I Try On Lots of Clothes, But These 9 Premium Basics Really Impress Me

My wardrobe is generally a mixture of animal prints, brights (pink), white, denim and metallics. So it’s safe to say I’m definitely not a minimalist. That said, this January, I’ve really enjoyed adding fashion’s new elevated classics to my wardrobe. It may be the comedown from a sequin overload at Christmas or simply how easy it is to build several outfits once you add these staples into your repertoire.

So what makes these not-quite-basic basics different from before? Well, not only have simple items such as a tracksuit or a simple wool coat been tweaked with a new-season update like a more tailored silhouette or shoulder pads, but it's also in the styling. By layering tonal neutrals in different textures, you can instantly create a "look" with pieces you may already have in your wardrobe. Comfort doesn’t have to equal boring, either. There's a whole host of puffers in luxe shades of caramel, grey or even cream that will instantly lift your mood on your early morning walk to work or nursery.

Here are nine of my favourite wardrobe classics to buy now and wear forevermore.

1. PADDED JACKET

classics with a twist: Frankie Shop puffer

Photo:

Lily Russo-Bah/Who What Wear

If you haven’t spotted one of The Frankie Shop’s trapeze puffers on Instagram, then where have you been? For yet another winter, this wardrobe staple has continued to be one of the season's most desirable pieces. Warmth and style? It's no wonder we keep coming back to these cosy jackets time and again…

What's unique about this one? The colour is very sophisticated and timeless; the cut is slightly A-line, which makes it feel a bit more "designed" than your average puffer; and the dramatic collar adds a nice touch.

2. RIDING BOOTS

classics with a twist: Toteme riding boots

Photo:

Lily Russo-Bah/Who What Wear

These glossy leather riding boots instantly add a wow factor to any outfit no matter how casual. The leather is incredible to see and feel in person. If you look after these, they will be a key pillar of your wardrobe for many winters to come, as they are one of those boot shapes that really don't date.

3. LEATHER-EFFECT TROUSERS

classics with a twist: Mango leather trousers

Photo:

Lily Russo-Bah / Who What Wear

Bored of your everyday jeans-and-top uniform? Leather or leather-look trousers are one of this season’s key trouser styles and instantly elevate a simple sweater. From leggings to joggers, there is a style to suit every body shape, but these kick-flares from Mango are my favourite and are available up to a size 26.

4. EVERYDAY JACKET

classics with a twist: & Other Stories fringed jacket

Photo:

Lily Russo-Bah/Who What Wear

I made a beeline for this jacket as soon as I saw it. I love winter whites, but when it comes to outerwear, it can be tricky to keep clean. This jacket is the perfect shade of oatmeal (that can take a few marks and camouflage them), and the fringing detail means that wherever you go, even if you’re just popping to the shops, you will be doing it in style.

5. SILKY TROUSERS

classics with a twist: silky trousers

Photo:

Lily Russo-Bah/Who What Wear

I first spotted these silk trousers on one of my favourite people to follow on Instagram, Lisa Marinelli. The clue to the ethos is in the brand’s name, Sl'eau. It creates sustainable and timeless pieces that are seasonless. I’ve teamed this pair with an oversized knit and plimsolls to create a smart-yet-casual look, but they are perfect as a contemporary evening alternative to a dress. Just pair with an oversized blazer and heels.

6. STRETCH JUMPSUIT

classics with a twist: Leset jumpsuit

Photo:

Lily Russo-Bah/Who What Wear

We all have a pair of black leggings in our wardrobes, right? Mine are my failsafe option when I’m in a rush and need to throw on an oversized knit and boots. This season, find yourself a pair with stirrups or, even better, a jumpsuit with stirrups to give these looks an instant refresh. Catsuits are having a moment, but they don't have to be intimidating or a fad—in a quality black material, you'll get wear out of something like this for a long, long time. Whether worn with loafers or heels and a blazer, it's the comfiest (and most surprising) way to look chic.

7. WOOL COAT

classics with a twist: Marcela coat

Photo:

Lily Russo-Bah / Who What Wear

Marcéla London has to be one of British fashion’s best-kept secrets. It's a favourite with influencers for its minimalist aesthetic and beautiful outerwear. Interesting styles are coming through more frequently these days in the world of coats, with styles that are both classic enough to work every winter but still interesting enough to feel like a considered choice. Even if you’re simply looking for a plain black coat, Marcéla will have you covered with its impeccable tailoring.

8. KNITTED CO-ORD

classics with a twist: H&M co-ords

Photo:

Lily Russo-Bah/Who What Wear

The high street has really upped its game when it comes to luxe loungewear made of cashmere or merino wool. Brands are responding to the demand for more premium fabrics, and I'm here for it. Layering a set like this ribbed cashmere one from H&M with tonal colours is an easy way to create a look that is comfy and warm but sophisticated too.

9. TRACKSUIT

classics with a twist: Frankie Shop tracksuit

Photo:

Lily Russo-Bah/Who What Wear

I will admit after endless lockdowns in sweatpants, I was kind of over them, but then I saw this navy one in Selfridges and became obsessed. The cut is what elevates this tracksuit. The high-waisted bottoms nip in at the smallest point of your waist, and the cropped sweatshirt with shoulder pads gives even more definition to the silhouette created. Wear with trainers, boots and even your favourite pointy courts. Top tip: Take your usual size on bottom but size down on the top. 

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