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 I decided to write this blog post about all my wardrobe 'basics'. I was watching that video from The Row holiday collection '07 and was really amazed by the simplicity of the clothing and how elegant it all looked. Feeling inspired, it was the perfect chance to look with fresh eyes at ways to piece my basics together creatively. This was also an opportunity to find out where the gaps were in my wardrobe. I recently had a good look through my clothing from a different angle - on Thursday I packed for our 3 week trip to New Zealand (we leave tomorrow!) and it was the first time in a while I'd been though my wardrobe thoroughly.

 I've made a list of all my basics, excluding accessories and shoes (otherwise this could take a while) that I consider to be my wardrobe staples:

1. Topshop Boutique black cashmere vest.
2. Topshop Boutique beige cashmere vest.
3. Harrods grey v-neck cashmere jumper.
4. H&M black round neck jumper with angora.

1. Comptoir des Cotonniers boyfriend jeans.
2. BDG grey skinny jeans.
3. Vintage leather skirt.
4. White Company black capri pants.
5. H&M black skinny jeans.

1. Vintage black dress.
2. H&M black wrap dress.
3. Issa black silk evening dress.

1. Chloe black velvet blazer.
2. Isabel Marant navy jacket.
3. The Kooples dark grey winter coat.
4. Aquascutum grey trench.

 My list begins with t-shirts and tops. Almost immediately I tumble head-first into some gaping holes. I'm amazed to see that I don't own a single plain t-shirt which I consider to be a long-term basic. I have quite a few t-shirts, but all of them were very cheap in the first place, and most of them have shrunk in the wash. I would like to invest in a black, white and grey t-shirt. I don't see why something as simple as, say a white t-shirt, should be dull. I would like to find t-shirts that are soft to the touch, are not completely see-through, will wash well, and that hang elegantly. (Any advise for brands would be most welcome! I hear extra small men's Uniqlo tees are good?) I would also like to add a couple of luxurious long-sleeved tops to my list. I have two cashmere tanks, black and beige, which both need replacing. The black one has recently ripped and laddered down the front, and the beige is a little bobbly. I have to bear in mind that I have had them both for over 5 years (at least!) and worn them almost daily, so these were great purchases. I remember buying them at the time and feeling guilty for spending money on them (£20 each) but they were probably the most successful purchases from Topshop I ever made! As far as jumpers go I am happy with my selection, but I do need to replace my black H&M jumper, as it's wearing very poorly. I might like to add a navy cashmere jumper to my collection at some point, too.

 On to bottoms, so to speak ;) I love my jeans! I feel I have conquered jeans for now. I live in two pairs of skinny jeans over winter - black and grey. I went back to buy a second pair of the black ones as they are so perfect. In the spring and summer I wear my boyfriend jeans to death - these were a chance encounter in a charity shop one day and I am still over the moon about them! My capri pants are another spring time favourite. I wear my leather skirt out in the evenings, but I am a little self conscious of my legs when I wear it (a few toning exercises might help, if only I could be bothered). I think a high-waisted black skirt in jersey would be something else I would like to see on my list. This I would like to wear to work instead of jeans - which I sometimes feel too casual in. If the toning exercises ever happen I would love, love, love to add leather pants to this list, but....we shall see.

 I'm not a huge dress girl anymore. I have a black vintage dress I wear on 'semi special occaisions' and a very fancy black Issa dress that is for the 'uber special occaisions'. I think a plain, long sleeve black jersey dress would be lovely for work paired with high waisted belts, the American Apparel one with the scoop back looks perfect. 

 I'm really happy with my jackets and coats. My Chloe blazer was a vintage find and is the ultimate of basics - I wear it over jeans and a breton, my black evening dress, skinny jeans, just about anything. My Marant jacket it a little more formal and generally I save it for when I go out, but I do like to wear it casually too. The only glaringly obvious thing missing (to me) is a leather jacket. Alas, I'm so disheartened by my fruitless searches that I have currently given up trying to find the perfect one.

 I enjoyed writing this! It made me look at how I can wear my tried and true items in new ways (um, Chloe blazer and leather skirt, why haven't you been introduced yet?!) and also notice where I'm missing certain key pieces. For now, I'm going to stop buying anything frivolous until I feel my basics are nailed, as I would love to have a great wardrobe base to work with. Please leave me comments if you have any suggestions for the things I am looking for, and I always like to hear about what other people can't live without in their wardrobes!

 Once I get back from NZ, I will venture into the realm of accessories and shoes (amongst other exciting things - I'm really getting back into blogging), but until then, I leave you with the video:


See you in 3 weeks! X