reluctant to use that word as it conjures up images of floral things found in BHS. This is nothing like that and would work well: Flowy Blouse £29.99.
On to tops now and I have a couple of pieces I have bought recently from Cos in a bid to replace some very old, tired and much-loved tops. I have already been wearing these for days on end – not in a stinky way, just that these are so easy and comfortable to pop on with jeans and a longline cardigan or up-scaled with a necklace and jacket: Relaxed Fit Jersey top £29. This comes in grey and navy but I am still on the hunt for a good white one that isn’t so sheer so as to be indecent. Just beware you need to wash these at 30 degrees so they don’t turn into dolls’ clothes.
Hush has a lovely range of tops including the Sophie Top £45 which comes in antique white (warmer than white so better for Autumn/Winter) and black. Dress up with black trousers, blazer and a necklace or down with jeans and trainers or boots. This is a woven viscose rather than a jersey so drapes nicely without clinging. Better for hiding those guilty pleasures – red wine is necessary as the nights draw in. So is sticky toffee pudding.
None of these pieces scream fashion, but they all say style in a quiet, understated way. I have to say I am more excited about wearing all of these basics in my wardrobe than any trend-led flared jean or boho blouse, because I know I will be wearing these season after season in so many different ways. Next week, part 2: knitwear to wear with these.