We Try Before You Buy: Winter Basics That Will Make You Look Polished

Our We Try Before You Buy series aims to take the stress out of shopping and eliminate the number of post office visits you make each month to return failed online orders. We test new-season buys and styling ideas so you don’t have to. Here, we’re letting you know what’s actually worth investing in.

From the Olsen twins to Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, there is plenty of inspiration around if you're looking to adopt a more minimal aesthetic. It's a personal style that is championed by chic women the world over, resulting in looks that are classic yet simultaneously modern. If you think that's an oxymoron, please just refer to Rosie's Instagram for the proof. 

For this month's We Try Before You Buy, we decided to retire our floral dresses and leopard-print skirts in favour of more pared-back looks. Our picks feature classic tailoring, simple shades and timeless accessories—you won't find a bold colour or statement print in sight—and that's very rare for the team here at Who What Wear UK, believe me. 

While you might be inclined to assume that a minimal shoot would be somewhat boring, we’re hoping these images are enough to change your mind about basics. I personally am on a mission to add a suit to my wardrobe after seeing our shopping editor’s take on the trend and will be investing in a blazer dress. Plus, we guarantee every item below will remain in your wardrobe for years to come. Now, that's just smart shopping. 

Keep scrolling for the minimal looks we're loving this season.

Joy Montgomery, Shopping Editor: Suits

"This Arket suit could not be more 2020—the boxy fit and beige colourway paired with the gold chain and oversized clutch feels like a good summary of what minimalist style looks like this year. It's all about the luxe staple. Also, on a practical note, I couldn't get over how premium both the suit and the clutch felt, and I can imagine them being super versatile as individual items in my wardrobe as well as as a complete look. It's official: Arket is the place to go for expensive-looking minimal buys on a budget."

"I've always wanted to wear a three-piece suit, and thankfully the fashion gods were smiling down on me this season because the waistcoat is having a moment. No, it might not be the most 'minimal' of suits on the market, but I feel like 2020 minimalism is so much more than monochrome, and this pinstripe getup satisfies both my desire for simplicity alongside a good dose of personality. I would also happily adapt the outfit for the evening by removing the jacket and adding heels."

Emma Spedding, Editor: Coats

"I was given the 'coats' category for this We Try Before You Buy, and it required no internet searching on my part, as I knew straight away the two coats I was going to try. First up is this single-breasted beauty from Joseph—as soon as I put this on I felt pretty fabulous. The fabric is just beautiful, and the light blush colour is a slightly unique spin on a classic beige coat. This is as close to perfect as coats get."

"Next up, I've been admiring this Nanushka coat forever. I love the oversized silhouette and the gigantic pockets, and it comes in lots of classic hues and prints, such as this subtle houndstooth. I paired it with a camel vegan leather shirt, tan handbag and square-toe heel boots from Reformation—all basics that are simple but still make a big impact."

Nell Block, Assistant Editor: Jumpsuits and Dresses

"I’m a boilersuit fanatic so I was excited to try this one out. I’ll admit I was slightly hesitant about the material of this Ganni version, but once on it felt good, although I would suggest that a roll-neck is a good layering option if you don’t want to feel too cold. Would love to wear this in the summer with chunky black sandals." 

"Who doesn’t want to feel like a mix between Lord Voldemort and the Olsens? No one, I’d reckon. The long floaty dress is surprisingly flattering on my figure (instead of totally drowning it out), thanks to the contrasting black on the top and bottom." 

Zoe Anastasiou, Fashion Editor: Minidresses

"There are few basics that will stand the test of time as well as a black blazer. It's the staple in everyone's wardrobe that is worn time and time again. Topshop has updated the item with this tuxedo-inspired blazer dress. I think its contrast lapel is also a particularly nice touch." 

"When we decided on the minimal theme for this month's We Try Before You Buy, I immediately knew I wanted to try this Ganni dress. Its A-line shape and check colourway ensure it's classic enough to be considered minimal, but its fun tie-back makes sure it isn't borning. Pair with a black roll-neck to make it winter appropriate, or wear alone with sandals in the summer." 

Next up, the biggest S/S 20 fashion trends you need to know. 

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